When God Says, “Don’t Mention Me.”

Sometimes the best strategic move we can make in witnessing to someone about Christ is… not to mention Him.

The other day I was at our local grocery store, standing in line at the cashier stand with about 15 items loaded onto the conveyor belt. It was a busy time of day, all of the cashiers had a line of customers waiting to be served. A gentleman stepped into line behind me, he looked like he had been working hard that day, his work clothes being adorned with fresh dirt, grease, and oil. In his hand was a single item for purchase.

I casually suggested that he could go before me in the line, instead of waiting for all of my stuff to be scanned and purchased. He acknowledged with a nod and stepped in front of me. As he was paying the cashier, he turned to me and said, “That’s the first nice thing that has happened to me today. Thank You for letting me go ahead of you.”

He said it not too loud, but it was enough for the people around our cashier to hear it. Another man chimed-in with an encouraging word to the gentleman, and there were lots of smiles as we all engaged him for a moment. The gentlemen’s facial expression and his tone confirmed to us that he really was having a bad day up to that moment.

For just a second or two in time, I thought to myself how I might engage him conversationally with the hopes of sharing some even better news with him about Christ. Not preaching, not in-your-face, just a casual word or two, or just even a hint of the Lord.

Before I said anything further, I felt a gentle nudge in my spirit that simply communicated to me, “Don’t mention Me.”

He thanked all of us again for our small gestures and words of kindness, he picked up his single item and walked toward the door.

As I pondered the scene on my way back home, I was reminded of a passage in the scriptures that the Apostle Paul penned:

“I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose… For we are co-workers in Godʼs service…”

~ 1 Corinthians‬ ‭3:6-9‬‬‬‬

Accepting Christ Proceeds From A Process

When someone turns their life over to Christ, it is almost always the result of a process over time, not just an instantaneous hear-believe-saved moment. There will be people in their life that God used to break up the hardened soil of their heart, and others who planted the seeds of life, and still others that came along and watered those seeds. It is God who oversees the whole process, from beginning to end.

My role in the gentlemen’s life at the grocery store may have been to help break up the hardened soil of his heart with a simple gesture of kindness and thoughtfulness. No, it won’t be the critical moment of his salvation, but it may be one experience of many that eventually culminates in his entry into a new life in Christ.

Maybe the next believer he encounters will have the role of planting some seeds, then later another person to water those seeds. We cannot limit ourselves to only doing the BIG things that will result in the BIGGEST outcomes (though those moments certainly are wonderful to see). We are co-workers with each other and with God, and God is the one who is overseeing the gentlemen’s progress through the process of attaining faith and a new life in Christ.

Who knows, maybe the next person that I encounter will have already been served by a number of others, and I will have the privilege and joy of being there to lead him in his final step of faith, to accept Christ.

An Example of When The Spirit Says Not to Preach

During his missionary journeys, the Apostle Paul encountered times when he was directed by the Holy Spirit not to speak, and even not to visit. Sometimes he was given a reason, and at other times no reason was given (at least that we know of from his writings). For example,

“Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to.”

~ ‭‭Acts‬ ‭16:6-7‬

Even more important than our willingness to go anywhere under any circumstances to preach the gospel, is our willingness and sensitivity to hear the Holy Spirit direct us to go here, don’t go there; say this, don’t say that; do it now, don’t do it yet; do it this way, don’t do it that way. After all, in ministry we are not doing things for God, we are doing things with God, and He is our Commander and King.


#PastorsTip #Christian #Faith #Salvation #GrowingInFaith #Witnessing #BeingSilent #Planting #Watering #GodGivesGrowth


When The Wicked Advance

Is your heart burning with anger and frustration after finding out some deceiving, scheming, wicked people seem to be advancing in their efforts?

Are you frustrated because you play by the rules of the game and according to the dictates of integrity, while they act with impunity and seem to get away with it?

Do you feel like you are held to an almost impossible standard, and yet they receive a free pass from the authorities for anything and everything?

