Thursday, April 30, 2009


1 Corinthians 2: 9"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.

Does this blow your mind, or what?

Paul is saying that we, as Christ followers who have the Holy Spirit inside of us, can understand what God is thinking!!!

We always talk about verse 9 like we're supposed to be clueless - like we can't imagine whatever it is God has for us.

But if I'm reading this right, Paul says that we can know what God's up to because the same Holy Spirit that is a part of the Trinity lives in us, revealing what is the substance of God's mind.

He says it point blank in verse 16 - "we understand b/c we have the mind of Christ"

Iow, His mind, His thought processes are something we can understand b/c we're tapped into the same Holy Spirit that He is?!

Chew on that today! Wow!

I love ya...

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

yeah, but...

I Corinthians 1:26 Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world's eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you. 27 Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. 28 God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. 29 As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God.
30 God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin. 31 Therefore, as the Scriptures say, "If you want to boast, boast only about the LORD.

I wish I had a dollar for every time I've talked to someone about going deeper with God, or being something greater or more compelling for Him, & then that person will say, "Yeah, but..."

Mostly what usually follows is something along the line that they don't see how God could use someone like them - they have issues, or stuff in their lives, or are still draggin' around stuff that happened to them years ago, or _____________ (you fill in the blank)

God chooses to use what or who we think is "ordinary" to do extraordinary things.


Because those who think their extraordinary, or what we think is out of the ordinary, could in many ways say that because they are "above average" or "a cut above" everyone &/or everything else, that somehow they had pulled off whatever it was God was intending to be or happen.

Therefore, it would thus be obvous why He uses regular, seemingly weak people like you & me to do His miraculous stuff...

We have to depend on Him completely...

...'cause if we don't, we know we can't pull it off.

God's power finds His fullest exprression in those who see how weak & dependent they are on Him.


So, be the things God is showing us He wants us to become. We need to quit thinking, "yeah, but..." every time He let's us know that He has a particular task He wants us to do or a particular person He wants us to connect with.

If God is leading us to be or do something, He'll privide the way. "Psalm 139:5 says, "God both precedes & follows me." Iow, He's out there in the future preparing the way for us, & He's coming up behind us, mopping up the consequences of our obedience.

Let's throw away "yeah, but..." excuses, & be & do the things He's challenging us to be & do. He's got our backs.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

where we are, & why

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 these verses...

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 profession. The flocks were completely dependent upon shepherds for guidance, provison, & protection.

David had spent his early years as a shepherd (1 Samuel 16: 10, 11)

This was a 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 your future.

Just a thought...

Monday, April 27, 2009

HOG retreat

Our themes was "going to the next level"

Everyone on the retreat was at different levels with God.

Simply put, judgiung from what I saw through the course of the weekend, I believe everyone who went responded to the invitation of Jesus to go to the next level with Him.

The worship team - Jimmy Farrell, Chad Loyd, Ashely Miller, & Timothy Poole - as THEY worshipped, truly LED us in worship of our Abba Father. Their music was tight, with harmonies that were incredible. I thought Timothy was gonna play his hads off on the congas & I think Jimmy sang higher than dogs can hear.

Andy King was his usual terrific self. He spoke about things that were right where we all were in our lives with God. He brought Pattii along. She shared her life Friday night, & shared some stuff Andy had never heard before. At least 3 people were deeply impacted by what she shared, since those 3 people have similar life experiences.

Andy, Jimmy, & I all independently thought "Moving Forward" should be the theme song for the weekend.

Some people were obvously taking BIG steps to move to the next level. Others were medium or small steps. But the bottom line is that we ALL seemed to respond to the invitation of Jesus to go to a higher place with Him.

We had a GREAT time together - no crankiness, no attitudes, no inappropriate mischief - we enjoyed being together.

Who's REALLY the One responsible for the greatness of this weekend?


All the rest of us were just doing what He told us to do.

This weekend was a perfect example of His favor at work among us.

Friday, April 24, 2009

just read it

Romans 12: 1 And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. 2 Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

3 Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don't think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us. 4 Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, 5 so it is with Christ's body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.

6 In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. 7 If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. 8 If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.

9 Don't just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. 10 Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. 11 Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. 12 Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. 13 When God's people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.

14 Bless those who persecute you. Don't curse them; pray that God will bless them. 15 Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with each other. Don't be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don't think you know it all!

17 Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. 18 Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.

19 Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say,

"I will take revenge;
I will pay them back,
says the L

20 Instead,

"If your enemies are hungry, feed them.
If they are thirsty, give them something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap
burning coals of shame on their heads.

21 Don't let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

just a few verses from this morning...

Just a few verses from my reading this morning...

Psalm 73: 24
You will keep on guiding me with Your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny. (dan note: this is dated in my Bible the day after God told me to leave music & start working with House of Grace. Little did I know...)

