Saturday, June 24, 2017

MIGHT WE NEED TO CHANGE OUR INNER PASSWORD?

I don't know how to say what I'm about to say--what I want to say--to you at this very moment.  Believe me.  My (com)passion is charged and ready to express in deep meaning the value that I see in you and how much I believe that each is basically unaware of your own profound depth of wonder.

Mankind is stripped of its potential because Satan's original work in the Garden divided us.  Oh, I don't mean that such division is merely one against another.  No, I mean that we entered a zone where we are divided against ourselves.  We want to be effective; yet, find ourselves plagued with failing moments.  We desire to really be alive only to spend far too much time in dread of a day or an event or of a person.

This is why faith enters the picture.  It is a warrior against fear for fear still wants to be the Boss.  That's what happened to Adam and Eve.  They simply became afraid....and many have never gotten over what we inherited from them.  Yet Jesus, at our rebirth, very much does reopen one's potential and possibility in a whole new power display.

From Princess to Pauper, we are all the same; wanting to be more than we are and blinded to our own positive dynamic at any given moment.  Don't misunderstand.  I'm not promoting rude self-centeredness.  But rather, I'm wishing to draw out an inner confidence embedded within us by the intentional design of the Holy Spirit of God.

Individuals do not grasp just how deeply wonderful they/you are.  Thus, we perpetually thirst for something more without realizing we are currently and valuably very much, very sharp, very effective, and very meaningful.  This is not to brush against one's ego; but rather, to dip into His Supply.  So how do we reverse this mistaken daily tendency of missing His glory within our very own interior?

Realize that we are all the same.  When I was entering the sales world as a 20-something, before I seriously entered into ministry, I was highly intimidated by any of slightest power.  How many times I heard from my colleagues, Hey, they all put their pants on one leg at a time.  But this didn't help...and I failed.

When I eventually entered into ministry, I was plagued by the very identical insecurity.  This is a part of the reason that it wasn't until my senior segment of Preaching School that I was sent out into area churches to preach (while all other students began such an experience in their sophomore term).  I.  Couldn't.  Do.  It.

I was scared.  Fear drove my every day.  But little by little, I gained confidence in Him.  I never gained confidence in myself (to this day).  Yet, the key was increasing in assurance of His absolute presence and His productivity.  I actually began to believe; to trust God.  Count.  Me.  In.

My burden for you is that I believe that every person on earth battles insecurities galore.  This, then, carries an inner defense mechanism within our thinking that goes unchecked.  We refuse to learn new ways for we are protecting what little security we dare think we possess.  We take the talent He gives us and we hide it.  We hoard it for fear that it, too, will diminish.

Often we balk at the very idea of just trying.  This very practice reduces blessings for those in your path as well as your own potential ones for you would rather play life safe.  There is nothing safe about this for it is robbing you of the real you.  This is your personal Thief.

Whether you are my friend or are my foe, I cheer you on.  Dare to open up your heart to your dreams and imaginations.  Quit playing it safe.  Refuse to hide within your manageable schedules and controlled talents.  Explore.  Dream.  Imagine.

And then....dare to step out of your comfort zone and into His.  Nothing in life has us trapped by enemy pursuants but what God cannot part your Red Sea and provide a way of escape into the unknown wonder of your very own Promised Land!

Change your inner password from I'MAFRAIDI'LLFAIL to GODLET'SGOFORTHEVICTORY.


Thursday, June 22, 2017

PUSH BY FAITH

What kind of spiritual exertion are we to....well....exert anyway?  I reference our walk with God.  Is it all up to Him?  Or, all up to us?  Shared responsibility?  I send a bit of ponderment your direction for consideration.

Christians are to do work in the kingdom.  Yet, there's a subtle distraction that seems to undermine the theme of working.  We seem to transfer or translate such self-effort as if we are viewing our Bibles as a place to put our invisible savings stamps so that, when we get the book (the Bible) full, we can hope that we are saved.

This is the work-side that comes off as humanistic earning power with the hopes of persuading God that we could/should enter Heaven on that Day.  Aren't you impressed God?  See what we have done?

Yet, of course, Father puts a twist and a challenge into the biblical word work.  We are very much anticipated by Him that we will work in the Kingdom.  He wants it.  We want it.  That settles it.

Not quite.

Work is not knocking so many doors setting up Bible studies, per se.  Work is not attending church three times a week in hopes finding an Eternal Pass awaiting at Heaven's gate.  Neither is work an involvement in ministry which gives self the appearance of Kingdom connection.

