Saturday, January 27, 2018


Jesus isn't just the friend, the therapist, the CEO, neighbor, and the superintendent of people.  He is also the Savior.  This is one gigantic term.  We are all in this lostness together and it is in the Son of God that we can experience our foundness.  Never is it our accomplishment.  Neither is it our social goodness.  No.  Jesus paid a heavy rescue us from ourselves.

I continually read of those who have or are failing in life.  Too many reference such a category of individuals as "they"; they need, they should, they seem, and they ought.  The accusation may be dead on.  Yet, the frailty of such is that every time that there is a "they", there is also factually a "me" that carries the same fallen nature.

We can't do good life on our own, regardless of strong effort.  We are far too weak to pull it off.  Yet we do try.  When the battle is found to be of our self-effort, we leap immediately into the false zone of living by comparison.  This is always a dead-end the Word says.

So, know that there is gigantic hope for the severely flawed...and we are all in that mix.  I am the chiefest of failure. Jesus lives to save!  He alone is our hope...but what a solid, true, real, authentic, lasting hope!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018


Shall we take this tiny portion of a time-slot in which we live and be builders of community and people?  Or, shall we spend our slim amount of days on earth barking in disapproval of the passers-by?  It is a choice, you know.  Much of the negative speaking is merely done so unconsciously that one might hardly catch his or her complaining language.  We seem to believe that we are just who we are and that's all we can do about it.

Yet, I say that one of the blessings of learning from God is that He transforms us into a new sort.  And, within that transformational expanse is the truth that we clean up our language; our negative, bummeristic, sloppy speech that tears down with little effectivity toward building up.  Barking has become an accepted trait of routine living.

In order to become a builder, we will want to subdue our barking inclinations.  But how?  What will help us clean up critical wordage?   Consider the following as a means of helpful improvement:

    1.  Realize our own sins.  The Bible makes this very clear that when we berate another, we are guilty of the very same things ourselves.  Until we get over this, we will merely resent such a statement.  Yet, when we realize that we are all alike, there seems to be a breeze of hope sweep through the room.

People all around us, very ordinary and good people, are in dire trouble due to their own unwise actions.  We do not dismiss such actions.  What we do, however, to keep from barking at them is to realize we are sinful, just as they.  Otherwise, if not true of our own sins, why is Jesus' blood cleansing us day by day?

    2.  Realize the depths of others' struggles.  No one needs our critical glare.  Everyone needs our heartfelt compassion coupled with genuine understanding.  There are, oh so, many who left church long ago because they inwardly determined that they weren't good enough.  Good enough?  Who sitting in church row is?  Not one.

We are drawn to live in a self-absorbed fallen society.  It got so bad years ago that Father sent Son down here on a mission.  It was a bad as had been assumed.  Jesus was executed.  Barking was to have ended because there was no exception as to who was guilty among us.  He died for all.

May we live in such appreciation and thankfulness that our first move each morning and last one each evening is spent calculating just how we my be better builders.  Society needs our voices to do just that.

Monday, January 22, 2018


An inner war takes place within each of us.  For some it is occasional.  Yet for others, it's a nearly a daily grind.  Whether educated or un, employer or ee, or even a Demo-publican, one thing tends to rule every by comparison.

I'm a champion knower of this curse.  Others...somebody somewhere...are always sharper, smarter, handsomer, richer, and more influential than me. about every person out there?  So what happens to one so insecure?  We tend to live defeated simply by one rule of thumb...judging and comparing self to others.  Whether we judge ourselves better than others or inferior to others, we are always on the wrong track....always.

When God calls for the end to living in comparison, He isn't promoting a selfish ego.  Nothing of the kind.  Rather, He is quickening the gift (His embedded gift) within each of us to arise to a fruitful and productive life.  God empowers and we must not stand in His way nor in our own way by the mistaken lie of comparison.

This goes on day in and day out.  I watch the most aggressive personalities scramble to keep the conversations within the narrow court of their expertise.  The most outgoing of us must note that our tendency to control the topics of our confident zone as the primary focus is a costly mistake.  It is here that we tend to hide so that we may be appear to be well-informed, simultaneously, avoiding advancing in our own understanding.  Could it be that we are failing to learn because we insist that all others must only be about those things which we feel we have some leverage?

I applaud those who are educated in some portion of information who can risk appearing with lack of substance in the many other fields of knowledge.  I thank those many who are terrific in only one dimension of Kingdom life who, simultaneously, live fully aware of their own personal ignorance in a multiplicity of other venues.

