Monday, October 30, 2017


We live in a social setting where danger lurks.  The target is faith.  The danger is that risking conviction has been tossed out while indifference escalates.  Faith (that Jesus died to promote) is not a sweet-Jesus feeling which offers a some sort of Sunday morning soothe.  It is a new theme, a new possibility, an entirely new sort of existence day by learning/growing day.

Why is there a battle going on?  Because faith's value is more precious than gold.  That we believe into the invisible as being genuinely real is under continual siege.  Faith blows the cover to legalistic control and the law-keepers despise it.  Faith transforms the broken and those who fear change detest it.  Faith turns the tables on reality making the seen the temporary and the unseen the eternal.  The hesitant resist it.

Be encouraged, there is a present war embroiling over your potential faith.  To believe what can become that isn't yet is absurd to the controller and fresh air to the dreamer.  The latter treasures our Creative God while the former is devoted to preserving how we got here.  It isn't that many things in our past were not awesome.  It's that in their awesomeness they were setting the stage for the next faith thriller/adventure.

Our past is full of marvel and wonder.  Be not robbed of its thrill.  Yet, its success delivered us to this point to keep the trust in His provision flowing.  We are to appreciate the bravery of those in our history with the awareness that it is now our turn to step up in equal courage to offer the next generation a current, vibrant, and effective faith.

Faith isn't easy.  Its character can be easily kidnapped and bound so that the capturers may peddle a pseudo-faith that offers the activities; but not the personally engaging fruit of believing, dying, and arising.  There is a stern battle for faith going  The warheads are not frightening.  Instead they are socially acceptable.  Indifference is in escalation mode.  Thus, the needed alert. 

Faith wasn't for an hour yesterday (Sunday).  It was for then and it is for your waking moments now.  Win the war.  Step up for service and step out with belief; a faith that thinks that what good isn't yet can still become. 

Win.  The.  War.



Sunday, October 29, 2017


Sunday came!  It's here folks!  No, I'm not kidding!  Sunday is here!

It's a strange admission, but my initiation into the church culture didn't seem to take when it came to my being in awe of God.  I wasn't.  I'm not saying that I wasn't taught it.  But, I soon became devoted to getting church right....which, would have assumed included a high priority of honoring God.

I did offer Him acknowledgment, you know.  Yet, to focus upon Him just to ponder His absolute and deserving wonder?  Umm...not so much.  I was more interested in me; what I liked about church, about serving, about learning my Bible.  Enamourization with God?  Not.  So.  Much.

Because of this, when we sang I wasn't so much attune to the words as I was to whether I liked the tune.  Did I like the personality of the song leader?  Did I like the....I was full of the did I likes.  And where was God in all of this?  

Patiently waiting.

When I entered the privilege of preaching, I was more focused on my performance (using Scripture properly, connecting with the audience) than on Him.  Too, the church placed strong emphasis on getting things right and such was my complete adherence.  And where was God in all of this?  

Patiently waiting.

Over the years I've made strides to improve my attentiveness to God.  This has enhanced my prayer walk because I spend more time bragging on Him to Him due to Him than the rest of my needs content.  I encourage you to give God verbal glory in both prayer and daily conversation.  

To be sold on church is quite different than being sold out to God.  The former can be really good or it can become the god of our engagement-oriented needs.  The latter (sold out) would include our development and our service with the addition that we are to be more conscious of God than any of our works.

Sunday is here!  You'll be blessed by re-forming bonds with your favorites.  Some, like myself, will be equally charged to be introduced to guests whom we've not yet met.  But I cheer you on.  Be first and foremost enamoured with the God of all Creation.  He.  Alone.  Makes.  Life.  Tick.

Thursday, October 26, 2017


In II Corinthians 3:5 the Apostle states that no one is adequate within themselves to consider anything as coming from themselves for our adequacy is from God. 

From.  God.

We inadequate ones tend to believe, even admire, others whom we deem as obviously adequate.  Yet, such is a misnomer.  No one is adequate.  Yes, each has strengths; but all also have vital lack which shows up moment by moment, day by day.

He told us in that same book (10:12) to stop the comparative living; classing ourselves against others to determine how we believe we are doing.  This is a mistake on both sides; esteem or discouragement.  Every person carries a secret dynamic which can only be accredited to faith; power is perfected in weakness (12:9).

Like me, some of you may have wasted much of your life wishing you were more like others.  Yet, that's a cyclical trade-off within all of society...the always wishing we were like someone other than myself.

No person's true efficiency is ever located in any realm other than inadequacy.  This is the signal to God...Welcome...Come on in!!!  From that stage we get to observe Him actually working from within us...because we give Him permission to do so.

Stop the self-criticalization.  Accept the God-secret within.  You are of incredible power...but it will never be where you groom it or control it.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017


Sin is illusive.