These are to be questioned for one simple reason.  One can do these things without having any trust in God.  Many are in the church who know their place to sit; but do not have a relationship with the One.  Much labor goes on within and for the church which may be exercises of one's will without confidence in the Spirit that He would be engaged in any part of walk.

Not so strangely, all of the efforts above may also be mighty and powerful in content as well as effort.  The difference is, again, whether the work that we are doing is on the God-plane.  That plane?  Faith.  Faith is the work that we are required by God to do.  Without faith...without a working faith...our works are dead in their tracks.  Without faith in Him, we are possibly pursuing life in the church with faith in our own brain and brawn.

They said therefore to him, "What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?"  Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent."  John 6:28-29

The work that we are to do is to believe in Jesus.  This is the work requirement.  Without this commitment we will be a people who serve without prayer-prep.  We will reach out with little expectation of Jesus' participation.  Too, our walk will be undermined by distraction--easily disturbed--because we have developed a ritual of church activity rather than a confidence in the very Spirit of Christ.  There.  Is.  A.  Difference.

May we be a people who push into our communities with the labor-intensity of the Spirit's highly productive leadership, provision, and backing.  May we be wowed at what He gets done with, in, and through us.  Yet, we will always be sensitive to the truth that He is the One doing the work....not our best foot forward.

Our defining work is to believe that God works.


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

GARAGE SALE AT MY HOUSE FRIDAY!!!

For all in the Tulsa area, we are having a garage sale Friday, June 23, starting at 8:00.

  • Exercise equipment
  • Antique signs
  • Tools
  • Table
  • And lots of etc. stuff
10% of proceeds go to Mary!

2636 E. 18th St., Tulsa

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

FAITH MAKES NO EARTHLY SENSE

Maybe three decades ago, I wrote a book; The Holy Spirit Makes No Earthly Sense.  The meaning of the title is that one will never learn of the Spirit of God using earthly measurements.  No, these would need to be spiritually evaluated.  The title alone caused a stir within the church.  Some were irritated by the sheer fact that I believed the Holy Spirit works in our lives.  And, then, others were upset as they thought that I was saying that the Spirit made no sense in any realm.

So today I still say that the Spirit does not fit the 1 + 1 = 2 mindset of human efforts as if such  equals a basic formula for kingdom living.  What is required is a very unique territory known as faith.  Otherwise we are simply a batch of humanistic minds trying to make church work from earthage rather than from the heavenlies.  Our bodies will one day succumb to injury or disease or age.  Our spirits are the eternal portion of each of us.  Thus, we give attention to such a key element of....our us-ness.

The spirit world is in each of us, among each of us, and very much to be involved with all of us.  What is to be expected, then, in this zone which is the spirit side of us?

For one thing, we need to be aware that our flesh will strive to be boss of our spirit.  It will try to weigh godly Truth from the mindset of what would be regarded as normal and obvious thinking.  Faith, though, is not normal.  Faith believes that what isn't can still become.  Faith sees into the invisibles which blows the mind of the flesh.  As a matter of fact, the flesh can't tolerate this paragraph.  The flesh-mind resents what the spirit-mind strives to believe.

One's spirit, then, engages poles apart from the flesh.  The flesh is willing to attend church; but it doesn't want to pray.  You can't make it pray.  It doesn't want to learn new landscapes and regions of the Word and it most certainly does not want to be uncomfortable.  Ultimately, it is terrified of dying to self that others might be blessed.

The flesh is self-ish while the spirit is self-giving.  The flesh fights to preserve self at the very center.  Yet, the spirit goes to school in order to learn how to give itself away for the needs of others.

The spirit wants to spend time in prayer, learn how to love enemies, become enthusiastic over giving of our money, and finally it wants to grow in freedom to reach to the world around us without being so paralyzingly self-critical.  There is no enemy to our spirit as large and monstrous as our fleshly approach to thinking which tends to hold us captive.

We incarcerate ourselves all the while complaining as if someone else did the arresting.  Others are never our main trouble.  Our interiors--the mind of the flesh or the mind of the spirit--set the course for our every day.  The former is captivity while the latter if freedom.  We.  Get.  To.  Choose.

Faith makes no earthly sense.  It makes much heavenly sense.  As the grave being empty still creates doubt in the flesh-minds who just can't believe it, that empty grave sets a believer's heart on fire for God because we operate more from the Spirit of God than our own lower-life thinking.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

I'M ENTERING THE YOUTH GROUP OF OLD AGE

Tomorrow--June 18th--I am to turn 70 years old.  Since 30 sounded old when I was 23, you might imagine how old I thought 70 was way back then!  But it's sorta weird in a good-weird sorta way, that age seems to somehow grow on us with time.

