Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Obsession of Porn


(Ezekiel 20:7 NLT) Then I said to them, ‘Each of you, get rid of the vile images you are so obsessed with. Do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt, for I am the Lord your God.’


Ezekiel, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, warns God's people over and over again about turning their hearts from Him towards other gods, and the rituals, and obsessions of their culture. They do not heed His warning, and they pay dire consequences. Generations after them paid as well.


Verse 7 is a direct command, and warning, "Each of you, get rid of the vile images you are obsessed with."

America is obsessed with pornography. Look at some of the most current stats:

90% of children ages 8-16 have viewed porn. The largest consumers of pornography are 12 to 17 year old boys. 70% of men ages 18 to 34 visit a porn site in a typical month. 1 in 6 women struggle with porn. $10 to $14 billion is spent on porn annually, the same amount the US government spends on foreign aid. 25% of search engine requests are for porn. 50% of pastors regularly look at porn. 38% of adults say porn is morally acceptable.

These stats are overwhelming to me. There is no doubt that America idolizes porn. We must hear again, the Words from the Spirit of God to His children:

"Each of you, get rid of the vile images you are so obsessed with. Do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt, for I am the Lord your God." 

Listen to this warning from God:

“Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord."(Joshua 24:14 ESV)

The next generation is watching us. Don't kid yourself into believing that this "obsession" will not affect your kids. It has, it will, and will continue until you STOP and remove this idol from your life. Become obsessed with Jesus. Fill your mind with the truth from His Word!

Fix Your Thoughts on Jesus 

When you are tempted, do whatever is necessary to turn your attention to something else.

Satan can't get your attention when your mind is preoccupied with something else. That's why the Bible teaches us to fix our thoughts on Jesus (Hebrews 3:1) and to fill our minds with those things that are good and that deserve praise: things that are "true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and honorable." (Philippians 4:8 TEV)

When we're serious about defeating temptation, we will manage our thoughts and monitor our media intake. Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived warned: "Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts." (Proverbs 4:23 TEV)

Don't allow thoughts to run indiscriminately in your mind. Be selective. Choose carefully what you think about. Follow Paul's model: "We capture every thought and make it give up and obey Christ." (2 Corinthians 10:5 NCV)

This takes a lifetime of practice, but with the help of the Holy Spirit you can discipline the way you think.


"Lord, You know the obsessions that so easily become idols in our life. We can find our self worshipping, thinking about, spending money on, wasting time with, things that are so detrimental to our Christian walk. Help us to return YOU to the rightful place in our life...sitting on the throne and directing our every step, passion, word, and decisions. Help us to be obsessed with You. In Jesus' name amen!"

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Resist the tempter

DAILY: You may sometimes feel that a temptation is too overpowering for you to bear, but that's a lie from Satan. God has promised never to allow more on you than he puts within you to handle it. He will not permit any temptation that you could not overcome. However, you must do your part too by practicing biblical methods for defeating temptation. Sometimes we put all of our time, sweat and prayers into resisting temptation when we would be better off to resist the tempter. We're told to "resist the devil," and he will run from us. (James 4:7) The battle for sin is won or lost in your mind. Whatever gets your attention will get you. That's why Job said, "I made a covenant with my eyes not to look with lust upon a young woman." (Job 31:1 NLT) And David prayed, "Keep me from paying attention to what is worthless." (Psalm 119:3a TEV). Blessings

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Beware of "bad company"

DAILY: Be careful who your closest associates are. Paul warns us that "bad company corrupts good character" (1 Cor 15:33). This is not just for young people but for adults also. Anyone who tries to pull you away from your spouse is bad company. Anyone who attempts to talk you into something that is contrary to God's Word, bad company. Anyone who when you spend time with them pushes you further from Jesus, bad company. Anyone who constantly tears down people, bad company. Anyone who constantly tears down your church and leadership, bad company. Anyone who leaves you feeling dirty when they leave, bad company. Anyone who texts, emails, or uses any social media to make contact with you behind your spouses back, bad company. Anyone, other than your spouse, who is constantly on your mind in a romantic or sexual way, bad company! Anyone, I don't care how long they have been a "friend", who pushes you further from your spouse when you guys talk, bad company. "Holy Spirit, help me to be sensitive to Your warnings today!" Blessings!

