You hold me!

Read what Asaph writes in Psalms 73:21 & 22 that “When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before You.” Asaph here was saying that he was acting no better than an animal in front of God! Something grieved Asaph and made him mad. He was embittered. One definition of being embittered is, “very angry about unfair things that have happened to you:” Some people would say you have a right to be mad about unfair things that have happened to you, although Jesus wasn’t. And aren’t we striving to be more like Jesus?

I find it interesting that he says, “I was a brute beast before You.” If you think about it, we are always in front of God. He sees everything we do, knows everything we do and hears everything we say. So when we lose our temper with our spouse or children. When we lust after something. When we get mad because we don’t get our way or something embitters us (i.e. treated unfairly), we are acting like brute beasts. In other words we are acting “Animalistic.” No better than a water-buffalo.

But then Asaph goes on to say in verses 23-28 this;-“Yet I am always with You; You hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward You will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but You? And earth has nothing I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Those who are far from You will perish; You destroy all who are unfaithful to You. But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge; I will tell of all Your deeds.”

What a beautiful word picture! God holding us by our right hand as we go through life and our daily struggles. Guiding us, telling us what to do by giving us His counsel. Then we die and go to glory. What a deal! He does all the work, we just have to hold on to His hand, listen to what He tells us then go to heaven. It really is that easy but I end up kicking and screaming to be let go and don’t listen to His counsel. But you know what? Because of the blood of Jesus, I still make it into Heaven! So if someone has caused you to be “embittered” and your inner water-buffalo is rising up in side you, just remember that God is watching. Eph. 4:32 says, “Be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving one another. Even as god for Christ sake has forgiven you.” Please let me know if you need anything.  Naomi and I love you all.  -Pastor Steve 

Be strong and courageous!

This is what the Lord told the Israelites through Moses right before they went into the Promised Land: Deuteronomy 31:6-“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Now you have to remember that there was a lot of opposition for them when they finally got there. There was walled city’s, there were actual giants, and there were established nations that would protect their homeland no matter what the cost. The Israelites had all the reason in the world to be fearful! Did you catch that? They had all the reason in the world to be fearful. From a fleshly point of view it seemed impossible, but the Israelites had a secret weapon! They had the creator of the universe on their side! And He had already done so much for the Israelites parents that they understood that their Heavenly Father could do anything they needed Him to do! They simply had to trust Him. They had to, “Walk by faith, not by sight (II Corinthians 5:7)!”

Do you realize that we serve the same God today that the Children of Israel served back then? Maybe we can’t see our giants or our walled city’s, but they are still there! They come to us as health issues, relationship issues, financial issues and maybe even addictions. Paul tells the Church at Corinth, “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds (II Corinthians 10:4).” In other words our weapons are spiritual weapons. Still the same God fighting for us, but we aren’t using swords and spears, we are using our God given resistance and prayer. Read how the NLT wrote this verse out: “We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments.” God’s mighty weapons it says! What are God’s mighty weapons? It all starts with a saving knowledge of our Lord Jesus and His blood that He shed on the cross. Then those weapons become stronger the more we’re into the Word of God and strengthen ourselves knowing Him. Psalms 119:11 states, “I have hidden Your word in my heart that I might not sin against You (NIV).” Simply put, if we know His word it’s much easier to overcome the enemy of our souls! The Holy Spirit is filling you and dwelling in you if you know Jesus as your personal Savior. You and Him can knock down spiritual walls. Try it.

Please let me know if you need anything.  Naomi and I love you all.  -Pastor Steve 

New Heart, New Spirit

This was the verse that started my devotional one day this week: “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.  And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws (Ezekiel 36:26-27).” Those words, “I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh,” seemed too jumped off the page to me! So often in my life it seems like I have to perform and do this or that to gain God’s blessing. It’s like I need to strive to be good enough to have my Heavenly Father’s approval. But I can NEVER be good enough! So all I need to do is put my trust in Jesus and allow Him to do all the rest. Like our Scripture says (And it’s God who is speaking.), “I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” And when He does that, according to our Scripture reading, He puts His Holy Spirit in us and He moves us to follow what He says and do what He desires us to do. It is nothing that we do. It’s all Him! All we have to do is be willing to allow Him to work. We must be willing to put down our flesh when it raises its ugly head and take captive our thoughts. God gives us a new heart, we just have to make it function!

