Sunday, August 31, 2014


Prayer is the believer's connection to God.  It links us to His direction and power. Too, prayer is the simple interaction/conversation divinely designed for relationship; man to God, God to man.  This element is so vital that it is heavily thwarted by enemy forces.  Many believe.  Few pray.

For me, prayer was a burden.  I didn't like to pray.  I didn't want to pray.  I had busyness which was more demanding of my attention.  But, along the way, my perspective as well as perception changed.  If this would encourage you, I share the following.

For the early days of my ministry, I didn't like to pray.  It was boring.  I liked activity.  Action was full of what's-happening-now.  I went to Prayer Seminars. Yawners.  I fasted and prayed.  I was mainly hungry.  This section of kingdom life had no energy; so it seemed.  There surely had to be more.  This was dull.

A thing that greatly changed my engagement in prayer was twofold: (1) I actually began to believe that God works with and among us, and (2) I began to pray with thanksgiving.

Regarding God working, such a statement from a minister can seem silly.  Yet, I was trained that if anything was to be that it was up to me.  God had sort of taken early retirement and sorta looked down from Heaven's balcony to see how His investments were going.  I did not realize that He was mutually active among us.  We are to work together; Him in the lead and us in the following of His directives.

This was a significant breakthrough for if assumed He was a spectator only, then there would be no involvement....and I needed assistance!  If there was to be no movement on His part, I felt I had better things to do with my time.

And then, I noted the Bible speaking of praying with thanksgiving.  Philippians 4:4-8 would be an example.  When in need, God urges us to tell Him Thank You.  This changes a prayer life.  When we talk with Him bragging on who He is and what He has done, we shift from the placing-our-order prayers to relationship-with-Father conversation.

We are not called to hit our knees with I want/help me only.  We are to tell Father how much we love and adore.  No one will do this who does not believe in our invisible God.

I encourage you to set aside the grocery store list of placing an order for your most urgent need.  First, share with your spiritual Creator the many things you note in thanksgiving.  Let this list grow.

I encourage you to pray.  Try to do more than say a prayer.  One does not say a conversation with a relative or a neighbor.  We carry on a relationship.  This is what God anticipates and desires with us.

Tell Him you believe He works among us today and then thank Him for it.

Friday, August 29, 2014


A two-edged sword of race and religion is slicing America into a wounded nation. Strangely both may wound or both may heal.  Individuals decide; and decide we do. As a white minister, I would be one who has emotional ties to the sword.  Please endure my fumbling as I try to say something useful.

African-American Curt Flood began as a childhood hero to me as he roamed spacious center field at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.  Oh, as a Little Leaguer I did my best to copy both his batting and fielding styles.

Later, with my idea of a ministry through the Cardinals Legends Camps, I was not disappointed in meeting Curt.  We became very close friends to the extent that his mother and his five brothers and sisters adopted me into their family.  Curt's note of Thanks for being so sweet to our mom is among my most treasured memorabilia.

Once Curt taunted me for our mother had moved her first six kid's pictures from beside her bed-stand and across the room atop a cabinet.  My picture was now near her clock and pillow.  Yay me!  Upon a visit to see our mom, I indeed saw the rearrangement of our pictures.  Yay me a second time!

Eventually, I was called by one of my new sisters stating that Momma had passed, could I come.  I flew to Oakland to celebrate her life, speak at her funeral, and be, as she had told me as she hugged me great big, Oh, my little white boy!  I always wanted a little white boy!  And then she slapped her knee with great laughter.  Only a few short years later I was called by Curt's wife to participate in his funeral in LA.

Curt Flood was highly concerned about racial abuse and conflict.  With me being white, this man spoke in terms of which were a foreign language to me.  What sealed our hearts was my inquiry about his perspective of slaves being freed because I was going through a religion which was trying to experience freedom from its own bondage.

Curt was impressive as he spoke with that smoky voice tender-in-heart about matters of which I knew nothing.  He shared how one year during Spring Training in Florida that he and Bob Gibson were invited by Cassius Clay to a Black Panther meeting. Curt and Bob ultimately rejected the idea.  Both shared with me that they rejected the group's thoughts because it was just White Power in reverse.  Clay went on to become Mohamed Ali.

Curt made a point one morning, as we flew from Florida camp back to Atlanta so each could catch a continuing flight, how the African-American race struggles because the men aren't home.  The dads are incarcerated; thousands and thousands and more thousands.  The women are left, in huge percentage, to be both parents.

I had not ever given this a thought.  If you have never visited a state penitentiary, doing so might take your breath away.  A massive amount, as well as a disproportionate percentage of blacks inhabit walls of iron bars, open toilets, and razor wire.  In my few times inside, it makes my heart sick every time.  The scene doesn't strike me that they don't deserve to be there.  Rather, it verifies Curt's comment that the bulk of these were raised by a Momma whose husband was also incarcerated.

Curt taught me that races are different in positive ways.  It is not the black man's wish that we all be regarded as a colorless human race.  These want to be noted as who they are; black.  They are rightfully proud of their heritage.  We Whites insult them by trying to deny their racial attributes and contributions to our social strengths.

Both racial issues and religious disciplines could heal America.  They should heal America.  In places, though, each polarizes.  Such division is both deep and wide. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are the gasoline and the match to our racial challenges; simply my opinion.  Many television evangelists have the same stroke of alienation power.  Their seeming undevotion to the Spirit of Jesus coupled with a hammering message of send in your money is equally polarizing.

Ferguson, Missouri has been our latest scene.  Was the slain black man a victim? Was the white officer a bully?  Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton continue their White Power in Reverse as they seem to live for a moment before a camera.  All the while, humble black citizens of Ferguson give us insight through their interviews of a much more civil, even holy, spirit.

America is in deep need of harmony; a commonality that only God can provide.  Both race and religion can contribute a deeply needed, as well as important, hope.  All sides must arrest our reflex bias.  All sides should note that we can be easily swayed by prejudice without even a bit of investigation.

The African-American communities (not all; but very many) are hurting as they have never recovered from the inherited slave-tones of the Civil War.  Much of this is not their fault.  Viewed as an inferior sort by a significant number of white egotists causes perpetual inflamation.  If not smug, we whites can at least be indifferent to this sentiment.  Yet, we don't live in their shoes.  We have never experienced a steady diet of condescending and abusive comment.

The African-American section are to be inspired by the millions of their own who have succeeded.  Some have had to endure extreme hardship...and succeeded.  So have many of the poor whites applied themselves to become productive rather than being submerged into a lazy white-trash iconic lifestyle.

The hope is found in the harmony which Jesus would offer.  He would die for the very ones who lived to put him away.  He loved them.  We don't have the capacity for such a top-level range of healing love....on our own.  Yet, it is this very reason the Holy Spirit resides in us; that He bear His kind of fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, etc.

