Original, daily devotionals, inspiration and more from a fresh, "Hey! I never thought about it like that before" perspective.



Why does God test us when He already knows what we will do?

He doesn’t have to ‘find out’ how strong we are…He already knows.

He doesn’t have to see what we will choose…He already knows.

Yes, God tests us so WE can see how strong we are…or aren’t. Just like any other assessment, tests let us know where we stand, and where we need to grow.

Tests allow others to benefit from witnessing our strength, and to learn from our mistakes…

However, there is one more reason God tests us that is so obvious in scripture, but we if we aren’t careful we’ll miss it…

God somtimes wants to prove a point to the enemy.

God knows the outcome beforehand, but the enemy doesn’t.

The enemy thinks he can tempt you to do anything he wants and put God to open shame.

God loves it when we prove the enemy wrong ‘to his face’. Much like if an attractive rival tempts your spouse. This rival taunts you and tells you he or she can have your spouse any time they wish. You know for yourself that your spouse is attracted to the rival, but they still don’t give in. You didn’t have to make prevent your spouse from giving in…they willingly rejected the rival.

This happened ‘in a sense’ with Job…

Job 1:8-12

8 Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?”

9 So Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing? 10 Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!”

12 And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.

Next time you’re tested, put your name in Job’s place…

“Consider my servant ________.”

Show the enemy that he doesn’t know you better than God does.

Let God prove to the enemy, that you’re stronger than he thinks.

Make God shine in the face of the enemy.

2 Timothy 2:3-5 (NKJV)

You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.





We all make claims sometimes. We all make promises…

Unfortunately, there are times when we prove our claims are just words…and our promises, though not necessarily empty, went unfulfilled.

We all know about how Peter ‘claimed’ he was ready to die with Jesus, but the Lord quickly told Peter that he would deny Him three times before morning…

Matthew 26:33-35 (NKJV)

33 Peter answered and said to Him, “Even if all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble.” 34 Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” 35 Peter said to Him, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!” And so said all the disciples.

But, God expects that of us sometimes because we are human, and though we may mean well, we often fall short.

Matthew 26:41 (NIV)

41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

For example, one claim that we as Christians often proclaim is that if put in the position…we would die for Christ.

However, most of us never get the ‘opportunity’ to prove it…or do we?

How much do you sacrifice for the Lord…daily? (1 Corinthians 15:31)

How much do you deny yourself in following Him…daily? (Luke 9:23)

How much of YOU do you give up for Him…daily? (Matthew 19:21)

How much do you do for ‘the least of them’ (who are Him)…daily? (Matthew 25:31-46)

How many unbelievers do you reach out to, or believers do you encourage…daily? (Matthew 28:19)

You don’t have to die to lay down your life for Christ or your ‘brother’. (John 15:13) Click here to read… YOU DON’T HAVE DIE TO LAY DOWN YOUR LIFE FOR SOMEONE…

Going back to my example of Peter…his denial of Jesus wasn’t the end of the story. He went on to live His life for Christ, putting it on the line to spread the Gospel.

Remember this…






How many tears have you shed that no one saw but you?

You may have been…









Left Out…




You were ‘in your feelings’ DEEPLY…in your feelings.

You may have hoped that someone walked up…stopped by…called…or saw you just in time to let you know that they cared.


No one came…

No one stopped…

No one called…

No one saw…

You cried alone. You got yourself together. You moved on.

How we handle those silent tears proves how real God really is to us.

God see’s our tears…all of them. Is it good enough for you to know that He saw your tears and He cares?

Do you really get comfort from knowing that God saw you and heard you?

Too many times we claim that God is real to us, but how often have you not felt truly comforted until you talked to a ‘real’ person?

There are some moments that are meant to be just between you and God. That’s when He’s most real in your life.

God sees every tear you cry. The next time that you’re shed tears all by yourself, remember…you’re not alone.

1 Peter 5:7 (NKJV)

casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.




















Are you GOING THROUGH something?

Have you ever had days that you just wanted to give up?

Give up on your dreams? Your vision?

Give up on your hopes? Your goals?

