Saturday, October 31, 2015


F. A. I. T. H.

Faith is to be a lavish, even outrageous, element of the human fabric.  By it one peers into those gigantic oceans of possibility and potential.  Our physical sight (whether actual eyes or fleshly-curbed imagination) cannot walk into the arena of the God-stuff and succeed without the armor of deeply believing.  Otherwise, life will always wither in fear.

We are just too weird.  No one likes fear; yet we often hide beneath its canopy for assumed protection.  This is a stifling and unconscious move which aborts the High-Powered thrust of what can be; what could become.

Mediocrity becomes the norm when belief is forced to sit down and be respectfully quiet.  Dreams die in this room.  Hopes fade.  Progress is lost....all in the name of not appearing absurd or out of step.

Francis Schaeffer spelled this out decades ago when he referenced the activity of the Spirit within us.  The fruits are normal; not to have them is not to have the Christian life which should be considered usual.  There are oceans of grace which wait. Orchard upon orchard waits, vineyard upon vineyard of fruit awaits.

There is only one reason why they do not flow out through the Christian's life, and that is that the instrumentality of faith is not being used.  This is to quench the Holy Spirit.

When we sin in this sense, we sin twice; we sin in the sin, and this is terrible, as it is against the Law and the character of God himself, our Father; but at the same time we sin by omission, because we have not raised the empty hands of faith for the gift that is there.

Faith that breathes takes work.  I feel badly for those of us who have a church; yet seem to have very little stirring of faith while either sitting or serving.  These have opted for hoping for the best in life without connecting to the dynamic of God; His Holy Spirit.

Owning a faith that criticizes others is to drive into one dead-end alley after another of nothing more than kindergartenish one-up-manship.  To possess a vision of courage and bravery to dare enter passageways of conviction regarding the strong productive arm of God is surely fresh air to the heart-lungs of believers.

May we dare to take the boat of faith out to the raging, even exhilarating, tempests of the sea rather than polishing it while always anchored in timidic safety along the shore.

Friday, October 30, 2015


Some days fare pretty well for all of us.  Some days, though?  Not so much.  I've spent too many days in my past faked out by the bad and negative and hurt-feelings scenarios.  These can pester us into submission if not informed as to how to offer productive redirection.

My earlier days found me retreating via an inward and withdrawn pouting.  Within this zone I could not only take refuge, I could tell the world my mind, of course.

So what shall we do with those bad days; those annoying, injurious, and dreaded moments of pain and anguish; of irritation and frustration?    Well, for one, we will not waste them.  We will, instead, find ways to redirect them to serve us rather than pull us under.

Crappy days can either stink up the place or be used for fertilizer to make our fields even greener and more productive.  One seems to be a curse while the very same substance can prove to advantage our situations.

It isn't that some have it rough and others don't.  No.  The difference is determined in the use of this product.  We can either shut down because of the odor or we can lighten up because of even the greater hope.

Even regarding this article, some will be encouraged by the possibility of new direction while others will be miffed because I used the word fertilizer.  We have a choice. Spend it productively.

Thursday, October 29, 2015


Let's get real.  Is there really a need for Christianity anymore?  Or, has this system ridden the rails so very long that it no longer reflects direction or meaning?  Are our communities uselessly expending human energy to keep the church organization afloat via a few transfers and conversions here and there?

Would it be fairly accurate to say that those sitting in churches are no different than those who never attend?  Is the charge of hypocrisy sticking; thus the throwing up of our arms in disgust?  Why should anyone want to be a Christian?

The "better than" doctrine assumed by the Christian world is finally coming back to bite us...big time.  Neighbors are sick of us with our parading pseudo-holiness that has no curtains.  We are easily perceived as fake.  The charges are strong.  The violations are blatant.

So, why should anyone want to be a Christian?  It's just so easy to toss out verbal emptiness of I can be a Christian at the golf course.  But there is a profound truth being overlooked by these excusers.  Jesus died to make us right with God because we could not get right on our own.

To be a Christ-ian is to admit our flaws; not deny them.  To be a Christ-ian is to proclaim to the world that we realize our sheer lack of holiness.  We could not muster such on our own goodness; but oh how we've tried.

