Saturday, May 30, 2015


To be physically and mentally loose takes no talent.  That's just recklessness.  To be physically and mentally tight?  That's called anxiety.  It doesn't work, either. Eventually we snap.  But physical looseness combined with mental restraint?  That is powerful.
                                                                                                       Ryan Holiday


There seems to always be a need within and around us of tension.  Don't care?  Not good.  Obsessed?  An opposingly not good.  Tension between the two extremes brings about effectiveness.

To care without being anxious sets one into freedom motion.  Timidity is not transformed into idiocy; but, into courage.  It must be guarded against conforming to what some like to call balance which may be simply an excuse for mediocrity.  No.  We desire to get a productive and meaningful grip.

Everyone wants to matter.  Everyone does.

No one, though, will experience being a difference-maker if we either shrug with Who cares? or live paralyzed by fear.  These are failures of the same extreme.  The other extreme is to live in-tension-ally.

In-tension-al may call for aggressive mobility; action.  Too, it may call for the action of waiting.  These can be done (are to be done) without the unraveling effect of both careless worry or care-less-ness.

In-tension-al living takes responsibility; hearing from God, noting His call, and acting regardless of reasonable opposition.  Faith is in constant tension.  What is it that we are expected to do which has neither tangible assurance nor visible conviction...Hebrews 11:1? We are to live by faith in-tension-ally.

Some in the church are indifferent.  These have no care about much it seems; just hoping that at last breath there turns out to be a heaven.  The other side of the same ineffective coin is to be one who serves with no joy; no life.  These carry constant fear that we have inadvertently believed error and Hell is one slip-up away.

Jesus would call us to in-tension-al living.  Our striving is to believe him.  Or confidence is to be in his Spirit.  Our faith is filled with assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things not seen.  Now this...this is where tension fits; not indifference and not in fear, but in confidence that God runs an entirely new kind of operation.

Friday, May 29, 2015


Never quit.

Never give up on a family member, a close friend...or even yourself.

Never quit.

Even when matters seem hopeless, these very moments are pregnant with definite hope.

Referencing great-grandfather-aged Abraham in Romans 4, when faced with God's promise that he and Sarah would yet have a child, the apostle Paul penned, In hope against hope be believed in order that he might become the father of many nations. Abraham did become that father to baby Isaac.

Quickly Paul then wrote in Romans 5:1-5 that there are two places for hope to be found; when things are going well and....when things aren't.  That just about wraps it up! Hope can breathe possibility and probability when there would seem to be ample legitimate reason to give up.

We live in a world of give-uppers.  We've had it.  We tried.  We saw no improvement. We quit.  We give up.

And God says, Stop it!

To believe in God is more than going to church and sitting in rows.  When I was a kid I went to church ever watching the clock to see just how soon it would be over.  Over was the best part of church for a little kid who would rather be on the ball diamond.

But I've grown up.  And I've learned what adults knew all along.  God isn't just about church attendance.  He is about training us to never give up hope.  Just as in the movies, Rocky, you can't put those who believe in God away.  The continued reading of Romans chapter four stresses this truth by pointing to temporarily dead Jesus only to be the found as the once again alive Jesus.

Whenever you feel that life has turned hopeless, think again.  Because Jesus broke the cemetery bonds, we carry the lively power to have rock-solid hope when all accounts seem to chant that there is none.

In all cases in all situations in all relationships, positive or negative, we hear all kinds of advice.  Surely none can be better than to hope when there doesn't seem to be any. God will unfold tremendous surprises.  He did so by emptying out the grave which was initially intended to end the existence of His Son.

When one begins to believe that everything is hopeless, it is at this precise moment that we need to think again.  With God, even the impossible becomes possible.

Thursday, May 28, 2015


For me to write about God, or for me to live in a church role for that matter, is contrary to what I envisioned when I was setting out to be whoever I planned to be.  I had many talents in baseball and comedy.  My problem was that I was never discovered.


And then God ran into me.  As though I weren't paying attention, He approached me with a plan that still carries wild potential.  The retirement package is out of this world. heart yearns for those who may be suspicious about religion to get to have the same opportunity to meet Him, His style, His call.  I know.  Some are reading this with the feeling that God would never engage you in His work.  But oh how you need to rethink.

