Monday, June 30, 2008

Church on Sunday, work on Monday...

What is the source of your joy?

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Get the story of the Bible into our bloodstream

God desires that we discover our deep need for Jesus by 'eating this book'. We are not independent people but in-dependent - on God!

"I have seen it long enough in the Bible, but I believe it now as a living reality."

What is He up to in your life?

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Your money or...?

Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like. Will Rogers

It comes down to this: either you control money, or it controls you. Harv Eker

Friday, June 27, 2008

The facade of Church...

It is easy to think that the Church has lots of different objects — education, building, missions, holding services. The Church exists for nothing else but to draw people to Christ, to make them little Christ’s (or, Christians). If they are not doing that, all the cathedrals, clergy, missions, sermons, even the Bible itself, are simply a waste of time. God became Man for no other purpose. C.S. Lewis

Thursday, June 26, 2008


A friend is someone who takes a risk with you by being vulnerable.

A friend is someone who takes initiative. A friend is someone in whom you can confide.

A friend is someone for whom you want the best, and he wants the best for you.

A friend is someone to whom you can talk.

A friend is someone who shares his toys with you.

A friend is someone who invites you over to his house to play.

A friend is someone to whom you can tell secrets.

A friend is one who cheers for you and someone for whom you can cheer.

A friend is someone who listens to you.

Proverbs 18:24
Friends come and friends go, but a true friend sticks by you like family.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


2 Corinthians 8:9
You are familiar with the generosity of our Master, Jesus Christ. Rich as he was, he gave it all away for us—in one stroke he became poor and we became rich.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Become a Lover of people...

To love another as a person we must begin by granting him his own autonomy and identity as a person. We have to love him for what he is in himself, and not for what he is to us. We have to love him for his own good, not for the good we get out of him. And this is impossible unless we are capable of a love which ‘transforms’ us, so to speak, into the other person, making us able to see things as he sees them, love what he loves, experience the deeper realities of his own life as if they were our own. Without sacrifice, such a transformation is utterly impossible. But unless we are capable of this kind of transformation ‘into the other’ while remaining ourselves, we are not yet capable of a fully human existence. Thomas Merton

Jude 1:1-2
I, Jude, am a slave to Jesus Christ and brother to James, writing to those loved by God the Father, called and kept safe by Jesus Christ. Relax, everything's going to be all right; rest, everything's coming together; open your hearts, love is on the way!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Do you have any 'Learning Buddies?'

What have you been learning lately?

Who will you tell?

This past weekend helped affirm that, 'Life is one grand adventure!' And on top of that, it's a spiritual discipline to 'Give generously & receive graciously.'

Sunday, June 22, 2008

It is hard to want to listen to God when I sense he intends to say things I don’t want to hear. Roger Barrier

Our woundedness restricts our openness to God and others. We are fearful we will be hurt again by new relationships. Slowly but very surely, unless we learn to handle heartache correctly, we become embittered and resentful cynics. We lose the joy of being alive.

When I get to heaven, I don't want to watch Jesus spew my sheep out of his mouth. No, I'd rather have a select few behind me and be able to say, "Jesus, these are all I had left, but they are crazy in love with you. They sacrificed all of their lives to listen to and follow you." Francis Chan

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Gentlemen, start your engines...

A couple of days back I had coffee with a friend & then we said our goodbyes & I was in my car when this friend of mine comes back to me & mentions something about driving that he's learning.

As soon as he says it, I hear, "A different agenda" whispered in the ear of my heart. I have chills knowing that God is laying a message on my heart. Moments earlier I had prayed that I & some others would be able to lay down our concerns and seek to see what God was actively doing in our midst. Here I was having that prayer answered & it blew me away.

All the way home (it was a long drive) I was mindful of what I had heard. It changed how I drove, and had a real sense that God was right there with me in the car - very peaceful and serene.

