Thursday, February 28, 2013


The Pharisees missed Jesus because they were focused on the main thing (from their perspective) and completely missed the Main Thing.

What we would call by-products, I believe, are what makes life so exciting.  With God, surprises interrupt in all the good ways.

Do you really think the brothers plot to rid themselves of colorful Joseph was the main thing?  How about Jesus and the woman at the well?  Do you believe thirst was foremost on Jesus' mind?  Was his request to go home with Zaccheus merely to get in out of the sun or away from the mob?

It would appear that rarely is the main thing the main thing.

This fact unlocks life.  We mentally and emotionally allow ourselves to open to the greater possibility beyond that which we assumed to be the issue at the moment.

I once took my family on a vacation to Abilene to visit new church friends soon after our conversion.  It was the dropping by Dallas on the way home that was the surprise.  With no intent of such a discussion, I found myself offered support if I would leave my job and home in Illinois to attend some sort of Preaching School.

It was the storm knocking out the power on a Sunday afternoon which caused the cancellation of evening services that I assumed to be the main thing.  Yet, it was the 6:00 p.m. interview with Jackie Gleason on 60 Minutes which led to our reaching him before he died.  The main thing wasn't at all the main thing I had assumed.

Some can believe their long-awaited banquet of honor is the main thing, when the meeting of the spiritually hungry waitress proves to be the purpose of the day.

Others can think the son's or daughter's game is the event of the moment.  Yet, the foul ball that struck the lady nearby which required your attention and ultimate ministry alerts you to the truth that there is more to the main thing than the main thing.

I've just shared with you a tremendous secret of robust living.  Rarely are we about what we believe we are about.  To put it another way, often God is creating a surprise beyond our limited focus.  This is why we must train to be alert.  God is full of surprises.  Sometimes---often times---the main thing never was the main thing.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


America is in trouble.  In my opinion the fault does not lie at the feet of Washington nor of the media as Christians would like to think.  No, it is squarely a matter of enormous failure at the hands of Christianity itself. 

We are the culprits.

We should not be surprised.  In every parable where Jesus presents a religious and a non-religious person, the shock is that 100% of the time the non-religious were accepted by God and the religious (devoted, committed, sacrificial) one was rejected.

We must awaken to this truth.

We share blanketed guilt.  All of us within the Christian framework are guilty of creating deadening effects that has put society-at-large to sleep regarding the earth-shaking truth of His Word and His Kingdom.

We have fought religious battles; mainly of doctrines, and mainly within our own walls.  We have waged theoretical wars in writings and debates and even simply (but meaningless and boring) Bible classes.  The result is each generation of standing for the faith has produced a worshipless product of crystallizing habit rather than moldable and flexible life in Jesus.

The solution begins by admitting the problem.  Stained glass, organ music, a Capella, Bible lessons, fundraisers, and mission trips are deadening if the goal isn't giving robust glory to God coupled with a hunger for experience with the Holy Spirit of Jesus the Lamb within and among us.

The use of instruments or not has never been the real issue.  In spite of preference, is God being truly admired and discussed and honored?  Which version of the Bible is not the issue.  Is the God of that Word dearly loved by the owners of the Bibles? 

Every generation among us peels away quietly raising little disturbance.  People courteously walk away from us without realizing the something not right at church wasn't them.  They simply needed to find Life somewhere somehow; yet the church was often engaged in preserving herself rather than honoring Jesus. 

This must change.  Another method will not be the church's savior.  Our Savior is.  Hope is the appetite of the world.  None greater is found anywhere like that known to be of the Son of God.

The cure for what ails America isn't better government nor is it that America would start going to church.  The cure is to be found in existing churches as we toss our preconceived traditions which have kept us ear-tickled-pink.  We can and must awaken to the fact many of the parables of Jesus squarely mark us and our habits as rejectable. 

Then...then maybe we will awaken to our grave need of experiencing and loving and adoring the real true Living Lord.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


The thoughts that enter one's heart will evaluate who such a one truly is.  Proverbs 23:7 would concur.  In addition, one's lips will repeat what fills that heart.  Matthew 12:34 assures.

