Monday, December 15, 2014

Marathon of Life

Hebrews 12:1-3New International Version (NIV)12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Commit these words to memory as a reminder that God does not leave us to run the race of life alone. He also does not leave us without the powerful examples of real people who were as human and imperfect as we are, yet we are blessed by God to live with incredible faith and purpose." - Pam Ausenhus ( I found this quote in devo. Wow! This is actually what I experience at the St. Jude Memphis Marathon with Sheila Spencer! )

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Offer our bodies as the living sacrifice

In Romans 12:1-2, Paul urges us to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice to God.  We are to break free from the patterns of the world around us and transform by the renewing of our minds.  This opens our eyes to God’s will and it pleases Him.  

            Therefore, as a sacrifice to God, we don’t want to fill our bodies with things that can destroy our offering.  For example, if I am giving a gift to someone special, I care for the item and wrap it in pretty wrapping paper or a nice bag.   However, how often do we destroy our living sacrifice (our gift) to God by not eating or exercising right, smoking, drinking, listening to perverse music, watching shows filled with cursing and nudity, or worse.  We should want our offering to God to be better than any other gift we have ever given.  We should want to make this gift (our body) to be beautiful, clean, and pure. 

Romans 12  (NIV)

"Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Isaiah 11:1-5

Today, a homeless man told me he finished reading Isaiah 11:1-5.  

"A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
    from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
    the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
    the Spirit of counsel and of might,
    the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord
and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.
He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes,
    or decide by what he hears with his ears;
but with righteousness he will judge the needy,
    with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.
He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth;
    with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.
Righteousness will be his belt
    and faithfulness the sash around his waist." - Isaiah 11:1-5

Then, the man told me as he meditated on the word, God gave him this message: 

"If you will believe, I will be more than what you will ever need in any one given moment in your life without limitation!" 

Monday, September 22, 2014

God's Temple

I've been reading the book of Numbers.  I thought it was interesting in chapter four the author gives details of the different branches of the Levite clan and their obligations to the temple (Tent of Meeting).  Kohathite, Gershonite and Merarite branches had specific places to camp around the Tent of Meeting as well as specific obligations to the monitor the items within and outside temple.  In fact, each had duties and a specific way to carry the items when they traveled.   If any individual didn't follow these specific duties they way God commanded, they could die!

I find this interesting because,  in I Corinthians 6:19, it says, "Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;"

If our body is the holy temple and God intended His holy temple to be cared for so carefully by the Levites, how should we be caring for our body?  He says our body isn't ours.  We are just the manager of the body God gave us much like the Levites managed the Tent of Meeting.  Is the health problems I have off and on due to the lack of care to God's temple?  Could I die due to lack of caring for my body?  Of course, I could.  

Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for the body you gave me to manage.  I pray you will give me the Godly wisdom and discernment to understand how to care for your temple through nutrition, exercise and purity.  I also pray for this same wisdom for my family members, parents, children, grandchildren, and friends.  May your will be done with your holy temple and may the gifts you give to me and my family and friends be used only for your glory. 

In Jesus name, Amen.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Stretch Your Faith: Week 2

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. (1 Corinthians 9:24-27 NIV)

Our goal should be to manage our bodies, God's holy temple, the way He intended. Therefore, someday we will meet Him in heaven and hear him say,"Well done!"

I encourage you to define your goal this week to manage the body God's given you.  Define how that goal can please Him.  

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Stretch Your Faith Class - Week 1

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. (2 Timothy 4:7 NIV)

Paul tells Timothy in his letter, "I have finished well." To finish our races well, we train through Run for God/Red Sea Fitness or other running plans.  Youth pastor Jim Chapman,  author of  Finishing Well, says to honor God's gifts he has given us to manage, such as our body - God's Holy Temple, we train just like we do for a race. (Remember, your body is His and you are only the manager of that body while you are here on Earth. How well have we managed His Holy Temple?) 

Training involves stretching in your warm up, cool down, and many times in the middle of a long run.  In the same way, we need to train for our race through life.  We should be stretching our faith by speaking encouragement not only to ourselves but our brothers and sisters in Christ.  We stretch our faith by waiting for God's timing, not our own.  In addition, pastor Kyle Idleman, author of Not A Fan, says we have to committ to our race in EVERY AREA of our life to be a true follower of Christ. Jesus wants us to follow Him all the time, not just some of the time.  This requires training; it requires you to stretch your faith throughout your race of life.  

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


Here is my devotion for today from Rick Warren:

When We Bless Others, God Takes Care of Our Needs 

Most Christians want to bless others through their gifts and resources. But more than a desire, God commands us to be a blessing to others because we have been blessed. 

