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.

Friday, November 28, 2008

on being disciplined

Hebrews 12...

(New Living Translation - NLT)
1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God's throne. 3 Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won't become weary and give up. 4 After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin. 5 And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children? He said,"My child, don't make light of the LORD's discipline, and don't give up when he corrects you.6 For the LORD disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child."7 As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? 8 If God doesn't discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all. 9 Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn't we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever? 10 For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God's discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness. 11 No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it's painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way. 12 So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees. 13 Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong.

(The Message)
1-3Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we'd better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we're in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he's there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!
4-11 In this all-out match against sin, others have suffered far worse than you, to say nothing of what Jesus went through—all that bloodshed! So don't feel sorry for yourselves. Or have you forgotten how good parents treat children, and that God regards you as his children?

My dear child, don't shrug off God's discipline,
but don't be crushed by it either.
It's the child he loves that he disciplines;
the child he embraces, he also corrects.
God is educating you; that's why you must never drop out. He's treating you as dear children. This trouble you're in isn't punishment; it's training, the normal experience of children. Only irresponsible parents leave children to fend for themselves. Would you prefer an irresponsible God? We respect our own parents for training and not spoiling us, so why not embrace God's training so we can truly live? While we were children, our parents did what seemed best to them. But God is doing what is best for us, training us to live God's holy best. At the time, discipline isn't much fun. It always feels like it's going against the grain. Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it's the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God.
12-13 So don't sit around on your hands! No more dragging your feet! Clear the path for long-distance runners so no one will trip and fall, so no one will step in a hole and sprain an ankle. Help each other out. And run for it!

Thursday, November 27, 2008


(Well, evidently the devil didn't want me to post this, because I just lost it - my IE just jammed & I had to close it. Let's try it again...)

Hebrews 11: 8 It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going.9 And even when he reached the land God promised him, he lived there by faith—for he was like a foreigner, living in tents. And so did Isaac and Jacob, who inherited the same promise.10 Abraham was confidently looking forward to a city with eternal foundations, a city designed and built by God.

God asked a lot of Abraham. He was a wealthy man, & God told him to leave his home & go to a place He would show him.

Now, imagine the reaction of everyone connected with him - friends, relatives, business associates - his dad & his wife. Abe comes in one day, tells his people that they're leaving, he doesn't know where they're going, & he doesn't know when they'll get there, but that this God he's been talking to (remember they had LOTS of gods back then) will show him which way to go & when the've arrived.

Yeah, 'bout that...

But He went, & as they say, the rest is history.

God may just ask us to make a similar change in our lives. He often asks us to leave the secure & familiar & adventure out for Him. I kinda feel that way about His leading me to downtown. Boy howdy!

Pastor John says that if something scares you & looks like something you can't do on your own, then it's usually His will.


What's He asking you to be or do that you just can't quite wrap your brain around? What's that thing He's been whispering to you that He wants you to do that kinda or really scares you?

Be it, do it - whatever He's drawing you toward, do it. It's all a part of that exciting life He dreamed for you. Psalm 139:6 says, "God both precedes & follows me." Iow, He's out there preparing the way & mopping up behind me. If He's calling you to something, He's got you covered, front end & back end.

Embrace the adventure He has for you.

Happy Thanksgiving! if you're reading this, you're one of the people I'm so thankful for today!

I love you

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

small yes's

Psalm 108: 1 My heart is confident in You, O God;
no wonder I can sing Your praises with all my heart!
2 Wake up, lyre and harp!
I will wake the dawn with my song.
3 I will thank You, LORD, among all the people.
I will sing Your praises among the nations.
4 For Your unfailing love is higher than the heavens.
Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.
5 Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens.
May Your glory shine over all the earth.
12 Oh, please help us against our enemies,
for all human help is useless.
13 With God's help we will do mighty things,
for He will trample down our foes.

The longer I live, the more I realize that everything about me & my life is because of God's favor. I have the influence I have, I'm able to love people as I do, people allow me to love them as I do,& everything that unfolds in my life is do directly & completely to the basic fact that God chooses to favor me.

It's not because I'm particularly holy, righteoues, or esepcially wonderful. (I know this will come as a deep shock to many of you! LOL)

Why does He favor me? I don't know.

Yesterday I had lunch with someone who I think simply gave me a blank check in regards to his being part of whatever downtown ends up looking like. His willingness to serve just kinda surprised me, not because he's some sort of self-centered jerk, but because his life is pretty full with a lot of other things.

Why would he make himself so available to the downtown presence? The only thing I can come up with is that it has to simply be God's unmerited favor.

I said all that to say this - this favor isn't just for me - I'm not that special! Anyone can find themselves receiving it.

How? I'm not completely sure, but I think it has something to do with getting up every morning & spending time listening to Him, as well as continuing to say small "yes's" to Him.

So many of the outstanding people I know or work with have gotten where they are not by some huge, dramatic, stupendous act of commitment. They are who they are & are where they are because, along & along, they've said yes to God is seemingly small things, which led to being asked to say yes to some more small things, which led to being asked to say yes to some more small things, etc., etc, etc.

And one day, they woke up & realized they were smack dab in the middle of all kinds of God's favor, being a conduit of Him, His love, & His Holy Spirit's power.

I think it works that way for all of us - small yes's connect us to God's favor because He knows He can trust us to do what He tells us to.

