Tuesday, October 13, 2015


People are weird.  Have you not noticed?  Our egocentricity competes not only with everyone else; but even ourselves.  We have a knack of promoting ourselves while we put ourselves down more than any other(s).  Sorta weird we surely are.

So what I like about people is that regardless of social class, I know that each is but a little child in a grown body wishing someone would simply like them.  Do you see me? Would you find anything in me of which you would find approval?  Do you like anything about me?

People are created in the image of God.  We are creative, empowering, and fantastic. My heart goes out to every person I meet (every person I see) because my guess is that they have no idea just how majestic he or she are.

Clueless.  They may have taken/given so many hits it is likely that the sight of their own favored wonder from Father has been stolen.  Therefore, our job is to notice them, approve of them, and to....like them.

Sunday, October 11, 2015


I remind you of a fundamental tenet of following the Spirit while we are on earth.  We are to cheer others on, build others up, and most definitely love others.  Today, when you are at your favorite congregation, the strong tendency will be to encourage those whom you know and those who cheer you on.

I, therefore, encourage you.  Have eyes to see others; those to whom you don't ordinarily speak and the precious visitors.  I know of little more offensive to our guests than to have any of us look them straight in the eye and then glance away simply because we are timid.

Visitors are likely among us because they, too, need encouragement.  We must see them, look at them, and then do this outlandishly power thing....talk to them.

We are the church in order to give hope to others.  In the process we receive the same.

Saturday, October 10, 2015


Faith is the strongest form of rebellion.

When active, it can create something from nothing as well as give life to dead issues.  If those bent on walking out-of-step with societal norms had any idea how antagonistic faith is to the flesh-system, they would jump on this wagon in a heartbeat...and well they should.

Faith is not for the timid.  It erases threat and defeats fear.  Jesus, from the manger to the cross and through the grave, is its ultimate template.  What I like about faith is that it dares to defy the voices of my inner self or the nervous herd as to what won't work, what can't be, and what will surely fail.

Faith is the ultimate bravery because it will successfully confront man's wisdom with God's foolishness... and win every time it walks onto the field....every time.  Just ask those of Goliath's family tree.

Friday, October 09, 2015


Threat seems to be on the rise....really.  Nations clash.  Casualties are high.  But we do this thing that keeps real terrorists and terrorism at bay.  We tend to have an inbuilt security system which promises ourselves that exposure to threat is for anyone but myself.

We know, informationally, a bit about ISIS, Putin, and Iran.  Our ears are filled with their intimidation and our eyes see color-coded maps on the evening news.  Threat is serious.  It is everywhere.  And, it is increasing.

Therefore, I ask us to get serious about the possibility that we are rubbing shoulders with terrorists who may have infiltrated our country.  Might they take our change at a local business, deliver our pizzas, or stand in our classrooms?  What should we do with a real terrorist in our midst where we are found to have real connections--but don't realize it?

Do we have a plan?

Yes.  Yes we should.  Yes we do.

We are to be sowing the seed of the Kingdom of God.  We are to believe that people want to know God; even our fiercest of enemies.  We are not called as Christians to go through life just hoping our family doesn't run into trouble.

It's more.  It's risky,  It's authentic Christianity.  We are to love our neighbors which would include enemies being embedded.  We are not to distance ourselves from community while carrying our Bibles to church.  This is a most backward picture.

Fundamentally, I get it.  We don't want trouble.  No one does.  But, dear friend, trouble is coming to us.  Like it or not, want it or not, it is not a question of whether difficulty lurks.  The question is whether we will live on mission.

I ask us to pray that we could meet/know a terrorist.  I encourage us that we might love them the way Jesus has taught us since our most elementary VBS songs.  One of the reasons Christianity is in a funk is because it has no where to go.  The reason it has no where to go is because it carriers, us, don't want to go into all the world as our Leader expressed (and we can quote his expression).

The church will be most alive when in the ditches of humanity offering assistance at the risk of losing our lives.  God didn't call us to go to church.  He called us to be the church.  Pray that you could one day meet some of these terrorists who may be infiltrating our country.  And pray that when you do you might submit to the kindness of the Spirit to the extent they will realize they may have met Jesus for the very first time.

Making a difference in the world is not restricted to a gentle and safe theory in Sunday School.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015


Groups, usually political is seems, salt society with strong calls for saving some portion of our great land.  Preserve the trees.  Preserve the whales.  Preserve the prairie. These groups and more are both animated and intentional about their causes.  Their voices are loud.  Their drive is firm.