Slick in presentation isn't the half of it.  It has an uncanny way of presenting itself to every individual as understandable for ourselves; but vile and rejectable for all others.  Sin presents itself in a way that we can justify hatred toward another(s).  Sin goes blameless while we dis-eased ones rail against one another.

"Theirs" is quickly despicable and damnable while "mine" seems to, somehow, warrant patient understanding.

The longer I live the more I see Jesus.  The more I see Jesus the less I think of me.  My stock seems to go down as His goes up.  The Son of God was beaten to a pulp over the crimes of Terry Rush.  I have nothing to gloat about...except Him.

The blood of Jesus is to be remembered more than a ten minute window at Sunday's communion.  It is to be remembered as the million-dollar price paid for my/our sins.  Communion declares we are all sunk to the lowest common denominator; yet we are all raised to the highest holy status of brotherhood with the Lamb.

If you are quick to judge another for his or her just sinned.  If you are impatient with any other person whom you deem as hypocritical, deem again.  Re-deem.  It is me, it is you, who are first in line to take our judgment based upon God's ideal perspective.  "They" are not the issue before "I" am confessional.

Once we take the beam out of our own eye, it is at that point that we see clearly.  And exactly what is it we are to see?  The Word names the one thing we see; a speck.  We will be notified immediately that what we thought was a glaring beam in another's eye was really us still staring down the plank which is our own.  We just couldn't see around our own.

Once the beam causing personal blindness is removed?  What we will all find in another is a mere speck.

Jesus said this...not me.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017


One of the strongest, most delightful, characteristics of life is movement.  Flexibility is a wonderful factor in old age.  Hands and feet love the idea.  Volume increase is such a blessing for old ears.  Age has such an appreciation for this as well.  Thank you for those who are flexible enough in your speech to speak up!

However, one of the toughest circumstances of life is such movement.  The former is for progress.  The later is  threatened by fear.  Everybody has these elements.  Faith to move along in progress or fear to stay away from danger; each has strong grip.  It's up to our determination as to which one we crown as ruler of our day.

Faith or fear?

Faith requires letting go.  Fear obsesses by clinging.  Faith moves on.  Fear sits home and worries, frets, agonizes...and ultimately cheats us of life-arousing faith.  Faith is mobile.  Fear petrifies.

Faith has to be one fascinating element.  It cannot be controlled by legislation.  Neither can it be regulated by sub-truths presented by our sight information.  Faith is not casual.  Neither is it irresponsible.  Quite the opposite, moving on by faith can be breath-taking and daring.

It is faith that brings life--new life--to our old habits, bossy ruts, and scared colleagues.  Read Hebrews 11.  Wild, crazy, could-not-have-happened...did happen by bold and unexplainable, irrational efforts of common people with an adventurous God.

Moving on...movement...mobility is the profound work of the Holy Spirit of God within every believer.  If you want security, trust in His call; not in your mental survey which often insists that you shut down God's element of glorious surprise.  Moving the mark of a Holy embedded people.

Monday, October 23, 2017


Truth is a major tenet of conservative bent churches.  It's promoted as it should be.  We are each called to know it, believe it, abide by it.  But one must be equally aggressive in refraining from flaunting it for such a stance is the trip-up which falls for hypocrisy. 

In my early days of ministry, my efforts were based upon this concept of Truth.  I assumed that I knew it.  I surely defended what I knew as such was the clarion call of all Bible-packing students.  As time moved along, however, I noted I was stuck upon the rocks embedded within my Scriptural River where Truth rambled downstream.  Yes, I knew how to locate key verses; key, you understand, to defending my stance more than learning of His will.

Can one know Truth?  Of course. 

That's precisely why the Bible has been provided.  And, from that Dynamic given from above, I see us given to a glut of information without hearts given to seeking transformation for a large percentage of our people.  I don't mean to sound sarcastic nor negative.  I do mean to say that our hunger and thirst for righteousness has been sabotaged by our own repetition to the point we hardly realize how cold some hearts have grown.

Such awareness does not throttle down our enthusiasm for the Kingdom life as if we are sunk.  No, quite the contrary.  This most definitely leads us to step up our drive for the eternal, the spiritual, the Son and His profound system.

Religion is drunk on argument.  There is need for the sober (my own sobering included) recall that we are to go into all of the world with the Good News.  Clearly the active going has been replaced by the inactive sitting by the many; by the masses.  Our reach is too often found to be suffering paralysis. 

There is ever the drastic need for creative imagination of glorious ways to reach, to teach, to convert hearts from self to Jesus.  Religion won't do it.  The Man will.  There has long been a voice by our communities against organized religion.  Yet, the replacement has basically been nothing more than self-centered me-ism. 