We would like to believe that life goes according to circumstances; both in and out of our control.  Such is not the case.  Personal life really functions upon the foundation of the thought-bytes we ponder, permit, and polish. 

Miscellaneous issues, both positive and negative, can be found daily at our doorstep.  The fact that they are there is significant because that is where we live.  What we choose to think about these, however, is a matter of life or death.  All is always wrapped up in how we choose to groom our thought-bytes.

Depression can be fueled or defeated simply upon the selection of the recording one would choose to play over and over in the thought-room of the mind.  Life's results are never a matter of another's behavior nor a circumstantial moment.  It is always and only a matter of the thought-bytes.

The old stand-by of one making lemonade out of lemons is rock solid in direction.  There isn't the person who has not and will not suffer stress and struggle.  Those who choose the proper thought-bytes will arise to the top.  Those who mentally rehearse their personal plight will find life miserable only to find some joy in passing along their misery.

Illness happens.  Age happens.  Death happens.  One of the saddest scenes is to come upon any who are dead while they breathe because they simply cannot find a way to think and then to comment about the outrageous blessings which are ours at every turn. 

Think hope.  Think gratitude.  Think about all the things going right in your life....and then let your speech convey these thought-bytes.  You will experience a most vigorous, industrious, and fascinating life because you will choose to override the painful with the hopeful!

Sunday, February 24, 2013


I am wildly burdened for us.  We go from infraction by one to infraction by another; perpetually and continually.

We talk as if others are the ones with troubles.  They are.  Every one of them.  But, so are we.  Every one of us.

We cannot lash out for Jesus is so on target; what we would judge in another we would be found as guilty.

Thus the tremendous need for us to lay our sins and disorders and quirks at the cross.  This is the only way we can breathe with hope. 

We live in such burden for one another. 


May we be lifters and encouragers and seekers for the grace and mercy for all.  It will always be true because Jesus said it; when we personally remove the logs from both of our eyes, we will notice that others were only committing speck offenses.

Saturday, February 23, 2013


Francis Chan is coming to Tulsa!

There is much workshop buzz due to his pending arrival. 

What makes this man so endearing?  He authentically loves God and people.  While
quite popular and wonderfully funny, Francis effectively leads with a ferocious heart for the lost.

He cares.

A matter that has impressed me over the years is that he is as strong at critiquing and adjusting himself as he is driven to reach to others.  It is my conviction, simply from observation's tower, that Francis Chan sees himself first as the chiefest of sinners saved by the immeasurable love of Jesus.

The fire within him cannot be self-constructed.  I love to place before our Tulsa Workshop crowds those individuals who are in the daily process of dying to self that the resurrected Spirit of Jesus might show up.

Francis Chan will awaken and arouse hearts of church leaders to a momentum building awe like that experienced in Acts.  Welcome to Tulsa Francis Chan!  And welcome, as well, you readers.  Twenty-five more sleeps til the wonder of the Tulsa Workshop hits our hungry hearts!

Friday, February 22, 2013


Life is about two things: loving God and loving others.  In occupation, in home, in leisure, life is to be built upon Jesus in those two specific zones.

That, however, isn't how it started for me.  My walk could be charted as:
  • I could care less about church.  It was b-o-r-i-n-g.
  • Then I began to believe in heaven and hell.  I felt that if I would go to church I wouldn't go to hell.
  • Next I found that there was a right church and many wrong churches and this gave me new ambition.
  • Afterward, I learned that there were just as many glares among us as we had declared upon others.
  • Finally, at this point in my walk, I am discovering the enormous need for all to give God glory.
In ministry, in outreach, in worship, and in study, life is about God being glorified.  Too many across the broad range of Christian concepts plop themselves down upon padded pews to judge the hour's program. 

Thumbs up?  Thumbs down?

Yet Jesus didn't construct a court of judgment.  He is building a church that would give Father attentive glory.  This has been a shock to my rant and rave belief system that I brought into the pulpit 38 years ago.  I'm not the big-shot I had both wished and assumed.  I'm not in the picture; God and others are.

