Wednesday, December 31, 2008

a year ago

a year ago, I was going down to Cochran to help out with the new Christ Chapel down there. Things were going well with HOGMacon. I had plenty to be & do.

but God had other plans...

I'd told the staff that I knew 2008 is gonna be a doozie, b/c God had given me 4 scriptures for 2008, instead of my usual 1.

Little did I know that God was going to start to talk to me through His word in the Bible, through the words of sermons I would hear, in just thoughts that would drop into my head at random moments, & through visual images that would come up in my head at unplanend times.

And He hasn't stopped talk since...

If you had told me a year ago that I would be taking care of HOGMacon again for a while, I wouldn't have believed you.

If you had told me that God would draw my heart to downtown Macon & caused me to become a catalyst for a presence down there, I would have found that rather unfathomable.

Yet, that's where we are.

God's indicated I'm to keep the same 4 verses from 2008 for 2009, plus add a couple of passages - more about that tomorrow.

I have to continue to remind myself to not so much think outside the box, but to simply throw my box away.

What can you get from al this?

Trust Him - since He's far more interested in us knowing what He wants us to be & do, He'll let us know when it's time.

The life He dreamed for each of us is much more interesting, risky, challenging, breathtaking, & fulfilling than any life we could create in our minds.

If something scares us & we know we can't do on our own, it's usually something God wants us to be or do.

The God of the universes s imtimately interested in the tiny details of each of our lives & loves to handle the weaving of the tapestry of those lives.

What a year this has been...

Next year's gonna be a doozie

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Jesus poking out

Mark 2: 13 Then Jesus went out to the lakeshore again and taught the crowds that were coming to him.14 As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at his tax collector's booth. "Follow me and be my disciple," Jesus said to him. So Levi got up and followed him.
15 Later, Levi invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other notorious sinners. (There were many people of this kind among Jesus' followers.)16 But when the teachers of religious law who were Pharisees* saw him eating with tax collectors and other sinners, they asked his disciples, "Why does he eat with such scum?"
17 When Jesus heard this, he told them, "Healthy people don't need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners."

Evidently, these notorious sinners were drawn to Jesus by the kind of person He was & how He treated them.

(I wonder what you had to do to be a "notorious sinner" back then?! I also wonder if anyone would be called a "notorious sinner" today?!)

When I read that verse, I wondered what it was about Jesus that drew these notorious sinners to Him?

The other thing I wondered was if people are drawn to me/us because of the Jesus they see living inside of me/us?

Because that's all I/we have - the Jesus living inside of us. It's not like I'm/we're all holy & everything! It has to be the Jesus that pokes out if I/we ever hope to influence people to follow Him

How do I/we get this Jesus-radiating-out-of-us? Spend time with Him. Read His Book.


Monday, December 29, 2008

just let this psalm wash over you...

Psalm 139: 1 O LORD, you have examined my heart
and know everything about me.

2 You know when I sit down or stand up.
You know my thoughts even when I'm far away.
3 You see me when I travel
and when I rest at home.
You know everything I do.

4 You know what I am going to say
even before I say it, LORD.

5 You both precede and follow me.
You place your hand of blessing on my head.

6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too great for me to understand!

7 I can never escape from your Spirit!
I can never get away from your presence!
8 If I go up to heaven, you are there;
if I go down to the grave, you are there.
9 If I ride the wings of the morning,
if I dwell by the farthest oceans,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
and your strength will support me.
11 I could ask the darkness to hide me
and the light around me to become night —
12 but even in darkness I cannot hide from you.
To you the night shines as bright as day.
Darkness and light are the same to you.

13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother's womb.
14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
16 You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.

17 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.
They cannot be numbered!
18 I can't even count them;
they outnumber the grains of sand!

And when I wake up,
you are still with me!

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Holy smokes

Psalm 138: 8 The Lord will work out His plan for my life - for Your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever.

There are some interesting things we must believe if we take to heart this verse.

That God knows I exist. Hard to believe that the God of the universes knows I'm around.

That God has a plan for each of us for our lives. Wow! The God of the universes has chosen to plan our my life - me, something smaller than a nanospeck in the cosmos!

He's gonna see to it that all the details will be worked out so that His plan for me will work out.

Undergirding it all is His vast, infinite love for me.

And that just scratched the surface of the meaning in this 1 verse...


Saturday, December 27, 2008


I hope that none of you will miss being a part of our presence in downtown at The Warehouse. There's a place of service & ministry for you there.

I'm not talking just about HOG - The Warehouse is not just a home for HOG. It's so many more things.

Don't miss it...

Here we go...


Friday, December 26, 2008

greatness / servanthood

Luke 22:26 Those who are the greatest among you should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant.

I wonder what the financial state of our country, & of our world, would be if the men running the financial institutions had this kind of attitude about their jobs, & themselves?

I wonder where the Big Three auto makers would be in their CEO's & other bigwigs had a modicum of this kind of an attitude about themselves & their jobs, & themselves?

I wonder what our lives would be like if just the presidents since World War II had this kind of attitude, about their jobs & themselves?

I wonder what our lives would be like, our world would be like, if you & I had this attitude about ourselves & our lives?

Sometimes, the answers to the big questions & the big problems seem to me to get simpler & simpler as the years pass, but fewer & fewer seem to be figuring that out.

