Friday, August 31, 2012


We get to approach life with outrageous abandon.

I didn't know this was possible or probable in my first few Christian years.

My problem with extreme limitation was that I was measuring my potential talent base rather than viewing God's.  Life had been about me.

When Jesus comes along and draws us to himself, we lead a marvelous and victorious life every moment of every day.  Whether free or imprisoned, we are advantaged to breathe the scent of freedom in both cases.  The jailhouses still fall down.

When Jesus comes along and draws us to himself, we are free to imagine the drowning waters suddenly opting to subside.  Storms and winds still hush at his voice.

When Jesus comes along and draws us to himself, even death will not shut us down nor up.  The resurrection power of right now breaks forth from every intimidation, from every uncertainty, and from every threatening fear.

Because we are free to imagine, all problems become puzzles for the believer to sense God will solve.  Every winding path of disorientation is faced with complete rest because of God's effective oversight of all imposing terrain.

Be not blind to the day facing you.  It is filled with opportunity to be stumped by the flesh only to be fully advantaged due to the Spirit.  We to imagine.

Thursday, August 30, 2012


Two simple words will wreck a walk of mediocrity, spur a so-so church, and draw anyone into the magic and unexplainable kingdom of God.  These two words?  Thank and you.

Thank you could be regarded from the flesh as simply an appropriate courtesy.  Thank you for my gift.  Thank you for taking out the trash.  Thank you for responding to my inquiry.

However, from the Spirit engagement these two words phrase the conviction of faith.  When this expression comes ahead of the desired outcome (before such really happens), Thank you is a prophetic matter.

When I was looking for a new house sixteen months ago, I would regularly thank God for finding that just right one.  Before I ever moved toward a car lot, I thanked God in prayer for leading me to His choice.  Yes, I think God is interested in birds of the air, hairs on our head, stars in the sky and houses and cars from which we operate.

Thank you is surely appropriate for all to express upon receipt of a blessing.  It also speaks a vision for what can be when isn't yet. 

Two houses stand empty within a half of a block from my new home.  I have thanked Him for over a year (twice a day every day) for those moving my direction. 

If you want to see your world physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually improved, try telling God Thank you before the fact as if you really believe Him.

Your world will change.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Toxic Charity (Robert D. Lupton) might challenge your world of intended generosity.  Lupton is surely not anti-generosity.  Neither is he even hinting at tight-wad-ism. 

Quite the opposite.  His desire is we become more efficient and effective in our caring for those who need assistance.

He ponders our repeated free handouts; Is the need crisis or chronic?  Anyone who has served among the poor for any length of time will recognize the following progression:
  • give once and you elicit appreciation;
  • give twice and create anticipation;
  • give three times and you create expectation;
  • give four times and it becomes entitlement;
  • give five times and you establish dependency.
I must point out that Mr. Lupton is not a grump trying to stifle kindness toward the poor.  He is pleading with us to awaken to the damage we are ignorantly creating by failing to evaluate a deeper need among those we wish to cheer; their personal need for self-respect.

I'm impressed with his courage as well as his solutions.  Philip Yancey says it well when he reviews this book, When Bob Lupton speaks of the inner city, the rest of us ought to sit up and take notice...(His work is) deeply disturbing--in the best sense of the word.

As the church becomes increasingly serious and helpful within our needy communities, I believe this book will prove to be a valuable tutor for those of us who have the will yet lack the experience.

Monday, August 27, 2012


I wonder.

I wonder how many things Jesus-in-his-flesh would do differently than we-in-his-spirit are trying to accomplish in the church.  If he were to walk in, what would he say about us and our formation to this point?

I feel sure he would applaud parts of our faith; for we do possess such in admirable effectiveness.  And, I would assume he would burn much of our wood, hay, and stubble ministries. 


One of the themes I feel like I must be a failure in is that of discipleship.  I make very feeble attempts.  I wish bigger than I produce.  Yet, I try.

