Sunday, June 30, 2013


Of course, there are too many brilliant things about God's personality, heart, and glory.  Such could never be measured or listed.  Books could not contain them all. 

How many new and powerful books have come out in the last six months about God when millions have already been written about Him through history?

So I choose to write about one of my favorites; God's hope.

Hope defies any negative circumstance.  It will not yield to bad attitude nor calculated discouragement.  Hope is found in the Holy Spirit.  Our spirits left on our own cannot live in hope; but only in good breaks.

The Holy Spirit reverses life; He gives life.  What I like about God is that regardless of the pressure, the hurt, and the dead-end, His hope that He lavishly hands to us can break every barrier.

Read Romans 5:1-5.  And, then believe it.

Friday, June 28, 2013


                               The spiritual life cannot be made suburban. 
                                               It is always frontier and we who live in it
                            must accept and even rejoice that it remained untamed.
                                                                                                          Howard Macey

                              The greatest obstacle to realizing our dreams
                                                      is the false self's hatred of mystery.
                                                                                                        John Eldredge

I believe we Christians may have subtly grown stagnant because we don't like mystery.  The subtlety is that we have been so busy serving-in-safety while growing numb.  I don't speak disparagingly.  Quite the opposite; I feel most enthusiastic about the fact that we might want to know this.  I will always need this reminder; else I will grow irritated with new ideas that don't fit my fussy parameters.

Our tendency toward redundancy can lead our causes to be thin while our arguments grow thinner.  Traditions, even the good ones, have a way of rocking us to sleep.  We have been baptized and habitized to lead lives of rhythmic repetition.  Our crowds have grown dull and less crowded.  The different, the diverse, and the dangerous have been declawed leaving many congregations with tired assemblies and lackluster ministries. 

We must not despair.  We must not surrender.  We will not give up.  Through the resurrected Jesus, ours is the role to face the impossible and then move into it.  How wild is that?

The cleansing of our hearts begins with recognizing our Christian walk might be stuck.  Think about it.  What generation has come up through the church ranks that hasn't had to do battle with the upper-crust of the way we do things?  It isn't necessarily a matter of new is better.  We must consider that new in the church isn't referencing gadgetry or model; but is all about freshness of the new life of which scriptures speak.

Even these young who clamor for refreshment will eventually face the identical and serious dilemma.  Will they adjust to the next version of new thinking or will these who once wanted new stand in the way as some of their foreparents did?  Each generation sinks toward the option of good enough when a cleansing of the hearts may be in desperate need.

Often such words are countered with there are some things in the Word that don't need to be changed.  I would counter that counter with there are no things in the Word that need to be changed.  We have struggled to realize that even our most recent ancestors did not have a grasp on the entirety of Revelation.  It isn't that we are that dumb; but rather, that God is that deep.

Jesus has the perfect grasp.  We must know him that we obtain his righteousness.  Being right with God has become our fallen god.  We have entered a dead-end alley of manipulating Bible knowledge when it does not lead us to Jesus but leads us to feel-good exercises of church management. 

One of the things that I find rare among elders (and yet thoroughly enjoy among mine) is the ability to think purely upon God's desire for our hearts without being arrested by assumed positions of both church history as well as neighboring leadership.  This doesn't make us better or even as good.  It does keep the church refreshed, agile, and productive.

To work by, with, and for the Holy Spirit is to function in that one zone contrary to hardening of the arteries in the church....remaining flexible.  All churches are set up for possible failure; not because we are stubborn but because we are simply lazy.  It takes work to believe past what was gained in church history and noticed in neighboring churches. 

It takes brave exercise to be more honest with the Bible than we are fearful of what others will think about what we think.  We must eat of the power that God has prepared for exciting faith industry.

In this age, especially in American church freedom, we are in great need of cleansing of the hearts.  May He give us the grace and mercy adequate for such a rich blessing.  May we live wound up for God reflective of the days we were newly reborn and converted.

Keep the heart refreshed.  Live brand new....again today.


Time can cause people, goals, and other things to grow dull.