Thursday, December 25, 2008


"Christmas Eve @ the Warehouse" was what it was - simple, quiet, retro. We had 35? -40+? people.

Pastor John came!!! So did Shelia Hayslip!!!

I still can't believe downtown is happening

As Sheila would say - WOOHOO!!!



Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Luke 2: 1And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.
2(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
3And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
4And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
5To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
6And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
7And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
8And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
10And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
15And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
16And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
17And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
18And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
19But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
20And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

I've always been impressed with the unlikeliness of this story.

God chose to do something unlike any other so called deity of them time (or since) - come & live amongst His children, fully God while being fully a man.

He chose an unlikely way to enter - as a baby, not as someone coming in triumph.

He chose an unlikely person as his mother - not a queen, noble lady, rich lady, or even a well know lady - a young (14?, 15? 16?) virgin from Nazareth, in Galilee.

He chose an unlikely time - smack dab in the middle of the Roman world, during a census, when everything & everyone was in chaos.

He chose an unlikely place - Bethlehem was hardly a teeming, sophisticated hub of the world.

He chose an unlikely building to have His son born - in a stable.

But the most stupendous thing is that in the midst of all the unlikeliness of His coming, He did a extraordinary, history-altering thing - He provided a way for humankind to return to the original relationship He had planned for us.

As we walk toward a presence in downtown, what parallels can we draw?

I think I'm a highly unlikely person for Him to choose as a catalyst for this presence downtown.

Could there be a more unlikely location - a warehouse at the foot of Poplar St, across from WMGT?

Could there be a more unlikely time - our financial world is in the tank!

But that's just like God - to choose the unlikely to do extraordinary things.

What will the new year hold?!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

who we're after

Luke 19: 1 Jesus entered Jericho and made his way through the town. 2 There was a man there named Zacchaeus. He was the chief tax collector in the region, and he had become very rich. 3 He tried to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowd. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road, for Jesus was going to pass that way.
5 When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus!” he said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.”
6 Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy. 7 But the people were displeased. “He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner,” they grumbled.
8 Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!”
9 Jesus responded, “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost."

There's that word "notorious" describing the people Jesus had supper with. I've got to ask my son, Glenn, to do a word study on that. I'd like to know what the root word is in the Greek. It just amuses me that there were people who were famous for being sinful. That's just a concept that is foreign in our society, culture, & world.

When I read verse 10, it was like God whispered, "that's what's supposed to happen at The Warehouse - seeking out those who are lost & wandering in their lives, who need to know the saving, grace-full relationship that He offers.

I've tried to help people understand that The Warehouse is about reaching out to everyone who is in our neighborhood.

There seems to be a concept floating around that The Warehouse is some sort of homeless ministry. One thing I've noticed about downtown, as I've gone there on Thursday nights when "The Group" from Harvest Cathedral, is that there's not a lot of homeless people (where have the homeless people of Macon gone? Were they all shipped off to Key West, or something?!). There is a healthy amount of poor & hungry people.

One thing I've noticed over the last year is that God keeps telling me to not just think aboutside the box, but to throw away my box - in short, quit have preconceived ideas & expectations about how The Warehouse & it's focus & impact will shape up. There's lots of 20/30somethings that HOG & a 30something ministry will connect with, specifically. But there's lots of other types of people around, too - workers, shop keepers, churches, local/state/federal government officials & workers, lawyers (!), doctors - to name a few demographic groups - in short, there's lots of people who can, at any time, walk thru our doors at the Warehouse.

For a long time, I thought The Warehouse was about 20/30somethings. Then one day, when I was doing something random, God seemed to whisper, "What about the people who work downtown? Whatcha gonna do for them?" It was like God opened up another wing of ministry about the size of the Pentagon.

ALL of these people are who we're about at The Warehouse. ALL of them need something very simple - someone to love & care about them as individuals & simple point the way to a relationship with our Abba Father, provided by Jesus, & empowered by the Holy Spirit.

Some of you may feel a bit intimidated by such a mandate. It really quite simple (notice I didn't say "easy"). All we have to do is simply point people to Jesus by saying something along the lines of, "Look, here's what He did for me. If He can do that for a 'notorious' sinner like me, He can do it for you."

That's what we're gonna be about at The Warehouse - people who point people to Jesus, in how we act, how we treat people, how we love & care.

(As my son, Jacob, would say, "Holy smokes!" That sounds like a mission statement!)

(I think it's amazing, as well as pretty hilarious, how God just keeps talkin' & talkin' to me about downtown, usually at some pretty random moments. I have to constantly be alert, or I'll miss something.)

I love y'all - don't miss "Christmas Eve @ The Warehouse" - 7pm - bring someone who needs to hookup with Jesus

Monday, December 22, 2008

never give up

Luke 18:1 One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up. 2 "There was a judge in a certain city," he said, "who neither feared God nor cared about people. 3 A widow of that city came to him repeatedly, saying, 'Give me justice in this dispute with my enemy.' 4 The judge ignored her for a while, but finally he said to himself, 'I don't fear God or care about people, 5 but this woman is driving me crazy. I'm going to see that she gets justice, because she is wearing me out with her constant requests!'"
6 Then the Lord said, "Learn a lesson from this unjust judge. 7 Even he rendered a just decision in the end. So don't you think God will surely give justice to his chosen people who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8 I tell you, he will grant justice to them quickly! But when the Son of Man* returns, how many will he find on the earth who have faith.

