Thursday, December 31, 2009

going forward

1 Timothy 5:1 Never speak harshly to an older man, but appeal to him respectfully as though he were your own father.

Words to live by as we enter a new year & a new decade. ;-) LOL

Remember as we enter a new year...
don't cling to your life...
don't worry about your life...
God is out there preparing the way, & mopping up behind us...
sink our roots deep into Him...
no matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus...

Don't look back at the last year or last decade. Those were good days & bad days.

Look ahead.
We don't know what's ahead,
but we do know the One who's in charge of it all...

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

no matter what

1 Timothy 4:12b Be an example to all believers in what you teach, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, & your purity

That means all the time.

when life's like we want it, & when we don't

when something comes outta nowhere & shakes things up

when it costs a lot

when the people ya gotta do this will aren't all that lovely or appreciative

when ever

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


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? 26Look 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? 27Who 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. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If 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? 31So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

It was my mischievous nephew, Aaron Barth, who opened this passage up to me 2 years ago.

Aaron came to staff prayer at SportsTowne that Friday morning. And he mentioned he'd been studying Matthew 6 lately.

He went on to say that all of this passage is summed up in the first few words - "don't worry about your life." (This is the NIV translation, btw.)

That was when God riveted my attention & whispered to me that this should be one of the verses I held on to.

I cannot tell you how many times God has whispered to me in the last 2 years, "don't worry about your life".

I used to be a world class worrier - I worried if I didn;t have something to worry about!

Now, after 2 years, I can't imagine what it would be like to go back to that kind of lifestyle!

NEVER underestimate what you're experiencing in your life - what if Aaron hadn't said that that morning?! How poor my life would be?! And how would I have navigated the last 2 years?!

Thanks, Aaron.

Thanks, Abba, for breaking the cycle of worry in my life.

Monday, December 28, 2009

an end & a beginning

So, the last week of the year 2009...

In the 36 years of ministry I've experienced, 2009 was the very best, so far. ;-)

It was the very best because I didn't make it happen - God made it happen.

And as I look to 2010, what do I know?

Don't cling to your life - Matthew 10:39

Don't worry about your life - Matthew 6:25

God is out there in the future preparing the way for me & mopping up behind me - Psalm 139:5

Sink you roots deep into Him - Colossians 2:7


No matter what happens, always be thankful
(for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus)
1 Thessalonians 5:18

I'm on this journey with Him, my Lord, my friend, my wild lover, my Father, My Abba, my... everything.

He dreamed a life for me a gajillion years ago. I'm gonna do all I can to open my life so He can make that dream happen in my life.

What will 2010 look like this time next year?

Don't know.

I'm not afraid. I trust Him.

Sunday, December 27, 2009


psalm 131:1b I don't concern myself with matters too great or awesome for me. 2 But I have stilled & quieted myself, just as a child is quiet with its mother. Yes, like a child is my soul within me.

That's what I'm trying to do that right now - silence the worry inside of me, & just listen & wait.

Saturday, December 26, 2009


2 Thessalonians 3:3 The Lord is faithful; He will make you strong & guard you from the evil one.

Something's coming - I don't know what.

Friday, December 25, 2009

what do you think?

1 Thessalonians 5:18 No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

If God spoke this verse to you, what do you think He might be saying to you?

Help me out. Comment back.

Thursday, December 24, 2009


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

You have no idea how I've held on to this verse this year.

I memorized this verse back in the late spring. Early in June, Leann came to summer HOG with a band of worship leaders from all over the Christ Chapels. Ken Land came to speak. I felt like I was "running with the big dogs" that night.

But at the end of Ken's sermon, I'm standing over by the side of the room thinking, "Holy cow! How in the world is little old me gonna close this service?! This service has been filled with highly competent people! How is someone like me whose transitions & closings are, shall we say, merely ok, gonna step up & close this service?!"

Then God whispered to me "our God will make you worthy of the life to which He has called you"

So, I thought, "well, God... this is Your gig. I can't make this closing happen. You're gonna have to."

So, I just walked out, started talking, & probably the best closing of the summer HOG came out of my mouth. It had to be God.

2009 has been ALL about me being me, doing what I do best, NOT making things happen, & letting God make happen whatever He wants to have happen. I really hope I smart enough to do the same thing next year. Life's SO MUCH simpler if I do.

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

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Psalm 127:1 Unless the Lord builds a house, the work of the builders is useless.

Especially true when I think about all things related to Christ Chapel Downtown, The Warehouse, & House of Grace.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

I wonder what this scripture is preparing me for?

Ya ever get the feeling He's dropping verses in your reading for what's ahead?

1 Thessalonians 5:24 God, who calls you, is faithful.

The Rock that we hold on to in this windswept world.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

a simple mandate

1 Thessalonians 4:1b in a way that pleases God...

a simple mandate

but not an easy one

what does it mean to "live in a way that pleases God"?

I'd REALLY like to know what YOU think.

Comment back, will ya?

Monday, December 21, 2009

real security

Psalm 125:1 Those who trust in the Lord are as secure as Mt. Zion; they will not be defeated but will endure forever.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

what if

Psalm 124:2a If the Lord had not...

I was struck by these words.

There's just so many things I could wonder about, wonder what would have happened, wonder what would have be the result or outcome if, just wondered how my life would be & where my life would be - if the Lord had not ___________ - and then fill in the blank.

I'm who I am today because the Lord is Who He is - no other reason.

Saturday, December 19, 2009


Psalm 123:2 We look to the Lord our God for His mercy,
just as servants keep their eyes on their master,
as a slave girl watches her mistress for the slightest signal.

It's interesting how my life has changed these last 2 years.

To understand the change you have to understand that I was a music minister in the Methodist for 27 years. I was running well-oiled ministries that had lots of stuff going, lots of people involved, & lots of impact.

It was like driving an aircraft carrier.

But I was making it happen.

I was doing what I thought God was wanting to me to be & do, along with what the music ministry was supposed to be & do.