The reason anyone would want to be a Christian is because we finally realize we cannot save ourselves by our own goodness, our own sacrificial giving, nor our own striving to improve.  We are too far gone to pull ourselves up.  Only Jesus can do it because he took on all of our sins on the cross.

Go ahead.  Have a heyday mocking certain Christians.  Point to our lack, our ignorance, even our sin.  But you need to have a more defining perspective as to why we believe in Jesus.  We found ourselves inadequate to handle the sin-charge.  Only he can cover our sins.  Only he has arisen from the grave to prove it.

Why should anyone want to be a Christian?  Because there is no other means by which one can have legitimate hope of pleasing God.

Sunday, October 25, 2015


Being a preacher is just the weirdest thing in the whole world.  Well, maybe that's an exaggerated statement; so let it suffice to say that it is very different than what I had assumed as I went into it.

I love the work.  I love God.  And I'm crazy about the people.  Who wouldn't want to get to do what I do?  Furthermore, I'm so grateful for the tasks before me.

So what's strange?

I am never good enough.  Do you realize that?  We of this position are never adequate.  I had assumed I would turn Inadequate corner and onto Adequate Avenue.  Finally I realized, it isn't going to happen.

Yes, the Bible makes it clear that we are never adequate in ourselves.  Oh, I don't have to be reminded.  But somehow I had wished, hoped, guessed, and thought that I would finally be elevated least adequate.  Well really, I was hoping for superior in places...but surely adequate.

Nope.  It isn't there.

This leaves me/those in similar roles quite vulnerable.  Once again I have my sermon ready for this morning; yet due to my serious lack it isn't done and won't ever be done.  I'll just finally stop verbalizing this morning.  It's weird.  It's just so strange to live an exciting venture of preaching when you never sense that it is enough.

Only God holds those accolades.  I am confident that He will use my inadequacy to give attention to His Spirit during the process.  Yay Him!

Saturday, October 24, 2015


Her sister claimed that Martha was busy with so many things when only one really mattered.  The what mattered was sitting, listening, being, acknowledging Jesus in their midst.

Little has changed since that Luke 10 text was transmitted for the entire world to view. It seems that as modernity rolls in, Marthanitis accompanies it.  The church God is building through His Son Jesus is hamstrung with the age-old fatiguity of being attentive to so many things.  These many things have evolved into little gods themselves.

From the talent of the speaker, to the Sound of Music, to the programs available, to the attraction for children, to the style, to the decor, to the timing, to the location, to the atmosphere, to the mission, to the version, we are assaulted by distraction from engaging with the Master.  Replacements have bullied their way into the God-system under the umbrella of personal preference.

As leaders we must become acutely aware of such distraction which erodes development of the Spirit among us.  We must fight off the envy and the lust to be someone else some place else.  Our God can, does, and will use variations of people and settings to fulfill His will.

Wherever we are and whoever we are, when Jesus is our centerpiece, the track is right and the mission is secure.  In this zone, therefore, we are in the greener pasture regardless of where and how others find release to serve.

Chronic Marthanitis misses the beauty of the moment; it always has and it always will. When constantly striving for more, we must be on total alert lest we find ourselves full of ambition while empty of a Savior who provides the ultimate in purpose and meaning.

Friday, October 23, 2015


Life continues to take strange turns.

In my teens I wanted to be a big deal.  Because I thrived on imagination anyway, my destination was surely going to be simply and wonderfully awesome.

In my 20s and 30s I was on my way via energetic striving to become...become whatever it was that I thought would equal notable success.

By my 30s and 40s it was my assumption that destiny and fame would be reached and I would have captured the unknown by having taken it hostage in the known world.  My answers were supposed to increase.  Correspondingly, my guestimate was that my questions would decrease because I would have garnered solutions to so many things.

Yet, my 50s didn't seem to endorse such a grand assumption.  The longer I lived the more questions I had about my questions and fewer answers availed themselves.

Now in my 60s I am realizing an obvious destiny; the more I am me the more I'm not what I had assumed I would be.  It seems that I've grown in ignorance because that which is to be known has grown to be a much larger volume than I had anticipated. Every time I learn something new, ten other things arise that I don't know.

I'm losing ground.

The older I get the behinder I really am.