It seems to me a weakness among us is that we have errantly vacated discipleship while yielding to a costly and unhealthy (in places) volunteerism.  A natural problem with volunteerism is that corrective training and maturing is usually not permitted. 

Our members tend to like what we like and that's as much as we intend to offer.  Development?  Not so much.  If challenged?  The marbles are quickly picked up while the offended either goes home or to a neighboring church where present inadequacy will be protected and propagated.

We have yet to find a sturdy discipleship program that trains.  Would you think Crossroads and the Boston Movement have biased our concept?

A church like Jesus builds will be one of instruction coupled with correction.  We basically don't do correction.  The fact that better no-how isn't available is not the problem.  Intake of rebuke has become socially illegal in our volunteer churches.

This is a mistake for preacher, for elder, for teacher, for servant, for member.  We cannot and will not mature in Jesus if the only places we serve are always patting us on the back.

I don't like not getting my way; yet this factor has been a valuable part of my walk in him.  It has helped me learn to proceed with hope rather than quit in disgust. 

A church that would look like the one Jesus is building will be one where we members of the body are willing to workout in the gym of conflict, struggle, and suffering.  Otherwise, we will always be a weak sort poised for retreat when tough admonition flies.

Having written this article I am no closer to understanding what needs to be done among us.  I can see that our present course is not building many healthy, vibrant, and multiplying churches in most locales.  I do see, though, hefty signs of desire and willingness to see us be the kind of place that looks like Jesus is our Leader.

Sunday, August 26, 2012


I live in awe of Him.

He wanted to give me a gift once.

I fought it.

He kept insisting I take it.

I didn't want it.

He gave it to me.

I told Him no thank you.

He gave it to me anyway.

Today?  I'm crazy about it.

I get to labor at Memorial Drive in Tulsa, Oklahoma. 

I had tried to tell Him no.

He said we'd see. 

We did.

I got glad.

I continually live in awe of Him.

I fought the move here, didn't want it, got it, and dearly love it!

Saturday, August 25, 2012


First let me point out as to the title's question, many among us want to know an answer.  I mean that one could assume that few care about the question or its response.  But I believe the church has grown so effectively that thousands of we common ones continue to dream, imagine, and apply ways to find the lost.

We breathe deeply such a desire.

Intentional and random acts of ministerial application are available to us.  Small groups, work lunches, Monday Nights for the Master, evangelistic campaigns, prison classes, training DVDs, on and on the list of possibilities actually work among us. 

I both enjoy and experience many of these fruitful labors.  The world wants to know and we continue to have hearts to want to inform.

Yet, I find an element of world evangelism goes overlooked, unmonitored, and even neglected.  I speak of the church's humility. 

Humility needs God and invites neighbors. 

In my earlier training, I operated in opposition to this factor.  I was an answer man itching to find one soul who would/could ask a question which would match my well-oiled answer.  I wasn't into God working.  Neither was I into showing my prospects that there were yet a few things I didn't know.

You know what this mentality does, don't you?  It shuts out God and my neighbors.  Evangelism was all about me; my image, my education, my Bible proofing. 

Yet, the Word says that Jesus humbled himself even to the point of death; death on a cross. 

Ummm, not me.  I was more into door knocking, sermon scolding, and coming out looking good...even if in my eyes only. 

Humility is what God became to win.  I believe victory comes no other way.  It is just as impacting to confess what we don't know as it is to give God credit for what little we do know. 

And I do believe that the reason a vast majority of those in the true church do not have a conscience for reaching the lost is simply because it is believed image matters and we must not fumble nor fail. 

Thus, we never try.

Shame on us. 

Yet, praise God when we dare feel as a fool and try anyway.

Friday, August 24, 2012


Life.  Trouble.  Life.  Misery.  Life.  Success.  Life.  Reason for new anxiety.

Did we inherit the walk of Jesus or of Job?


It seems we no more than recover from a setback than a new one presents itself; if not personally, then at least within our circles.

What's happening?

These daily doses of upset are simply mile markers to remind us we are drawing closer to home.  God is our home. 