God used the cowardess of Moses to lead the entire nation of Israel.  He used the beauty of Esther for His cause rather than her self-serving interest.  Our God called fumbling Peter and hesitant Thomas and too-young Timothy.  On and on a vast array of classifications roll out the wonder that God truly invited the never-in-a-thousand-years-would-we-have-expected-God-would-call-that-one perfect system of effectiveness to reach the world.

The clincher as to whether this be true is the start-to-finish of His Son's earthly venture.  Born of a virgin, Jesus' beginning days were from a cattle trough in a Jerusalem suburb.  He grew so weirdly wise that at times even his family stood at a distance.  Eventually, Jesus was executed at the hands of what would be regarded as church leaders.

The empty grave still can't be explained.  But, neither can a bulb arising to become a beautiful flower, huh?

Why can't we understand God?

Several reasons could be weighed:

  • The image of admitting to seeking God is too big of a cost for the famous.
  • Christianity has become viewed as a meek dull people who sit in rows on Sunday.
  • Church doctrine has been hijacked by control-freaks who run the show their way.
  • The Kingdom is invisible and the flesh has a need to see where things are going.
  • The church is not seen as adventurous; but rather, argumentative.
  • We have avoided His grace; thus operating from our best will-powers.
  • On and on the list could blossom.
These are erroneous sign-posts.  Yes, they are having negative impact.  But it is exciting to know this isn't the story.  Furthermore, it isn't the story of a vast amount of believers.

God isn't about the dull.  He is about the creative wonder; so magnificent that thousands upon thousands of years of science research are still making discoveries regarding matters He spoke into existence from Genesis One.

God is about impossible becoming possible.  He takes nobodies and makes them CEOs of missions.  Our Lord is the one who figured the best way to make a daring rescue of mankind was to infiltrate humanity by becoming one of us.  At Jesus' birth, placed in a manger with his blanket for warmth, one could say he was sorta under cover.  

God is about thrill; like feeding 5000 from a young boy's picnic basket.  He isn't restricted to walking on land if water is not as busy of a freeway.  The clincher to His wow-ism is sheer intrigue and suspense.  At the Cross it wasn't just Jesus hanging there, it was the Light of humanity.  Upon his last breath, it turned dark in mid-afternoon.  They had just killed the Light of the world.

By Sunday God, in His incredible and unchartable powers, crushed the permanence of death.  He killed death.  That, my friend, is a good day's work.  If you will fall into His system, your pending death will find that it was killed as well.  The grave cannot keep us.

God is misunderstood.  He is neither distant nor imaginary.  He bowed to our human form that we could arise to His eternal glory.  

Listen.  No, be still and listen.  He is calling all of us to enter into marvel and awe and wonder and luxurious hope.  You, my friend, really can believe such Love and Light.  It isn't rocket science.  It's bigger....much bigger.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015


It isn't easy being us.  Right?  Constant strain tugs bull-doggedly at every heart.  Not some.  Not most.  All.  The strain is sin of the flesh doing battle with the desires of the spirit.  No one is exempt.  No one is given Free Space.

So what shall we do?

Well, we try harder.  We become more determined.  Self-discipline seems to be a draw toward improvement.  Yet, failure looms...persists...annoys...presses.

It's weird in a surprising sort of way that the apostle Paul had such insight (well, more like such faith) to our demise.  Romans 7:14 begins what seems to be almost an inner self-discussion between Paul and himself.  His inner conversation could have gone something like:

I know to do better.  Want to really.  Not only do I not, I seem to decline.

The good is in me to improve but something keeps knocking me off course.  It is sin that wages war in my my members.

I want to do good; to be good...really.  But I find I'm worse; not better.  I've declined, not improved.

Verse 22 nails him for hope; any hope that could possibly arise from this quagmire of humanity.

I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wishes to do good.  For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind, and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members.  

Wretched man that I am!  Who will set me free from the body of this death?  Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!

The one who traveled land and see in devotion to the causes of God continued to carry the turbulent inner battles of flesh versus spirit.  Yes, even as an apostle who did great things knew exactly how to be of legitimate assistance to us; followers of the same ideal.

Paul's conclusion is our solution to every sin and encumbrance that so easily pushes us downward.  It is not to be found in man's corrective efforts for even these are subject to frailty and eventual demolition.

No.  The solution is not a program.  It is a person.  His name is Jesus.  Wretched are we.  Honest evaluation.  Who can rescue us?  Jesus.  Only Jesus.  Just know he can, he will, he does...he has.