As you look for ways to bless others, keep in mind the four laws of God’s blessing: 

1. Our blessings should flow to others.

The Bible teaches us that we are blessed not just so that we can feel good, not just so we can be happy and comfortable, but also so that we will bless others. God told Abraham in Genesis 12:2, “I will bless you ... and you will be a blessing” (NIV). This is the first law of blessing: It must flow outwardly. 

2. When we bless others, God takes care of our needs. 

God promises that if we will concentrate on blessing others, he’ll take care of our needs. There’s almost nothing that God won’t do for the person who really wants to help other people. In fact, God guarantees this blessing. In Luke 18:29-30, Jesus says, “I assure you that everyone who has given up house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the Kingdom of God, will be repaid many times over in this life, and will have eternal life in the world to come” (NLT). 

When you care about helping other people, God assumes responsibility for your problems. And that’s a real blessing, for he’s much better at handling your difficulties than you are. 

3. Our blessings to others will come back on us. 

The more you bless other people and the more you help others, the more God blesses your life. Luke 6:38 tells us, “Give away your life; you’ll find life given back, but not merely given back — given back with bonus and blessing” (MSG). You cannot out-give God. The more you try to bless other people in the world around you, the more God says, “I’m going to pour blessings out on you. We’ll play a little game here. Let’s see who will win. Let’s see who can give the most. The more you bless others, the more I’m going to bless you in return.” 

4. The more God blesses us, the more he expects us to help others. 

Jesus said it this way in Luke 12:48: “Much is required from the person to whom much is given; much more is required from the person to whom much more is given” (GNT). 

This devotional © 2014 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Learning to be more like Jesus

In Philippians, Paul tells us how to be more like Jesus and be a true follower of Christ in any circumstance.  Paul sounds so dedicated and joyful about the Phililppians in these four chapters.  However, he endured torture and many difficult times while he built the church there.  He chooses to focus on the good memories and not the bad.  He chooses to encourage instead of give up on these people.  He is a true follower despite hisbackground and history with these people.  

Philipians 4:13 says we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.  Therefore, we too, can become followers of Christ despite our background and history.  He goes on to tell us we should always be rejoicing in all The Lord does for us and let our gentle spirit be evident to others around us.  We shouldn't stress ourselves about anything but pray about each situation so we can release God to control our hearts, minds, and situation.  Read the following:

"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:4-7 NIV)

Paul goes on in this fourth chapter of Phillipians how to act as Christians:

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:8-9 NIV)

What an awesome promise of peace if we just practice to be followers.  

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Born Blind

I had a great devotion and quiet time with God today.  He revealed an additional message in John 9 that I haven't focused on before.  Jesus heals a man born blind in this chapter.  While I have always looked at this story as one of Jesus's miracles to show the many follows and unbelievers who he was, it had so much more meaning than that.

First of all, lets look at the fact Jesus continues to break the "man-made" religious rules by healing on the Sabbath, not to mention mixing mud and water which is another forbidden rule the Pharisees created. This action provoked the Pharisees.  They chose not to "see" the miracle for what it was even though they were educated individuals.  They chose to put "blinders" on and only see their laws.  However, the blind man knew he couldn't see and after one experience with Jesus his eyes were open!

Do we get involved with religion and not allow ourselves the pleasure of seeing God's awesomeness?  Do we want to be full of biblical knowledge but lack gratitude?  Of course not!  Jesus rescued the blind man from his inability to see and the Pharisees never allowed Him to rescue them from their religious laws.  Let us not become like the Pharisees.  Instead, let us remember to connect with God daily, stay true to our faith to gain strength, and continue to be thankful for our many blessings.  This is what it means to "see" or to have our "eyes opened" to Jesus.

The original story from John 9:

John 9

New International Version (NIV)

Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind

As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.
His neighbors and those who had formerly seen him begging asked, “Isn’t this the same man who used to sit and beg?” Some claimed that he was.
Others said, “No, he only looks like him.”
But he himself insisted, “I am the man.”
10 “How then were your eyes opened?” they asked.
11 He replied, “The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed, and then I could see.”
12 “Where is this man?” they asked him.
“I don’t know,” he said.

The Pharisees Investigate the Healing

13 They brought to the Pharisees the man who had been blind. 14 Now the day on which Jesus had made the mud and opened the man’s eyes was a Sabbath. 15 Therefore the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. “He put mud on my eyes,” the man replied, “and I washed, and now I see.”
16 Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.”
But others asked, “How can a sinner perform such signs?” So they were divided.
17 Then they turned again to the blind man, “What have you to say about him? It was your eyes he opened.”
The man replied, “He is a prophet.”
18 They still did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they sent for the man’s parents. 19 “Is this your son?” they asked. “Is this the one you say was born blind? How is it that now he can see?”
20 “We know he is our son,” the parents answered, “and we know he was born blind. 21 But how he can see now, or who opened his eyes, we don’t know. Ask him. He is of age; he will speak for himself.” 22 His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders,who already had decided that anyone who acknowledged that Jesus was the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue. 23 That was why his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”
24 A second time they summoned the man who had been blind. “Give glory to God by telling the truth,” they said. “We know this man is a sinner.”
25 He replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!”
26 Then they asked him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?”
27 He answered, “I have told you already and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples too?”
28 Then they hurled insults at him and said, “You are this fellow’s disciple! We are disciples of Moses! 29 We know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this fellow, we don’t even know where he comes from.”
30 The man answered, “Now that is remarkable! You don’t know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does his will. 32 Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind.33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.”
34 To this they replied, “You were steeped in sin at birth; how dare you lecture us!” And they threw him out.