My time alone with Him could best be described as higgledy-piggledy.

He started waking me up at 5am in January, 2003. It's crept back to 4am a while back. He talks to me every day now.

These last 2 years, as He's started talking to me about downtown, & then actuating downtown, have been years where He's positioned me into a relationship much like the slave girl, watching for the slightest cue from her mistress.

For all of 2008, in preparation for 2009, & all through 2009, He's whispered to me hundreds of times:
...don't cling to your life
...don't worry about your life
...I am working things out ahead of you & mopping up behind you
...sink your roots deep into Me


I'm slam in the middle of something He's doing, He's making happen, He's charting.
I'm not responsible for the results; He is.
I'm not responsible for the direction; He is.
I'm not responsible for the power that sustains this whole adventure; He is.

I've learned what it's like to be like the servant & slave girl in this verse.

Would I go back to being & doing life like I used to?


How does it feel to be in this mode?


I recommend it to you.

Wanna know more? Write me back. I'd ABSOLUTELY LOVE to chat with you about it.

Friday, December 18, 2009


Colossians 4:17b "Be sure to carry out the work the Lord gave you."

My Life Application Bible has this to say about that verse...

"Paul encouraged Archippus make sure that he carried out the work he had received in the Lord.

"There are many ways for us to leave our work unfinished.
We can get easily sidetracked morally,
we can become exhausted & stop,
we can get mad & quit,
or we can let it slide & leave it up to others.

"We should see to it that we finish God's assignments, completing the work we have received."

So, iow, we have to follow through with whatever it is God hands us to be & do. It may seem insignificant, or terrible crucial. It may be easy, or hard. It may be rewarding, or a daily trial.

One thing is for sure though... it will scare us either a little or a lot, & it will be something we can't do on our own, so we have to completely depend on Him to make it happen.

And one other thing is obvious - who knows what the ripple effect of our obedient finishing will have upon the people around us?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Colossians 2:7 Let your roots grow down into Him & draw up nourishment from Him, so you will grow in faith, strong & vigorous in the truth you were taught. Let your lives overflow with thanksgiving for all He had done.

This is the 1st of four (4) verses God gave me to get me through 2008 (& 2009, & it looks like 2010)

I thought I was gonna spend a year reading the Word & getting all holy & everything.


He gave me 3 more verses, & then started talking to me about establishing a "presence" in downtown Macon.

At the end of 2007, I jauntily said that 2008 must gonna be a doozie of a year, b/c He's given me 4 verses.

Little did I know. ;-)

If you don't know the story of all that's happened in the last 2 years, write me back. I'll be glad to tell you.

Lemme just highlight what this verse means to me.

My "quiet time" life has been at best higgledy-piggledy. In 2003, God literally started waking me up at 5am (now fo th last 2+ years at 4am) to get up & read the Bible & listen out for what He has to say to me.

He ALWAYS has plenty to say to me. ;-)

Here's the deal, spoken as strongly as I can ever say anything...


And the dumbest thing I've EVER done?!


Don't be as dumb as I was. Start reading your Bible EVERYDAY. It will change your life, for the stupendously better, for the rest of your life.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

what it is

Colossians 1: 15 Christ is the visible image of the invisible God.
He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation,
16 for through him God created everything
in the heavenly realms and on earth.
He made the things we can see
and the things we can't see—
such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world.
Everything was created through him and for him.
17 He existed before anything else,
and he holds all creation together.
18 Christ is also the head of the church,
which is his body.
He is the beginning,
supreme over all who rise from the dead.
So he is first in everything.
19 For God in all his fullness
was pleased to live in Christ,
20 and through him God reconciled
everything to himself.
He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth
by means of Christ's blood on the cross.

21 This includes you who were once far away from God. You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions.22 Yet now he has brought you back as his friends through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault.
23 But you must continue to believe this truth and stand firmly in it. Don't drift away from the assurance you received when you heard the Good News.

Monday, December 14, 2009


Romans 16:25a God is able to make you strong...

Sunday, December 13, 2009


Psalm 119:14 You are my refuge & my shield; You word is my only hope.

refuge - shelter or protection from danger, trouble, etc.: to take refuge from a storm; a place of shelter, protection, or safety; anything to which one has recourse for aid, relief, or escape

shield - a protective covering or structure; protect, hide, or conceal from danger or harm

hope - the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best; a person or thing in which expectations are centered

Saturday, December 12, 2009


Sometimes, I look around at the people in my life, & I wonder...

Friday, December 11, 2009


Romans 13:14a ...let the Lord Jesus Christ take control of you...


Well, He's eternal, holy, all-knowing, all-powerful, the King of kings, the very essence of love.

What would it mean if we let Him take control?

He'd be free to remake our lives into that life God dreamed up for us eons ago.

Why don't we do this?

Because we want control,
we want the life we think we want,
& we don't want anyone to be in control because we think it will cause suffering,
we won't like the life He has for us,
we'll miss the stuff we "sacrificed" for the life He has for us,
& the life He has for us will be a bummer.

I think our concept of God stinks.

He's not a celestial kill-joy.

He's a kind, loving Father.

There is another aspect of letting Jesus take control of our lives...
we're not in charge of making our lives happen - He is. We just have to live & He makes it happen.

How do I know?

I'm livin' it.

Do it.

Let Him take control.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Romans 12:2 Don't copy the customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.

He's transformed me in the last 2+ years by changing the way I think.

1) Don't cling to your life (Matthew 10:39) - It's amazing how much of my life I grasp, unwilling to let go of. I can't tell you how many times in the last 2 years He gently whispered to me that if I cling to _______ (I can fill that in with LOTS of different things) He won't able able to give the life He dreamed for me eons ago.

2) Don't worry about your life (Matthew 10:25). I used to be a world class worrier. I would worry that I didn't have something to worry about. At least a gajillion times in the last 2 years God has said to me, "don't worry about that - just don't worry about that - I've got it."