I needed to hear that message because of all the activities I'm engaged in driving most exposes my heart. I get in my car & I have one agenda: to get where I'm going as quickly as possible. That day it was different - I could choose to surrender my agenda while driving. It is slowly taking shape all the time I drive, too.

We all have habits, behaviors, addictions & facets of our personality where we say, "that's just the way I am." These things expose our heart & give us an opportunity to discover how to fully surrender to God.

God does have a sense of humor: to top it all off, our men's group study that night asked us to "Slow down in order to hear God!"

What agenda is driving you?

Zechariah 4:6,10
'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the LORD Almighty. "Who despises the day of small things? Men will rejoice when they see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel."

Friday, June 20, 2008

Your letter from God is here...


Please accept this extravagant gift of life that I'm offering you (Romans 5:17-21). Come in Me and you will find that I am gentle and humble (Matthew 11:29). I am merciful, slow to anger, and full of grace (Psalm 145:8). My heart beats wildly everytime you look My direction (Solomon 4:9). Follow Me and I will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4) because I am passionately in love with you (Psalm 45:11).

Nothing, absolutely nothing can change My love for you (Romans 8:38-39). Trust in Me and I will help you (Romans 10:11). I'll welcome you with open arms (Mark 10:16), and I will meet all of your needs (Philippians 4:19). I will love you all day and sing songs to you at night (Psalm 42:8). You mean the world to Me, and My love for you knows no limits (John 3:16).

Let Me live in your heart and I'll breathe new life into you (Romans 8:11). Just invite Me in and all of heaven will celebrate (Luke 15:7). I'll be with you every day of your life (Matthew 28:20) and fill you with hope (Romans 15:13). I gave up what I loved most to win your love (Romans 8:32) and I've waited an eternity for you (Ephesians 1:11). If you believe Me, I will save you (Romans 1:16). I will come to you riding on a white horse (Revelation 19:11) and I will be your champion (Jeremiah 20:11).

I am Jesus, the Lover of your soul.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

It's payback time!

In late May at a Georgia High School Baseball Championship game, the pitcher & catcher conspired to bean the umpire! Frustrated by the umpires calling of balls and strikes, they took matters into their own hands. As an old catcher, I've never seen anything like it before.

I recall doing something stupid in the heat of the moment- trailing badly while playing the Dukes of Sherwood Park (I think the final was 24-3), another run was about to cross the plate & I faked that a throw was coming. The runner wasn't amused & truth be told I was completely embarrassed that I did that. These guys went way over even that foolish act of mine & it may cost them a scholarship!

Bean the Ump

How are you doing during your 'heat of the battle' moments? What is being exposed in your heart?

Romans 12:19
Don't hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you've got it in you, get along with everybody. Don't insist on getting even; that's not for you to do. "I'll do the judging," says God. "I'll take care of it."

Matthew 5:43-48
"You're familiar with the old written law, 'Love your friend,' and its unwritten companion, 'Hate your enemy.' I'm challenging that. I'm telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that.

"In a word, what I'm saying is, Grow up. You're kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you."

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I feel big as a damn mountain...

I'll never forget watching this scene over 30 years ago...Over the years I misunderstood that the Chief's freedom was raw physical power but that wasn't it at all.

End scene- One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

The sacrificial nature of MacMurphy, the giving of his life for the other inmates... well if you don't get it by now you probably won't.

It's not ironic to me that there is a current day fictional 'Mack' that is raising eyebrows like the old MacMurphy did- Mack from The Shack.

Alot of folks don't get that Mack, either. You probably have to have been in prison, or come out of your denial to see the prison you've been in to actually 'get it'. Then & only then will the offer to meet Papa down at The Shack have any meaning...then & only then will it really touch you to see the Chief run free while the others stay locked up in their prison. The window is busted open by free!

2 Corinthians 3:17
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

John 7:38
Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Learning To Listen...

Week 2 of the men's group tomorrow @ 730 PM.