Think about that today

I love you

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


This Thanksgiving week, many of you will be traveling to visit friends, relatives, parents, kids.
Please be careful. The roads have a higher concentration of travelers than at Christmas because of the shorter amount of time we take to celebrate Thanksgiving.

Take time to stop, walk around, get something to drink, go to the restroom, talk, whatever. Try not to drive straight through. Yes, I know - you're 10' tall & bulletproof. Trust me, I done it both ways, at your age. Stop every 2/3 hrs for 10-15 minutes. You'll feel a lot more human when you get to your destination.

Drive defensively. As Pastor John says, "Everyone you know is crazy." That includes on the road. Just assume that everyone got their driver's license deom Sears. LOL

Watch the weather & drive accordingly. If it's raining or snowing, slow down. If it's dark, slow down.

Drive within the speed limit. You'll get better gas mileage. You won't get pulled over.

Enjoy the journey. Watch for things along the way. Take in the scenery. If you've traveled this way frequently, be on the lookout for things you may not have seen before.

I know - I sound like a spokesman for AAA. LOL! That's ok if it gets you there & back in one piece.

Have a safe trip! I love you

Monday, November 24, 2008

take the leap

Psalm 106:24 The people refused to enter the pleasant land, for they wouldn't believe his promise to care for them.

Such sad 18 words...

This tells of how the children of Israel missed the chance to enter the promised land, the land God had promised to give them for hundreds of years.

And they wouldn't go in, because they basically didn't believe He would take care of them. What did they have to lose? If he didn't come through, they'd all die. But if He did? Wow! They got the land of Canaan.

I guess they weren't willing to take the chance. As it ended up, none of them entered the promised land, because God caused them to wander around in the desert outside of Canaan for 40 years until everyone who wouldn't go in was dead & left by the side of the trail.

In hindsight, seems pretty stupid on their part, huh?

This is one of the verses God used to shove me in the direction of downtown. Was I willing to miss what He seemed to be saying He wanted to do just because I was afraid?

Earlier this year, the staff went over to Christ Chapel Zebulon so that Billy Smith, their pastor & former youth pastor at Christ Chapel Macon, could show the church to those new staffers who hadn't seen it. One thing he shared with us messed with me for days.

He said that when God was talking to him about starting a church in Zebulon, GA (that's in Pike County, near Atlanta), one of the things he processed (& also talked a lot to his wife about), was even though he was scared to do it & was kinda wondering if God was really leading him in that direction, he had to decide if he wanted to take the chance, take the risk that God really was leading him to start a church in Zebulon. Or was he willing to live with himself & always wonder what their life together would have been life if they'd just trusted God & taken the leap of faith in starting a church.

They took the leap. They're in 2 services. Hundreds of people are a part of that church now, & know the astounding miracle of being redeemed children of our Abba Father.

That was basically what God whispered to me for a few weeks - "Are you willing to take the leap of faith of being a light downtown, or are you willing to always wonder what it would have been like if you had."

That was when God used the scriptures "don't cling to your life" & "don't worry about your life" & "God both precedes & follows you" to poked me in the ribs to say another "yes" to Him.

God's probably poking you with something right now, wanting you to take a leap of faith about something. It might be something huge, or something small. Whatever it is, don't be like the children of Israel, & miss "the promised land" God has for you just because you're afraid.

Pastor John says if something scares you & you don't think you can do it on your own strength, then it's probably God's will.

I'm presently walking toward what I believe He's been leading. What if I'm wrong? Well, then I'm wrong. Won't be the 1st time, won't be the last.

But what if it really is what God's been saying it's gonna be?

As my son, Jacob, says a lot, "holy smokes!"

Say yes to what God's leading you to - He's gonna take care of you, no matter what.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

don't worry about your life

Matthew 6: 25"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?

26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life[?

28 "And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

31 So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Aaron Barth - could there be a more extra-ordinary man?! Highly intelligent (seemingly LOL), a really good athlete, compassionate, deeply connected to God, & an incredible mischief-maker!

He inadvertantly & unknowingly spoke into my life at the beginning of 2008. He came to staff prayer one Friday & was telling us how he'd been studying what we call the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). He said he'd been reading the section I have printed above & noticed that you don;t have to read the whole section if you just center in on the opening words - "don't worry about your life."

God used that conversation incredibly these past 11 months. That's one of the 4 verses God gave me for this year. And there's been hundreds of times God has reminded me of those 5 simple words as I've walked through the many surrenders & commitments that I've faced as I've turned my heart toward ministering in downtown Macon. Over & over again, God has whispered, "don't worry about your life" when I was saying something to the effect, "but God, if I..."

"don't worry about your life"

"but, what if..."

"don't worry about your life"

"but how will I..."

"don't worry about your life"


"don't worry..."

And slowly, slowly, slowly, I've started to not worry - if God's leading me into something, then it's His responsibility to make it happen - I just have to obey.

It's kinda like when the children of Israel first entered the Promised Land. God told Joshua to send the priests into the Jordan River carrying the Ark of the Covenant, telling Joshua that the river (which was in flood stage) would part for them to cross.

The water didn't start to part until the priests stepped into the water.

Sometimes, we have to wade into the water before our miracle starts to happen.

That's kinda how I feel about downtown. I have to "get my feet wet" - iow, I have to take steps forward into what I believe God is leading me, & as I do, He will start to work His power, guidance, & miracles.