Beware of "bad company!"

DAILY: Be careful who your closest associates are. Paul warns us that "bad company corrupts good character" (1 Cor 15:33). This is not just for young people but for adults also. Anyone who tries to pull you away from your spouse is bad company. Anyone who attempts to talk you into something that is contrary to God's Word, bad company. Anyone who when you spend time with them pushes you further from Jesus, bad company. Anyone who constantly tears down people, bad company. Anyone who constantly tears down your church and leadership, bad company. Anyone who leaves you feeling dirty when they leave, bad company. Anyone who texts, emails, or uses any social media to make contact with you behind your spouses back, bad company. Anyone of the opposite sex who is constantly on your mind in a romantic or sexual way, bad company! Anyone, I don't care how long they have been a "friend", who pushes you further from your spouse when you guys talk, bad company. "Holy Spirit, help me to be sensitive to Your warnings today!" Blessings!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

"I was wrong!"

DAILY: "I was wrong" or "I need advice" are difficult phrases to utter because they require humility. Pride is an ingredient in every quarrel. It stirs up conflict and divides people. Humility, by contrast, heals. Guard against pride. If you find yourself constantly arguing, examine your life for pride. Be open to the advice of others, ask for help when you need it, and be willing to admit your mistakes.  (See Proverbs 13:10) Blessings

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Great faith!

DAILY: Matthew 15:21-28 tells the story of the Canaanite lady who brought her daughter to Jesus for healing. Three things happen that could have caused her to be offended and move on from Jesus. And if she had of, her daughter would have missed out on the miracle of healing and deliverance. First of all, when the lady brought the need to Jesus, He remained silent (v. 23). Have you ever been there? You cry out to God for your need, but it seems your prayers are getting no where. Or, you believed for healing, but the person you were praying for died, and it left you with questions of why was heaven silent? Secondly, the disciples tried to run her off. Has the church ever let you down? Hurt you, left you wounded, or didn't seem to care for you in your time of pain and despair? Are you offended from it? Thirdly, Jesus' Words were tough to take. He answered the lady with the following, "It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.” Has the Word of God ever offended you? This Canaanite lady refused to be offended by the silence of God, the hurt from the church, or the Words from God that she didn't understand completely. She declared, "even the dogs eat the crumbs from the masters table." Jesus declared that He hadn't seen such great faith as hers, and her daughter was healed. I believe that great faith, is a faith in God that refuses to be offended at the ways and Words of God. That refuses to equate God with His people. That simply moves on and forward, trusting and following Jesus! This lady would have missed a miracle if she had left offended.  And it would have affected the next generation...her daughter. "Lord help us to remember that our offense can, and very likely will, affect our children and grandchildren." Make up your mind today not to "throw off this confidence in God and HIs Word!" Blessings!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Shake it off!

DAILY: In Acts 28, a venomous snake latched onto Paul's hand while he was collecting firewood. He miraculously shook it off and didn't even get sick. As I read that, God spoke into my heart that there are things in our life that poison our spirit and stubbornly hold on to us. It could be failures from the past, it could be offenses from years gone by, it could be dislike or hatred of a person, it could be unforgiveness. But the bottom line is, I must shake that poisonous creature into the fire. It is time to move on! It is time to walk in victory and to stop making excuses for the reason that I am allowing that poison into my life. I must adjust my attitude and begin to live like Jesus in every area of my life. How long will I allow the poison to effect my relationships with: my wife, my children, my co-workers, my church family, my friends? It is time to take action! It is time to move past your past! God can and will use your past today and in the future, if you stop allowing the poison to effect your spirit. King David cried out, "Lord, renew a right spirit within me" and God did. He will do the same for me! Blessings 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Lord Your PROVIDER!

