Sunday, February 28, 2016


There is much chatter regarding the current political debates.  I love it.  I'm blessed by the evenings where Hillary vs. Bernie or Ben, Marco, Donald, Ted, and John take the stage and present their cases.  The variables and the variations are striking as well as informative.

One of the notable matters that I see in these assemblies is how parts of it reflect churches.  This would explain a portion of why I have interest in such presentations.

While each party and each group within their party carries on a dialogue, there is a clear, selfish, presentation that often arises which causes a strong dis-ease among many of the expectant voters.  This dis-ease channels quickly and vocally through the mass media.  Concerns have a very broad range and scope.  To listen to several of the voices issuing judgment, they've about had it with the public disharmony being exemplified.

So I wish to convey something in a spirit of compassion as well as respect.  Do we, as ones who promote the church, not get it that if we behave in like manner that the world grows sick of us?  Do we not understand that the masses would love to find a group who cares, who lives, who loves their neighbor more than their pet church stances?  Have we gone blind to ourselves?  Do we not get it that our debates with other brands of churches and then within our own congregations hover as a dark spirit-stifling plague upon this earth?

What's the cure?  It won't be hatred.  Neither will it be spite.  Arrogance won't work (I've tried it).  Raising our voices goes nowhere (I tried that one as well).

From my perspective, of which I realize is only one among the valuable masses with other viewpoints, we simply must awaken to the fact that we are not all alike and that some of our views are not necessarily dispensed from heaven.  We are shamefully in great error when we gather as a congregation to discuss with firm implication that if everyone would be like us, this place would be much better off.

Today will be packed with church attendance.  Some will do so to bring glory and honor to God and to our partners in faith.  Others will participate as if sleep-sitting; going through the ritualistic motions while carrying an invisible checklist of whether both the worship and the Word were done right.  For these, completion means a courteous handshake at the door and off to lunch we go.

As a young man I had no intention of being involved in the church scene for the above reasons.  And truthfully today the blanketing of stale churchainity is robust.  But there's more.  It is upon this very scene of which Jesus was called to break open.  He did....intentionally....effectively....but not without dying.

We have much wonderful work ahead of us.  We (not they) are challenged to take personal inventory.  Are we maturing in the style of Jesus or are we in this simply for the repetitive preferences it brings?  God exhorts all to join His family.  Everyone is welcome.  We will always do a good job of inviting and including if we can keep from assuming that my way is the best (and the only) way to please God.

Yes, Jesus calls us to stances and positions.  I want to be in on the accuracy of them. One of the main ones is that we conclude that our own righteousness is repulsive.  To begin be a huge blessing if we maintain our focus.  That log in our own eye has no business trying to deflect the speck in a brother's....Mt. 7:1-5.  Remove first the log...and be of use in the Kingdom.

Saturday, February 27, 2016


I think there is a church practice among us that is so widely accepted that we are unconscious of it.  Furthermore, it is so lethal we are functioning in near coma state. While this trend satisfies self to a large degree, it injuriously betrays the greatest fabric of His calling.

I speak of how deeply we are driven to seek the things we "like" about church.

Just how rigid has this like button infiltrated the Kingdom of God?  We face it at every turn; yet, it hardly gets recognition because we have been faked out to believe our preferences are God's preferences.  That's how we often talk.

A way the church might become very unstuck is to recognize a suffocatingly destructive pattern among us.  It's rather simple really; we like what we like.  You think this isn't true?  Consider our stream of quite normal conversations when looking for a church home.  Everything about it revolves around what we like.
  1. Do we like the preaching?
  2. Do we like the music?
  3. Do our teens like the youth group?
  4. Do our children like to go to their classes?
  5. Do we like the mission efforts?
  6. Do we like the personalities of the staff?
  7. Do we like the decisions of the elders?
  8. Do we like the location of the church assembly?
  9. Do we like when church starts?
  10. Do we like when the morning services end?
  11. Do we like the ministries offered?
  12. Do we like the Bible class themes?
This number of questions can be multiplied.  While these seem legit, there is an underlying factor that rages against the true church intent; yet it so goes unnoticed. These questions are contradictory to the suffering servant on the Cross.