"...and never give up."

I have 2 people in my life for whom specifically, on 2 separate occasions, I have been given the promise from Galatians 6:9 "Don't become weary doing what is right. Don't get discouraged & give up. For we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time."

"Don't get discouraged & give up."

And this morning, He encouraged me again - "and never give up."

And I'm not gonna give up. The "appropriate time" for my "harvest of blessing" with these 2 guys may not happen until we all get to heaven. But sure do hope it happens soon, while we're all still here on earth. I just don't want them to miss in this life this incredible blessing I longing & praying they will embrace, that already exists in their life. All they have to do is accepts it.

Do you have someone or something you've been carrying for someone or something?

..."never give up" & "don't get discouraged & give up"

the harvest of this blessing you're seeking will come, someday.

I love y'all

Sunday, December 21, 2008

and as they went...

Luke 17: 11 As Jesus continued on toward Jerusalem, he reached the border between Galilee and Samaria. 12 As he entered a village there, ten lepers stood at a distance, 13 crying out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”
14 He looked at them and said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed of their leprosy.
15 One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus, shouting, “Praise God!” 16 He fell to the ground at Jesus’ feet, thanking him for what he had done. This man was a Samaritan.
17 Jesus asked, “Didn’t I heal ten men? Where are the other nine? 18 Has no one returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” 19 And Jesus said to the man, “Stand up and go. Your faith has healed you.

We seem to always use this incident to talk about how ungrateful people are - 1 out of the 10 came back to say thank you to Jesus.

But I'm taken with the fact that as they went they were healed. Iow, they didn't receive their miracle until they started moving.

Lepers had to live outside of the town, w/o contact with people. If someone felt they'd been healed of it, they had to go show themselves to the priest & have him verify it. Only then could the reenter society.

Jesus didn't heal the lepers while they stood there. It wasn't until they were obedient to what He said that their cleansing came, their miracle happened.

I feel that way about downtown. The miracles won't really start to happen until we/I start to move toward being a presence there.

Just help me to remember to be thankful for each one, as they happen!

Maybe that's what's going on in your life. God has been calling you to be or do something, or to step out in obedience to something He's called you to. Maybe the miracle(s) you need won't happen until you act on what He's been saying to you.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Luke 16: 10 "If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won't be honest with greater responsibilities. 11 And if you are untrustworthy about worldly wealth, who will trust you with the true riches of heaven? 12 And if you are not faithful with other people's things, why should you be trusted with things of your own?
13 "No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

It's not the "bIg" decisions that trip us up. We readily can decide that certain things are off limits - murdering someone, stealing a car, having an affair, throwing away our life savings on the lotto, not quitting our job & being a beach bum in Key West (hmmmmmm) - you get the picture.

It's the small things that we feel we can fudge on, because they're small stuff - they won't hurt anyone. Stuff like...
White lies
another piece of cheesecake
looking at that on those "those kind" of pictures that pop up on Myspace (or plenty of other places) all the time
sharing that "prayer concern" with someone when we've really just gossiping
when someone gives us too much change or doesn't add up our bill correctly (in your favor) & we don't mention it
when we HAVE to have something - the latest video game, the newest DVD, the most current technology, new car, apartment, clothes, _______ (you fill in the blank) that we really don't need - you get the idea. An indulgence that is stricly an expression of our self-centeredness
not hating someone, but simply ignoring them, snubbing them, or being condescending to them
using that cuss word jst one more time
ignoring people in general
making life more about me than about others - after all, nobody's gonna look out for me but me
keeping score, just a little bit
not defending someone when we should, just keeping quiet

Our personal integrity isn't revealed in the BIG decisions of life. Who we are & what we're all about is revealed in the day to day - how we handle the "small" things, ideas, situations, stuff - reveals who we really are.

John Savage says that "people cannot not tell you who they are." If we watch them long enough, listen to them closely enough, & remember their actions in different situations, they will reveal to us who they really are.

It is in the small stuff that we see this

If we're faithful to God when no one's around, we'll no trouble being faithful when there's a crowd.

God sees our hearts & knows what we do & why we do it. Let's covenant together to let His holiness, consistency, & integrity invade every corner of who we are. That way, we become more the person He dreams us to be so long ago.

(oooo, that last paragraph sounded kinda super-spiritual - you know what I meant by that, didn't ya?)

Friday, December 19, 2008

rubbing shoulders with "notorious sinners"

Luke 15: 1 Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach. 2 This made the Pharisees and teachers of religious law complain that he was associating with such sinful people—even eating with them. (NLT)

1-3 By this time a lot of men and women of doubtful reputation were hanging around Jesus, listening intently. The Pharisees and religion scholars were not pleased, not at all pleased. They growled, "He takes in sinners and eats meals with them, treating them like old friends." (The Message)

1 NOW THE tax collectors and [notorious and especially wicked] sinners were all coming near to [Jesus] to listen to Him.
2 And the Pharisees and the scribes kept muttering and indignantly complaining, saying, "This man accepts and receives and welcomes [preeminently wicked] sinners and eats with them." (Amplified)

I wonder what kinda of people were considered "notorious sinners" by people back then. We've lost our sense of what's sinful or "preeminently wicked" in a day of spin & no moral center. Who is the world would we consider in today's world that kind of person, especially in view of the meltdown we've experienced in the financial market (with no one seemingly bearing any responsibility for this), the meltdown of the big 3 automakers (with no one seemingly taking responsibility for that), & not only our country, but the whole world shifting into the worst recession since the Great Depression (there is a lot of finger pointing in regards to this, but very little, if no responsibility being taken!).