Jesus is the Truth.  He's the game-changer because He is the grave-breaker.  May we concentrate on jumping the curb of the routine and driving out into the Soul-ar System of possibility which has always been intended and available for every one of us!  We are not to be discouraged at how much Truth we do not yet know; but we are to be encouraged at how much bigger Truth is than our meager minds can grasp!

Sunday, October 22, 2017


God fascinates me.  He is in all places, knows all things, and has a grasp of pure reality.  This is baffling; truly too good of news to be true.  It is the Gospel.

In His unfathomable awareness of the real us, He bends over backwards to convey the real Him.  His wish is that we not be fake and, furthermore, that we  not perceive Him as unreal.  God sees us all the way through to our best intentions...and, yes, even our worst.  God knows our hearts.  He gets the picture of who we are at our most sensitive whim of a thought whether godly or sinful.

When we go through the church motions, without an intimate confidence in God, our Christian walk is about six feet wide and one inch deep.  In this mode we do our best to impress one another with our good deeds all-the-while knowing we aren't really cutting it.  Our wish is strong.  But our action often seems to be a bust.

So, don't you think that it helps us feel a bit more secure in Jesus when we become convinced that He already knows this about us?  Read Romans 7.  The mighty and profound apostle Paul spilled his beans.  He said that he didn't do what he knew was good to do.  And he didn't stop there.  Paul continued that he did do what he wasn't supposed to do.  Anyone relate so far?

His conclusion?  OH.  THANK.  YOU.  JESUS.

When we do not thank Jesus, we shift to an unspiritual state of living by comparison to one another.  This is to enter the alley of untruth....every time.  Oh sure, we know ourselves to fail in areas--several arenas--but we point out others of whom we deem as worse.  This seems to tweak our conscience enough to spur us on through our religious and ritualistic terrain.  But this perspective is a sham.

Unless we are convicted of our own sins--and not the  sinfulness of others--we will continue to tote our Bibles off to Sunday School without believing them.  We will simply go through the motions of which even unbelievers quickly detect are not the fulfillment of God's will.  So, what shall we do?

It seems that we are off to a better start when we can grasp the reality that we are a mess, that God is the very One who points this out, and because of such, He redirects us to Jesus upon the Cross.  God does not give up on us and we should not give up on others.  Jesus died for our sins; not our slight missteps.  He arose to convict us of personal inner relief; not some off-the-wall theory of being a do-gooder. 

Our sins are deep and strong.  Jesus' paying for our sins is deeper and stronger. 

Saturday, October 21, 2017


I love learning.  I will always be in Kindergarten when it comes to knowing all that God has available for our walk.  Our future is bright, alive, and meaningful.  God has given me something as He awakened me at 3:00 and I just must get up to write it down.

Discipline is for learning; not for beating.  If it isn't for inner development, this very trait will be regarded as nothing more than a dirty ten-letter word.  Many my age know the ills of what were intended spankings to really be poundings.  Thus, the biblical word discipline suffers understanding which often means it is avoided; even rejected.

Yet, discipline is a major thread in the Kingdom fabric.  We must have it.  The church struggles today in extreme form because we have lived without (trained ourselves to live without) this factor.  We don't do struggle.  We don't do pain.  Rather we take flight when it gets tense in our world.  We move on because we don't like conflict.  The result is that we don't learn via the very basic process of being corrected.

Stress is a very present and most necessary reality.  It is not a call to take flight from it; but to be still and go to school.  Until we get this into our thick heads, we will always be on the run from something; people, places, assignments, etc.  Life.  Is.  Often.  Hard.

I'm beginning to learn something in these initial days of retirement.  We are losing ground because we refuse to shut down and step back.  I refused.  I didn't even realize it was a key to effective Kingdom labor.  But now that I'm able to pull off to the side of the road, clarity is unfolding...and I like it.

Recall how Jesus kept slipping away to be alone?  Even (especially) when matters were pressing, it seems that He had a knack of devotion to His time spent with Father.  So here's what I see.  We are hindered from expanding the Kingdom of God because we are riddled with busy distraction that keeps us from application of the meaningful, the useful, the productive.  Yes...too busy.

And here's the kicker.  We want it that way.  We want to be in demand, walking in rapid fire, because this distracts us from learning what God wants of us.  We refuse to slow down because when we do we will be more likely to be open to His will.  Busy-ness keeps us distracted from effective-ness.

Mankind finds ways to be comfortably stuck.  We don't want to improve, grow, change in areas because it makes us U-N-C-O-M-F-O-R-T-A-B-L-E.  Therefore, we hide in our roles...our very busy demanding order to refrain from exposure to adjustments God would wish for us.

Elders elder, staffs staff, families family, and members member with our best feet forward....constantly.  Full-steam a head. This comes off as commitment.  But I suggest it isn't all commitment; but a large section is avoidance.  We've found our sweet spot; our comfort zone and we don't intend to surrender it because it was to difficult to capture in the first place.