We can do this.  We of differing color and we of devotion to the spiritual can bridge gaps.  We can; not they can or they should.  We can listen to each other as all can listen to God.  He understands the depth of suffering like none of us do.  He knows creative power as He invented it.

Curt Flood, Ferguson, MO. and America's need for harmony contribute for an awakening of the spirit of each of us.  These matters matter.  We can march and protest with prayer, faith, love for all neighbors, and a gigantic belief that is as certain that God parted the Red Sea giving His people today an access to a brand new kind of hope.  It is true, God can part the great seas of divisions and pull us together as one nation as brothers/sisters/believers.

The challenge is too big for us.  Maybe we should put away the television cameras which negatively stir both race and religion.  Maybe we should consider those who have suffered in territories we know little about.  Maybe we can draw in heart to each other because we first draw to the heart of God.

I have fumbled so badly in writing this post that I have stalled for hours before hitting the publish button.  Forgive me if my loving attempt is marred by a mistaken or ignorant comment.  Hopefully, there will be some portion of this that would open your hearts and minds just a bit toward the possibility of reaching across polarizing lines which stir division.  Go for it.

Thursday, August 28, 2014


Any who are devoted to life in Jesus must become alert to the subtle mistake of becoming full of self-righteousness.  Nothing offends the nostrils of community like odor of a church-ee or church-ette parading how good we are at being good.

This has been one of my most regretful mistakes.  Learning about God and His style is incomparable in delight to anything I have ever studied.  Accounting was my game. I loved it; and still do.  But to learn about God has distracted me from all other themes.

Yet, the trouble with any like me is that I took what I had learned into an area God never promoted; let alone endorsed.  I became arrogant as to how many things I believed and practiced that made me more right than others.  I did better than others at being the best believer ever; so I mistakenly assumed.

It seems one of God's holiest themes is to call every individual to take on the righteousness of Jesus simply because ours isn't good enough.  Note: ours is not good enough.  I had so assumed it would be.  

Oswald Chambers points out our glare when we try to justify ourselves before God and others by marking just how good we have been.  Beware of justifying yourself when God alone is the justifier.  If ever I can justify myself, I make God unjust.  If I am right and morally based in all I do and say, I do not need a Savior, and God is not justified in the extravagant waste of sending Jesus Christ to die for me.

Indeed, it is extravagant waste by putting Jesus through all of the extreme suffering if we find that being good enough.

Somewhere along life's path we must reach the end of our conclusive rope that we can pull salvation off by self-effort.  It is beyond our reach.  We can't get to heaven without Jesus anymore than we can fly to LA without a jet.  We must enter Him, like at baptism, that He might get us to our destination.  All of our attitudes, platitudes, and do-goodness mean nothing.

May our confidence increase in Jesus and decrease in self.  Nothing we do makes us right with God except Jesus.  Way to go Jesus!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


Does the question of whether one really will come to life again once placed in a coffin ever traipse through your mind?  Like, often?  I wonder about it.  I believe it, really. But there are those times I say to myself, What if this idea just isn't real?  What if we die and everything is blank?  Nothing?

So for any of you who are like me, let's examine why our faith would continually make the trek back to believing there really will be a resurrection from the cemetery experience.

First, God said it.  In our multiple incidents of our faith walking right into the God-moves of ordinary life, why would we question this promise?  One reason might be that this one is the big one.  Our continuation throughout eternity is dependent upon this faith element being accurate.  We cannot afford to have been fooled.

Second, consider the nature of God's creation.  Seeds that die sprout; and they don't sprout until they have died.  Corn on the cob never becomes such until Mr. Kernel hits the dirt...and dies.  And ask Miss Flower Blossom.  Same story.  Bulb dies.  Flower resurrects.

And then third, I toss an observation your way which I consider ultra important.  I address the fact of giving.  Giving is a pre-death, belief in something-comes-from-nothing, test.  Take inventory of the givers around you. These live abundant lives; not because they are frugal; but because they are blessed by the uncanny grace of God.

I speak of giving away of money.  Although time and other possessions may surely be contributed, it is money and what it could have bought that is the litmus test in giving...Mt. 6:24 God or riches.  Earth power is money.  Heaven power is grace.  We are called to be willing to swap one for the other.

II Corinthians 9:6-15 is one of the greatest calls to trust God's resurrection promise. Verse 6 is about sowing; buried seed that will die with anticipation of arising into a glorious crop.  Giving is a huge test to whether one believes the resurrection.  It challenges us ahead of the grave to see if we can release with faith-confidence that God will supply new and unexplainable provision.

God's grace while we walk on earth--His abounding, all sufficient, abundant provision--verifies that even when the earthy body passes away, there will be a new kind of body arise.

Sowing and raising.  Sowing and raising.  Sown one thing.  Raised abundantly more and newer another thing.  So also is the resurrection of the dead.  It is sown a perishable body, It is raised an imperishable body, it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.  If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body (I Cor. 15:42-44).

Honestly.  Will there be another life past the grave?  Yes.  An exciting element of truth is that we are to experience verification of such before we die.  From our (1) believing what God said, (2) reviewing God's creative nature, and (3) noticing how blessed those are who give deeply of the funds they could have otherwise depended upon, it seems clear that in each of these three that visible results are noted.

I urge you not to believe in God and go through religious motions just in case all of this stuff is true.  Rather, be urgent about surrendering to God and His style for it really is a true and workable kingdom system He

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


It's just weird in a weird sort of way.  Christians really struggle with church.  Ah, isn't that strange?  We tend to believe that those not interested are so because they are the ones who struggle with organized religion.  But, not the case.  Churches have the same problem; except we are us!

The trek through believer-ship is not an easy one.  This explains the struggle.  We live in a very soft society; even with all of its upheavals and stresses.  We bring our don't make this too difficult whims to the church table.  In general, the maturing in Jesus by way of suffering on the cross has been aborted in the new birth process.

Instead, we have developed  a what pleases me attitude, walked into churches, and served notice.  Meet my expectations or else I'm outa here.  Selfishness is why Christians struggle with church.

Sue Monk Kidd wrote, We seem to think that God speaks by seconding the ideas we've already adopted, but God nearly always catches us by surprise.  If it's God's Spirit blowing, someone ends up having feathers ruffled in an unforeseen way.  God tends to confound, astonish, and flabbergast.  A Bethlehem stable, a Roman cross, and empty Garden tomb.

Christians struggle with church because they look at six days a week full of headaches and expect Sunday to be their day of peace and quiet.  They especially look at church to bestow such a don't make me feel uneasy gift.

