Sunday, July 23, 2017


As a man thinks in his heart, so is he...Proverbs 23:7

I didn't like that verse at first.  I believed that my negative conditions weren't due to the ways I had been thinking.  I was not my problem.  No, the rough times were due to how people had mistreated I had done the same to them.  The bad breaks I encountered were not of my doing.  So why should I be responsible for my reaction?

Inner peace is reachable every day in every circumstance by every person.  Please don't volley your explanation of how I don't understand stress and pain and conflict and heartbreak which lead to towering depression.  I might have a bit of experience which would match, even surpass, yours.  But, I learned (the hard way) how to combat this gigantic ever-present opponent.

Victory revolves around the way we think.  Does this eliminate pain?  No, but it stops us from camping there over the weekend.  Think with me.  People or issues which hurt us not only inflict wounds at their given moment; we tend to rehearse...and rehearse...and rehearse...our injuries.  And just where does such take place?  In.  The.  Mind.  Our thinking is the battle ground.

Here's what I've experienced; being bent on insecurity, being blue, perpetually counting the offenses against me or mine toward others.  We can't undo the past; but we don't have to establish permanent residence there.  We have an amazing alternative.  Get this: WE ALL HAVE THE OPTION to lead a happy, refreshing, productive life.  Yes.  You.  You hold the key.  Open your mind.

But open it to what?  Stop replaying the injuries or the neglects or the disappointments.  Replace the junk mail with the truth of what's going on with you.  Rehash everything that is going right.  THINK in healthy format.  Who loves you?  Name them.  Start your list.  One?  Three?  Eighty-nine?  Then THINK on these.  Forty-two friends are a bigger number than two enemies.

Second, quit giving the negative people air-time in your head.  STOP IT!  You can, you know.  You and only you has access to the control switch.  Refuse to tune in to their repetitive, harping, poor-me station.  They are exactly like you in places; fearful, frustrated, angry.  So don't be carrying their dysfunctions in your heart.  Love them, indeed.  But do not inherit their displeasure as your own.

Philippians 4:4-8, one more time (and I'll quit sighting it when everyone has it mastered), transforms the way we think which transforms the was we experience which transforms the way we feel.  I know.  I fought depression and it still creeps in.  But I learned through God to quit inviting it in to stay overnight as a guest in my heart.

I'll choose to think about the amazing people in my life and the impossible wonder.  For some, I encourage you to drop the excuses as to why yours are the exception to maintaining your depression profile.  When we want to feel better about ourselves and about others, it will always be found within the basic training of how we allow our minds to be creatively aware of our blessings.

Overcoming depression, I have discovered, is not theory.  It is reality.  Be bummed.  Be sad.  We all hit those walls.  But within our thinking processes we are able to conquer day by day.  Therefore, I recommend possible actions which might bring favorable adjustment to your life experience:

    1.  Stop talking about your ailments.  We've all got 'em.  Well is who you are.  If your hand hurts talk about your feet that don't, your heart that doesn't, your ears that hear and your eyes that see and your......

    2.  Focus on others.  Talk about what you like about them.  Share your gratitude for their walk, their faith, their successes.  They could always use a pep talk and yours would be ideal.

    3.  Believe that you carry the power to make others have a better day.  Give them hope and love and life!  If you want attention, sow it.  Give it to others.  Otherwise, you are annoying the daylights out of those around you by bumming everybody out with your bemoaning whine.  Stop it.

Now....go bless somebody and you'll find you have new purpose and meaning in life.  Yay you!

Friday, July 21, 2017


Faith is a very common fundamental word quite easily understood. it?

I suggest that we may have had a tendency for quite some time to have talked the "container" while possibly having overlooked the "content".  Faith isn't just a step or a concept linked to Bible discussion.  We all know this.  Yet, to observe its existence is one thing.  To follow (see) its activity is quite another; a worlds-apart another.

Faith sees what can't be seen.  II Corinthians 5:7...we are to walk by?  Faith.  And, not by?  Sight.  Yet, our tendency is to live day by day in the reverse.  I don't speak critically; but wish to informatively.  We've changing/improving to do.  Yay us!

While the platform of faith easily passes through the lips of we Sunday School students, we are speaking micro and mega experiences in the invisibles which, quite honestly, bugs the teacher (us).  We prefer things cut and dried, black and white, explained, understood....and manageable.  Fortunately, faith isn't going to abide by such yearnings.

Faith takes a person into a realm that is unmonitorable regarding its operational scheme.  Yet, one can "see" its results.  It sees (II Cor. 5:7) into, through, and out the other side of what normal visibility can provide.  We are called to believe faith; not believe "in" faith; but believe that faith is an activity of most profound, yet immediate, sensory.  A world of actuality and reality exists which can only be reached via this believing scope called faith.

And the question always remains.  Do we believe faith or do we simply use the terminology with a bit of a spiritual wink?