I feel certain that my 70 isn't nearly as old as my grandparent's 70s.  I mean, mines much younger in feel, in attitude, and in....well, in most everything.  I do recall a gradual moving of my expectation factor when playing baseball in the Cardinal camps.  Beginning at age 36 and finishing at age 69, there was a trending away from actually catching the ball to feeling joyful that I could at least see the ball coming....and watching it go by.

Seeing had become key.  Who needs reflexes anyway?

Admittedly, 70 does sound old.

My agility has somewhat crystallized.  I never saw the day coming when I would need to sit down so that I could think on my feet.  And hey, young people, you know that country sound along the creek banks on a summer's night where you get to hear the humming of the locusts and grinding of the crickets?  Well, about age 60 or so, God implants both of those sounds directly inside of your ears and you get to enjoy a summer evening out all day long...everyday...all year long...really.

Regarding driving a car, I've noted that some people just don't respect my sudden change of lanes.  And green lights?  Yellow?  I've upgraded.  They are now the same to me sorta like slow down or stop.  Slow down works just as well and, frankly, saves a lot of time at intersections.  And, being the considerate man that I still am, my moving on through in yellow/reddish simply allows the lady behind me a sooner turn.  Just call me thoughtful.

One more thing.  I've noticed that as we age, others around us seem to become more confused.  They have incredible imaginations remarking that I already told them certain things...several times already.  They are obviously confused....yet I do a nice job of rolling with their absurd suggestions.  They can't help it.

So for now, 78 sure does sound old to me!  Yep, that's most likely the actual and true over-the-hill number!  Right now I 'm merely entering the youth group of old age.

Friday, June 16, 2017

DO YOU HAVE YOUR OWN DAILY BOG?

I ask, do you have your own daily bog?  At first glance, some might have thought that I meant to say blog; not bog.  But...not the case.

My question is whether you have those matters which bog you down day after day?  You know, those words, or deeds, or actions that knock the wind out of your sails?  Perhaps you set out for a time of anticipated wonder only to encounter a grump or a pessimist or and infraction by those around you...or....your own grumpy, pessimistic, infractionary disposition?  Either way, our balloon moments may encounter deflation.

So how do we negotiate a daily bog?  Philippians 4:4-9.  Oh, I know.  You've heard this before.  Yes.  And you'll need to continue to ponder it for daily bogs require daily mindsets upon all that is going right in our world in order to stay up.  Bogglism is always awaiting in the wings to drain your momentum.

Upbeat and forward moving is the stronger option.  This never pivots off of how things are going.  No, upbeat and forward consistently derives from how we choose to think.  Will we sink because of challenges before us?  Or, shall we choose to use these very intimidating struggles as stepping stones to an even higher walk?  Get behind me, bog!

Today is filled with potential, encouragement, and participatory awe.  Enter in.  Don't just wish it was so for you.  Claim it.  Expect it.  Live it.


Thursday, June 15, 2017

WHY SHOULD WE UNSPELL "UNTIED"?

Division has become a way of life.  Not to be neglectful, there are those issues which such would seem necessary.  But truthfully, it appears that very much damage is being done in the name of stances taken against other stances.  In addition, I wonder just where people as myself have fueled it without thorough thought.  Have we/are we experiencing a time-warp of intense multi-level separations which are both unnecessary and avoidable?

The political and religious compartments among us are two potential sources of enormous strength and pressure-relieving harmony.  Yet, I hardly believe that their potential is recognized as such; but rather are perceived as contesting forces within their particular zones of seeking advancement and service.  Even the dear term of family has been hacked with terms of separation, abuse, and selfishly individualistic demands.  Pride reigns in all three of the aforementioned categories.

Admittedly, there is such room for improvement right where I live and serve.  That's why I even know what to address here.  Long before Facebook, mankind was hitting like or avoiding hitting it only upon the simple basis of preference.  Preference will not take us into the rough spots of society.  Neither will it win the enemy.  We are called to do both.

Should any be fatigued over a few of the politicians' (and news pundits') sarcasm toward the other side, we just as well confess that churches are hitting our communities with identical thread.  Suspicion and hatred are fruits of our self-serving, self-promoting bias which demands microphone time.  Neither political party has mastered the escalating challenges of states and counties and cities.  None of we churches have captured the entire range of Truth; although competing tribes verify such a mission has been accomplished within our own narrow context.  In both cases, society loses.