We sing of the Cross.  We give honor to the Cross.  We read, study, and discuss where we are to take up our crosses.  But we are so subtly sabotaged by our demanding like-isms that we have grown numb to our practicing violations of the very nature of self-sacrifice needed to reach a selfish world.

A way the church might maintain its unstuckness is to practice what several have and are; stay with it when you don't get your way.  Throughout the church landscape one will find men and women who have been highly disappointed, even offended, who will not give up.  These realize the wheat and the tares are in the same field.  And what each who endure has realized is that, at times, while they thought they were wheat, they were the tares.

The Kingdom of God is not focused on what we like.  It drives us to be attentive to hardship, strain, loving people who oppose us.  This, my friend, is quite an unstuck direction which will even bear much fruit and bring in an eventual harvest.

The bottom line is that we are not in this for the family comfort.  No.  We are about enduring mistreatment so that others can run into somebody that sees their value buried beneath a facade of anger and abuse.  We must not be a people who use the church as a place to hide from a cruel world; but rather who wade into its hot spots that others might be rescued as once were we by someone else of great courage.

Friday, February 26, 2016

get ready for some TULSA WORKSHOP


April 6-9
Tulsa Fairgrounds


miTch wilBurn
ChrIs seiDman
roberT Cox
seAn pAlmer
JIM whitE


I awakened this morning rehearsing in my mind some painful encounters of a woman we will call Jane.  As I hit replay regarding her drastic moments of suffering and anguish, it occurred to me that Jane's story might help you approach your day with a lighter heart.

You see while sitting in my office one afternoon I received a call from the Highway Patrol asking if I would come to Jane's house so that the patrolman and I could break the news to her of her husband's fatal crash just down the road a piece.  As I sat in the squad car I was handed the victims Bible (which had the church's name in it) battered and blood-soaked.

Soon Jane arrived.  Her face paled as the officer and I approached.  He most carefully explained the scenario and then left.  Jane and I were in shock; especially her of course.  So I stayed until relatives could arrive within the hour.  I helped vacuum, fold clothes, and mainly serve as some sort of anchor for her exploding emotions.

It was just a few years later that this brave woman called early one evening.  In deliberate cadence she explained that she needed me to come to her parents' house about forty-five minutes away.  She was with her mom and the she described...was too horrendous.

Her dad had become overwhelmed with anger toward a neighbor just across the driveway.  He shot and killed the neighbor man and two of the neighbor's friends....and then turned the gun on himself.  Chris Jones and I rushed to the scene. It was stark; extremely numbing.

Chris and I visited with this young widow and now her widowed mother.  The moment was eerie and stunning.  After a bit Chris and I dared to knock on the neighbor's door. By now a flood of friends were scattered throughout their house and in the yard.  The horror of it all could never be measured.  Words seemed empty.  Hugs felt meaningless.  Death had occurred in its starkest display.

That's an odd story to find roaming my mind when I awakened this morning.  I hadn't thought of this in detail in all these years.  But it made me think about you.  Thus, the reason I even tell this story.

When you are overwhelmed--or will be--know that God has your back.  Brutality and loneliness and disorientation roam our streets and our countryside.  Be attentive to one another because some of our moments are unbearable...and even un-hold-up-able.

Too, I wish to encourage those readers who tend to make a mountain of trouble over very little when, in reality, you don't know deep and rugged discouragement.  The car battery going dead or the washing machine needing repair is not the end of the world.  Don't allow matters of this dimension drive your day.

Everywhere you turn be certain that God has encountered the depths of pain through His Son on the cross that He might better understand the load you carry.  You.  Will.  Make.  It..

Thursday, February 25, 2016


So how do we encourage the whole world?  It surely and obviously could use a boost. And you know that when I say world that I'm referencing the world of people.

It's a strange thing how much there is to be seen, accomplished, and experienced in this creation of His.  I mean God really did a Masterful job; mountains, oceans, Lowes. Everywhere we turn there is wonder.

However, is it not strange how we have at times transformed wonder into wander?  Is it just a bit weird that we can likely fly past the brilliance of an average day because we become engrossed, even miffed, due to the fact that we ordered eggs sunny-side up and they were delivered moon-side down?

I simply cheer you on.  You need it.  You deserve it.  This is true where we live; cheer is all around.  The way we encourage the whole world is to note the marvel that is everywhere we turn and then speak of it to others.