God is the glory of the world.  Our prayer-life and our faith-walk should reflect our passion for knowing God....and seeing that others get to know Him.

Thursday, February 21, 2013


The cross-generational declaration, I'm not getting anything out of church", is not to be taken lightly.  We churchies are a weird sort; we want, we don't want, we like, and we don't like....many things....during church.

Even those of us inclined to believe we are a part of some True Church suffer from the perpetual social grooming that church is basically relegated to a designated building for approximately one specified hour on Sunday morning.  All other interaction is known to we churchies as ministry; not church.  Yet, we are to be a part of the church 24/7.

A person who gets nothing out of church is also a person who has drawn nothing from God and puts nothing into people.  Church isn't about time-slots and clip-board checklists.  It is about God.  It is about others.  It is not about us.

I don't blame any non-church goer who looks at us and concludes we are absurd.  We are on many fronts; many silly fronts.  Yet, there is something always good stirring upon our land. 

God is true.  He is actual.  He is seeking each one of us. 

God isn't campaigning for us to become a better us.  He is reaching to rescue each from the frustrating dead-end lives we create and do our best to maintain.  God's urge is constant; He wants to give us eternal life now.  Eternal life isn't never dying.  It is always living.

We churchies need your help.  We've become obsessed with keeping our stuff afloat; our doctrines and our spiritual inclinations.  A strong dose of learning again to love God and to deeply lose our lives caring for others will be a blessing to all of society.

Your criticism may be earned; but it doesn't get any of us anywhere.  Together, caring for one another, maybe...just maybe...we would grow to actually fall in love with God.  May He be glorified by our walk and our talk. 

Once given to God and others, we will find we get something awesome out of church.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


My church affiliation is as sincere as tribes go.  The Church of Christ is devoted to some of the Bible.  In theory we could claim commitment to all; yet in practice (like all other churches) only some.

What I'm about to say is merely my assessment.  I glean it from experience with us; with me. 

Some hundred or so years ago egocentric personalities arose in effort to out-debate and out-shout other egocentric personalities.  Never actually admitted, control became the name of the game; yet Truth was paraded as the issue.  Average and good men polarized from other average good men. 

Doctrines became weaponary benchmarks for stances; for faithful positions of both attack and defense.

The church Jesus is building has suffered injuries from verbal shrapnel.  Men gained control and began stating that God didn't operate directly in our world.  They found it necessary (to keep their line of thought going) to teach that He only worked through the Word which seems to have meant that God worked only through their understanding of what they thought the Bible said.

God was ultimately and quite mistakenly shelved.

Awareness and even confidence that mankind had interaction with the Living God was shattered in the name of faithfulness.  God no longer used His voice nor His arms.  Thus, men could run the show.

One catastrophic fruit from this humanistic tree which is now eaten without the slightest reflection is that prayer died in the church.  Overall, the greatest of our workers and most devoted of our leaders pray very little.  I did not say that no one prays.  In general, I'm pointing out that we are much more interested in meaningful activity and experience than we are in communicating with Father.

Jim Cymbala said, Prayer is the source of the Christian life, a Christian life-line.  Otherwise, it's like having a baby in your arms and dressing her up so cute--but she's not breathing!  Never mind the frilly clothes; stabilize the child's vital signs.  It does no good to talk to someone in a comatose state.  That's why the great emphasis on teaching in today's churches is producing such limited results....Pastors and churches have to get uncomfortable enough to say, "We are not New Testament Christians if we don't have a prayer life."  This conviction makes us squirm a little, but how else will there be a breakthrough with God?

From cradle to casket, the need will always be to draw closer to God.  May 2013 be a year of breakthrough for the masses among us.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


It's workshop time!

The workshop is a deep part of my walk.  I felt called in 1977 to be a part of the Memorial Drive team, in part, due to the terrific workshop.  I had been praying for months in Quincy, IL. for God to help me reach the ENTIRE WORLD.  The only catch was that I thought He understood I meant from Quincy; a place I still love so very much.

