Friday, March 31, 2017


No one is exempt from distress; big, large, huge, towering monstrosities of annoyances that bug the proverbial tar right out of us!  This isn't occasional.  Rather, it is lifestyle.  Therefore, we will want to give attention to what eats us.

If vision and hope and pursuit and Holy Spirit fruit eat away at your thinking curve, how awesome!  On the other hand, if worry and irritation and being in control is what you have for breakfast, you can very well anticipate indigestion of the spirit is soon to arrive.  What eats us determines who we are.

God ushers the hope for us in full power.  It isn't hard to find.  Philippians 4:4-8 clears the way for what He wants for us; the good and the honorable and the right and the praiseworthy are to eat at our hearts.  Too, Father wants focus upon the true to eat at us.

Shall you allow trouble to eat up your day?  Or, would you rather attention toward everything going right to eat up your time?  If it's the latter, it will only be because you hold the remote.  Let the good stuff eat at your heart.  You'll be happier and more blessed for it.

What eats at you is your decision and your decision only.  Good luck with what eats you!

Thursday, March 30, 2017


I will never make it to First Grade.  Don't be offended; but, wonderfully so, never will you.  The reason is that God's system is light-years more intense in True Knowledge than our best of the best brains can figure.

Think not?  Have you noticed that Research Labs are going out of style because there is nothing new to be found?  I don't think so!!!  And what shall we anticipate as to the future of this multi-thousand year orb called earth?  More info to come?  Or, info basically has been exhausted?

You know the answer.  So why do we press hard to live so stuck?  Why is it that we age with a rigidity, even in the church, when the very Bible we tout insists that we are to be new day by day?

Why?  Well, it's like so much of everything else in our lives.  We take control.  And when we take control, limits are imposed and imagination restricted only for the purpose that we can remain in control.

Of all of the many things we suffer, due to the afore-mentioned, we suffer loss!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017


The art of believing has often been moved to the back of the bus.  When belief is mentioned there seems to be am immediate response of, And?  And, what else?  And, isn't there more?  And, what would one do to really talk muscle in the spirituals?  In some tribes belief has been trampled as the herd moved along more quickly to the important subject of baptism.

To believe was only a step in such a case; a very quick step onto to something that seemed to matter more.  The church suffers today because of the many who were baptized with only vague intent to grow in belief in the Resurrection Power that the very act promotes.  To be born again is to take on an entirely new mindset where faith is, and always will be, the trail blazer.

The work of God handed to us is to believe in Jesus as John 6:29 assures.  We, on the other hand, find that to be a rather shallow comment.  What about Local Missions?  Baptism?  Foreign Outreach?  The result is that we find abundant discussion and activity to be linked to a very weak faith system.  We tend to walk by what we can see; not by what we can't which is the reverse of God's call in II Corinthians 5:7.

I encourage you to take your hardest issues, your greatest challenges, and your most unimaginable possibilities and soak them in a new-found faith which believes that what isn't yet can become.  May we fight the spiritual war with spiritual tools.  We are able to overcome deficiency and disappointment because of a firm faith that Jesus beat the system.  He set it on its ear!

Yay Him!  And, Yay for us!

Monday, March 27, 2017


What I'm about to write may have been overstated while being underbelieved.  I dearly love getting to be a part of the church.  I know of no person less qualified or more incapable to do effective ministry than me.  Good.  We got that out of the way.

The American church is losing its grip due to one major error.  We refuse to suffer.  Our communities are full of X-ers (former members) and more are poised to soon join their ranks.  I speak not from criticism of any who might fit such a league for it was the church's malteaching which may have led to so much of this exiting.

Our major error is that we have a most subtle way of trying to call our members into service; but only from a self-preferable self-convenience mode.  There is a continual barrage of works out there of which it is asked of our members to hit like.  The problem is that the urgent call to take up our crosses and follow him is anything but like.