Have you ever wanted to give up on your marriage? Your children?

Have you ever just wanted to drop everything and walk off your job?

Are there days when you feel your money will never be right?

Have you ever wanted to give up on your health?

Do you have a weakness that are soooo strong that sometimes you tell yourself…

Why try?

Just a quick word of encouragement…please don’t give up!

Look at what God told Joshua after the death of Moses as Israel was poised to enter their promise.

Joshua 1:5-9 (NKJV)

 No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Even though they were about to enter their promise, God told them that they would still GO THROUGH some things. But, the same divine encouragement God gave them holds true for us today.

Slow and steady is still moving forward!

It always takes energy to MOVE UP than to fall!

If you’re struggling, it means you still have some fight left in you.

No matter how tough it seems, keep your faith in God…Faith your way forward!






If you haven’t already had them they’re coming…those days you DON’T want to hear or read the Word of God.
Do you love God? Yes!
Do you love His word? Yes!
Do you trust Him? Yes!
Are you turning away? No!
But, some days you feel…

So heavy…

So dark…

So busy…

So distracted…

So discouraged…

So apathetic…

So numb…

So upset with God…

That you know you need to read…need to pray…need to hear a word from God, but when you’re honest with yourself…You just don’t feel like it. You just don’t want to.
Someone may come to you with an encouraging word, and you just aren’t in the mood to hear it.

It’s time to go to church, but you just don’t want to go.

Were you always in the mood for a pep talk from your parents? Of course not, but that doesn’t mean you don’t love and respect them.

Psalm 119 and verse 11 is short, powerful and true.

Psalm 119:11(NIV)

I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.

When you regularly read, study and live by God’s word, you’re consuming it. It becomes a part of you…hidden in your heart.

Not only does it help you avoid sin when you’re strong, but it sustains you and keeps you when you’re weak.
Will you make mistakes? Yes.
Will you have moments when quite frankly, don’t want to hear it? Yes.

Will there be days when you’re feelings don’t like up to your faith? Yes.

But, when God’s word is hidden in your heart, that longing for His word and presence will always rise back up.
Read Psalm 42…. In the midst of deep distress and discouragement, the psalmist remembers the joy of fellowship and intimacy with God.
So, don’t stop with this devotional…

Read and study your bible TODAY.

Pray and talk to your heavenly Father. Tell Him how much you love Him. Thank Him for His unfailing love and faithfulness…

Because the day will come when you will need today’s worship to sustain you.
Some of you who are willing to admit it already know what I mean.




Prince’s music is definitely a huge part of the soundtrack of my life, especially my younger days. I enjoy the genius of his artistry..He wasn’t just a singer, but a singer/performer/entertainer/entrepreneur/activist/philanthropist. His influence on music, fashion and culture is undeniable.

It’s also very evident that Prince, as we all do, had a strong spiritual side and a strong carnal side. He wrote songs that were sexually explicit as well as songs that were beautiful and spiritual, such as “God”, which was the B-Side to “Purple Rain” (for younger readers who may not know, a B-Side was another song on the opposite side of the single of a vinyl record). In fact, sometimes Prince was a spiritual paradox…again, as we all have been.

The purpose of this post isn’t to judge Prince’s spirituality or his carnality, but how both inspire me.

Many of you may be thinking, how can a man of God be inspired by carnality? Well, remember Luke 16: 1-12, “The Parable of the Unjust Steward”?

Luke 16 (NKJV)

He also said to His disciples: “There was a certain rich man who had a steward, and an accusation was brought to him that this man was wasting his goods. 2 So he called him and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward.’

3 “Then the steward said within himself, ‘What shall I do? For my master is taking the stewardship away from me. I cannot dig; I am ashamed to beg. 4 I have resolved what to do, that when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.’

5 “So he called every one of his master’s debtors to him, and said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ 6 And he said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ So he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ 7 Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ So he said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ And he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’ 8 So the master commended the unjust steward because he had dealt shrewdly. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light.

9 “And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon, that when you fail, they may receive you into an everlasting home. 10 He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. 11 Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? 12 And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?