Wretched.  The worst feeling in the landscape of emotion.  The perfect position to know God.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015


I am highly sympathetic to any individual who wonders if this stuff  about a real and living God is true.  How are we to know?  I've been in that position.  Truly, I'm glad I struggled because I know many of the inner workings of some who might be pondering His reality.

So much understandably intimidates us.

What does it mean to know God?  Can a plain person really know Him?  Will it make me turn weird like the grumpy lady down the street who never misses a Sunday; but gripes at her neighbors constantly?  Will my good friends who don't like church now rail against me in the mockery we together have dished out about others?

Be encouraged to set aside the distractions to knowing God.  Begin by reading Matthew or John.  Just read it.  The Bible will speak to your heart.  You just patiently read it.

Tell God you want to know whether this stuff is legit.  He will create the oddest and most wonderful scenarios to open your heart.  He is not out to get us.  He is out to get us.

What?  God is not out to get us like kill us.  He is out to get claim us as His children.

More than eventually dying and going to heaven, life from above is intended for our right-now day by day walk.  I love that!  I love it that life in Jesus is more than hoping this life-after-death stuff is true.  It's the life-during-living things that also impact us.

I propose that God wants to be an intricate part of your life/my life.  We sometimes allow distractions to turn us into critics of the religious rather than seriously focus on the greatest walk on earth; knowing God.

Anybody can find Him, know Him, love Him.  No one is too ignorant, too backward, or too sinful. God is so crazy about everyone that He sent His lone son to the Cross.  Jesus paid a huge debt.  He did it for everyone.

Please, if you are hesitant about thinking toward God things, would you consider making an adjustment?  I never would have guessed church would be for me.  I had baseball to play; work to do.  But He broke in.

I'm nuts about ministry.  The thing that helped me turn the corner was when I found that God cared about discouraged, lonely, and hurting people, I could not/still cannot get enough.  If you would be still a moment and reevaluate your role in life, it just might be true that God is calling you simply to believe Him forevermore.

God is not out to get us.  He is out to get us.

Saturday, May 23, 2015


Author Larry Crabb reflects upon a time when he was struggling to know what to do with a rebellious son.  He finally screamed at God, Tell me what to do and I'll do it! Just tell me what to do!

Like Larry, we simply want instructions, directions, or a steady combination of the two. Yet, clarity isn't readily available if it is the flesh making these demands.  We want to do life without the headache.  Such clearly is not the pattern of Jesus.

The very reason faith is called faith is that one cannot see the way.  We go by faith and not by what we can see; insisted the apostle Paul.  Still we want what we want and if a lot of others (like a majority) want the same thing then it seems rational that this is what should be.  One of the things we should have learned long ago is that God does not operate according to majority agenda.

Therefore, there is a strong strain to faith.  It isn't easy.  Neither is it comfortable.

Faith will take us places the eyes of rationality and clarity dare not/cannot tread.  This blatantly affects our every effort of Kingdom activity.  Do we like our worship because we love God deeply and want Him to hear our yearning for Him?  Or do we/must we have the right lighting, the right singing, the right proclaiming lest we find it hard to get on board?

We churches are in danger of trying to be found appealing to the demands of consumerism rather than to be found lost in praise to God.  It isn't that we are deceitful.  It's just that the flesh clearly desires to override the spirit.  It is a war....within each of us.

I think this is correct that faith never tells us where we are going but believes God will lead us as to where to go.  Our problems of discontent arise when we trade our connection with Him for control of our own destiny.  Faith can be scary.  Control is usually full of misery.

There is an appropriate strain to faith.  It is the workout gym of yielding, submitting, trusting God.

Fleshly talent insists that we are smart enough on our own to do this.  Give me enough tools, studies, and reports plus the latest analysis; things should go as planned.

Faith, though, can't see the forest or the trees.

It can only trust that God who let the only perfect man die in torture, and then stun the world forevermore with his resurrection, can make sense out of imperfect people whose love for Him insists upon finding His driving hope.

The foolishness of God will always throw the wisdom of the world into a tizzy....
I Corinthians 1:18-31.

Friday, May 22, 2015


I love faith.  Really.

Faith changes things.

It gives hope when there isn't any.  It assures we are safe in the midst of destructive experiences. Faith is that invisible game-changer for everything in life.

The flesh has it's common rules.  It feels comfortable in setting the stage for our day. And, then we hear flesh's clear bossy inner voice; do it my way.  Our flesh fights with our spirit.  That's why we have ongoing discussions in our head.  The spirit and the flesh don't see things alike at times.