It seems the more I know about God the more I seem to have increased in sin.  It is true that the more He increases in my eyes the more I decrease in my own.  While this is a good thing, it surely catches me by surprise because I had guessed that drawing closer to God increased me.  Not the case.

The more that I am alive the more that I realize how far I have to go.  That acceleratingly immeasurable.  So age is unfolding a consistent and gigantic truth.  The longer I live the less impressive I am to myself.  The more I am...the more I realize how much I am not.

Anybody with me on this?

Thursday, October 22, 2015


It's just too weird.  As much as man has available from today's land of the living, we seem bent on perpetuating the same ol' same ol'.  We have a chronic disability because religion insists on being fixated on the past.  This is debilitating.

In my segment of the spiritual world we are quite familiar with the term Restoration Movement.  When introduced to this concept, I found it to be delightfully authentic; even genius.  Yet, the movement bit itself when it became the goal; not Jesus.

Emphasis for the past several decades has been to restore the Restoration Movement; not the church.  From this mistake, we have lost our way.

Being fixated on the past demands that focus be given to what worked back then.  If one wants to go all of the way back to the Word, that's the way to go.  When this happens there will be a constant thread for the Word of God lives and is very active.

The constant?  Change.  New.  Creative.  Spirit.

Four things that we who are steeped in the Restoration Movement tend to detest.  If we set out to restore the truths of the Bible, we are on solid footing.  However, if we are bent on mimicking what the church did in the 60s and 70s, we have bailed on the advancing call of the Word.

Our fixation is to be neither past nor future.  It is to be in the Spirit of the moment.  He will teach us what we need to believe, guide us toward fruitful direction, and lead us into gigantic discovery of what has so far remained unknown.

May we always be learning, growing, and forever new.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015


...and, for that matter, what we are about?

America is experiencing a flawed and domesticated religion which does its best to function under the famed umbrella; Christianity.  Society has gone numb.  Churches have as well.  The contagioned neglectfulness of Whose we are and what we are about is taking a toll; a very hefty toll.

Ours is a scrambled society living from one significant distraction to another.  Focus has been obliterated by both heartbreak and sheer pleasure.  Almost as if completely unaware, the church has lost the Son of God.  Organizational effectiveness is popular King.  Church growth is the respected call.

And Jesus?  It's as if that nowadays that's the name which must be used to close out prayers in order that they would be authorized through the corridors of Heaven.

So believers like me must consider a stark challenge before us.  Will we pursue the robust life Jesus intends that his followers experience?  Or, will we fit acceptably into a distractive form of religion that even unbelievers can sense is going nowhere?

What shall we do about it?  This is a significant question worth probing.  I can only offer one weak man's opinion.

  • Read the Word of God.  Read Matthew if you don't know where to begin.  Don't try to understand it, but rather simply watch Jesus act and interact with community.
  • Pray.  This is a tough assignment; even for the most ardent followers.  The reason prayer is one of the hardest things to actually do is because it is so high on the list of Kingdom effectiveness.  Many complain.  Few pray.
  • Make a shift from human reason to godly faith.  This, again, is not that simple because we would rather go by what we can see than what we can imagine.  The former appears sensible.  The latter is regarded as foolish.  Read I Corinthians chapters 1 and 2. 
May we join forces to perpetually remind us that the thread of the Cross is what leads all to amazing victory.  Life has its challenges which can overwhelm.  Friends are giving up.  They can't sort this maze of distraction.  We must and can set aside these dead-end avenues of promising life in order to intentionally keep on the Higher Calling road that leads to everlasting and authentic hope.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015


As much as we should be used to being a person, it seems that we don't.  Yes, celebrations abound.  But so do challenges to the heart.  It is a struggle being a person.

We are not robots.  We have ideas, directions, feelings; oh, and did I mention feelings? Colliding feelings toward others can conclude in much damage at the intersections of MyWay and TheHighway.  It seems that life unfolds with much consternation as a result of the shear strain of personal conflict.

It isn't easy being us, is it?  Sometimes not; yet we are worth the endurance!

Be encouraged.  So often in our daily routine we don't get things right.  At times some don't treat us right.  We live in the midst of the fallen; the gripey, crotchety, angry, and the moody.  Not so strangely, it isn't just them; but it can be verified it also includes us.