But church isn't just Sunday morning; rather it is 24/7.  Nor is it going to dispense bandages for our bad attitudes nor our unfair injuries.  It will train us to worship and praise God in the middle of sorrow; even defeat.  It will teach us to endure; as did Jesus upon the cross.

Church isn't about robes and decor.  It is the community training center.  This is the place hearts and minds lift weights to sharpen; not to give up.  The church will build us through hard times just as athletes or aspiring business leaders go through intense training....all of their lives.

If we are in this for the long-haul, we must understand that church can be very hard. Because of weak people who always opt for the easy way out, the church's reputation is that we must please the members or else.  Well, that isn't good enough.  It isn't the theme of Jesus.

We struggle because we are being trained to hang in there.  Endurance is a very kingdom essential.  Quitters do so because they find excuse to cave.  We have work to do. There are millions of our friends who are depressed, lonely, and/or afraid. There is no time for us to whine.  People need help from those who live enduringly in the Spirit.

Through our pains, we will not quit; but we will use these times as training seminars for we are not giving up...ever!  Why do Christians struggle with the church?  We suffer because it is the very nature of being on a mission.  When we intend to bless others, we must first realize where they hurt by encountering stresses of our own which eventually are used to bless another.

Sunday, August 24, 2014


Have any of you heard of a thing going on called the Ice Bucket Challenge?  Really? You have?

This has been a valuable experience for me to witness.  If that can be done as a fund raiser, why cannot it be done for the kingdom of God?

One of the things the IBC did for me was to see that somebody behind this went public with it.  They filmed it.  That's all.  No billboards.  No TV ads.  Filmed by amateurs on phones.  That's it!

What if we filmed baptisms the same way?  What if we moved these sacred events through the media for others to see how it's done and what it's for?  Additionally, what if we helped novices to baptize their friends and their friends baptize their friends?

So today let's begin a Lake and Pool Party.

Step One: Assign someone to film with their phones the baptism and then put it out for the world to see what is being do so that others can follow.  And when you film, keep it brief.  Otherwise, it will be less likely to be pass along.  Be serious.  Be sober. For this is a highly godly situation.

Step Two: Jesus told the disciples to go into all of the world baptizing...Mt. 28:18-20. When the church began at its earliest point, hearers were told to be baptized to have sins washed away and that the Holy Spirit would move in...Acts 2:38.  This is supported throughout the New Testament.

Step Three: One does not need to be a professional church person to baptize another. Friends can baptize friends.  So, why not?

Here's what you do.  In your pool or at the lake, because baptism is a figurative burial (Romans 6:3-5), you stand by the one to be buried in the water.  Take their confession.  You will say, Do you believe Jesus is the Son of God?  They will say that they do.

Both standing upright, you then put your hand behind their back in support while they cover their nose and mouth.  You say something like, Upon your confession, I now baptize you that your sins are to be washed away and that you will receive the Holy Spirit in the name of the Father, and the Son and the Spirit.  

You will do fine.  Exact wording isn't necessary.  The meaning of starting life over is. You lean them back into the water until completely submerged.  When you help them come back up, this is a picture of His death, burial, and resurrection.

Step Four: Encourage each who experiences the new birth to get with a group to learn how to read the Bible, how to pray, and how to develop a relationship with God. Otherwise, these will have simply been led to get wet.  If uncertain how developing and growing in Christ would look, email me.  I'll help you with ideas; we are learners together.

I believe that once such an event is visual, the world will be inspired to give their lives to Jesus.  The formula will be repeated time and time again.  Baptism is merely at the beginning point.  Learning of Him and His ways is a life-time commitment and experience.

Jesus is our redemption.  Baptism is not a god; it is a godly act to bury us with Jesus. Common, ordinary people are being baptized all over the world.  We can add to the fire.  My we develop by the grace of God an incredibly viral form of evangelism.

Saturday, August 23, 2014


Satan has tried to deal a lethal blow to God's system.  He has done so by intimidation to the extent that those who ponder the idea of whether faith is legit tend to back off due to noting our anemic style.  Christianity, overall, is misread by those who too easily dismiss us.  They see us as timid, silly, fearful, and unnecessary.  The problem with this is that much of their evaluation is accurate.

To many, ministers are believed to be the weakest of any community, churches are assumed to be mainly for women, and ministry is viewed as projects for the do-gooders.  Nice is how the church of Christ is perceived by those who are not so sure about us.

But the truth is that following the real Jesus in real faith is not easy terrain.  For one, the paragraph above describing the assumption toward us is difficult enough.  And while there is an abundance of just be nice, don't be radical, and stay out of trouble sorts of faith among us, God calls believers to risky depths.

I look forward to seeing what God does with the new-found attention of Ebola recovered Dr. Kent Brantly. This man has a message from God and the world is rushing to give him a microphone.  Get ready.  Talk shows, magazine interviews, speaking engagements, books and a movie or two are in the faith I think this to be true.


Skeptics, I believe, wonder about the reality of God.  These endure hardships and disappointments just as all do.  Of course, the big question of looming death is on every person's mind; whether homeless, celebrity, or in the middle.  Death is an issue that only the one resurrected from the dead can solve.  That would be Jesus, the one whom calendars continue to date themselves two thousand fourteen years since his birth.

So I speak to those very good people who are not so sure about churches and those who lead them.  I don't blame you.  I came from such a background of wondering if the lot of us weren't suspect.  I found out we are...but in a good way.  We are stumped by life's twists and turns.  We have found we cannot do life without God.  We are courageous enough to admit it.

Therefore while I rarely promote a book, I do this time.  John Alan Turner's Crazy Stories Sane God is written with exciting simplicity.  I believe everyone would benefit from the remarkable way he fits words and phrases which sets the heart on fire.  I urge you to order a copy as both believers and seekers will be blessed.

Believing in God isn't for sissies.  It takes focus, concentration, and eventual sacrifice to dare be bold enough to give faith a shot.  Go for it.

Friday, August 22, 2014


Something needs to be done about the most challenging state of world affairs.  I draw your attention to God's army; believers who do battle in the invisibles which affect greatly the visibles.  Lets you and me build a group who will march through the corridors of need.

I pray for two things constantly; (1) that God would show up in the media of world news and (2) that He would send us signals of His engagement/involvement with mankind which would surprise us.  In the latter I ask Him to do things of such measurement that no one could point to man's manipulation to cause such results.

As I watched TV last night, I noted Dr. Kent Brantly step to the mic and give God glory for what He had done for him.  Later in the segment a nationally known doctor was interviewed.  When asked whether Dr. Brantly's recovery was due to science or to God, the doctor responded with a little bit of science and a lot of God.  That's a pretty good job of showing up in the media of world news!