And by the way.  Yes, I know that the title has a misspelling.  Not everything is ideal. But within that title, did you happen to notice that there were five words which were spelled corectly?

Wednesday, February 24, 2016


We must be very on guard lest we regard belief factors as mundane.  These ideas aren't usual.  Neither are they reasonable.

Faith peers into the what isn't yet and sees what can become.  It is one of the most remarkable traits of human existence.  It is the connection God to man; our interactive involvement.

While we might be lulled into a routine, even in the realm of the spiritual, we must remain on alert; alert not to danger but to marvel and awe.  Life is a magnificent privilege that, if not careful, we will waste thinking that this experience is abstract or even meaningless.  It is majestic in measurement; profound in depth.

Getting to believe is more than a verification of truth.  It is the activity of seeing things come about.  We get to see past a person's flaws; even their lack.  In turn, we possess an insight into what they can become even if they don't see it themselves.

Believing isn't the routine of whatever happens happens; however it goes, it goes.  Nope.  Faith is moving through human ordinary life with the backing of Powerful God.  We are not set back by disappointment.  We will not quit on others.  Our vision surpasses what the fleshly eyes can see.

I pray that the eyes of your heart might see said the Apostle Paul who at one time fought a deeply troubling eyesight.  We can see through that which stands as an obstacle in front of us.  We are called to see past the challenges by peering into the potential of God's delivering hand.

Believing isn't routine for it carries the empowering wonder of the outlandish style of the living God among His living believers!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016


Believing God is THE life-changer of all adjusting factors.  Nothing challenges...nothing the assurance of faith which carries conviction of things hoped for as well as strong assurance of things unseen.  An immediate leech to faith is how strongly the flesh wants deeply to function by the visible.

We tend to want to see, or foresee, the results of efforts we intend to make.  Our inclination is to chart out as best we can what will transpire by our leaps of faith.  On top of that, if we can't seem to fathom strong accomplishment, we feel more secure to sit on our hands with probable simultaneous sighing.

Faith is the guts of the spiritual world.  It is not being glad matters eased a bit when having been under strain.  No.  Faith believes what isn't can become (Romans 4:17).  As mentioned in that text, its strongest potential is mentioned; death being transformed into life.

The wonderful world of believing God is not a system whereby we fold our hands and just wait out circumstances hoping for the best.  Relationship with the living, powerful, involved-in-our-lives God brings a whole new approach to our days.  We imagine what can be; even if there is neither rhyme nor reason as to why or how it should develop.

Faith is THE game-changer.  I urge you to push back with faith.  Believe.  Pray believing.  Apply expectation of results.  Dare to launch into the story of your day with confidence that God is present and willing to activate a quite fascinating world of wonder.

Hope is in the air.  Jesus is no longer in the grave.  May we have the courage to live from that proposition.

Sunday, February 21, 2016


Being a person can take its toll...on being a person.

We do have the elements to fight, don't we?  What's weird is that, as much as we resent personal criticism from any other, we feel such freedom to whittle ourselves down to size before our opponents enter the ring.  Truthfully, sometimes the enemy is us.

I wish to give you a boost--and for some possibly a hearty shove--out of the safety nest from which we try to do life.  I am convinced, being a people person, that far too many never experience the grand scale of life afforded them by God.  These abide in fear, stress, and clear hesitation.

So you might get some things wrong?  Who doesn't?  You fear you would say the wrong thing along the way?  Most of us do.  These factors that wish to intimidate us do much more.  They choke us out.

We cannot survive trying to live from the safety-nest.  We miss out.  Really, while we reside there (in that place we believe to be protected) we do not find robust living.  No. We experience the dull routine of getting by.

So what would I recommend?

Check your belief factors.  Are such orifices clogged with self-hindering-talk?  Are you too prideful to fail?  Life takes risks.  You have much to offer the world...truly, really, honestly.  So don't live in a bubble of self-denial for in doing so you tend to rob your friends and neighbors of the authentic you.

You are enough to make a difference.  Try not to hold back; but step up and step out. The world is growing darker because more and more people are hiding their light under bushel baskets.  Let's leave the safety-nest and brighten the world one conversation at a time!

Saturday, February 20, 2016


Yes, I've already written my daily post.  However, a very strong urge to write at this moment is placed upon my heart.  I believe for good reason.