Breakdown from tension and stress among us is not to be trashed.  It is to be applauded.  My time last night was spent in dealing with alarming threat and nuisance moods from others.  Well, while each is serious, these are no times to be ranting about troubles. 

Enter the resurrected nature of Jesus the calming lamb. 

Why can't we catch a break? 

We aren't supposed to for there is a literal world of hurt at every turn.  Our rest in Jesus is firm, though, because he alone supplies our ability to walk confidently upon turbulent waters even in the fiercest of storms.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


While no one has imposed a code of wearing uniforms to church, there has indeed been a passage of uniform code that has lulled the church to sleep.  I speak of our general passivity and shallowness.  I speak of myself.

Especially we in the Churches of Christ seem to have had a bent which vocally expressed our confidence that we were truer to the Bible than other church brands.  Being true to the Word is honorable.  Being proud that we are better than others is anti-biblical. 

When we compare ourselves to ourselves and class ourselves by ourselves, II Cor. 10:12 insists that we are without understanding.  We are just that.

Robert Bly said, Some women want a passive man if they want a man at all; the church wants a tamed man--they are called priests; the university wants a domesticated man--they are called tenure-track people; the corporation wants a....sanitized, hairless, shallow man.  And then Sharon Hersh (speaking of Jesus) follows with, But we addicts know that we need a wild man.

Last night I sat in the living room of a brother who was skunk drunk.  He was obnoxious and teary, belligerent and saddened.  The scene was putrid except for one definitive truth; the Wild Man died for this weary traveler.  I could not help but notice how much I love this struggler.

My point is that the church has done things so decent and in order for so long we have become numbed and immune to the cratered, drunk, exasperated neighbor....which makes the church indecent and out of order.

May we find it within our growing and maturing in Christ to know Him as the Wild Man who dares to wade into our communities with both compassion and effective assistance.  I am one of the tamed, domesticated, and shallow. 

The lost just can't afford for us to be lost in our churchianity with our insistent priorities of safety.  May we hear the call of the Wild Man wishing to live from within each of us....and then may we find the power to transform the broken-hearted into a new and wild life. 

Because of the Wild Man, might there be the truest of hope that the dull and the dead in our sins could arise to walk a new path called Abundant Life?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


The Bible says the things we can see are temporary and the things we can’t see are eternal...II Cor. 4:18.  This passage supports the truth that there are both a physical and a spiritual side to us.  The physical is temporary; the spiritual is eternal.

The physical struggles to take the spiritual seriously because it can’t see it. 

My family once lived in a two-story house at 448 E. Jackson.  It is gone.  What was seen and seemed to be real has turned out to be temporary.  Max Powell lived next door.  He died.  What was seen turned out to be temporary; yet the spirit element of him continues to live.

Our family once had a store on the west side of the square.  The grocery store is now gone.  Once regarded as real; it is now proven temporary.  Dad worked at Payne’s Furniture store; a place which seemed real, but also proven temporary.

The invisible world of spirituality is worthy of attention for it is the real and eternal portion of each of us.  The physical, however, tends to override the spiritual as unreal; even non-existent.  Yet, once the body is placed in the casket and buried it has proven even itself to have been momentary after all.

There is an authentic spirit world where our reality is known.  First, the spirit lives within our temporary bodies until our bodies give out.  We will eventually acquire a heavenly body.  For those of us that doubt this spiritual concept, I believe it can be proven not by seeing the actual spirit within us; but by noting the eventual fading of all whose bodies die among us.

What we believe(d) to be real cannot keep up the image for it is verified death after death as temporary.  Attention surely must be given to the spirit side of us for it is that portion which will live on.

May Jesus be our hope, our delight, and our map for true life….Romans 6:3-5.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


I am at kindergarten level in knowing and walking with God.  For certain, I am no example for others to follow regarding intellect nor comprehension of the God-scape permeating all of civilization.  However, I do have a yearn for Him to show Himself to us in ways that we may have never seen before.