I find life in God to be the opposite; it is self-sharpening.

The reason for dullness gives us a clue for how to stay sharp.  Hope's absence dulls.  Hope's presence sharpens.  Hope has built-in vision.  Hopelessness is cataractical. 

Destination sharpens.  Distraction dulls.

Focus sharpens.  Lack of concentration dulls.

Purpose sharpens.  Pointlessness dulls.

Failure even sharpens.  It is indifference that dulls.

Love for all people sharpens.  Love for only those who already love us robs if we then have no room for others to enter our hearts.

A real God for real authentic living for very common people will always lead to a productivity which accounts for more wonder than any had originally imagined...Ephesians 3:20-21.

Thursday, June 27, 2013


I didn't get it for the longest time.  As a matter of fact, I resented it.  I could not get used to the multiple attacks I had to take as a minister from within the framework of believers.  Now that a new documentary is out, I know we still don't get it.  Preachers, our call is not a Rose Garden for favorable interviews and signing of autographs. 

We must wake up.

BETRAYED: The Clergy Killer's DNA is a 93 minute documentary about how many ministers are quitting; an estimated 1500 a month.  The cause is attributed to a handful of members within the congregations who openly crush ministers to the point they move on to other employment.  The film calls for stances to be taken against these destroyers.

A Kingdom key that preachers don't understand is that we are, in reality, called to follow Jesus.  By vowing to take up our crosses day in and day out (Lk. 9:23-24), we are volunteering to be killed.  It is to be a way of life; not a rarity among us!

And how many would love to produce another film titled BETRAYED: The Member Killer's DNA which would put equal blame upon us preachers?  I'm saying I have done as much killing as being killed.

Killed?  Is that too strong?  No.  My guess is that much of church leadership and the vast majority of congregations have little insight to this very strong term.  Yet, it is there.  It is true.  And, it is strong.

The good news is that this is precisely the cure for an aching/dying society; finding men and women who refuse to run and will endure the war-zone of spiritual conflict.  We have not been called to church socials and infant baptisms.  We have been pegged by the Spirit of God to die for enemies of His so that they can live.

We cannot quit.

To be fair, I have only read excerpts and viewed a brief trailer of BETRAYED: The Clergy Killer's DNA.  Yet, I've seen enough.  Church isn't a safe haven for anybody.  The sooner we all realize it, the more serious about God's Kingdom we will become.

Believers are soldiers of the Cross; not sightseers of ornamental sanctuaries and stained-glass windows. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013



This note is not to brow-beat.  Neither is it to bash.  Rather, it is a genuine effort to awaken to the wonder about us....all around us!


I feel certain I (we) move about in our daily grinds drugged by....our daily grinds.  For any who hang out with me would know, I love right now.  Right now was seldom present for me for years; decades.  But the wow of now is accentilistic in nature.

That we have eyes to see and ears to hear is the utmost skill millions will never possess.  To make payments on car, home, and credit card is a joy billions will not ever experience.  To get out of the hot car and walk across the hot parking lot to buy expensive groceries is a habit trillions of prisoners will not experience for months; even years.

And we get out of sorts?

Insightful author Eugene Peterson calls our attention to awaken.  This creation is so complex, so intricate, so profuse with life and form and color and scent!  And I walk through it deaf and dumb and blind, groping my way, stupidly absorbed in putting one foot in front of the other, seeing a mere fraction of what is there.

Yesterday I had a dull heart.  I posted such.  As soon as I did, an incoming phone call completely off of my radar made things much worse.  It rocked my day.  To help the wounded I cannot discuss with elders or staff; for a bit anyway.  Suffice it to say, the loneliness became noticeably noisy.

So God seemed to have abandoned me with sorrow.  Once again I was found to be inept, weak, and without wisdomic words for the injured.  These kind of moments distract from the walk with life and form and color and scent! 

Particulars to yesterday's incident(s) have not improved.  My vision for God has because He has that knack of leaving us on the cross awhile only to perform His three-millionth move to bring us resurrection from graves of "can't fix things" frustration.