And in a world of no moral center, who would be considered "sinful" these days, let alone "notorious" in doing it? Look at the people we hld up as cultural icons or heros - very few seem to be of the ilk we would call "a liver of an exemplary lifestyle."

Anyway, I find it intersting that Jesus seemed to draw these kinds of people to Him. Rememebr that rabbi & holy men back then were asiduous in keeping themselves ritually "clean" so as to be able to worship in the temple or synagogues. Notorious sinners were used to being scorned & reviled by the "church leaders" of the day.

But these sinners were able to put aside their fear or cynicism toward religious leaders when it came to Jesus. there was a quality to His life, & the way He love people, that made even the most odious of people feel drawn to Him.

And since we have Him living inside of us, as well as His Holy Spirit, wouldn't it follow that the "notorious sinners" of our day should be drawn to our lives & the way we love people - simplu because we've experienced his love in such a magnificent way?

I also wonder, as we walk toward being a presence in downtown Macon, who will speak out against us as we rub shoulders with some of the people who frequent, work, & live there. And what will they think if we eat with them?!!! Quite frankly, I'll be suspicious if there isn't some strong opposition from some quarters to our presence downtown. the devil is not gonna like it one bit & is probably gonna thrown quite a bit of opposition to our desire to love God's children down there.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

can't get around these verses

Psalm 127: 1
Unless the LORD builds a house,
the work of the builders is wasted.
Unless the LORD protects a city,
guarding it with sentries will do no good. (New Living Translation)

If God doesn't build the house,
the builders only build shacks.
If God doesn't guard the city,
the night watchman might as well nap. (The Message)

Unless the LORD builds the house,
its builders labor in vain.
Unless the LORD watches over the city,
the watchmen stand guard in vain. (NIV)

I guess no matter how we translate it, it comes out the same - if we don't let God "precede & follow us" or if we don't let God prepare the way, & let Him be responsible for the success or failure of something, unless we trust Him to bring to fruit what we're being & doing for Him, it's just not gonna turn out like He planned.

He poked me about downtown this morning with this verse. If this thing we're being & doing downtown is gonna become what He wants it to be & do, I just gotta be obedient & get out of the way.

Luke 14:33
No one can become My disciple w/o giving up everything for Me. (NLT)

Simply put, if you're not willing to take what is dearest to you, whether plans or people, and kiss it good-bye, you can't be my disciple. (The Message)

In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple. (NIV)

So then, any of you who does not forsake (renounce, surrender claim to, give up, say good-bye to) all that he has cannot be My disciple. (Amplified)

I tried to find a translation that would soften this mandate. Couldn't. There it is - if we're gonna follow Him, we have to "kiss goodbye what is dearest to us". What we get is God & the life He dreamed for us long ago.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

yeast in downtown

Luke 13: 20 Jesus also asked, "What else is the Kingdom of God like?21 It is like the yeast a woman used in making bread. Even though she put only a little yeast in three measures of flour, it permeated every part of the dough.

I feel like God gentle whispered to me this morning that that is what we're supposed to be in downtown - a little bit of the "yeast" of His love in a big place - a little bit of yeast of His love that slowly, inexorably permeates every part of the "dough" that is downtown.

It was just a quiet nudge, an indicator of what's to come...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I think He doesn't want me/us to be afraid

Psalm 125: 1 Those who trust in the LORD are as secure as Mount Zion; they will not be defeated but will endure forever. 2 Just as the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds his people, both now and forever.

Luke 12: 4 "Dear friends, don't be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot do any more to you after that.

22b don't worry about everyday life - whether you have enough food to eat or enough clothes to wear. 23 For life is more than food, and your body more than clothing.

25 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? 26 And if worry can't accomplish a little thing like that, what's the use of worrying over bigger things?

29 "And don't worry about what to eat and what to drink. Don't worry about such things. 30 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers all over the world, but your Father already knows your needs. 31 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need.

32 "So don't be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom.

I think our Abba Father doesn't want us to be afraid. Whatcha think?

Why are we afraid? Why do we worry?

Bottom line, we just don't think He's gonna come through & really take care of us. That we're "on our own" in this life, & the only person we can really trust to take care of us, to lok out for us, is ourselves.

The older I get, the more "whatever" is the better attitude to take with the lives we live for Him. I've given up trying to explain mine. And I'm beginning to get to the point, especialy after this year of 2008, that "whatev' " is my atttude.

Over & over again this year, He's said to me,
"don't cling to your life"
"don't worry about your life"
"I both precede & follow you"
"sink your roots deep into Me"

He says over & over again in Luke 12 - "don't worry"

If the God of the universes says to us, "don't worry," wouldn't it make sense to not worry?