This year is one of the most exciting ever....and all have been exciting to me.  Over 50 speakers will participate during six hours of classes daily.  Booths will be upgraded in both number and content.  This will be a Wow Year!

The addition of Francis Chan to the line-up has spurred incredible new interest as well as strong renewal.  People are coming to Tulsa.  And...Tulsans (cross-denominationally) are coming to the workshop.

Booth sales are up.  Hotels reservations are up.  Workshop energy is up.

Me?  I'm the luckiest man I ever met! 

Monday, February 18, 2013


Henri Nouwen makes an astute observation when he writes, Children, adolescents, adults and old people are in growing degree exposed to the contagious disease of loneliness in a world in which a competitive individualism tries to reconcile itself with a culture that speaks about togetherness, unity and community as the ideals to strive for.

Loneliness.  I have never forgotten Landon Saunders' statement in 1979 that the average person has not one close friend.  I was shocked; tempted to doubt.  Yet, as I work through the rubble of the injured, this appears to be accurate. 

Those of us with countless friends can hardly take this in.

Wasn't there a book in the 70s titled, Crowded Churches and Lonely Pews?

In our awareness to connect and reach to communities, may we be aware that one of the first places to look is upon all the trees where the Zacchaeus-like children, singles, moms/dads, divorcees and old people sit wishing to get a glimpse of somebody in the daily parade who might notice them.

The world gets more populated.  Media increases its volume.  Do not be fooled by believing loneliness is being eradicated.  It is ramping up its power.

Saturday, February 16, 2013


Life is about God.

He is life.  He gives it.  He supplies it.  He recovers and eternalizes it.

We live in Him.

Satan is all about distraction.  That is his ploy; get us to move our eyes from God.

Jesus succeeded because he saw his Father.  The book of Hebrews reminds us to fix our eyes upon Jesus.

In everything?  In all that goes on?  Jesus knows how to deal with misplaced purses, dented fenders, aching shoulders, and disappointments in others?  Jesus knows that kind of life-stuff?

Yes.  He became us to get us.  He gets us.  He gets us so well he is our congressman--so to speak--before the Throne.  And he talks about us to Father as if we are mature, complete, and perfect because we made a decision to be buried into him.  We are him.

When Father looks at us He sees Jesus.  We are hidden in Christ.

Life is all about God.  It isn't about troubles.  It isn't about distractions.  It is about Him.

Our stresses mount when our eyes abort the view of Jesus and dart to the crime, the irritation, or the malfunction.  At those moments, life begins to shrivel.  Thus, we are reminded to focus.  Focus on life because it is all about God.

Friday, February 15, 2013


I am fascinated by church.  I'm still crazy about it.  I will die before I will have figured out about 1/1000th of God's intent.  And, I fear I just bragged for I really will not get that close.

I am driven by the wonder of my God and my privileged calling.  The yearn for "church alive" has never left me one day; not one day.  The reason for that craving is because church in all communities has been presented as so typical.  We do church things church ways using right phrases while keeping everyone from being radically changed. 

Enter.  Sing-sing.  Sip-sip.  Pray-Amen.  Exit.

Conformity, not transformity, has become our game.

We assert ourselves to attend to the young, embark on good works, straighten the songbooks and remember the old.  A quarrel or two may break out but we will all make up at casket day.  The eight hundredth verse is the same as the first.

Churches have gone stale because we began to follow one another (church following church, tradition following tradition) long ago.  Jesus' name seemed to stay intact; but not his Spirit.  Thus rote meandering developed.  Can anybody say Wilderness Wandering?

Bob Goff wrote, There's nothing wrong with being typical, I guess, but there is nothing fundamentally right about it either.  I've never read in Genesis that God created "typical" and called it good.  Instead, I think men who were bored made up typical and called it, if not good, at least acceptable.  People who follow Jesus, though, are no longer typical--God is constantly inviting them into a life that moves away from typical.  Even if they have normal jobs, live in normal houses, and drive normal cars, they're just not the same anymore.

The ones Jesus first picked to follow Him started out typical, to be sure.  They were unschooled and ordinary.  Fishermen, business people, blind people, loose women, rip-offs, and vagrants.