Are you standing on the edge of a River Jordan in your life, feeling like God is saying, "go on in - don't worry about your life - I've gotcha covered" ?

I've been taking small steps into my River Jordan called downtown, & I see the water beginning to part.

If God is telling you to step into the water, do it. He'll take care of you.

"don't worry about your life"

Saturday, November 22, 2008

as time goes by

Hebrews 6: 10 For God is not unjust. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other believers, as you still do. 11 Our great desire is that you will keep on loving others as long as life lasts, in order to make certain that what you hope for will come true. 12 Then you will not become spiritually dull and indifferent. Instead, you will follow the example of those who are going to inherit God's promises because of their faith and endurance.

13 For example, there was God's promise to Abraham. Since there was no one greater to swear by, God took an oath in his own name, saying:
14 "I will certainly bless you,
and I will multiply your descendants beyond number."
15 Then Abraham waited patiently, and he received what God had promised.
16 Now when people take an oath, they call on someone greater than themselves to hold them to it. And without any question that oath is binding. 17 God also bound himself with an oath, so that those who received the promise could be perfectly sure that he would never change his mind. 18 So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. 19 This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God's inner sanctuary. 20 Jesus has already gone in there for us. He has become our eternal High Priest in the order of Melchizedek.

Friday, November 21, 2008


David got more than a little rhapsodtic here - read it all, anyway!

Psalm 103

(New Living Translation)1 Let all that I am praise the Lord;
with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.
2 Let all that I am praise the Lord;
may I never forget the good things he does for me.
3 He forgives all my sins
and heals all my diseases.
4 He redeems me from death
and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
5 He fills my life with good things.
My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!

6 The Lord gives righteousness
and justice to all who are treated unfairly.

7 He revealed his character to Moses
and his deeds to the people of Israel.
8 The Lord is compassionate and merciful,
slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
9 He will not constantly accuse us,
nor remain angry forever.
10 He does not punish us for all our sins;
he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.
11 For his unfailing love toward those who fear him
is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.
12 He has removed our sins as far from us
as the east is from the west.
13 The Lord is like a father to his children,
tender and compassionate to those who fear him.
14 For he knows how weak we are;
he remembers we are only dust.
15 Our days on earth are like grass;
like wildflowers, we bloom and die.
16 The wind blows, and we are gone—
as though we had never been here.
17 But the love of the Lord remains forever
with those who fear him.
His salvation extends to the children’s children
18 of those who are faithful to his covenant,
of those who obey his commandments!

19 The Lord has made the heavens his throne;
from there he rules over everything.

20 Praise the Lord, you angels,
you mighty ones who carry out his plans,
listening for each of his commands.
21 Yes, praise the Lord, you armies of angels
who serve him and do his will!
22 Praise the Lord, everything he has created,
everything in all his kingdom.

Let all that I am praise the LORD!

(The Message)

1-2 O my soul, bless God. From head to toe, I'll bless his holy name!
O my soul, bless God,
don't forget a single blessing!

3-5 He forgives your sins—every one.
He heals your diseases—every one.
He redeems you from hell—saves your life!
He crowns you with love and mercy—a paradise crown.
He wraps you in goodness—beauty eternal.
He renews your youth—you're always young in his presence.

6-18 God makes everything come out right;
he puts victims back on their feet.
He showed Moses how he went about his work,
opened up his plans to all Israel.
God is sheer mercy and grace;
not easily angered, he's rich in love.
He doesn't endlessly nag and scold,
nor hold grudges forever.
He doesn't treat us as our sins deserve,
nor pay us back in full for our wrongs.
As high as heaven is over the earth,
so strong is his love to those who fear him.
And as far as sunrise is from sunset,
he has separated us from our sins.
As parents feel for their children,
God feels for those who fear him.
He knows us inside and out,
keeps in mind that we're made of mud.
Men and women don't live very long;
like wildflowers they spring up and blossom,
But a storm snuffs them out just as quickly,
leaving nothing to show they were here.
God's love, though, is ever and always,
eternally present to all who fear him,
Making everything right for them and their children
as they follow his Covenant ways
and remember to do whatever he said.

19-22 God has set his throne in heaven;
he rules over us all. He's the King!
So bless God, you angels,
ready and able to fly at his bidding,
quick to hear and do what he says.
Bless God, all you armies of angels,
alert to respond to whatever he wills.
Bless God, all creatures, wherever you are—
everything and everyone made by God.

And you, O my soul, bless God!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

this is for someone

Don't know who this is for this a.m. - let me know if it was you.

Hebrews 4:
(New Living Translation) 12
For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable.

14 So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe.15 This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin.16 So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.

(The Message) 12-13 God means what he says. What he says goes. His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon's scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey. Nothing and no one is impervious to God's Word. We can't get away from it—no matter what.