John 10:27-30
"My sheep recognize my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them real and eternal life. They are protected from the Destroyer for good. No one can steal them from out of my hand. The Father who put them under my care is so much greater than the Destroyer and Thief. No one could ever get them away from him. I and the Father are one heart and mind."

Monday, June 16, 2008

Acts of Initiation

Initiation was an important consideration for the Jewish faith; the early church also picked up on it. Being initiated into manhood is almost universal to all cultures, except perhaps western peoples, unless you consdier getting drunk when you turn 18 to be an authentic form of initiation or a spiritually significant rite of passage!

Pampered Child Syndrome

Parents such as you or I are trying to raise children who are:

…are comfortable and happy
…are stimulated and enriched
…have fun
…can make their own choices and be independent
…are included in family decisions
…are given reasons for what they are asked to do
…are treated equally and fairly
…can express their feelings and be heard
…feel loved and appreciated
…have positive self-esteem

However many of the children come away believing:

I should never be unhappy
I should never be bored
If it’s not fun, I won’t do it
No one can tell me what to do
Adults should always consult me
I won’t do anything unless there’s a good reason
I should be treated the same as adults
I should only do things I feel like doing
If I want it, I should have it, and if you love me, you should give it to me
I should always feel good about myself

JK Rowling recently gave the commencement address at the 357th graduating class for Harvard University. Her words are very significant for us because graduation from Harvard would be considered an initiation into an upwardly mobile life- "My Own Little Happy LIfe."

J.K. Rowling said, "I have wracked my mind and heart for what I ought to say to you today. I have asked myself what I wish I had known at my own graduation, and what important lessons I have learned in the 21 years that have expired between that day and this. I have come up with two answers. On this wonderful day when we are gathered together to celebrate your academic success, I have decided to talk to you about the benefits of failure. And as you stand on the threshold of what is sometimes called ‘real life,' I want to extol the crucial importance of imagination (empathy)."

"I cannot criticize my parents for hoping that I would never experience poverty. Of all subjects on this planet, I think they would have been hard put to name one less useful than Greek mythology when it came to securing the keys to an executive bathroom."

"What I feared most for myself at your age was not poverty, but failure.... Ultimately, we all have to decide for ourselves what constitutes failure, but the world is quite eager to give you a set of criteria if you let it. So I think it fair to say that by any conventional measure, a mere seven years after my graduation day, I had failed on an epic scale. An exceptionally short-lived marriage had imploded, and I was jobless, a lone parent, as poor as it is possible to be in modern Britain without being homeless. The fears my parents had had for me, and that I had had for myself, had both come to pass, and by every usual standard, I was the biggest failure I knew."

"Now I am not going to stand here and tell you that failure is fun. That period of my life was a dark one, and I had no idea that there was going to be what the press has since represented as a kind of fairy tale resolution. . . . So why do I talk about the benefits of failure? Simply because failure meant stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all of my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me."

"You might never fail on the scale I did, but some failure in life is inevitable. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all—in which case you fail by default."

"I discovered that I had a strong will, and more discipline than I had suspected; I also found out that I had friends whose value was truly above rubies. The knowledge that you have emerged wiser and stronger from setbacks means that you are, ever after, secure in your ability to survive. . . . Such knowledge is a true gift for all that is painfully won, and it has been worth more than any qualification I ever earned."

The seven Harry Potter books have sold more than 375 million copies & been translated into 64 languages, earning Rowling literary acclaim from young & old alike.

"One of the greatest formative experiences of my life occurred shortly after I graduated from college, namely, doing research at Amnesty International's headquarters in London."

"There in my little office I read hastily scribbled letters smuggled out of totalitarian regimes by men and women who were risking imprisonment to inform the outside world of what was happening to them. I saw photographs of those who had disappeared without a trace, sent to Amnesty by their desperate families and friends. I read the testimony of torture victims and saw pictures of their injuries. I opened handwritten, eye-witness accounts of summary trials and executions, of kidnappings and rapes."