It seems that the more we catch a glimpse of Jesus working with and among us, the more we seem to note "this isn't typical".  Not surprisingly, such moments give the church an incredible boost of Spirit energy.


When we commit to life with, in, and for Christ, we are immediately placed within a context that is most challenging.  War erupts.  Battles ensue.  Injury is likely.  We might lose our life trying to find it.

It would seem the D word does not help any.  With all of this rocky terrain before our faith, we surely don't need its troublesome tone.

I speak of being Despised.

This is avoided nearly at all costs for being despised is so very difficult to endure.

Fenelon wrote, You must learn to despise the selfishness of your own heart, and you must also be willing to be despised by others....Learn to draw your strength and nourishment from Jesus, and from Him alone. 

Calvin Miller joins the word parade by writing,  As we serve, we may be taken for granted, but we must remember Jesus' words, "the Son of man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many" (Mt. 20:28).

For me, I live in a world where many despise me.  This has always been ultra-difficult for me.  I must say their are more who don't agree with me; but these don't despise me.  Yet, much spite has been voiced my direction. 

It should surprise no one that being despised results in loneliness.  For me there was depression in that loneliness.  Yet, would you venture a guess as to what I discovered because I refused to run?  Nourishment from Jesus. 

Once again we find another painful classroom designed for learning yet another way we are truly advantaged by inner conflict.  Our resurrection-powered life seems too often to be on hold because the pain of our cross-walk is too often aborted.

Thursday, February 14, 2013


Grief seems to be a bummer.  Sorrow doesn't just happen at casket's sight.  It rears its head when being jilted, abandoned, and abused.

Grief grieves.

Grieving is depressing.

But Jesus.  But Jesus started his State of the Soul address with a stunning sentence; Blessed are those who are down.  An odd way to start a New Life campaign.  Not very positive, Jesus!  Don't you get us?

And then the second sentence trails with more of the same; Blessed are those who mourn.

How blemished can this man's insight be?  And he expects to build a following?  I don't think so. seems the Son of God knows a thing or two about kingdom operations.  It begins at the beginning with the lowest point of the heart and then builds.  Blue and mourning spirits are the place to begin for authentic, impactive, out-reaching life.

In The Journey of Desire, John Eldredge points us to the enigma of deep and burdening spirit pain.  The paradox of grief is that it is healing; it somehow restores our souls, when all the while we thought it would leave us in despair.  Control is the enemy; grief is our friend.

Because we can miss such a God-moment, grief can seem to be an enemy when striving to control our surroundings is the culprit.

I urge you not to waste your times of mourning.  As Jesus went on to say, these own the kingdom and their future is one of comfort...Mt. 5:3-4.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


We aren't God.  Yet, He insists upon a working partnership.

God is not to be calculated by the fleshly mind for our evaluation procedures are far too handicapped.

God is to be known by us; even through our restricted thinking processes.

He sent us a Christmas card with note attached; that would be Jesus as God with us from squalling cradle to tight-lipped-when-accused, mature, hung out for all to mock. 

Jesus is our interpreter.

He is the one who displays both God and Word.  The Word became flesh.  The Word had been with God.

Man's most wonderful mountain to climb is that of engaging in the Jesus trek.  Study him.  Look at him.  Watch him move about.  Everything he does is what God would him and in us.

True life is not the champions crowned at heaven's Bible Bowl.  No.  True life comes about on a graduated basis of how much of Jesus' character we dare allow to become a most natural part of our disposition.  The spirit is willing.  It will be the flesh that hesitates.

A thing about God that seems forever true is that, in our search, the more we grow to understand Him the more immeasurable we discover Him.  Good for God...and for us.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


Man has a problem.  Basically, he feels that he is no major problem when compared to others.  We demand of everyone else what we don't expect of ourselves.

Until...until we run into Jesus.  He ruins everything for we ego-centered; yet presumed normal folks.

How man has gotten by with living these many long years so critical of one another is because we have failed to run into our Brother who knows things.  We run into conflict.  We run into church.  But we tend to avoid the crash against Jesus for he will undo our higher-road assumptions about self.