Monday, December 15, 2008

persistenced & our Abba

(Lynn's mom's funeral is Wednesday, 11am, in Waycross)

Luke 11: 5 Then, teaching them more about prayer, he used this story: "Suppose you went to a friend's house at midnight, wanting to borrow three loaves of bread. You say to him, 6 'A friend of mine has just arrived for a visit, and I have nothing for him to eat.' 7 And suppose he calls out from his bedroom, 'Don't bother me. The door is locked for the night, and my family and I are all in bed. I can't help you.' 8 But I tell you this—though he won't do it for friendship's sake, if you keep knocking long enough, he will get up and give you whatever you need because of your shameless persistence.
9 "And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. (dan note: this doesn't make God a vending machine - you put in the request, you get the desired answer. What it does mean is to ask, seek, knocking, seaching, looking, until what you're after you've found. We so often think God can answer us in just one way. That's the beauty of our God - He's very creative.)
11 "You fathers—if your children ask for a fish, do you give them a snake instead? 12 Or if they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion? Of course not! 13 So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him. (dan note: we can't judge our concept of God from our concept of our own fathers or other people's fathers. They're all imperfect. Our Abba Father is perfect in every way. He's everything we've ever wanted in a Father - & infinitely more)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

what God whispered to me today

(Lynn's mom continues to be in ICU. I'm spending as much time as I can in Waycross with Lynn & her mom. That's why I haven't been posting in the last few days)

Luke 9: 10 When the apostles returned, they told Jesus everything they had done. Then he slipped quietly away with them toward the town of Bethsaida. 11 But the crowds found out where he was going, and they followed him. He welcomed them and taught them about the Kingdom of God, and he healed those who were sick.
12 Late in the afternoon the twelve disciples came to him and said, "Send the crowds away to the nearby villages and farms, so they can find food and lodging for the night. There is nothing to eat here in this remote place."
13 But Jesus said, "You feed them."
"But we have only five loaves of bread and two fish," they answered. "Or are you expecting us to go and buy enough food for this whole crowd?" 14 For there were about 5,000 men there.
Jesus replied, "Tell them to sit down in groups of about fifty each." 15 So the people all sat down. 16 Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and blessed them. Then, breaking the loaves into pieces, he kept giving the bread and fish to the disciples so they could distribute it to the people. 17 They all ate as much as they wanted, and afterward, the disciples picked up twelve baskets of leftovers.

Here's what God whispered to me this morning as I read this.

The disciples asked Jesus to send the people away - which were 5000 men, which means there were at least that many women, plus children - probably in excess of 10,000 people. Isn't that how many the Macon Centreplex can hold? Wrap your brain around that size of a crowd.

Jesus said, "You feed them." 10,000+ people?!

No wonder they all kinda panicked! But that's because they thought "normally." Jesus knew what he was gonna do, & did it - fed 10,000+ - & it was a stupendous miracle!

God seemed to whisper to me this morning that I don't need to think in the "normal" directions as I move toward a presence downtown. I just need to trust Him, take it as it comes, & depend completely on Him to not only guide me, but provide. He gonna show Himself, but only if I allow Him to be Who He is & let Him show Himself in places & ways that seem impossible.

Feeding the 10,000+ was a snap for Jesus. He did it twice in the New Testament.

Imagine the miracles in people's lives He's gonna show downtown.

My life isn't all that special. We all know I'm not overly "holy" - LOL!!! If God is who He is to me, & does what He does in my life, by cracky, He'll certainly do it in yours.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

sure foundation

Don't know who this is for. Lemme know if it was you...

Luke 6: 47 I will show you what it's like when someone comes to me, listens to my teaching, and then follows it. 48 It is like a person building a house who digs deep and lays the foundation on solid rock. When the floodwaters rise and break against that house, it stands firm because it is well built.
49 But anyone who hears and doesn't obey is like a person who builds a house without a foundation. When the floods sweep down against that house, it will collapse into a heap of ruins.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Goodness! There's lots in Psalm 119

Psalm 119:
(New Living Translation) 65 You have done many good things for me, LORD,
just as you promised.
66 I believe in your commands;
now teach me good judgment and knowledge.
67 I used to wander off until you disciplined me;
but now I closely follow your word.
68 You are good and do only good;
teach me your decrees.
69 Arrogant people smear me with lies,
but in truth I obey your commandments with all my heart.
70 Their hearts are dull and stupid,
but I delight in your instructions.
71 My suffering was good for me,
for it taught me to pay attention to your decrees.
72 Your instructions are more valuable to me
than millions in gold and silver.
73 You made me; you created me.
Now give me the (good) sense to follow your commands.
74 May all who fear you find in me a cause for joy,
for I have put my hope in your word.
75 I know, O LORD, that your regulations are fair;
you disciplined me because I needed it.
76 Now let your unfailing love comfort me,
just as you promised me, your servant.
77 Surround me with your tender mercies so I may live,
for your instructions are my delight.