We will ever be encouraged to learn the steps of Jesus; not in biastistic plans of salvation, but in walking toward the hurting and the confused and the lost?  Might we grow...up?  May we set out on any and every given day fully aware of flaws...major flaws that need correction...our flaws (not "theirs", not some of "them"; but m-i-n-e as well).

If we could unspell u-n-t-i-ed (meaning that we refuse to be linked in harmony) and rearrange the very same letters then just maybe a new word would have a chance among us; u-n-i-t-e-d.  We can do this.  To make progress, the route of Jesus is the only way... and that way is to humble ourselves in the sight of the Lord.






Wednesday, June 14, 2017

DO NOT BE DISTRACTED BY BEWILDERMENTICITY

I have a daily routine.  It isn't necessarily a matter of following an order nor a procedure.  Neither is it conducive for monitoring impact.  Tangibility it most certainly is not.  My routine is to watch for and to believe that every person in my connectivity range needs encouragement.  There is no exception.

Person hood takes a beating.  We are beaten by forces from the exterior.  Yet, some of the most vicious are the mean ones within our interior.  Be certain.  Be reminded.  Every person, regardless of race, sex, or stature, needs a river of assurance flowing their way.

If we refuse to accept this platform, our personal insecurities go to waste.  At this juncture all one can do is mainly lick our own wounds.  Truthfully, this is not our calling.  Self is not our main interest.  Anyone other than self is.  I've heard it said that if you can't help yourself, you can't help others.  That may have a ring of wisdom; but it is exactly backwards to the Kingdom system.

When we attend to others, our own ills lessen in this deeply spiritual process.  And note, discouragement, frustration, anxiety, etc. are marks of one's spirit; not one's physical attributes.

I have this habitual ability to get distracted by my own maze of bewildermenticity.  I want things to go well.  Really.  But it is the not going well that is paving the road to meaningful and useful participation upon the life-scale of losing self by placing greater value in others.

I am to turn 70 years old Sunday.  I am still fighting this confidence bear.  How long is this going to go on?  It appears that it will continue as long as there are people around me who need a cheerleader.  Our presentations are not backed by our dollars nor by our accomplishments.  The hurting aren't up for our personal rehearsal of grandeur.  No, our value is what we learn from the biting, even stinging, stirring of balloon-puncturing disappointments and ugly failures.

These moments of seeming mishaps connect with others.  They do.  The very thing we don't believe we want (and spend enormous energy and focus trying to kill off) is the exact place we are to fruitfully hurt.  Believe me.  No, believe God.  There is a reason that Jesus is known as the Suffering Servant.  Suffering is what Servants do to reach the whole world.

This has been an IMPORTANT REMINDER.  Never quit!  Never be distracted by bewildermenticity.


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

DO YOU PRAY YET?

It's interesting how emotionally engaged we can all be in one or many areas of church life.  We enter into studies; both group and private.  Our knack for helping others is applaudingly noble.  It would seem that, for the most part, the vast majority of our members care about the direction and effectivity of the church.  Yet, there appears to be a gap in our walk which isn't Rocket Science.  It the participation and practice of prayer.

This does not reflect well upon my walk, but I went through a Preaching School and out the other side without giving prayer much of a look.  Oh, believe me, we studied about and believed in it.  I just didn't do it.  Prayer?  Would you be ashamed of me if I told you that I didn't like it?

Later I would hear of highly effective men and women who seemed to do extraordinary work while being most ordinary themselves.  I don't know if it would have been a sermon(s) I heard or a book(s) I read or a leading of the Spirit....or a combination of these.... but prayer began to become real in practice rather than a dull and obligatory expectation.

What changed it all?  One major component thrust me into a hunger for prayer rather than a time to take my spiritual medication which tasted badly.  When I saw that thankfulness was a central player in the relationship process of/with God, my prayer life was converted.  Thanksgiving for what He has done, is doing, and will do is a gravitational pull toward the activities arranged in Heaven.

I'm not saying that such a trek is the solution to all non-praying individuals.  I do offer at least this one possible solution of thanksgiving.  My concern is that we walk in the midst of highly-engaged, strongly-opinionated members of the church who are resistant to the heartbeat of the Spirit.  God longs for our interaction with Him as Father; not as Boss.