3) God both precedes & follows you (Psalm 139:5). Over & over again He continues to say to me, "chill... I'm preparing the way, & mopping up behind you."

4) Sink your roots deep into Him... (Colossians 2:7) I gotta read the BIble every day & listen. I'll dry up & blow away if I don't.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

the best

Romans 11:25 Gods gifts & God's calling can never be withdrawn.

Yesterday, all staff from all campuses were meeting together, each of the campuses were reporting in.

One of the things I shared when it was my turn was that over the past 36 years I've been in full time ministry, there have been some pretty terrific years, & there's been some pretty terrible ones, too.

This past year, 2009, has been the very best.

Thank You, Abba, for the immutable gift of this past year. I wait expectantly for 2010 holds with You

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

who do we trust

Psalm 118:8 It is better to trust the Lord than to put your confidence in people.
9 It is better to trust the Lord than to put your confidence in princes.

Verse 8 isn't suggesting that we not trust the trustworthy people. It simply means that in the final analysis, the only One we can completely trust, & should trust at that level is God. Everyone else is fickle & will fail us. Everyone else has their own life that demands their attention. God's the only one who's gonna pay attention to us in the crucial moments & in the paramount ways.

The older I get, the more I realize that ultimately the only person I can really REALLY count on is our Abba Father. That's becoming more & more comforting, because that knowledge makes life decisions & life support a lot more simple - there's just One person we have to consult & lean on. ;-)

Verse 9 is noteworthy in a time & culture in which it would seem much of the mission & purpose some Christ followers have is entrusted to politicians & the political process. We must never forget that politicians are mere mortals, with their own agendas, sinful lives, & human frailties.

If we want to accomplish something that we believe God is leading us to be or do, He is ultimately the One in charge of making it happen.

Monday, December 7, 2009


Matthew 6:25 (NIV) ...don't worry about your life

Sunday, December 6, 2009


Romans 8: 35 Can anything ever separate us from Christ's love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? 37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.

38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God's love.
Neither death
nor life,
neither angels
nor demons,
neither our fears for today
nor our worries about tomorrow
not even the powers of hell can separate us from God's love.
No power in the sky above or in the earth belo
indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Saturday, December 5, 2009


This is the apostle, Paul, speaking here...

Romans 7: 14c I am all too human, a slave to sin.15 I don't really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don't do it. Instead, I do what I hate.16 But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good.17 So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.
18 And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.* I want to do what is right, but I can't.19 I want to do what is good, but I don't. I don't want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.20 But if I do what I don't want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.
21 I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong.22 I love God's law with all my heart.23 But there is another power* within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me.24 Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?25 Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God's law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.

But... (drum roll, please)

Romans 8:1 So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. 2 And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.

Friday, December 4, 2009

honoring God with your body

Romans 6:12 Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to lustful desires.13 Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God.14 Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God's grace.

hmmmm... what's the overarching implications of all implied there, particularly in our culture here in America?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

sometimes ya just gotta read it

Romans 5:1 Therefore, since we have been made right in God's sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. 2 Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God's glory.

3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.
And endurance develops strength of character,
and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.
And this hope will not lead to disappointment.
For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

6 When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. 7 Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. 8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.9 And since we have been made right in God's sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God's condemnation. 10 For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. 11 So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.

12 When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam's sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned. 13 Yes, people sinned even before the law was given. But it was not counted as sin because there was not yet any law to break. 14 Still, everyone died—from the time of Adam to the time of Moses—even those who did not disobey an explicit commandment of God, as Adam did. Now Adam is a symbol, a representation of Christ, who was yet to come. 15 But there is a great difference between Adam's sin and God's gracious gift. For the sin of this one man, Adam, brought death to many. But even greater is God's wonderful grace and his gift of forgiveness to many through this other man, Jesus Christ. 16 And the result of God's gracious gift is very different from the result of that one man's sin. For Adam's sin led to condemnation, but God's free gift leads to our being made right with God, even though we are guilty of many sins. 17 For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God's wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ.

18 Yes, Adam's one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ's one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone. 19 Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many will be made righteous.

20 God's law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God's wonderful grace became more abundant. 21 So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God's wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

oh my!

Psalm 112:1 How joyful are those who fear the Lord
and delight in obeying his commands.
2 Their children will be successful everywhere...

(dan note: Hmmmmm... good to know, since I have 49 children & 2 nephews.) entire generation of godly people will be blessed.
3 They themselves will be wealthy,
and their good deeds will last forever.
4 Light shines in the darkness for the godly.
They are generous, compassionate, and righteous.
5 Good comes to those who lend money generously
and conduct their business fairly.
6 Such people will not be overcome by evil.
Those who are righteous will be long remembered.
7 They do not fear bad news;
they confidently trust the Lord to care for them.
8 They are confident and fearless
and can face their foes triumphantly.
9 They share freely and give generously to those in need.
Their good deeds will be remembered forever.
They will have influence and honor.
10 The wicked will see this and be infuriated.
They will grind their teeth in anger;
they will slink away, their hopes thwarted.

Romans 4:20 Abraham never wavered in believing God's promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. 21 He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises. 22 And because of Abraham's faith, God counted him as righteous. 23 And when God counted him as righteous, it wasn't just for Abraham's benefit. It was recorded 24 for our benefit, too, assuring us that God will also count us as righteous if we believe in him, the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God.

The underlined part in the Romans section still blows me away.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

the doorway of faith

Romans 3:21 But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago. 22 We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.
23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God's glorious standard. 24 Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. 25 For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, 26 for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he declares sinners to be right in his sight when they believe in Jesus.

Can we boast, then, that we have done anything to be accepted by God? No, because our acquittal is not based on obeying the law. It is based on faith. 28 So we are made right with God through faith and not by obeying the law.