14-16 Now that we know what we have—Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God—let's not let it slip through our fingers. We don't have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He's been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin. So let's walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Hebrews 3: 1 And so, dear brothers and sisters who belong to God and are partners with those called to heaven, think carefully about this Jesus whom we declare to be God's messenger and High Priest.2 For he was faithful to God, who appointed him, just as Moses served faithfully when he was entrusted with God's entire* house.
3 But Jesus deserves far more glory than Moses, just as a person who builds a house deserves more praise than the house itself.4 For every house has a builder, but the one who built everything is God. (dan note: I can't take credit for who I am & what I'm able to do. I didn't build the life I live. God did. It's God's favor that gives me influence - not my cleverness, charm, or whatever)
5 Moses was certainly faithful in God's house as a servant. His work was an illustration of the truths God would reveal later.6 But Christ, as the Son, is in charge of God's entire house. And we are God's house, if we keep our courage and remain confident in our hope in Christ.
7 That is why the Holy Spirit says,"Today when you hear his voice,8 don't harden your hearts as Israel did when they rebelled, when they tested me in the wilderness.9 There your ancestors tested and tried my patience, even though they saw my miracles for forty years.10 So I was angry with them, and I said,'Their hearts always turn away from me. They refuse to do what I tell them.'11 So in my anger I took an oath: 'They will never enter my place of rest.'"*12 Be careful then, dear brothers and sisters.* Make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away from the living God.13 You must warn each other every day, while it is still "today," so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God.14 For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ.15 Remember what it says:"Today when you hear his voice, don't harden your hearts as Israel did when they rebelled."
16 And who was it who rebelled against God, even though they heard his voice? Wasn't it the people Moses led out of Egypt?17 And who made God angry for forty years? Wasn't it the people who sinned, whose corpses lay in the wilderness?18 And to whom was God speaking when he took an oath that they would never enter his rest? Wasn't it the people who disobeyed him?19 So we see that because of their unbelief they were not able to enter his rest.

I think it should behoove us to remember that God's not playin' in His direction & directing of our lives. He's serious about it. He wants us to obey & trust Him.

The children of Israel didn't - fine - then wander in the desert (for 40 years it turns out!) until all of you who couldn't trust God are dead by the side of the road.
Whew! That's a bit harsh!

But maybe we should remember that we're not in a relationship with some grandfather-in-the-sky. This isn't some celestial Santa Claus. This is the high & unimaginably holy God of the universes! Mistrusting Him could lead to some dire consequences.

Our deal is we don't want to look foolish.

Well, the longer I live, the more I would rather look foolish doing what I believe God wants me to do than what I've dreamed up for me to be & do, or what others think is more normative.

Normative - that's not what God is - He's far too creative to simply live in the usual, or let us languish there either.

God has a BIG adventure dreamed for us. It's all a part of the overarching plan for humankind. He continually is inviting us to be a part of it.

Let's jump into the river of His BIG plan His creation - let's trust Him in the big & small of life

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

help like we need it, when we need it

Hebrews 2:18 Since He Himself (Jesus) has gone through suffering & temptation, He is able to help us when we are being tempted.

This thing we call "following Jesus" isn't just a philosophy, or a normal normative - it's a relationship with a very real person - Jesus

And this very real person (who also is God!) experienced the same kind of temptations we do. He really does understand what it means to live in this world fraught with sin, soaked in sin, where around every corner there's some new hot-button item that the devil's gonna throw at us.

Jesus gets how hard that is to live with & live in.

And because of His experience with this world, He's able to custom make any help, power, strength, or wisdom we might needs to combat it or resist it.

Wouldn't it be a speacial kind of stupid if we didn't take advantage of this kind of help & plug into it in a major way?

Monday, November 17, 2008

a few words...

Hebrews 1: 1 Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets.2 And now in these final days, he has spoken to us through his Son. God promised everything to the Son as an inheritance, and through the Son he created the universe.3 The Son radiates God's own glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command. When he had cleansed us from our sins, he sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven.4 This shows that the Son is far greater than the angels, just as the name God gave him is greater than their names.

And from Matthew 6:34 ...don't worry about your life...

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Psalm 98: 1 Sing a new song to the LORD,
for he has done wonderful deeds.
His right hand has won a mighty victory;
his holy arm has shown his saving power!
2 The LORD has announced his victory
and has revealed his righteousness to every nation!
3 He has remembered his promise to love and be faithful to Israel.
The ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God.

4 Shout to the LORD, all the earth;
break out in praise and sing for joy!
5 Sing your praise to the LORD with the harp,
with the harp and melodious song,
6 with trumpets and the sound of the ram's horn.
Make a joyful symphony before the LORD, the King!

7 Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise!
Let the earth and all living things join in.
8 Let the rivers clap their hands in glee!
Let the hills sing out their songs of joy
9 before the LORD.
For the LORD is coming to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with justice,
and the nations with fairness.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

What's it all about, Alfie?

Titus 3: 3 Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled and became slaves to many lusts and pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy, and we hated each other.
4 But—"When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love,5 he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit.*6 He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior.7 Because of his grace he declared us righteous and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life."

Sometimes I wonder if we sometimes just play games with ourselves.

You know what it's like. We getting to reading what other people think about Jesus & the way we should live our lives as Christians. Then we may throw in some deep discussions, with our equally deep friends, about theology, or ethics, or maybe just ramble on about our basic philosophy about life & living it as a Christian.

It's kinda like we try to fit everything into a convenient little box. I was talking with someone recently, all the while wondering if, in the midst of all their talk, philosophy, brilliant thinking, well-conceived ideas, & adaquate explanations, they just might be missing the most important factor about this Christianity thing.

It's not about what we think. This isn't some mind game we're playing here. This is about a relationship - a relationship with God - a person far more real than we imagine.