Let us give care to our absolute, most foundational, stance before God.  At the moment I think we don't.  Allow me to explain.

Our spiritual world in America has been quite relaxed; selfish, if I may say so.  We (others and myself) have divided and then perpetuated Belief Camps; each often contesting the other.  Within each Belief Camp usually there is the list of Belief DOs and Belief DON'Ts.  Thus, the exercise of standing against those in another Belief Camp.  And....we very much mean it.

Individuals, families, and even businesses subtly suffer due to our divisive, yet highly promoted, styles.  Such religious contests seem to offer drive and energy.  Debates have been held.  Feelings have been injured.  The entire religious scheme gets little more than an apathetic shrug by the masses who are annoyed with the lot of us.

What I'm about to say is only me.  So do allow the grains of salt to assess.  But I believe American churches are in for a very rude, yet wonderfully necessary, awakening. Persecution is a heartbeat away.  Bible-toting citizens are most likely going to be challenged like we've never known.

And this is why I write about this.  Be ready for the stress that one like me can't quantify nor describe.  But, be prepared.  Terror is in the wings.  It will terrorize.

Yet, I believe that something will happen simultaneously.  Our religiosity will suffer set-forward (not set-back).  We will drop our accusations toward those we thus far have deemed obscene in several of their beliefs and we will embrace Jesus; the very one who has been banned from most of our doctrinal argumentations.

Jesus, in His Spirit, will begin to receive the accolades always intended.  Churches which have fought over worship styles, yet not being necessarily overt worshipers themselves, will find a delightful desperation for experiencing the presence of the Spirit.  We.  Will.  Worship.  Like we've never done before as we are forced to decide; Him or the enemy?

I believe we are already seeing believers of various preferences drawing to one another due to Jesus.  Indeed, we have our convictions; and well we should.  But we have allowed ourselves to make our beliefs our god.  Opinions run rampant.  Experiential relationship with God has not been our driving call.

Life in any church is not just WHAT we believe.  Nor is it WHERE we do our believing. It is clearly essential that the WHO should dominate our voices as well as our practices.


Shall we defy the thoughtless tendency of the world by failing to flinch when the rough stuff happens?  May we not pretend it didn't take place.  But rather, might we live brightly from the Light that assures us that He has paid for the damages?

This life in Jesus isn't a Sunday School activity.  It is real life played out on real earth while bumping into real people who God real?

We seek not merely that our days go well.  What we pursue is the ability to praise God when we aren't sitting in pew the other six days.  We intentionally bring up to God how truly honored we are of Him and by Him for all that He does day in as well as day out.

Good morning friend!  Another Saturday is facing us!

May we inherit it with gusto.  Me?  I've got taxes to figure.  How many wish they could leave their prison cells or their hospital beds and work on the mundaness of such confusing paper work?

Millions would trade me simply because they got to have an income!  And...I get to be one who does.

Good morning!  Another Saturday is facing us!  And....our name is in the line-up!  We best be suiting up!

Friday, February 19, 2016


The power of God is perfected in weakness (II Cor. 12:9) is what I had stamped in gold on the front of my Bible some 35 years ago.  This amazing truth endures the ages as one of the greatest secrets I ever could have imagined....yet I have so often wished it wasn't true.

I wanted power to be in other traits and then....I wanted all of them in me.  The deep desire to be rich, influential, or powerful due to personal skills, political pull in the church, and magic fame owned me.  My goal was to be a somebody.

But, truth be told, I was none of these.  What's worse is that I was the opposite.  But when I read that Corinthian text (and believed it), my world transformed into a dream. If power was perfected in weakness, then I must be an entire one-man Power Plant!

If weakness equals power...yippee!!  I have some!!  We have some!!  No, we have lots!!

So here's what I've learned through experience.  The only way the Kingdom of God will click in our personal walk is to believe and accept the reality that in order to be a somebody we must believe we are a nobody.  However, this idea causes immediate heartburn to those who might be selfishly ambitious.

But, oh my, what hope!  What a unique window of possibility for the thousands of us that wish we could make a difference; yet find our inner inventory quite lacking.  What a new drive when the very thing, personal weakness, is discovered to be the fuel that drives the effective engine of imagination, outreach, and accomplishment.