What happens when we humble ourselves, open ourselves, to confessing that we are not the expert...even in our unique field of interest?  We let people in.  We let God in.  We discover that we are all alike.  Some are brilliant in one tiny speck of a zone while others are clueless.  And then, when the topic of discussion changes, we seem to advantageously trade places.

Therefore I say to us, as we tend to hide in what we perceive to be some element of our strengths, to drop the appearance that we are sharp.  We are not.  Yes, we know some stuff.  But every person in the room understands valuable details of which the rest of us know in No Thing.

When we quietly, inwardly, believe that we are better than another or lesser, we simply don't get it.  Curb the self-elevation or the self-devaluation.  Refrain from living by comparison.  You are awesome.  But is everyone around you.  If we pool our outstandingnesses without the public veil of arrogance, we will become a society that can advance in drastic and effective measure.

For we are not bold to class or compare ourselves with some of those who commend themselves; but when they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are without understanding.
                                                                    II Cor. 10:12

Saturday, January 20, 2018


The tactic of dark forces against every person alive is to beat us down.  The strain is to convince each of us that our hopes were fake, that our intentions were wobbly, and that our energy was certainly weak. friend...are targeted with all of the rest of us to hit moments of having your confidence depleted and your ambition sabotadged.

Yet, it is most certainly upon the turf of significant stress and interference that faith carries its "blow trouble of the water" force.  Faith moves mountains; mountains of intimidation and mountains of threat.  We are believers--not in just Bible facts, but--in God (which is a Bible fact).  Be encouraged.  Let your accumulation of Truth be permitted to be confidently acted out in your daring and unfathomable walk.

I cheer you on to unleash the most powerful dynamic from the human in God.  We believe that what isn't yet can become.  We believe that what appears dead can be revived.  We believe that emptiness can be made full and that darkness can be transformed to light.

The way to whip defeat is to defeat it.  Let's be about this fantastic mission!

(And, yes, I intentionally misspelled sabotaged in the first paragraph just to perplex some readers!)

Wednesday, January 17, 2018


God handed mankind an amazing guide for our journey; the Bible.  It, fortunately, has been consumed by the masses since it's completion.  It's complexity is matched by simplicity.  The foolish mind can grasp it while the intelligent one can't.  God said so.

Now that's sorta weird.  It doesn't mean that our intelligent brothers and sisters can't get it; but they'll never grasp it from anything but the surprising rigors of God's style.  And...His style isn't normal.

This is quite the challenge as we so want to uncover the glories of God's Truth.  He expects us to find them, to know them, to believe them, and even to be them.  The contest for us is magnified by the brilliance of His bent on keeping faith simple.  I, for one, am always challenged by this fundamental reality.  Reading our Bibles is one thing.  Accepting them is yet another because faith is more about believing than it is explanational defining.  

Our call is ever toward humility that He might be permitted to do His thing with, through, and among us.  God has the skill-set.  It is up to us to step aside as He steps in.  

By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance and he went outnot knowing where he was going. (Hebrews 11:8)  This isn't normal, folks.  Yet, it is the thread to faith.  To head out on a journey and not know what the journey is would defy logic...and that's exactly what God does with us.

Faith doesn't make sense.  When we try to arrange it to be such, we dumb down what God planted which was intended to bring love and life to mankind in a/from a Heavenly dimension.  Let Him describe it...

...because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.  For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God.  (I Corinthians 1:25-29) will cause one to go out not knowing where he is going.  Furthermore, it will appear to be sheer foolishness.  A problem with today's faith efforts is that we live in perpetual restraint for we don't want to be labeled radical, absurd, nor ridiculous.  The glory of today's faith is that our world is hungry for any who would have the courage to believe what isn't yet; but are certain God's rescue can come!!

Monday, January 15, 2018


There is a great robbery taking place before our very eyes.  It is so easy, quite common really, to be all bent out of shape because someone took our parking place or didn't return a call or, maybe, forgot to pass along a key message.  Oh, how we tend to live in a touchy world of irritation and upset.

I once lived on those streets.  If I wasn't annoyed, I was angry.  And if I wasn't angry, I was injured.  And if I wasn't injured....well I seemed to walk right into yet another crisisistic I thought.  But a heartbreak here and a death there and I began to refrain from fretting over the tedious and the trivial.  I encourage you to do the same.

Here's my day today.  I will try to speak in vagueness for it's the weight that I wish to convey; not names and details.  A childhood friend of mine was to have been incarcerated today in a Federal Prison.  I'm heartbroken for this one and have counselled for weeks long distance.  This dear one is a treasure to me (and to so many) who made an error in judgment and it has cost this one's freedom for awhile.