He lives!  Because he lives, we live!  Because He lives and we live, the wounded we wish to assist will also live!

When we are dull....tell Him thank you.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


Serving the Creator from the sandals of the Created is no easy task.  It is the utmost challenge.

I live a paradoxical life.  On one hand I can't believe what I get to do.  On the other, I have moments where I can barely keep going.  Discouragement's pull would be categorized as....shall we say....MONSTROUS!

I so enjoy the flow of Holy Spirit fire.  I wish to crawl into a cave when I feel more like a dumb fizzle.

What shall we do?

Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord. 

We are no longer our own.  Jesus is our walk as well as our talk.  He is our existence.  We have been buried in him. 

What creates the gap; on top of the world from crawling in frustration?  If we can nail this question, we will have refuge from life's depressing tornadoes. 

(I'm going to insert just how wonderfully weird our walk is.  As I'm writing this post I began very down in my spirit.  I pondered whether to say so and then decided of course, the readers would understand for they, too, are just like me.  But I didn't quite know where this was going.  At the last sentence above, my phone rang.  The voice on the other end was telling me about a situation where I may be needed to help a high profile individual.  I hung up saying to myself, God how to you do that?)

So here is the nail to the question; because we live in Christ we must wait for him to do the work.  This is nearly a mockery to the flesh-driven personality.  God, through the Spirit, opens doors and closes others.  My exhilaration is when He opens them.  My frustration is when none open and I impatiently knock harder.

How do we maintain a holy fire when some days feel more like an unholy fizzle? 

Believe God works...and then wait on Him.

Sunday, June 23, 2013


I plan to be in such perpetual awe that I praise God for everything! 

I assume He will take my breath away in the wonder of it all! 

Worship won't be in a building every seventh day.  It will be at every turn.  That New Testament Christians were baptized and immediately experience awe...well that is the nature of being in by day.

Awe will be in heaven!

The fun thing to me is we start it while on earth!

Join in!

Friday, June 21, 2013


Has the church in America become politically laden?  I wonder.  In addition it would seems ponderable that she has also become economically driven.  Possible?  And rather than purity for Jesus, have we become socially hamstrung?  Likely.

Politically, we look out of the corner of our eyes to see if our people approve of our stances.  We surely don't want to upset the guards of the church.  Economically we search for innovations which sell seekers on our offerings.  And then socially, we fight the trend of society being against religion to the extent we focus upon that which will please the whims of our critics.

Within all three examples there are glimpses of proper behavior.  We do want others to note our godly positions, see our strengths which would bless them, and we desire not to be absurd in our outreach.  Yet, even the combination of these three trip up the church if one ultra-main factor is forgotten or ignored.

I speak of Jesus.

Jesus is too often substituted for brand name of the church, ministry of the church, or popularity of the church.  We can be big on church and short on Savior.  We can be strong on doctrine and weak on relationship.  Too, it is not unusual to find us active in attendance and distant on service.

Jesus is church life.  Jesus is salvation.  Jesus is the drawing card and the keeping card.

Each of us will gain momentum in the Kingdom if we will give increasing attention to the King.  Every pulpit, every eldership, every parent would find greater and fuller life if we were to honestly be given to Jesus rather than the twenty distractions that keep us devoted to our churches.

Matthew 7:21-23 comes to mind.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013



Is this not the poison Ivy that meanders from the Garden of Eden all through the centuries to our pathways throughout every generation?  And what is it that draws anyone to ministry in the first place?  One of the huge incentives is that when we engage in any dimension of ministry, we help. 

Due to this obvious reasoning, could I tell you it really gets me when I find that in my ministry I hurt my friends?  Hurting friends is the yuckiest.  It is a heart-breaker.

All through the years I have so disappointed some near me because I did not stay conservative as they gaged conservatism.  One of my dearest friends ever (I converted him) eventually became terribly pained because I no longer preached forcefully from the Word. 