29 After all, is God the God of the Jews only? Isn't he also the God of the Gentiles? Of course he is.30 There is only one God, and he makes people right with himself only by faith, whether they are Jews or Gentiles. 31 Well then, if we emphasize faith, does this mean that we can forget about the law? Of course not! In fact, only when we have faith do we truly fulfill the law.

Monday, November 30, 2009


Psalm 110:3c Your vigor will be renewed each day like the morning dew.

Good to know when you're 59 & up to your armpits in life.

Psalm 110:5a The Lord stands at your right hand to protect you.

Good to know when you're doing stuff that the devil, & some people, can't stand.

Sunday, November 29, 2009


Our lives are constantly having a ripple effect on the people around us. The questions is, are the ripples ones we set off, or ones from God.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

it's all Him

Psalm 108:13 With God's help we will do mighty things, for He will trample down our foes.

2 Corinthians 13:4 Although Jesus died on the cross in weakness, He now lives by the mighty power of God. We, too, are weak, but we live in Him & have God's power...

It's not us that make things happen in our lives. In reality, it's all Him.

Friday, November 27, 2009

stregth thru weakness

2 Corinthians 12: 7b So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud.
8 Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. 9 Each time He said, "My grace is all you need. My power works best in your weakness." So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 10 That's why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

It makes sense to abandon ourselves so much to God that He is able to move us into areas that are "out of our depth" or put us "in over our head."

In so doing, we HAVE to totally depend on God to make things happen in our lives, & keeps us from getting prideful & arrogant about how we "get things done" with our "God-given abilities."

I've been living this particularly with the establishing of Christ Chapel's presence in downtown Macon. I'm totally dependent on God to make things happen downtown because I'm R
EALLY in over my head with all this.

God's gonna have to pull this one off. I'll be who I am (well, actually who He created me to be), do what I do, but God's the One who's favor makes things happen.

It's kinda nice to be in this position - I'm just responsible for being who I am - God's responsible for the results.

I like that.

I shoulda done this decades ago.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

favor & a lack of trust

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

After all the Jews had been thru with God - sending Moses to them, the plagues that freed them, cross the Red Sea on dry land, the drowning of Pharoah's army, the giving of the law @ Mt. Sinai, & all the other stuff they experienced with Him - after all that, He says, go take Canaan, & they don't believe He'll take care of them.

And we're just like them. We live lives smack dab in the middle of His favor & we don't have any faith or trust in Him. When He says, "I want you to do this," we say, "you want me to do what?!!!"

Why can't we learn to just say, "whatever..."

I mean, what do we have to lose? If we're wrong, we just look stupid. Goodness knows, we look stupid enough, anyway, doing some of the stuff we do.

What have we got to lose by just following what we believe is God's leading & direction?!

Who knows? Maybe it will lead us into a "pleasant land" like the Jews were offered.


I also read in 2 Corinthians 11 where Paul recounts some of the things that have happened to him as a Christ follower.

In view of the fact that we're such prissy fat-cat Christ followers, driving out SUV's & getting pouty if our latte isn't quite the temperature we like, you might understand why in some ways this passage always makes me laugh just a little.

Would any of us be Christ followers if just ONE of these things happened to any of us?!

2 Corinthians 11:23b I have worked harder,

been put in prison more often,

been whipped times without number,

and faced death again and again.

FIVE DIFFERENT TIMES the Jewish leaders gave me thirty-nine lashes.

THREE TIMES I was beaten with rods.

ONCE I was stoned.

THREE TIMES I was shipwrecked.

ONCE I spent a whole night and a day adrift at sea.

I have traveled on many long journeys.

I have faced danger from rivers and from robbers.

I have faced danger from my own people, the Jews, as well as from the Gentiles.

I have faced danger in the cities, in the deserts, and on the seas.

And I have faced danger from men who claim to be believers but are not.
(dan note: I think this is the worst thing to have to face)

I have worked hard and long, enduring many sleepless nights.

I have been hungry and thirsty and have often gone without food.

I have shivered in the cold, without enough clothing to keep me warm.

28 Then, besides all this, I have the daily burden of my concern for all the churches.29 Who is weak without my feeling that weakness? Who is led astray, and I do not burn with anger?

30 If I must boast, I would rather boast about the things that show how weak I am.31 God, the Father of our Lord Jesus, who is worthy of eternal praise, knows I am not lying.32 When I was in Damascus, the governor under King Aretas kept guards at the city gates to catch me.33 I had to be lowered in a basket through a window in the city wall to escape from him.

Like I said...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

true focus

2 Corinthians 10:17b The person who wishes to boast should boast only of what the Lord has done.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Matthew 10:39 If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.

This is one of the 4 verses God gave me 2 years ago as I walked into the adventure He drawn me into called downtown.

I've boiled this verse down to the thought "don't cling to your life"

I can tell you how many hundreds of times God has gently reminded me of this verse, or whispered that bullet to me - "don't cling to your life"

I was clinging to a lot of things I thought were important - things in my life that I took refuge in. And time & time again He would whisper, "don't cling to your life - don't cling to that thing you think is so important. Let it go, because I (as in God) have something else for you."

And just because I'm downtown doesn't mean this is the "destination" for me. This is just a part, a season in my journey & adventure with Him. I have to keep my heart & life open to whatever He has for me. I can't anymore cling to downtown than I could cling to anything else in my life as I moved toward downtown.

God dreamed a dream for our lives. It's far more amazing & scary than anything we could imagine or dare to dream. The trick to getting to live it is to let go of control of our lives. Easier said than done, but still key to God being able to actuate His dreams for us.

So, as I continue to walk this adventure with Him downtown, I reminded - don't cling to your life.

As we all live our lives, let's not cling to them. Change will come. God will introduce something new & different into our lives - probably something kinda scary & something we don't think we can do on our own. But as it says in the second half of verse 39, "if you give up your life for Me, you'll find (your life)."

I'm finding that life He dreamed for me. He's leading me into who know what? We'll see.