DAILY: In Genesis 22, Abraham faced a situation where he desperately needed God's provision. And God proved Himself to be Jehovah-Jireh, our Provider. I woke up this morning with an urgency to pray for someone who is like Abraham was. You MUST have God's provision. He must once again be Jehovah-Jireh for you. You laid in bed trying to sleep last night, but all you could hear was the enemies whisper that you will "never make it through this, and you will lose everything." This is a Word of knowledge for someone who will read this. God saw your tears last night. He took notice of your tossing and turning. He heard, He cares, He is still The Lord your Provider, and He will come through for you. He sees what you cannot see. When you thought you had the answer, The Lord knew about a problem that would come along, so He closed the door. He is not only providing for you, but He is protecting you as well. Abraham was ready for the miracle of provision by making preparations. You do the same by keeping yourself in His Word, celebrating His presence through praise and worship, give thanks for the times He has brought you through, and keep your faith in HIM, and your hope in His Word. Correct your meditations from ones of worry, to ones of faith! Remember, Jehovah-Jireh is the same God who brought you out and through the last time you faced a crisis! Blessings.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Beware of the SLOW FADE!

2 Samuel 12:7-9 (MSG) "You're the man!" said Nathan. "And here's what GOD, the God of Israel, has to say to you: I made you king over Israel. I freed you from the fist of Saul. (8) I gave you your master's daughter and other wives to have and to hold. I gave you both Israel and Judah. And if that hadn't been enough, I'd have gladly thrown in much more. (9) So why have you treated the word of GOD with brazen contempt, doing this great evil? You murdered Uriah the Hittite, then took his wife as your wife. Worse, you killed him with an Ammonite sword!
2 Samuel 12:9 (ESV) Why have you despised the word of the LORD, to do what is evil in his sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and have taken his wife to be your wife and have killed him with the sword of the Ammonites.
As a prophet, Nathan was required to confront sin, even the sin of a king. It took great courage, skill, and tact to speak to David in a way that would make him aware of his wrong actions. When you have to confront someone with unpleasant news, pray for courage, skill, and tact. If you want that person to respond constructively, think through what you are going to say. How you present your message may be as important as what you say. Season your words with wisdom.
It was a year later, and by then David had become so insensitive to his own sins that he didn't realize he was the villain in Nathan's story. The qualities we condemn in others are often our own character flaws. Which friends, associates, or family members do you find easy to criticize and hard to accept? Instead of trying to change them, ask God to help you understand their feelings and see your own flaws more clearly. You may discover that in condemning others, you have been condemning yourself.
I have been blessed immeasurably by the Hand of God. I have a beautiful, godly wife who loves me very much. I have the best kids in the world who have never given me even a moment of trouble. Our family is blessed with good health, we live in the greatest country on the face of this earth. I pastor an awesome church with some of the greatest folk in the world. I could go on and on...but suffice it to say I am blessed. The Word of God says:
James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
What great gifts He has blessed my life with! God had also blessed King David with such great blessings, but yet he failed God miserably and had given an "occasion for the enemies of God to blaspheme" the Lord. What happened to this dynamic, anointed man of God? The problem is found v. 9. David somehow had begun to despise the Word of God. Nathan asked him "why have you DESPISED the Word of the Lord?" "Why have you treated the Word of God with brazen contempt?"
The Hebrews word "despised" used here is bazah: A verb meaning to hold in contempt or to despise. The verb means to hold in disdain, to disrespect. It can mean to prefer something more than the thing despised, e.g., Esau's birthright (Gen_25:34), or not to treat something with proper respect.
David despised the Word of God by not respecting it like he should. He preferred the PLEASURE of his sin over PLEASING God. He decided to do what he wanted and not what God wanted. You can read many of the Psalms and see how much David loved God and His Word. But during this occasion he DESPISED God's Word and it cost him just about everything. This despising of God's Word didn't happen overnight. It was a "slow fade..." Please read slowly the words to the song by Casting Crowns, "It's a slow fade."
Be careful little eyes what you see, It's the second glance that ties your hands as darkness pulls the strings, Be careful little feet where you go For it's the little feet behind you that are sure to follow

It's a slow fade when you give yourself away. It's a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray. Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away. People never crumble in a day. It's a slow fade, it's a slow fade

Be careful little ears what you hear. When flattery leads to compromise, the end is always near. Be careful little lips what you say. For empty words and promises lead broken hearts astray

It's a slow fade when you give yourself away. It's a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray. Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid. When you give yourself away. People never crumble in a day

The journey from your mind to your hands. Is shorter than you're thinking. Be careful if you think you stand. You just might be sinking