I suggest we discover ways to step out of our demanding schedules for a time where God could reveal His latest will.  It can be done.  We are creative you know.  We can find ways to avail ourselves to becoming open to the Spirit's steady and current direction.  Here are suggestions:

  1.  Elders take a six-month sabbatical.  No elders' meetings.  No minutes forwarded.  Trust the others.  Let God.  It is very possible to do this.  Fear of losing control will be the balker which ought to make it's needed point.
  2.  Churches provide staff sabbaticals.  These workers cannot keep pouring out without significant time of God pouring in.  We are unconsciously demand-weary. And, in our case as well, we fear decisions would be made without our input...and, therefore, possibly not what would keep us comfortable.
  3.  Pull your members/devoted workers/out of their roles for six months.  Tell them to sit down, be still, and listen.  I see too many failing to grow in the Kingdom because they are hiding in their church-work.

None of this is suggested as punishment.  That isn't the discipline to which I refer.  I suggest it as development of the inner man; a very deeply needed exercise for the core of Kingdom life.  The good news is that it can be done if we will yield our subtle controlling nature.  It is possible and the church will be the better for it.

Okay.  It's now 4:12 a.m.  That's all for now.

Friday, October 20, 2017


Sooooo....I just now took my car keys and punched the unlock button.  Yes....I really did.

And....the TV didn't come on.  Oh yeah, I need to use the remote for that one.

Have a happy day!

Thursday, October 19, 2017


Everywhere we turn we are faced with discouragement, resentment, and sometimes even depression.  If not within ourselves, we see it to be true of our friends, colleagues, and relatives.  Being "blue" is epidemic in nature.  No one escapes the steady encounter of this Meany.  No.  One.

I speak with a bit of authority for I am persistent in my self-evaluation as to how nothing I am.  I was hoping for better than this by now.  Yet, I've learned a most fascinating truth.  Being low is precisely the launching pad God would use to provide us with incredible wonder. 

Jesus makes a seemingly absurd statement as he opens his mouth at His famous Sermon on the Mount.  Blessed are the poor in spirit, He assures.  Really?  Blessed are the down?  Blessed are the discouraged?  Blessed are the failers?  Blessed are the confused?  Blessed are the losers?  Yes...very articulately...Jesus says that such a one is prime for the launching of incredible, actual, hope.

How.  Can.  This.  Be.

It seems that man's nature is to find less need for God when experiencing the territories of what we could deem as successful.  It seems that we begin, in these "doing okay" parameters, to take on an attitude that we aren't in need of God for we are strong enough to maneuver our way through the current jungle.  When we feel we are in control, there is less likelihood that we would depend on Him.  This truth plays out everyday.

But when we are at the end of our proverbial ropes, we find that we have nothing more to offer to escape our nagging dilemmas.  It seems that we made our final effort...and made no progress.  It is here at this juncture that one begins to look up for help.  Our hands are empty of effectivity and our words seem to be empty of solution.

Poorer nations, such as zones in Africa, are coming to God in droves for their lifestyles are empty of self-provision.  And even in a territory as wealthy as the USA, even the richest of rich begin to turn to God when self-reliance, independent-sufficiency crashes.  Blessed are the poor in spirit.

Poor in spirit considers humility to contain a power--as super-natural power--of which we lean toward only when in great need.  Our independent muscle seems to have atrophied.  Our insight has gone blind.  We must have Other help...and in steps Father, Son, and Spirit.

I urge you today to become unstuck.  One does so by one simple move; change your mind.  This is known as repentance.  Don't walk a life of doom; but arise to a life of potential and  Try to open your eyes and peer through the dim veil of frustration.  Begin to notice actual hope.  See that your trauma is serving you by leading you to a new zone; a new kind of life of which you had always imagined.

Yes.  Yes.  Yes.  Tradea the poor-me doldrums for a better call; blessed are the poor in spirit.  Yay God!  Yay us!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017


When I became serious about my faith walk there was a word that kept occurring in the Scriptures; glory.  So?  So?, I thought?  Glory is glory.  That's sorta like saying nice is nice or something to that affect, it seemed.  Glory, to me, was a Bible term that did nothing, went nowhere, and seemed rather neutral meaning.

But...I've changed my mind.

To give God glory is one of the utmost profoundationalisms ever!  To give Him glory is to brag upon Him.  It is to credit God with the valiant moves He makes.  To give God glory is to give intentional note to His might, His brilliance, His amazing love.  It's to talk about Him, to brag upon Him, and to include Him in strong awareness of our ordinary walk.

When things go right, I've learned to attribute them to God rather than a team, or a circumstance, or a person.  Even when human names may actually be connected to accomplishment, such recognition is given with the understanding that God is their Source and their Supplier.