If one is to engage in ministry, there is an insistent ingredient; you will be hurt.  Suffering is the trademark of the Christian thread.  The Cross is reality for any of us who say that we will follow Him.  There are no options.  Yet, we behave as if we never deserve the stresses which come our way.  We walk and talk as if we don't have to take such ill treatment.

It is this truth--knowing that we are called to be abused--that keeps me in ministry.  I have been offended, injured, and hurt deeply.  Too, I have offended, injured, and hurt others deeply.  Struggle is the nature of the True Church.  Not attendance.  Not piano-lessness.  And, certainly not walking the handy, the convenient, nor the joy-only smooth pavement.  Upset will necessarily happen because this is Who we are about.

When we are in this for others, attacks happen; and they happen strenuously because others includes our most vile enemies.  When we ignore the strain of serving others, we train our people (especially our children) to be quitters because the day will come when the pressure will become unbearable.  But, our job is to learn to take it.  This is our calling.

From the cross one dies that others might live.  That's what Jesus did...and then he asked us to pick up our own and follow in like manner...with like purpose.  The only reason that we are right with God is because Jesus became wrong with God.  We are to follow this equation.  Others can't get right with God if we don't clear the path for them by dying for them because of them.  Believe me, our feelings will get hurt.  Our names will be slammed.  Our causes will become targets of opposition.

And what are we to do?  We are to believe that upset is the very stage from which God works most effectively.  We are called not only to serve, but to die.  If we lose our lives, God says we find them.  Could we stop the sick, pansy-like, insipid church behavior of pouting because someone sinned against us?  That sinner's hope is found in our refusal to come down from the cross to duke it out.

We each carry our cross to die from by day.  Hang from it.  So for others' sake, stay put!  This will reframe and rebuild church influence of the likes that America may not have experienced in quite some time.  Thank you God for staying put on the Cross.  We needed it and now we fully intend to carry on the divine plan.

Friday, March 24, 2017


Life is abundant if we will allow all of its unfolding circumstances and events to affect our walk.  A key word is all.  The tendency (or preference) clearly leans toward only the positive.  We tend to shun the negative as an interfering element that has no place in our day.  But something significant happens when abiding by only one or the other.

If one selects, even insists, upon the Positive only, a bratty attitude will permeate our daily experience.  Why?  Because not everything in any given day will go positively.  On the other hand, if we should function only from negativity, defensive selfishness continues; even escalates.  This is certainly no fun....for any of those trying to live around us!

So here's what I want you to gain.  Positive by itself sets us up for eventual struggle because life doesn't operate on Positive-only.  Negative alone grooms us for self-absorption.  The two together--I said, THE TWO TOGETHER--give us an amazing element.  That element is called Energy!

Lift the hood of your car.  Disconnect one of the battery (on the farm we referenced it as battry) cables.  Take your pick.  Disconnect the Positive or the Negative.  The result?  No power.  To get moving forward, both posts must be in harmony.  To eliminate one or the other says, You ain't goin' nowhere!

So keep in mind that for you to have a powerful day there must be the presence of both Positive and Negative.  Otherwise, we are mere battries but have no function, meaning or even calling.  Each of us deeply desires, I believe, to be productive.  Connect your Positives and your Negatives AND THEN YOU'VE GOT POWER!

You...are welcome!

Thursday, March 23, 2017


When I was a little kid attending VBS at a very quaint little Presbyterian church in Granger, Missouri, our class learned to recite a simple slogan of sorts.  With our two hands interlocked with fingers inward, the recitation went something like, Here's the church.  Here's the steeple.  Open the doors and see all the people.  When the thumbs (doors) opened wide, six people (fingers--all from Granger) had packed the place!

While I'm driven with delight to connect with any who are not yet a part of a church, I wish today to draw your attention to the simplistic concept above; see all the people.