It's a slow fade when you give yourself away. It's a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray. Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid. When you give yourself away. People never crumble in a day. Daddies never crumble in a day. Families never crumble in a day
When you begin to DESPISE the Word of God, and you choose PLEASURE of sin over PLEASING God remember that didn't happen overnight. Somewhere, some how, you began to DESPISE the Word of God, and you didn't stop it when you could. Why don't you right now spend some time in God's presence and determine the stop the slow fade, and ask Him to forgive you for the slow fade that has been going on in your life for some time. You call out to Him...He will hear and respond! Go ahead...why don't you do it right now!
"Lord, like David, I have allowed a slow fade to take place in my life. There was a time in my life where I would be broken when I chose the PLEASURE of sin over PLEASING you. I'm not broken very often anymore. Please forgive me. I know that godly sorrow brings about true repentance. I choose today to stop DESPISING Your Word. I give Your Word top precedence in my life today. I choose to allow it to guide my paths and choices today. I love you Lord, and return to the Joy of Your salvation in my life. In Jesus' name, amen!"

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Common Ground


When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some. (1 Corinthians 9:22 NLT)


Under the law of Christ-Paul did not think it necessary to observe the ceremonial commands of the law in relation to food  (see his instructions in 10:27), but he did maintain the law of Christ (see Gal 6:2). 
The weak Refers to Christians who felt tempted to regress to idolatrous practices (see 8:7; Rom 14:1).

When Paul said that, "I might win the weak" he demonstrated sensitivity to such believers, but he also desired that they mature in their faith (see 8:7–13).

When he said he wanted to be "all things to all people" Paul is not advocating syncretism or compromise of the gospel message. Rather, he is promoting a considerate evangelistic approach—one that accounts for different social circumstances, ethnicities, and religious convictions.


The KEY to Paul's ability to minister to so many people, and to get along with even his enemies is found in this verse.  I have a difficult time doing what he advocates very often.  I am sure anyone who reads this will agree with me that is difficult, but God would not have placed it in His Word if it weren't important, nor unattainable.  What is the key?

"I try to find COMMON GROUND with everyone"  This is so important in the kingdom of God.  Paul tried to find common ground.  Jesus always found common ground.  The ones who always looked for differences, and ways to fight, and argue, debate, and make everyone uncomfortable were the Pharisees, the religious leaders.  The very ones who crucified Jesus.  

That same spirit and "air" of arguing and debating, severely impacts, and kills the influence of Jesus to so many people in our world today.  

In the church, we argue.  At work, we debate.  At home, we fight.  At school, we have drama.  On Facebook, we cowardly attack people underhandedly, and behind a keyboard.  The same goes with Twitter.  And all the while, the schism between the church and the world grows larger.  Because we have to prove that we are RIGHT. 

What does God say about this?  Let's look at a few verses:

Hebrews 12:14 "Strive for peace with everyone, and for holiness for without it no one will see God."

Proverbs 19:11 "Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense."

Proverbs 17:14 "The start of a quarrel is like a leak in a dam, so stop it before it bursts." 

Romans 12:17-18 "Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable.  Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone."

Proverbs 15:1 "A  soft answer turns away wrath, But  a harsh word stirs up anger."

Philippians 4:2 "Now I appeal to Euodia and Syntyche. Please, because you belong to the Lord, settle your disagreement"

Matthew 5:23-24 “So if you are presenting a sacrifice  at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you,    leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.

Proverbs 20:3 (MSG) It's a mark of good character to avert quarrels, but fools love to pick fights. 

Proverbs 18:19 (ESV) A brother offended is more unyielding than a strong city, and quarreling is like the bars of a castle. 

Philippians 2:3-4 (ESV) Do nothing from  rivalry or  conceit, but in  humility count others more significant than yourselves.  Let each of you  look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 

Philippians 2:14-16 (NLT) Do everything without complaining and arguing,  so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.  Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ’s return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless. 

Your relationships can be sound, when you search for common ground!


"Lord, I do not want to be one who always argues and complains about everything. Nor do I want to be one who always seems to find something to fight about, or be mad about.  In all of my relationships, help me to search for common ground, so that I can have sound relationships! In Jesus' name, amen!"