Earlier in the week I learned of a work God did in America that I just can't discuss right now.  It's too amazing.  Too wonderful.  The story has ramifications of both wonder and considerable threat to those involved.  Let it suffice to say that the information is accurate and the witness is true as to God giving a signal of heavenly proportion so that not one person involved could take credit nor be given such.  This story will eventually be told.

Therefore, I toss an idea your way; a challenge that is bigger than ice bucket drenching (which is pretty amazing).  Would you spread the word among your friends and your churches that we are seeking prayer marchers who will pray for the next week for two specific matters: (1) that God would continually show up in the media by receiving glory for His work, and (2) that God would signal us with mighty works that no man or woman could have even thought to try?

Let's go on a prayer campaign for a week.  And, then let us share with others the things we witness which are from the deep regions of God.  Spread the word through Facebook, texts, church bulletins, church announcements, and random encounters with others who would join us.


Thursday, August 21, 2014


Do any of you ever feel like life is just plain strange?  Are we really in the kingdom for the whole load?  Or are we taking a weak stab at getting God-things right as if the church that finishes with the best score wins?

It feels so weird.  I really like being us.  Yet, so much of us feels inauthentic if not often empty.  For me, this is difficult to sort.  For the sake of us and all who follow, we must soberly ponder.

How much of what we believe, stand for, and promote is truly a kingdom-of-God thread?  And, how much of the same is the fake robe we wear inherited from tradition as well as cultural comfort?

Life in the Spirit is just so opposite of life in the selfishly-groomed flesh. The flesh is such a bossy sort.  It wants things to go its way with tints and shades of godliness. The flesh goes to churches, stands in pulpits, presides over committee meetings, and has a big say in worship preferences.

It seems that if we are not on our toes (the spiritual ones) as to our human appetites and desires that we could inadvertently slant much of what we do toward the flesh side of evaluation.

Living in the Spirit surely is extravagantly different.  Such life cannot be calculated, charted, nor measured.  It cannot be manipulated  and will not be coaxed.  Life in the Spirit is absurd to the flesh's understanding.  Examination and explanation; neither fits the rules of Spirit life.

In the Spirit, waiting is just as much an effective factor as going.  The flesh prefers the latter.  The Spirit measures eternally while the flesh compiles calendaric stats like how much?  How many?  How big?  How impressive?  Jesus had twelve.  One betrayed.  All of the rest fled.  How do you think he did with his responsibilities from heaven?  For awhile it appeared Mission Aborted.

Those closest to Jesus had to have felt the Spirit's seeming lack on Friday and Saturday.  Yet, there was nothing absent from the kingdom side.  Everything was in place at the foot of the cross, don't you  But those most intimately trained by Jesus missed it.

Yes, they were engaged in some kingdom training; but the flesh was monitoring all of the goings on to the extent it finally convinced all of the Jesus-trainees to bail.  It turned out the talk was just talk.  Villains ruled.  Life that Jesus presented proved to be only a hoax.

So they assumed.

But the Spirit--life in the Spirit--is not like the calculating, controlling, managing flesh.  He works from different standards.  Of all of those closest to Jesus and his instructions, 100% of them missed the glory.  They slipped back into junior high understanding with the conclusion all was lost.

We are to stay on the edge of our seats when working beside God.  Our judgment of what's producing and what isn't (who is and who isn't) is always suspect.  We have no fruit which would impress another.  The Holy Spirit has his and he passes it through us.  It isn't ours to muster; only to bear.

If we want to inspire a dark world to come to life, put away all brag sheets of accomplishment (books written, baptisms recorded, travels endured, and responses counted) and wait on the Spirit of God to show us results that no one could fathom ahead of time.

Our response is to be open to Him.  Such is always valuable as well as current.  Our Friday's may feel like months.  Saturday's might seem to be years.  But Sunday's with our efforts resurrected by the Spirit are eternal.  May we be found living in the Spirit.

This will take focus and attentiveness to the things from above.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


So lately there have been some challenges.  Yesterday I became so discouraged with a segment of the work here that I burst into tears in from of a couple of my dear colleagues....twice.  I do not tell you this for sympathy.  I don't need it.  I only share for those who think some things go well because of Terry.  They don't.  They never have.  And they never will.

I knew yesterday's turbulence was valuable.  Sometimes I wish I could just enjoy my own misery.  Know what I mean?  Misery loves myself.  Yet, that's not the place where God would want me to set up shop.  I knew He was blessing me and it was my assignment to either sit still and wait or else go on the hunt.

One of my seemingly eternal frustrations occurs when I can't make things/people/programs work.  By now I have become a professional failure at this. I am accustomed to great plans going South.  Yet, there is God.  That's always His point of contention with me.  He works.

So what I realized for about the jamillionth time is that God is the power; no one else. My job is to believe Him when I have no categorical spreadsheet of supporting proof. My work is to trust Him...John 6:29.  Period.

Therefore, my focus shifted from my disappointment to God's appointment.  I looked toward Him.  Maybe what I noted yesterday might encourage some of you today.

God is impossible.  He is impossible.  He does impossible.  He gives impossible.  He lives impossible.  His story is impossible.  And, His reach is impossible.

The church has nearly succumbed to priding itself with its own understanding.  We have become stabilizing forces of managerial prowess.  We know stuff.  We share stuff we know because others need to know some of that same stuff; we assume.

We have come to believe in our beliefs; not so much in our God.  For us, we have transitioned from the wow of impossibility to the self-impressiveness of explainability.  We have books---sets of books---plus our seminars, plus our maps and plans.

Too, one must not forget our insistent preferences.  We have distracted ourselves by ourselves.  So much so that guys like me get blue because I get caught off-guard when I realize--for the jamillionth time--that I am not running this show.

From day one (literally) God has done what can't be.  He gave us the Book of impossibilities becoming actual.  Fatigue overrides the church when we chart and guess and take stabs at man's best applications.  Each generation needs to be shaken from our meager productivity due to our meagerer control.

The God of the impossible is demonstrated from Day One all the way out of the other side of His Son's grave.  He started what we know as the church with twelve nice; but maybe dull men.  One of them committed suicide.  But just think of God's impossible implications with such a destined-to-fail-for-sure start.  He thought that with this motley crew He could eventually reach the entire world.  Hmmm.

Me?  Oh, I am tempted to get down.  Yet, I must choose differently.  Life isn't about me and how I'm feeling.  If God can make something of dummies like Peter, James, and John, He will surely invest in me as well.  And...I'm saying the same is true for all of us.

Absolutely challenging times hit...repeatedly.  Every time can be found to be a great stage for us to look upward to see how God is reminding us today...of the impossibilities He wishes we would ponder.   Impossibility is God's nature.