When I began to realize I must change my position from believing the Holy Spirit didn't to did work in our lives, my heart sunk because I knew I would soon enter deep waters of rejection from many who counted on me.  In some ways, I was their boy.  While I continue to increase in Holy Spirit understanding, the pain of frustrating dear friends never subsides.

I'm not saying I waver regarding what little Spirit truth I know.  I am stating that one of the really rugged channels faced when growing in Christ is the hurt among friends when it is discovered some no longer hold to the propositions once adhered.

Pride and arrogance in what we believe are themselves error.  When in humility we realize Jesus may have set us against father, mother, brother, or sister, we may find a new kind of hurt we had never anticipated by any forewarning.

I cannot tell you exactly why I think to write this mid-afternoon; a time when blog-writing is not in my schedule.  Maybe, just maybe, there is someone special who needs these words at this moment.  Blessings as you try, as you cry, and as you grow under the strain of needing to always be in the approval of others.

Kingdom life is great and abundant joy.  There are those times, though, where we weep because some who liked us no longer do.  Oh how that pain really hurts.


I pondered what kind of gift I might surprise myself with on my 66th birthday yesterday.  I didn't have to think hard.  What would any sixty-six year old man want, need, and like?  Ah, I had an idea.  A surprise.




Tuesday, June 18, 2013


There is power in the blood sings the church at full-lung capacity.  Blood.  Do we think this is from a nose-bleed or a skinned knee of sorts?  No.  It is because a life was injured; taken away.

We are called to follow in Jesus' steps to the extent we take up our crosses and follow him.  Luke and Peter bring perfect clarity to this fundamental call. 

Yet, wounds don't seem to arouse us to championing action toward those who need forgiveness.  No.  As if we basically have no God and no purpose, we whine and fret, moan and withdraw as do the majority of victims of unfair treatment.  May we awaken to the wonder and power of our wounds. 

As did Jesus, we are to take insult and injury in order that the insulters and injurers may find healing via our woundedness.  The reason the church cannot seem to gain traction in this mega-troubled society is we have joined the masses in trying to escape.  Ours is not the call to dodge incoming arrows of rejection; but rather for staying put in pain upon the cross that the hurting may find perfect and ultimate healing.

Sharon Hersh shares this quote, Without your wound where would your power be?  It is your very remorse that makes your low voice tremble into the hearts of men.  The very angels themselves cannot persuade the wretched and blundering children on earth as can one human being broken on the wheels of living.  In Love's service only the wounded soldiers can serve.

My friend, when you too feel broken on the wheels of living try to awaken to the high calling of God for such was the exact path of His Son.  We have such hope due to Jesus losing his life for us.  Others have no hope until they find our imitation of Jesus to the full-capacity of being wounded that the wounders may finally get well. 

Going to church isn't our fundamental walk.  Staying upon the painful cross is.

Sunday, June 16, 2013


Church can be a tangled web of woven threads; a little Bible, a little personal preference, a little duty, and a bit of an ego.  The result is a people scattered in focus and ill-suited for the Kingdom task at hand.  I know this because I am this.

We are problematic because we struggle to let the main thing be the main thing.  To love God is the first and foremost commandment.  This seems to be a significant issue because it too easily goes ignored.  We tend to look for what is in it for us and/or what is our assignment.  After all, we want this sacrifice to be involved in church to mean something.

Love.  Love is cheapened because we have taken agape which never loses sight of the value of anything and exchanged it for eros which loves only as long as the item is lovely.  Agape is committed and eros is erratic.

We are to love God; not as a rule or as an order.  We are to love Him because we adore Him and treasure Him and admire Him and are crazy about Him.  We love God because we simply love God.

How does that go?  What does it look like to love God?

For one, we think about Him.  We talk to Him as He lives.  We listen to Him because He is a living God; not a dead one.  Christians have mocked other religions who have dead gods and then treated our own as if He is mute; cannot speak, cannot interact.

Secondly, we believe He is wiser and more intelligent than our imaginations can perceive.  So, we imagine at our highest believing God to be even higher. 