My prayers often include, Father, show me things of truth that no one has seen before; that no one ever thought to think about.  Surprise me.  Let me see what you wish we would see but no one is asking.

I know that may seem nervy or strange.  Yet, I see in the Word God's spectacularicity in that He doesn't seem locked into an earthly and rote mindset.  God was creative out of the Genesis shoot and has never stopped.  He even concluded the revealed Word with book of Revelation which leaves us still scratching our heads.

One of the things He taught me was most contrary to what I thought I believed.  That would be the direct activity of the Holy Spirit within a common believer's walk.  Another would be a surprise joy He afforded me through a recent book.

We believe in a pliable, flexible, uncornerable, immeasurable God.  So why do we basically function as if one leg is pegged to the ground and we walk in repetitional circles?  Have we relinquished our thirst for His surprises?  Have we trained our minds to quit imagining? 

On one hand He had the sun stand still because Joshua thought of it.  Where did Joshua see that pattern?  Seas part, legalists convert, and graves choke and cough in order to give up the dead. 

A question we can ask is what is it needed among us today regardless of ever knowing if it has ever been done before.  Our Creator has not lost His creative touch.  We possibly have forgotten that He promises to trump our wildest imaginations.

Go for it!

Saturday, August 18, 2012


And the men of Israel and Judah arose and shouted and pursued the Philistines as far as the valley and to the gates of Ekron.

Big brave soldiers.  Right? 

Not so fast.

This is God's revelation of a bunch of thumb-sucking wimps.  The context is David's facing of Goliath because no one else would dare muster the heart to fight such a towering opponent.  All others shrank in fear.

Malcolm Smith notes, They shouted of a victory to which they had contributed nothing except six weeks of cowardice....I Samuel 17.


These fraidy cats did surely experience victory over a tall order by aligning with and positioning in courageous boy David.  Victory was theirs!  Hope translated into fact through one young lad.  The entire nation celebrated as victors....for they were indeed.

So it is with us.  Satan comes bellowing threats.  We be the cowards.  Jesus, the young man who would dare take him on.  Identical stage is now set.

Jesus wins.  Goliath Satan loses.  We arise as victors.

We shout in victory as if we have won because Jesus did and we have.  Why?  Because we are in Christ.  We have been buried with Him in baptism. 

He fought the battle.  We won.

Our job? 

Believe the story.

Friday, August 17, 2012


Our elders at Memorial, as well as our staff, have an unofficial motto: Get Out of the Way. 

I like it a lot.  It fits us.  More exciting to me is that it seems to fit the kingdom work here.

When the Psalmist wrote Be still and know I am God, I didn't take note of that being anything special.  The side note in the NASB for be still is Let go and relax.  For a championer of causes this struck me as cotton candy insignificance in my earlier years.

So, God let me go forward with my ambition and energy and religious exercises.  It turned out I wasn't as much as I once thought I might be, could be, should be.  Hmmmm.

It took a few failures for me to awaken to the Psalmist's urging.  My arms weren't strong enough.  Nor were my feet fleet enough.  I needed bigger help.  The way to attain it seemed so backwards.  This should have been my first hint I was nearing the proper procedure.

Sharon Hersh wrote, The gift of powerlessness is that it can compel us to let go.  Right on!  Powerlessness is not our handicap.  It is a gift.  Awaken to its beauty.

Of course the kingdom needs more workers.  Jesus is about the grand life-walk.  We are to follow such a course.  But recall his statement that apart from the Father he could do nothing? 

The secret to Jesus' effectiveness (and ours) is to realize we are powerless and He owns the power.  Yes, we need more workers to let let go of our weak-armed, slow-footed, try-harder dispositions and lean into the glory of this wonderful gift we each posses labeled powerlessness.

When we at Memorial quit plotting, planning, and controlling (when we got out of the way), it seems the church began to breathe deeper than we had ever seen.  Works and results keep sprouting at a rate that we can neither track nor take credit. 

We don't understand it; but getting out of the way has become a source of leadership among us that, to many, could appear weak and silly.  Yet, He seems to be willing to work this terrain. 