But has this knack of betraying the rules.  Water has been walked upon as if it were a mere neighborhood sidewalk.  Promises of impossibility become true. Death oughta get nervous because it's about to die so that life can arise.

Faith isn't a Sunday morning ritual.  Rather it is a Monday morning assurance which will last all week long.  Sure life hiccups with hic at times; but faith is our spiritual sergeant beckoning us to never give up.

Faith is that invisible inner conviction that what isn't, yet, can be.  We are to believe that God participates in what we might determine to be our routine lifestyle.  People with faith have just as many things go wrong as those who have none.  The difference is that the faith factor sheds new light on possibility and hope.

Faith doesn't just call us to be the church on Sunday mornings.  It nudges us to believe value is in the midst of our bad moments.  It calls us to trust what we can't see (God and His working Kingdom) over what we can see (injury and frustration).

So how does it work?  He gave us no formula.  It is a developed combination of assurance and conviction.  This may seem simple, but one either believes it or he doesn't.  Each person is free to choose.  The one with faith, regardless of pressures and disappointments, will live in perpetual hope.

The one without it?  This one will act only with attitudes of hope if the day has gone well.  Their days of joy are dependent upon what happens or doesn't happen to them.

The Spirit of God is available to assist every person when we hit those rugged times of setback.  Faith isn't about sitting in rows for an hour.  It is about standing on promises from above when the harshness of routine life wants to convince us otherwise.

Faith?  It's that strange element of the heart which insists that nothing shall separate us from the love of God.

Romans 5:1-5.

Thursday, May 21, 2015


How can the feelings of inferiority dampen our hearts so strongly when we, simultaneously, feel we are a bit sharper than most others?  It almost seems like an ego-down, ego-up scenario of sorts.

One day I can be pouting because I alone live in this shell of mine.  And the reviews that I give to myself about myself aren't very favorable.  In the very same day irritation can arise because of how stupid I think others are.  Of course I keep my misaligned ego quiet so that I can sit in steep judgment without any of my comments tipping my hand.

I don't seem to get it.  We don't seem to get it.  We are somebodies made by God.  Yet, we forget that His created somebodies were not created to judge others.  When we judge we either put ourselves down or build ourselves up.  These conclusions can only come about by comparison.; how we are doing against another's performance.

For we are not bold, states the insightful apostle, to class or compare ourselves with some of those who commend themselves; but when they measure themselves by themselves, and compare themselves with themselves, they are without understanding.  This is why we don't seem to get it.  Our value, up or down, is not legitimately gauged by placing one against another.

A breakthrough for me was when I finally quit comparing myself to any others.  When I did I was usually coming up short.  But in the maze of inferiority, I seemed to carry a perpetual snubbing toward some who seemed to me to be ridiculous; as if I weren't. Obviously, I am also one who didn't seem to get it.

So what is it we want to get?

II Corinthians 3:4-5 defines what wimpy egoists like me need to consider to sort through this quagmire of brainwave interference.  We are all inadequate in the sight of God.  Yet, these same inadequate ones fortunately find adequacy in the Spirit.  And such confidence we have through Christ toward God.  Not that we are adequate in ourselves as considering anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God.  The next verse informs us that it is the Spirit in this equation who gives life.

Hang with me on this.  When we don't seem to get it, we are on the right track.  How God can use us when we are useless and dumb seems "ungettable".  It is believable. This takes trust....of Him.  Personal inventory insists "we can't".  Personal faith argues, "He does...through us."

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


For those engaged in life's stream who feel deeply attentive, we must ever be on guard against letting a molecule of God's brilliance slip by.  Yet, how shall we not do anything but fail?  He is so beyond description.  His works are as well.

I direct your attention to two very valuable words; words which one can easily dismiss, yet deserve sober consideration.  Flexible and vulnerable have an ability to offer serious threat.  Flexible betrays at times our clarion call to take a stand.  And few that I know are thrilled about being vulnerable.

The first calls for ready adjustment.  The latter calls for risk.  Both betray comfort.  I personally would rather not find myself, especially in front of others, uncomfortable.

Flexible and vulnerable are heavy duty words needed in every church leader and every Jesus follower.  John 3:8 insists upon flexibility and the Cross commands vulnerability.  If we are failing in the church, these two culprits need to be evaluated.