We love God because we simply treasure the superb richness and grandeur about Him.  We marvel.  We thank.  We watch.  Our God is greater and higher than any other or any thing....ever!

Saturday, June 15, 2013


Greed.  Lust.  Envy. Anger.  Immorality.  Dissension.  Drunkenness.  Pride.

Without exception, dark matters have a strong grip on each of us.  We are snared, trapped, and guilt-ridden.  Church attendance, Bible study, and Missions orientation help some of us some of the time.  Yet, the struggle is a monster haranguing our consciences if we don't know how to stop doing what we don't want to stop doing.  (Are your reading me here?)

Jesus is the answer. 

Each of us can say he is the answer and all of us have ears to hear it.  But how?  In giving up a sin, how do we do what we so very strongly want to do; but even more strongly don't want to do? 

I have been deeply blessed by reading about Rosaria; a Lesbian gone Straight.  Her war for learning to do what she wanted to do, but didn't really want to has opened my eyes to the answer each of us carries deep within the regions of simple and sheer reality. 

In the process of treacherously breaking from a habitual lifestyle into the form God would wish, Rosaria wrote, I learned the first rule of repentance: that repentance requires greater intimacy with God than with our sin....Repentance requires that we draw near to Jesus, no matter what.

Try not to think less of me for sharing this; but until I read her lines, I assumed repentance was one of the steps to being saved.  Those in our circle sorta begin at believing and fly by repentance on our way to baptism.  I knew it was a serious step, understand.  Too, I knew it to be more than a part of conversion.  Yet, I have struggled with our addictivations as how to get to effective repentance beyond our ever-failing human determination. 

Repentance requires greater intimacy with God than with our sins!

Intimacy with God is still out on the frontier for many who have been in the church for decades.  Closeness with God has been suffocated by sincere (yet often empty) intimacy with church attendance, brand of church attendance, projects to involve the church attenders, and the ever-famous "decent and in order" form of the church attenders.  Much of church has been everything but intimacy with God.

But we are learning.  We are learning to sing, give, pray, listen, reach with heart more than with rule.  Even His call to sing from the heart developed into a battleground for religious contention rather than a worship palace for praising the King of Kings.

How one repents when one doesn't want to repent and yet wants to badly is found in learning to love God more affectionately than we do the sin which demands our reverence.

Friday, June 14, 2013


What floats your religious boat?  Music style?  Mission awareness?  Community buzz?  Sermon delivery?  Doctrinal position?  Mutual acquaintances?  Commitment to the Word?

In the name of Bible abiding, our persnickety attitudes run church influence into the ground and the lost communities drive past us without a nod.  Why is this?  Why do we not notice this about us?

I would not know all of the reasons.  One seems to be clear; yet ignored as if such violation of God's call makes no difference.  I address the theme of worry.  We tend to shrug that one.  It has become an acceptable sin.

The Bible doctrine is clear.  Do not be anxious.  Do not fret.  Do not worry. 

However; who cares?  Off we go about church business fretting and sweating all the way to Sunday School hacked by someone(s) else because they did or did not behave (or believe) according to our priorities.  We worry because some churches have the wrong opinions.  We become anxious because we do church right and others can't see the glory in our superior mindful and spiritual awareness. 

Worry rules the rich and the poor.  Christians are fundamentally oblivious to a major doctrine that should set us apart from unbelievers; we are not to be anxious.  And we wonder why so many choose to live on the lake or the golf course on Sunday mornings? 

So how do we become obedient to Matthew 6:25-34 when we are told by Jesus do not be anxious?  This has been a huge mountain for me to climb.  Over years of experience, I have learned God uses every setting known to man to produce Kingdom progress.  Psalm 46: 10's be still and know I am God literally means let go and relax. 

Relax?  In these complex times?  Yes.  Worry contributes nothing.  Calm does.  Peace is within the fruit of the Holy Spirit. 

How do we become obedient to God's stark call to refrain from worry?  Stop it.  It is a choice; not a circumstance.  It is obedience; not a mood.

To ignore this strong Word from God is indeed to hold a very dark doctrine of rebellion.