To believe that faith is active in a prominent invisible form is to connect to the larger side of our basic existence.  It supplies us, fuels us, drives us, and blesses us.  Our hearts and minds are bent on approaching every single day with strong (and certain) ambition toward matters which haven't happened yet; but we "believe" they will.  Furthermore, we believe that seed sown yesterday will sprout in the future and we have zero skill-set to know how, when, why, nor where.

Odd, don't you think?

Faith is the binding of the physical with the spiritual.  It is the Grand Link.  The study of "physics" alone is mind-boggling because it cannot be approached without including the strong dynamic of the "spirits" (spiritual).  Therefore, read Ephesians 3:20-21 again.  Note the truth that we are to believe with an experiencial faith that is beyond...even our wildest imagination.  Note: not beyond our greatest "understanding"; but far past our wildest "imagination".

And we insist upon conducting church in a way that is safe, manageable, routine, with no surprises?  No wonder we are at times dismissed by our neighbors with a shrug as if we are boring.  We must forever gain momentum in believing in our fundamental doctrine called faith.  It has no limitations for it is the very invisible fabric of the most powerful entity on earth....a believer.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017


Fear is profoundly bossy.  It highly prefers the chief seat at your table.  Our days take hits like crazy due to this manic, self-indulgent, obsessive personality which insists on air-time.  Yet, there is Good News from Above.  Faith is toxic to fear!

Inner conflict is surely a spiritual matter.  Faith and Fear stand in opposing corners of the Boxing Ring.  Because both are "inner" matters, we are engaged in perpetual slug fests for each wants to be crowned Champion.

Awaken to the dynamic of believing!  Faith isn't a step in some salvationalistic code.  It is the revised road map for all who wish to experience life rather than just a getting-by existence.  See the sheer wonder of hope and joy and meaning...from...within!  You are not average.  You were never created to live under the Big Thumb of fear.

To believe is not for the weak.  Faith is neither cowardly nor timid.  Rather it is the reason to hope when there isn't any, to celebrate when all others assume the party is over, and to anticipate another Sonrise when darkness shrouds midday.

Believe. believe....for God delights in blessing those who trust Him!!

Fear....go to the back of the bus and sit down!  Now!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017


W A I T could almost be regarded as a four-letter word.  We fundamentally, basically, over-all like to do many things in life without the interference of being forced to wait.  Yet, I've found it to be well beyond average in meaning and importance.  It carries impacting power.  To wait is often to restrain self in order to allow God to work from His timing rather than our insecure and self-induced weak management of life.

In the very beginning of the book of Acts (1:4), the disciples are told not to leave Jerusalem but to wait for what the Father had promised.  Two things seem to be going on: (1) they don't have much to go on as to why other than a promise is coming, and (2) they don't know what the promise would mean.  Their immediate response would be typical and understandable as they offered immediate inquiry.

And the response they got?  It is not for you to know (1:7).  Talk about vulnerable leaders!  These willing followers are clueless; very likely a bit bewildered.  They are commanded to wait on who-would-know-what.  How will they know when "it" happens?  What if "it" happens and they missed it because they should have been alert; but they missed it?

The W A I T was for the incoming arrival of the Holy Spirit!  The moment was so lively that, when it eventually took place, these men never got over it....ever!  Their lives, hearts, minds, and ministries were converted to a newness that would change them in such a way that they would never be the same.  This took place all because they took one major step that a hurried world notes as a waste of time; they waited.

I cheer you on.  In a very accelerated society of which one is yanked to and fro by demanding hurry, slow down.  Stop.  Wait.  Anticipate God showing up at the end of your wait.  Look for Him when you don't have the information as to how long to wait nor for what you should be watching.  This is the wild dynamic of God.

We must be quite careful else we will step in and be god because we don't feel He's quick enough.

W A I T I N G is a powerful spiritual thread for every individual.  Try not to bypass nor abort progress because you are impatient.  God knows how to...manage your time.

Friday, July 07, 2017


You, my friend, are more than you can keep imagining.  You are an implement of God designed to be more than you can be, to think farther than you can think, and to believe more thoroughly than you can believe.

We are not in this landscape called Life all by ourselves.  God so promised to partner with us that He has set up shop within our very hearts and minds.  He's lightweight so there's no burden of our carrying Him within.  He's the Grand Visionary so we are not stumped as to how to handle the most tedious dilemmas.  And, He's waiting....waiting on us to lean into Him for hope and wonder and the more-than-we-can-fathom style of living.

We are talking about you.  Yes!  You!

Refuse the gnarly snags of daily existence.  Arise to the wonder of it all.  Don't miss out...own your own life.  Yes, you are the decider.  You are the believer.  Determine to be the fuller, brighter, better you than you have ever been up to this point.  Discover your own awe which resides in direct connection to the Holy Spirit of God!

Thursday, July 06, 2017


Jesus is the most fascinating personality ever!  His name has been, however, reduced as basically meaningless in public square throughout the world because of cowardly followers as myself.  Rather than being noted as an ultra-brave soldier who carried his own execution tool upon his back, Jesus is regarded with incredible indifference from bar to golf course to church pew.  No wonder Christianity struggles to make impact.  It has become devoted to plan far more than to the man.