We walk with Him and we talk with Him.  Remember?  Prayer is where we connect, not just for okaying a meal before us; but, by carrying on a Father/son, Father/daughter walk...us down here...and Him down here with us in Spirit form.

Do you pray yet?  If so, then awesome!  If not, maybe practicing telling Him how thankful you are for all of the wonder in life might bring about a change that you've wanted for some time now.  It can happen.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

HOW SHALL WE APPROACH OUR DAY OF WORSHIP?

Sundays are gigantically awesome, amazing, and mighty!  They are especially that one day of seven where we band together to raise our voices in praise and delight of Him; our living Creator/Sustainer God.  Robust.  Heart-engaged.  Beyond hesitancy, visible praise will be offered up.

Yet, this isn't the case for too much of, at least, the American version of church.  In far too many hearts, intimidation reigns.  We have developed an unintended promotion of lethargy toward giving our all because decent and in order was precisely what the fearful and the controlling needed to become their foundational stance.  Decent and in order has always been the habit of God; but such a command was never given to the Pharisess that it would be their bully pulpit.

Go ahead.  Point to the wild and crazy emotionalism that may be over the edge.  Warn us.  Give us what for when we raise our voices, lift our hands, applaud instead of just amen.

Two things are happening with this guarded position which is offered in the name of truth...but isn't truth:

     1.  We are killing the imaginations of our children.  These little ones among us will not develop a taste for the outrageous possibilities of the heavenlies if what we do most is patrol the pews for acceptable humanistic behavior during church.  Such behavior of which I speak is that inner law that the older ones possess as to what's allowed and what's not in a church building that was never (the building that is) authorized by scripture in the first place.

     2.  The second thing happening is that we have sent missionaries into the foreign territories for years; not with the news of Jesus, but with the proper ways to do church...our various brands of church.

What happens when these two things go on is that spirits are quenched.  Inner drive to imagine and explore potential in the Spirit of God, by the Spirit of God, are buried so deeply within our people that it takes a heaven-quake to bring them back.  The good news is that heaven-quakes are happening!

So I mean to cheer you on.  Please....don't just attend worship today....but worship.  Applaud Him.  Brag about Him.  Salute Him.  Talk to Him.  Wake up church!  We have a God to honor...again!!!

GO.  FOR.  IT.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

GUARD YOUR HEARTS AND YOUR MINDS IN JESUS

Would you think we live in a demanding time?  We are surely an on-the-go crowd.  From one appointment to the next meeting, we hardly have time to remember what just happened for we must focus upon what is about to happen.  Add to this the upkeep for all of the things around us like, homes, cars, people, and jobs (just for starters) and it's no wonder we feel breathless and out of shape.

So I wish to speak a word of caution to my friends.  Be on guard that you might experience the real life Jesus intends; rather than a surface life that evaporates by the demands of the next, and the next, and the next calendaric event.

Things, including over-scheduling, are draining our hearts dry.  It's unusual, don't you think, that we struggle to think about right now because we are distracted by what has been plus what will be?  I speak not as if the latter two don't matter.  The caution comes in flagging down your speed-traffic of hurriedness that you inadvertently bypass the glory of His wonder at the moment.

Therefore, I would encourage you to possibly make progress in one key area.  Don't tackle the demands and wonders of a day without first consulting Father regarding our praise and glory toward Him for His sheer existence.  A praise-less person is on a course of emptiness.  A praise-full individual, though, experiences abundance moment by moment.

We have a world to reach for God.  Experience the marvel of allowing Him to extend you beyond your clocks and your calendars.  See the person you are visiting.  Hear their words.  Don't rush past the glory of the moment so that in the simplest of situations....you can both see and hear.  What an exciting two traits to possess!!

Thursday, June 08, 2017

REACHING THE PINNACLE OF POWER

We tend to not think about where, why, or even if we are a powerful people.  Oh, it isn't that we don't desire it; don't dream of being such.  But, I think that few ever realize their arrival.  I know for certain that even fewer know how to get there.  So, let's discuss how one reaches the pinnacle of power.

This is weird; the approach to hitting upon our individual dynamics, I mean.  The peak of our power is always found in our lack of it.  Only God would prescribe such a fundamentally backward and awkward platform.  One's most heaviest strength is never the truest in our best foot forward; but is always found within our frailest convictions of the mind.

Why is this?  The answer is simply because God has called each of us to love others, build up others, encourage others, etc.  Why would these others be in need of love or building or encouragement?  Because.  They.  Are.  Down.  We cannot possibly understand how these truly feel unless we have been there ourselves...beforehand.  Our greatest weapon to assist a down-and-out friend is for us to totally understand where they are coming from BECAUSE WE HAVE BEEN THERE!