Our job? 

To give God the glory...and we do.

It took me a bit to grab the parallel truth in Romans 9:16; yet it surely fits.  So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Success.  Everyone wants it.  All admire it.  To some degree each attains it.

I even like the way success is pronounced.  It just seems to roll out there for ear-view; for all to hear of its braggadociary glory.  Ummmm....success.

There is one element of it that I believe I favor most.  Success comes through channels of repeated failure.

How do you think ambitious Peter felt when Jesus killed his guiding admonition?  You know, when Jesus revealed he had to die on the cross?  Peter abruptly discarded Jesus' piercing words.

And what did Jesus volley toward Peter in return?  He frankly labeled Peter's protectionary love for his dear friend as satanic and told him to "step aside".

Wouldn't that frost Peter's cake?  Go home?  Pout?  Find those fishing poles?

What we can learn from mishaps, misfortunes, and mistakes is that we are advantaged as surely Peter became from such a harsh setback.

Outlook and perspective turns everything into success if we will hold such a mindset.  Each time I blow a golf shot I think of how many prisoners wish they could have been on that course in that sunshine and made such a grievous shot.  Wouldn't they cherish such freedom; even in misfire?

Of course.  So why should we waste grand moments of failure?  Buried within is secret wonder.  It is up to us to notice the glory of every morsel of life.

Success is not just when we succeed.  It is also when we don't and we learn to succeed from our failure.  With God, we alway win.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012



Who likes it?

We do!

So notice the joy-spots of this day.  Like right now.  Live overloaded with knowledge, with friendships, with family, with opportunities, and with God. 

How full can life get? 

It is so much in both volume and meaning that it gushes from us!

We love right now and the next right now because of our Living God being both immeasurable and indescribable....and He has poured His abundance into us in the form of the Spirit of Jesus.

How amazing we get to face this day being overloaded with His grace and mercy, with His riches and power, with His assurance and hope.

Therefore...may we move about this day....looking like we are living overloaded!

Monday, August 13, 2012


Good friend Rick Atchley said that to be Christ-like is to be like Christ.  Well, that's close to what he said, I think.

It is a constant warning in the gospels for us to like people who would be pictured as sinners.  Never are we coerced to like the sin; but perpetually to like the sinner.  We saved sinners tend to blur these lines.

The church is called to like people.  Stances are taken at times which go over the boundaries of disliking sin to the extent of also disliking the sinner.

Perhaps we can work on this a bit to where we will find that we like more people today than we did yesterday.  And maybe by this effort we might find our hearts growing to be more Christ-like and, simultaneously, the kingdom of God would seem to be broadening.

Sunday, August 12, 2012


"We" often speak as if "they" are sinners.

The church puffs itself up in self-assumed holiness that isn't ours in accomplishment.  It is ours, however, in reception of His gift of His son to us.  Holiness is His to share with us.  We are, in Paul's self-targeting words, wretched.

Yet, to the churchful, wretched seems to be more of a "they" thing; more than a we or specifically a me.

This mistaken attitude blocks authentic sinners from finding acceptance in the church path.  Yes, these continue to serve among us.  They never let their guard down, though, that they don't really feel in because they think they know who we really are. 

Truthfully, a look at the Word finds every "they", "we" and "me" poured into the same vat for cleansing.  They, we, and me are another trinity of suffocating desperation that urgently needs the message of the cross and the victory of the empty grave.

Communion today will be with this trinity.  Around that table will be a new clan labeled "us". 

Sin remains a flesh problem.  Jesus remains the one and only solution for all of US.  From the former, no one escapes its contamination.  The harder we try the deeper He will prove us ineffective in our religious snobbery.

The latter, Jesus, is our assurance that while dark sin includes our personal involvement, he has completely and victoriously rescued US....II Cor. 5:21.

Saturday, August 11, 2012


You know what makes an effective disciple.  Right?  It has nothing to do with us beyond being available.

I don't blame us for being hesitant; yet I feel fairly certain we have either misread scriptures or misapplied them...or both.