I've said all that to say this - I'm livin' the reality of what it means & what it's like if you "don't cling to your life."

Therefore, I can say with integrity, "don't cling to your life"

Let Him have complete control & go with the life He dreamed. It's worth it.

Monday, November 23, 2009

as far as the east is from the west

Psalm 103:1 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 L
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 L
ORD 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 L
ORD 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 wes
13 The L
ORD 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 L
ORD remains forever
with those who fear him.

as far as the east is from the west

Psalm 103:1 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 L
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 L
ORD 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 L
ORD 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 wes
13 The L
ORD 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 L
ORD remains forever
with those who fear him.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


sometimes the things I see in the depths of people's spirits is troubling; troubling in that I don't know how they can come out of it

Saturday, November 21, 2009


Psalm 101:1 I will sing of your love and justice, LORD.
I will praise you with songs.
2 I will be careful to live a blameless life
when will you come to help me?
I will lead a life of integrity
in my own home.
(dan note: i.e. the me I am when nobody's around)
3 I will refuse to look at
anything vile and vulgar.
(dan note: Did the psalmist know about Internet porn?)
I hate all who deal crookedly;
I will have nothing to do with them.
4 I will reject perverse ideas
and stay away from every evil.
5 I will not tolerate people who slander their neighbors.
I will not endure conceit and pride.

6 I will search for faithful people
to be my companions.
Only those who are above reproach
will be allowed to serve me.
7 I will not allow deceivers to serve in my house,
and liars will not stay in my presence.
8 My daily task will be to ferret out the wicked
and free the city of the L
ORD from their grip.

Friday, November 20, 2009


2 Corinthians 5:14 Whatever we do, it is because Christ's love controls us.

How true is that in my life? Or yours?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

pressing on

1 Corinthians 4:1 Therefore, since God in his mercy has given us this wonderful ministry, we never give up. 2 We reject all shameful deeds and underhanded methods. We don't try to trick anyone.
8 We are pressed on every side by troubles,
but we are not crushed.
We are perplexed,
but not driven to despair.
We are hunted down,
but never abandoned by God.
We get knocked down,
but we are not destroyed.
Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


2 Corinthians 3:4 We are confident of all this because of our great trust in God through Christ. 5 It is not that we think we can do anything of lasting value by ourselves. Our only power & success comes from God. 6 He is the one who has enabled us to represent his new covenant. This is a covenant not of written laws, but of the Spirit. The old way ends in death; in the new way, the Holy Spirit gives life.

17 For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.


Something we all talk about, something our culture says we all have & should exercise it whenever we feel like it, freedom to be & do whatever we believe is right for us.

But few of us have real freedom.

And few of us know how to find it.

Real freedom comes in abandoning ourselves to God & letting Him create in us the life He dreamed for us when He dreamed us all up.

Can there be anymore freedom than in saying, "whatever"?

I'm finding as a walk through this season of my life in downtown Macon that life makes more sense & is far less stressful when I'm surrendered to the "whatever". That way, I simply do what I believe I'm told, & God's the one who's in charge of making it happen.

It's amazing how wonderful it is when God's the one who's responsible for the success of something.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


2 Corinthians 2:14 But thank God! He has made us his captives and continues to lead us along in Christ's triumphal procession. Now he uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere, like a sweet perfume.15 Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing.16 To those who are perishing, we are a dreadful smell of death and doom. But to those who are being saved, we are a life-giving perfume. And who is adequate for such a task as this?
17 You see, we are not like the many hucksters who preach for personal profit. We preach the word of God with sincerity and with Christ's authority, knowing that God is watching us.

Lifestyle evangelism is the meat & potatoes of my life right now. I simply live, love those around me & those I meet, & let God bring me into situations where I can share the new life I've found in Him. Paul & the other early Christians did this. It's been done by millions for millennia. It works.

I've experienced people thinking we "smell of death & doom." They couch it differently than that, but some people are repelled by the Holy Spirit reaching out to them.

Speaking of the Holy Spirit, in the last 10 years, I come to take less responsibility for who I make contact with. I used to operate out of guilt in this area. Now I'm trying to operate out of opportunity. Trust me on this though - if you quit trying to "evangelize" & ask Him to bring into your life whoever He wants, you will be inundated with people & opportunity! ;-)

The difference now is that I've relinquished responsibility for what who comes my way, what I say to them, & most importantly, the results of my sharing. I still have to listen hard to the Holy Spirit as far as what to say & how much, but He's responsible for what happens - not me.

This is a significant shift for me. For a long time, I tried to make things happen. I'm simply not adequate for that. He is. My responsibility is over the time I'm exposed to people - be it hours, days, weeks, months, or longer - I'm to be who I am, love them as God loves them, & say what I'm led to - He's in charge of what happens inside of them.

And like Paul, I'm keenly aware that God is watching me - not in a judging way - just watching what I'm doing. The stakes are very high in my life. I'm surrounded by 20somethings with whom I have tremendous influence. It's kinda daunting sometimes. I'm thankful He's watching - He keeps me on course. ;-)

I said all that to say this - I think we need to chill about this "sharing your faith" thing. We should live our lives, love those around us, & share our life with God when given the opportunity - & He'll give each of us PLENTY of opportunity to do this! And leave the results with Him.

Monday, November 16, 2009

what if...

Psalm 96: 2b Each day proclaim the good news that He saves

This is a simple statement in a psalm that mostly praises God for who He is.

It struck me as I read I read it this morning that that's the singular mandate we have - tell others about what we know & have found with God.

In our smug & prissy little lives, we so easily forget that it took someone who obeyed God's leading to share their life with God that impacted us in such a way that we decided to follow Him too.

What would our lives be like if the person or people who have been directly responsible for us being in a relationship with God had decided to be a lax, lazy, or uninterested in sharing Him as we are sometimes?

Not a pretty thought...

All the time, we're that someone for somebody(s) around us.

Think about that today. I'm gonna...