This isn’t isolated to just the current political arena. This can happen in the workplace, in a community organization, in a neighborhood association, and even in the home.

Do not fret, my friend. Do not burn with indignation. Do not lose sleep. Do not rage in conversation. Find the peace that comes from putting the outcomes into the hands of God.

“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.”

~ Psalm‬ ‭37:7‬


#PastorsTip #Wickedness #Cheating #Fret #Righteousness #Wikileaks #Authorities #DoNotFret #PeaceOfGod


Shrewd Like Serpents & Doves

Do you have “street smarts” that have been developed and sharpened by the Holy Spirit? Do have a grasp on how the real world is functioning, or do you have a closed-eyes approach to navigating this fallen world?

Jesus spoke several times about having a shrewd perspective, understanding, and practice in the real world.

“’… For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light.’”

~ Luke‬ ‭16:8‬‬‬‬

Some believe (erroneously) that being “street smart” and “shrewd” does not fit the Sunday School-level concept of real life that they hold to dearly. Their approach remains simplistic, binary, and linear. They assume that being “shrewd” means being unChrist-like and compromising on what is clearly right and wrong.

However, the scriptures both commend and condemn shrewdness on the basis of its context, like motives and actions, and not outright as always being inherently right or wrong. Let’s consider the biblical subject of shrewdness.

Biblical Language Definition of Shrewdness :
  • Astuteness or craftiness in dealings with others, especially in using one’s understanding and judgment to one’s own advantage.
  • Scripture commends it when it is seen in wise words and actions directed towards a worthy goal, but
  • Scripture condemns it when it takes the form of cunning and deceitful scheming for sinful and selfish ends.

~ Dictionary of Bible Themes (Martin H. Manser, Managing Editor)

Jesus’ Call for Us to be Shrewd

Jesus shines His light on the subject, calling for His disciples (i.e. us) to be shrewd (intelligent, tactile, strategic, wise, and understanding human nature) while remaining innocent (a no-compromise life in regard to what is right and wrong).

“’I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.’”

~ Matthew‬ ‭10:16‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Being shrewd is where a person looks at a world-minded human being or group, anticipates their course of action, and then plans their own wisdom-based strategic actions accordingly (without compromising righteousness).

The shrewdness of a snake is referred to, and a dove as being innocent. A common mistake is to misunderstand Jesus’ use of the snake analogy: He is encouraging us to be shrewd like a snake without being a snake, to be shrewd in the right way with the innocence and righteousness of a dove.

If you have thought of “shrewd” as always being wrong and worldly, please consider rebuilding your definition of shrewd, and begin to be more clever and wise with “street smarts.” Pray for God to lead you in developing a godly use of shrewdness that is wisdom-based and that you will use it with godly motives and godly actions.

Shrewdness in Political Season

During this election season, if after praying you do not receive a clear direction from the Lord in your heart as to who should receive your vote, consider looking at the big picture with an eye to exercising godly shrewdness.

Our single vote for president has more impact than just for one candidate. Our single vote can also be used shrewdly as a simultaneous vote against another candidate. This is strategic and shrewd, but only if the vote is applied to a particular candidate.

No, I’m not condoning voter fraud. Vote once, and only once! But our single vote can provide more influence upon the outcome if we cast our vote shrewdly, cunningly, and wisely.

Have I said who to vote for? No. However, if while reading the above paragraphs on shrewdness in voting you seemed to clearly see a potential candidate that fits the picture, perhaps you are having a “shrewd” moment of clarity, and not just a “David” moment through the “power of suggestion.” Let’s vote prayerfully, vote our conscience, and of course let’s vote strategically.