And then there's another friend who is devastated over a dear relative who has been arrested and is apparently in deep trouble.  This one's heart is so broken that it leaves one hardly able to get one's bearings.  The pain is devastating.  The agony remains with tight grip.  The worry is real.  And the heartbreak causes even the simplest thing like breathing to be most difficult.  Tears are aflood.

These two would give anything right now if their worst worry was that gasoline prices went up a dime or that the clerk overcharged one of them a dollar.  Much of what one frets over would feel like a reward to either of these two if they could only suffer our very minor infractions. 

Do what you can to not waste your life bemoaning what some would count as a true relief.  We can do by day.  Don't sweat the small stuff.  Rather, pray for those who are in over their hearts with the unbearable stresses that really are heavy.

Count.  Your.  Blessings.  And.  Pray.  For.  Others.  Much.  Worse.  Off.

Sunday, January 14, 2018


We must be ever on guard against the insistent trait of normalcy that we criticize others with little attention to our own falsehood.  This sensitivity warning was declared by Jesus and admitted by Paul.  We are never better than the next

That disposition is not what I held in the beginning days of my ministry.  I was deeply trained in how right my religiosity was.  To find elevation was simple.  All I had to do was note the erring ways of others; especially other groups of Christian name who didn't do (I thought) church right.  But then...Jesus entered my terrain and ruined my delight of living by comparison.

As I watched the Son of God move about each day, he encountered two distinguishable sorts; (1) the broken who needed His strengthening words and touch, and (2) devoted religious leaders who couldn't see the needs of the hurting community because being right (the most scripturally right) was their incessant talk.

I was more of the latter.  And, I was wrong.  I couldn't see the forest for the logs in my own eyes.

The only example I am to anyone is that God can extract the trash of man from Hell's incinerator and transform him into a useful messenger.  Never is the tone to be about how much I've gotten figured out; but, rather is to be about how off-base my conclusions are from what God has desired.  Thus, I have a deep ministry for one main reason.  I understand any who believe that they aren't enough.

Not enough-ism is the story of every person I know.  So...our natural tendency is to strive to overcome via personal elevation of some degree.  The problem with self-improvement is that, every time such markers are placed against the Son of God, we only seem to gain demomentum.  God looms larger and, thus, we shrink into diminishable fractions of who we had hoped to be by now.

ANNOUNCEMENT: This is precisely where God would lead us so that we can develop a daily dependence upon Him.  We must not ever believe we have conquered any turbulence on our own...lest we elevate ourselves as having been the self-source of recovery.  If it is to is up to Him.

Saturday, January 13, 2018


The voice is the creationalistic part of a powerful person.  God created with His and passed the baton to us.  Such an instrument is to be regarded as Sovereign in the Kingdom scheme of reality.

Therefore, may we be a people who speak up regarding hope, emphasizing potential, and anticipating fantastic results.  We have the power to change the family, the community, and the world one word at a time. May we break from this cowering silence of which far too much of mankind is embedded. 

May we learn to use our voices. 

I struggled with this myself.  Believe it or not, at one time in my early stages of serious church life, I did not have the confidence to speak life and hope to others.  I hid in the, "Somebody else could do it better."  Gradually, I learned that every person on earth surely could use a word of confidence and encouragement......As.  In.  Every.  Person.

I urge you to use your voice--not in criticism of the bombarding negative reality around us, but--in order to lift the spirits of dear, wonderful, oft-times hurting, friends and neighbors.  We can all make a difference...a positive lifting our voices tone to be heard clearly that today has remarkably wonderful traits about it...for every person, indeed.

Vote with your voice.  Children and grandchildren are listening in and being trained by your language.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018


Fundamentally, basically, and quite-a-bitly, the world is either engaged in or sick of religion.  God didn't come via His Son that we might have abundant religion.  Rather, Jesus came that we all might experience abundant life.  Yay Jesus!  And yay for us!

The religious world has bought into two grand mistakes; attendance and doctrine.  Don't misunderstand.  Both are activations and participations are significant matters in the scheme of God's call.  However, it is most amazing that both also may serve as distraction from (not to) knowing Jesus.  If these to become a lower-case church practice without relationship to Jesus, we are of the wrong belief system.

Jesus brings a most fascinating element to the table...every table...every time.  He cuts through the moldiness of tired religious practices and presents new and exciting and vibrant....daily life.  Jesus invites us into a non-explainable reality which refuses to abide by earthy measurements and description. 

The discouraged can hope.  The uncertain can experience stability.  The fretful can relax.  The confused can wait for clarity.  Because Jesus experienced our delight and our darkness, He knows a thing or two about life protocol.  Due to his excruciating death and grave-defying resurrection, it can be said that Jesus has "been there and done that"!  He gets us!