"Every day I saw more evidence about the evils humankind will inflict on their fellow humans, to gain or maintain power. . . . And yet I also learned more about human goodness at Amnesty International than I had ever known before."

"Unlike any other creature on this planet, humans can learn and understand, without having experienced. They can think themselves into other people's minds, imagine themselves into other people's places."

"Many prefer not to exercise their imaginations at all. They choose to remain comfortably within the bounds of their own experience, never troubling to wonder how it would feel to have been born other than they are. They can refuse to hear screams or to peer inside cages; they can close their minds and hearts to any suffering that does not touch them personally; they can refuse to know. . . . I might be tempted to envy people who live that way, except I do not think they have any fewer nightmares than I do. . . . I think the willfully unimaginative see more monsters. They are often more afraid."What is more, those who choose not to empathize may enable real monsters. For without ever committing an act of outright evil ourselves, we collude with it, through our own apathy."

"If you choose your status and influence to raise your voice on behalf of those who have no voice; if you choose to identify not only with the powerful, but with the powerless; if you retain the ability to imagine yourself into the lives of those who do not have your advantages, then it will not only be your proud families who celebrate your existence, but thousands and millions of people whose reality you have helped to transform for the better. We do not need magic to change the world. We carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better."

That is quite a talk on initiation. It is remarkable for what she invests time in speaking of & what she avoids.

What do you consider an important initiation? Making your first million?

I have long thought of initiation as strictly adventure. I am waking up that it is so much more...

The Five Basic Truths of Life (Richard Rohr):
1. Life is hard
2. You are not that important
3. Your life is not about you
4. You are not in control
5. You are going to die

These sound very harsh & arbitrary- but virtually every culture has these.

Given the similarity of structure, sequence and motive in the rites of passage among disparate and geographically separate cultures, one would have thought their ceremonies ordained by some central committee. James Hollis

Most of our life is spent fighting against them. Jesus has a message spoken to each of the five truths that transforms us & initiates us into spiritual adulthood:

1. It is true that life is hard but: ‘My yoke is easy and my burden is light’ (Matthew 11:28).

Don't waste your pain. God can bring us true joy no matter what the circumstances. This is a key to growing a thick skin but having a tender heart.

2. It is true that you are not that important, but: ‘Do you not know that your name is written in heaven?’ (Luke 10:20).

If we know our original blessing, we can handle our original sin. Our soul needs meaning as much as the body needs food, but we live in an addictive society that constantly ups the ante of need and desire because the last ones have never satisfied. (see 'Envy')

3. It is true that your life is not about you, but: ‘I live not my own life, but the life of Christ who lives in me.’ (Galatians 2:20).

Colossians 1:27 & 3:4
To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

The most courageous thing you will ever do is accept that you are just yourself. It takes a weight off of us- you & I do not have to be God- we only have to participate!

Luke 10:1-24 was the early disciples being sent on a learning journey of what life with God in charge is really like. They returned with joy!

Romans 9:16
It does not depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy.

Original sin is humanity’s endless capacity for self-rejection. Henri Nouwen.

Note Jesus’ story about a wedding banquet to which nobody wants to come!

4. It is true that you are not in control, but: ‘Can any of you for all your worrying, add a single moment to your span of life?’ (Luke 12:26).

They say the first half of life is like being in the self-help section of the bookstore- take control and exercise self-control; and the second half of life is about learning to give up control!

We are high-maintenance people: when you set yourself up to think you deserve, expect, or need something to happen, you are setting yourself up for constant unhappiness.

Are we perhaps suffering from "Pampered Christian Syndrome"?

We can exist in a state of perpetual worry; we can have a case of spiritual hypochondria.

Practice giving up control early in life. Surrender is a willingness to trust that you are really a beloved child, which allows God to be your Father.