Sunday, November 15, 2009

basic instructions

1 Corinthians 16:13 Be on guard. Stand true to what you believe. Be courageous. Be strong. 14 And everything you do must be done with love.

Paul, the author of these verses, had a way of boiling things down to the basics.

Be on guard... iow, look out! when we least expect it, the devil is gonna fling something at us or throw some sort of temptation at us, or push just the right button(s), & wham! we've fallen into some sort of sin(s). The devil will also sneak up on us & confuse us or distract us with half-truths, lies, & craziness. So, be on the lookout for him.

Stand true to what you believe... We know what the deal is, & we know what's the right thing to do - not the thing we've rationalized to support or sinful behavior. Let's not live in denial - we know what to be & do. The questions never is what to do, but can or will we do it?

Be courageous... iow, as they used to say in the Old Testament, "Gird up your loins". Walk toward the things we fear. Walk into the things we know are a part of God's plans for us, or a part of our responsibility to Him. Courage many times isn't superhuman guts, but just the ability to put one foot in front of the other, in fear & trembling, moving toward that thing that we know God wants us to be or do.

Be strong... With God, strength is given with strength is needed. When strength is needed to make it possible for us to push through something, be something, do something, or make something happen, He supplies just enough to see us through - not too much, so that we won't think we're doing this on our own.

...everything you do must be done with love... How many of us do things our of duty, or be things out of perceived expectations? Our identity should be one that operates out of an others orientation - iow, a love & concern for others, not a "doing good" because we're supposed to.

Do I manage to exhibit all these behaviors seamlessly?


I'm a work in progress, just like you.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


1 Corinthians 15:10 Whatever I am now, it is all because God poured out His special favor on me.

Friday, November 13, 2009


The world is waiting for you & me to tell them about Jesus

Thursday, November 12, 2009

the hope of the future

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,
your faithfulness 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.
5 O L
ORD, 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 L
ORD, will be exalted forever.
9 Your enemies, L
ORD, will surely perish;
all evildoers will be scattered.
10 But you have made me as strong as a wild ox.
You have anointed me with the finest oil.
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 L
ORD'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.
15 They will declare, "The L
ORD is just!
He is my rock!
There is no evil in him!"

I dated vs 14 on 9.15.2005 as a promise. One of the things people worry about is becoming old & useless. I'm not silly enough to think I'll remain as vigorous as I am now - age & gravity will catch up with me. But the important part of the verse are the words "produce fruit" & "vital"

I know plenty of people who may not be as spry as they used to be, but are still alive, engaging people, being a part of their lives, producing fruit in ministering to others, & being current & vital.

I hope I'm like that. The stakes are too high to not be.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


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 L
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.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


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

Every once in a while, I run into someone who thinks I'm wise. (There's not a lot of them out there, but there ARE some) I'm always more than a little amused by that perception.

One thing that may make people thing that is that sometimes I actually don't say anything (I know, hard to believe!). I discovered that if I don't say something sometimes, people actually think I'm deep & philosophical - or up to something! (the latter is usually closer to the truth!) In my 50's, every once in a great while, I started doing what my mother used to say - "If you don't have anything to say, don't open your mouth & leave no doubt."

There's another reason I don't think I'm all that wise. If a man puts his hand in a fire repeated, even though he's warned frequently not to, & ends up burning his hand off, would he be considered wise if, after burning his hand off, he suggested people not put their hands in the fire? No, he would be thought of as stating the obvious. (It seems these days I spend a lot of my time doing that "trying to not burn my hand off" thing.)

But maybe the main reason I don't think of myself as wise is that even at my wise & ripe old age of 59, I still do stupid stuff. Like yesterday - I got frustrated with someone I love dearly & got into a senseless argument with him for no really good reason. We just got frustrated with each other & just had at it.
Yeah, we both apologized & forgave each other, but we hurt each other & it was all SO unnecessary.

I'm just trying to get to the point where I don't do the same stupid stuff. Wisdom may be something that be a little out of my reach. Whereas I don't do some of the stupid stuff I did when I was younger, I'm finding that now I'm doing different stupid stuff.

Sometimes I wonder about me...

So, I figure if I "make the most of my time", with the end result I'll be wise, there's a good chance that I'm gonna be around for a LONG time, because wisdom right now seems to be a place I catch glimpses of occasionally, but is not a place I live in, yet.

But with God, where there's life there's hope ;-)

Monday, November 9, 2009

worshiping idols

In 1 Corinthians 10, Paul talks about worshiping idols. You can read it when you get a chance. We seem to think this means the pagan idols of that time. I got to thinking about that...

I looked up the meaning of idolatry (which is the worship of idols): blind or excessive devotion to something.

Iow, something that takes the place of, or becomes more important than our relationship with God


So I just started to think about that. What are some things that are more important to us than our relationship to God?

lust (not just sex, but anything we "just gotta have")
a boyfriend or girlfriend or spouse
a pumped & ripped body
what people think
material things
American Idol
our own way, always
expressions of the supernatural
the facade we put up or the person we pretend to be
our past, issues, baggage, or hangups
our addictions: alcohol, drugs, sex
a high IQ
toys (big people toys - you know what I'm talking about)
no education
not working all that hard
no responsibility
drama in our lives

Anyone wanna add some more to these?

We've all got things in our lives that are more important to us than our relationship with God. The thing is to be aware of them, & get rid of them.

How? Let them go. Make them unimportant. Focus more on God than on the things we obsess over. And ask the Holy Spirit to give us the power to let them go.

Just a thought...

Sunday, November 8, 2009

whatever it takes

1 Corinthians 9:22b I try to find common ground with everyone so that I might bring them to Christ.

How many of us can say this?

Or how many of us expect people to come across to our way of thinking, or being, or doing?

How many of us try to build a bridge to the people around us?

Or how many of us think it would be "compromising" to try to find a common link between us and some of the "heathen" people around us?

That link could be something as simple as a common love of playing basketball, cooking, the Dolphins, or Martha Stewart.