My advice?  Don't fight it.  And please don't try to redirect it.  Let weakness do its intended design; impact the entire world for the good.  We aren't in life to make a name for ourselves.  No.  We are living to honor the name of Jesus.

Thursday, February 18, 2016


My heart is enamored with thoughts of people.  You know people?  The celebrative, the lonely, the critic, the comparer, the dreamer, or possibly the effective follower?  My point is that while we all wear skin, we are a multiplicity of variablistic formations.  The differences are endless among us.

From a Christian's perspective (speaking of variablistic) there is at least a subtle desire for all to know God. We reach, we contribute, we pray.  Our hearts' desire is for every person to experience the vast and immeasurable love of God.

But, in general, too many just don't do it.

Many talk the talk.  Several walk it.  Yet overall, there is some sort of grand disconnect.  Our message isn't being heard.  Great and wonderful friends (everyone knows several someones who are a part of the church fabric) continue to smile at us; but interest in the spiritual that we believe important?  Numb.

Why is there little response?  To requestion, what would generate interest?

There's this thing we believers do that surely closes us off from the very ones we wish to deeply encourage.  We don't see our own sins.  It's as if we sit in a church house now with a terribly warped attitude that the rest of the world should get its act together.

But there's this glare coming from us.  I had it for years.  While God insisted that all had sinned and fell short of the glory of God, I felt that somehow I was one of the exemptions.  I had developed a sin-categorical system that blamed others; but reduced mine to, should I say, worthy of a mere fine yes.  But God's condemnation?  Oh, no.

The sin.  Our sin.  It isn't meager.  It's exaggerated beyond our ability for intake as to the depth and width of the devastation.  Until we awaken to our own, personal, enlarged, very true sins, we will never offer anything that the communities of hurting, lonely people need.  They aren't interested in our Sunday-ish platitudes.

These want to know if failers could be rescued.  They want to know if there is any hope for the person who vows to do better and finds a massive self-addiction.  Is there hope for the regular, unchurched, ordinary individual who hasn't a clue what all of this God-chatter is about?

Of course, the answer is a robust YES!  But until we dismount from our high-church horses and realize that, of all of the sinners, that we are among the chiefest, we will never have a legitimate message of hope for anyone else.  Our evangelism will only be wishful thinking.

Why, then, can we get our act together?  We can because we voluntarily position ourselves at the lowest rung of the ladder (at the foot of the Cross) when it comes to accomplishment in faith.  We are not the holier-than-Thou sort that many assume.  Rather, we are deeply in need of His mercy and grace for we fail daily at carrying effective crosses.

By HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS we are saved.  Not our own.  Our own admission of our exorbitant lack would nudge us drastically closer to getting our act together.  Don't you think?

Wednesday, February 17, 2016


What difference does God make?  Is this faith stuff legit?  Are there elements to life that really do come about due to His engagement and involvement in our lives?

These are significant questions.  We live in such a time that we need answers.  Religion on it's surface can seem confusing, even repulsive, to oh so many.  Therefore, I'm curious as to whether a solution might be found if our perspective could be slightly adjusted.

What good is God?  What is it He does...actually?  Why should one bother to seek Him; to invest in Him?  Or, is this a mere imaginary concept within man's nature to develop something beyond fathomability which we may have invented on our own...our own god?

In so many places God doesn't sell well these days.  It isn't because of an increase in crime.  Neither is the decline in morality to be the blame.  I believe the light in the church has dimmed.  And, why would (or could) this be the case?  Has the brightness intended by God actually reached that hidden under a bushel (basket) position that Jesus referenced?

Here's my take; which admittedly is only one person's opinion.  Yet, I care very much about the church and our neighbors.

I believe we have subtly reduced the brilliant message of Heaven to earth by programming into faithful attenders that the big difference God makes is that when one dies, if these have done everything right, they will go to Heaven; not Hell.  This is a significant and costly error.

Let this doctrine stand alone as the main emphasis of a believer's thrust and there will be immediate disengagement with our neighbors.  Our drive, from such a hope-I-go-to-Heaven-when-its-over, has become one very self-inclined thread.  Oh, others are a fine sort; but we have no passion nor compassion for them if our main personal drive is to make sure we move Heavenward, not Hellward, when we take our last breath.