Flexibility keeps us young in the System of God's hand.  We are able to make adjustments, admit some of our doctrines have been wrong, and reframe our practice of discipleship.  Age seems to deter flexibility unless intentional effort is made to stay loose.  Community churches know this; they see our age.  And most likely these congregations will find themselves aging unless they really focus on the flexibility of the Spirit.

Vulnerability is where we draw the line.  Yes, we regard ourselves devoted.  Too, we have so much to cover we don't need the nonsense of serving in areas that make us targets for weakness or even failure.  Oh, this is a grand mistake.

Vulnerability finds self no longer in control.  The church, very mistakenly and very costly, has trained her members to hold tight to the power.  Egos expand when control is issued and fulfilled.  We like being in the say and in the know.  Vulnerability sets us on edge where our emotions and inadequacies are poised for scrutiny.

Jesus was both of these.  So was Peter.  So was Paul.  So was anyone who followed God.

There is no escaping the great need in our day.  Scholars are valued.  Missionaries are brave.  Attributes of praise can and do go so many appropriate directions.  Yet, without flexibility and vulnerability being exercised, the church cannot win against this lack.

The kingdom of God will always call us to adjust as well as risk....regardless of our pet druthers.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


Who hasn't heard of the world-wide game called BLAME?  Oh surely you've played the Blame game or know of others who are so addicted they can hardly put it aside.

The game is played using real people as pawns.  When a person fails others in some way, the guilty party is to quickly point at a game colleague and place the blame on them; he didn't tell me, she didn't remind me, or they changed the plans.  The goal is to escape personal shame.

Society is like this.  We are like this.  Okay...I am like this; always on the hunt for a legitimate sounding excuse hoping our self-defense takes the fault-monkey off of our backs.  And, this is a despicable cowardly act.

It went on in Jesus' time.  The gospel narratives make it clear that Jesus filled the role of scapegoat.  The innocent lamb was slain.  His blood shed.  He took the blame.  He bore the sins.  Our sins seemed to translate Jesus from lamb to goat...scapegoat.

Brian Zahnd penned, On the cross Jesus took the blame.  All the blame.  Our sinful addiction to blaming others--Jesus took upon himself.  He was innocent, but he took the blame away.  Caiaphas blamed Jesus; Pilate blamed Jesus, Herod blamed Jesus; the crowd blamed Jesus---and Jesus took the blame.

The art of scapegoating continues to break out in passing the buck here and there.

  • Our day is bad because of others.  
  • My health is bad because of another.  
  • I would have made it farther; but someone interfered.  It's their fault.
  • I woulda/coulda/shoulda if it weren't for the neglect of insert name(s) here.
Instead, may we find that expressing words of hope, potential, and possibility ring from our conversations.  May we no longer imaginarily hide behind others by transferring our inadequacy over to another in the name of assumed ill-intent.  Let us burrow in with determination to be strong and courageous....and not be afraid.

Saturday, May 16, 2015


One of the great fruits of the Holy Spirit is patience.  Recalling that the fruit of the Spirit is available because we can't pull it off from the flesh will-power, we will do well to be disciplined to step back and wait.  Let God run this show.

Impatience is not the fruit of the Spirit.  It is the fruit of those of us who wish to be in control.  Keep the schedule.  Hold up the agreement.  Function on all eight.  In other words, suck it up and get going.

Action is assumed to be verification of our commitment even if it is rough, awkward, and oft times questionable.  Waiting is seldom regarded as action; but oh it is very much so.

The very lack of patience is why some devoted Christians don't reach to their neighbors.  They want to see action now; quick response to an invitation or a Bible study.  These want to see results; otherwise, not to bother.  And it's here, this moment of hurry-because-I'm-impatient that our efforts fail.

The work of God does sometimes develop quickly.  Many times, though, it takes years if not decades to evolve into the productivity we had hoped.

Impatience says that if things don't change, I'm outta here.  Patience says I'm not leaving for God will work.  Impatience says others are ignorant.  Patience says I, too, was lacking and as God has helped me He will surely be faithful to others.  Impatience snaps fingers of law.  Patience willingly waits for the God-sized produce to be seen.

In this age of instant--and it didn't start with Instagram but with instant oatmeal--we have become a society of the quick.  Quick bows its neck against wait.

I see this in grocery stores.  Long lines cause some to break out in a rash.  I was once one.  But I've learned to like right now; even in long lines.

Look at the wonder of right now.  I get to stand in line; not sending my kids because I can't stand on my own.  I'm looking at the long line; not blind because I lost my eyesight a few years back.  And I've got money to pay for these items; where so many others wish they had the money and the eyesight and the stamina to wait in long lines.