Would you be one of those church sticklers over matters of preaching style, music preference, clock boundaries when you are gathered as a church; but you don't see the need to interact with the people?  Why can it be heard from visitors that the church wasn't very friendly when the church feels just the opposite?  One, the visitor could be a critical sourpuss or, optionally, have been neglected.  Two, the members could be infatuated with greeting only those they know and have deep fear of greeting a stranger.  Both go the very same assembly.

A call of Jesus that never loses its power is for us to have eyes to see any person we don't know and possibly say profound doctrinal things like, Hello.  How are you doing today?  The bigger the congregation the easier it is to hide from interaction with others.  We seem to believe that we are justified in ignoring those we don't know for surely somebody else knows them.

A call of Jesus that never loses its power is that every person matters.  If there is a glut of misunderstanding in society it is that too many believe that they are not important.  Bible stories consistently inform us that a fundamental need, which is always important, is to see people and then address them.  It builds value into their discouraged and intimidated hearts.

Every person is a big deal to God.  Granted, we can't possibly carry on meaningful conversations with everyone we see.  But we can step up the pace of intentional seeing rather than obvious glancing away in order to avoid meaningful encounter.  We are called to so love the world just as our Example did.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017


We are perpetually targeted to walk by sight; not by faith.  We count numbers because influence can't be tracked.  Accomplishments are more easily grasped than vision.  Such a stark trend has caused faith to subtly go stale.  Believers in Jesus have been transformed into believers in Christian theory coupled with distracting busyness.  I speak not from hopeless exasperation.  Rather, I voice a proposed reversal of practice which might bring the church a renewed and greater hope.

A culprit behind today's church propaganda is a doctrine most oft repeated, I have a faith that's just between me and my God.  How would I know such is said?  Well, for one, I hear it all of the time.  But, second, I once said it of myself...a lot.

Here's what has been lost.  Christianity is anything but a private matter.  Jesus didn't die in the shadows of a remote dark alley where others wouldn't notice.  Neither was he draped upon his cross decked out in a tuxedo.  No, Jesus was executed upon a high and public hill, naked, for all to see.  Not a top-hat; but a crown of thorns completed his wardrobe.

Jesus was public; not private.  And, we are to follow?

Much of Christianity has gone into hiding in plain sight.  We are here.  We have meeting places.  We have valuable activities and missions.  But the trend of our people in general is that when it comes to their faith; this is between them and their God.  That....isn't faith.  That's a dressy language which hides in fear of both engagement and involvement.

I want to be a part of the progress.  What can we do to reverse this deadening trend?
  1. First, we might consider that to follow Jesus will mean very personal painful moments.  To advance the Kingdom of God, there must be soldiers of the Cross rather than just participants of the ritual.
  2. To think about extending to others, rather than the preserving of self, would surely be both a scriptural theme as well as a meaningful reach toward our community.
  3. The back of self-serving, self-preserving legalism must be broken.  I live in a church world where squint-eyed judgment runs rampant while sensitive reach toward a world lost in darkness is completely dismissed by the former.  Oh, it's surely talked.  But, it isn't walked.
  4. There might be benefit to discarding the infatuation we churchers have regarding our specific religious name-brands.  Much is lost due to our incessant belief systems which always include that our group is the most correct while all others are silly for their doctrinal conclusions.  We are all silly.  We are all suspect.  We are all more weak than we are strong.  It is Jesus who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  As we grow in Him, we will move more efficiently toward important and accurate doctrine.
To have a faith that is just between us and our God is to have gone deaf to His plea that we take the Good News to every corner of the globe.  Thank you, those who live to do such.  You inspire us.  And, thank you, those who haven't maybe been the best at pulling this off; but your intent is to mature toward the goal of His higher calling.  I join you.  I want to improve.

May we reach the entire world with an eternity-shaking message that was certainly that of Jesus; EVERYONE IS IMPORTANT....BUT NOT EVERYONE, YET, HAS GOTTEN THE MESSAGE!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017


I urge you to notice abundant life...right now.  Living isn't just for later.  If you think you will turn some magic corner and the temptations of worry and fret will evaporate, think again.  Therefore, I cheer you on to notice the wonder of now simply because there is incredible wonder to behold.