5. It is true that you are going to die, but: "I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39).

Yes, we are going to die, but death is not final – and it takes the form of love. We cannot make God love us any more, and we cannot make God love us less.

Death is a personal and spiritual event. We mainly concern ourselves with the medical. Ira Byock

John 12:24
I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.

Sounds a little like what JK Rowling experienced through failure.

Eternity starts now. Let God initiate you.

It is heaven all the way to heaven. Catherine of Siena

The grace of God is given, not earned.

Listen for God. Listen to God.

Receive His message. Receive His love.

Surrender to His voice. Surrender to what you hear.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

A good father...

Saturday, June 14, 2008

What the hell God? Why am I never satisfied?

“Jealousy is like a low-level hum in your ears, like hearing voices of dissatisfaction deep down in your soul that refuse to be stilled and cannot be satisfied. At times, jealousy will feel like a lowgrade fever; at others, like a raging paranoia that robs you of rest. It creates a restless tension full of whispered lies that, if repeated often enough, sound real. Sometimes it sounds like a background noise, faint and constant, but other times it erupts like a marching band blaring our Dolby stereo, ‘You deserve more and they deserve less!’ David Foster

I do not like the envy in me. I would make it go away if I could. But I cannot stop envying by trying harder. Envy can only be healed when we live as one who has been chosen by God. John Ortberg

"Of the seven deadly sins, anger is possibly the most fun. To lick your wounds, to smack your lips over grievances long past, to roll over your tongue the prospect of bitter confrontations still to come, to savor to the last toothsome morsel both the pain you are given and the pain you are giving back — in may ways it is a feast fit for a king. The chief drawback is that what you are wolfing down is yourself. The skeleton at the feast is you."

Proverbs 27:20-22
Hell has a voracious appetite, and lust just never quits.

The purity of silver and gold is tested by putting them in the fire; The purity of human hearts is tested by giving them a little fame.

Pound on a fool all you like— you can't pound out foolishness.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Our mantra: JESUS IS LORD!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

God wants to mess up my happy little life...

“I know there are people out there who say, “My life was such a mess. I was drinking, partying, sleeping around…and then I met Jesus and my whole life came together.” God bless those people. But me, I had it together. I used to be cool. And then I met Jesus and he wrecked my life.

The more I read the Gospel, the more it messed me up, turning everything I believed in, valued, and hoped for upside down. I am still recovering from my conversion…I was in the in-crowd, popular, ready to make lots of money and buy lots of stuff, on the upward track of success…But as I pursued that dream of upward mobility preparing for college, things just didn’t fit together.

As I read Scriptures about how the last shall be first, I started wondering why I was working so hard to be first…I had no idea what I should do. I thought about leaving everything to follow Jesus, like the Apostles, and hitting the road with nothing but my sandals and a staff, but I wasn’t sure where to pick up a staff.”
Shane Claiborne

Acts 10:34-43
"It's God's own truth, nothing could be plainer: God plays no favorites! It makes no difference who you are or where you're from—if you want God and are ready to do as he says, the door is open. The Message he sent to the children of Israel—that through Jesus Christ everything is being put together again—well, he's doing it everywhere, among everyone.

"You know the story of what happened in Judea. It began in Galilee after John preached a total life-change. Then Jesus arrived from Nazareth, anointed by God with the Holy Spirit, ready for action. He went through the country helping people and healing everyone who was beaten down by the Devil. He was able to do all this because God was with him.

"And we saw it, saw it all, everything he did in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem where they killed him, hung him from a cross. But in three days God had him up, alive, and out where he could be seen. Not everyone saw him—he wasn't put on public display. Witnesses had been carefully handpicked by God beforehand—us! We were the ones, there to eat and drink with him after he came back from the dead. He commissioned us to announce this in public, to bear solemn witness that he is in fact the One whom God destined as Judge of the living and dead. But we're not alone in this. Our witness that he is the means to forgiveness of sins is backed up by the witness of all the prophets."