What Jesus brings to the table is the greatest hope on earth...because his office complex is already in Heaven.  So what many of you might need to do is to be quiet...and invite Jesus to pull up a chair.  He will forever change the discussion around your morning coffee time.

Tuesday, January 09, 2018


Leaders face constant and incredible challenge.  We want to be liked (and loved).  In preserving such desire, we do not want to be found divisive.  Yet, the very nature of leadership is naturally separated from followship...essentially and importantly so.  Such does not mean to create a heavy-hitting boss mentality.  It very much calls, however, for decisive risk-taking that will take the flock into uncharted waters of the next Promised Land.

Edwin Friedman, A FAILURE OF NERVE, pegs the nature and the need of courageous leadership in this day and age.  For decades the objecting fearful have held strong voice in the church system.  As a result, our populace landscape is strewn with "once members" of some church because the life of the place had been choked by the naysayers who were adamant about keeping things the way they've always been. 

What's exasperating to me is how many who lived in the church in opposition to sawing off the limb behind us have seen their relatives bow out of the church scene.  The fearful Law still kills.  It is the Spirit who gives life and He is perpetually changing directions.  We, as believers, are always challenged to adjust and adapt.  The Truth is always Truth.  The Truth is that we have a tendency to learn a few, very few, things in Scripture and stop to hang our hats on that peg.  At that point--the point of failure to keep learning by shifting to protecting--Truth slips out the back door...and withers.

Consider this brief comment by Friedman:

The most important ramification of the herding phenomenon for leadership is its counter-evolutionary effect.  In order to be "inclusive", the herding family will wind up adopting an appeasement strategy toward its most troublesome members while sabotaging those with the most strength to stand up to the trouble-makers.  The chronically anxious, herding family will be the far more willing to risk its losing its leadership than to lose those who disturb their togetherness with their immature responses.  Always striving for consensus it will react against any threat to its togetherness by those who stand on principle rather than good feelings.  The herding instinct will move an emotionally regressed family to a position where it endeavors to accommodate the disruptions of the immature and of those who think in terms of their rights rather than their responsibilities.  Rather than support those who stand tall and take on the most disturbed members, the herding family will adapt to the symptom-bearer (alcoholic, delinquent, substance abuser, gambler, hot-tempered one) and undercut anyone who attempts to define himself or herself against the forces of togetherness.  They often characterize that person as "cruel", "heartless", insensitive", "unfeeling," "uncooperative", "selfish", and "cold".

Monday, January 08, 2018


God changes everything...truly.  He is both Creator and Master of life.  Our goal is to be alive while we live.  For some time, I wavered from one struggle to the next battle.  Inferiority was my plague so I tried to dress it up as outgoingness all the while striving to hide.  Eventually, breakthrough came and such provides valuable understanding in ministry.

Just this morning I saw what appeared to be two homeless men cross the street in front of my car.  Maybe they aren't homeless; but there facial expressions caused me to believe that they felt beaten down and hopeless.  I prayed for them that they could sense, somehow and some way today, their true meaningful value.

God changes everything...truly.

Embedded within our own struggles, it is our hyper-active God who has already absorbed these distractions upon the Cross.  We, in this very location, are free to imagine and dream and wonder.  Every problem is also pregnant with a dynamic solution.

One of my wars is that earlier referenced inferiority.  It still hangs around.  Since it insists on lingering, I learned to make it serve me rather than boss me.  It launches me; not curtails me.  If "power is perfected in weakness" (II Cor. 12:9) then I will give my weakness permission to be useful.  How does that work?

In my problem of feeling least in every setting, I know that the room is full of like-minded strugglers who yet do not realize how powerful....they are....right now.  How do I know that?  I was that/am that.  These do not need improvement; although they hunger for such.  These need the acceptance of their own lack that their weaknesses are productive for the good and forward uplift of mankind.

The two men who walked by me today most likely do not sense their personal wonder and value.  The secret power of God, however, would make them new men.  How do I know this?  He makes me a new person day by day.  I choose to not let my inferiority be my problem; but rather serve me as a solution to better understand the workings of nearly every person on earth from homeless to celebrity.

Be encouraged.  Be highly encouraged.  Even your bad days are to bow to you in service to others.  We are benefitted by struggles and blessed by such with increasing understanding of how our neighbor feels.  Don't fight life.  Really live, instead.  What Satan meant as harm; Jesus used for good.

Saturday, January 06, 2018


I speak with zero criticism of others regarding what I'm about to address; but rather I possess intense compassion.  The number of ministers and ministry leaders who are struggling with believing that God works seems to be increasing.  At least it is becoming more vocal.  The honesty is, indeed, encouraging and I desire deeply to be supportive of these in the midst of such struggles.  We take our turns.