Some are never happy, never pleased, because they intend to get happy someday.  But, the day seems to be illusive because every day has enough trouble of its own.  What we want to do--must do--is to take perpetual inventory of the things going right.  And, everyone has many of those things.

Don't wait until your eyes grow dim before you begin to be thankful for sight.  Don't hold off on the tremendous privilege of hearing music or listening to your children talk until you experience hearing loss.  Too much gratitude is wasted on hind-sight.

If you were blind and could be made to see, would you spend your life griping about the potholes on your street?  If you were born deaf, and a magical procedure brought into reality a new sense called hearing, would you waste such a new beauty by bemoaning all of the negative news sources?  Or, would you find deep delight in the spectacularistic acoustics of tone levels and volumistic resonance?

See, anyone can find the what won't work and the what isn't going well.  Yet, when we enter the Kingdom of God, we gain a new perspective (Eph. 1:18) which alters everything in view.  It isn't that we no longer note the negative, the dark, or the downward spiral.  It is, though, that we see through its facade.  We see that hope is embedded; even in every cemetery.  What is isn't necessarily what's going to stay because the God-factor of faith sees glory is on its way.

When life seems to be upside down, such is the very moment to exert a counter-upside-down faith.  Otherwise, we are mere living pawns pushed and shoved by another's strongest mood.  Not us.  Faith reverses darkness.  Light comes into being.  We find that our reason to hope was legit after all!!

Monday, March 20, 2017


Set your wings for your day ahead.  If you will do this, your day will find a lift that God creates; not you.  What's fascinating about this is that God is the One who figured this out.

Too often, we allow discouragement, even opposition, to take us down.  That's doing life according to the flesh-sensical approach.  However, the Spirit redirects.  Not only are we to refrain from running from difficulty, we are to use its very threat as a launching pad into higher effectivity and efficiency.

Don't let a bad day ruin your walk.  Rather, turn it on its head.  Make the bad moments serve you by lifting you higher than you would have gone without it.

Because of the very wise nature of God....we win!

Yet those who wait for the Lord Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary. Isaiah 40:31

Sunday, March 19, 2017


God is so big.

We are so small.

Let there be no debate as to who is to be in control.

Thursday, March 16, 2017


...I have you on my heart this morning.

Some of you wear the challenges of church leadership while others wear the garb of being a responsible neighbor.  Others maybe don the badge of a gentle momma or the importance of a corporate secretary.  Regardless, know that as you set out for your day two things are in your immediate future.

You are destined for His glory to fall upon you and you will most certainly encounter frustrating disturbance.  Both matters will likely fly toward the one heart on the very same day.

This is called living on earth.

Accept His glory.  And, run right at the turmoil.  In realizing both, you will become a Distraction Buster!  You will arise to become a Storm Stopper as your faith in God's inner activity will lead you to walk on top of the very things that try to sink you; drown you for lack of air to breathe.

Walk like a winner for, due to Him, we already are.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017


Take note of what seems to be a consistent and steadfast truth.  Those who live to encourage others seem to resonate with full life themselves.  That would be because what one sows, one reaps.

The opposite is true.  Those who strive to be encouraged--who are watching for cheering from others--seem to dampen the lives of those nearby.  In this process the very ones seeking the being built up seldom are.  Again, what one sows, one reaps.

Life isn't Rocket Science.  To live means to die to self by attending to others.  To die means to live for self while yearning for others to notice us.

The way to encourage the world around us is to speak words of life, and hope, and love regardless of what we believe we are not receiving from others.  If abundant life is to ever hit our personal stage, it will only be because we give ours away to others.  In turn, God hands more back to us than we had before we gave it away. His habitual nature.