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Bless everyone & do it everywhere you go.
Listen to God, don't just talk!
Eat with someone - our faith moves at the speed of friendship, so expand your circle of friends.
Study Jesus - make it a serious matter.
Serve sacrificially from the church facility to the soccer field.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

What can we create together?

Programs don’t change kids – relationships do. Young people need the five real basics, not just the Three R’s:
a one-on-one relationship with a caring adult;
a safe place to learn and grow;
a healthy start and a healthy future;
a marketable skill to use upon graduation;
and a chance to give back to peers and community. (Bill Milliken, The Last Dropout)

Jeremiah 29:7
Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Acts 9: Mantracker sees the light...

Saul has literally become a Mantracker in Acts 9, hunting down the men & women of the early church. He has presided over the death of Stephen, and he breathes murderous death threats on behalf of God (at least, in his own mind).

The early Christ followers have one overarching view of life: Jesus is Lord. He is the Lord of love.

In Ezekiel 1 we see a picture of the Throne Chariot. It was an image that pious Jews would meditate on hoping to catch a glimpse of God's glory.

Look especially at 1:26-28
Above the expanse over their heads was what looked like a throne of sapphire, and high above on the throne was a figure like that of a man. I saw that from what appeared to be his waist up he looked like glowing metal, as if full of fire, and that from there down he looked like fire; and brilliant light surrounded him. Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. When I saw it, I fell facedown, and I heard the voice of one speaking.

That was likely what Saul was meditating on as he walked to Damascus. Then God breaks into his world and destroys Saul's idea of who Jesus is and was.

“I don’t see it…”

"Do I realize how much I am loved by God?"

Am I taking that message to others?

Most of us live in regret. But regret is not brokenness — it's just another form of pride. It's saying 'I wish I hadn't done it.' God doesn't care what you've done if you're only going to live the rest of your life in regret. He cares that you let what you've done in your life break you. Because until you realize you are broken, you can't experience redemption.


Brokenness is the constant awareness, attitude and life practice that all I am and all I do is nothing apart from God’s grace. Paul needed to be broken. I’ve needed to be broken. You need to be broken. Brokenness leads to Lordship of our heart. It is the emptying of oneself fully to God’s reign and purpose in one’s life.

Brokenness cannot be earned. It is a gift from God. It is always accompanied by gratitude.

Courage marks the opposing balance to brokenness. While brokenness recognizes that we can do nothing apart from Christ, courage is a constant awareness, attitude, and life practice that we can do all things through Christ’s strength. Courage is a boldness of heart and mind, which enables a Christ follower to encounter danger and difficulty with confidence and conviction. It is taking faith-filled risk, grounded in a hope and a trust that God is greater than obstacles or circumstances. Courage always involves risk because it requires taking action before, and often in the absence of, any guarantee or proof of a positive outcome. Christian courage is locating one’s thought, action, and outcome in God’s promises.

In weeks to come we’ll see how integrity and justice join brokenness & courage as bedrocks of our character after authentic encounters with Jesus Christ.

"Discovering God is apt to be a slow procedure but it can only take place if you have a free mind and no vested interest in disbelief..." Flannery O' Conner

God speaks…throne chariots, two-headed roosters and other crazy circumstances such as …?

A car hit her! She was slightly ahead of me when I noticed a fast moving van. I screamed out to her, but it was too late, and I heard the thud. Time stood still. I recall having three very distinct thoughts at once: 1) I've just lost my wife, 2) What am I going to find when I get to her? And 3) What am I going to tell my kids?

Mercifully, thankfully, she not only survived, but she thrived. About two months into her recovery I came home one day, telling her, “Every day I pass the spot where you were hit I found myself getting angrier.” I will never forget her response: “Don, can’t you see? Can’t you see what God is doing? He is at work all around us. He saved my life!”

What is God is up to in your life?

Give God Space To Change Your Life

You really can trust God because He loves you!