The interesting thing is that we seldom want to extend to others the very thing that was extended toward us. I would dare say that we're all who we are because there were pivotal people in our lives who reached out to us & tried to make a connection with us simply so they could share with us the finer points of life as a Christ follower.

So why can't we consistently do the same thing for others.

And what if the pivotal people in our lives had had the same reluctant-to-share attitude we have?


Saturday, November 7, 2009

only 1

1 Corinthians 8:6 But we know that there is only one God, the Father, who created everything, and we live for him. And there is only one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom God made everything and through whom we have been given life.

Friday, November 6, 2009


so many people to love, so little time...

I wish there was a way I could get people to reach out & love the people around them.

There are SO many people all around us who have never felt loved. (And sometimes it's the people you least expect!)

There are SO many people who need someone to simply show them how to live.

There are SO many people all around each of us who simply don't have the simple life skills necessary to function in the world today.

I wish there was a way I could start actively encouraging people to start really loving people like I have over the last few years.

(I know that sounds arrogant.)

But I do wish I could reproduce myself, at least that facet of me.

Pastor John encourages us to reproduce who we are. What would be some practical ways I could do that? Any suggestions?

It's just that recently I'm overwhelmed with the vast numbers of people who simply have no love connections in their lives, don't know what it feels like, don't have anyone caring for them, & as a result, simply don't know how to do this thing called life. It's not like I think I'm an expert at functioning in this world, but when SO MANY people have never had anyone show them how to live, it can get more than a little daunting.

Any suggestions?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

I'm confused

1 Corinthians 6:18 Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body. 19 Don't you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, 20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.

Why does seem that I'm finding more & more couples who say they are Christ followers are also having intercourse before marriage?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


1 Chronicles 14:2 And David realized that the Lord had made him king over Israel & had made his kingdom very great for the sake of His people Israel.

Here' what my Life Application Bible says in the footnote...

"God gave David honor & success, but not simply for David's personal gain. David realized that God had prospered him for a special reason - for the sake of God's people!

"Often we are tempted to use our position or possessions only for our own good. Instead, we must remember that God has placed us where we are & given us all we have so that we may encourage others & give to those in need."

For the past 2 or 3 months God has been telling me through different verses in different areas of the Bible this simple truth - I am who I am, I am where I am, & I am having the influence, favor, & results because He, God, chooses to favor me with it.

I don't know why He does. One thing I'm slowly seeing is that all this stuff I'm involved with isn't about me. (This is stuff like the dear & cherished people who fill my life, working at Christ Chapel, all the daughters & sons, House of Grace, downtown, etc.) It's about God's overarching dream & plans for humankind. I'm just someone He chooses to use right now to implement part of those dreams & plans.

If I receive a blessing from it while I'm at it, well, that's just great. But the bottom line is that God is choosing to be doing stuff through me.

Maybe He keeps reminding me of this to keep me from getting more arrogant & prideful? Maybe there's some lean times comin'? Maybe there's some even more stupendous times coming?

I don't know. Like I say to people these days, I've quit trying to explain my life. Living it takes most of my energy. Plus, God's about all kinds of things in it & I can't see what it all about & what it's all for, sometimes. I'm just proceeding in the direction I'm going & seeing the why's of it all when they present themselves when the rest of you see it, too.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

who's responsible for this, anyway?

1 Corinthians 4:7 What makes you better than anyone else? What do you have that God hasn't given you? And if all you have is from God, why boast as though you have accomplished something on your own?

Monday, November 2, 2009

God's favor

1 Corinthians 3:1 Dear brothers and sisters, when I was with you I couldn't talk to you as I would to spiritual people. I had to talk as though you belonged to this world or as though you were infants in the Christian life. 2 I had to feed you with milk, not with solid food, because you weren't ready for anything stronger. And you still aren't ready, 3 for you are still controlled by your sinful nature. You are jealous of one another and quarrel with each other. Doesn't that prove you are controlled by your sinful nature? Aren't you living like people of the world? 4 When one of you says, "I am a follower of Paul," and another says, "I follow Apollos," aren't you acting just like people of the world?
5 After all, who is Apollos? Who is Paul? We are only God's servants through whom you believed the Good News. Each of us did the work the Lord gave us. 6 I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow. 7 It's not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What's important is that God makes the seed grow. 8 The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same purpose. And both will be rewarded for their own hard work. 9 For we are both God's workers. And you are God's field. You are God's building.
10 Because of God's grace to me, I have laid the foundation like an expert builder. Now others are building on it.

I hope I've finally begun to learn & live the principle that God is the one who makes things come to fruit what we do.

I keep holding on to the truth that what's happening in House of Grace & what's beginning to happen with the Sunday Morning Gathering, & the direction things seem to be going w/ Christ Chapel Downtown & The Warehouse are all because of His favor & His workings, not mine.

And I hope that I'll understand that one day God will send someone to "build on the foundation I've laid" - iow, God will intentionally send someone to step in to take these various facets of ministry downtown to the next level. I hope I can be as fine with that season with these ministries as I'm trying to be with this present season.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

our minds

1 Corinthians 2: 9b
"No eye has seen, no ear has heard,
and no mind has imagined
what God has prepared
for those who love him."

10 But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God's deep secrets.11 No one can know a person's thoughts except that person's own spirit, and no one can know God's thoughts except God's own Spirit.12 And we have received God's Spirit (not the world's spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us.
13 When we tell you these things, we do not use words that come from human wisdom. Instead, we speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit's words to explain spiritual truths.*14 But people who aren't spiritual can't receive these truths from God's Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can't understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means.15 Those who are spiritual can evaluate all things, but they themselves cannot be evaluated by others.16 For,

"Who can know the L
ORD's thoughts?
Who knows enough to teach him?"

But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.

Friday, October 30, 2009


I think it's hilarious that Ben Kerr & I engaged in a certain kind of significant ministry yesterday.