Otherwise, we nod our heads uh-huh while being basically clueless as to how to listen; how to help.  The great need within mankind day by day is hope.  And, how exactly did God figure our hopelessness?  He became like us in human form in order to gain experiential understanding.  That's the trail we follow.  This is why we are ever effective at ministry.  We suffer with our friends in order to be of genuine assistance.  Having answers is found within the very center of not knowing all of the answers.

Reaching the pinnacle of power is not in accomplishment.  It is in going to school in the hard times; struggling in the harsh reality, which moves us to being Kingdom useful.  The great biblical stories of God are where His people were stranded (even stumped) in weakness only to watch Him unfold incredible drama of outrageous success.

You are your most powerful at the very point you likely resist the most day after day; your clueless, weak, inability to see how you could be of any value at all.  Wake up to the wonder of God in yourself.  It doesn't come with gold and glitter; with large marquee and billboard of attentive self-praise.  No.  Your secret weapon is the very thing you wish you didn't have.  Your.  Own.  Lack.




Wednesday, June 07, 2017

CREATIVE: IT'S WHO WE ARE BECAUSE IT'S WHO GOD IS

One of the noticeable differences between organized religion versus abundant life is that the former drifts toward shutting down in preservation while the latter draws toward opening up via imagination.  This has been, is, and will forever be our earth-bound challenge.  Will we live robustly or shall we cower?  Shall we hope or shall we die?

The standard of Jesus is neither whimsical nor indifferent.  His wisdom is absent from every man-made, man-driven, man-controlled chart.  The life of the Spirit of God has no equal.  Remarkable!  Highest of intelligence!  Greatest in possibility!  The masses who yet know no God cannot afford for the religious to toy with church.

We must be set free.  The choir (as in preaching to the) seems to consistently need the nudge of the Spirit to imagine what can be for large regions of what isn't yet.  Believers are seers.  We see lack and envision provision.  We note rejection; yet, pursue acceptance.  Trusting God insists that we will not give up.  We will not give up our mission nor will we give up on people....whose dear hearts are our mission....that with one voice we may gain momentum in offering praises to Him.

Nothing turns our eye from the goal of believing that more of the very ones who imply they have little interest in God can one day join the team of His proclaimers.  This has happened to many of us who had no intention of being a part of a church only to find ourselves in the midst of leading within.  Weird, huh?  Such is the case for me.

Law abiding church kills the drive because it arrests the imagination.  Such ones take a very weird stand.  These are not driven to do what is right; but live under the timidity of getting things wrong.  Therefore, I join a chorus of other voices to say, Dream.  Imagine.  Think.  Wonder.  Dare.  Try.  Risk.  Pursue what isn't yet.  The world awaits for the people of God to look like, act like, feel like we are actually newer today than we were yesterday.

Look at God.  He created the heavens and the earth.  That was a good day's work.  Oh, and then He noted the need for form.  Oh, next He saw the need for light.  Ooops, God developed apple trees and carrots evidently realizing a few hours later He didn't have any people around to eat them.  So here comes Adam and Eve and we are off!!!

Creativity is the very heart of God.  There is more damage done by my fear than my effort.  Faith functions by what isn't.  This is the very eyesight of the congregation.  What can be seen in the invisible is the very location of heavenly productivity.  The Cross was key.  The work done by the Spirit overnight behind the scenes in the tomb continues to shatter man's obsession to try to do life according to our very crippled and handicapped concepts of how we think life should unfurl.

May we gain momentum as we perpetually learn to come out from our hiding in safety in order that the latest seekers up and down our streets might get their chance to run into the wildest kind of hope ever!!!







Tuesday, June 06, 2017

HOW TO MAKE IMMEDIATE UPGRADE TO OUR OUTLOOK

The spiritual side of you/me just cannot be ignored.  Go ahead.  Try.  Focus only on the bank accounts and the progress reports and the touchy relationships.  Devote yourself to expanding your territory.  Join the driven market for more and then more to the point that one becomes convinced that enough is never enough.  Trade sarcasm for insult.  Believe that the world's troubles are always due to someone else.  This is what the flesh gets us.

Or, awaken to the truth that we are very much spiritual participants.  Exhilaration?  Depression?  Enthusiasm?  Joy?  Sadness?  Peace?  These are spiritual matters.  Daily matters.  Every individual matters.  All of these are of the heart; the spirit side of us.