That's what it's always been about - a relationship with a real person, who also happens to be the Creator & Sustainer of the universes.

All this stuff we have attached to Christianity is just that - stuff. It would be like being married to someone & read books about marriage.; Then we join a fellowship group that believes in marriage that meets regularly to rejoice in the institution of marriage (as well as eat copious amounts of food, drinks carbonated drinks or coffee, & play ultimate frizbee occasioanly). Or maybe we just talk about the philosophical aspects of a good marriage. Or spend lots of time expressing our connection with a basic type of marriage.

But we don't spend time with the person we're married to.

Do ya ever get the feeling that's what we do with God?

God did the most stupendous thing ever - He gave His Son as a sacrifice so we could be in relationship with Him.

That's what it's all about - relationship - with a real Person.

And basically, that's the only thing it's about.

Friday, November 14, 2008

good word

Psalm 96: 1 Sing a new song to the LORD!
Let the whole earth sing to the LORD!
2 Sing to the LORD; praise his name.
Each day proclaim the good news that he saves.
3 Publish his glorious deeds among the nations.
Tell everyone about the amazing things he does.
4 Great is the LORD! He is most worthy of praise!
He is to be feared above all gods.
5 The gods of other nations are mere idols,
but the LORD made the heavens!
6 Honor and majesty surround him;
strength and beauty fill his sanctuary.
7 O nations of the world, recognize the LORD;
recognize that the LORD is glorious and strong.
8 Give to the LORD the glory he deserves!
Bring your offering and come into his courts.
9 Worship the LORD in all his holy splendor.
Let all the earth tremble before him.
10 Tell all the nations, "The LORD reigns!"
The world stands firm and cannot be shaken.
He will judge all peoples fairly.
11 Let the heavens be glad, and the earth rejoice!
Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise!
12 Let the fields and their crops burst out with joy!
Let the trees of the forest rustle with praise
13 before the LORD, for he is coming!
He is coming to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with justice,
and the nations with his truth.

It's interesting that this psalmist encourages us to share with the people around us the good news that God saves people.

I don't think he meant go around with a big black Bible, bluntly telling people they're going to hell. (Where did that method of evangelism come from?!!!)

I think he means it more like the way the apostle Paul did it - build a relationship, let them see your life as it is - wide open & abandoned - & then share what you know.

BUt I also think he means being willing to speak a word, however great or small, to anyone we meet up with as we move through our day.

If we ask Him, God will give us opportunities to share with people what we know & have experienced with God. The key is to just tell people about our relationship with God if we get the chance. What's the most people might do? Think we're crazy, or a fanatic? Well, trust me - they probably already think that about us! ;-)

Ask God to give you one opportunity today to tell someone about what God means to you, & let's see what happens.

And please write me back & let me know what it was like.

I love y'all
(The storm seems to be letting up outside. & I think the tornado siren has finally stopped ;-)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

His Word

2 Timothy 3: 16-17 (The Message) Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God's way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us.

(NLT) 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17 God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.

As uncomfortable as it is, that's why I get up every day - plus, He WAKES me up. (If you didn't read the previous post, i might help if you did.)


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

just a thot

Back in January, 2005, God literally started waking me up at 5 a.m. - it took me a couple of weeks to figure out He wanted me to get up, read the Bible, & listen to Him. And it's not groggy waking up - it's HELLO! I'M AWAKE!!! (You HAVE to understand I LOVE to sleep!)

And He's been talkin' my hind legs off each morning ever since.

Now I get up between 4 & 4:30 a.m. each morning. No, I'm not holy. LOL!!! I just wake up - God does it. And I just sin less when I get up, read, & listen, than when I don't.

I said all that to say this - I got up this morning and, once again, He spoke right to the heart of an issue I'm dealing with - spoke in just the right way to address where I'm at right now.

All I can say to you is start getting up a little earlier in the morning, when your day is fresh, read the Bible, & listen, & just see what He'll say to you.

It's miraculous...

and life-changing.

I love y'all

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

miracle walking

Today, I got to see a miracle, up close.

Ya see, back in February, 2005, I met this emt/firefighter named Rook. He kinda scared me. Well, he is BIG, very muscular, & had kind of an intimidating look about him.

On the 1st Thursday of March, 2005 (the next month), he came by to see me. To make a very long story very short, that day, in my office, Rook gave his heart & life to God, & became a Christ follower.

Suffice it to say, as a result of God’s grace, Rook made a significant, 180 degree change of heart & life as a result of the infinite grace & mercy of our Abba Father that he experienced that day.

A few months after becoming a Christ follower, Rook also became on of my sons. Since that time, he, we, & God have been working on returning his life back to what God had dreamed it to be looooooooooooooooooooong before Rook was even imagined.

A year & a half ago he got married to a fine lady. Fyi - the happiest day of your life isn’t when you get married. It’s when one of your children gets married.

This afternoon Rook came by with his 2 month old son, Wyatt. Rook is such a dad, if you know what I mean. He’s everything you’d hope a big ol’ guy would be to his child.

I saw a living trophy of grace today – someone released from hurts, hang-ups, & addictions, someone released from generational curses.

I saw, in the flesh, the realities of Jesus words, “Behold, I make all things new.”