There isn't much that ails us that Holy Spirit patience wouldn't cure.  Upset with another?  Patience will help.  Discouraged with plans?  Patience will prove your friend. Distracted by interference and interruption?  Patience is our fruitful born-out-of-the-holy colleague.

There seems to be a steady flow of items which run past my mind; uncertainty, stress, personal violation, disappointment in others...or self.  Precisely at these valuable moments we can be confident that patience is one of the holy factors that will make our day!

How long do we have to wait for patience?  It is here now in Holy Spirit form.  Our problem is that we thought we were to control our patience.  Rather we are expected to yield to His....Gal. 5:22-23.

Friday, May 15, 2015


There are things we should know; but don't know how to know.  Too, there are those things we should see; yet can't while looking straight at them.  Of all of the truths that seem to hide in plain sight; I write today of the two (what I believe) biggest riddles.

1) The immeasurable and wonderful size of God and (2) the lowly state of man.  When these two can be openly and honestly evaluated, one's faith is enhanced.

We as people are not a god.  Life isn't about me.  Life is about God providing authentic life in me...and in you.  Self is to be sidelined as glory/credit is to be given to God. When self is sidelined and God is the star on the playing field, self is never in better position to experience awe and wonder.

What a riddle!

What has caused this magnificent riddle to go unnoticed?

First, man has a constant inclination, however innocent, to reduce God to our level of thinking.  We believe He thinks like we think.  We inadvertently bring Him down to being just a hair above our equal.  The result is that we think very little of our trimmed-down God for He must be nearly as limited as we.

When this occurs we tend to avoid studying the Bible and prayer for we lack confidence in Him being able to make a difference.

Second, we have a mistaken view of our own sin.  We have an immediate knack of comparison which is selfishly designed to alleviate our own guilt.  We can think we know how despicable we are.  Yet, when we can judge another as worse, this superficially soothes our consciences.

The truth is that we are so naturally deplete of goodness that the Son of God was crushed upon the Cross taking on our sins.  They were so deep and heavy that the lights went out in mid-day.  Darkness hovered to signal to the whole world forevermore that Jesus had become the kitty-litter of man's sin.  He absorbed each of our violations against God.

What a magnificent riddle.  God is more than we can imagine.  We are far more lousy that we can imagine.  Yet, He through His Son traded places and He became sin-ravaged and we got to turn over a new leaf.

Incredible.  Immeasurable.  Delightful.  Realistic.  Needed.  Necessary.  All of this for each of us.

Jesus solves the riddle.  He went to hell in our stead that we could go to heaven.  Learn of Him.

Thursday, May 14, 2015


As usual, I sit facing this blank screen with deep desire to be a tool of encouragement to your day.  So I think about you--not a specific person mind you--but in generalization; each of you.

What do you need?  What could I say?  What would offer strength, hope, delight? What?

So I ponder what I needed to hear somewhere along the way.  When I tie my past with your presence, I seem to find the wording that I desperately yearn to pass your way.

Today I believe you yearn to be loved, noticed, and needed.  Me, too.  And I know how to satisfy this appetite.  It is one of the great kingdom secrets of God.  What you want you plant.  If you want tomatoes, of course that's what one would plant.  No cucumber plants are inserted into the ground hoping these would arise as tomatoes.

If you sow weeds you get weeds.  Far too many have sown weeds of self-centeredness. We want. We need.  We expect...without doing any of this for others.  Life is minimized whenever it is clearly all about satisfying self.

We plant.  Yet what we plant is not for self.  It is simply a rule of the King that we reap what we sow.  I plant encouragement.  I have rows and rows of garden encouragement growing all over the world.  I have fields full for I've planted such.  Why?  I love people; especially the strugglers.

If you want to get the most out of your life, give it away (another kingdom secret...that works).  If you need to sense your importance, tell others why they are important.  If you crave knowing that you are doing a good job, find someone whom you could share with them how you see their efficiency.  If you continually watch for others to notice you, correct this by noticing others.

What we sow comes back.  It's God's nature.  If you sow to others disingenuous interest, then that what you will reap.  So do not be fake just to get attention.  Give attention.  Before long this will be coming your way; but you will not be thinking of it because you will have become enamored with the personal joy of making someone else's day!