We fished a SMELLY mouse out of the cooling unit of the refrigerator at The Warehouse.

We are such bastions of ministry.

We are such holy men.

We should form an evangelistic association & have a telethon.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

we ARE the project

Psalm 78:70 He chose his servant David,
calling him from the sheep pens.
71 He took David from tending the ewes and lambs
and made him the shepherd of Jacob's descendants—
God's own people, Israel.
72 He cared for them with a true heart
and led them with skillful hands.

Here's what my Life Application Bible says about this section - it's got something to say to some of us, big time!

"Although David had been on the throne when this psalm was written, he is called a shepherd & not a king. Shepherding, a common profession in Biblical times, was a highly responsible job.The flocks were completely dependent on the shepherds for guidance, provision, & protection.

"David had spent his early years as a shepherd (1 Samuel 6:10, 11). This was the training ground for the future responsibilities God had in store for him. When he was ready, God took him from caring for sheep to caring for Israel, God's people.

"Don't treat your present situation lightly or irresponsibly; it may be God's training ground for the future."

As Pastor John says, we are the project. God's always working on us, to free us from the stuff in our lives, but also to get us ready for the next thing in our lives, or the thing after that, or the thing after that, or the thing 20 years from now.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

the long & short of it

1 John 5:21 Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God's place in your hearts.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

a section that's chock full of stuff

1 John 4: 7 Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. 8 But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

9 God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. 10 This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.

11 Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. 12 No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.

13 And God has given us his Spirit as proof that we live in him and he in us. 14 Furthermore, we have seen with our own eyes and now testify that. 15 All who confess that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God. 16 We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love.

God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. 17 And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.

18 Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. 19 We love each other because he loved us first.

If someone says, "I love God," but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is a liar; for if we don't love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see? 21 And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love their Christian brothers and sisters

Monday, October 26, 2009

love expressed

1 John 3:1 See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don't recognize that we are God's children because they don't know him. 2 Dear friends, we are already God's children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is. 3 And all who have this eager expectation will keep themselves pure, just as he is pure.

11 This is the message you have heard from the beginning: We should love one another.12 We must not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and killed his brother. And why did he kill him? Because Cain had been doing what was evil, and his brother had been doing what was righteous.13 So don't be surprised, dear brothers and sisters, if the world hates you.
14 If we love our Christian brothers and sisters, it proves that we have passed from death to life. But a person who has no love is still dead. 15 Anyone who hates another brother or sister is really a murderer at heart. And you know that murderers don't have eternal life within them.
16 We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God's love be in that person?
18 Dear children, let's not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. 19 Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God. 20 Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything.
21 Dear friends, if we don't feel guilty, we can come to God with bold confidence. 22 And we will receive from him whatever we ask because we obey him and do the things that please him.
23 And this is his commandment: We must believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as he commanded us. 24 Those who obey God's commandments remain in fellowship with him, and he with them. And we know he lives in us because the Spirit he gave us lives in us.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


1 John 2:1 My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous. 2 He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world.
3 And we can be sure that we know him if we obey his commandments. 4 If someone claims, "I know God," but doesn't obey God's commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth. 5 But those who obey God's word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him. 6 Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


Picture this...

It's the 1st Saturday in May, 2003. Since January of that year, God has been making me restless, making me ready for some sort of BIG change in my life. I have had no clue what it will be - I just know change is coming.

The night before I had been at home, reading. Hannah was back in her room, Lynn was gone somewhere. And God just started speaking to me - He let me know that I was supposed to leave music ministry (something I'd been doing for 30 years) & the worship arts department at Christ Chapel (there was only 1 then ;-), & start working for my friend & brother (& associate pastor @ CC), Andy King, in the House of Grace.

And the rest is history ;-)

Anyway, for all those 4 months, God had been talking my hind legs off during my Bible reading each morning. Holy cow! He'd been talking. Talking, talking, talking!!!

I get up the next morning, after surrendering to Him in what I thought & felt like was a stupendous act of surrender (I'm so arrogant!) & start to read the next psalm in the sequence I've been reading during those months - it was on that day Psalm 73, which is about the author griping about how the arrogant & proud prosper.

I was not impressed...

Here I am, having endured 4 months of God talking to me night & day about change, getting & staying SO restless, inundated with scriptures about trusting Him, following Him, & gajillions of other things - for 4 months!!!

The morning after He FINALLY tells me what to do (& I agree to do it!!!), I figured I'd have something to read that would be a little more compelling than some dude complaining about how the fat cats around him were prospering (probably because he wasn't?).

Like I said, I wasn't impressed.

Then I got to verse 24...

Psalm 73:24
You will keep on guiding me with your counsel,
leading me to a glorious destiny.

25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
I desire you more than anything on earth.
26 My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak,
but God remains the strength of my heart;
he is mine forever.

28 But as for me, how good it is to be near God!
I have made the Sovereign L
ORD my shelter,
and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do.

Yeah... 'bout that...

Verse 24 was the one that REALLY jumped off the page.

I still can remember how stupid I felt, how embarrassed I was that I'd been so pouty, childish, impatient, & immature.

You need to know that especially verse 24 is a verse I've carried in my heart ever since, through good times, but particularly through dark, desperate, & lonely times.

Yeah, 'bout that complaining I did back on May 6, 2003...

I think God's more than capable of speaking just the right word at the right time, & isn't gonna leave me out on a limb.

I'm also reading in 1 John today. I just had to include these verses because they're so glorious...

1 John 1: 5 This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. 6 So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. 7 But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.
8 If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. 9 But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.

Friday, October 23, 2009


2 Peter 3: 8 But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. 9 The Lord isn't really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve judgment.
11 Since everything around us is going to be destroyed like this, what holy and godly lives you should live, 12 looking forward to the day of God and hurrying it along. On that day, he will set the heavens on fire, and the elements will melt away in the flames.13 But we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth he has promised, a world filled with God's righteousness.