Psalm 32:8
"The LORD says, 'I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.'"

Psalm 32 was written after David was confronted by Nathan of his adultery; David repented and God forgave him. Brokenness leads to forgiveness which allows us to receive God's love and ongoing direction in life. What a God!

God does not come to heal us so we can drift back into our old lives. He heals us so that He can transform us into His image. Indeed, the very captives He sets free He then empowers to "rebuild the ancient ruins . . . raise up the former devastations and . . . repair the ruined cities." Isaiah 61

Deuteronomy 7:6
Do this because you are a people set apart as holy to God, your God. God, your God, chose you out of all the people on Earth for himself as a cherished, personal treasure.

Romans 12:2
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

1 Peter 2:9-10
But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God's instruments to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you—from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

We are the ordinary radicals of Acts 29!

Acts 9:10-19
There was a disciple (an ordinary radical) in Damascus by the name of Ananias. The Master spoke to him in a vision: "Ananias."

"Yes, Master?" he answered.

"Get up and go over to Straight Avenue. Ask at the house of Judas for a man from Tarsus. His name is Saul. He's there praying. He has just had a dream in which he saw a man named Ananias enter the house and lay hands on him so he could see again."

Ananias protested, "Master, you can't be serious. Everybody's talking about this man and the terrible things he's been doing, his reign of terror against your people in Jerusalem! And now he's shown up here with papers from the Chief Priest that give him license to do the same to us."

But the Master said, "Don't argue. Go! I have picked him as my personal representative to non-Jews and kings and Jews. And now I'm about to show him what he's in for—the hard suffering that goes with this job."

So Ananias went and found the house, placed his hands on blind Saul, and said, "Brother Saul, the Master sent me, the same Jesus you saw on your way here. He sent me so you could see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit." No sooner were the words out of his mouth than something like scales fell from Saul's eyes—he could see again! He got to his feet, was baptized, and sat down with them to a hearty meal.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Brokenness is always accompanied by gratitude...

In 1999, the renowned writer Stephen King was the victimof a serious automobile accident. While King was walking on a country road not far from his summer home in rural Maine, the driver of a van, distracted by his rottweiler, veered off the road and struck King, throwing him over the van's windshield and into a ditch. He just missed falling against a rocky ledge. King was hospitalized with multiple fractures to his right leg and hip, a collapsed lung, broken ribs, and a scalp laceration. When later asked what he was thinking when told he could have died, his one-word answer: "Gratitude." An avowedly nonreligious individual in his personal life, he nonetheless on this occasion perceived the goodness of divine influence in the outcome. In discussing the issue of culpability for the accident, King said, "It's God's grace that he [the driver of the van] isn't responsible for my death." (Robert Emmons, Thanks!)

Friday, June 06, 2008

Hit the road with trucker Frank...

"As fake as these potted plants...?" Sounds like Frank attended Samuel's School of Prophets in 1 Samuel 19:20 -

'... they saw a group of prophets prophesying, with Samuel standing there as their leader, the Spirit of God came upon Saul's men and they also prophesied.'

Thursday, June 05, 2008

What are you living for?

I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God's hands, that I still possess.

Whatever your heart clings to and confides in, that is really your God. Martin Luther

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Just tell it like it is...

Make us sensitive to everyday things of joy.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Help I've fallen & I can't get up...

I walk down a street. I fall into a deep hole. It takes me a long time to climb out.

I walk down the street. I fall into the hole. I climb out.

I walk down the street. I see the hole but I fall in anyway. I climb out.

I walk down the street. I walk around the hole.

I walk down another street.

Proverbs 29:18
If people can't see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves; But when they attend to what he reveals, they are most blessed.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Act I, II, III, or...?

Romans 8:31-39
So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn't hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn't gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God's chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ's love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture:

They kill us in cold blood because they hate you. We're sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.

None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I'm absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God's love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.