Developing a Shrewd Perceptiveness

Beyond the political election season, consider developing a shrewd-with-innocence perceptiveness and practice at home, at work, and in society. It may take time to change your way of seeing things in the light of shrewdness, but ask the Lord to help you be “transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:1-2). Ask Him to help you become shrewd in the way that He intended when He says, “Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves’” ‭‭(Matthew‬ ‭10:16‬‬‬‬‬‬‬).‬‬‬


#PastorsTip #Shrewd #Wise #Clever #Astute #Snakes #Doves #Righteous #Innocent #Vote #Elections #Politics


God’s Full Anticipation of Our Full Participation

The scriptures analogically refer to life’s spiritual conflicts as forms of military combat and sporting competition, and to us believers as soldiers and athletes.

If we could see with our physical eyes what we look like spiritually, would we see ourselves as genuine carriers of the “marks of Christ” (as the Apostle Paul said that he did)?

“… for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.”‭‭

~ Paul, Galatians‬ ‭6:17‬

Would we see a fresh application of the blood of Jesus Christ to our life, mixed with our own fresh blood from the wounds received in victorious combat? Would we see upon us scars from battles where [with Christ] we had won hard-fought victories in the recent past?

Some fellow believers do not like the analogies [for the spiritual life] of combat and sporting competition, of soldiers and athletes. To them, it sounds too violent or too physical, and not intelligent or sophisticated enough.

However, there are very good reasons why scripture frequently uses the combat and sporting analogies:

  • Life is dangerous,
  • Life is strenuous,
  • Life is competitive,
  • Life can end with eternal death, and
  • Life is an intense war filled with battles.

This particular war has no allowance for “conscientious objectors” or for “pacifists.” Granted, how we engage in the war can and should be prayerfully considered and discussed, but a rejection of participating in this “war” or this “competition” is not acceptable in the eyes of God.

Paul wrote to the church in Ephesus, inspiring them to have a clear perspective and mindset, not one of pacifism but of spiritual combat when participating in the full realm of life:

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devilʼs schemes.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then…

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lordʼs people.”

‭‭~ Ephesians‬ ‭6:10-18‬

We have been provided “the full armor of God” (or in the sporting analogy, the ‘football gear of God’) complete with “weapons of warfare” (that have Divine fire-power) with God’s full anticipation of our full participation!

See you at the altar of prayer, my friends. It’s time for war!



#PastorsTip #War #Weapons #Armor #SpiritualWarfare #Athlete #Soldier #ConscientiousObjection #Pacifism #Prayer


To My Muslim Friends

The God of Abraham (Jehovah) is not the same as Allah, even if a Muslim declares it so.

Jesus, whom you revere as a prophet (but not as the crucified and resurrected Son of God) spoke to some Jews who claimed that their God was also Jehovah. Jesus pointed clearly to the fact that just because one claims to follow the God of Abraham does not mean that it is in reality true of them.

“Jesus replied, ‘If I glorify Myself, My glory means nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies Me.

Though you do not know Him, I know Him. If I said I did not, I would be a liar like you, but I do know Him and obey His word.

Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing My day; he saw it and was glad.’”

~ John‬ ‭8:54-56‬

Following the God of Abraham means more than a religious adherence. It involves a love and an obedience (from the heart) to God’s words, spoken through His Son, Jesus Christ. This is absolutely true for everyone, regardless of their culture or religious heritage.

Even Christians who believe that Jehovah is the God of Abraham, and believe that Jesus Christ is His crucified and resurrected Son, must also obey the word of God. Without obedience to the One True God, there is no hope, there is no forgiveness, there is no salvation, there will be no Heaven after this life.

The Bible clearly states that even demons believe that Jehovah is the God of Abraham, and yet they shudder with fear at the enormity of His true identity, and they have no hope and no future.

“You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.”

~ James‬ ‭2:19‬

My Muslim Friends, I do not despise you for any reason, or because of your current religion and participation in Islam. You are my fellow human beings. You know pain like I do, you know sickness like I do, you know the weight of the guilt from sin like I used to. Yes, past tense regarding sin.

Through Jesus Christ and His Father, the God of Abraham, I have experienced the power of God that brings life into the soul. There are many religions in this world, but only a sincere heart-acceptance of Abraham’s God and His Son, Jesus Christ, has the power to break the hold and the guilt of sin.