Giving God glory has changed my prayer life.  Better said, it gave me a prayer life.  I once struggled to spend any time in prayer.  Yet, learning to give God glory activated my time with Him.  Every day, and many times during, I tell Him how much He means to me and how grateful I am for His being God; that I no longer have to fake my righteousness for He gives me His.

To give God glory may not sound like much of a church thing for we tend to be more impressed with things like assignments, destinations, and accomplishments.  But to praise Him strongly is precisely how the beginning Church was launched.  I'm learning that it is, also, how it keeps going.

Tell God often how you glory in His very existence.  This will positively impact your heart, your day, and your faith.

Sunday, October 15, 2017


I've lived on both sides of the Faith Fence.  There is a world of difference.  Let me say that another way.  There IS as WORLD of difference.  One goes by faith in unbelief.  These get their religious kicks from the pond of doubting.  The second batch operates upon a basis of the invisible world being more fascinating than the seen one.  Go figure.  No, I mean GO and FIGURE this out; rather than merely offering an indifferent shrug of the shoulders.

What real Christianity needs today is a huge dose of the Fairytale experience.  Only in saying this do I mean that we need to have a walk with God that is well beyond our obsessive, humanistic imagination.  I love this factor of Ephesians 3:20 which is encapsulated from cover to Bible cover.  That which can't happen did...and...still does.  Unbelievers wish to mock and call such Fairytale.  Believers call it Reality in Fairytale dimension; the impossible lives!

As churches assemble world-wide today, may we gatherers not throw cold water upon the absurd, the ridiculous, the outlandish truths of God past and His workings present.  We are to experience the unknown and the unexplainable, the undefinable and the undeniable.  Just as the Red Sea parted and the grave emptied, believers are to abide in a land of immeasurable opportunity for the God-demonstration.

By our repetitive repetitions, the Fantastic Faith element is being dismantled bit by bit within our very own gatherings.  Should such a mold not be broken, we will be a people who train our young to become unbelievers; yet in the name of believing.  Drastic faith has been dismantled by a humanistic try-to-be-good philosophy.  As a result, pews will be packed today with many calculating that, while they do misbehave, they aren't as bad as others they could mention. 

Living by comparison is clearly a doctrinal mistake communicated quite clearly in II Corinthians 10:12.  And, yet, this seems to be a popular road for the modern day believer to travel.

Faith.  Faith is bold, it is absurd, it is fascinating, and it is the ultimate of true reality.  May we accomplish matters through Him that would draw mockery from our critics.  Many of us have lived in this path for years....on both sides. 

May we be found on the side of reality rather than the one of mockery.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017


In the name of being a responsible individual, each of us becomes snagged in the "thinking it out, moving it forward" pressure scheme of, what we all regard as, normalcy.  Yet, there's a significant problem with that.  Happiness and joy seems to be an illusion.  We assume that such is reserved for the ultra-successful...and, therefor, maybe we ain't one of 'em.

My daily theme is, Don't you love right now?  This developed from my life of failure; repeated failures.  I was missing out of living because my walk had become buried (ahead of the grave) by busy-ness.  The problem with busy-ness is that it all seems justifiable to the thinking trend of earthiness.  We applaud it.  Too, we obey its wearying demands.

Don't misunderstand.  Not all of life is a breeze.  Not everyone is crazy about you/me.  Stresses mount.  Injuries occur.  These and other bandits do all they can to put on their masks and rob us a guiltpoint.

Could it be that the most consistent villain resides inside of our own heads?  Could it be that we persistently bark at ourselves with commands of More! when it would be a welcomed visitor if we could believe it alright to say, Less?

Why do you feel the need to hop at every one's bark?  Signed up for too many responsibilities?  Then resign from some.  Feel like you are letting people down?  What if by your backing off from an assignment, such would give opportunity for someone else to get to be invited into that responsibility or role?

Jesus didn't reach the whole world with a stage and a microphone.  He did it by charging the twelve and then the seventy.  He took the time to invest in a few to reach the many.  His tactic is still!

Such a concept would be known as discipleship.  Investing in fewer seems to reach more.  Odd, don't you think?  Try to grasp the picture; the theme.  Busy-ness, I am convinced is not as productive, as thoughtful, prayerful, intentional restriction.  While I'm certain my ideas here have a few holes, it just could be that some of you who are very kingdom driven would be much more effective if you could slow down a bit in order to get more accomplished.

Worn out is not a bibilical credit to us.  Being persecuted and dying to self is.  But somehow it seems we may be more inclined to the former in order to avoid the latter.

Busy-ness impresses ourselves...and maybe a few others who are also driven by the same crunch.  Be encouraged; you have a Father who gave us His Son so that we could inherit His Spirit so that we could really see things take place in an eternally defining dimension.