Outlook, on the surface, may seem to be the visible; the tangible.  But it isn't.  It begins with the opposite.  Invisible and intangible are all about the spirit side of men and women.  Outlook is not a quarterly report of a success ledger.  Rather it is very much the flexibility of feelings; emotions and insights.

What excites me is that we are able to make perpetual upgrade.  The process is quite simple.  And, the progress is magic.

We are to live in the emotion of thanksgiving.  The flesh gets moody.  It likes and it doesn't like.  The Spirit, however, is able to admit the frustration or discouragement; but is assured that wonder is going on in the midst of each obstacle.  This is reality.  The flesh doesn't buy it.  And...the flesh is only happy on the up days; not the down.

To make an immediate upgrade on your outlook; engage in the spiritual discipline of being thankful for what the flesh would deem as successful as well as the unsuccessful.  Our effectivity is dependent upon our ability to know that each moment contains life-offering hope to others.  Jesus would have no story of coming back to life if he hadn't been killed.  The Apostle Paul would never have had the report of the jail falling down if he hadn't first been unfairly mistreated and arrested.

This upgrade changes the way we pray.  At first, I only prayed because I was expected to...I was the preacher.  But it was boring and fruitless and I didn't care for it.  But when I began to tell God everyday and everyday and everyday Thank You! for every pro and con, positive and negative, up and down moment, the world began to open for me.  Life began to actually fit!

How to make an immediate upgrade to our outlook is to look into the very center of our problems and note that even these are carriers of God's wonder just waiting to burst upon the scene.  Cry when we must...for we do take our turns...yet always be assured that such a moment is a vital bit of forward progress for your personal walk with the Eternal One.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

WE MUST NOT WASTE A BAD DAY

Today's thought is very key for your walk right now.  We are groomed by God for sympathy toward others.  He calls us.  And then He trains us.  The world doesn't need our criticism.  Neither does it need our rehearsals of their short-falls and long-disappointments.  These get us nowhere.  Our call is for the purpose of outreach toward others...many others...for they need words from someone who has gone through similar grinder.

That's why Jesus is so good at what he does; who he is.

Hebrews 2:14-18 is a place that pulls us into understanding of exactly why our stresses and difficulties are useful.  Make special note of He had to be made like his brethren in all things.  And then 4:15-16 continues the thread of how it is that he gets what it's like being us.  For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in all things as are we, yet without sin.  Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need.  

Jesus went through the rejection, the suffering, the sheer let-downs because he was on mission to find out what it was like to be a human.  Once he got the picture he could then be effective in rescue.  He had on-the-jobsight training. This.  Is.  Us.  Today.

We do not go through tough times simply because life is rough.  No, because these have powerful significance.  We must not waste a bad day.  What we do is turn that which attempts to shut us down on its head.  We win it into productive submission.  We use it--the hurt, the pain--to help others; just as did Jesus as he perpetually helps us.  And why?  Because all around us are awesome people who've just about had it with injury and obstacle.

Even those who behave with intent of hurting us will only serve to strengthen us because we will learn how the others in our circles feel.  It is here that we will be of useful purpose.  Jesus teaches us how to make a difference....just like he did.  This is called ministry.

We must not waste a bad day.  Jesus didn't.  He used the agony of the Cross and the numbing death of the Grave to wow the world!  May we reach the whole world!


Saturday, June 03, 2017

SO....WHAT'S THE FOLLOW-UP TO DEVASTATION?

Yesterday's post was simply an honest revelation that we all have our days; even those of us in the public eye.  That's precisely how and why I know how to reach to others because I know what's going on within for oh so many.

But there is always a follow-up.  And that's one reason I dare write about the struggling side; my struggling side.  We are us.  Mark it down!  We are!  And we will have those times where we are found to be like Peter coasting along as he marvelously walked atop of the lake.  Eventually, he began to sink because he saw the turbulence all around.

Jesus had to walk out there and get him!

This we can always know.  Just as there are very real days where we wonder why we even try, we can be equally assured that Jesus is the Yes in the very midst of every storm.  This isn't pretense.  It isn't Pollyanna philosophy.  It is where we live.  This is one of those places we must practice looking for the Spirit of God to walk up to us with perfect assistance.

So...what is the follow-up to devastation?  Assurance.  Assurance that will not/cannot come from within even the best of self.  But just as Jesus lifted Peter to survival, Jesus, from within my many friends, lifted.  I was so sick that I had inadvertently unleashed money-prowlers upon my readers that I was ashamed and grieved.  You know it.  I wasn't fearful of the ability for most of you to make a determination.  No, it was toward those whose would be blind-sided by scammers.