I know you believe in the practice of prayer. As a Muslim, you have no doubt prayed many, many times. However, if Allah has not responded to your prayers and brought peace into your heart, perhaps it is because you have been addressing your prayers to the wrong god.

Try praying the following out loud:

🔹”I pray to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I pray to the God that created the universe, and created me.
🔹Please, reveal Yourself to me in a way that I will know it is really You. I want to know the One True God of the universe.
🔹And if Jesus Christ is Your Son (and was crucified and died upon a cross, and resurrected from the dead for the forgiveness of my sins) please, I want to know the truth.
🔹I want to know The True God that will give to me true, eternal life, forgiveness for my sin, and peace.”

Now, look forward to hearing from The One True God!


#PastorsTip #Muslim #Islam #Jesus #Christ #Forgiveness #Allah #Jehovah #Abraham


Starting A New Facebook Verification Thing

I’m not feeling insecure, I’ve got plenty of friends in real life, and plenty of loved-ones.

So, instead of doing a “Like-This-and-Repost-to-Your-Facebook-Wall-so-I’ll-know-You-Still-Like-Me” thing, here’s what I propose:

  • If you still like me, don’t do ANYTHING with this post.
  • If you still love me, don’t do ANYTHING with this post.
  • If you still read my timeline, don’t do ANYTHING with this post.
  • If you are going to vote in November, don’t do ANYTHING with this post.
  • If you want to continue as my friend on Facebook, don’t do ANYTHING with this post.
  • If you feel like I am making fun of your previous posting of a “Like-This-and-Repost-to-Your-Facebook-Wall-so-I’ll-know-You-Still-Like-Me” thing, don’t do ANYTHING with this post.
  • If you love Jesus and want to be blessed by re-posting His picture, don’t do ANYTHING with this post.
  • If you want to receive $1 Million bucks from Bill Gates, don’t do ANYTHING with this post.
  • If Heaven is your destination, don’t do ANYTHING with this post.
  • If you are still headed to Hell, don’t do ANYTHING with this post.
  • If you agree that #BlackLivesMatter or #BlueLivesMatter or #AllLivesMatter, don’t do ANYTHING with this post.
  • If you believe that Democracy is (so far) the best form of human governance, don’t do ANYTHING with this post.
  • If you love your spouse, don’t do ANYTHING with this post.
  • If you have read this far, to the very end of this post, don’t do ANYTHING with this post.

Thanks everyone! I will be watching closely to see who doesn’t do ANYTHING with this post! 👀



“How’s Your Daily Devotional Life?”

Sometimes the Holy Spirit prompts us (as Pastors, or Leaders) to offer the simplest of solutions for people’s greatest life-challenges, instead of inspiring us with His deep and sometimes mysterious counsels of divine wisdom.

There is a young man who experienced the Spirit’s simplest of strategies for overcoming life’s most complex dilemmas.

When I was pastoring we sometimes had an open mic segment in a Sunday Evening service where people could share a testimony with the whole church. This one young man shared how he came into the office one day to see me. His emotional and mental life was in a shambles, so he was asking for help.

After hearing his long list of difficulties in dealing with daily life, I asked him simply,

“How are your daily times of devotions? Some prayer, some Bible reading?”

He shared with the church how, at that moment, he thought to himself “That’s it? That’s ALL you’ve got to offer me?” And though we did talk at length about details of his life, he didn’t remember any of that (all of my great, deep counsel was lost on him!). All he could remember after our time together was, “How are your daily devotions?”

He openly admitted that he was very flustered and was not impressed. He expected something more profound and really deep for handling his overpowering daily life’s issues.

Nonetheless, he started daily devotions. Thirty days later he realized that his daily life’s issues were calm, his emotions were at peace, and his mind was settled. His love for the Lord was renewed, and he was enjoying life.

As he continued to share his testimony, he said, “So, if you expect Pastor Dave to counsel you out of your grave with a bunch of deep, dramatic stuff; but all you get out of him is, ‘How’s your devotional life?’, you need to listen to him, and you need to do it! It has saved my life!