May we join in!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


There's something going on with the world populace it seems.  Each generation is able to note how silly and inadequate the following one is.  This, in general understand, has been a practical bench-mark in the church.  It has also been the point of contention for many....always.

Little by little (possibly large by large in places) steady questioning has gone on and continues; one generation vs another.  The younger are frustrated with the older because the latter are viewed as closed-minded.  The older find contest with the younger because many of their ideas seem foreign to the Bible ways (which interpreted really means the way we prefer the church continue as always had been done).

Over time, nothing seems to change in this process except one.  The younger who pushed eventually become the older who have transitioned into defense mode.  This is a consistent procedure of all claiming to be of biblical perspective.  Yet, the pushing and the pulling seem endless.  The the same song next verse with each generation.

Happy medium would not seem to be the answer.  This could merely lead to church mediocrity with the congregational mind on peace at all costs.  The Holy Spirit leading would seem to be the correct perspective.

Every generation has very much to learn.  Both suffer deeply because this truth has been either forgotten or else neglected.  We want what we want and like what we like has very little place in the scheme of kingdom ideology.  Serving others.  Blessing others.  Dying for others are the essentials which fade with each generational peeve.

Our fight has slackened from the winning of souls because we have internal issues which we deem are wrong.  These distractions just happen to be more comforting to each generation instead of learning something new like being face to face with a neighbor who needs to learn how to glorify God.  Generational stresses are pseudo-problems which aid each to hide under the bushel basket of being about the Master's business....when it isn't.  This is, rather, being about the Deceiver's business.

The truth is that maturity is needed for all of us....all of the time.  Holy Spirit fruit is to be sought.  Personal preferences have zero bearing on where the church is headed; none.

If we could trust the lead Spirit that He knows how to get us where He wants us to go, it could be that all ages will mature in realizing each of us will necessarily need to make significant changes.  Allow me to say "change".

For this, of this, and with this, we should not be afraid.  Fear isn't to be the church gauge.  Trust in the Spirit is.  Change is an ever-present trait of the Holy Spirit of God.  Each generation needs to remember this as we strive to move forward in the most exciting kingdom ever!

Monday, August 18, 2014


Everyone faces paramount difficulties.  Everyone.  None live above the fallen pace of mankind.  All fall short of the glory of God.  Included, therefore, is a life loaded for bear.  Rugged, challenging, insulting, harsh matters parade by our addresses; at least by our minds, and they wear us very thin.

Yet, there is a godly way of escape.  Think upon everything going right.  This is the message I continue to pound out in so much of my writing.  Philippians 4:4-9 will not let up.  We are to think, with thanksgiving I might add, about the numerous things going right in our world.  The text assures each of us a peace that surpasses our grasp of how such interruption could possibly be peaceful.

In every situation, we can choose to think higher.  We are not to live in denial of the rugged nor insulting terrain.  Rather, we are to set our minds upon the many more elements that are going right.  In every case (note: every), conditions could be much worse; but they are not.

I've encountered brutal take your breath away kinds of days.  By His clear call, I have understood that even these could be worse.  Leading my mind to think upon the many issues going well has allowed God the room to prove His above point.  Peace that cannot be explained....arrives.

Consider hurts we encounter:

  1. Someone hurts our feelings.  Did the other 199 hurt your feelings or just the one...or the two?  Then give your attention to what you like about the 199.  Dwell on them.  Count the ways.
  2. Someone offends your doctrine.  This is ample opportunity to practice your doctrine of overriding grace, surpassing mercy, and conquering love.
  3. Someone sins against you.  Go to that person with clear understanding before your approach that your personal sins are equally hideous to the extent the pure and sinless Son of God was tortured for your sins.  At this point, speak frankly to your offender.
  4. Someone dismisses both your efforts and your ideas.  Contemplate where your efforts and ideas have flourished.  Do not give think-time to those whom you feel have shut you down.  Rather, repeatedly ponder the many who gave you the go-ahead regarding matters that proved successful.
Factually, we live in a spiritual walk of blatant grandeur.  It diminishes His glory when we live in hand-wringing, eye-rolling un-joy.  The reverse delights as we focus upon blessing after blessing that streams from above.  God is God!  That is wow enough!

I once sat at a murder scene.  I clearly understand anger, confusion, fear, and exorbitant pain.  I clearly get it.  
I studied the room of stunned relatives and friends as police officers and investigators moved in and out of the house while the dad sat stunned with his own son's blood smeared across his shirt and jacket.  The murders were fresh.  The bodies still in the house.  It was so stunning that even the silence seemed noisy.

So what is one to do with this?  Thank God.  Really?  Absolutely.  

Early the next morning I thanked God that both who were murdered were not in a hospital for the next 90 days only to die slowly.  I thanked God that the couple that lost their two sons in the devastating crime did not lose their daughter as well...or their own lives.  Two in the family had died; but three remained alive.

That's the most I could do; focus upon everything I could think of that had gone right.  While I obviously wasn't jumping with great enthusiasm for the moment was painfully dark, I did experience what God had promised.  He gave me a peace that could not be cataloged nor explained. 

He really does provide a peace that is beyond understanding.  We are to do more than think positive during negative days.  We are to think thanksgiving right in the center of forceful negativity.  God's grace will supply in ways comprehension cannot do anything but accept as a merciful gesture from above.

Friday, August 15, 2014


E. Stanley Jones' The Divine Yes has had the biggest impact over me compared to any other book.  I never knew about Second Corinthians 1:18-20 like he expressed. That everything is a Yes is eternally powerful.

Therefore, I share a lengthy quote simply to stabilize your day; hopefully.

It was said of the Samaritans that they would not let Jesus come into their village because his face was set as if he were going to Jerusalem, so they refused him entrance.  James and John wanted to call down fire from heaven, but Jesus refused them and went to another village.  Is that the open door?  If life shuts you out of one village, does life also have another village to which you can go?  Yes, I have found that when life shuts one door, it opens another if you have eyes to see and initiative to follow.

As a violinist tightens the strings of the violin, he does not do it to torture them, but to bring out music better than before.  This pause in my life work is not misery; it is music in the making.  It was said that the early Christians overcame that pagan world of wrong for they out-thought the pagans, outlived the pagans, out-suffered the pagans, out-died the pagans.  That is what we must do in a world of this kind.

It could be said that we know misery.  What some may not know that this assumed energy drainer, once converted from misery to music, will be our new energy booster.  The best visual is to look at the disciples of Jesus during the first and second days of his crucifixion.  Notice the new dynamic in Acts 2 after his resurrection.

Dead Jesus (misery) was in reality the most powerful hope (music) the world has ever known.

Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.  For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison....II Cor. 4:16-17.

Today?  I personally am having a very low day.  Surprise!  Due to feeling bummed, He gives me this to write.  Go figure!  I guess God is tightening my violin strings!

Music is coming soon!

Thursday, August 14, 2014


Once upon a time there was a Garden.  In that Garden God began what we know as humanity.  Adam and Mrs. Adam lived in luxury until one day they upset the apple cart; so to speak.  From that day forward the human race has declined.  The struggles remain constant.  Thus, we tend to raise the question of what is this world coming to.

Our question seems to imply that it was once stable; but now it is rocky.  While it has been rocky from the first sin in the Garden, man has grown rather dull to such a fact. We have become deadened to the downward slide.

John Eldredge observes it this way.  Something awful has happened; something terrible.  Something worse, even, than the fall of man.  For in that greatest of all tragedies, we merely lost Paradise---and with it, everything that made life worth living.  What has happened since is unthinkable: we've gotten used to it.  We're broken in to the idea that this is just the way things are.  The people who walk in great darkness have adjusted their eyes.  Regardless of our religious or philosophical beliefs, most of us live as though life is pretty much the way things are supposed to be.

The good news is that due to Jesus we do not have to accept our declination.  Rather we may awaken to potential and possibility of grand reversal.  It is God who awakens us from our invisible tombs of non-attention as well as indifferent slumber.  It is His resurrected Son who calls us to a whole new current creation.  It is the Holy Spirit of God who re-energizes and re-empowers we common people.

It isn't a question of what is this world coming to?  The real question is has anyone done anything about this decline we are in?  The answer is that, absolutely, Jesus already did.   It isn't a matter of where we are headed; but who stopped the disastrous trend?

Once we ponder the right question we approach the right solution.  Jesus is the solution.  In him we find hope---solid, defined hope.  Jesus has turned the life-train around in mid-track.  Hear his call.  He died that we might live; so let's get after it!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


Faith is a rather weird sort.  We must determinedly lean in upon it.  The flesh naturally opposes matters of the unseen by mocking the invisible as either imaginary or unrealistic.  Yet, God calls each to walk by faith and not by sight.  This must be regarded with more than a religious shrug.

The flesh doesn't take faith lying down.  It imposes, then, just how faith will be defined; a very reduced explanation if you will.  Yes, the flesh combats the giganticity of faith by at least reframing it to work only within time limits.  Plant seed of the kingdom today and if no fruit within, let's say 90 or 730 days, then it must not have been a legitimate faith.

At such a point our faith can begin to limp.  Yet, the flesh is lying.  It wishes to get the church to march by its standards while permitting us to call rather exciting things of the

Faith, however, is not restricted to our measured standards of accomplishment. Faith marches off into zones of effectiveness that the flesh has neither concept nor input.....nor even grasp.  The flesh doesn't get what the spirit knows.  Eternal spirits will live in heaven.  Decaying flesh doesn't go.

Jewish doctor Boris Kornfeld betrayed the faith of his fathers by believing in Jesus as the Son of God.  This highly skilled doctor found himself alone in a Siberian prison. Yet, it is Alexander Solzehnitsyn who shared that is was this man who inspired him to influence much of the world.  What God needed from Kornfeld was to use his brief life only to touch another.

Cotton Mather prayed several hours each day for over twenty years for revival; yet, never saw it with his own eyes exactly what God would do.  The year Mather died was the beginning of what is now known as the Great Awakening.  Measurable effectiveness according to the flesh?  Not to be seen by the producer.  Impacting the spirits of others?  Abundant; although Mather was clueless other than his conviction by faith.

Exhausted by a fifty year campaign against slavery, William Wilberforce lay on his death bed as the British Empire finally abolished slavery.  A very small number in the Orient were converted to Jesus during Hudson Taylor's extravagant as well as sacrificially intense efforts to share the hope in God's only Son.  Today, millions of believers reside in China.  Of course Taylor's faith-eyes could see the potential; although his flesh-eyes could have questioned effectiveness.

So it is with you and me.  By faith in Jesus we possess weighty impact, now, beyond circumstance.  We must be true to the Ephesians 1:18 eyes of the heart; not of the flesh.  Faith inspires.  Flesh dismisses.  Faith encourages.  Flesh denies.  Faith spreads. Flesh corrals.  Faith expands.  Flesh cautions.  Faith applauds.  Flesh gripes.

May we be charged--highly energized--by the truth that what we do by God's power reaches far beyond what one can report by any glimpse of circumstance.  I believe that while many of us do get to enjoy some fruit of our spiritual labor we will find that our best work will be noted beyond the grave.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


How puzzling must we humans be?  We live in constant extremes.  Our pride leaves us fighting for air in the midst of depression.  Even the kingdom to which God calls insists that to really live one must really die.  Life is packed with assorted ironies.

So how does one of the funniest men ever to roam earth bring his life to sudden end via suicide?  How does this happen?  What an oxymoron; talented in outward expression of comedy while dying on the inside from depression.

The sad loss of Robin Williams is grievous to my heart.  I've wept.

What shall we do with this news?  Are we supposed to do anything with it?

For me, the answer is yes; being fully aware that your response will be as individualistic.

What we do is we learn from this week's tragic announcement.  We at least allow it to be a strong reminder.  People of all stages and levels inwardly, and sometimes secretly, hurt.  A matter that I believe society in general does not fathom is that high-profile people carry the same inner-agonies as we low-profile ones.

My heart especially goes out to the celebrity world of movies, sports, and politics for we can assume that since they have money and fame, they have it made.  These do not.  They are  normal people with normal insecurities.

May we awaken to the irony that we are all on the same page.  Every CEO and each person of fame fight for stability for this earth is booby-trapped with chasms and blind-spots which leave all without direction.  Men, women, and children find constant dilemmas due to unseen curves quickly approaching.

What shall we do with these ideas?  We shall step up our pace of speaking life into the hearts of everyone around.  We will speak such because we know that every person in our path desperately needs creative words of hope.  We may not be famous; but we can inspire the famous.  We can encourage the common.

God knows very well how to place us and use us to afford His glory to one who desperately needs His word-style.

I know of no greater irony than to realize comedians become depressed.  How strange?  No.  How common.  No one is exempt.  Therefore, as the redeemed, we must say so.  We must say...words...which are God's creative bring dear valuable neighbors and friends back into the true zone of happiness and authentic joy.

Robin Williams ended his life without realizing the world was crazy about him.  He was in need of lavish words of hope.  We are now reminded that everyone could use a dose of empowering conversation.  Due to God, you have it within you.  Give cheer to those around you....freely.  Others need you.

Sunday, August 10, 2014


We encounter constant battle to make it through each day.  Many, we observe, seem to have a winning life.  Even we find ourselves with a winning scorecard on occasion. But it is that day when we lose that puts us down.

This perspective could, should, and will change.

Roman 5:1-5 is to be impressed upon our hearts as always true.  When we win we win and when lose we win.  No other system than God's dare poses such fascination, indeed.

Therefore, moms and dads who have children in sports, beauty contests, and other competitions, it would be good to note that losing has positive power. It is at these moments that the roots drive deep as trees to endure the wind.  Should we deny such a trek and always live in protective mode from our children being offended, we will raise a generation of shallow and selfish adults.

Jesus was adamant about keeping our lives by losing them.  We tend to think that went well in Jerusalem in olden days; but is of little significance with me or my child.  It has very much to do with who we are, where we are, and what we are.

True winners learn to win in losing.  This is the central nature of the church of Christ.

True winners win when we win and come out on top when others thought we lost. Keep the empty tomb of Jesus in mind.  God isn't fooling.  Winners win and losers win when our lives are embedded in the Resurrected One.

Press onward.  Reach high.  Give life a constant shot.  And never take the backseat when anyone declares loss in your territory.  Never.  Never.  We are so blessed by Father that, even when others assume we are beaten, they have no idea how we already experience victory in every moment.

The resurrection is that bouncy part of our spirits.  Regardless of what tries to put us down, we will always bounce back via resurrection design.

Saturday, August 09, 2014


Hebrews 12:1-3 is always relevant for our day.  Whether up or down, proud or humbled, taking a constant gander at Jesus is both fundamentally and necessarily the best direction one can possess.  We must keep our eyes upon him.

Therefore, it must not be a surprise that mankind lives in constant distraction.  From vacations to celebrations to interruptions to flat-out crises, multiple facets bid to distract us from looking/watching Jesus move.  I read the Bible for years studying about Jesus; yet not studying him.  There is a difference.

We must watch what we watch.  If our eyes are upon clean sanctuaries, uncluttered by food and drink, but have no heart-yearn for Jesus, we have missed the mark.  If we assemble Sunday to grade the song service on a scale of 1-10, our eyes have shifted away from the Master.

This will be a constant message just as the Hebrew book offers constant reminder.  We must fix our eyes on Jesus in order to never give up.  Endurance (:1) leads us to joy (:3) because we look squarely upon Jesus (:2).  Focused in any other direction than the One will lead to ultimate discouragement for nothing holds up under pressure except our Friend.

Friday, August 08, 2014


Sue Monk Kidd wrote that a crisis is a holy summons to cross a threshold.  That crossing separates a leaving behind from a moving forward.  Too many are stuck upon the threshold; frozen in disappointment and afraid of the unknown.  We need to be urged to move forward into opportunity rather than obsessing over the separation.

Jesus made a rather strange statement when he insisted, Let the dead bury the dead. This is a call to separation; leave the deadening things behind.  Move forward.  Due to our ingrained nature to live responsibly, his command seems insensitive if not selfish.  It is neither.

Yet, we know that Jesus knows what he is talking about even if we don't.  We often don't.

Life is an exciting process and experience.  Well, maybe not for some.  And this is where his call enters our world.  Our inward journey can become hamstrung if we are giving attention to those things which are deadening.  We are to focus upon issues that surge with life-power.  A problem we have is that we never throw out the useless past to make wider room for the lively present.

We are garbage collectors.  Our minds and intentions are cluttered with dead issues which should have been taken to the dump years ago. The longer we live, if not careful, we may note the load is growing more burdensome.  This is a sign the dead needs to be left behind.  Do you wonder if life might free up a bit for some if things of the past could be emptied?  If we could let the dead take care of themselves while we give attention to the things that live?

This call is not easy; especially for we sentimental people-pleasers.  So we must give heed that Jesus wasn't babbling in the wind.  He is on to something in calling us to follow him.  If not careful, dead-end schedules rob us of broad avenues for ministry.  Some of those dead-ends include dealing with people who have no intent on following him; they just need our attention and, thus, they are willing to eat up our hours and days.

Jesus' words are most sensitive for they call for judgment of getting matters evaluated properly and spiritually.  Therefore we must be alive in him and to him. We must have a spirit of discernment.  If we are to side-step the deadening things, we simply must develop an attitude toward Jesus' call that surely matters in our walk today.

Our tendency is to take on any and every project because someone (even a close friend with a good heart) thought there was a need.  One of our most critical servant steps is to determine whether God is calling or is a needy friend calling who has no discipline to say no to wasteful and time-consuming projects.  There is a difference.

Give attention to the matters that live and let the deadening things take care of themselves.

Thursday, August 07, 2014


Surely a pattern plays out in front of us day by day, week by week, into decade by decade.  That formation is the fact that often the rough stuff in our paths is there for a purpose.  It is useful to help us to grow up.  You may have noted that a lot of OTHER PEOPLE need to grow up!!

Discipline is always valuable.  Discipline in eating, in obeying, in respecting, and in exercising; all of these and more enhance our lives.  Flabby bodies and flabby mindsets miss the golden opportunities of issues presented which go against our laziness; against what we want.  We tend to fight off the very things we need which would lead us to grow up.

Many of our bad days aren't bad days at all.  They are life's favor toward us if we will receive correction rather than issuing objection.  We need to not get our way.  We must find obstacles to challenge our endurance muscles.  Training to be a human who is deeply in love with God is a never-ending process.

We older tend to smirk at the younger for their inability to take the hard road.  Yet, we are found often to be equally as guilty.  We are the generation of quitters.  We are the leaders in pickiness, poutiness, and insistent painlessness.

May we take note of the many things that don't go our way.  And before we throw them out, or throw a fit, maybe we should inspect this seeming crisis to see if it might just be another tool to develop us!

The transition is blatant as well as clear.  Maturity brings about thankful hearts. Immaturity whines, gripes, and offers a galaxy of excuses; few of which have any bearing on the matters at hand.  The process of incredible blessings is a deep pressing against our own self-protectionary, self-supplying will.

Things get right often because we begin to learn in the midst of the things we believed were going wrong.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014


Whoa!  I am experiencing something I never knew could be so fascinating!  I see with incredibly new lenses!  I can see again!

My second cataract surgery was completed Monday morning.  I'm in the land of recovery for the next four weeks.  Yet I can already tell you that I can't take in the new of this revelation!  It is too wonder-filled!  I can't get over how bright everything is.  Would it be alright if I tell you that even the toilet paper is now soooo white?

Cataracts very gradually transition one's sight from light to dim.  The brightness of each day is reduced to a yellow tint--as in weak sunglasses--over time.  The process is so slow that one just doesn't notice.  But, oh my, I can't quit looking at how magnifiably more colorful everything is.  I just can't quit looking.

And then this caused me to think of a text where God evidently had spiritual cataracts in mind.  Through Paul, He called for care toward the cataracts of the heart.  I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance of the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe (Eph. 1:18-19).

EnLIGHTened? The heart of a Christian can be critically affected by a slow dimming process; cataracts of the heart.  We must return to the wow of God; the hope!  The riches!  And the power!  The church is perpetually in need of cataract surgery that we might operate in the very bright and powerful light of the Master.

That the flesh eyes can see how bright toilet paper is seems to be astonishing; at least to me.  How much brighter the heart when we can see the beauty of precise hope, riches, and power right where we

The grand world of new heart-eyes....opens to us a whole new world of wow in the Spirit!

Sunday, August 03, 2014


I write today from a low point.  Be not discouraged by me saying so.  Rather, allow me the premise of possibly speaking into your zone for the purpose of giving off substantial hope.

Today has a feel of loneliness.  Burdens for others whelm and even overwhelm me.  My greatest desire is for some in my small world to find authentic life in Jesus.  It is there.  He is there.  The truth that I don't have the talent nor skill to link them with Him is a zone I simply do not like.  This terribly wears on me.  As days pile up due to my inability then eventual discouragement encumbers my heart.

Yet, how awesome.  How good is this position of my nothingness?  While I am bankrupt of answers and directives, He is full of them.  Isaiah 55:8-9 insists that His ways and thoughts are higher and I say, Oh I am so glad for that!  

Ephesians 3:20 won't let up in communication that God can work beyond our imagination.  Ah, another place to comfort the lacking and the lonely.

I don't share with you my lowly mood today for sympathy.  I don't need nor want such.  I tell you this for those who are also cramped into this crowded room of lonely servants who feel desperately lacking.  This is the nature of the kingdom.  We are nothing.  He is everything.

I thank God today for our feeling the full force of the yucks.  This is just one more verification that we don't run His show.  Be glad.  Be encouraged.  Be attentive.  He knows how to do what we can't figure.

I am at a low point....which is a good and blessed place to be.  You might be as me.  I feel certain that if you aren't at this place today, you have been and will be.  Do not get down.  Rather, try to look up; not an up of a cheerier heart, but a HOLY UP where He resides and sees and works.

In Him we find our excitement to move forward!

Saturday, August 02, 2014


Being born again is a rather romantic spiritual concept to those who believe John 3:3-8.  Ideas of starting over and/or of being heaven-bound are apex moments. Transitioning from ultimate flesh erosion to eventual spirit arising surely is redemptive to our days of struggle.

There are agonies found in this glorious concept of one born actually approaching a born-over mode.  The frustration is that it surely must be found to have its challenges.  We tend to regard such a move as shifting from non-church life to church life.  The new is not necessarily seen in a new personality nor a new hope; but rather is embedded in yet another thing to do with this flesh-life.

How do we break the bonds of this earth-life that wants to go with us into the spirit-mode operation?  Our immediate problem in such a shift approach is that the flesh insists on being in control.  Control is a major player in the life game.  It will fight for....control.

Not so oddly, we get just a fine-line glimpse of why a portion of Holy Spirit fruit is self-control.  We must have divine assistance to pull away from the strong arms of the flesh.  If not aware of our torrent self, we will find the spirit life dull and awkward for the earthiness of us wants explanation, not mystery.  It wants understanding, not flexibility.  It demands warning; not surprise.

I know of no one who is exempt from the temptation to wish to be in control of his direction and calling.  This is surely an agonizing element of the rebirth process.  Will we let go?  Or will we drag our old language and rules into the kingdom with strong effort of operate from our former rejected and dysfunctional mindset?

It is with enormous stress that we concede flesh's best estimations, guesses, and efforts.  The flesh will not yield to the spirit world without repeated skirmishes for control.  Yet, this must happen.

Frankly, I'm weary of me.  In the name of responsibility I prefer to organize, plot, and plan my way into efficiency.  Yet, the spirit refuses the bugging memos streaming from the flesh.  We have to learn spirit things like wait, and believe, and hope, and watch, and then wait some more.

Rebirth thrusts us into a new life far different from the womb of grocery shopping, yard mowing, bill paying, and education accomplishing.

Rebirth recycles rather than refurbishes.  Now....that's a fascinating thought all by itself.

Friday, August 01, 2014


Jesus urged that we be the light so that every passerby could see.  He pleaded that we not hide our light under a bushel basket where he light would still be aflame; but visually blocked by that basket so that it would be of no use to a traveler.

This is rather a strong judgment of mine; yet it is a conviction due to observation. Basically, believers have  gone into volunteer hiding merely by keeping quiet in the public square.  I don't mean that we should be preaching on soap boxes at street corners.  Neither do I mean to imply that we should be an in-your-face type who passes by others with our repulsive obnoxicity.

I do speak of the necessity to own a walk and a talk that is expressive about our confidence in God through the Spirit of Jesus.  We are urged, advised, and called to be the light to the world.  Somehow, along the way, this has been adjusted to going to church on Sundays and behaving ourselves during the week.

Do you think the bulk of believers are both hesitant and shy when it comes to being authentic lights?  Why is it that Bible class comments always revert to Well, you know we can all be good examples.  Yes we surely can.  But that can be said to cancel our responsibility to be vocal light in dark worldly avenues and alleys.

The world is growing darker.  This isn't happening just because man is increasing in sin only,  It is happening because Christians have welcomed a mutual concept among us that driving to a brick and mortar building at the given times of Sundays and Wednesdays fulfills being a light to the world.   A light hidden in a building merely allows the world outside to remain in the dark.

So how do we correct this?  What are we to do differently?

We are to be proactive by reaching into our communities even in zones that make us uncomfortable.  The withdrawing from faith activities because we are more driven by reluctance than by faith must be challenged. We have developed a comfort religion toward ministering to others of if I think I can handle this I will engage and if I might not appear to be on top of the matter, I won't.  

It is not unusual to be presented with opportunities that we don't know what to do. To act as if these don't exist is not the answer.  We must watch.  We must pray.  And, we must try.  Our casual dismissal of not knowing what to do so we will just walk away from desperate needs of community must be shed.

So many times I don't know what I am doing.  So many times I do things and get them wrong.  In each of these times I desire to use them as classrooms to learn so that the next time I might be better prepared.  Failure often arises during my efforts.  But effectiveness increases because failure is an advantage to those who hunger to increase in the Jesus work.

Do not think it sufficient to hide under the bushel of looking the other way because you wouldn't know how to approach the need?  Try to learn by practice which would most likely consist of a combination of success and failure so that others may be your enduring traits.

May Christianity come out of the bushel-hiding closet.