Thursday, June 13, 2013


Lost.  What an offensive church word that easily slips from our tongues as if we just placed and order for extra fries.  Yet, we are referencing valuable and important people.  And yes, without Jesus they are lost.

I was once lost; but now I am found.  My wife?  The same.  So when I speak of the Lost I speak with reverential experience.  It is a most intriguing base from which to try to walk life.

Here is what I would want you to know about every person in the world who does not know God.  Somewhere along the way (and I believe many times along that way) they each wonder about God, His way, and His truth.  Few know how to seek.  It is important that you get that.  Few know how to seek God.

I was one of those. 

Raised in a farming community, my brother and I would traipse across our town of 2100 to a little Presbyterian church in hopes of finding Kool-Aid and cookies at the end of a most boring kids' class taught by a sweet old lady in her late 30s who only taught the class because all of the other members were much older.

When I went off to college I would dabble in church attendance; nothing serious.  Even in my seeking, I meant nothing by it.  My roommate and I would visit all kinds of styles and approaches to God.  We liked and disliked all of them.  We were looking.  But, neither had a clue as to what we were looking for (poor grammar, but accurate concept).

Eventually I found Him.  I'm not ashamed to say at this late stage in life I am still finding Him.

What I would want you to know is that every person you encounter, regardless of circumstance, has been/is/or will be looking for God.  Every person.

This is how we win souls to Jesus.  It begins by believing we know something about the lost they themselves may not know.  They would like to know God; but don't know how to find Him.

Never look at one relative, neighbor, friend, or enemy without remembering there is a present or eventual hunger in the soul searching diligently for the Risen Treasure. 

Be sure to plant good seed as you pass by.  If you can't think of a way to plant at the moment, at least water the seed others planted a few days back or even years ago.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


Nebulous is sometimes a dirty eight-letter word to the planner, organizer, and detail fanatic.  Yet, it is the go-for-it prod for the dreamer.  Too often what the former hungers for, the latter experiences.  Nebulosity is a Kingdom systems dynamic. 

Jesus has made it repeatedly clear that the church is bound tightly by the rule-makers and the rule-keepers.  Why the rule popularity among us anyway?  It gives definition to one's boundaries and overall walk.  The Spirit doesn't abide by man's intuitive and imposing regulations.  He actually refuses for such is nowhere in the zone of His personality. 

Fluidity, variability, and flexibility are each Spirit markings.  Law, as to how things must go, is not.  This bugs the tar out of the rule-abider and thrills the romantic visionary.  It is the Holy Spirit that gives the YES charge to each believer.  He is the very one who breaks the restrictive barriers to impossibilities.

In the beginning of ministry I was like the snotty-nosed child peering through the store window just wishing I could possess some of the elaborate merchandise of the Kingdom; effectiveness, efficiency, and value.  I yearned in desperate measure to see things happen which could be regarded as authentic church success.

It seemed I had been unfortunately left out.

The good news for each of us is that there is thrilling breakthrough.  We must relinquish management control.  I first approached the work as a sales rep; so many calls would afford a percentage of sales.  But this is flesh-work.  It's vision is restricted.  Although my heart yearned for effectiveness, my spiritual eyes were blinded by cataracts in the hunt for things I could report that I had accomplished.

To leap into the flexation of the Spirit dynamic is to spring from the diving board of uncalculated risk.  We have not the power to coerce God.  Neither can we design personal productivity.  If we do the numbers will be low and anemic.  We must vault into the unexplainable, unforecastable procedures of planting and watering; trusting the very vagueness of God's How does He do that which will lavishly spring up into astounding and incalculable crops for harvest.

Our demise is we want to see things go the way we can see things going.  God has bigger ideas. 

I say the power of nebulosity jump in!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


The devil has played a huge and sustaining joke upon many in the church.  He has effectively transferred his tactics so well that man is naive of Satan's actions assuming them to be self-concluded.  I speak of the one theme many in and out of the church give a smirk; giving.