Look at the faith moves of Abraham. 

Consider the steadfastness of Joshua.

Review the courage of young David.

Ponder the endurance of Hannah.

Read of Peter's opening act and Paul's remarkable trek.

If not careful, we will let the Word of God talk us out of the very thing intended to lift us into.  These and assorted other Bible heroes aren't heroes because of themselves; not one of them.  Each is referenced because of their clear-headed, firm-hearted assurance of God and His talent.

These weren't amazing because the have something we don't.  That's Bible's point.  These were awesome because their God is awesome.  They simply leaned on Him.

The church just must apply herself to the paths of opportunity in a fashion which will not measure our talent against the need; but rather will view God's rich power against the strain of cultural lack.

He can.  He will.  He does.

Ours is the job to believe Him....John 6:29.

Friday, August 10, 2012


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This, one more time, won't make me look so good.  However, I want those who spend significant amounts of time depressed to have legitimate hope.

Depression would probably be the diagnostic ruling.  I would call it bummed.

To those of us who suffer from insecurity, being down is not a rare occasion; but rather a daily routine.  My early years of this rough experience assumed it was due to other people or present circumstances.  If one or both of those would change, I figured life would ease.


Not because such was not the issue.  My spiritual, mental, and emotional approach were.

Bummed is not an enemy.  It is a test.

The test is not about behavior of others; but rather it is about our faith-level in Jesus.  Can he deliver?  Will he rescue?  Would he do so for me?

When someone or something ushers in an ill reaction toward us, we will do well to receive such an arrow with the wise backing of Jesus.  He not only knows the way.  He is the way.

We need not be flustered nor discouraged over any situation.  We can be cheered that this will not only not get us down.  We will, rather, use the very thing intended to zing us to be used as kindling to create a wildfire of outlandish hope!

Bummed is a test; only a see how creative God would be within and for us to make a brand new batch of lemonade.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012


God had been looking for me.

What's weird is....I didn't even know I was missing.

One day in Quincy, Illinois a preacher named John Taylor pointed me to the Word. 

It said in that Word that God had been looking for me.

He found me.

I lived several years--even decades--found. 

Then He lost me.

He lost me in the thrill of getting lost in worship, in praise, in wonder, in awe, in love, in relationships, in fruitful kingdom labor...continually and perpetually this lineage pours forth great and welcomed lostness. 

I'm so glad He found me to lose me.  I never dreamed church life would be this meaningful and exciting!

For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it.  But whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.

It now appears to me that the way to incredible life is to be lost and then found in order to become lost in order to find.  He found me to lose me to give me....eternal

Tuesday, August 07, 2012


Today feels like a regular day to most of us.  We will flit about coffeeing here and picking up a prescription there.  At times we may even find moments of annoyance due to demanding schedules, interrupting people, or both.

Yet, may I remind you that the magnitude of suffering in our midst is suffocatingly enormous?  Eleven year old Maddie stood beside her dad three weeks ago at Best Buy while an errant bullet struck and killed him.  Today she roams her house at times in such habit she forgets her daddy is truly gone.

Young Patrick fights for continued life as disease imposes.  Facing round after round of chemo, the question of which side-effects (and how many) hover.  TeamPatrick presses and pushes against the darkness with words of hope and hearts of courage. 

Other's hopes have been slaughtered because their son/husband/father is being shipped home from Afghanistan in a crate.  These walk about with no feelings in their legs or their words.  They are completely ravaged of clarity.  Fog blurs all phone calls and conversations at the dinner table.

Lest we forget, I offer a gentle reminder that while we do feel pressed about all in front of us today, others are in such deep pain they wonder how we can go through these motions and not notice their world has impossibly cratered.  Their main effort today is to try to breathe. 

These would give anything if they could just have a normal and somewhat bothersome day such as you and I face.

So celebrate the routine; your standard, your customary, your normal.  Others would join in if they could find their hearts again.