The shear strain of being a person can take its toll.  But I cheer you on that you are a powerful dynamo led by the Spirit and backed by God to make a faithful positive difference for others...and for yourself.

Our lives are filled with glitches--theirs, ours, mine.  I would encourage us to focus more upon supporting one another than complaining.  Our days are loaded with personal flaws.  We will get over them.  We will be victorious because we have a Hero who makes us victorious.  He paid our debts.  Live abundantly.

Admittedly, sometimes we just get things the wrong use of shear which should be sheer.  

Sunday, October 18, 2015


Guilt is not often on one's Bucket List.  Maybe I should say, Never!  The reasons could be many; one being that with such abundant supply one doesn't have to wait to experience it.

Personal guilt is not a goal anyone wishes to attain.  Quite the reverse; we desperately wish to shed even its shadow.  Yet, there is profound and monumental value buried within this dark hole.

Personal guilt forces us to back off from our vain accusations toward others. Christianity is suffering a slow death where judgment of others is the routine of one's day.  And, my friend, it is very routine.

Contrary to how some might feel about this, backing off of targeting others about their sins does not mean we have gone soft on sin.  No.  It means we've gone hard on our own.

If we who wish to evangelize the entire world are ever going to gain serious footing in the realm of effective outreach, it will not be first found in raising funds, developing tactics, nor doing effective research.  None of these.  It will be because we first take a good look at ourselves, drop our ego-accusations toward brothers and sisters, and admit that our personal sin nailed the perfect Son to the most ugly Cross.

What I like about personal guilt is that it reminds me to dismount from my church high-horse.

Friday, October 16, 2015


Fear can be like cholesterol; there's the good and, too, there's the bad.  What is there about threatening, intimidating fear that would have any value?  Oh, so much!

Fear awakens us to our complete inadequacy.  This is ultra-important for, otherwise, we will assume ourselves independent; not in need of God nor of others.  This discouraging factor reminds us of how much we need assistance.  Our Lone Ranger mode will not pass the tests for eventually we are overwhelmed.

What I like personally about fear is that just about the time I begin to think I've got a handle on life, fear puts me in my place as quickly as any factor.  Fear serves papers which states that failure lurks and we better have something Larger-Than-Life leading the way into this battle of whatever moment.

I guess what I like best about fear is that it serves as a trigger-point to prompt me to remove my eyes from the lower fret to heights of the higher blessings.  Regardless of how lonely one feels or how miserable one is, fear simply loses impact when we are reminded that Jesus obliterated the greatest display it thought it possessed; that of finalizing death.

What I like about fear?  It lost.

Thursday, October 15, 2015


We must never miss the glory of one moment.  Not. One. Moment.

Even in moments of devastation, I know this sounds so odd to one's way of thinking, there is gold in them thar hills.  Our neglect of this zone just may be one of our biggest mistakes.  We tend to miss some of life's greatest wonder by assuming struggle is of no value.

Could it be that misery could open us to life's greatest wonder?  Embedded within every setback is a significantly available revelation.  We must try to learn to never waste a good problem for within such is buried new concepts of discovery as well as potential.  Even Thomas Edison made awesome discoveries due to repeated failures.

When encountering disruption, one can applaud or pout; be inspired or be angry.  It is a choice.  What I like about things that don't go right is that in each of these settings is opportunity for us to learn about the workings of God.  Even His Son learned obedience through the things he suffered.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015


I am a despised and hated man.  Of course I'm dearly loved so many; but that first statement is no exaggeration.  Those in my field get it.  Some can't stand me because I am a pitiful failure in things of God...and they are so right.  Others?  They despise me because I don't agree with their doctrine.

One in my shoes constantly faces a very strange, often painful, terrain.

What I like about all of my enemies (and I have many) is that they are, indeed, dear and wonderful and treasured.  I will no longer be duped to hate them back.  Neither will I return sneer for sneer.  The  scene of Jesus on the Cross shows me who I truly am...nothing....more nothing than any one of my critics.

What I like about my enemies is that if they could see themselves from the viewpoint of the Cross they, too, would drop there stones of judgment.  It took me a long time so see it for my own life.  Their revelation will come to them.....and I will honestly, definitely, intentionally love them as they make that freeing trek.