Notice that the rich man (representing God in this parable) commended the unjust steward or manager. The steward acted very shrewdly in regard to the rich man’s money. Jesus proclaimed that “the children of this world are more shrewd (wiser in some translations) in THEIR GENERATION than the sons of light”. In other words, Jesus was saying that there are some lessons that Christians can learn from ‘the world’…that’s another post that’s coming soon.

When I look at the life of Prince and the way he pursued and released what was inside of him…the way he made the most of his talents and gifts… I’m inspired in my pursuit of ministry and releasing what God has placed inside of me.

Prince’s Gifts and Talents

Prince was one of the most gifted individuals of our time, THAT WE KNOW OF. I say “that we know of” because there are probably scores of other gifted individuals out there that will let their talents and abilities die with them. Gifts and talents are no good if we allow them to remain dormant…or keep them to ourselves. God gives us gifts and talents so we can use them to reveal His glory to the world, and as tools to build His Kingdom. Prince didn’t allow his gifts to remain dormant or to himself. He didn’t come from ‘money’. He wasn’t born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He didn’t allow circumstances or excuses to negate his gifts. He FOUND WAYS to make it happen…

That inspires me to do the same for God.

Prince’s Vision

God drives home the importance of vision in Habakkuk 2:1-3…

 Then the Lord answered me and said:

“Write the vision, And make it plain on tablets,
That he may run who reads it.

For the vision is yet for an appointed time;
But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie.
Though it tarries, wait for it;
Because it will surely come,
It will not tarry.

Prince had vision of where he wanted to go. He had a clear picture of where, what and who he wanted to be. Vision is a snapshot of how you see yourself in the future, and it is what drives you to reach the smaller goals along the way to get to your destination. No one can move with the trajectory and momentum of Prince, even through setbacks, without vision…

That also inspires me in ministry.

Princes Dedication to Perfection

In the bible, perfection in regard to man, isn’t flawless, but mature (Teleios, Strong’s Concordance). It means being ‘perfect’ for each level as you progress, as a 4th grader who is ready to be promoted to 5th grade…not yet ready for high school, but perfect for the current level. Prince honed his talents and the talents of those around him. He consistently got better, and he made those around him better. As an instrumentalist, song writer, producer, performer, entertainer, he was never satisfied. He always strove for perfection. This is what we should do as Christians. We should always be growing, maturing and perfecting the gifts and talents that God gives us…

This inspires me as a minister, songwriter, writer, husband, father, man of God.

Prince’s Boldness

It was clear that Prince had the boldness to do what he felt he needed to do to be seen and promote who and how he wanted to be perceived. Of course coming on stage almost naked, and using profanity was not good or Godly. In an interview with Tavis Smiley, Prince stated that he did a lot of things early in his career to be as “flashy” and as”noisey” as he could be to deal with and compensate for getting teased in school. He focused on getting better at what he did to deal with the pain of his past. His boldness to write what he felt, perform as he felt, dress as he felt is what gave him his platform. After signing with Warner Brothers, after being offered one of the hottest producers in the industry at the time, Maurice White, he insisted on producing himself….now that’s bold for a teenager…

This inspires me as a minister to be bold for Christ.

Prince’s Influence

Prince will always be remembered as one of the greatest influences on music, culture, fashion, expression, etc., of our time, and possibly all time. Not only did he set the standard, but he raised the bar. You can hear Prince’s influence in various genres of music. His audience is one of the most diverse of any artist. His influence extends beyond race, gender, culture and ethnicity. He has inspired artistry, professionalism, excellence and greatness in countless others that will continue to shape our world…

This inspires me as a minister, writer and man of God.

Again, this post is not to judge any aspect of his life.

Am I a fan of Prince…Yes.

Do I agree with everything that he did or the way he did it…No.

However,  we have to learn to make the most of the good and bad in all of our lives…and Prince Rogers Nelson is and will remain to be the one of the greatest influences in the life of Minister Aldtric Johnson and my ministry.

Is there someone or something that inspires you in your walk with Christ, that may make others say….”REALLY? Tell me how!” If so, please leave a reply, and tell me how. It may inspire others too.