Sunday, October 08, 2017


There are no exceptions.  Every individual possesses a strong element of insecurity.  You can believe it, we've all got it and it's a heavy burden.  It's been a major battle for me; an inner war.  As strange as it sounds, this awareness has been the key that I use to reach to others.  I know no one, nor do I meet anyone, who is not riddled with inhibitions.  No.  One.

I am able to be outgoing because I became confident that far too many people are incarcerated within their own minds.  I was jailed myself and still seem to hand over the keys to the jailers who want to self-criticize and self-judge.  Yet, I must not.  And, you must not.

So, the question is how one goes about transferring insecurities to confidence?  We believe the Spirit in us carries His traits of love and joy for one reason.  We are to bear His fruit IN us TOWARD others.  IN us.  TOWARD others.  His fruit, us, and others....if one element is missing the world will go untouched from within our residence.

We gain confidence; but never in ourselves.  I learned through failure and weakness to risk in order to reach.  Each of us has our gifts that would thrust us into the mix of those intimidating interactive moments with neighbors and associates.  It isn't that some are gifted to reach and that some are not.

All are gifted; but it's just that our gifts are different.

Some are able to reach to others by sending a note.  Others bake cookies while, yet, others offer invitations to cook-outs.  Me?  I have many avenues but one of my easiest gifts is humor (and even there I run into many who don't think I'm funny.  Go figure).  Yesterday I was leaving the house and noticed a new couple; a young man and his girlfriend standing in a neighboring driveway as he evidently was the new owner. 

Suddenly, this idea just came over me.  I pulled over, lowered my window, and the craziest words came out.  Hi!  I'm Terry!  Are you the new owners of this cute house?  Welcome to the area!  You'll love it here!  You need to know that I'm the "main neighbor" of everybody around!

Whaaaat?  Where'd that come from? was funny and all of us laughed, smiled, connected, and they are awesome!  And, do you get it?  Who welcomes first-timers with those words?  I never know the right things to say.  I just know that others need welcoming as clutsey as my words may flow.

So it is with you; with all of us.  None of us are professional greeters, reachers, welcomers, etc.  Not.  One.  Of.  Us.  What we can do is to train our insecurities to serve us as we hesitantly try to reach to others...for that is precisely the direction Jesus would take each of us.

Our Him...and never....not one ourselves.

Saturday, October 07, 2017


Waste is a terrible word.  There is far too much wonder within every person's heart...and reach...and scope to waste our breath-life in anger, resentment, or even bold hatred toward any person. 

There are at least two significant reasons that we should not waste our life.  For one, such an exertion drains us of productivity in other regions.  Our mis-attention dis-affects our hearts.  To be sour toward another person becomes the DNA of our day whether we see it (believe it) or not.

Second, whatever it is that we despise of another is blatant proclamation that we are just like them.  Romans 2:1-8 pulls me off to the side of my Critical High-Way every time.  Is wrong still wrong?  Is sin still sin?  Yep!  Yes!  Affirmative!

The revelation, however, is that this is not a "they" circumstance; but is also an "I" one just as clearly.  Therefore, when "we" realize this about all of "us", "we" are on target to value life; not waste it.

When we join the ranks of admitted sinners, we join the family of being viable help to all as we are drawn into the wonderful, and true, participation of bearing Holy Spirit fruit.  It is His love and joy, and peace and patience that must, should, and will come through. 

Why?  Because the distraction in front of us is too large for us to tackle from the human will.  Don't waste your life despising another when you are precisely packaged the very same way.  Thus, the demand from God that we permit the His Spirit to enter

Happy Day!  We are all alike.  There is no exception.  Therefore, make your life count by attending, rescuing, cheering, and encouraging others all day today!!

Friday, October 06, 2017


Each of us has a lot going on.  We are engaged in the exertion of going on-ness.  Much of it we have arranged, scheduled, and planned on our own.  But more of it seems to come at us without invitation; with no previous awareness as to actual arrival.  I speak of misfortune or stress which seems to await at our doorstep.

My phone must be similar to yours.  It has a persistent "ding" or "bell tone" notifying me of an incoming communique.  Very much of it contains the happies.  Very much of it, too, reveals the opposite.  With increasing ability to be connected to more of our world in which we live, a sense of being overwhelmed is recurring.

What is one to do with this?  Run?  Hide?  Pretend ruggedness isn't happening?  Scream?  Pout?  Run...again?

What we are to do is to try to stay focused on God who has all of these moments in view.  He is bigger than big, wiser than wise, and surpassingly well beyond adequate.  God gets us when we don't get ourselves.  Don't let your distractions...distract.  God wants to be in the lead; but it is up to us to decide to let Him.

Following God isn't about keeping score: He answered one prayer and not another, He responded immediately person and then seemed silent to another.  To believe God is not only to look for the empty tomb; but to stay with Him when on the Cross.  Jesus did...and remember that he led the way.  There will be no resurrection without there being moments of painful defeat.