To maximize life we have to enter into the zone of a stringent request from God.  Give ourselves to others.  The reverse approach is too often the case.  One will want, want, want.  Someone talk to me.  Someone notice me.  Someone like me.

And God wants us to have all of these; but we do not acquire them by pouting and whining.  We receive what we diligently give away.  That, my friend, is our call.  It is 100% consistent.  We reap what we sow.

Maximizing one's life is experienced through giving generous attention to others.  God will supply for you and me in greater proportion than if we draw attention to ourselves...of which the latter pushes people away.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015


For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith (Romans 12:3).

Ummm.  Would anyone need this other than me?  I mean, isn't it almost natural to consider me first?  Oh sure, I know God's druthers.  Yet realistically, I weigh very much of my day by positioning how each adventure are

I would want to encourage us to abide by Paul's admonition. When we live in perpetual self-promotion, we live in blurred judgment.  Our lives are affected by and hinged upon ...inaccuracies.  High-minded assumption blocks the grace God provides for all of us who have bigger work to do than we can accomplish.

While we are not to think too highly of ourselves, we just can't help it (it seems) because....well....we are just so right in our assessment.  Not.

The longer we live, the more we experience, the surer we become that we don't know as much as we had assumed.  This is a good thing.  The sooner we realize it, the sooner the world will be blessed by Him for we will finally begin to get out of the way.

Forgive me when I seem to get in the way of what God would like to get done.

DISCLAIMER: I have tried five times to post this to FB.  Each time the title including "too" comes out "to".  Five times!  Fine.  If it doesn't want to spell "too" be it!  Now...if I hit send for the sixth time and it spells "too" correctly in the title....I'm confused.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015


We surely live in the strangest of times.  Via elaborate media tools we can be instantaneously in connection with others globally.  Email, phone, Instagram and (and do you recall....letters?) an assortment of other contact possibilities hover while offering choices galore.

One can hardly stay focused due to accepted/expected interruption due to our addiction to being in touch.  Currently I have about two dozen reminders pop up onto my screen.  They've been there so long that some of them have no meaning.  I just hate to delete them in case they turn out to be significant one day.

However, I am wondering if something significant is developing amidst this being in contact with everyone everywhere theme.  I believe that, simultaneously, these mechanisms used to reach the masses have also become tools of hiding.  Possible?

One can text without face-to-face interaction.  We can applaud or spout off.  On the surface these brilliant tools of connection may have created a convenient distance for some.  If communication is used to enhance relationships, touchdown.  If, however, these tools are treasured so that one can keep society at arm's length, detrimental.

This very crowded world of ours is jammed with very lonely individuals.  Crowded. Lonely.  Daily truth.  Jesus was a master at noticing those in his path who needed a healing word.  Don't lose this social need.  Yes, say it via a note here and there.  But do not allow these great inventions of electronic gadgetry to keep us a safe distance from needy individuals.

I so enjoy FB and text, etc.  It lets me interact with so many everyday.  I want it, love it, need it.

I am also saying that this process must not replace one-on-one personal interaction.  If we do not catch this, a generation(s) could develop incredible connecting skills around the world while hiding from the very personal friends and family who wish to be in meaningful relationship.

We would do well, I think, to regard with caution our obsession with the latest and greatest connection systems which, possibly, could inadvertently create a greater disconnect.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015


We are victims of a fine process called being alive upon earth.  It's fascinating.  It's glorious.  It's too much for the mind to absorb.

So I say, remain open to absorption!

We have so much to learn, so many truths to discover, and such depth to explore; and I'm merely pointing right now to the Bible.

Mankind is to be richly blessed by God, by His Son, by His Spirit, and by His Word. The riches contained are every bit as valuable, more so really, than perfect gold. Profound undoing of routine boredom sits unsurveyed in many homes between two leather flaps; the Bible.

We search the world over for the awesome and the exciting.  Unique wonder is spoken within God's directives.  Yet, this word-power has been fundamentally dismissed as weak and useless.  Sunday Schoolish is given dismissive regard.  This is a grave mistake.

One of the greatest surprises I discovered in the church is the ever-increasing, always-ongoing working nature of God.  I assumed He was perched upon Heaven's balcony overseeing His creation.  I mean this with beyond imagination distance as a part of the picture.

But the opposite is true.  The Living God is currently active, sensitive, and attentive. He lives to be engaged with His people.

God supplies.  He listens.  There is actual interaction to be involved between Creator and creature.  We don't send up prayers by spouting out words of helium nature.  No, we express our praise and our needs in relationship to Father; the very one who invites us to accept Divine connection.