Spiritual Blindness

35 Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”
36 “Who is he, sir?” the man asked. “Tell me so that I may believe in him.”
37 Jesus said, “You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.”
38 Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.
39 Jesus said,[a] “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.”
40 Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, “What? Are we blind too?”
41 Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.

Saturday, May 24, 2014


God has prepared me over the past years to work in His mission field. He gave me the opportunity to go to a third world country last year to minister to orphans and families in complete poverty. 

Now, I've been asked to work for a rescue mission using my public relation and photojournalism back ground. I am so excited to work for God and God's peoples. The truth is I'm the one who is blessed. God has been speaking to me and preparing my heart for my new job. 

After watching a webinar to assist donor relations for rescue missions, one of the speakers shared this verse:

I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich. (2 Corinthians 8:8, 9 NIV)

This verse really touched me because I had randomly read Romans 12 this same day.  While the whole chapter spoke to me, Romans 12:9-13 reflected the same idea as 2 Corinthians 8:8-9.

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. (Romans 12:9-13 NIV)

My God continue to work and prepare me for this new journey. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

March 19, 2014 -Journal

Today, we woke up and went for my first run in New Orleans.  We departed to the River Walk, over to Jefferson Square, and back up the River Walk to the hotel.  We logged around two and half miles.  We later went to the Westin's workout facility and lifted weights and I ended up getting another two and half miles on the treadmill to complete my five miles for the day.  
        Around 11 a.m., I went to registration and picked up my conference material and reviewed many of the community college marketing artwork material entered for awards.  I was thrilled to see so many creative views and ideas all in one location.  I met another public relations director from a community college in Dallas.  It was also her first time at the conference.  
        At 1 p.m., the conference kicked off the opening session with political analyst James Carville.  He was a great speaker to open a conference on communicating a message to your marketed public!  Carville said the key to effective communication is to keep your message simple, relevant, and repetitive.  His words reenforced my education in the Department of Communication at Pitt State.  
        After the sessions were over for the day, Jeff and I walked down to Jefferson Square, the French Quarter, and ate at Mother's for dinner.  I orded the New Orleans' red beans and rice with smoked saugage.  Jeff ordered the New Orleans poboy sandwhich with butter and grits. The streets were full of artist, musicians, tarot readers, and dancers.  After a nice evening together, we stopped at the Red Apple.  It was a candy store full of homemade treat covered fruit, cookies, cereal, and pretzels.  I ordered S'more bark and Jeff ordered creole covered pralines.  

My red beans and rice dinner at Mother's.

Jeff's poboy sandwhich and grits dinner at Mother's.

March 18, 2014 - Journal

We departed approximately at 6 a.m. for the NCMPR conference in New Orleans.  We stopped a few times for restroom stops, lunch, and to gas up the vehicle.  Somewhere along the way, we missed our original turn and ended up going on a scenic route through Mississippi.  Therefore, our 11 hour drive ended up over 12 hours.  
        This situation, reminds me of how Christians have a path mapped out by God. Sometimes we find ourselves off the path God tell us to follow, for whatever reason. It could be because we have tried to guide ourselves without God's direction or help. However, it could be we have stopped focusing on God and got side tracked. No matter the reason, God is ALWAYS ready to guide us back to the path he intended or reroute us to our final destination. What an awesome God he is to give us that much grace!  

For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost. (Matthew 18:11 NKJV)

        Later when we arrived at the Westin, we asked directions to the Red Fish Grill on the famous Bourbon Street.  We were only four to five blocks away so we walked.  The streets were full of people of all kinds.  You could the jazz music playing all around at different street corners.  Musicians would play for tips.  The Red Fish Grill was packed.  However, we decided to eat at the bar so we could be served faster.  We ate red fish, mashed potatoes, some indigidious vegetables, and some delicious pudding bread topped with ice cream, chocolate, and white chocolate.  Wow!  It was amazing.  