As usual, however, I knew the Spirit would lift when I felt I was sinking.  It was a Yes all along.  Not all Yeses feel like Yeses at the time.  That's when we operate by faith.  Thank you for standing with me.  Today we move forward remaining focused ON REACHING THE WHOLE WORLD!

Yay us!  Yay Spirit!

Friday, June 02, 2017

WHY I'M DEVASTATED TODAY

I've written about this recently...and it's not improving.

I'm quite hesitant to post this.  Yet, we are real people living in a real world.  It isn't fantasy.  Ours is a mixture of excessive joy coupled with, at times, crushing pain.  Even though I feel exceptionally vulnerable at the moment, I share this with you only to say that I get where you live; your disappointments, your mistakes, your failures on occasion.

I have prayed for forty-two years that God would help me to reach the whole world regarding Him, His Son, and His Spirit.  I've treasured the times of asking Him as well as watching my requests come true time after time.  What a sensational trip!

Recently, though, my dream has run into an abrupt and halting wall.  In my trying to encourage ministers world-wide, a few in third-world countries have hijacked my posts and turned them into self-seeking fundraisers with the appearance that I endorse them.  Through my list they are not reaching to ten or twelve people; but hundreds and hundreds.  I'm hearing from many of you that you are getting unsolicited requests galore.

I'm sorry that I've caused this.

My devastation is that I cannot now befriend another person because some may take these additions and send their notes of Hello...followed by, How is your ministry going?...coupled by, We are very poor and need  funds to my treasured list of dear friends.  I'm receiving like twenty or thirty FB friend requests a day and, now, I believe you are as well.

So I tell you, first, that I'm sorry for any of you that are now targeted by these people because of me.  I just didn't see it coming.  And I feel devastated because what I felt thrilled over as a perfect opportunity to reach the whole world has been hijacked...and now maybe frozen in place.

As I write this...at this very moment...a request came in from a minister (whom I do not know) in Faisalabad.  My heart goes to this one with anguish to cheer him on.  Yet, will this stranger receive my encouragement or will he do as others are and hi-jack my mailing list?  If I weren't putting your name in jeopardy as being targeted, I would sign up for all of them for even the deceivers may want to know of the deep abiding love of Jesus.  I'm certain they will.

There has to be a Yes in this.  I can't see it at the moment; so I shall choose to wait on it.  And while I do not post this to complain nor to feel sorry for myself, I do so to tell you that all of us experience incredibly deep stresses in our various ministries.  I just want you to know that you are not alone.  And it is within these confusing times, we go to school and learn of the workings of God for He's got this one as well.

My sincere apology for FB interruption I may have caused you.  My fault.  I'm crushed.

Thursday, June 01, 2017

THE TREK OF THE CROSS

The Christian path isn't Amusement Park theology.  I don't mean that statement to sound old-fogey-gripey.  Rather I wish to convey that the discipleship with Jesus is of  clearly rugged terrain.  This element is more taught than caught.  I note that we believe this very much....for others.  Yet, we seem to hiccup when it is found to be actually at our doorstep calling for personal engagement.

Have you ever wondered why the fruit of the Holy Spirit?  I mean, why does God wish us to possess this?  Joy?  Patience?  Self-control, etc.?  Why would one need the Spirit to bear this within us when we are quite capable of pulling off each item listed on our own?  Don't we really know how?

The reason is that we eventually cross a line where our self-drive to love, to be of peace, has met its oppositional match and at these points it could very likely be said, We.  Have.  Had.  It.  It takes the Spirit of God to press us into loving the unlovable, to be joyful in distressful moments.  The Spirit is within us to do more than we can do.

The Spirit is enduring.  He forms us in endurance as well.  Empowered by Him, we follow His trek.  Jesus was not only beaten for being the best of the best; but immediately upon being beaten, he was forced to carry his own cross through public square.  Frankly, we might have it within us to bail at much lesser challenges.

Allow me to encourage you.  Why would Jesus insist that we take up the Cross daily?  Every.  Day.  Because we have work to do every day and we cannot--can not--get it done through our positive-thinking, trouble-dodging, happy-desiring obsession to walk a life without conflict.

Therefore, I cheer you on.  Don't give up.  Don't wear out.  But lift your eyes to see the profound demonstration of the Spirit activity played out in the One...named Jesus.