For any to believe there is no personal major flaw is a magnificently flawed conjecture.  Each is without excuse for in that you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things (Rom. 2:1).

There is no grinding conflict within humanity's system that could not be gigantically eased if each party admitted we are precisely, exactly, and identical to our opponent in some glaring form.

To move about theorizing that I myself have no major flaws; if all could think and act like me, this surely would cause us all to be better off is, indeed, the majorest of all flaws.

Monday, February 11, 2013


We are all the same.  II Corinthians 10:12 voices our mistake when we compare ourselves to ourselves in order to attain an upper evaluation over anyone else. 

I suppose it is easiest for all of us to compare sins.  We aren't as bad as.....(you fill in the blank)....for we have/never would do that.

The proper comparison for each of us, my opinion, is to look upon the cross.  When we note Jesus squirming and shifting in effort to avoid suffocation, a new message is thrust upon mankind.  When he took his last breath and gave up his spirit, the world literally went dark for three hours in mid-afternoon.

The reason?

All of our sins had been grouped into one category; sin.  All of them were regarded as enough to choke the Son of God to his death.

Lest we become irritated with some "sinner" out there; it is best to keep those logs out of our own eyes in order to be more efficient in offering assistance; rather than contributing to Jesus' last gasp.

Friday, February 08, 2013


True religion is an awesome thing.  What moments I might find myself in its fullness, it surely is the experiencing of the glory of God.  I would assume, too, that there are those many and other moments when I am not eating from the buffet of true religion; but rather an imitation.

Scripture is not the final thing.  For years, in the church, I assumed it was; I pushed it as so.  Yet, Jesus said he was the final thing as scripture speaks supportively.

Francis Schaeffer says, The Bible, the historic Creeds and orthodoxy are important because God is there, and, finally, that is the only reason they have their importance.

Those of us groomed beneath the legal religious umbrella understand the importance of the Bible.  There is no need to back off of its fascinating revelation.  However, the search of many has stopped at knowing the Bible before our trek arrived at God himself.

This would have impact on how we can have so many claiming to be religious while voices of discontent about us and among us seem to rise.  We have taken the best revelation in all of history and short-sheeted it by failing to move into the Presence of the One who gave us the Scriptures in the first place.

Scripture is not for us to merely memorize and then recite.  It is for us to know God. 

May it be so.


Ignobility.  Hmmm.  Some might believe that to be a Terry-Rush-made-up word.  Not.  Just a big non-usaged one for me.  Ignobility is the reverse of nobility.  Authentic truth, oddly, is often found in the ignoble; not the noble.

The Truth of God is a precious gem.  Always.  Yet, this Truth is forgotten by many of us Bible enthusiasts that this very Word says there will always be those of us learning and not coming to the truth; that babies will get what Monarchs and High Priests will never note.

Truth begs the seeker not to assume its direction.

However, we have, we do, and we will.

In all of the parables, nobility is pitted against ignobility.  The Rich Man and Lazarus, the Prodigal and his brother would be a good start.  In all them the ignoble was the truth while the Bible-thumping grouches were not.  Truth often reverses what is assumed to be Truth.  The child gets it when the scholar won't.

We are to be tediously open to redirection of what we have assumed as Truth for very likely much of it isn't.  The truth shall set you free, John insisted.  Free from what?  Free from assumed truth that isn't.

Is this not the issue of every age?  Of course.  The church will forever be in the hunt for the wondrous Truth of our Lord Jesus.  It will not come about by passing tests in school.  Nor will it come about by Sunday School theorizing.  It will come about, under the direction of the Spirit of Jesus, by walking and ministering to the poor and all who suffer injustice.

It's weird to me.  I studied the Word intensely and became a loud-mouthed legalist.  The more I spend hours with the devastated, the closer I seem to developing a heart like His.

I'll always be in kindergarten.  And one of the best things I have learned is that committing scripture to memory is a farce if my feet--my feet to be formed in the image of Jesus--are not committed to the underdogs of our landscape.

Truth is a powerful and wonderful majesticity of God.  It is for our learning of Him; not our parading of our conclusions.