(The Message)65-72 Be good to your servant, God;
be as good as your Word.
Train me in good common sense;
I'm thoroughly committed to living your way.
Before I learned to answer you, I wandered all over the place,
but now I'm in step with your Word.
You are good, and the source of good;
train me in your goodness.
The godless spread lies about me,
but I focus my attention on what you are saying;
They're bland as a bucket of lard,
while I dance to the tune of your revelation.
My troubles turned out all for the best—
they forced me to learn from your textbook.
Truth from your mouth means more to me
than striking it rich in a gold mine.
73-80 With your very own hands you formed me;

now breathe your wisdom over me so I can understand you.
When they see me waiting, expecting your Word,
those who fear you will take heart and be glad.
I can see now, God, that your decisions are right;
your testing has taught me what's true and right.
Oh, love me—and right now!—hold me tight!
just the way you promised.
Now comfort me so I can live, really live;
your revelation is the tune I dance to.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

rich words

Psalm 119
(New Living Translation)
1 Joyful are people of integrity,
who follow the instructions of the LORD.
2 Joyful are those who obey his laws
and search for him with all their hearts.
3 They do not compromise with evil,
and they walk only in his paths.
4 You have charged us
to keep your commandments carefully.
5 Oh, that my actions would consistently
reflect your decrees!
6 Then I will not be ashamed
when I compare my life with your commands.
7 As I learn your righteous regulations,
I will thank you by living as I should!
8 I will obey your decrees.
Please don't give up on me!

9 How can a young person stay pure?
By obeying your word.
10 I have tried hard to find you—
don't let me wander from your commands.
11 I have hidden your word in my heart,
that I might not sin against you.
12 I praise you, O LORD;
teach me your decrees.
13 I have recited aloud
all the regulations you have given us.
14 I have rejoiced in your laws
as much as in riches.
15 I will study your commandments
and reflect on your ways.
16 I will delight in your decrees
and not forget your word.

17 Be good to your servant,
that I may live and obey your word.
18 Open my eyes to see
the wonderful truths in your instructions.
19 I am only a foreigner in the land.
Don't hide your commands from me!
20 I am always overwhelmed
with a desire for your regulations.
21 You rebuke the arrogant;
those who wander from your commands are cursed.
22 Don't let them scorn and insult me,
for I have obeyed your laws.
23 Even princes sit and speak against me,
but I will meditate on your decrees.
24 Your laws please me;
they give me wise advice.
25 I lie in the dust;
revive me by your word.
26 I told you my plans, and you answered.
Now teach me your decrees.
27 Help me understand the meaning of your commandments,
and I will meditate on your wonderful deeds.
28 I weep with sorrow;
encourage me by your word.
29 Keep me from lying to myself;
give me the privilege of knowing your instructions.
30 I have chosen to be faithful;
I have determined to live by your laws.
31 I cling to your laws.
LORD, don't let me be put to shame!
32 I will pursue your commands,
for you expand my understanding.

(The Message)
1-8 You're blessed when you stay on course, walking steadily on the road revealed by God.
You're blessed when you follow his directions,
doing your best to find him.
That's right—you don't go off on your own;
you walk straight along the road he set.
You, God, prescribed the right way to live;
now you expect us to live it.
Oh, that my steps might be steady,
keeping to the course you set;
Then I'd never have any regrets
in comparing my life with your counsel.
I thank you for speaking straight from your heart;
I learn the pattern of your righteous ways.
I'm going to do what you tell me to do;
don't ever walk off and leave me.

9-16 How can a young person live a clean life?

By carefully reading the map of your Word.
I'm single-minded in pursuit of you;
don't let me miss the road signs you've posted.
I've banked your promises in the vault of my heart
so I won't sin myself bankrupt.
Be blessed, God;
train me in your ways of wise living.
I'll transfer to my lips
all the counsel that comes from your mouth;
I delight far more in what you tell me about living
than in gathering a pile of riches.
I ponder every morsel of wisdom from you,
I attentively watch how you've done it.
I relish everything you've told me of life,
I won't forget a word of it.

17-24 Be generous with me and I'll live a full life;

not for a minute will I take my eyes off your road.
Open my eyes so I can see
what you show me of your miracle-wonders.
I'm a stranger in this world;
give me clear directions.
My soul is starved and hungry, ravenous!—
insatiable for your nourishing commands.
And those who think they know so much,
ignoring everything you tell them—let them have it!
Don't let them mock and humiliate me;
I've been careful to do just what you said.
While bad neighbors maliciously gossip about me,
I'm absorbed in pondering your wise counsel.
Yes, your sayings on life are what give me delight;
I listen to them as to good neighbors!

25-32 I'm feeling terrible—I couldn't feel worse!
Get me on my feet again. You promised, remember?
When I told my story, you responded;
train me well in your deep wisdom.
Help me understand these things inside and out
so I can ponder your miracle-wonders.
My sad life's dilapidated, a falling-down barn;
build me up again by your Word.
Barricade the road that goes Nowhere;
grace me with your clear revelation.
I choose the true road to Somewhere,
I post your road signs at every curve and corner.
I grasp and cling to whatever you tell me;
God, don't let me down!
I'll run the course you lay out for me
if you'll just show me how.

Friday, December 5, 2008

a few words from psalms

Psalm 118 - His love endures forever!
dan note: For some reason, the guy who wrote this kept saying this over & over. Hmmmmmmmm

vs 6 - The Lord is for me, so I will not be afraid.
What can mere mortals do to me?
dan note: when we face something new, something different, or a new direction, we should remember this fact: if God's for me - phzztt - who's thinks they are so powerful that they can thwart God?

vs 8 - It is better to trust in the Lord than put confidence in people.
dan note: in the final analysis, the only One we can really depend on is God.

vs 9 - It is better to trust in the Lord than put confidence in princes.
dan note: I wonder if the author was really saying that we can't depend on people with power to always come through for us?

vs 25 - Please, Lord, save us.
Please, Lord, please give us success.
dan note: I don;t think there's a thing wrong with asking God for success. I'm sure asking for it with all the downtown stuff!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

oh boy!