With this doctrinal error at the forefront of our church habit, even the power of God is reduced.  We don't need Him to operate in our dailiness since we do believe that Jesus died for our sins and that there really is a Heaven.  Other than that we become obsessed with church attendance as the marker of a good Christian without confidence or even the need for God to function.

This leaves God out of our day by day lives.  Yet, we surely need Him.  We need Him to rescue us day by day.  He is the critical element in our message to our colleagues and neighbors.  It is God  who is to be loved; not our behavioral church skill-set.  It is God who brings about wonder and awe.

What good is God?  He.  Is.  Life.  Abundant.  Right.  Now.  Without Him, we are big bags of wind who annoy the daylights out of our communities.  With Him we introduce joy to the sorrows, patience to the worried, and hope to the someday...but right now.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016


I love right now.  We have the Democrat Debates.  We have the Republican Debates.  I watch both as if it were baseball season.  I hate to see them end....really.

Because I am a leader of people and very much a people person, I enjoy studying these whose calling seem to be inclined toward connecting with people via political viewpoints.  It's much more than gathering votes; but eventually being of skillful talent to pull our nation into jointly effective productivity.

There's a thing that I see--am sure you do as well--among these candidates that causes significant concern.  These quite professional individuals' very call in life is to live among the masses in a leadership role that will require incredible depth of other-interest and patience.  These will encounter perpetual mountains of inner testing as to endurance.

It.  Will.  Not.  Be.  Easy.

In listening to the powerful debates, there seems that many possess a very short fuse. Tempers don't really flare; but they do seem to be a bit ruffled around the edges.  If these become animatedly frustrated over a debate, what are we to believe regarding their future approach to say Putin or to Iran?

Sighing?  Cramming back sharp retorts?  Torqued?

While it is the season to be political...and I really enjoy the season...I want to point out to us that we are day by day on the stage of debate.  How do we handle the clunky clerk at the store who can't get the change returned correctly?  Or, the driver who cuts in? Or, the spouse who doesn't understand...for the third time?

Yes, the political temperament is a reflection of society; even of the church.  It is not okay to be impatient...or snarly...or rude...or sharp-tongued.  It isn't acceptable in church and neither is it alright in the general public.  Leaders are leaders when we can walk through the fire while very genuinely interested in the welfare of even our opponents.

Friday, February 12, 2016


The Christian movement is stuck.  The need for us to open up to God and to people is in desperation mode...right now.  The Good News of God is still very much a refreshing message of hope and wonder.  Yet, we as individuals who have the freedom to think on our own have taken the most liberating message of all history and reduced it to our size; small.

The church is stuck.  Oh, it isn't that we don't get to do marvelous things.  It isn't that no one ever believes past the human management for so many do.  However, the over-all fabric of the Christian momentum is shackled in shyness, fear, and even arrogance.

It doesn't take Rocket Science to influence this earth-turf called the human existence. It takes a very basic element; love.  The deep love of God and the enduring love for others remains the fundamental call of God and the impacting nature of neighbor for neighbor.

There is a most unstuckilistic need among us.  That is to go against the grain of human nature and live our lives for the benefit of others.  The "others" is the challenge for anyone can love those who love them back.  The catch of Christianity is to love those who can't stand us, who deplore us, and who do much to attack the nature of Jesus.

It is from the Cross that we are to die; not from the pew that we are to espouse our religious favoritisms.  It is from the ditches that we will find the hurting.  It is from the depressionists that we can offer the rich impression of hope.

Come loose, my friend.  Dare to see others.  Whether in tattered dress or rented tux, every person is a valuable heartbeat of God.  He reached to us/them.  It is our call to see that everyone in the world gets to hear.

Don't mumble.  Don't speak as if into a bucket where no one can hear.  Let your voice be heard as light coming from atop a hill.

It isn't that the world is growing dark.  It is that the church has gone far to silent with its responsible words of hope.  May we be testimonies of walking forgiveness from God that others might be drawn in.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016


Wonderful people want to know God.  We must assume such about every person we know.  Whether their talk and their walk would indicate such, very dear people have deep and private concerns about whether this God-stuff is true.