Live by dying to self.  The challenge...for certain...for each of us...every day.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017


Seeing can be believing.  To the contrary, seeing can persuade disbelieving.  The difference between the two is whether we depend upon what the eyes of our head view or what the eyes of our hearts perceive.  Think about it.  We are to walk by faith...and...not by sight.  Something's up with this, wouldn't you think?

God is serious when He calls us to walk from a new perspective.  Even in days of old where God's children could see the swollen banks of the Jordan, they moved with eyes of faith believing that God would do something fantastic to clear the way.  He could have built a bridge in sixty seconds.  Maybe He could have brought in a strange thing called human slingshots which would thrust the people flying across the raging river.  Or, maybe God could just temporarily part the waters?  Go figure.

I tell you a strange thing.  Sight has a way of blurring reality.  God said such; not me.  Eyes from sockets tend to read fear during moments of conflict.  When this happens, hesitation follows and, then, execution is aborted.  The eyes of the heart, instead, are major factors for every individual for it is from this faith/seeing viewpoint that one gains confident momentum.

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing  greatness of power toward us who believe (Ephesians. 1:18-20).  The eyes of the heart are to see a new light in order for three blessings to occur.  Life doesn't go awry because of bad breaks.  Rather, it moves off-center if and when we use the wrong set of eyes in moments of disruption.

Surely so many matters in our walk need improvement.  The place to start is not by first tracking down a solution.  Rather, the first move would be to put in our spiritual contacts that we might see reality from the perspective of God's of hope, riches, and power.  These three...change our entire day!

Monday, March 13, 2017


I'm old enough now to have experienced multiple generational stages.  I know what it was like to yearn to be a teen, and then a young adult, and then an old adult.  At the moment I am experiencing senior citizenry.  Therefore, I wish to point to something going on--or maybe not going on--among churches.

Each new generation tends to live with measured criticism of a past one (that's the-going-on).  Simultaneously, each new generation repeats the very same stifling tendencies as a past one so that we merely maintain the status quo of the past (that's the-not-going-on portion).  Each upcoming generation sees the failures of the past one which could and should be a healthy take by the new.  But, such a group consistently falls into the very same trap as the one they find as a turn-off.  The latter eventually becomes just as stuck as the former. the Apostle was correct when he said that whatever we are critical of, we are guilty of...Romans 2:1-5.  Yes.  A thousand times yes.

So what shall we do?  Are we to never see the need for improvement?  Should we avoid conflict?  Forever turn a blind eye to the need for change?  No, this shall never be.

What we shall do--and every generation will always need this--is to remember with assurance that while we see how things could be improved, we are always in the mix of the problem as well as the solution.  When a generation lives in full-powered criticism of a past one without the slightest awareness that we, too, are guilty of such, we are a perpetually blind civilization destined for religious mopery.

The solution to and for all generations is singular.  There needs to be an obsession with Jesus; not patterns of past nor preferences of future.  Every age range remains in constant need to know the One who lives within each of us in Spirit form.  Of this, we all have much to learn; very much to learn.

We must awaken to the truth that we are suffocating ourselves by carrying on the very identical approach as all other generations; being critical of one another.  As we become more open to our own personal and detrimental flaws an unusual--even holy--form of unity will be set in motion.  Yes, unity by way of humility.

If you are driven to stand for something, try standing for confession of your own sins because when we do this, we tend to notice that the sins of others weren't as big as we had previously believed.  Oh, take the log out of our own eyes?  Jesus did bring that up once, didn't he?

Sunday, March 12, 2017


The way to the top is to move to the bottom.  Jesus taught it.  He lived it.  He is THE success story of all stories because he lived with purpose as as well as personal fulfillment.....and he defied the grave.

This.  We.  Want.

If we believe that we are going to find joy in attaining and accumulating, the vast populace of the entire world has tried this route...and failed.  The Jesus-route is the only one that really lives.  Odd, even we followers continue to hope for some sort of an escape clause where we could bypass self-sacrifice in order to experience joy.  And on occasion we feel we've hit it only to run head-on into more frustration and let-down.