(I’ve tried to keep this short while sharing what I’m seeing & feeling – hope I succeed!)

In 2003, Andy King, the founder of HOGMacon, found a warehouse in downtown Macon where he thought HOG could develop a presence in that part of town. Even though we didn’t move, God introduced me to downtown.

Early fall, 2007 - Pastor John took us to a downtown warehouse, owned by Bryan Nichols’, our tech pastor. John thought we might move some of our ministries & offices there if SportsTowne ever sold. God reawakened my awareness of downtown.

Early in 2008, the Macon Telegraph had a front page article about a group spending $29 million in the same block as Bryan’s warehouse, to retrofit a building into a boutique hotel, restore a recording studio, & filling in the rest of the block with shops on the 1st floors, & apartments/lofts on the 2nd & 3rd floors.

Then it came out that the Chamber of Commerce & New Town Macon have decided to take the same advice given by 3 or 4 different consulting groups – if Macon wants to bring life to their downtown, make it a place where 20/30somethings will want to live, work, & play. (Our son, Timothy, was a part of the consulting group from Mercer.)

It was then that God started talking to me about downtown Macon - thru scripture, thru dropping ideas in my head (ones I couldn’t come up with on my own), & thru visual images (oh well, let’s call them what they are – visions J).

He hasn’t stopped.

God gave me 4 scriptures for this year. I’ve boiled them down into bullets to readily remember them…
Matthew 10:39 - …don’t cling to your life…
Matthew 6:34 - …don’t worry about your life…
Psalm 139:6 – God both precedes & follows me.
Colossians 2:7 – Let your roots grow down into Him…

As I have listened to God this year, He’s whispered
· to not cling to whatever part of my life I was holding onto.
· to not worry about how making the move to downtown may alter my life.
· & He’s faithfully continued to prepare the way & mop up behind.
· the more He’s revealed more about downtown, the more I see that the stakes are too high - we’ve got to spend time
o 1) in the Bible,
o 2) talking to Him,
o 3) more importantly, listening to Him.

So, what do I see for downtown? Here’s some generalizations, in no order…
· I always see people: servers, lawyers, students, store owners/managers, government workers, neighbors, construction workers, bus riders – all kinds of people who come to The Warehouse because they know they’ll be loved & accepted
· We need intercessors whose job is to bathe this endeavor in prayer
· Have no expectations – don’t just think outside the box – throw away­ the box
· Walk slowly, let what we are & do develop as He presents opportunity
· Get to know the people in the area: business owners/managers, workers, churches,
· Community space available for study, wifi, hang, come by & eat lunch, meet, gather, whatever
· Have free “Warehouse blend” coffee from the JCup, & filtered water
· HOG locate there on Tuesday nights
· Celebrate holidays
· 30something ministry, who have different needs of 20somethings
· First Friday concert/activity/giveaway
· Pass-The-Hat Saturday night concerts once a month, twice a month, or how often?
· Bible-study-in-a-rush @ 7a.m. on the way to work? @ noon? When?
· Game nights & movie nights
· & in the not-to-distant-future, a young adult (or whoever) true satellite church, where worship would be live, the sermon live-streamed

What I’m interested in hearing now as we start to walk this journey together is what the Holy Spirit may be speaking to you as we explore our presence in downtown Macon

This is a multilayered & multi-faceted opportunity that God is calling us to, only limited by
· our willingness to listen to the creative voice of our Abba Father
· our willingness to risk.

I believe God is calling us on a BIG adventure to downtown Macon. Let’s follow Him into it, together.


James 5: 1 Look here, you rich people: Weep and groan with anguish because of all the terrible troubles ahead of you.2 Your wealth is rotting away, and your fine clothes are moth-eaten rags.3 Your gold and silver have become worthless. The very wealth you were counting on will eat away your flesh like fire. This treasure you have accumulated will stand as evidence against you on the day of judgment.4 For listen! Hear the cries of the field workers whom you have cheated of their pay. The wages you held back cry out against you. The cries of those who harvest your fields have reached the ears of the LORD of Heaven's Armies.

5 You have spent your years on earth in luxury, satisfying your every desire. You have fattened yourselves for the day of slaughter.6 You have condemned and killed innocent people, who do not resist you.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

not too cocky...

James 4: 13 Look here, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit."14 How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it's here a little while, then it's gone.15 What you ought to say is, "If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that."16 Otherwise you are boasting about your own plans, and all such boasting is evil.

Good to remember as I walk toward the stuff I feel He's leading me toward about downtown Macon.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Who remembers who?

Psalm 115:12 (New Living Translation) The LORD remembers us and will bless us

4 words...

"the Lord remembers us"

Galaxies exit at least 550 million light years from us. We've seen them in the Hubble Space Telescope - & we can see thousands of points of light behind it, points of light that are other galaxies farther away.

Seasons come & go, through the rythmns of the changing position of our planet to the sun.

How many billions of people have there been? How many billions more will be?

And God remembers you & me, in it all. Iow, He takes time to think about you & me, what with all He's got to do.

Does that blow you mind as much as it does mine?