What I like about my enemies is that what I receive from them negatively is what I've noticed I tend to give to others.  Wonderfully, then, my enemies are merely mirrors of myself.  The bottom line is that if we don't love even our enemies, we are far more in error than another we wish to accuse.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015


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

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

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

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

Sunday, October 11, 2015


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

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

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

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

Saturday, October 10, 2015


Faith is the strongest form of rebellion.

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

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

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

Friday, October 09, 2015


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

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

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

Do we have a plan?

Yes.  Yes we should.  Yes we do.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, October 06, 2015


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, October 05, 2015


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

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

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

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

Saturday, October 03, 2015


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, October 02, 2015


Oh, I know the grammar of this title is not the best.  Yet the point is what I'm after. Ron Hall and Denver Moore's great book, What Difference Do It Make?, perpetuates this morning's post.  Does God make any difference?  If so, what?

God makes a life-changing, life-sustaining, life-moving difference.

However, truth seems to be, God has been lost within and among His very own creation.  We have taken over from here.  We are doing our best to run the show.  And while there surely are great moments of victory, every person lives under the umbrella of discouragement and dark times.  There is no exception.

So....if a person is to yield to the God-concept, what difference would it make?  Is there supposed to be a difference?

I love knowing and working with God.  Here's some of the difference I see.  Because of His kind of faith--not the boring church kind that so many experience--there is an entirely new kind of life at our disposal.  Like what, Terry?

Faith believes that what isn't yet can become.  This helps me help any who are bummed; even feeling hopeless.  Jobs can end.  Couples may quarrel.  Dreams temporarily fade.  Hopes can be found dented....if not wrecked.  But faith has the courage to stare right into the center of any demise and believe that life can once again become real.

If and when one believes that Jesus arose from the dead...a live man died, was buried, and then came back to life...then such faith applied to any discouraging setting we face has reason for secure hope.

So many love life as long as it is pleasing.  What I love about faith is that if the moment isn't pleasing, there truly is an invisible power to transform such into fruitful, valuable time.  Because of the legitimacy of faith, even the darkest of days are pregnant with reason to believe that new possibilities can arise from the ashes of destruction.

Faith in the talented, skillful God is what makes the difference.  Not our ingenuity. Not our do-goodness nor our be-goodness.  Our active, functioning, creative God is the one who defies the brain-storm of the flesh.  God can make what isn't become.

What difference do God make?  He can take the celebrity or the homeless man or woman who are severely discouraged and lift them to a higher quality life.  It's fascinating to me.  Life isn't dependent on us getting things accomplished and keeping them operating at full steam.

Life is dependent on the Spirit of God for it is our inner spirits that face agony; not our elbows.  And the Spirit of God lives...yes work within us in order to get us through the rough terrain.

That's....a part of the difference God makes.

Thursday, October 01, 2015


Jesus is the Savior of the world.  He is our hope.  He is our strength; our life.

To follow him has somehow, over the years, been redefined to joining a church and being considerate to a neighbor when we can.  Coupled with such a calling it can be noticed, too, that taking up our cross has unraveled; either somewhat or greatly.

Instead, demanding our personal comfort plays a bigger role than possibly any of us can imagine.

The masked blessing is that somehow a tremendous strength in the Kingdom of God remains front and center; that of suffering.  Struggle is a life-providing factor. Resistance, as in weights at the gym, are not hindrances; but rather are health inducers.  We must continually perceive interruption and interference as deeply meaningful.

Therefore, I do not speak of poor me-ism.  I do address the inherent nature of the simplest faith-walk of dying for others that they might come to life.  This dying to self has been/is being regarded more like torture; not blessing.  Thus, it is being greatly masked from the sheer power dynamic intended by our God.

When the Word calls us to serve Him it is consistently couched in the strength of resurrection power; II Cor. 1:9, II Cor. 13:4, and Phil. 3:10.  This blessing of power beyond imagination is being masked by an innate fear.  We don't like discomfort.

We will want to evaluate our approach to God's liveliest system on earth.  This may seem weird.  It can feel all wrong.  But to give up our lives that others may come to life is not only rewarding, it really is effective and fulfilling.

Unmask the blessing.  Sacrifice that others have a good day!