Paul puts it this way in Ephesians 4:22-24: “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” Paul is telling the church at Ephesus to change your stinkin’ thinkin’! It’s as simple as that! “Put off your old self which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;” Have you ever been deceived? The definition of deceit is, “The action or practice of deceiving someone by concealing or misrepresenting the truth.” And Paul says here that we can deceive ourselves! Have you ever told yourself, “Oh, just one will be okay?” Have you ever done something you knew that you shouldn’t do but you did it anyway and faced the consequences down the road? Do you realize that we can conceal or misrepresent the truth even in our own thoughts? That’s why Paul says here that we need to put off our old self and be made new in the attitude of our mind! So Paul here says take control and change it! We’re the only one we can control! We can’t control anyone else. So, check your attitude at the door!

Please let me know if you need anything.  Naomi and I love you all.  -Pastor Steve 


First thing I want to say is “Happy Birthday” to my amazing wife Naomi! She has hung in there with me for almost 38 years and I would not be who I am without her love and support. She is an amazing women, vibrant Christian, wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, and friend to all. I love you Naomi with all of my heart!

What a wonderful time we all had at the Total Church Life training that Pastor Ron Rich led this past weekend! I think that all who attended would agree that it was well worth the effort for each of us. It was a time for self-examination and it made me look inside my heart and ask the tough question, “Am I doing all I can to spread the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ?”

Jesus tells us in Matthew 28:19 to “Go and make disciples of all nations…” He didn’t tell us to go to our different churches and Bible study groups and study what it means to go, He simply said go! “Go where,” may be your question. Well, where do you go? Most people go to work, go to the store or any of a myriad of other places that we just “go.” He wants us to tell our story wherever we are to whoever we can and watch as He works through you in the lives of those you share with. We don’t have to go to a foreign land or across the sea or a border, we may just need to go across the road and talk to a neighbor. We can live our faith out at a family reunion or in the branding pen with our peers. Just go!

“What do I say.” may be your next question. Just tell your story of His love and forgiveness. If we don’t start we will never get anywhere! Just go!

Each of us that knows Jesus as Lord has a story.  Pray that the Holy Spirit will fill your mouth with His words when you speak. You’ll never know how if you never do it. And remember, He is always faithful and always gives us wisdom. We just need to be available.

A study conducted by LifeWay Research found 80 percent of those who attend church one or more times a month, believe they have a personal responsibility to share their faith, but 61 percent have not told another person about how to become a Christian in the previous six months. Can you imagine the revival that could happen if we simply did what Jesus commanded us to do? Go and Tell?

But for sure, revival starts with us individually. I pray that the Lord shows me where I need to change, where I need revival. I pray that I can be like king David and ask Him to “Search me oh God and know my heart. Test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting (Psalms 139:23&24).”

Pray for me and I’ll pray for you!  Naomi and I love you all.


Today is the day that we are going to baptize quite a few believers! I’m excited about it folks! I know that God is working in the lives and hearts of these people and their desire is to show the world that they have changed! That’s what baptism represents really. Paul writes to us in Romans 6:3 & 4, “Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? We were therefore buried with Him through into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we to may have a new life.” What this is telling us is that baptism symbolizes our death, burial and resurrection just like Christ’s. And then we need to live a life that reflects that we are saved and striving to live as He wants us to live!

Some people think that baptism is a necessity for salvation. And while it is a commandment from Christ, it is not necessary for us to be baptized to get into Heaven. All that is necessary to make Heaven our home is the Blood of Jesus Christ. He shed His blood and died that we may have eternal life and as Paul writes in Romans 10:9, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in you heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” So that all it takes, confessing and believing. Paul never says anything in this passage about baptism and if it were necessary to be baptized for salvation Paul would have told us about it.

Did you notice that Paul says we are buried like Him in baptism and we rise again to a new life? So that means we are laid down in the water and raised again in new life! So after we are baptized we then strive to live a new life. We will still trip and stumble but we know we have the forgiveness of sin that Jesus promised us. How wonderful is that? Jesus died for us so we can be saved, He rose again for us so we can have newness of life and He forgives us when we don’t walk as we should love. He has done all of the work and we just reap the blessings! How fantastic is that?

So if you know Christ as your personal Savior but have never followed Him in baptism, it’s not too late! Just let me know and we can get it done! It would be such a blessing to me to do that!

It is such a privilege to serve here at Canelo Cowboy Church! I thank my God daily for the call He placed on me and all the wonderful folks in our lives! Pray for me and I’ll pray for you!  Naomi and I love you all.