Sometimes we get discouraged because we aren’t noticed for what we do, even though it is as important as those who get noticed. Every beautiful building needs a strong foundation, but who notices the foundation? 

When we see a beautiful brick home, everyone notices the bricks, but no one notices the mortar holding it together. Who says, “wow look at that beautiful mortar”! No they say, “look at those beautiful bricks”! The cornerstone may have the glory of the names, but no one would see it if it weren’t for the bricks and mortar supporting and holding.

Some of us are bricks and some of us are mortar. Some of us are an architectural roof, and some of us are the foundation. We have been placed in some relationships to hold them up, and hold them together.

Rather than complain, we should recognize that it’s an anointing and an honor.

Christ is our foundation.

David couldn’t have been the mighty warrior that he was without his armor bearer.

There were many disciples and people martyred for the Gospel, and we don’t even know their names.

If you feel you bear the emotional, financial, physical, or spiritual WEIGHT in some of your relationships, then maybe that’s your PURPOSE in those relationships. Maybe that marriage, family, church or organization wouldn’t remain together if it wasn’t for your strength. Romans 15:1 says, We who are strong must bear the infirmities/failings of the weak and not please ourselves.

Let’s stop complaining if we aren’t noticed. Let’s stop complaining if we are bearing the weight in some our relationships, and always remember to thank God for those who are holding us up. If you get upset and fall apart…everything your holding together  and supporting may collapse.




If you’ve been in church or been around church people any amount of time, you’ve heard them…

You hear them in church, in songs and in everyday language.

‘Churchy’ clichés.

Those familiar sayings, sometimes one liners, that may not be the same in every church culture, but every church culture has them.

Of course there are many ‘churchy’ sayings that are biblical and encourage us, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But, some aren’t really biblical, and are even sometimes mistaken for scripture.

It’s those that we have to either avoid, or be VERY careful of how we say it, or of our attitude towards it.

Here are 7 ‘CHURCHY’ clichés that we need to be careful of how we say.


This one is so NOT biblical, and it’s one word that messes it up…”YET”. It’s true that God has and will never fail us…but where did yet come from? “Yet” implies that God could possibly fail us in the future. It’s catchy, it helps make a song rhyme, but It’s not biblical.

Psalm 136:1 (NKJV)

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
    For His mercy endures forever.

The fact that God’s mercy endures forever means it can NEVER fail.


This one is true, but we’ve got to be careful of how we say it, or our attitude about it. God always answers prayer, and through prayer people are healed, restored, delivered, led to Christ…lives are changed. So what’s the problem? If we are careful, saying ‘prayer works’ in the wrong context or with the wrong frame of mind can reduce prayer to a gimmick…just something else you can try to make things right. This can lessen the true intimacy of conversation with God to be to mindless, superstitious, empty words that we hope changes things. It leads to an, “I’ve tried everything else, so now I’ll try this attitude”.

1 John 5:14(NKJV)

14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.

When we pray to God, not only are we talking to Him, but He actually hears and responds. When you start a car, turn on a television, install software or successfully repair something…it WORKS…God RESPONDS. Be careful how you say it.


This one is also true, but be careful when you say it. Most of the time we are implying it is our season for Good things. But, the bible teaches us there’s a time and season for EVERYTHING. We have seasons of rest and peace, but we also have stormy seasons and trials. We have seasons of progress and celebration, as well as seasons of consequences and struggle. As one the lyrics to one popular Gospel song says, “This is my season for grace and favor”. This is my season to reap what I have sown.” We must remember that sometimes our ‘grace and favor is NOT reaping what we’ve sown. We must be very careful when proclaim, or sometimes brag, “This is my season!”


This is a very popular cliché, and is even in songs. We’ve got to be VERY careful about approaching God actually and selfishly. Too much “ME”, “MY”, and “I’s” can mean we are leaning too close to covetousness, which is idolatry.

Colossians 3:5(NKJV)

Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.