Thursday, February 07, 2013


Try not to judge a post by its title.  What I'm about to write might surprise you.

As we think about the tired and the discouraged and the abused within our great society--who do not know God--I wonder if we have ever weighed the fact that, to them, churches are speaking in tongues.  They hear us talk, shout, testify, and a very foreign language.

We toss out lingo like born again, propitiation, knowing God, Holy Spirit power and eternal life as if our relatives and neighbors obviously get it for we think they understand kingdom culture.  Many don't.  The majority are clueless.  To them, we are like clanging gongs prattling on about something religious which makes no them.

What can be the solution?  Well, we can't dismiss terms of God which they naturally would not understand; for many of these truths come from the Word which are essential to our Life.  Thus, the need for interpreters.  Isn't that what going into all the world is about?  We are called to interpret God's message for all to hear. 

When we speak to the cashier or the waitress or the principal or the work colleague, we must not speak in a foreign tongue.  This is a great challenge to us pulpiteers for a foreign language to seekers means their continued disconnect.

Jesus was sent as a man in order translate Heaven's breath-taking wonder into our own hands and feet terms.  It seems that simple.  We are read by all men.  May we be written by the stroke of God in a language our neighbors can understand.  It is eternally important.

May we refrain from speaking in a church tongue that goes over others' heads.  Rather, let us communicate in a terminology that would open hearts to God. 

Wednesday, February 06, 2013


We have no room to be smug, judgmental, nor can we flex superiority muscles in our push toward learning of the kingdom of God.  No room.  Yet, these three traits have dominated many of us in many denominations to the point unbelieving communities hunker down in continued unbelief. 

We must break this mold.  The problem is...we are the mold.

It is true.  The Bible is the inspired Word of God.  It is not true that we have extracted all truth and have the holy assignment of God to dispense morsels of it in Church of Christ buildings. 

Fundamentalists of all stripes, including us, have wielded the Bible as if it is a sword to slice and dice; not a scalpel to do open heart surgery.  The Word of God is more powerful than we will ever come to know.  It has secrets embedded within which will set those shackled within the deepest prisons free.

We must learn more of Truth.  When we do we will not find ourselves exhausting the extraction of scriptural information to the point we know it all.  Rather we will find we have plunged into a pool of holy calling which will freak out the imagination of even the highest thinkers.

A problem with learning is it tends to shatter the falsehoods we build as faithfully accurate.  Learning is a wrecking ball to traditional religion; a religion which survives only because people like us refuse to....learn.

In one way it is true, the more we learn the more we know.  Of course this is accurate.  Yet, in the scheme of God being eternally large we find that the more we gather regarding His Truth, the more Truth multiplies as to what there is available to know.  From that factor, the more we learn the less we know.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013


No wonder so many through the years give little attention to our Heavenly Father and His regime.  Such isn't due to investigation.  Hardly.  It is, rather, due to sheer laziness.  It takes attention and focus to dig through the broad information glut to strike the gold truth of God and His realm.  Discovery is a life-long walk.  I believe it was Jesus who declared that believing him was the work God assigned to man....Jn. 6:29.

Dig away.

The Spirit ways are reverse to the flesh ways.  Mystery topples logic.  Absurdity rules over explanation.  The way to keep is to give away.  Expansion of memory is found by consumption of the Meal. And, life is found by dying.

God gives mankind a hint in a desert setting of long ago.  Moses happened upon a sight that bears the image of real authentic kingdom living for our age; a burning bush that was not consumed.  Get it?  A bush on fire that would not yield to logical and assumed eventual consumption.

Such is our story.

Paul said it another way.  For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus' sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.  So death works in us, but life in you.

Our mortal flesh is the burning bush of this century.  The Spirit of God resides in us.  Hurt us.  Injure us.  Distract us.  We will not be put away for we have a Holy Fire within which shines amazingly bright from our flesh. 

Burn....and do so brightly and eternally!

Monday, February 04, 2013


The Truth.

Such a phrase can mean different strokes to different folks.  It can mean release from false accusations.  It could mean clarification.  And, for some, it could mean a dread for tradition has been labeled as Truth.

