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There will be times that God causes you to notice people, and at other times He will simply lead someone right to you directly. I have had both of these happen in my life, almost on a daily basis.

Once, I was in a local store in California shopping with my family. My son Noah had to use the restroom. After we finished, we were on our way back to meet my wife and daughter, when I noticed a woman visibly upset. God touched my spirit and caused me to stop. I asked her, “What’s troubling you?” “Nothing,” she replied. I then said, “Are you sure?”

She responded by letting me know I would not want to hear it. I assured her, I would not have stopped if I didn’t want to hear it. She smiled and began to pour her heart out. She spoke to me for about five minutes about all that was going wrong for her. Her troubles were pressing in on her, and she felt alone and helpless. She was frustrated, angry and bitter about life.

I listened to every word she said, and I never broke eye contact. My son watching was just an added bonus because I knew he would ask me later why we stopped for a total stranger, and I would have the opportunity to pour into him compassion ministry. When the lady was finished speaking, I said, “You know, I bet the rest of your day is going to be just fine.”

She laughed and said, “I think you’re right. Thanks for taking the time to listen.” “You’re welcome,” I said and my son and I departed. I know it sounded effortless and not much like a miracle, but for her it meant everything. It was the miracle she needed for the day.

Wright, Steve (2012-03-18). The Descent To Compassion (pp. 48-49).  . Kindle Edition.

Divine Moments

March 6, 2013 — Leave a comment

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“Divine moments are around every corner if we will just make the turn when He speaks. I’m afraid many times a hurried life and fear lead us rather than the Spirit of God. What we honestly need is to submit to a Spirit-led life once and for all. We need to give Him all of our lives. We need to go beyond the label of Christians and become true Christ followers, submitted to His voice no matter the cost. After all, salvation is free, but discipleship will cost you. A hurried life is unquestionably an unproductive way of life. We are in a race to go everywhere and never truly make it anywhere. I think we’re in a hurry on purpose because we’re afraid that if we slow down we might just find out how unfulfilled our lives actually are. When we slow down, we see more clearly and we see what we are truly missing.”

Wright, Steve (2012-03-18). The Descent To Compassion (p. 59).  . Kindle Edition.

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“My dad read the Bible ten times, and I want to do it in my lifetime. But it’s definitely tough getting through.” Pamela Anderson

Well Pamela…I hope you get to do as you have spoken. It will be the greatest thing you have ever done. Just saying.

The Word of God is a mirror for your life. God’s word will show you what needs to stay, what needs to go and what needs to change.  The Bible is the only book that is the perfect life adjustment tool that is infallible.

The Bible is not primarily about you and me. The Bible is about God and His glory alone. The privilege and blessing of reading the Word of God is that we may become more like Him, thus reflecting His glory to the world around us.

The Bible gives us eyes to see ourselves as we truly are and what we can actually become. The Bible also gives us eyes to see the Gospel beyond the pages of scripture.

Martin Luther once said, “God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars.”

What worth is the Bible? I would sacrifice every page ever written for just one page of God’s Word. Yes, it is that valuable because its words are forever and eternal.

Let me close by asking you a few questions today.

What place does the Word of God hold in your life?

Do you read it daily?

When you read it, do you allow it to  read you?

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Is your devotional time with God in a rut? I once heard a preacher say, “ A rut is just a grave with both ends kicked out.” In other words, a rut is a grave of death. Ruts can be hard to get out of, but you can escape. Change is necessary in life, and when it comes to your devotional life, change is necessary from time to time.

1. Set a time or reset a different time

Spending time with God takes time. You must set a time or reset a time you already have as part of your daily routine. For example, if your devotions are in the morning and they have become routine so that you are not feeling connected on a deep level-then change the time you do your devotions. If you have devotions in the morning, move them to the afternoon or evening.

2. Change the location

Change the place you do your devotions. Changing the time and place will make a big differences. I once moved my devotion time to a park, and it was amazing how God would speak through His word to me and at the same time show me things about people all around me. I felt connected to both God and humanity.

3. Don’t be random

Have a plan for you devotions. Pick a book of the Bible to work through. Add a devotional book to your time with God. Add a good Christian discipleship book to your devotion that will challenge your faith in a strong way. You might want to check out my book, The Descent to Compassion.

4. Record your thoughts and what He is speaking

Write down what you are thinking as you are having your devotional time with God. You can even use a smartphone to record your thoughts to a voice memo. You would be amazed how well this works to keep you engaged in what God is trying to speak into your life.