Causes are valuable.  They create drive, intention, results.  These eventually define who we are, what we are about, and where we are headed.  It's what we basically eat, sleep, and drink so to speak.

While trees, whales, prairies, and other assorted causes are important, none are as paramount as those who strive to learn of God.  We are to live to preserve the people.

People.  Regardless of age, status, or lifestyle, people are suffering magnificent affliction.  We must help.  Is this not what churches are about?  Is this not precisely what separated Jesus from the religious leadership core?

People.  No one is exempt from repeated injury, pain, and offense.  Not one person.

There is vast need for ministry to friends, neighbors, and strangers because each breathing person possesses an inner ache.  Some are vocal, others keep quiet, while yet others can't figure exactly why their world seems to be marked with a constant something that doesn't feel right.

The church is at its best when it is about people.  Numbers can look like people; but in the end this can be mere camouflage for appearance of concern without actually interacting with individuals.  Ministries can be about people; yet can be a cover to be engaged in something we like without rubbing shoulders with the hurting.

I believe people are THE CAUSE worth complete sacrifice.  Jesus would direct our compassion even toward our enemies because they have been a targeted, possibly abused, people whose training never included the grace-filled breaks yours or mind did.

Trees?  Whales?  Prairies?  All are significant.  Could it be that if we could build up the people that these, in turn, would be the foundational source to treat God's vast creation with even greater respect and love?

My cause, our cause, the great cause is to inform the dear hearts of a crowded people that each is valuable, important, and loved.  Millions....have yet to hear those words.

Monday, October 05, 2015


Working in the kingdom takes a special sort of leadership.  God makes the wise foolish; He insists.

Those of us in leadership must ever be on the alert to such a backward seeming truth. God's foolishness is wiser than man's wisdom.

What will always be a need among us is not greater insight into the dynamics of the flesh-smarts; but the eyes to see where God would choose to register outlandish effectiveness.  This awareness will come about only via the Spirit of God.

Ephesians 1:18ff; may the eyes of your heart be enlightened that we may see the hope, riches and His power toward all of us who believe!

Saturday, October 03, 2015


Knowing God is the most fantastic experience known to man.  I'm surprised, myself, at what I have and continue to discover that I had no idea was available to our hearts. The wonder.  The curiosity.  All of these and more...simply fabulous.

Why is it that in reality so many avoid learning about the Life-beyond-possible-life order?  I offer thoughts fundamentally from observations made from living among wonderful and treasured individuals.

People-at-large avoid the pursuit of God because this is an invisible subject.  It can feel silly seeking what, in our minds, can't be seen.  Plus, such pursuit can feel far beyond one's comfort zone.  Since we never want to appear foolish, we tend to stick to our social script which would include staying away from discussing/learning about the spirit world.

This way we never look bad in front of anyone.  I find this especially true of any who are of fame.  These strongly wish to preserve their image.  The mission, then, seems to be to carry the look into the market place of one in control; certainly not a seeking of the Unknown.

This God-stuff is very real.  If we are to relate to Him and Him to us there will be a very necessary contour of vulnerability along our paths.  As flowers sprout from dead seed or bulbs into inexpressive beauty, so goes the spirit of man.  As the date is engraved upon the tombstone, there goes the public confession of x amount of years from Jesus' birth.

I urge you to avoid making a death-bed move of panic toward God.  Rather, make a life-bed action.  I, being a very frail person, was significantly intimidated to open my Bible. I didn't know where to start...as a grown man.  But God has a way of finding us when we seek Him.

I urge you to probe.  It may take exertion.  It will take patience.  But I plead with you to come out of hiding behind your images of security.  This life, death, next life thing is certainly real.  Some are reading this who have significant public image.  I understand your hesitation.

Therefore, I would say to you, "I get it."  In the third chapter of John a leader named Nicodemas went to see Jesus by night; meaning he was sneaking along hoping to go unseen.  Some of us live there.  If you want, email me at trush@memorialdrive.org. We can volley ideas at your pace...and in absolute confidence.  Others won't know.

I encourage you to drop the robes of hiding.  Step into the waters of vulnerability. Expect to learn of Christian habits that are very poor image because they are man-made.  You have already surmised such.  Yet, these serve as mere distractions to keep us from inquiring as to whether this Jesus-concept has legitimacy.  Each of us can honestly anticipate learning great things about God far beyond our greatest imagination.