In this case, I simply draw your attention to your day; the goodness of it and the joy of it.

Focus on how life is really going; not upon the negative things which would distract.

If you have a broken arm, how many limbs are not broken?  Three.  Are you going to let 25% of your limb-power have your utmost attention?

If your car won't start today, that would be how many days out of the last 241? 

If a harsh word is spoken your direction, compare it to the 8,673 pleasant ones.

If you hear of a bad report, did you remember to thank God that you still have your hearing?

If you owe taxes, do you realize that could only happen if you have an income?

How is your life going?  When you focus upon the Truth, it is going a lot better than it is worse.

Then....think on the right and the excellent and all those things worthy of your attention...Phil. 4:4-9.

Sunday, February 03, 2013


Church is not for wimps.

The social church image is not one of courage, bravery, and impact.  Rather, overall, it is regarded as weak; endured by communities much larger than the church numbers.  There is a reason for such a stale perspective from coast to coast and border to border. 

We are empty of heart.  I don't mean all Christians nor all congregations fit such a quick label.  I do mean to say that far too many of every tribe have hunkered down for safety and comfort; eyes fixed on attendance numbers and keeping the light bill paid.  These have only slight regard for those who have yet to be introduced to Jesus, the cross, and the emptied grave.

Something has caused epidemic indifference.  It could be called orthodoxy; doing things the way we have always done them without thought.

Charles Colson wrote, We have, to an alarming degree, become victims of our own mindless conformity--self-absorbed, indifferent, empty of heart, the "hollow men" that T. S. Elliot wrote about in the early part of the century.  Yes, orthodoxy has become unconsciousness; nihilism is the spirit of this spiritless age.

Yes, there are many great and exciting things going on in Kingdom Life.  Progress is enjoyed on several fronts.  Yet, I am highly concerned for the multitude who walk away from us; for while in our midst they did not encounter spirited believers who were wild in heart; but were content as long as satisfaction of "the way we do things in church" was fulfilled.

Saturday, February 02, 2013


Rough 'n' tough stuff is going on.  Shootings.  Explosions.  Crises.  Minds learn of desperation heaped upon turbulence.  Dare we live with hope?

Of course. 

Hope is what Jesus is all about.  From surviving being misunderstood, to being falsely accused, to being humiliated, to being executed, the end of the tunnel did not conclude until the resurrection.  There is a definitive move coming for all of our aches and pains.  We win because Jesus won. the sight of Him whom he believed, even God, who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist.  In hope against hope he believed....Romans 4:17-18.

Dare we hope?  Absolutely.  The empty tomb makes a permanent and cross-cultural, cross-generational statement.  Regardless of pain, anguish, or fear, the end is not the end until we believe God can make something from our nothingness and He can also insert life into the deadest of circumstances.



Friday, February 01, 2013


Churches come and churches go.  Many open with a prayer and end with one.  Some are vibrant and alive while others are dingy and listless.

What makes the difference?

Caring for others is surely to be found in defining the differences for we get such a call from the heart and walk of Jesus.  Anyone who is a part of the church, yet cares only for self, is both unhappy as well as completely unfulfilled.

Dorothy Sayers wrote that the sin of our times is the sin that believes in nothing, cares for nothing, seeks to know nothing, interferes with nothing, enjoys nothing, hates nothing, finds purpose in nothing, lives for nothing, and remains alive because there is nothing for which it will die.

Church is not structured to please the people.  It is the body of Christ called to die for the very people who despise and would abuse us.  We are not called to enjoy; although the Holy Spirit would bear such great fruit.  We are called to die; die to our whims, our wishes, our wants, our satisfactions.

Ah, I speak as if I know stuff.  Surely we all know better.

I merely point us in an ever-needed direction to remind us that Jesus was at his best when hanging out with the worst.  He died an unfair death after a manipulated trial.  We are called to follow; but in safe America this is difficult for us to take opinion.

Yet, I believe it to be true.  When life in the church arises it is always due to those who would give themselves away for the greater cause of another.