5. Pass on what you can

Share with others what God is speaking and doing through your life. After all, a relationship with God should and must be shared. Not only should you share some of the things God is speaking to you, but also you should walk out works of kindness before the world so they will know you have been with Jesus.

When I Said No To God

November 13, 2012 — 1 Comment

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From my book, The Descent to Compassion

Abruptly I noticed a strange fog begin to fill the church. It came from the opening just above the sanctuary near the back of our church. As the fog settled among the people, I thought my prayers had been answered in the form of a divine miracle, but that was not the case. Ron had taken a few minutes to walk to a nearby store and buy some air freshener. When he returned, he made his way up the back stairs and emptied the cans into the opening, allowing the mist to float down into our meeting place. It was the smell of pine fresh, like one of those car fresheners you hang from a rearview mirror. A divine answer to prayer it wasn’t, but the attempt to improve the smell was noted by everyone. I wish I could say the air freshener was successful, but the smell of the man still cut through everything. My only option was to quickly bring the service to an end. I concluded the message with an altar call, and a few people came forward to pray. After praying at the altar, the service was completed, but God was just beginning. The King of the Homeless stood alone, untouched by anyone. No one in the church was getting near him, and no one was speaking with him. I knew he was still there, so I kept my distance hoping that he would just leave. It was then that God spoke to me: “Hug him.” His voice was clean, pure, and holy. God waited on me. My response was fast, without thought. “No!” Again, God spoke: “Hug him.”

God spoke for the last time, more insistent than before: “I said, give him a hug!” Chills ran through my body and my heart felt fear. I was suddenly aware that I was standing on holy ground. Testing ground. Proving ground. And, God waited. I turned toward the unknown stranger, and he seemed to be waiting just for me. Years later, reflecting on this moment in my life, I’m fascinated that in Scripture we see nature always obeying God, we see demons always obeying God, but when God speaks to us, His children, we seem to debate obedience. I approached him slowly, and he stood perfectly still. As I embraced him, his smell was overpowering, and I wanted to run, but when he embraced me, something strange happened. Something heavenly took place. I was changed, I was broken, and I was being set free. My body was warm and I could feel blood rushing to the surface of my skin. I could feel God’s presence and it was holy, loving and perfect. The smell departed in the presence of God. Just like the man in the Bible with leprosy, all this man actually needed was a touch when no one would touch him. I wish I could say that he was the one changed that day by my preaching, but I was the one actually changed by his hug. It was at that moment I discovered that the homeless, the untouchables are, in fact, truly touchable, and they will teach you more about God and yourself than you will ever teach them.

Wright, Steve (2012-03-18). The Descent To Compassion (pp. 21-22).  . Kindle Edition.

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You have more time than you think.  If you are like me, you have a list of things to do and time seems to be in slim supply. Fear not! There are ways to find a little more time in your day if know where to look and what to do.

Below are seven ways to find more time

1. Take an inventory

You must know where your time is going before you can adjust it. Trust me, you have more time than you think you do. Grab a notepad and keep up with your time for a day or two. Write down what you do in time intervals. Once you take an inventory, you will be able to see where your time is really going. You will be amazed at how all the things you do can be consolidated. For instances, look for and discover on your list a few things that can be done together instead of spread out through you day.

Example-Want to read that book but don’t have the time? Then try reading when you are in the bathroom. I know that sounds funny but hey, everyone goes to the bathroom. 🙂

2. Little adds up

Some goals in your life are big and take a lot of time. They are so big, many times you might find yourself giving up altogether. Guess what? You don’t have to. Why? The reason why is because little adds up.

Example-Do you want to write a book that is 50,000 words? Then write 500 words a day. In 100 days you will have that book.

3. Don’t disregard small increments of time as having no value

You would be amazed at what just 5 minutes given to a project or goal in your life will do. Sometimes people don’t work on a goal or project because to fully complete it that day would take an hour. Guess what? You can divide that project or goal up into 5-minute increments and it will get done eventually. It might be slower than you wanted, but never forget…the snail made it on the ark -even if he was the last one on. 🙂

4. Capture a weekend

There will be times that 5-minutes will not be the best choice for you. That’s okay. Just look at your calendar and find a weekend that must be yours and plan to use that weekend to get the task done. You would be amazed at what can happen with a whole day with no one to bother you. Let’s face it…we waste a lot of time on weekends recovering from the week. Take one weekend and own it for your goals. Don’t let anything social get in the way and steal that marked off time.