Thank You, Abba, for the miracle You performed & are performing in Rooks life, & how that life is producing such incredible ripples in those around him. And thank You for the sacrifice of You Son, Jesus, Who made it all possible. And thank You, Holy Spirit, for Your unbelievable sustaining Power that has brought Rook to this point in his life. Thank You, thank You, thank You!!!

miracle walking

Today, I got to see a miracle, up close.

Ya see, back in February, 2005, I met this emt/firefighter named Rook. He kinda scared me. Well, he is BIG, very muscular, & had kind of an intimidating look about him.

On the 1st Thursday of March, 2005 (the next month), he came by to see me. To make a very long story very short, that day, in my office, Rook gave his heart & life to God, & became a Christ follower.

Suffice it to say, as a result of God’s grace, Rook made a significant, 180 degree change of heart & life as a result of the infinite grace & mercy of our Abba Father that he experienced that day.

A few months after becoming a Christ follower, Rook also became on of my sons. Since that time, he, we, & God have been working on returning his life back to what God had dreamed it to be looooooooooooooooooooong before Rook was even imagined.

A year & a half ago he got married to a fine lady. Fyi - the happiest day of your life isn’t when you get married. It’s when one of your children gets married.

This afternoon Rook came by with his 2 month old son, Wyatt. Rook is such a dad, if you know what I mean. He’s everything you’d hope a big ol’ guy would be to his child.

I saw a living trophy of grace today – someone released from hurts, hang-ups, & addictions, someone released from generational curses.

I saw, in the flesh, the realities of Jesus words, “Behold, I make all things new.”

Thank You, Abba, for the miracle You performed & are performing in Rooks life, & how that life is producing such incredible ripples in those around him. And thank You for the sacrifice of You Son, Jesus, Who made it all possible. And thank You, Holy Spirit, for Your unbelievable sustaining Power that has brought Rook to this point in his life. Thank You, thank You, thank You!!!

I know certain things - this is one of them

2 Timothy 2: 12b

I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day. (NIV)

for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to (guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day. (NASB)

I couldn't be more sure of my ground—the One I've trusted in can take care of what he's trusted me to do right to the end. (The Message)

Still I am not ashamed, for I know (perceive, have knowledge of, and am acquainted with) Him Whom I have believed (adhered to and trusted in and relied on), and I am [positively] persuaded that He is able to guard and keep that which has been entrusted to me and which I have committed [to Him] until that day. (Amplified)

For I know the one in whom I trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until the day of his return. (NLT)

For I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. (KJV)

No matter how we translate these words, it all comes out the same - God is faithful.
I love y'all - join me on the journey secured by His faithfulness.

Monday, November 10, 2008


Psalm 92: 1 It is good to give thanks to the LORD,
to sing praises to the Most High.
2 It is good to proclaim your unfailing love in the morning, (dan note: is this a shameless plug by the psalmist for a quiet time early in the morning?)
your faithfulness in the evening, (dan note: & is this another shameless plug for another time of connection with God in the evening?)
3 accompanied by the ten-stringed harp and the melody of the lyre.
4 You thrill me, LORD, with all you have done for me!
I sing for joy because of what you have done. (dan note: in this, another "season change," I certainly can say that I'm once again amazed at what God continues to to be & do for me, in spite of me!!!)
5 O LORD, what great works you do!
And how deep are your thoughts.
6 Only a simpleton would not know,
and only a fool would not understand this:
7 Though the wicked sprout like weeds
and evildoers flourish,
they will be destroyed forever.
8 But you, O LORD, will be exalted forever.
9 Your enemies, LORD, will surely perish;
all evildoers will be scattered.
10 But You have made me as strong as a wild bull.
How refreshed I am by Your power. (dan note: as I go into another change in my life, it's good to remember Who's the Power-source for what's ahead)
11 My eyes have seen the downfall of my enemies;
my ears have heard the defeat of my wicked opponents.
12 But the godly will flourish like palm trees
and grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon.
13 For they are transplanted to the LORD's own house.
They flourish in the courts of our God.
14 Even in old age they will still produce fruit; they will remain vital and green. (dan note: a promise to hold on to at my age ;-)
15 They will declare, "The LORD is just!
He is my rock! (dan note: another thing to hold on to during change)
There is nothing but goodness in Him!"

It's amazing to me how suddenly the "suddenly's" can happen in our lives. One minute we're just rocking along, kinda singing, "la , la, la..." when something can come along & alter our life, sometimes for the good, sometimes not. Sometimes it's something we've been waiting on for a long time. And then - bip - it's there.

And what can really mess with us is if 2 "suddenly's" come along kinda back. All of a sudden our state is altered because what we've been waiting on has suddenly appeared, in a way we least expected it to.

And sometimes, we miss the overarching ramifications of a "suddenly" because we're blown away by the fact that it/they have come. Sometimes, tucked away in it, is something we've longed to see or hear, & missed it when we first experience it.

God's been kinda quiet the last few days. I'm glad He decided to drop something on me this morning.

I love y'all (I really do, ya know?)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

what does this mean?

I know what this meant back when it was written. I wanna know what it means to each of us today, in our everyday lives, in the midst of a world that is in terrific & terrifying financial crisis, a world where it seems the list of those who would do us significant & long-lasting harm continues to grow, & our country is on the cusp of significant political change.

What does this psalm say to us? If you've read this blog today, will you respond with at least a short note, giving me some insight in to how you think/feel the thoughts in this psalm applies to our world today & it's situations.