To have an immediately much better day is to lose our lives that others may be blessed.  And, practically speaking, how would one go about this?  Sow seeds of delight and joy and positivity and happiness and endurance and forgiveness and gratitude.  If you want to see a difference made in your life, make a difference for others.

NOTE THESE FOUR: Be attentive.  Be attentive.  Notice others.  Be attentive.

There!  These are four things that will afford you an immediately better day because you just made someone else's!


Thursday, March 09, 2017


Faith is surely a profound challenge of the human mind and heart.  If the platform (philosophy) of it isn't challenging enough, the practice of it is a matter of opposition to the natural mind.  Faith challenges the very core of being a thinking, managing, controlling person.

Why is it such a bear for so many of us?  One reason is because it refuses to march to our what our eyes can see cadence.  The drumbeat of so much of our walk is framed within the boundaries of visibility.  That we are called to walk by faith AND NOT to walk by sight surely gives us a clue as to the extreme task before us.

Man is comprised of two sets of eyes; that of the head and that of the heart.  Paul prayed in Ephesians that the eyes of our hearts might be enlightened so that we could know the will of God.  Faith is not a Sunday School hand-out to be long forgotten by Sunday afternoon at 2:00.  It is the daring move of the heart to believe that what isn't, yet, can become.

We walk by faith and not by sight.  Why?  Because sight will freak us out; at least fear us out.  Paranoia is rampant when we function by what we can visibly calculate.  The reports may appear weak.  The results might seem negative.  But faith...but faith SEES what the flesh cannot perceive; hope, potential, and possibility.

I encourage you to see beyond the chatter of doubters, deniers, and whiners.  Anybody can ride the bandwagon of negative blindness and feel quite appropriate due to the amount of company unbelieving can keep.  But forge ahead, even if alone, listen to the Spirit of God.  Practice seeing what can't be seen by the flesh-eyes.  God did what couldn't be done...and still does so...with and through plain people like Moses, Esther....and us.

Faith isn't a bear.  It just refuses to be a coward.

Yay us!!

Wednesday, March 08, 2017


Each person is blatantly and unconsciously trained to operate from the ugly terms of fear.  For it to be said that some are afraid of their own shadows is merely a tip of the iceberg.  We will make progress when we can keep in mind that much of today's stirring about in the most routine of efforts has a silent boss in place; mean, bullying, and intimidating fear.

Fear causes us to hide rather than to explore.  It insists that we defend rather than imagine.  Strong leaders only grow to a certain level if limitations have been defined; mistakenly declared.  These can look back (and maybe down at others) in comparison in order to grasp some semblance of security that we are doing okay.  Yet, fear will keep us from engaging in the perpetual progress He intends for us.  Because God is God and we are not, we are ever on the treadmill of learning, developing, and maturing.  This is the nature of a true disciple.

One must be on guard.  Otherwise, decisions will be presented under the guise of wisdom when, in reality, the decidee was afraid to try, explore, even hear, an alternative.  Ruling and deciding can have the fragrance of true leadership; when in reality it is more aligned with cowardship.

Why is this theme important?  It is so because Jesus is the ultimate train wreck of man's accountable intelligence.  To gain we are to release.  To live we are to die.  To win we are to lose.  The business mind, under the heading of spiritual leadership, is catastrophic.  It won't dare let go of the controls.  It is afraid to leap by faith; so it would rather limp by sight evaluation processes.

It is said of Walt Disney that anytime his advisory board was unanimously against a project, he would start on it immediately.  That sounds like Jesus.  Jesus did what couldn't be done, went where one shouldn't go, and loved when others had thrown up their hands in disgust.  Jesus' way is the way that an unbelieving world wants....but can't seem to find.  I'm convinced that unbelievers are not looking for the brightest and the rightest of church organizations.  They are on the hunt for a people who are nuts about their God and their indescribable experiences with Him.