Yes, what God has ordained for you is for you, but too many time this is said from a selfish, I want what’s mine point of view. Plus, everything that, “God has for you” isn’t necessarily pleasant. Some trials, tests, challenges and struggles God has ‘for you and no one else’, but you don’t hear many people singing about that. God had Joseph of Genesis struggle, ‘Just for him. God had Job’s struggle, ‘Just for him’. This isn’t necessarily based on any scripture, and I think it’s best to leave it alone.


This one is true and based on scripture, but we must be careful of our attitude about the phrase and we say it around. Again, we must not say it with a covetous or arrogant attitude. God promised that all things work together for the good of those who love Him and are the called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). But, the contingency is, those who are called according to His purpose, but some boldly say this inferring their own purpose. The bible also tells us His favor is for life in the same context of His anger and weeping. And, don’t forget, God showed Joseph on Genesis favor while he was in prison for something he didn’t do…

Genesis 39:21(NKJV)

21 But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison.

God’s favor is sometimes working things out for our good in very difficult, undesirable circumstances.

Plus, saying ‘blessed and highly favored’ around the spiritually immature can not only make them think God has respect of persons, but make us sound spiritually arrogant, I’ve seen it happen. We need to be careful with this one.


If this is said with a humble attitude in an effort to encourage someone who is unsaved or weaker to let them know the dramatic change God made in your life…then cool. But, most of the time I’ve heard this said in pride or arrogance, with a threatening tone after they’ve been made angry. I’ve most often heard it said implying they will revert back to the ‘old them’, if prompted. I have more often heard it said with an attitude of they are proud of what they used to be, rather than ashamed, and we all know what God said about that…

James 4:6(NKJV)

But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”


This is often used as an easy ‘way out’ to ask for forgiveness. Too many times people say this either to a group or an individual…the problem is that if it’s a group they fully know EXACTLY WHO IN THE GROUP they hurt, and if it’s an individual, they know EXACTLY WHAT THEY DID. Simply saying, “If” is not good enough…

Matthew 5:23-24(NKJV)

23 Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

God expects us to go to the person and make things right…and remember, a public embarrassment deserves a public apology.

‘CHURCHY’ clichés sound good, and help define church culture, but we must be very careful how we use them…and know which ones to leave alone.




Can you tell the difference between a REASON and an EXCUSE?
I was recently in a situation where I was at fault. I was angry, and said something hurtful that I shouldn’t have…

When asked, “How could you say that?” “Why did you say that?” I responded…

“I was angry, I got defensive and I lashed out.”

I was also in a situation in my office where I overlooked something very important, and was asked by my Director at the time, “Why did this happen?” I responded…

“I was really busy and just missed it”.

The above situations involved two different people, but I got the same response both times, a response that I have made myself. The response was…

“That’s not an EXCUSE!”

Again, my response was the same both times…

“ I didn’t say it was an EXCUSE, but it IS the REASON that I did it.”

God invites us in His word to come and reason with Him…

Isaiah 1:18 (NKJV)

 18 “Come now, and let us reason together,”
Says the Lord,
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
They shall be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,
They shall be as wool.

If God is willing to reason with us, we should be willing to reason with one another, but that involves good communication and a willingness to accept what the other person has to say.

One tool in reasoning together is learning the difference between a REASON and an EXCUSE. It’s inevitable that we will hurt one another from time to time…especially those we love. But, one way to diffuse the disagreement is learning to EXPRESS and ACCEPT the REASONS we do or say things rather than EXCUSES.

My answers above were REASONS…

I was angry…

I was defensive…

I was careless…

I was foolish…

I was inconsiderate…

I felt rushed…

I was unprepared…

I was embarrassed…

I was immature…

I didn’t care enough…

These are all examples of REASONS we might make mistakes or hurt one another.

Here are some examples of EXCUSES…

I’m only human…

Everyone else did it…

I’m just a man (or woman)…

I couldn’t help myself…

You get the picture?

Sometimes people take our REASONS for EXCUSES. Sometimes we try to pass off EXCUSES as REASONS.

We’ll find ourselves on both sides of this discussion so…

Learning the difference between both can help diffuse our arguments, differences, disagreements and help us move on to resolution.






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