Tuesday, March 5, 2013



Therefore, my beloved brethren, be firm (steadfast), immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord [always being superior, excelling, doing more than enough in the service of the Lord], knowing  and  being continually aware that your labor in the Lord is not futile [it is never wasted or to no purpose]. (1 Corinthians 15:58 AMP)


Paul concludes this letter with a summary, or closing exhortation.  Just as Judaism often linked failure to believe in the future world with immoral living, and faith in future judgment with perseverance, Paul encourages believers to hold to the truth of the resurrection and so to right living.  

Paul says that because of the resurrection, nothing we do is useless.  Sometimes we become apathetic about serving The Lord because we don't see any results.  Knowing that Christ has won the ultimate victory should affect the way we live right now.  Don't let discouragement over an apparent lack o results keep you from doing the work of The Lord enthusiastically as you have opportunity.


Motivation gets you going, discipline keeps you growing! The hallmark of excellence, the test of greatness is consistency! It doesn't matter how talented you are. It doesn't matter how many opportunities you receive. If you want to grow, consistency is key. In fact "you've got to get up every morning with determination if you're going to go to bed with satisfaction."  

In our verse, Paul is encouraging the Corinthians to be firm (steadfast, consistent), immovable, always abounding in the work of The Lord.  The next part really challenges me, "always being superior, excelling, doing more than enough in the service of The Lord."  The Holy Spirit is challenging us to be consistently consistent.  To be "second miler's" not just one milers.  It was Roman rule that a Jew had to walk one mile with a roman citizen if they came in contact with each other.  Jesus raised the stakes and said, "dont just walk one mile, walk two."  The first mile represents law, the second mile represents grace! We must stop dealing with people in LAW, and as a Christian, deal with them with GRACE.  

When we do this consistently, we can be sure that our work, labor, is not in vain, wasted or to no purpose!

It is the responsibility of the Christian to live consistent with the great Name he bears, with his profession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. One of the soldiers of Alexander the Great was called up to be court-martialed for desertion. 'What's your name?' asked the Commander of the Greek army. 'Alexander,' was the reply. 'Change your name or mend your manners,' said the Emperor.


"Lord, help me to walk consistently in all You have called me to do. I want to be a "second  miler" in everything that I do, and say, and in all that I am.  In Jesus' name, amen!"

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Overflow of a cheerful heart? A Smile!


Proverbs 15:13 A glad heart makes a cheerful face, but by sorrow of heart the spirit is crushed. 


Even when facing very difficult circumstances, you can have a joyful and happy heart (15:13)! The benefits will appear on your face, but also on the faces of others as your joy lifts their spirits. I just got off of the phone with a friend of mine whose daughter is in dire need of a miracle. Her liver has shut down, and she is very sick. Yet, he had a joyful heart as I talked with him. He spoke of God's goodness and faithfulness, regardless what happened. He had a joyful, cheerful heart, even in the midst of sadness. That is something you can't work up, or fake.

Heartache not only makes for sad faces, but it crushes the spirit. God is not commanding happiness, for He knows there are times for sobriety (see Ecclesiastes 3:4). The call to joyfulness here in Proverbs is a call to the behavior which makes one happy and avoids heartache, and a reminder that our attitudes are contagious (Prov. 15:13).


Several years ago, there appeared in the newspapers the story of a little boy who had come in contact with a live wire that had been allowed to be unguarded. It touched one side of his face, burning and paralyzing it. 
In court the boy’s lawyer asked the little fellow to turn toward the jury and smile. He tried. One side of his face smiled, but the injured side puckered up in a hideous and pitiful contortion. The jury took just twenty minutes to award the boy twenty thousand dollars. That was certified as the legal value of a smile. 

David H. Fink, author of Release From Nervous Tension, wrote an article for the Coronet Magazine, in which he made a striking suggestion as to how we can overcome mental and emotional tensions. 

As a psychiatrist for the Veterans Administration he was familiar with 10,000 case histories in this field. Thousands of people, who were mentally and emotionally “tied up” had asked Dr. Fink for some short, magic-button cure for nervousness. In his search for such a cure he studied two groups; the first group was made up of thousands of people who were suffering from mental and emotional disturbances; the second group contained only those, thousands of them, who were free from such tensions. 