5. Cut the radio off

When you are driving, cut the radio off. You will be blown away by how it clears you mind and allows you to think. I almost always drive without music. I love to write and of course I write sermons for each Sunday. Many times in my truck I think of great thoughts. I simply grab my iPhone and record my thoughts to listen to later and work with. (Note: This one can be dangerous. Keep your eyes on the road and do this one at your own risk)

6. Get up earlier

This one is simple. Get up 15 or 20 minutes earlier and use that time. Do it!!!!!!

7. Pray longer than normal

I know this one sound crazy but you would be amazed at how spending extra time with God will give you more time. I’ve learned, that many of the blocks in my writing will go away when I’ve prayed more. It seems that God blesses me with fewer roadblocks, and what would have taken an hour to do, often ends up taking just 30-minutes.

Got Porn?

September 13, 2012 — Leave a comment

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Surfing For God by Michael John Cusick is a must read for anyone struggling with the addiction of porn. He openly places his struggles and victories on the table for the reader to see and experience. By sharing his life he addresses many root issues of pornography. In his book, he argues that in today’s society, “When a man surfs the Internet for porn he is really surfing for God.”

Michael deals with the empty promises, personal brokenness and shame in great detail.

Concerning the empty promises he address some of the following issues.

Porn promises validation of our manhood without requiring strength
Porn promises sexual fulfillment without relationship
Porn promises intimacy without requiring risk & suffering
Porn promises passion & life without connection to your soul
Porn promises power over women without responsibility & humility
Porn promises comfort & care without depending on others

Speaking to the issue of personal brokenness he never leaves you without hope of full restoration to God and others. There is a beautiful sense of light at the end of the tunnel. Michael doesn’t sugarcoat anything; he tells it straight about the damage porn does to relationships and to the soul of a man. However, it must be noted again that he paints a great ray of hope to be free. “If you are losing the battle, please read closely: following Jesus consists of so much more than trying harder and white-knuckling your way through it. You can be free.”

As for the issue of shame he writes, “To be naked and unashamed before God meant that Adam and Eve were both free and able to offer to God exactly who they were, without holding anything back or hiding their true selves. They were fully known, just as they were created to be, and they were fully okay with that. This led to an uninhibited intimacy with God and with each other.” (In my opinion this is a great chapter that really stand out. Chapter 6)

In closing I would add that it’s a must read for any man and a must read for the wives of husbands that have struggled with porn. It will help the wife get a better insight into what is really going on at the root of the issue.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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When the disciples finished eating, they headed back to the well where they left Jesus. Their conversation is very shallow, and their bellies are full. They left behind some money for the meal but nothing life changing the way they could have or should have. Leaving the town, they cut across the harvest field and see Jesus way off in the distance speaking with someone, with a woman! They were confused and wondered why.

Jesus meanwhile ask the woman to get her husband and she “answered and said, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You have well said, ‘I have no husband,’ for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that, you spoke truly.” We now see why she had been coming to the well in the heat of noonday. Shame and guilt held her captive. Jesus continues and as the conversation nears the end, He shares with her that He is the Messiah.

As the disciples arrive at the well, they watch as the woman walks away with her water pot. They have no clue she is walking away a different person, but that is truly what has just happened. They went into town and shared Christ with no one. Jesus stayed outside the town and shared eternal life with the woman.

The disciples then offer Jesus some food, and the life-changing lesson begins. Jesus says to them, “I have food to eat of which you do not know.” What is that food? Jesus continues, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.” He then lifts their attention to the field they just crossed and teaches them about the true harvest that is everywhere.The trouble is, they are just not paying attention, and their prejudice has blinded them.

As the disciples look across the field, Jesus says, “Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest?’ Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!” Just then something shocking takes place that would be remembered forever and contribute to the changing of these men following Jesus into true Christ followers.

The disciples had went into town and shared Christ with no one, but the woman Jesus had been speaking with went and not only told the people all that had happened but invited them to “‘ Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?’ Then they went out of the city and came to Him.”

What the disciples saw as they lifted their eyes on the field was more than they were ready to handle. People were coming out of the town they just left. They were coming to see Jesus, and they were the true harvest Jesus was speaking of. The disciples went in, and none came out to see Jesus. The Samaritan woman went into the city, and a harvest came following.

Wright, Steve (2012-03-18). The Descent To Compassion © (From Chapter Seven) Kindle Edition.

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