Giving is one of those essentials of Kingdom breakthrough.  It isn't an imposition; but rather a tremendous surge of effectivity for the giver.  The giving away of what the flesh assumes is its primary power transfers one over to the invisible grace power of the Heavenly Ruler.

Giving is the solution for many in the church who are just getting by.  Of course, for those, giving would the be last thing they would want to consider.  See?  This is Satan's great joke.

I turn 66 next week.  Next month I begin to receive a small bit of Social Security.  I've saved a little here and there.  Recently I showed our church accountant the figure accumulated for retirement.  She couldn't help it; but her first reaction was a snicker.  I get it.  It isn't much.

Yet, I say this to any readers who try to sneak past the responsibility to give.  I do not want to yield in my giving in hopes to gather some sort of security.  He is my security.  While I don't wish to be irresponsible for my future; my future will be the exact same as my past; dependency upon Him.

How He will provide?  I assume the same way He has provided thus far; really well.

Giving is an art to the believer.  It is a joke to Satan.  We can't walk both lanes.  We will love the one and joke about the other.  We get to decide.

Saturday, June 08, 2013


Jack Buck would say he was he luckiest man he ever met. 


That would be me!

I live in Seventh Heaven....right now!

How can we drink of the Spirit without feeling we are going to drown in wonder? 

How can this be?

Yes, there are troubles, sins, concerns, and many unanswered questions.  All mine.  I haven't even gotten to you, yet.  Simultaneously, we live in the riches of Jesus.  Abundance is ours.  Worship from minute to moment is our opportunity.  Choosing to think on the true, the honorable, the right, the excellent; all these are to saturate our minds in absolute wonder! and me...we live in Seventh Heaven NOW!

I have been at my labor of ministry for a long time now.  I assumed it would fade in interest and in steam as age increased.  Not!  I am so out-of-my-mind excited to get to hear what God says through me tomorrow that I feel right now like a kid waiting on Christmas to get here tomorrow!  I have no respect for me as the messenger (truly).  It isn't that.  I cannot wait to hear how God finally comes through tomorrow as what He has given me thus far, I can hardly contain.

He is right.  We do not grow old in Him.  We grow by day.

Seventh Heaven is overjoy, elation, delight, euphoric, and jubilant!  Seventh Heaven is that extreme of extremes mankind poses as above-the-above over-the-top wow!

Jump in!

Friday, June 07, 2013


Hall of Fame football player Deacon Jones died over the weekend at age 74.  Champion swimmer/actress Esther Williams died this week at age 91.  So it is with you and me.  Ours is the same earthly destiny.  It isn't THE END; rather it is the end of this earth-time.

Do we take life so unseriously that our basic shallow goal is to finish life in the black?  Is it our main thrust to see that we wrap it up here with the combination of being appreciated by a few of our peers while crossing the finish line with a few bucks left in the bank?

Life this time around is coming to a close.  I say speed it up! 

Speed up the risk-taking.  Jump in anticipation of what we can get done; who we can encourage.  Don't slow down with age; but hurry up the aggressive outreach to the poor.  Fire up--not cool off--the imagination of what can be done.

One of my occasional prayers to God is show me things, God, that we don't yet get.  And, then He does.

Our goal isn't to die in the black.  Our goal is to live while we live with the assurance we will breeze through death to regain more living!  Don't end life in a tie.  Break death's barriers.  Don't let death impose a tax of digression but allow its threat to awaken us to live as robustly as possible.

The church...we have fallen asleep being and doing everything right.  Could we possibly awaken to seek yet our higher potential embedded in the resurrected Jesus? 

Ah, that would make an impact!

Thursday, June 06, 2013


It seems much of the Christian world finds itself perpetually embroiled in where to stand rock solid and where to give room for opinion.  I don't know about your experience.  Mine has noted that a source of church struggle could be found in improper application of flexibility and inflexibility.

Could it be that many of us have stood our ground where God didn't while yielding turf where God wouldn't?

Surely sin goes unnoticed and undetected in these reversals of orders.