I believe that the masses of indifference toward faith would surrender to Jesus if they could find him.  I'm not saying no one ever finds him, for such a thought is exaggerated.  Yet, the truth is that finding church does not mean one has found the Lamb of God.  Therefore, we who are church simply must restructure our drive to be one of promoting him which would allow him to add newcomers to his church.

If rebellious-toward-church society had any idea how boldly Jesus stood in the face of organized religion, these very ones would open to incredible possibilities of recognizing him as friend, as mentor, as saviour.  He hasn't been hidden by prostitutes nor gamblers nor thieves.  He has been set aside by the very group who believe we are in line with him.  He lost his life/gave his life fighting the crime of religious authoritarians who cared more for their pet doctrines that they did for hurting, lonely, and lost people.

Jesus fascinates me.  As the Son of God, this one saw life for what it surely is; everyone matters to Father.  Those who have the courage to break the mold of ritualism and, yet, remain in the process in order to develop into the personality of Jesus...THANK YOU!!  For those who have never given up on self and on others that we might make progress in being the church with eyes and heart for the hurting, THANK YOU!!  And then for those who are aging in the church; yet have a renewal of heart day by day that keeps you young instead of church grumpy...THANK YOU!!

I say to every person reading this post who doesn't care much for church, for religion, for spiritual direction, I get it.  I don't blame you.  Guys like me tend to shut down one's interest in such things due to our immaturity and our self-centeredness.  Try not to throw out the Saviour with the bath water.  Rebel against ones like myself if you must; but please ponder awakening to the truth that church habits are, at times, causing a blinding glare to restrain you from seeing when the Son is out.

Everyone in church and out, in religious organization and out, have the very same need.  We must know of someone who took the rigors of death and made jelly out of it.  We must meet the only one who was beaten to death on our behalf.  Once we do....we must spend the rest of our days thanking him rather than rejecting him.

Jesus....he's that one who dared to cut against the grain of religion.  The leaders killed him for it.  We praise him for it.  And then....we follow him because of it.  Might you who can't stand church be finding your heart wavering a bit?  Might you be wondering if, rather than  rejecting the idea, you might just be thinking your could be a part of it?  It happened to me.  It may very will be happening to you.  Listen to your own heart.  It will tend to lean toward the voice of God.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017


The voice of God via His Word is repetitive with a call to start life over, to be a new person, to arise with a renewed dimension of power and hope and love. If there's a consistent fact about the God dynamic, it is that His people often make adjustments toward the improvement side. Hopefully, we mature.

I venture to guess that you are not the same person you were twenty-five days ago; let alone even twenty-five years ago. You believe differently. You approach problems more maturely. Frankly, in many instances you've simply changed your mind.

So, if we note within ourselves significant changes having taken place, why would we not believe the same would be possible for those within our cluster of stressful contacts? Grievances are carried on far too long. We may note progress within our own walk; but simply forget that those with whom we differ may have grown up at the same pace (or possibly even accelerated beyond us).

Living in begrudgment is a waste of heart-energy. It isn't necessary. Furthermore, it's costly. Our anger and frustration blocks out our enemies and contaminates our friends. Assuming that we are immune from identical mistaken behavior, we chatter with those "on our side" as if we are not just like "them". This practice merely strengthens mistaken barriers.

My guestimation is that, with age, you have changed. Yes, there remains room for improvement; but you've likely come a long way. So why would we not think such inevitable for those among our strained-relationships? Might we drop the grudges and begin to believe in the good side

Monday, July 03, 2017


A God whom we couldn't have thought up on our own has turned to us, reached to us, is revealed to be someone quite other than the God we would have if God were merely a figment of our imagination--God is a Jew from Nazareth who lived briefly, died violently, and rose unexpectedly.  This God scared us to death but also thrilled us to life.....

.....Many Jews expected God to come and save them; few expected God to show up as a homeless man, unmarried, and unemployed.
                                                                     William Willimon (Why Jesus)

Mankind is stuck because the church is more stuck.  Hopelessness abounds when church focus is slanted toward ritual, religiosity, results.  The Good News is that all three of these are crushed by the unimaginable display of Heavenly Father taking form in Earthly Son.  Jesus defied every thing and every place where man thought he could hang his theological hat.

When one reads the Bible...and this is the Divine Revelation standing the test of time...the weird, the wonderful, and the absurd describe the Story.  Nothing is average.  The exciting Truth is that we are to be a part of this Story unfolding; overlapping into the next moment which (as of yesterday) was only known as future.  We are not to enter in as much as we are to realize we have entered in.

Might it be time that we step out of our boats of security and begin walking atop of the waters of uncertainty?  Might this be the thrill for our lives which initially, we must admit, scares us to death?  We are called to move from a lifeless living to a living kind of life full of meaning and power and God's rich glory.

Don't be afraid to step out, step up, and step into the incredible zone of defiant hope.  Do be afraid of never taking the leap.  It's when we make the bold jump that we break the bonds of fear and slip into the freedom of wonder.  Don't stop at being scared to death.  But, be scared to death in order to be thrilled to life!