We are to be that message of the impossible becoming possible.  We are to be the hope of what can't possibly be has already become.  So be on guard dear one who lives beneath the banner of being responsible.  Try to break the bonds of thinking without thinking; the trait of making decisions without questioning just where God has you and that particular circumstance at the moment.

Mankind is in desperate need of outrageous hope!  It will not be found in the churches that operate from the business-as-usual mind.  God is the God of what can't possibly happen does.  We are to be that sort of new creation.  He defies logic; that very thing that man's pride reveres most.

The questions, therefore are two: will we believe the outrageous of Him...and will we dare let Him offer us His immeasurable supply?

Tuesday, March 07, 2017


Striving.  We are always striving.  Obsessed with more of whatever, we so often find our lives burdened by the clutter that tends to weight us down.  Are we expected to always be on mission to prove ourselves, defend ourselves, recognize ourselves?

What if we could grow in the dimension and direction of God's script for us?  What if we would develop a pattern of dying to ourselves?  This would surely take on a new dynamic that just might lead us into His promise of gaining new life.

I seem to be my most miserable when I am most critical of how I'm being neglected. Or, forgotten.  Or, misrepresented.  But, what if I were to increase in attentiveness toward others rather than measuring just how much cheering I receive?  What if my outflow were to dominate; not my inflow which causes belly-button gazing?

Mark it down.  You are not enough.  None of us are.  Therefore, maybe we could abstain from trying to prove that we are something which we will never be.  Maybe we could join the choruses of bragging on and complimenting others.  This might change two worlds, simultaneously; theirs...and the ours.

Be confident that you are not enough.  Be confident that Jesus is you.

Friday, March 03, 2017


I raise a question as to just how we are to perceive giftedness; others and our own.  The reason is that it seems to me that the overall church membership has slipped into a dismissal of challenges/tasks before us when we don't know how to approach such.  We say things like, Well, I'm just not gifted in that area.  At that comment, it seems that personal responsibility to participate is mistakenly dismissed; but with clear conscience.

First, allow me to acknowledge that one more time I don't have a complete grasp of the truth of this subject.  Know that I know that.  Yet, I do want to question our practice of convenient dismissal if we should be doing otherwise; as in growing and maturing.

I find in my work various areas that seem most natural to me today; almost as if God has handed such to me.  But, in the earlier days of my ministry, I couldn't do them at all.  At first I fumbled greatly in delivering sermons, teaching classes, studying with seekers; on the list goes.  Today, it is reversed for me at times in some areas...on some occasions.

What would have happened and where would I be in a serving role today if I had dismissed such opportunities because I clearly believed that I was not gifted?  To learn these and other dimensions of ministry took disciplined training which included the awful dreaded reality of repeated failure.  So, while I may not be gifted, I surely am able to carry on in some of these zones.

Being gifted by God doesn't mean that we only move about on earth where the subject and the task is a no-stress matter.  Carrying a cross is stressful.  We will ever be called into challenging zones which will mature us.  Truthfully, I agree with you that such awareness does take discernment for each of us would be capable in only a few areas; while possibly being in the way in others.  My challenge, though, is to refrain from dismissing tasks before us because we either don't like or don't want to learn how to make the approach.

All of us are called to go into all of the some form.  All of us are called to learn to be compassionate people-persons.  All of us are called to reach, to serve, to pray, to study.  For some this will be most natural.  For others, not so much.

Either way, we are to accept the task before us rather than sitting on our excuses simply because we won't try to learn.  Being gifted by God doesn't necessarily mean that the task before us is easy.  The practice of sacrifice and suffering may be involved as well.

Thursday, March 02, 2017


Even from years gone by, there has been a firm and constant charge that we don't stand against sin any longer.  This discussion was usually termed in frustration, even anger; the purest against the sinner.  The sinner was always someone else; never the inclusive of the expresser.  Judgment rang clear.  The stand against sin was slipping away within the church.  The wringing of aggravated hands proceeded.