Monday, August 06, 2012


I guess because I am a man that I have forever dreamed of doing something big; I mean a major statement of accomplishment.  I could be in the Senate.  I tried out for the Minnesota Twins.  To be a stand-up comedian was short-lived as I never tried it once.

Yet, I delight in the Lord's reality from moment to moment as if He has given me something far more thrilling than becoming well-known.  He has given me a gift through Paul's comments in Romans 4:17; God creates something from nothing and gives life to the dead.

I believe Him.

So my role in life?

I am desperate to communicate to others that they are amazing and important.  I truly live to see others come alive!  My thrivability is in any situation where I sense one or several in my presence are doubtful as to their gifted genius and my assurance convinces them otherwise.

People are mighty and wonderful and powerful and important because God makes something special out of everyone.  We are NEVER in the presence of a permanent loser.  NEVER.

Though an unscientific appraisal, I believe everyone from Prince to pauper is in need of one and only one main thing: a positive and life-giving word.  God spoke all into existence and then passed the talent and responsibility on to us.

Ah.  I have lips which....form words.  Wow!  What a coincidence! 

Some feed the hungry while others clothe the poor.  Both are like Jesus' efforts.  I desire to specialize in feeding the spirits of the unsure or the confused or the abused.  They need food; hope-filled word food. 

Mark this down: regardless of fame or impression of anyone in your midst, each will welcome words that offer light and hope.  If you have lips that move, consider forming free and creative sentences to make someone's day. 

I've received them over the years in calls, notes, whispers, and emails.  They are so powerful I want to pay it forward.

To each reader guilty of making my day so bright by your words of Light....thank you!  I felt them.  I continue to operate from them.  And believe it, the world is missing these very gifts because there is a great drought of words....good words which will change one's world.

If you want to see any group arise from a dark hole of depression--whether office, seminar, or church--tell them how good they are because such is absolutely true. 

We all light up when we find out somebody believes in us!


What is going on with us? 

We seem to take three steps forward and are feeling pretty good about things.  Suddenly we are taking two steps backward and here we go again. 

Struggles are inherent. 

Adam's Fall remains catastrophic. 

God recreates us to wholeness once again.  We are heaven existent now and one day will reside in such a city.  For now, though, the flesh balks at the idea.  Furthermore, this entrance into the final Destination?  The flesh doesn't get to go!

What are we to do with sin struggles, interferences, and mishaps? 

We are not to die in failure but to use these as stepping stones toward the need of Someone to save us from this wretched mess.  A significant problem we have as believers is we forget (or else won't admit) that we are wretched.  From that context we lift our eyes to see the enormous glory of God.

We are not worshippers because we need something to do throughout the week.  No.  We are praisers of God because we are reminded by our selfishness that we couldn't correct ourselves and He already did.  Man still tries to save himself; and it isn't possible.

Our sins ought to do two things: cause great agony which would drive us once again to His astounding immeasurable glory for what he did on the cross.  The church is not strong because it walks in its own uprightness.  No. we are strong because we walk in his.....II Cor. 5:21.

Saturday, August 04, 2012


Two of my grandkids (Wendy's 9 and 7 year olds) were discussing this week whether they knew anybody famous.

After much discussion they concluded they knew Pop Terry and the Chick-Fil-A Cow.

I say Grandpa's should count, don't you think?  According Hayden and Campbell, I rank right up there with the Chick-Fil-A Cow. 

I wonder how the Cardinal's Fredbird feels about failing to make the list?


We admire human ingenuity, skill, stamina, and strength.  Many are glued to the Olympic scenes.  Raw talent and excessively successful discipline is paraded event after event.

Believers, however, are not in the Church Olympics.  Oh, we wish we were prime examples of faith in its most brilliant form.  Yet, it is scripturally substantiated that our glory is gone and our salvation is His glory for getting it done.

Successful?  We are not.  We are not close.  We are so far from it that we are saved as a gift by Him called grace.  We are empowered to do any sort of meaningful work, once again, by His lavish grace. 

It is never about us.  We are vessels.  It is always about Him.