Those like me, church-goers and such, must ever be aware that there is a strong possibility that our neighbors and colleagues would like to know God; but they don't know how to interpret our church obsession.  We must be sensitive for at times we come off holier-than-Thou when, in reality, we are truly in this for the forgiveness/start-life-over factor ourselves.

We don't think so, but others may likely believe we've got life all figured out.  We don't.  Friends might assume that we've quit sinning; got a grip on it, and now live squeaky clean.  Wrong.  Indeed, we do try to move through our days in stronger faith.  Yet, if the blood of Jesus doesn't cover us, we are all sunk.

People, very good people, want to know God.  We will do well to understand their apprehension for we must not forget our own tender thoughts in days past.  For any of us who imply that we have arrived; shame on us.  No one gets through if Jesus didn't pay for our tickets.

People want to know God.  Maybe if they could see we are real instead of plastic or cardboard they could begin to let down their defenses in order to discover a new life....just as we have.

Tuesday, February 09, 2016


I urge each of us to yield to those common sense factors which sound good to our own ears; but in reality are excuses to refrain from trusting God.  Our serving, our loving, our reaching, even our giving tend to be guarded when these should rather be executed.

We practice as if God is one big IF rather than the magnificent YES.  He is the one who calls us to an incredible life.  We vote as to whether we accept the offer.

Walking in the Kingdom Corridors includes perpetual release of our own well-thought-out security.  We read about crossing the Red Sea or the feeding of the 5000 as if these are merely good story book concepts as children place their heads upon their pillows of an evening.

To walk by faith is the call to every believer.  The challenge is very simple; whether we will have the courage to believe it.  We must, want, and will increase our faith in order to experience the incredible life He offers....while here on earth.

Sunday, February 07, 2016


The strongest influence in our lives.  What would you think?  Money?  Friends?  Education?  Career?  Family?  Or how about none of these.

What would you think about words?

Whether incoming or outgoing, words create.  They produce strong hope or they may dismantle it.  Things said launch strugglers toward success.  Too, such a dynamic can flatten any day of those who are successful.

Words make our break our hearts.  Our moods often shift according to these constant morsels of chatter.

God exerted not muscle but words to create the world.  He separated darkness from light by the simple magnificent power of saying so.  We are created in His image.

Whether things spoken to us by others or words we say to them, our days are framed by the very super-power of what is said.  The strongest influence in our lives is found in the power of the tongue.

Saturday, February 06, 2016


I would be considered as in the mix of the Christian brands known for our conservatism.  There are factors within these ranks of which I both adhere as well as find myself deeply committed.  The God-inspired Bible, the Trinity, and the magnificent call of God for all to be baptized into His Son for the forgiveness of sins would be a few.

There is a glitch.  Our conservatism is being worn as a badge of Heaven's authenticity to make a statement that, We are in.  The implication is that those not like us are out. But there is found a gaping hole.  Such religious posture can be (and is) held without the firm foundation of knowing Jesus.

Not so strangely, this mis-belief perpetually costs the church effective advancement into the dark world.

This is an essential rub against the self-assurance that we have done everything God asked to be saved.  We can rattle off steps to be saved.  We can hold our Bibles high in confidence of both it...and us.  While these and other concepts sound good to ourselves, it lacks a factor.  No.  It lacks THE factor.

Being a conservative Christian isn't enough.  Many have paraded a handy belief system that sounds good in rehearsal among ourselves.  Yet we are often found to lack the spiritual drive to take such conviction to the streets.  And, why is it that such church bravery doesn't translate into evangelistic outreach?

The reason is clear.  There doesn't seem to be an over-load of Jesus.  Frankly, for those who stand most rigid among us, such arguments are not built around knowing Jesus.

Not knowing Jesus would explain why most conservatives carry deep and vocal opinions; yet usually such bold ideas are mainly expressed in Bible-class settings and not out in public.  The absence of Jesus causes us to hide; hide in our doctrine and hide from the responsibility of outreach.

Our bent on just believing what the Bible says is a correct goal.  It is the Bible that calls all to believe in Jesus with heart; not just with the mind.  It is Jesus who said that he had a problem with church leaders who were enamored with functioning from the Bible and, yet, refusing to have a relationship with him.

He sounds serious.  I think he is.

You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life. I do not receive glory from men; but I know you, that you do not have the love of God in yourselves. I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, you will receive him (Jn 5:39-43).