Please don't give me the correct answers. Give me the real answers - what you really think & feel.

Psalm 91: 1 Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 This I declare about the LORD:He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
he is my God, and I trust him.
3 For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease.
4 He will cover you with his feathers.
He will shelter you with his wings.
His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
5 Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night,
nor the arrow that flies in the day.
6 Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness,
nor the disaster that strikes at midday.
7 Though a thousand fall at your side,
though ten thousand are dying around you,
these evils will not touch you.
8 Just open your eyes,
and see how the wicked are punished.
9 If you make the LORD your refuge,
if you make the Most High your shelter,
10 no evil will conquer you;
no plague will come near your home.
11 For he will order his angels
to protect you wherever you go.
12 They will hold you up with their hands
so you won't even hurt your foot on a stone.
13 You will trample upon lions and cobras;
you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!
14 The LORD says, "I will rescue those who love me.
I will protect those who trust in my name.
15 When they call on me, I will answer;
I will be with them in trouble.
I will rescue and honor them.
16 I will reward them with a long life
and give them my salvation."

Psalm 91: 1-13You who sit down in the High God's presence, spend the night in Shaddai's shadow,
Say this: "God, you're my refuge.
I trust in you and I'm safe!"
That's right—he rescues you from hidden traps,
shields you from deadly hazards.
His huge outstretched arms protect you—
under them you're perfectly safe;
his arms fend off all harm.
Fear nothing—not wild wolves in the night,
not flying arrows in the day,
Not disease that prowls through the darkness,
not disaster that erupts at high noon.
Even though others succumb all around,
drop like flies right and left,
no harm will even graze you.
You'll stand untouched, watch it all from a distance,
watch the wicked turn into corpses.
Yes, because God's your refuge,
the High God your very own home,
Evil can't get close to you,
harm can't get through the door.
He ordered his angels
to guard you wherever you go.
If you stumble, they'll catch you;
their job is to keep you from falling.
You'll walk unharmed among lions and snakes,
and kick young lions and serpents from the path.

14-16 "If you'll hold on to me for dear life," says God,
"I'll get you out of any trouble.
I'll give you the best of care
if you'll only get to know and trust me.
Call me and I'll answer, be at your side in bad times;
I'll rescue you, then throw you a party.
I'll give you a long life,
give you a long drink of salvation!"

Saturday, November 8, 2008


Psalm 90:8 You spread out our sins before You - our secret sins - & You see them all.

My Life Application Bible says this psalm was written by Moses. I thought that was pretty cool. It's the oldest psalm in the book, then. I wonder what Moses is doing right now?
I think it's good to remember that nothing is hidden from God. There are no "secret sins" that we get to enjoy in private. Pastor John calls them our "sins on a leash" - the ones we enjoy, think we've got them under control, & they're not harming anyone. (Yeah, right!)

It's both scary & wonderful to think that od knows everything about me. Scary in that - oh my gosh! - He knows that about me! Good grief! He knows everything about me! He knows all the stuff that nobody else knows about me - nobody...

And it's wonderful because He still loves me unconditionally.

Psalm 90:12 Teach us to make the most of our time, so that we may grow in wisdom.

It's interesting that Moses wrote this, probably toward the end of his life, while the children of Israel were wandering in the wilderness for 40 years. Moses probably saw the fleeting nature of life & how we need to be about being who God wants/dreamed us to be. He probably had lived long enough to see that it's only the stuff we are/do for God that last past the span of our lives.

Sidebar: Life can change in a moment, suddenly. Ya just never know when God is gonna act suddenly & so much of your life can change, for the better. Let's be awake today for the suddenly's in our life.

Just a thought...
I love y'all

Friday, November 7, 2008

I get something new each time I read this

Every time I read this, I get something else...

Matthew 10 (The Message)

1-4 The prayer was no sooner prayed than it was answered. Jesus called twelve of his followers and sent them into the ripe fields. He gave them power to kick out the evil spirits and to tenderly care for the bruised and hurt lives. This is the list of the twelve he sent: Simon (they called him Peter, or "Rock"), Andrew, his brother, James, Zebedee's son, John, his brother, Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew, the tax man, James, son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon, the Canaanite, Judas Iscariot (who later turned on him).

5-8 Jesus sent his twelve harvest hands out with this charge:
"Don't begin by traveling to some far-off place to convert unbelievers. And don't try to be dramatic by tackling some public enemy. Go to the lost, confused people right here in the neighborhood. Tell them that the kingdom is here. Bring health to the sick. Raise the dead. Touch the untouchables. Kick out the demons. You have been treated generously, so live generously.

9-10 "Don't think you have to put on a fund-raising campaign before you start. You don't need a lot of equipment. You are the equipment, and all you need to keep that going is three meals a day. Travel light.

11"When you enter a town or village, don't insist on staying in a luxury inn. Get a modest place with some modest people, and be content there until you leave.

12-15"When you knock on a door, be courteous in your greeting. If they welcome you, be gentle in your conversation. If they don't welcome you, quietly withdraw. Don't make a scene. Shrug your shoulders and be on your way. You can be sure that on Judgment Day they'll be mighty sorry—but it's no concern of yours now.