Belief/unbelief is a real battle.  Our mouths can imply expressions of spiritual confidence while, simultaneously, our hearts are debating with us internally.  This is no vague matter.  And it certainly is an ongoing war of the emotions.

While I know very well that I am the least man of all men, I want to do what I can to cheer you on in your belief in and of God.  Of course the challenge is a faith matter.  We either believe by faith that He exists and functions among us or we don't believe anything of the kind.  Both parameters hinge on faith.

My opinion is that one of the detrimental influences to a strong faith is the substitutes society (even the church) has presented which were intended to be effective; but in reality, undermined God's call.  Faith in God has been substituted with seeing that church operates according to "my" assumed portrait of what pleases me.  This thread is not new as it has been embedded within what we note as the "believing community" for decades.  Centuries?

Sheer trust in God's participationistic style among us has taken a back seat to various people-pleasing activities: singing style, preaching style, architectual style, location, harmony, convenience, friendliness, and singing style, preaching style....  What goes on with our moods having attended our assemblies can be a stronger force than what goes on with our faith enhancement.  We are called to believe past the visible and into the invisible attributes of right now.

I cheer you on in your belief in and of God.  May we arise in fervent heart to passionately believe in and of God because He is Master of all things.  May we not flinch when prayers don't unfold the way we had expressed; but rather, may we believe He is hearing and responding according to the deep sacrificial love He has for us.  Life will work out by His brilliant plan.

Understand this, I am the least of anyone that is or ever was.  I'm below average and, regarding faith, no further along than Kindergarten.  So please let me not distract from the truly urgent plea that we become increasingly serious about believing God when circumstances often pose one huge denial and one persistent threat after another.

We Him.

Thursday, January 04, 2018


Being put in our place is a common understanding.  We do our best to fit in the best we know how.  Hoping for acceptance is a pertinent thread for reaching  I want to encourage you to avoid letting your fit be far to meager compared to where God would take you.

Imagination and adventure tend to get short-sheeted by the good qualities of being successful.  What we want to do is to capture the dynamic of being effective plus the experience of functioning beyond our best and into His marvel. 

Enter the wild reality of the God-style!

I urge you to develop a faith that is not comparative to others; but rather, is your God teaming together to change the world far beyond your sight, beyond your reach, and beyond your best shot.  God is not living within us to barely get by. 

God wants to take us places that we could not possibly go on our own. We are the new generation of Bible characters living in the Presence, with the Presence, and for the Presence.  Our lives are not average.  They have gone through a regenerative cleansing when we were immersed at baptism.  There we died to our restrictions and arose to advancement in the most unfathomable dimensions.

We know where we fit.  We fit into the framework of no frame; limitless breaks and surreal opportunities.  The Christian life is the most crazy-wonderful path that is too good to be true.  That, my friend, is the precise description of "gospel"....too good to be true.  Therefore, may we live that exact kind of life! 

Go.  For.  It. 

Wednesday, January 03, 2018


Faith is absolutely a fascinating concept.  It functions in solid reality; yet well beyond what eyes can see and minds may fathom.  Faith may have become a generic church term; yet its height, width, and depth are always out there beyond our most aggressive imagination.

I cheer you on to believe when it would appear to many that believing would be useless.  Express faith in the God of what-can-be when earthly strongholds of homespun philosophy vow that such will never ever happen.  Believe into people and past our flaws.  Believe in the three great Ps: Power, Potential, and Possibility.  All three are His....given to us!

You won't need an army to make progress.  Nor will you need a superior understanding of the Bible's original Hebrew and Greek languages to unlock life's fortresses which try to block you from being a productive winner.  Jesus took common ordinary life and ushered it into a three dimensional life-thrilling color.  Our Savior kept us from being lost...saved us from missing life while here on earth and then, forevermore, in Heaven.

Faith is such a unique expression because it can't be noted, toted, measured, nor earmarked visibly.  Believing is the godly inner tool of transportation; one day to the next, one challenge to the next.  It is to be in every one's possession. 

Be of good cheer.  All those things that bring you perplexionalistic consternation?  Blow them up by staring holes through their tempory your faith eyes which see a new reality far beyond what visibility tries to present. 

Thank you...God!!!

Tuesday, January 02, 2018


If we love Truth...but do not love others we simply bring more religious noise (noisy gong) to society.

If we love Church...but do not love others we are still as clanging cymbals.

If we love Systems and Regulations...but do not love others...we have misunderstood Jesus.

If we love People...we will find that Truth and Church and Systems and Regulations will become effectively productive for the Kingdom of God.