Grace is cotton candy to the self-determined; useless.  Yet, He will allow us to be worn down by our feeling we can conquer all the spiritual ailments that plague us.  We can do it!  We can do it!

No.....we can't....and we don't.

It hurts my feelings day by day that I don't reach the high standard of His wish for me.  It is in this precise spot that I must accept him as the One he most desires to be; Savior because I can't save myself.

Do-it-yourself Christianity is a self-pride that goes terribly and mistakenly unchecked.  But when we yield to His standard, we realize our efforts are but rubbish. 

If we are to be saved from ourselves, someone other than us is just going to have to take over.

Welcome Jesus!

Friday, August 03, 2012


Don't you know there were those antsy moments of questioning by some when Elijah was building the bonfire?  And how about the disciples' hearts when sloshing Peter lost his footing and began to sink?  Increasingly tense must have been the crucifixion and the grave wait.

The truth is simpler and simple.

God had every bit of it worked out to a minute detail....without fail, I might add.

At times, to reassure ourselves that God is in control, someone will point out that God has the hairs on our heads numbered.  This is to remind us He is near.  Have you ever thought about that single task?  Counting hairs on our heads?  Because it is a new number (lesser) day by day? 

The count keeps changing.  (That may be why He invented computers.)

Clearly God is near.  He is in control.  He knows the score and, in His most finite way, has it all worked out.

Knowing that, aren't you glad your job is to praise Him everyday?

Wednesday, August 01, 2012


There is a lot wrong with me.  If it weren't for Jesus, I would finish worse at the end of every day.

If ever I believe there to be one great, significant, and obvious blemish within me it is my sheer disobedience to his Matthew 7:1-5 call to refrain from judging others.  I'm a fireball at it!  I like it!  I am a crackerjack judger. 

I do not improve.  The good in me can't win for the evil in me that continues to spout about others. 

Judging is still wrong.

The Christian mindset is to take major stances against.  This usually comes with a corresponding fact that such harsh judgment regards an area the judgee has little guilt over.  The Gay community is an easy target for the unGays.  The once-a-month attendees are huge targets for the three-times-a-weekers. 

I will tell you how bad I am about this.  I won't any more than get this posted and I will violate my own admonition to refrain from making guestimations as to the motives of others.  I am a professional surmiser. 

Who will save us from this mess we are in; the mess we are?


Jesus is the one and our saturational sin leaves us in a begging position for his grace upon us.  This should and could and would end our appetites for picking on the more sinful than us.  No one is guiltier than the one who is obsessed with judging.

Even spellcheck is going to be very judgmental on this one.


Yad Vashem is Israel’s stark memorial to the six million Jews lost in the Holocaust.  One of the exhibits is entitled, “Spots of Light: To Be a Woman in the Holocaust”.  Within this presentation is a feature film where various women talk about how they survived horrific prison camps.

Testimonies are coupled with narratives of heart stopping and breathtaking stories of unthinkable suffering.  One woman spoke of her torturous days and nights by stating, “We all wanted revenge, and we learned that the best revenge against suffering was to try to develop a spiritual life.”

The best way to revenge is to ponder the spiritual.

And how would that look?

To be spiritual is to contemplate truths that are beyond the visible; they are spirit.  Look at Jesus dying on the cross.  Initially, this appears as raw defeat.  Factually, it was the path to one of the most drastic truths of all time; the resurrection.  If there is no burial, there is no resurrection.

In this case one can begin to ponder that the spiritual transforms the flesh life.  Now what this means for us is that suffering—as with the Holocaust—is not a weapon of defeat; but rather a stepping stone to victory.

If you want revenge, learn to believe that God delivers through the very concepts we do our best to avoid.  The way Jesus won was to lose….his life…so that he could perfect his amazing mission of human rescue.

Want revenge?  Begin to believe what can become.  God gave His only Son that through suffering we might experience new hope.  God’s revenge was to operate from the glory of the Spirit-ual.  Therefore, suffering will not shake our confidence for through the resurrected Jesus, we have already won!