Often encapsulated within such an adamant charge was to be found selective sinnery.  Exactly which sins were being discussed?  It was never any that might have accumulated at the table of the discussees.  No, the theme was always about a sin of others in a sin-zone that the discussees really never committed.

Sin is still sin.  Jesus did something about it.  He, also, handed over his righteousness to each of us for we could never attain such on our own.  And then he handed out individual crosses with the words, Go get 'em!

Therefore, might I toss a slight adjustment your way for consideration?  Could it be that we were not called to stand against sin; but we are called to hang against sin?  It's one thing to point out another's violation to God's will.  It is an entirely new world to hang upon our personal crosses so that blatant sinners can be saved.  This is the very basic thread of God's salvation; paying for the sin and rescuing the sinner.  What an equation for we rescued ones to perpetuate.

That's not only what Jesus did; it's what he demands of us...and nothing less.  Certainly, sin is an infectious culprit of darkness.  It's a wild and contagious prowler of which we make not one excuse for any part of it.  Too, we are all guilty to the extent that Jesus' blood cleanses us day by day.  We must--really must--shed our self-excusery by joining the ranks of all others whom we might deem as those sinners.

Jesus was hung out to dry.  We, in turn, are to be hung out for the next generation of sinners for our walk is to duplicate his all the way to the Cross.  Stand against sin?  Oh, we do so hanging upon our crosses and dying for one another in the name of Jesus. how one stands against sin the way Jesus did.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017


We must ever be the students who seek the will of God.  If He is who we claim that He is, it should be admitted that He will not fit into our convenient cubicles of limited exercises and understanding. God is God.  He carries us; not us Him.

I remain convinced that a large populace of society wants to know God.  They are not interested in our pet peeves; one religious group debating another.  It would seem that we simply must address this matter in a humble way which would consider, in the best honesty that we can muster, what we may be doing that blocks good people from knowing God.

I noted something pertinent in last night's scene of the President addressing congress.  Half supported the President and half don't.  It was a reversed claim under a different President just a few months earlier.  The visible divide is disheartening.  Why?  It would seem that party lines have become the dominant issue; not the give-and-take from both sides of the aisle that just might bring a new offering of hope to our nation.

This visual of blatant public division made me take a look at myself.  Do I represent the same spirit of division; yet, under the name of Truth for God?  Have I taken on Church of Christ to out-believe the Baptists or the Presbyterians?  And have some in those two camps done the very same thing?

It would seem that in recent years we may have all made strides of improvement toward respectful harmony.  I attended a Baptist prayer gathering once a week at noon for several years.  All faiths were invited.  I was the only non-Baptist to attend.  I did not die.

Yet, I think we (including myself) have much work to do to move forward into the expansive walk of God.  Our biasistic tendencies according to our particular denomination must fade.  In no way do I believe that we should shed our convictions on many specific doctrinal matters.  But what must be included is our equal conviction that when God called for unity of the Spirit, He meant it.

Conservative versus Liberal is not restricted to politics only.  It is rampant in the most cherished theme; the basics of Christianity.  We are not right.  He gives us His righteousness because none of us can accomplish such on our own.  None.  Of.  Us.  While each group of us may have mastered a few of God's concepts and details, each division is surely to be found lacking in abundant matters of which we still need to mature.

We are not the enemy of one another.  The resurrected Jesus brings us to a humble stand-still because it is clear we could not save ourselves....then....or now.  He had to cover for us because we could not pull off our own rescue....then....or now.

I am still in Kindergarten in learning and I very much love the thought.  I still hunger to know what God wishes somebody would learn that has yet to be considered.  My heart wishes to speak at the moment of the hope which lies in front of us; not in despair of our past failures.  We've all been engaged in the latter.  Yet, it is the former that inspires each of us to grow in Spirit that God might be both worshiped and honored.