We do not live a faith-system of pretense; but rather, one of authenticity.  Bad stuff happens.  Sometimes we even cause it.  But the God of mercy and forgiveness and hope launches us into living an above-earth life.  It's real.  It's thrilling.  It's daring.'s for we commoners who are often stumped by the latest fiasco occurring within our own minds.

Believe.  Big....bigger than whatever tries to overwhelm.

Thursday, October 05, 2017


Okay, I just had a very unusual experience at Walgreens.  I went in to pick up a prescription.  The clerk wanted to know if I had gotten my flu shot yet.  So...I signed up!  Clerks were at the counter as well as awaiting customers; maybe ten in all.

Once the lady gave me the shot, I stood and announced to all with great enthusiasm that "I just got my shot and didn't even cry once!"  One gentleman in line asked if I got my sucker?  "Do I get a sucker?", I asked with more excitement!

I turned to the counter only to see a clerk holding up the sucker for me to take home!  All smiles at my all-around success, I thanked all for attending my moment.  They applauded...and smiled even bigger!!!

Other than that....nothing.

Wednesday, October 04, 2017


Division is taking its toll upon the hearts of mankind.  There, indeed, must be a perpetual press for unity.  But, oh how we struggle to reach such a goal.  The battle itself should signal just how monumentally impactive, let alone important, such an accomplishment would be.

I'm wondering just how much this challenge is exacerbated because we live in the Western hemisphere where freedom and individualism seem to be perpetually noted.  While these two concepts are rich in blessings, one must be careful that the ego does not take center stage for every event.  Thus, the call from the Bible to consider others as more important than ourselves.  

I'm noticing a blurring of the lines between politics and religion.  It's becoming more difficult to discern on many levels just which one's voice is being heard.  And which of these two seems to be the more guilty of causing division?  It appears on several be a tie.

Is there a way, a hope, for authentic unity among us?  It appears there is such a dimension; such a direction.  The cost, however, is high.  Furthermore, it's of the highest caliber of challenge.  The trek to harmony for individuals, for families, for churches, and for nations is found in one word.


Humility is the route to political effectiveness and the saving of religious reputation.  Are Christians to be known by our love or by our pet peeves.  By our compassionate reach or our rigid stances?  While we know the answer, the how-factor becomes a prominent element.  How do we obtain and then accumulate remarkable unity?  How?

The answer will not be found in the obsessive self-seeking promotion of rights.  That's being tried...and it divides at the starting gate.  The answer will not be found in withdrawal from community.  Neither will it be found in legislative law.  These do not survive the deep ocean waves of an ego-driven and demanding humanity.

Humility weighs the needs of others.  By this, it does not have to agree nor does it have to become subject to error.  Humility simply notes others before self.  This is major.  I said, THIS IS MAJOR.

Yielding to othes is the surprising path of Jesus.  He was no wimp; no coward.  He stood for some and, when doing so, stood against his critics.  Yet, at final straw, Jesus took the back seat to both on the Cross so that both would have opportunity to live.  It's this dying factor to self that finds us balking; especially when it involves anyone we don't much like.

Religion's reputation can be saved.  However, it will not survive our inner competition to see which divisive brand is most right.  It will be found in submission; a word that is not on the top-10 chart of popular doctrinal stances.  Yet, it is the route.  It is the secret med to cure all of mankind's concentrated ailments.  

Can religion's reputation be saved?  The more we die to self, the more we will see others come alive with a new perspective on what it means to really live.  Humanity was created to experience the Divine Partnership.  May we make strides today toward more Holy Spirit joy and less self-centered fragmentation.

Monday, October 02, 2017


Go with me in your mind to the Hill...three Crosses...and three Victims (two thieves and then there was the One).  Take a look at them.  How do you see it?  Clean; like the paintings of the event portray?  Manicured?  Silent?  Not a peep; just a sad respect?  Well-staged; three crosses stationed equal distance apart with the men hanging in some sort of rather sterile and graphicless coordination?

Yes, I say that basically the perception in our Modern Age mind is somewhat presentable.  The rough edges seem to have been sanded.  We do still recall this scene at least every Sunday.  In doing so we offer God, and certainly Jesus, a moment's gratitude for pulling off the world's greatest upset.

If I wouldn't be offensive, may I ask you to rethink this famous scene which is just a stone's throw from downtown Jerusalem?  Might we do away with the sanitation that resides in our minds as to how crisp and well-presented this event is assumed to be?

The landscape was cluttered with citizens; some scrambling, others wailing, while soldiers strong-armed the crowds by pushing, by shoving.  The panic must have been backed by a momentary senseless loss of bearings.  What is happening?  Rumors are flying!  Occasional screams from the whips' piercings indeed alarm the innocent in the crowd!  And where are the little kids?  Who's got the kids?  Find them!

Has Jerusalem gone nuts?!?!?