16"Stay alert. This is hazardous work I'm assigning you. You're going to be like sheep running through a wolf pack, so don't call attention to yourselves. Be as cunning as a snake, inoffensive as a dove.

17-20"Don't be naive. Some people will impugn your motives, others will smear your reputation—just because you believe in me. Don't be upset when they haul you before the civil authorities. Without knowing it, they've done you—and me—a favor, given you a platform for preaching the kingdom news! And don't worry about what you'll say or how you'll say it. The right words will be there; the Spirit of your Father will supply the words.

21-23"When people realize it is the living God you are presenting and not some idol that makes them feel good, they are going to turn on you, even people in your own family. There is a great irony here: proclaiming so much love, experiencing so much hate! But don't quit. Don't cave in. It is all well worth it in the end. It is not success you are after in such times but survival. Be survivors! Before you've run out of options, the Son of Man will have arrived.

24-25"A student doesn't get a better desk than her teacher. A laborer doesn't make more money than his boss. Be content—pleased, even—when you, my students, my harvest hands, get the same treatment I get. If they call me, the Master, 'Dungface,' what can the workers expect?

26-27"Don't be intimidated. Eventually everything is going to be out in the open, and everyone will know how things really are. So don't hesitate to go public now.

28"Don't be bluffed into silence by the threats of bullies. There's nothing they can do to your soul, your core being. Save your fear for God, who holds your entire life—body and soul—in his hands.

29-31"What's the price of a pet canary? Some loose change, right? And God cares what happens to it even more than you do. He pays even greater attention to you, down to the last detail—even numbering the hairs on your head! So don't be intimidated by all this bully talk. You're worth more than a million canaries.

32-33"Stand up for me against world opinion and I'll stand up for you before my Father in heaven. If you turn tail and run, do you think I'll cover for you?

34-37"Don't think I've come to make life cozy. I've come to cut—make a sharp knife-cut between son and father, daughter and mother, bride and mother-in-law—cut through these cozy domestic arrangements and free you for God. Well-meaning family members can be your worst enemies. If you prefer father or mother over me, you don't deserve me. If you prefer son or daughter over me, you don't deserve me.

38-39"If you don't go all the way with me, through thick and thin, you don't deserve me. If your first concern is to look after yourself, you'll never find yourself. But if you forget about yourself and look to me, you'll find both yourself and me.

40-42"We are intimately linked in this harvest work. Anyone who accepts what you do, accepts me, the One who sent you. Anyone who accepts what I do accepts my Father, who sent me. Accepting a messenger of God is as good as being God's messenger. Accepting someone's help is as good as giving someone help. This is a large work I've called you into, but don't be overwhelmed by it. It's best to start small. Give a cool cup of water to someone who is thirsty, for instance. The smallest act of giving or receiving makes you a true apprentice. You won't lose out on a thing.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


back from staff retreat - we left Sunday, came back yesterday

always good to go, always good to come home

Sunday, November 2, 2008


2 Thessalonians 1: 11b ...God will make you worthy of the life to which He has called you.

When we belong to Him, when we follow Him, He starts to return us to that person He dreamed us to be long ago, before sin messed us up.

We think we have to "clean up our lives" on our own, but in reality, God is the One Who reweaves the tattered life we hand Him. Our responsibility is NOT to "clean ourselves up," but to simply listen & obey Him.

The basic belief, "seek 1st the Kingdom of God & all these things will be added," says the same thing. If our focus is getting intimate with Him, His power is the thing that makes us into who He has dreamed & called us to be.

As I look ahead at the new seasons coming in my life, I think I'd go crazy (or crazier) if I thought I had to somehow "measure up" to the challenges ahead.


God will make you worthy of the life to which He has called you.

Think about it...

I love you, gobbs

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Barnabas was a the friend of Paul's who went on many missionary journeys with Paul. Barnabas' name means "son of encouragement." I can only imagine why Barnabas was considered such an epitome of encouragement.

One of the astounding things about my life these days is the lack of encouraging words people get these days. I tell people all the time that I believe in them - these aren't empty, social words; I really do believe in the people I tell this to. And lots of the time they tell me that I'm the only person who says that to them. And lots of the time, when I tell someone I'm proud of them, they can't handle it, because no one says that to them.


Are we that insensitive to other people, that we seldom simply state the obvious - that that person is someone of worth, that we trust them & believe in them, & that they live a quality of life that makes us proud of them?

Paul, writing his 1st letter the Thessolonica, gives s some handles on how to be encouraging to our friends, family, & the people who come thru our lives. Take a look...

1 Thessalonians 5:9 For God chose to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ, not to pour out his anger on us.10 Christ died for us so that, whether we are dead or alive when he returns, we can live with him forever.11 So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.

(dan note: ok, here's the list)

12 Dear brothers and sisters, honor those who are your leaders in the Lord's work. They work hard among you and give you spiritual guidance.

13 Show them great respect and wholehearted love because of their work.

And live peacefully with each other.

14 Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are lazy.

Encourage those who are timid.

Take tender care of those who are weak.

Be patient with everyone.

15 See that no one pays back evil for evil, but always try to do good to each other and to all people.

16 Always be joyful.

17 Never stop praying.

18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

19 Do not stifle the Holy Spirit.

20 Do not scoff at prophecies,21 but test everything that is said.

Hold on to what is good.

22 Stay away from every kind of evil.


That should keep us all busy for a few days, dontcha think?