Gradually one fact began to stand out: those who suffered from extreme tension had one trait in common—they were habitual faultfinders, constant critics of people and things around them. Whereas the men and women who were free of all tensions were the least faultfinding. It would seem that the habit of criticizing is a prelude or mark of the nervous, and of the mentally unbalanced. 

Think of Billy Graham as he preaches. Hundreds of thousands of people who are otherwise hostile to the gospel still watch him on television or attend his crusades because they see in him a conviction and a passion. Even if they do not believe his message, many still listen because they know he believes it. His open gestures and his gentle and fatherly smile are convincing evidence that his message is genuine. No one—kings, presidents, or peasants—feels threatened by Billy Graham, even if they reject his message. Graham makes certain that his manner never gets in the way of his message, but enhances it!

Everyone knows how to smile. It's one of the greatest gifts God has given us. A smile makes people feel good, and people look so beautiful when they smile. When the joy in your life is obvious, it rubs off on others. But when you keep God's joy locked inside you and don't allow it to show on your face, you're depriving those around you of a pleasant and refreshing experience.

Most people really don't understand how expressing joy will change their circumstances and, perhaps, the lives of others. Living your life with the joy of the Lord will chase off negative, depressing circumstances. And when we have His joy deep down inside of us, we can't help but put it on display by smiling!


"Lord, I want to allow Your joy to saturate my inner man, and when it does, it will affect my outer man. Help me to smile, and allow your joy to bring cheer to those who come in contact with me. You already have so many sour, critical, cynical children, so they have that side covered. I want to be on the other side of the spectrum and have a cheerful, joyful, attitude of gratitude...inner peace...that makes its way out to my face, in the form of a smile. I thank You for the people in my life that have taught me that you can have the joy of The Lord, even when facing extreme grief, and sadness. Thank You Jesus for this Word today. I want to have a cheerful heart and face today! I want to affect someone today, the way Billy Graham has affected millions. In Jesus' name, amen!"

Monday, February 11, 2013

Monkey Business!


Numbers 32:7-9 Why do you discourage the Israelites from going over into the land the LORD has given them? (8) This is what your fathers did when I sent them from Kadesh Barnea to look over the land. (9) After they went up to the Valley of Eshcol and viewed the land, they discouraged the Israelites from entering the land the LORD had given them. 

Wherefore discourage ye the heart of the children of Israel.... Which he suggests it would, should they settle on that side Jordan, since they would lose the assistance of two of their tribes, even two thirds of one of their standards in fighting with their enemies and subduing their land; and besides it might be thought that this request of theirs not only proceeded from selfish views and a love of ease, which might set a bad example to others, but carried in it a distrust of ever being able to enter into, at least to conquer and possess, the land of Canaan, and so might have a tendency to discourage their brethren. 

Four monkeys were placed in a room that had a tall pole in the center. Suspended from the top of that pole was a bunch of bananas.One of the hungry monkeys started climbing the pole to get something to eat, but just as he reached out to grab a banana, he was doused with a torrent of cold water. Squealing, he scampered down the pole and abandoned his attempt to feed himself. Each monkey made a similar attempt, and each one was drenched with cold water. After making several attempts, they finally gave up. 

Then researchers removed one of the monkeys from the room and replaced him with a new monkey. As the newcomer began to climb the pole, the other three grabbed him and pulled him down to the ground. After trying to climb the pole several times and being dragged down by the others, he finally gave up and never attempted to climb the pole again. 

The researchers replaced the original monkeys, one by one, with new ones, and each time a new monkey was brought in, he would be dragged down by the others before he could reach the bananas. In time, only monkeys who had never received a cold shower were in the room, but none of them would climb the pole. They prevented one another from climbing, but none of them knew why. 

Perhaps others have dragged you down in life. They’ve discouraged you from dreaming. Maybe they resented the fact that you wanted to move up or to do something significant with your life. Or maybe they were trying to protect you from pain or disappointment. Either way, you’ve been discouraged from dreaming.Take heart. It’s never too late to start dreaming and pursuing your dreams. 


"Lord, help me to not allow discouragements to keep me from dreaming. There are always people around who just want to maintain status quo and never go forward. They will attempt to pull anyone down who begins to dream. They will pull down through gossip, backbiting, tale toating...Lord, I want to be smarter than the monkeys that we looked at today. Help me to encourage, not discourage. In Jesus name, amen!"