Therefore, there will be of necessity on-going learning involved.  God is always more than we can imagine.  As our imaginations grow as to who and what and how and when and where He works, God ups the ante for He is beyond measure.  He is knowable; yet, His reach will never be captured by the minds of men and women.

Whatever man can do, God can out-do.  At age 67 I enter every day as if I am in Kindergarten in the Kingdom for that's exactly how far I have arisen.  Truthfully, I most likely just bragged as God would say I have not reached that stage as of yet.

We must not be discouraged with being overwhelmed at the awe of God.  We are to be elated; filled with thanksgiving.  Jesus displayed the nature of Father in his words and deeds.  We are still trying to catch up and catch on.

There will always be among us the on-going necessity of learning about God...because He is so massively, uncaptureably, Truth in the finest rank of reality.  May we enjoy...thoroughly enjoy...the search as He chooses to reveal His marvelous ideas one speck at time.

Saturday, May 02, 2015


The quote above is taken from Romans 4:18 which describes the faith of Abraham.  I think the statement is confusing as if hope cancels out hope.  Surely this isn't God's intention.  The entire text of this chapter is to reveal faith's depth as well as range.

Consider verse :17 first.  It speaks of Abraham and Sarah who are far too old (the age of great-grandparents) to have a child; yet they are believing God; specifically that God can give life to the dead (their aged bodies too old to reproduce) and call into being things that don't yet exist (their son, Isaac).

Belief targets these two zones which would ordinarily stifle hope.

Verse 18's hope against hope is not pitting one hope against another hope.  No, this references both the facts and the emotions of death and nothingness (no hope).  When death hits, it seems that life would be obviously over.  When something doesn't exist, then why would one believe it could become?

It is on this faith foundation of death and non-existence that hope would seem to surely fade.  Yet, it is at this very point that hope actually makes a renewed surge.  Hope of possibility cancels the hope that nearly withered in disappointment.  There is, among and for believers, to be a new refreshing vision of possibility.

This is surely one of the most powerful and influential truths of all of the Bible and all of the world.  Death isn't boss and just because something isn't doesn't mean it can't come about.

This is what I so love about faith in God.  The deck can be stacked against and yet the resurrected Jesus (once DEAD) ruins the opponents tactics.  When things have a feel of hopelessness there is constant viable reason to believe there is uncanny hope.

Believers in God aren't people who are trying to be more saintly than the next.  No, we are a group who don't buy the fact that the grave is the end.  We don't even believe that bad news is empty of potential for encouragement.

Faith is not a step in a Bible class.  It is the Divine-within-the-human push-back against hopelessness.  We can't figure how: just as how aged Abraham and Sarah could have a child or how dead Jesus could come back to life.

We can't figure the how.  We can only believe the Who.  Christianity is to take ordinary life to another level; the plateau of finding renewed energy when matters seem to grind us down.  Belief isn't a standard of right rules.  It is daring courage to move into conflict and discouragement with valiant heart.

Hope....because Abraham and Sarah did have that baby boy and because Jesus broke the bonds of the tomb....there is always hope.

Friday, May 01, 2015


God was just too illusive for me.  His bigness seemed to sorta snuff me out as there was just no way I could get my mind around the concept.  Oddly, that's one of the drawing factors toward God.  If He were imaginable, as well as manageable, He wouldn't be much of a God would He?

So one of the things I like about Him is that He already knew the weak minds of men like me.  That's why He sent His Son to earth.  Jesus came that we could get some sort of an idea as to what God would look like....and what He would look like living inside of us.

God understands everything about us.  He is the one who invented us!

A thing I like about God is that He is actual.

The truth that He exists is verified on so many fronts.  He isn't a figment of man's best imagination.

To my surprise, as I had little intentions of ever following a religious path, God really gets the underdog.  He seems to thrive where we hurt, experience frustration, or deeply suffer.  In these zones God really gets to display His beyond-Superman powers.  Rescue is one of His forte`s!

God is not the Divine Boss barking out orders.  He is the Sacrificial Lamb who paid His own ransom so that worms like me could more than have a shot at abundant life....we would inherit it.

Should you be pondering/questioning privately regarding this great concept, be very free to email me at  I would be most happy to share with you ideas that others have shared with me...that really helped clear the spiritual fog.

Have a very upbeat day.  The One who created you is very nearby.