So, my conclusion about practicing a Daily Devotional Life is:

If life hurts when you don’t do it, then just do it!

#PastorsTip #Devotions #DailyDevotions #Bible #BibleReading #Prayer #DailyPrayer #LifeIssues #Peace #Joy #Calm


God’s Attention Is On You!

The infinite God who created the entire universe (its planets, moons, and stars; its shades of light and colors; and its angels, humans, and creatures) is completely mindful and thoughtful of humans.

It is estimated that the universe has billions of galaxies (like our own galaxy, the Milky Way, which contains our solar system and associated planets). There are more entire galaxies in the universe than there are people on planet earth. We currently have about 7.3 billion human beings on our planet.

For comparison, consider one human being standing in the middle of one galaxy. God, with His infinite capacities, looks at that one galaxy with all of its fascinating beauty of every light beam, of every atom of every star, sun, planet, moon, comet, and… one human being.

When God has an entire galaxy to which He can pay attention, there is only one very small aspect of that galaxy of which He is completely mindful.


He is surrounded by galactic beauty, but instead of looking at all of that, His eyes are on… YOU! You are more captivating to the loving attention of almighty God than an entire galaxy!

In ancient days, the Psalmist expressed his own glimpse into–and awareness of–the comparison between a galaxy and a human being, and that God’s delight is to give His complete and infinite attention to human beings. He wrote:


“Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth! You have set Your glory in the heavens…

When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place, what is mankind that You are mindful of them, human beings that You care for them?

You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor.”

‭‭~ Psalm‬ ‭8:1-5‬


The next time you feel insignificant, and you think your value in the universe has been lost like a grain of sand lost somewhere on the floor of the world’s oceans, know this: God is mindful of you and He cares for you, deeply!

He welcomes the giving of your own attention to Him. His favorite thing to do in ALL of the universe is this: to interact with you.

Let Him hear from you through prayer. He loves to interact with human beings like friends, and He will speak with you in return. Using any method to speak to you, at a time of His choosing and that He thinks is best, He will speak to you. It will be in a manner that you can hear with your heart and believe it really is Him!



#PastorsTip #Cosmos #Universe #Galaxy #MilkyWay #SolarSystem #Planet #Moon #Human #HumanBeing #Prayer #DelightOfGod #Friends


A Call To Prayer for Caribbean & Eastern USA Coast

The national weather services are reporting that the majority of the weather prediction models currently indicate that Hurricane Matthew (which is passing through the Caribbean area right now) will follow the entire East Coast of the USA, traveling from south to north.

Haiti is being pummeled by the storm, a tiny nation that shares an island with The Dominican Republic on its eastern half. Haiti, in 2010 was devastated by an earthquake and has yet to even begin to recover economically, in health and sanitation, and in infrastructure. As the storm is moving north beyond Haiti, reports and updates will begin to come out regarding their post-hurricane conditions.

From South Florida to New England, the hurricane is possibly in the next few days going to wreck havoc upon millions of our fellow citizens. Though it typically will lose some of its strength as it finds its way northward, the storm has an incredible amount of energy right now and even several days from now may have enough energy to damage property in New England with its winds and rain.

Please join me (and no doubt thousands of others!) in prayer for Haiti, and for the East Coast of the USA. Let’s pray for God’s supernatural intervention, and despite Hurricane Matthew’s observed and verified power, that it would fizzle down to a breeze and a sprinkle in its effect upon our fellow citizens.

Praying for weather to change is completely scriptural, sprinkled throughout the timeline of the Old Testament and the New Testament. God answered prayers with either a complete weather change, or with complete safety for the people as the storm passed through.


“Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray… The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years.

Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.”‭‭

~ James‬ ‭5:13-18‬

Thank You for joining the ranks of the praying. See you at the altar of prayer!


#PastorsTip #HurricaneMatthew #Haiti #Caribbean #EastCoast #Prayer #Elijah #Florida #NewEngland