The woe unto me statements in scripture would surely indicate inflexibility.  Options of where those woe points are to be expressed may not be as structured.  Paul's woe unto me if I do not preach the gospel restricted his message but left the location of such preaching wide open.

The church struggles between narrow and wide open.  Can any of you say broad is the way that leads to destruction and narrow is the way that leads to life?  Abusively, narrowness has been embedded to corner the church into fearful non-action while discovering the eye-opening wonder of God's grace is not to be found in many places.

Calvin Miller makes a strong appeal when he notes, Always abandon unnecessary rigidity, for God can only direct the flexible.  This is especially interesting to me for my earliest recollection of conversion as an adult included stern warning that God no longer worked directly in the lives of believers.  For years, I heeded that alert with extreme attentiveness.  Oddly, yet now not surprisingly, when one lives from a narrowness God did not require, He doesn't work from there.

The Holy Spirit of God thrives on flexibility.  He must have our permission to be moved about to and fro reaching the lost and building the body of Christ.  There are inflexible matters which can be named and practiced.  These come not from fear mongers; but from faith toward Jesus.  And there is tremendous need for us to let go of our earth-bindings of human reason and understanding.  We must learn to soar in the high places where only God's nature makes sense.

Flexibility or inflexibility?  Yes.  And no.  We must look for Jesus for our abiding rather than rules which gives much pseudo-security resulting in stagnation of the heart supposedly destined for God.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013


King David stated in a moment of honest reflection, For I know my transgressions.  And my sin is ever before me.

Is David King or not?  Yes.  Is David deeply sinful or not?  Yes he is.

This sin/saved walk is always ticklish.  The one who prayed thanking God he wasn't sinful went home unjustified, according to the story of the two men praying in the Temple.  The deeply grieved one who agreed with what he overheard his critic point out to God about himself could not look up.  He was so ashamed.

This one, the Word says, went home justified; rather than the other.  The YES of sin is not pride that we are guilty; but rather admissive of our fault and blameworthiness. 

So it is as we have the privilege of serving God day by day.  When we raise our heads high with no remorse or awareness of personal crud, we are a pain in the Temple.  However, when we walk the streets of brick and mortar always aware that we are more sinful than any other, blessings and partnership of God seem unexplainably near.

Our sin serves as a prod for each to live in gratitude toward God with no irritation and disgust toward others.  We praise Jesus in desperation of gratitude for cleansing us day by day.  Effective leadership in the church is ultimately affected by one's immediate recall of His abundant grace toward us who believe.

That, my friend, is a very powerful YES.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013


The question, whether bracelet or bumper sticker, asking WWJD is always valuable.  Granted, the methods may seem rather novel of a sort; but still, the question raised would seem to always be significant.

We need to know what Jesus would do.  Would he rebel?  Get heated?  Be quiet?  Debate?  Make a joke?  Or would he create an entirely new miracle that would shut us all up?

My problem is that I don't think about the question enough.  I tread around town and criss-cross states during travels very often making my own calls.  My opinions, my axes to grind, my small section of earth needs my estimation of life. 


Jesus puts the accuracy in us.  He eliminates the silly from the necessary.  He is the one that is always on mission; not me.

Really....what would Jesus do?  He would always think of people.  He would stand up to the Pharisees, not because he needed to be right but, because these kill the spirits of the little people. 

Jesus' actions were always based on God and others; never himself.

Hmmmm....there would be two hefty commands, huh?

Monday, June 03, 2013


No, the critics will never go away. 


These are nutrients to the kingdom life.  We must have them to be disciplined to lean upon His provisional grace.  If we didn't have multiple critics in our walk, we would begin to believe we were self-sufficient.  The thorns of II Cor. 12:5-11 are critics targeting the most amazing, even surprising, conclusion that His power flows through the canals of human weakness.

Will the critics ever go away?  We hope not.  These are needed because we are the ones that need them.

Don't be discouraged.  Admittedly, I get there.  But then I remember the value of each who seems to oppose.  God is not done grooming me to lean upon Him rather than my own understanding and skill.

That's.....a good thing.