This is my hotel room view! 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Work Diligently at the Skills God Gives Us

Do you see someone skilled in their work? They will serve before kings; they will not serve before officials of low rank. (Proverbs 22:29 NIV)

I was reading a passage from Jim Ryun's book The Courage to Run. He discussed his training for the Olympic trials back in the summer of 1964.  He said he would run early in the morning to avoid the Kansas summer heat in Lawrence, but many of his track workouts involved him and his coach late at night on the KU track.  Ryun could remember one night when his coach had him run  40 quarter mile laps in one night.  When he thought he was finished and was ready to go to bed, his coach told him to run up Campanile Hill which was approximately another 250 yards one way.  He ran several sets until his coach said, "Enough."

Ryun said his training helped him gain the last spot on the Olympic team that year and had many more achienements to come because of his skill God granted him with.  Although running the hill was the last thing he wanted to do after completing a 10 mile track workout, mastering the hill several times helped him gain such big accomplishments later.  God blessed him for all his hard work and dedication.  

I think God can bless us in everything we do, if we honor him and work diligently with the gifts he has given us for his kingdom.  Although we may receive many blessings, it is important do give the glory to God so that we may be examples to others who need to have a closer relationship with him.  

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, (Colossians 3:23 NIV)

Friday, February 28, 2014

Oceans Ocean by Hillsong

This powerful song talks about our oceans in our life.  Our ocean can stand for our fears and/or mission in life.  It reminds me of the story in Matthew when Peter tried to walk to Jesus on the water:

Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
(Matthew 14:22-33 NIV)

Here is a video that illustates the story:

What happened to Peter after he left the boat?  Then, what happened after he saw the wind in the storm? 

If Peter ignored the wind and stayed focus on Jesus, do you think he would have sunk?  Jesus asked him, Why did you doubt?"

This illustration has really hit home for me.  At work the past few weeks, I have been so busy with a varitey of different responsibilities and deadlines.  There is pressure coming in from all different departments that depend on me.  It has stressed me out to the point it has messed with my health.  Although there are sick days I can take to get well, rest up, and get stronger, I fear the amount of work that will pile up while I'm gone.  However, much like the song, story in the bible, and video, instead of staying focused on Jesus and keeping faith in Him to give me the impossible strength to endure the job pressures, I have watched the wind and the waves raising above me...just like Peter.  

Do you have a similar story?  Have you focused on Jesus or the wind?  

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.” Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?” The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that moment. (Matthew 8:5-13 NIV)

The centurion had such great faith and is a prime example how we should be.  He knew Jesus could just heal with words if he believed and it was done.  It wasn't necessary for Jesus to go and lay hands on the sick servant.  

I pray that my faith can be like the centurion and my family will be healed of any and all strongholds, sickness, and financial burdens.  

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Jesus: God of Miracles Part 3

After reading the gospel of John again and focusing on Jesus' miracles, I've picked up some points I have never noticed before.  For instance, Jesus all most sounds sarcastic when he asks the man who had been disabled for 38 years if he wanted to get well in chapter 5:

Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, (John 5:1-3, 5-9 NIV)

How many times aree we guilty of giving excuses of why we didn't accomplish something, get well, or make it out of our tribulation successfully?  How long have I been complaining that people are jumping ahead of me when all I had to do was listen to Jesus all along?

Unfortunately, the man doesn't quite get what happened and Jesus probably allowed this to happen for the illlustration for the disciples watching and, of course, all of us reading this.  

The story goes on like this:
and so the Jewish leaders said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.” But he replied, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’ ” So they asked him, “Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?” The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there. Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” The man went away and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had made him well. (John 5:10-15 NIV)

Instead of this man, being thankful or even realizing that Jesus' words healed him, he continued in his ways of blaming other people.  The Jewish leaders, always stuck in their Jewish law instead of the service God wanted them to provide, accuses him of carrying his mat on the Sabbath.  He again provides an excuse and blames Jesus; however, he didn't even know who Jesus was or check to see who the man was who healed him.  

I can picture Jesus running into him at the temple, probably shaking his head a bit and saying, "See, you are well again.  Stop sinning (stop blaming others or giving excuses) or something worse may happen to you."  Then, the man goes and tells the Jewish leaders it was Jesus.  Did he do this to make sure the Jewish leaders would put blame on Jesus on not on him?  How many times do we do that in our own lives?  I know I have been guilty too many times of this.  

When I have read this miracle before, I wondered why Jesus picked such an ingrateful person to heal out of all of the people at the pool of Bethesda.  It has to be to illustrate to the discipals and to all reading the story how we all try to provide excuses and place blame elsewhere instead of taking our own responsibility.  We also need to remember that Jesus is right there in every situation giving us an opportunity to do serve him and illustrate his love and humbliness.  

In the sermon on the Mount, Jesus teaches the discipals the qualities we should all strive to have:

Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them. He said: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:1-12 NIV)

We can choose to have these qualities or choose to be a victim. We can choose to be Christlike or blame others and give excuses for our tribulations. Watch this video: