Thursday, April 30, 2015


This fast-paced lifestyle of ours isn't good for us.  Never has it been more accurate than now to say that time seems to be flying.  We are bombarded with too many things to remember, too many matters to attend, and too many details to fulfill.

We are living in a land of the bombarded.  We, the care-takers of our walk, have inadvertently become targets rather than trying to live on target.  Our minds are in constant distraction while our responsibilities cover a plethora of variational obligation.

Should you think I'm yelling at you, I'm not.  I don't intend to be the dog barking at your wheels as you drive by on your way to your next appointment...possibly running a bit late.

I'm merely saying fatigue sets in on my spirit because I live in a marvelous time of opportunity.  Back from St. Louis this week.  Off to LA next week.  And, I love every bit of it.  I'm just saying I live where some of you do.

So of course I offer the age-old warning that still must serve as a constant reminder. Live in pace with Jesus.

I told myself that when the kids were out on their own that my life would slow down. Not a whisker.  When I watch Jesus (and no he didn't have an automobile, Internet, cell phone, nor a membership at the Y), he was always engaged in the most amazing moments.  Yet, these seemed to consistently follow time spent with Father.

I encourage you/me/we to keep working at spending time with Father.

We can and will resist this plea.  We believe ourselves too busy.  Our lives look like a person whose car is about to run out of gasoline; but doesn't have the time to stop to fill it up.  When running on empty, eventually parked along the roadside as stranded, one discovers it takes much more additional time and cost to do what should have been done back at the intersection with three gas stations.

But we get too busy.  And our busy isn't trivial.  All of it matters.  Yet, Jesus warned Martha of this in the book of Luke when she was miffed over Mary lounging at the voice of Jesus when there was preparation needed in the kitchen.  Too, it was this same Martha who was later miffed when discovered that her brother had died and Jesus didn't "hurry" to get there in time.

John 11:20 has an interesting take; Martha therefore, when she heard that Jesus was coming , went to meet Him; but Mary still sat in the house.  Mary "still sat"? Evidently there was something within her spirit due to learning from Jesus, rather than always busy, that put the calm in her.

Before we run into our calendaric demands or even our upsetting crises, we will do well to learn what it means to spend time in the calm reflection of the presence of Jesus. He makes such a difference.  This hinges on where we choose to be spending time.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015


I watch the reports out of Baltimore with great interest.  Being white, I find myself challenged by the scenes of destruction.  Yet, I question what it is that I may be missing.  So may I appear quite vulnerable to you all as you read on?

There was a time in my life that such scenes didn't even challenge me.  They merely agitated.  Ridiculous.  Stupid.  Ignorant.  Such were my displeasured reactions.

However, I ran into a man whom I had loved as a fan; my Cardinal hero of all-time, Curt Flood.  I learned.  I learned a lot from being around him, his family, and his very closest of friends.  I learned the other side of angst.  There is another side to this story.  I had never listened; never thought there was anything yet to be considered.

For now, I dare to ask, Is there something the Caucasians don't get?  If so, what is it?  I now believe the answer to the first question is,Yes.  I weigh in with possibilities to the second.  The blacks call these protests.  Whites call them riots.

Destruction is everywhere and this is very bad.  While a very emotional, yet calm, Maryland State Senator was trying to explain to our nation on camera from one of the chaotic streets of Baltimore, local citizens peppered the camera lens with random disruptive appearances of spouting and shouting.

The black Senator remained calm while the agitants railed on in disruption.

And this occurred to me; we whites cannot seem to understand the protests because of the over-the-top who appear to immaturely and irresponsibly enjoy the destruction. What we tend to miss is that media, of course, has a flare for the dramatic.  Would we do well to remember that the most of these who are gathered may be there because they want better lives and don't know any other way to be heard; but the destruction was never in their game-plan?

Could it be that the voices of citizens who are calling for help are drowned out by those who distract in their violent, loud, obnoxious behavior?

And could it be that, similarly, this is why the gospel isn't heard in America?  It isn't that the bulk of believers are money-grubbing, slick-talking, self-focused people. Could it be that too many church reps who get in front of the camera with such a disposition cause viewers to think that most of the Jesus-followers are like that?

Is there a connection between the truth of black communities being misunderstood just like the Truth of God is also the very people who spout His positions?

It is my conviction today that mankind has a problem followed by a solution.  The problem is the wrong ones get the camera time and the solution is for all of us to realize the problem.  Do all blacks who take the camera appear over-the-edge?  No.  And not all television evangelists appear self-promoting.

We must guard against becoming emotionally distracted or we may very likely miss the underlying needs and cries....from both important groups.

And that's my point.  There are abundant and tremendous causes coming from both of these camps.  We must not go deaf to either field just because some most vocal have been poor representations of that which is actually in the mix of potential and possibility which would deeply bless every community.

The bottom line to all of this is that I need to do a good job of self-evaluation for I am likely to be just like those who irritate me...Romans 2:1-5.

Sunday, April 26, 2015


We want things.

We want things for, in, and through the church.

A transfer must take place to where what we want is what he wants. This is major.  This is the fulfilling trek of Jesus.

Billions have/are interested in church.  Yet, at the core is a villainous doctrine of sorts which insists that we are right on interpretations; while simultaneously hiding from the pure mission.  In large, the church has gone into hiding in a public format.

We just must awaken to the Holy Spirit who now abides in us for the simple focus of taking us places with a strength we find nowhere else.  The church body is to be reaching to neighbors which will include strangers.  The church body has a message; one of perfect hope.

We are Jesus in our communities.  Every clerk, every citizen, every teacher, every politician, and every waitress is encountering Jesus when they are approaching or being approached by us.  Our Sunday morning garb with smiles will not cut it. Carrying our Bibles won't either.  Carrying the Spirit in our hearts for the love of others fulfills the call of Jesus.

Jesus is public.  He served the public, died in public, and saves the public.  We are called to care for the most, for the medium, and for the least.  We are called...not they.

Here's how I perceived church in my earlier days.  It was my sacrifice to attend.  I was a good boy and gave up two hours of golf or of baseball in our big yard.  The lure for the latter was strong.  But I endured.  I sacrificed.  I went to church.

And, I missed the call of God.

Our nation is in need of many things.  I believe the greatest is for us church people to shed the robes of what pleases me in order to wear a vulnerable heart of what would bless them.

Jesus is a different sort.  Yes, he spent much time alone with Father.  It could be said he was a loner of sorts.  But it seems that his alone-time was to order his heart so that he would walk right into the toughest of opposing views and love them to death...his own own death.

He did it.  We are called to no less.

The church is slumbering in attitudes of keep me happy or I'm outa here.  This is not/does not/will not fulfill the trek of Jesus.  May we be determined to reach out.

That's what Jesus...still does.

Saturday, April 25, 2015


We have every reason to be enthused about today; the "right now" of today.

Everywhere that there is pesky stress there is also serious awe.

Every time injury results, healing lurks.

When offense is taken, reconciliation whispers.

As long as we are breathing, possibility is at our elbows.

I believe that one of the greatest tragedies of our day is that we have fundamentally grown both numb and bored with ourselves.  When we view our tomorrows as mere repeats of our yesterdays with little expectation for grandeur, we are likely going to miss out on the powerful rebirth of right now.

We take in money.  We hand out money.  We rest, eat, work; all of which results in need to rest and eat in order to work.  There are only so many hellos and good-byes allotted per day.  And then we need to rest in order to greet again...and then again.

My point is that we really want to be on our toes as to the threat of robbery for each right now.  Do not let wonder slip into the comfortable, the routine, and the mundane.


Arise with joy and thrill and smile; put perk in your steps.  We had great yesterdays, anticipate spectacular tomorrows, and are quite impressed with the fact that we are intelligent enough to read this article right some don't have the capacity.  This very moment is an honor...for each of us!

We are to be wowed that we get to work, have food to eat, and then can lay down for a rest.  We are pumped that we connect with a hello here and a good-bye there; we actually know people!

Tell worry to be still, to go to the back of the bus, and to sit down.  Better yet, stop the bus and tell worry to take a hike.  We have serious living to do.  We will not be robbed of life!

Friday, April 24, 2015


It is possible that not many noticed, but Abraham and Sarah of the Genesis account were not always known as such.  Their given names were Abram and Sarai.

Why the later addition to the spelling of their names?

The part that's been added is "ah".  Abram then became Abraham and Sarai became Sarah.  James L. Garlow speaks of this transition:

This name change is precisely what occurred when God made covenant with Abram. The man's name changed from Abram to AbrAHam.  The two letters that are added are "AH", which come from Yahwa (YAH-way), the name of God that appears approximately 6,800 times in the Old Testament.  We pronounce it "Jehovah".

But originally God's name was simply four letters: "YHWH."  When He made the covenant with Abram, He put the "H" from His name into Abraham's name and changed Sara to "Sarah".  The Hebrew letter "H" is the sound of breath, generally signifying the breath or presence of God.

This was a strong factor; the breath of God upon the leader of faith.  That the Bible is inspired carries the meaning that it is God-breathed.  In the New Testament, the Holy Spirit is called the "Holy Pneuma" in Greek.  Pneuma means wind.  Literally it means the Holy puff of God.

We have what we call "AH-HA" moments.  Abram and Sarai had the deepest and most significant.  Today, God breaths life into us day by day through His Holy Spirit.  May you and I live out our walk in strong "AH-HA" fashion.

There's more to us than us; just as there was more to Abram than Abram.  There was....God.

Thursday, April 23, 2015


People are like batteries.  We are good to go for several miles.  We can charge into interference without the slightest flinch...once...well twice...well okay, maybe three times.  But afterwards our energy, we notice, begins to drain.  Our hearts have taken enough hits that we start to lose energy.

No one is exempt from such diminishment of power.

One of the values in knowing this is in knowing this.  Odd, it's a Terry-ism, I know.

We realize this onslaught of drain within our own hearts.  But do we remember it for others.  And do we recognize that some of the others are the very ones draining ours?

We are all in this together.  It is called L I F E.  Yes, some have attitudes which could stand improvement.  Others have misconstrued self-evaluation.  Still others live cluelessly insensitive in their many attempted relationships.

At some point (or 40), we are each a mess.  We need the help of one another.

Sometimes we need compassion.  Sometimes discipline would help.  At all times loving understanding would be the starting point.

Every relative, every neighbor, every colleague awakens hopefully recharged for the day.  A phone call here and a work discussion there; and before one knows it, the battery has been drained.  One thing which we possess to stop the ciphering of our energy is patience.  This is a factor of authentic love.

While it is true that several around us could improve the atmosphere by using better words, we are not dependent upon them for us to have a better day.  No.  We are dependent upon the Holy Spirit who yields within us powers like love and gentleness and joy...and patience.

Go ahead and fight your battles if you would like.  Quit speaking to some.  Berate others.  Play the gossip card.  Or....or dare to allow the Holy Spirit to do within you what you cannot do on your own; love everyone who seems to live to pull others down.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


As I drive to work around 6:30, I've noticed an older man sitting upon a concrete wall near the curb.  He has a scraggly beard and matted hair.  He sits upright with head bowed as if asleep.

Every time I see this man I wonder if he knows his value.  I wonder if he has heard recent words of encouragement.

This morning there Ralph (I just now named him) was perched upon that raised concrete slab; head bowed, shoulders slumped...all alone.

I turned the car around and went into Einsteins Bagel just a block away.  Coffee and a warmed muffin felt the right thing to order for my soon-to-be new friend.  I was eager to see what would develop; what would God have me say to this important man in our neighborhood.

As I headed back Ralph's direction, he was gone.

Oh well, I'll meet him one day yet if God is so inclined.

So now I've got hot coffee and a muffin with nowhere for it to go.  As I'm driving I wonder what I can do with this as it needs to bless someone.  And then...

And then there it was right on my way to Lowe's store!  I love this store.  I'm obsessed with going to Lowe's.  I get enthused at just making returns!

So I have this immediate idea.  I walk in with coffee and muffin in tow and see the manager and a cashier first thing standing at a register.  They Good morning me and then I Good morning them back.  It was my next few sentences that were well.....well they were just good.

I had one coffee and one muffin and two candidates which means I may be about to honor one and offend the other.  But I sized up the moment and went for it.  I figure the manager would be honored that I honored his employee.

Hey, good morning. (That was me saying that.)  I am here this morning to honor the Employee of the Day, and you young lady are the one!  Her boss immediately praised her and she expressed how she always needed a coffee and a muffin.

See, the homeless man, while important blessed another in the process by simply not being where he should have been.  And....the homeless man and I gave a boss an opportunity to praise an employee when such wasn't on his docket.  We just created an Employee of the Day award...that homeless Ralph and me.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


Men and women are born into amazing life.  Wonder.  Encouragement.  Opportunity. The array is vast as to what can and will be encountered.  And certainly it must also be acknowledged that great stress visits every individual...repeatedly.

If you are having a good day, congratulations.  Continue on.  If you are having one of those days, I ask what you might think the root cause.  Has it occurred to you that it is always because the flesh wants to do battle with the spirit....and we are comprised of both?

The flesh will eventually wither.  Mirrors affirm such.  If not mirrors, then certainly aches and pains.  Ultimately, the flesh succumbs to the boss of time.

It is the spirit that is eternal.  Yet, the flesh selfishly bids for all of the attention; its needs, its pleasures, its dreams.  There is incredible contest ongoing for the flesh does not want us to be spirit-ual.

I would simply encourage you to pay attention to your spirit.  We feed the flesh regularly; even tossing it treats between meals.  The spirit?  Some live as if this major part of themselves needs no understanding nor attention.  This is where depression escalates and it is not the flesh that gets down; but our spirit.

There is a great contest for our spirit-ual lives.  I ask you to be yourself. Do not live as if you are all flesh because you aren't even mostly flesh.  Your drive, your joy factors, your enthusiasm, and your attitudes?  All spirit-ual.

Feed the spirit by being attentive to the God who disciplines and grooms us to live beyond the limitations of the flesh.

Sunday, April 19, 2015


Will there really be a next life?  Is heaven for real?  Or, is this a concept developed by churches to keep the doors opened?

This is a fair question.  It would seem rational to accept the answer to be a yes.

Much goes on in front of us to give indicators that a next life exists.

  • Days end in darkness and yet a new day arises faithfully and consistently.
  • One's long days conclude with the need for sleep only to awaken to a new start daily.
  • Trees appear to have lost energy as Fall claims its leaves only to see Spring burst open.
  • Flower bulbs plummet into earths darkness only to resurrect into a great new display of incomparable color.
  • Educational systems succeed in offering information only to find one graduates to the next level.
While these are surely simplistic, I find that there are many who want to believe God; but feel the idea of heaven to be hokey.  I don't think it is.  I believe it to be authentic; exceptionally real.

What ideas would you add to my brief list?

Saturday, April 18, 2015


What is the deal with our deep desire that all would know God?  Do we who have such inclination  even know Him ourselves?  Or, are we found to be merely parroting what those before us have said we should say?

This is quite paradoxical to me.  On one hand we want the hope.  On the other, we don't want the frustration that goes with sorting through what is true and what isn't about faith in God.  Every street corner has an opposing view of sorts.  If not careful, our ridicule of such religious clamor will leave our neighbors quite indifferent toward us...and especially toward God.

While I smile a lot on the outside, my heart is grievous day in and day out for the very good people who haven't found their calling toward the heart of God.  Substitutes add to the distraction.  Good people find good works in which to engage.  If not intentional, at least subtly these efforts can become a course of doing good which is to relieve the conscience.

However, good works cannot and will not overcome a problem man has before his Creator.  We cannot do enough good deeds to cover our sins.  This is personal disaster of which we have no say in how forgiveness will be worked out.  The Son of God took care of that on the Cross.  God's question to us is, Do you believe Me?

Therefore, the call of God may be misunderstood.  We may have assumed we need to try harder to be better when our authentic call is to believe that Jesus paid our debts upon the Tree and we are to sink our hope into his work; not our own.

Why is this?  Jesus got more done at his weakest moment (dying on the excruciating Cross for us) than we can do in our best moments.  This call of God to be saved is not a message calling us to work off our offenses.  Rather it is that we are to live thankfully that Jesus has paid the bill.

When we reach this conclusion, discipleship, church, and the entire religious concept shifts from burden to thanksgiving.  The call of God is to please believe that Jesus became all of our wrongs on the Cross that we could become all of the right things about him....II Cor. 5:21.

One is never heaven bound because we finally got all things right.  No.  We are heaven bound because Jesus became all of our wrong things while he handed off to us all of his right things.

Friday, April 17, 2015


....I assumed that I would have answers for most of the questions.  But instead, I find that God and His world is so much bigger than my small mind.  I have more questions; not fewer.

....I assumed that I would have figured out the direction for my life.  Yet, God continues to open some doors and close others.  In my earlier years, I didn't see giving attention to God and ministry as a part of my trek.  His leadership keeps me on the look for today's course...Jn. 3:8.

....I assumed that I would have conquered the Bible with my expert understanding.  However as God says in the Bible, the Word is alive and I am found that when I learn one thing then three or twenty new things open for me to now learn about them.  This process keeps me forever behind.

....I assumed that I would have increased in righteousness.  The more I learn about Jesus it seems the more I learn about me.  I'm not as hot as I had hoped.  If I'm to get life right, I must decrease that He might increase within me.

Thursday, April 16, 2015


Have you ever noticed that not many people we know are perfect?

Even those who are closest to us have significant glitches, or did you not notice?

But what I like about people is that every person I know or will meet are brilliant; absolutely and undeniably so.

Every one of us has a gift from God which is so strong that others receive our blessings as we use them. No one has all of the gifts.  Few have very many of the gifts; but every person is amazing to some extent.

Be encouraged.  Yes, personal inventory would insist you and I lack many attributes which others seem to have.  But, many of them lack significant traits that come easy to us.  What we do is pool life together that all would be highly blessed.

We become family when we can assist one another, cover for one another, and cheer each other on.  Every person we know is amazing.  No one has nothing to offer.  No one.

So for today....for today....I encourage you to emphasize the beauty and value which is to be seen in those who surround you.  We live in a privileged time because we get to hob and nob with the elite of our circle...which is every person!

Do not shrink back from life due to what you feel is personal lack.  March right into the work place or the home front with assurance that you have something very valuable to offer. God doesn't make junk.  He creates wonder.  Do not be egocentric; but allow yourself the confidence in the Spirit of God that you are a delightful, important, necessary person who makes a great difference in the lives of others.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


The subject of God is so big it can seem inauthentic.

Is He real?  Can we know Him?  Where would we find Him?  Is this topic merely man's distorted way of pretending there is a next life?  Is belief really more of a hope-so call from our own frailty which is presently wrapped in eventual death?

More than anything I could obtain on earth (wealth, fame, prestige), I would wish foremost that every person would believe that God is real and that He is crazy about us!

Why is this so challenging?  I speak with extreme sympathy to any who question His existence.  I have gone through my fair share of skepticism.  Faith is not a Sunday morning breeze for the weak.  No, it takes inner strength to seek the truth of the Divine.

Laziness and indifference are the mouse traps of man's spirit.

Why the hesitation to examining the reality of God through research?  Possibly this might contain a twinge of embarrassment.  We may not want others to know that we are beginning to think about God. Too, our past may haunt us as well as raise eyebrows of our colleagues.  Or, we may simply not know how to approach this concept as we have no clue as to church protocol if we were to gain interest.

Another reason that the idea of a true God is easily dismissed is because those who are not a part of the spirit system find inclination to excuse themselves due to the faulty behavior of those in the churches.  Granted, we in the church have displayed a barrage of attitudes foreign to the Son of God.

However, it is for this reason that we are a part of a church.  We cannot obtain eternal life through our self-righteousness.  Either Jesus makes us right--by his dying on the cross for our sins--or we won't ever be right with God.

Every person has both opportunity and responsibility to decide for himself/herself whether to yield one's life to the Son of God.  Personally, I had no idea it could be so adventurous and exciting!  Following God is not for sissies.  I never knew that, either.

I want to be a voice in your world that says that regardless of obstacles in your path which might block you from learning about can overcome every one of them.  For now?  Just pray that God would help you with this....and He will.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


A phrase I like to repeat is, Don't you love right now?  

The reason I developed it is twofold: (1) I often failed to notice the delight of any given moment, and (2) I did so because I was so easily distracted by the negatives.  And, yes, negative matters are always hovering; but so are the positives...always.

We must be alert to our own lives.  Are we living or are we merely existing?

If only getting by, we will become subject to dull routine that will eventually wash away beauty and wonder and hope.  Should the latter happen, it is then that we will have entered into an unconscious sort of living.  Cataractive formation of the heart will deter our excitement and engagement for robust living.

We want to change this...right?

It is more than a bit ironic that in this age of electrifying media blitzing there is such an abundant boredom which can become so seemingly dominant.  In touch with the whole world as never to this extent before,  subconscious unconsciousness is a strong trend.

Charles Colson references George Orwell's novel 1984 where he states, It struck him (Orwell) that the truly characteristic thing about modern life was not its cruelty and insecurity but simply its barrenness, its dinginess, its listlessness.  And it continues, Orthodoxy means not thinking, not needing to think; orthodoxy is unconsciousness.

Unconscious living numbs us to the world around.  We can go through the in-and-outs of repetitive eating, working, enjoying, sleeping without interaction with the disturbed, the lonely, even the homeless.  A steady diet of safety and comfort will essentially deaden our spirits which were created by the Spirit for incredible, satisfying adventure.

Finally, the great danger to unconscious living is that we will go through life without thinking, without imagining, without risking.  If we do not correct this trend, dullness will set in to the extent that the heart will eventually atrophy.

The good news is that the Jesus of the Resurrection provides incredible emphasis for new life, new direction, and new hope; not within our control, but within his. Regardless of how low one has seen life become, there is great and strong reason to possess a new kind of hope.  Hope is where we gain the courage to change the things that need to be changed.

I say....go for it!!

Sunday, April 12, 2015


There's been an impacting statement that has been around for quite sometime.  It goes something like, Too many Christians go through life looking like they have been weened on dill pickles.  While that's pretty funny, it also could be in several cases fairly true.

My take on church is different in many ways from my earlier days of observation and participation.  I guess one of my biggest surprises about church is to find that it isn't boring, isn't supposed to be boring, and is anything but boring.

There is a distinguishable difference between attending versus being actively engaged in the work.  The former is basically from a spectator position with great need to keep it interesting; a bit of entertainment might help.  The latter, however, strikes when one realizes there is a calling of God to give assistance to others who are down and out.

There is such a difference in being weary of watching the clock as to when the morning service will finally be over compared to a daily life of praising God and helping others. One has little purpose while the other has deep heart-meaning.

Praising God?  Ah, there's a turn-off phrase for some; even many churchies.  Yet, being grateful to God for even the routines of life (like seeing, breathing, walking, talking) is life changing when one shifts to giving Him credit for our living experiences.  We are called to give God enormous praise and when we do, we begin to view our personal walks differently.  They seem to...come alive!

For any who can't stand the thought of church, I get it.  Most likely yours is a misunderstanding as was mine.  I had no idea that God interacted with His followers.  I thought rote attendance was the name of the game.  Not.

The name of the game is loving God...really intentionally loving Him...and loving our neighbors to the extent we will sacrifice for them to see that they have a good day.  The element of the Spirit of God actually participating in our days is not a Sunday-Morning-For-An-Hour system.  It is a wondrous daily walk full of God's provisions....and great surprises!

Saturday, April 11, 2015


Loneliness is some weird sort of self-sentencing imprisonment that breaks the heart. With malls, streets, and sporting events flourishing with crowds, this matter at hand is exacerbated.  Wonderful people hurt privately and deeply due to being overlooked by these and other masses.

I wish to be more than sympathetic.

I wish to be quite helpful in breaking these tightly gripping bonds.

A reverse of usual course is probably all that it would take for so many who feel rejected and lost.  By reversal, I mean that God's system works in sowing and reaping. The reaping is never ahead of the sowing.  In order to be recognized, one must first recognize.

Taking personal inventory of sustained neglect is not a help.  Expressing interest in others is the seed that will give delightful returns.  Authenticity is key.  To be attentive for the sake of receiving is not being attentive.  That's merely another form of self-serving manipulation for the purpose of being noticed.

Every person on earth is lonely.  Every one.

Our role is to build others.  When we do so by our words and our actions, there is something divine involved in that God will see that we receive adequate encouragement.  This is a kingdom law.

The way God would have us break the bonds of loneliness is to exert what energies we have to cheering others on; regardless of social, educational, financial, or any other label of comparison.  We are needed by others.  Needed is a powerful word in this discussion.

No one needs another voice calling poor me, sad me, forgotten me.  Rather each is in need of hearing how could I help you, what could one do for you.  The quickest way to cure a lonely heart is to investigate how we could lift others' spirits.

Nothing seems to send happy through our bodies like noting another expressing joy and gratitude over something we have offered.  Offering to others is so different from needing for me.  Serving others is God's deep nature.  Involved in this is the fulfillment of sensing purpose and meaning.

For our moments when we wish someone would say something good about self, if we were to hear it we would likely waste it for seeking such is like trying to fill an eternal hole.  It ain't gonna happen because when centered on self, and self only, nothing satisfies.  We always want more.

God knows how to break the bonds of loneliness.  His Son was alone in the Garden and died, later, atop a lonely hill.  A fascinating part of this story is that Jesus accepted such rejection for the sake of others; frail ones as you and me.  The result was that Jesus was raised on the third day.

So you?  Me?  Yes, we have those moments where we are slapped with fierce and painful rejection.  Our calling is to note the opportunity.  If we will continue to lay down our lives for others...for OTHERS....FOR OTHERS....FOR OTHERS...Father will be back with a rewarding kind of new life (called resurrection) that we could never have created nor caused by our own skill-set.

The ailing and negative bonds of loneliness will be greatly diminished when we quit inventorying how others attend to us.  When we give our lives to others, it is at this juncture that we find meaning.  Life has been created to die for others that they might come to life...II Cor. 4:12.

Who reaches to you is never the question.  Whom did you extend a loving hand toward is.  Loneliness....please take your seat.  You don't run our show.

Friday, April 10, 2015


Vulnerability is a cross-generational, cross-cultural blessing.  It knows no boundaries when it comes to people.  We've all got the dis-ease of moving through life hoping no one recognizes us in our inadequate and threatened moments.

But our weaknesses show.  The holes in our armor are known.  The good news is that we are not destroyed by them; but will learn through God's grace to make them our fuel.

Pema Chodron puts it this way; we should never underestimate our low tolerance for discomfort.  To be encouraged to stay with our vulnerability is news that we could use.  Her remark exposes our innate trend to distance ourselves from others in order to protect our reputation.  After all, our main goal is to finish the day looking successful.

Yet, isn't this precisely what God did in order to reach us?  He did not come to earth on a limo camel with guards to escort.  No, rather He showed up in the uniform of a human being; a very vulnerable one at that.  Insults, rejection, beatings, and excruciating death were all his because He dared to love others.

That's what vulnerability is all about; loving others.

When we distance ourselves from anyone in order to maintain our we-are-in-control appearance, we fail to love the hundreds around who are in desperate need of attention.

Ministry isn't about sitting at the head table and trying our best to look the part.  It is about celebrities who feel insecure, CEOs who can't keep up the facade, parents who are faking it, and church attenders who know how rotted we are in the center.  Believe it or not, this kind of openness about who we really are lets the community flood our gates because they mistakenly had assumed they weren't good enough to be a part of God's kingdom.

None of us are good enough.  No preacher.  No public servant.  No movie star, nor athlete, nor accomplished artist.  We are all street stuffing filling up space in a specified time-frame.  It is when God hits our hearts and remodels our interior that meaning comes into play.  And, meaning never really arises until we can move with confidence to be publicly unconfident.

Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God (II Cor. 3:5).  Self-confidence is a fake for it lasts only as long as we can control a circumstance or a person.  God-confidence, though, is a different matter.  He knows how to take our intimidating vulnerabilities and transform them into a whole new kind of productive energy.

For this, we should live quite enthused!

Wednesday, April 08, 2015


There seems to be two main things about faith that always remain the same things; God and people. Jesus addressed these two entities when he spoke of the greatest commandment and the second being like it.

Christianity is always on its strongest run when God and people are at the front of all other details.  Man, however, has an itch to make religion something more than it is supposed to be.  First, we seem to make it difficult.  Second, we shirk responsibility for abiding by these two commands with a strange ability to try to live the line of faith; but with perpetual distraction.

First, the difficult part seems to arise because we carry an urge to be in control.  The way we, then, pull off our control is to make rules of what others can and can't do, can and can't eat, can and can't wear, etc. It seems that the more Christian principles are manufactured there is a simultaneous distancing from a relationship with God and with neighbors as duty/rules have now become the focused driving force.

Second, we are in constant need of practicing the discipline to stay on course. Distractions are everywhere.  They are everywhere and they are many.  Great, strong, vibrant faith is taken to task by hundreds of lesser formations which pull we believers into doctrines which God has named as lesser by naming which two are most essential for faith.

That professing believers deeply desire rules over relationship has set the stage for a most deadening quagmire of circularly dread-ended, always-busy never-accomplishing system which takes much human effort to keep afloat.  Stories amass as to the divisions among us in the name of everything conceivable under the Christian umbrella except for the two main things; adore God and treasure others.

Essential faith is the breakthrough to our stagnancy.  It will set us on proper trek to believe God and to believe in others.  While we will give attention to God's other very important commands, we will not lose sight that the main two are always the main two. No amount of lectureship discussion nor authorship revelation will arise to the fact that Christianity will step up to the plate more effectively when devoted to His top two commands.

Our culture is in desperate need of essential faith.  It can, does, and will come from us as we give heed to becoming more and more the reflection of Jesus rather than the distraction of our best argument.  Our wonderful communities are not in need of debate.  They hunger to find someone who cares.

May we love God to the extent that such a relationship would allow Him to send us back out into the wonderful world to love people...just as He sent Jesus.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015


Surely everyone we know has ample reason to collapse under stress of pedaling through life.  Yes, we have our ups and our way ups.  We look forward to more.  Yet, every person battles temptation to become depressed; some slightly while others predominately.

I lived much of my life in the latter zone.  Discouragement seemed to come natural.  I wasn't enough, in my mind, for anything.  While I lived for the fun times, my life seemed doomed to be marked as below mediocrity.

And then I ran into God.

God has a great knack of defying what man's best thinking promotes.  The last shall be first, says God.  The weak are the ones strong, He assures.  When I read II Corinthians 12:9, power is perfected in weakness, the Light Bulb came on.

If power really is perfected in weakness, I am the poster child!

I encourage you that your strengths are not where you might think.  They are not in what you know or who you know or what you've accomplished or where you've been. Your secret to apex living, which only God would endorse, is always consistently found in your frailties.


The world is crammed with the hurting.

The masses are injured, discouraged, and inwardly confused.  Every social level fits this description.  The hurting are helped best by those who have been hurt earlier. The best advise for recovery comes from the broken one who recovered.  The most effective hope will always come from the one who suffered and survived in the very place where we are now suffering.

That's how God works.  He didn't send a news bulletin.  Neither did He send a warning. He sent a person named Jesus who would be ripped to shreds in order that God would experience what it was like to be a targeted, beaten, human.

God gets being us!

He understands because He literally walked in man's feet,  God experienced earth-life via His Son.  He found out what it was like to be a created human being.  And, Jesus didn't come with a silver spoon in His mouth.  Rather it was a target on his back that affords the enduring pathway; God's heart to ours.

What keeps us ticking?  God through Jesus in Spirit form.  These are not Sunday School niceties.  This Trinity is sharp, actual, and understanding toward us that we can undertake the fierce struggles of life and never flinch.

Life in God is the most amazing factor of all concepts.  Even the weakest can be confident.  We keep moving forward because God has worn our sandals....and survived!

Sunday, April 05, 2015


I don't know about you, but I find myself forgetting more than I seem to remember.  It seems (and I could be mistaken) that there are so many more things to track these days.  If this is the case, we must be on alert to pay attention; that the main things are still the main things.

We live in such a competitive world where so many avenues of possibilities compete for our attention and our time.  If not disciplined, we will hurriedly be doing twenty things with mediocrity rather than three things efficiently.  Spread too thin, we may find ourselves accomplishing very little well.

For my walk, I have had to learn to back off of travel schedule and appointments.  Very good opportunities come our way.  Yet, we must try to do a better job of doing a few things well rather than many things haphazardly.

If not handled with care, our children and our families will suffer foundational rot because we jumped on too many band-wagons which seemed to sooth our momentary/temporary whims.  Children don't know any better.  We should.

Routine life is bombarded by distraction.

To refuse invitations to participate can seem insensitive; possibly offensive to the inviter.  Truthfully, those who run another scheduled calendar event past us are also often out of control when it comes to being distracted.  These/we seem to be forever on-the-go while wondering where the time went.

Be encouraged.  Like right now.  See it.  Observe it.  Slow it.  Marvel a bit longer.

Even at the urgent plea of Martha to come quickly, regarding the death of her brother, Jesus possessed the socially unacceptable trait of refusing to move on his own timing.  He waited.

I believe it to be a strange truth that while we/when we live hurriedly we experience grand waste of both time and life.  Do we tend to look at living like we do money; regardless of how much we have, we need more?  Why not live in thanksgiving that what we have is pure

Allow the some-days and the hope-so moments to come our way.  But for now...for right the moment and treasure it.  Do not let distraction of so many things rob you of the extremely valuable few things which perpetually thrill the heart.

Saturday, April 04, 2015


I believe the ultimate question of all questions is singular in whether God is God. Billions through the ages have concluded that this concept is a farce.  Other billions have put their lives on the line that He is actual.

So could I say from a heart that is somewhat devoted to what I believe is His cause, there are moments when I wonder if God is real or if I have simply been snagged by the drift of human need to create its own life-after-death scenario.  Furthermore, I don't mind these brief pauses because each causes me to think, rethink, and evaluate just how certain I am.

This is good.

Sometimes I'll be following Jesus in line with the hearts of James and John.  And then other days I will begin to doubt like that Thomas disciple.  Because faith is the conviction of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen, the invisibles are a significant challenge to man's needy prove-it-to-me rationale.

One of the factors that encourages me is the aggressive manner in which some atheists sweat to prove God isn't.  If there isn't such a thing, why spend any time debating a non-existent entity.  Have you ever read books that stood against procyncalime?  I didn't think so.  There isn't such an item.

The tragedy of all tragedies, to me, is how many refuse to give God the courtesy of research as to whether these really could believe the existence of God.  It is the deceptive social trend to dismiss God because of we ridiculous and snarky people who carry our Bibles and attend a church.

I understand why the rejection.  Jesus rejected the same.  Yet, God remains fact.  Jesus died to give the snarky and the doubters and the seekers legitimate hope of a factual eternal life.  I want in on that part and I plead with those who are uncertain to simply check it out.

I ask of the latter, why do you think it is so easy for you to reject the concept of God? May I say with care that a huge part of it is that it is easy.  Some friends reject it, doubt it, as you do, so why not?  The why not is that this is a notorious and irresponsible gamble of your very own eternal soul.

Where should we begin?  Go to the Bible and read Matthew or one of the gospels that reveals the life of Jesus.  You will find he thinks so much like you do.  He loves the lonely and the downcast while flat-out rejecting organized, smug religion.  That's what I still love about him.

You are so important.  God is crazy about you.  Don't you think it about time to give honest reverence in search for Him rather than thoughtless dismissiveness because you can detect the jerks like me are poor representations?  I think you want to do it, can do it, should do it.

Look for God.  He will find you.

Friday, April 03, 2015


I will skip the careful wording and proper appeal toward you this morning.  I'm going to just come out with it.  What makes me tick?  You.

You do.

Some of those on the receiving end of this blog, I know.  Most of you, I don't.  But I'm really happy that we get to connect.

Every morning I sit at this blank screen and try to think of what to say that would be meaningful to your heart.  What do you need?  What does God want you to hear?  My burden is strong and my love for God loving you/me is stronger.

My heart yearns for your life.  Questions nip at my heart constantly with concern for you.  Are you doing well; feeling well?  Are you receiving encouragement?  Are you being mistreated, ignored, abused?  All of this goes on behind closed doors or out on Main Street.  And...I want to be a voice to cheer you on.

You are worthy of profound life!

What I want to say to you--oh there are so many things--is that you should be in constant awareness that any bad things coming your way can be transformed into a special fuel that ultimately blesses your life.  Nothing is a waste to those who trust God; even the painful stuff.

My heart yearns for those in public eye and those in meager settings.  None can give accurate estimation to the value of self.  Jesus died as God was saying, I'll trade Me for you.

Too many intentionally end their lives through tragic suicide.  The greater frustration to me is that the masses end their lives in another fashion; these quit trying and just accept depletion of life as life.  This can, should, and must change.

Yes, I'll say that God is the answer.  Man has excused himself into unhappiness and motivational lethargy by mocking God and those who love Him.  But this is a dead-end. There's the suicide while remaining upright.  It is still a dead....end.

I'm not big enough nor smart enough to be very persuasive.  Yet, I urge any who are weary of nagging life to trade this for robust energetic life in Jesus.  If you want to know how, I'm one who would surely be willing to visit about it; is a private place to talk.

I love you much....really.  You are more valuable than you can imagine.  Even your fans can't fathom the trophy God sees in you.  Do not be afraid.  If you've been closed, open yourself to Him.  He will lead you into a world of great wonder!

Thursday, April 02, 2015


I love this time of year!

The January through March grays and browns are yielding to greens and purples. Spring is springing.  Nature is clearly headed to the Spring dance!

Easter is around the corner.  Colored eggs, kids' programs, and the hunt for the new Sunday outfits are off and running.  This is a great time of year!

Easter is that time of year that the Christian world celebrates the resurrection of Jesus.  The whole world is talking about it.  One of the things I love about it is that this is not some made-up hoax.  It is a calendaric, historical event.  Jesus was killed only to arise on the third day!

A magnificent support to this claim is the perpetual excitement to the three-letter world N E W.

New lights up the eyes of children.  New clothes brighten any one's day.  New house, new car, new raise, new job, new hairdo, new....has always been "in".

New never gets old.

It is at this time of the year that new life pokes up from the soil in the form of baby flowers.  Even the grass, transitioning from deadening brown to resurrected green, seems to applaud in memory of God's magnificent obsession with newness.

Historical Jesus was historically raised from a historical tomb.

For any to doubt such might as well doubt that there ever was a man named Jesus born in Bethlehem.   Everyone believes the existence part.  The resurrection part is believable as well.  Nature replicates this God-move routinely.

Easter.  A hoax?  Not ever!

Wednesday, April 01, 2015


It seems to be fairly common to hear one say, I'm spiritual, but I'm not religious.

Interpreted, I believe in God, but I don't believe in this church stuff.

This really bugs me because, from the point such is said, I believe the same thing.  I'm glad so many believe such a statement.  Religion, coming from laws and rules, is a killer of one's spirit.  Jesus as much as said so.  No, I need to be clearer.  He said so.

Religion (the perspective from those outside of church) has ruined church influence. Those of us in the church pedal hard to reverse this reputation.  For now, I simply want to concur with the masses that I don't blame them for how turned-off they are.

Too, I would like to encourage these wounded-from-religion folks that the prominent thrust of lively church is, in fact, spiritual.  It is the engagement and involvement of the Holy Spirit that quickens our spirits to be alive, not dead; to be encouraged, not depressed; and to be powerful, not weak.

Religion bores.  Thus the connection of church dislike.  But the Spirit energizes and it is this element that I wish those who avoid us would dare to brush against.

Church isn't sit-down be-quiet count-the-minutes-til-the-closing-prayer clock time. Neither is it useless.  Church is relational; us with God and us with others.  When we find that we are needed, we transition from resistance to assistance.  We are glad to participate if we find meaning and purpose.

I once stayed away from church because I felt that church was simply a good way to ruin a valuable half a day.  Attending church is deadening.  Enmeshed into the fabric of the church is enlivening. Everyone should reject the former and pursue the latter.

Being spiritual is connecting to God and to people.  If one believes he can walk with God and not have interest, compassion, and interaction with people, this would seem to be the ultimate of a false religion.

The exciting news is that the church is spiritual or else it isn't of God.  I want to be a part of that one!