Yes, note how we've, at least mentally, cleaned up this tragedy just a tad.  We've added gloss to the printed artwork which has been handed down through the ages.  The ruggedness has been smoothed over via the centuries.

But....but peer now into Las Vegas.  Take a look...a good the brutality.  Hear the screaming, feel the sickness in heart, and the inability on the part of thousands to grasp what has happened.  Take inventory of this train wreck; this absurd event of humanity gone awry.  See.  Hear.  Feel.

And as we do what we can to absorb the Nevada massacre, might we take a bit of the numbness, a bit of the ugliness, a bit of the disbelief of it all and gain a bit of insight as to the stark reality of Jesus stranded upon his cross for all to observe?  Might the sickening feeling of human disaster be realigned at the scene of the Cross as well?

The Cross wasn't a photo shoot for the Palestinian Gazette nor the American Journal.  It was a terrible scene of destruction.  Moreover, it was a picture of mankind gone bad; at its ultimate worst.  It wasn't slick in finish.  Neither was is smooth in communication.  It was rugged and then more rugged and then even more rugged as the torturous screams surely echoed across public square and down dark alleys.

May the awful news of today cause an appreciation for the awful news of Jesus' day to be restored. If it could be, we might find even greater consolation that we will survive this national disaster just as we did the eternal one on that famous Hill.


I want to encourage you about you.  All throughout our church experience, attempts--serious and strong--are made to step up the pace.  Above all else we want to appear to have cleared the faith-opposing hurdles with the assurance to others that we have learned well to follow Jesus.  Yet, very much about such a trek, if we are going to learn from him, is the constant upendedness of both our efforts and our understanding.

So often we seem to be left standing empty-handed when we thought that we were giving Him our best shot.  From Peter denying Jesus to Thomas doubting him, life unfolds constant lineage of frail betrayers who had surely hoped to accomplish quite the opposite.  What's with this picture?  Why does this road seem to be, evidently, such continual terrain?

One's deep desire to look the part may cause true discipleship interruption.  To look the part will, in our minds, mean that we appear to have matters under control.  Above all else, we want to come off looking good.  This is precisely why we settle for controlling such little turf; because that which we can control is quite a restricted territory with seeming little risk of failure.  Therefore, to be in control is to remain in a world that stays small.

Personal lack and frailty is the door opener!  That's weird, huh?  We read these, though, as to be quite the opposite.  From early childhood we do everything we can to look anything but weak.  Inadequate is not very complimentary.  But it is the road to magnificent impact.

Jesus.  Rejected.  On a cross.  Dead in a grave.  Not the appearance of world changing and quite dynamic individual, huh?

The look of a true disciple may be far from the image we strive to portray.  Have we not traded our vulnerability to grow and improve for a bowl of limited understanding?  When the Holy Spirit, coupled with the word change, are regarded as threats rather than thrill, the church will feed from a constant diet of human historical leftovers rather than sitting at the table of wonder, awe, wow, and joy.

Be encouraged.  Your disappointments in yourself are mere calls for realignment with the Call and the Cause.  Knowing Bible has left church paths strewn with fearful, angry, pew-roosters.  For me, when I began to yield to the Father, the Son, and the Spirit of that same Bible information, a new freedom to try, to fail, and to try again began to arise from the self-built, self-inhabited grave I had dug for myself.

Resurrection power....quick....somebody light the fuse!  I need it again today!

Sunday, October 01, 2017


We don't like the bad days.  Our preference is surely bent toward the good ones.  I know these latter ones have my attention.  Yet, in reality, we deal with both.  I wish to cheer you on regarding our unfavorite days.  What are we to do with them?  How might we handle them?

First, this world we live in is very broken.  There is no person who ever lived that was not diseased with devastating sin.  We try to/wish to/want to believe otherwise.  But if we believe the Bible, all have sinned and fall short of what God had anticipated.  Breakdown occurs.

Second, since we do experience rugged times, what can be done to endure such harshness?  One thing that is merely a thought away is the fact that we can, at the moment of discouragement, begin to calculate the blessings which saturate us; even in the midst of the dark times...Philippians 4:4-9.  And then there is another element which might surprise you.

When life is falling apart, note that it seems to be at such times that we give God a second look.  Could it be that if everything went well every moment of every day of every month, that we might begin to believe that we've got life under our own control?  Might we begin to conclude that God is not needed?  Yes, for this very trait is going on among many of the rich and the famous today.

When life is falling apart, the blessing is that it very likely is a divine signal to look UP!  No one desires stress.  None prefer angst.  But each contest to the heart has embedded within a renewal of the faith processes.

Read the Word of God.  Time after time, when life was falling apart, the Spirit of God caused it to fall together.  Therefore, try to remember that your bad days are simply another stage allowing His performance where a story of recovery and hope will lead to your positively and profoundly very good days.