Monday, December 1, 2008

can't pick & choose

James 2

(New Living Translation)1 My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people over others?

2 For example, suppose someone comes into your meeting dressed in fancy clothes and expensive jewelry, and another comes in who is poor and dressed in dirty clothes. 3 If you give special attention and a good seat to the rich person, but you say to the poor one, “You can stand over there, or else sit on the floor”—well, 4 doesn’t this discrimination show that your judgments are guided by evil motives?

5 Listen to me, dear brothers and sisters. Hasn’t God chosen the poor in this world to be rich in faith? Aren’t they the ones who will inherit the Kingdom he promised to those who love him? 6 But you dishonor the poor! Isn’t it the rich who oppress you and drag you into court? 7 Aren’t they the ones who slander Jesus Christ, whose noble name you bear?

8 Yes indeed, it is good when you obey the royal law as found in the Scriptures: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 9 But if you favor some people over others, you are committing a sin. You are guilty of breaking the law.

10 For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God’s laws. 11 For the same God who said, “You must not commit adultery,” also said, “You must not murder.” So if you murder someone but do not commit adultery, you have still broken the law.

12 So whatever you say or whatever you do, remember that you will be judged by the law that sets you free. 13 There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others. But if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when he judges you.

(The Message) 1-4My dear friends, don't let public opinion influence how you live out our glorious, Christ-originated faith. If a man enters your church wearing an expensive suit, and a street person wearing rags comes in right after him, and you say to the man in the suit, "Sit here, sir; this is the best seat in the house!" and either ignore the street person or say, "Better sit here in the back row," haven't you segregated God's children and proved that you are judges who can't be trusted?

5-7Listen, dear friends. Isn't it clear by now that God operates quite differently? He chose the world's down-and-out as the kingdom's first citizens, with full rights and privileges. This kingdom is promised to anyone who loves God. And here you are abusing these same citizens! Isn't it the high and mighty who exploit you, who use the courts to rob you blind? Aren't they the ones who scorn the new name—"Christian"—used in your baptisms?

8-11You do well when you complete the Royal Rule of the Scriptures: "Love others as you love yourself." But if you play up to these so-called important people, you go against the Rule and stand convicted by it. You can't pick and choose in these things, specializing in keeping one or two things in God's law and ignoring others. The same God who said, "Don't commit adultery," also said, "Don't murder." If you don't commit adultery but go ahead and murder, do you think your non-adultery will cancel out your murder? No, you're a murderer, period.

12-13Talk and act like a person expecting to be judged by the Rule that sets us free. For if you refuse to act kindly, you can hardly expect to be treated kindly. Kind mercy wins over harsh judgment every time.

Sunday, November 30, 2008


James 1:
(New Living Translation) 5 If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not mind you for asking. 6 But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. 7 Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.

16 So don't be misled, my dear brothers and sisters.17 Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. 18 He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And out of all creation, we became his prized possession.

(The Message) 5-8If you don't know what you're doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You'll get his help, and won't be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who "worry their prayers" are like wind-whipped waves. Don't think you're going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open.

16-18So, my very dear friends, don't get thrown off course. Every desirable and beneficial gift comes out of heaven. The gifts are rivers of light cascading down from the Father of Light. There is nothing deceitful in God, nothing two-faced, nothing fickle. He brought us to life using the true Word, showing us off as the crown of all his creatures.

Read this thru again about about 10 times & let the truth of it sink in.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

words to live by

Hebrews 13: 5b I will never leave you nor forsake you.

(forsake means to give up or leave without intending to return or claim again)

I was a 18 yr old freshman at Asbury College in Wilmore, Ky ( just south of Lexington. Asbury is a small, nondenominational Christian liberal arts college. It was either fall quarter, 1968, or winter quarter, 1969. I had started dealing with the issues in my life related to my growing up in the family I grew up in.

I was up in the prayer room in the practice wing of the music building (I was a music major), struggling with whether I could really trust the God that the students, faculty, & staff all seemed to serve so effortlessly. What they said about their relationship with God was all well & good, but I had to decide if what they claimed anyone could have with Him also applied to me.

Ya see, I was at a college where people loved each other, said so, & showed it. I didn't realize until coming there how disconnected I was with my father, family, & friends. I was a non-traditional male growing up & living in the '50's & '60's. I felt like I was in this thing called life kinda on my own.

I don't remember the questions I was asking, or the worries I was fretting, or the stuff I was struggling with (there was a lot!). Somewhere in the middle of that prayer time of me talking & God listening, a very determined thought was dropped into my head.

" 'I will never thee nor for sake thee,' says the Lord God of Hosts"

(I guess God was still talkin' to me in King James Version English. LOL)

Clear as a bell, this thought rang in my head. No escapig it, no denying it.

I'd never read Hebrews. I sincerely doubt that I'd ever heard a preacher preach on it in any of the churches we went to during my growing up.

Later that week, I think I looked in a concordance to see if those words were in the Bible. Can you fathom what I thought & felt when I found out they were there?

I had to just accept the fact that God had spoken to me in a very definite way.

I've carried that verse with me in my heart ever since. I guess it's my "life verse" - one that resonates throughout my life.

He's never left me.

He's never forsaken me.

And He's not gonna ever.

How do I know?

40 years experience with Him.


Trust Him. I know what I'm talking about.

I love you.