Friday, February 05, 2016


One will never understand anything about people until we first realize what an absolute mess self is.  This major point seems to very handily get by us.  The opposite seems to be truer.  If others would be like me, this world would be better off.

The most glaring doctrinal error in any church/every church is that of sensing how wrong others are without a hint of the fact that we ourselves have flaws which are so enormous we should never point an accusing finger toward another.

This is, in reality, what Jesus consistently taught.  Yet, we somehow believe we have mastered the Master's directives and need them no more.

Wrong.  Error.  Mistaken conclusion.

The opposite is true.  Individually we are so desperately flawed it took the perfect, ideal Son of God to be executed in order to give us any hope.  Do you get that?

Any.  Hope.

When you see the error of another's ways, this doesn't mean your evaluation is mistaken.  But if you reach a point of criticism, believing yourself to be less guilty, you are committing the larger sin.  No one is exempt from needing the blood of Jesus....because we are all that sinful.

"All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."

To live in criticism of anyone is a very big mistake.

Thursday, February 04, 2016


Faith.  Hope.  Love.  These three are Bible biggies.

Yet, significant irony transpires.  There is nothing greater on earth that the church has to offer in our attitudes and behaviors.  To the church, to the very entity of Christian values, these three can become mere yawners while we are in the hunt for greater detail and insight into church theologies.

But the emphasis upon these three?  We've heard it.  We've studied it.  We know it. The challenge is for us to be able to walk it.

Faith, hope, and love are the vital signs of life within each of us.  These are the driving, never-giving-up, forces that help us conquer indifference as well as mediocrity.  We are in need of this supply.  The world is in trouble because of this lack among us.

The archenemy to faith is doubt, to hope is condemnation, and to love is fear.  Doubt, condemnation, and fear are like Mafia Bosses to the inner spirit.  We find opposition to the driving force of the kingdom waging war with The Bosses.  The battle goes on invisibly within our hearts.

Believe me, it is a fierce engagement of tactical maneuvers.  The Bosses are pushy. They seem to bully their way into our dreams, our plans, and our activities.  But they must not be allowed to either preside or vote.

Faith, hope, and love....these three will conquer not only the world...they will devastate a very bad day.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016


One of the challenges of trying to live a life in the Spirit of God is that our hearts play such a major role in the process.  Emotions can play havoc on our days; yet they are a central force in our walk.

Jesus was often presenting the value, as well as impact, of the heart.  The flesh, however, deeply desires that such is to be overridden by the detailed argument of the mind.  The mind is quite significant.  It is persuaded however by the heart.

When the heart fears the mind wavers.  When the heart is secure, even the most challenging moments are courageously taken to task because of emotions like confidence or trust.  Thus, the reason that belief includes the heart.  It determines whether we shall pursue or wither.

Jesus stated that one is to have faith in God.  He illustrated it from a matter of what the heart thinks.  "Whoever says to this mountain, 'Be taken up and cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it shall be granted him."  Does not doubt due to his talent?  Or due to his mind?  Or due to his reputation?

The heart is the key factor to moving the very heavy obstacles in our way.  Jesus is not teaching that one should go through life rearranging waterways, pastures, and landscape.  He is taking the largest, heaviest entity we know and saying that a convicted heart can move mountains.

At times it can be said of an athlete that he or she lost because their heart wasn't in it.  Their muscles were in it.  Their understanding of the rules was in it.  Even their grasp of the assigned task was without uncertainty.  But....they lost because their heart just wasn't in it.

This is what I see with too many who seem to imply by their actions that they are not serious about their faith.  Attendance is in it.  These may even flip a few coins into the collection plate or possibly volunteer to manage a booth at the children's event.  Yet, when these serve from duty and not from the abiding love which comes from the heart it is a very deadening process.

We are to believe with our hearts.  Convince the heart and one is all in.  Go into an effort without such an inner conviction and eventual complaining and quitting will be sure to follow.  Too many are in church as long as they like it; like the preaching, like the music, like the location, etc.  But if the heart is not foundational, a reason will arise to cause us to flat walk away.

Believe...not with our proof texts nor with our rote answers...but believe to the extent that we really do believe what the kingdom system is all about; authentic, realistic, and ultra-alive.