25 Whom have I in heaven but You? I desire You more than anything on earth.
26 My health may fail, & my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; He is mine forever.
(dan note: this one is dated during a really dark time in my life a few years ago. because of those dark days, I know in a way I'd never know before the truth of the words, "but God remains the strength of my heart..."

28 But as for me, How good it is to be near God! I have made the Sovereign Lord my shelter, & I will tell everyone about the wonderful things You do.

Romans 12:18b Remember you are just a branch, not the root.
(dan note: I think that's pretty self-explanatory! ;-)

29 For God's gifts & His call can never be withdraw.
(dan note: good to know, in the face of my sinfulness!)

33 Oh, what a wonderful God we have! How great are God's riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand His decisions and His ways!

34 For who can know the L
ORD's thoughts?
Who knows enough to give Him advice?
35 And who has given Him so much
that he needs to pay it back?

36 For everything comes from Him and exists by His power and is intended for His glory. All glory to Him forever! Amen.

One of the best decisions I ever have made was at the age of 52 1/2 I started getting up every morning & reading the Bible & listening out for whatever He may have to say to me.

One of the worst decisions I ever have made was waiting until I was 52 1/2 to start getting up every morning, reading the Bible, & listening out for Him. How different would my life have been if I'd started it back in college when He kept telling me to?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

reaching out

Romans 10:9 If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.

As the Scriptures tell us, "Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced."

Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on him.

For "Everyone who calls on the name of the L
ORD will be saved."

14 But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him?
And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him?
And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?

And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent?

That is why the Scriptures say, "How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!"

Every one of us who are Christ followers today are Christ followers because someone told us about Jesus.

Then why is it that so few of us tell others about Him?

Why is it that we inherit the stupendous life that is ours in our relationship with Jesus but we just live our lives as if we're a part of some exclusive club & never make an effort to help those around us into the same kind of relationship with Jesus?

It's because we're stupendously selfish.

We really don't care about other people. We've got our foot in the Kingdom of God. Who care about other people?

What would have happened to each & every one of us who have new life in Jesus if the person who was key to our coming to know Jesus had been as slack as we are?

That's right.

You & I would be going slam to hell.

Think about that...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Romans 9: 33c ...anyone who believes in Him (Jesus) will not be disappointed.

Disappointed is defined as: to fail to satisfy the hope, desire, or expectation of; to frustrate or thwart.

How many of us have had people who just didn't measure up?

How many of us have had the crucial, important people just not care about us like we need to be cared about, let alone want to be care about?

How many of us have had people abuse us?

And how many of us have grown cynical, fearful, & suspicious of people because of it?

And how many of us would give ANYTHING for...
someone we can REALLY trust,
someone we KNOW will never let us down,
someone we can always count on,
someone we can go to as a refuse from all the crap in our lives?

Paul says Jesus is that Person.

If any of us haven't trusted Him like that, what have we got to lose by trusting Him like that?

If we find out He can't be trusted, have we rally lost aything; haven't our fears & suspicions simply been confirmed, again?

But what if we find out that in all the wide world, He is the one Person who can be trusted completely, who will never disappoint us...

Monday, April 20, 2009


This past weekend I participated in the Georgia Motorcycle Safety Course. It started Friday night at 6pm & went to 9pm. Then we met on Saturday & Sunday from 8am – 5pm.

It was a congenial group of students, 2 who were 20somethings, 9 who were in their 30’s or 40’s - & me (I’m 58).

Our teachers, both competent & capable teachers (& a heck of a lot more patient then me) were 59 & 78 (you read that right – 78). Yes, that’s right – both of our laid-back, congenial teachers, who incidentally arrived on LARGE bikes, were older than me.

We were involved in group discussion, video demonstrations, & about 16 hours on the training range. Learning to operate the bike safely was accomplished incrementally. Lots of the time we were taught how to do stuff without knowing we were being taught. And everything built on what was taught previously.

I’d never driven a motorbike before Saturday morning at 8am. I had the normal anxiety one would have doing that for the first time. (My son, Scott, encouraged me & believed in me - & said so – it helped me be brave) This course, while not ever downplaying the caution someone must take & the respect we must have for a motorcycle, was so designed to make learning how to drive not only a pleasurable, but something you could see yourself doing.

Now, a tremendously shocking statistic - 96% of the people who drive motorbikes in the USA have not had any certified training.


My training was developed by, & followed guidelines created by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation & was handled by the Department of Driver Services of the State of Georgia.

I don’t mind telling you a bit that it cost me $250. It was worth every penny - & then some. (It also will get me a discount on bike insurance, & sometimes a discount on equipment)

I want to say in the strongest manner I can that if you drive a motorbike (whether that’s been for a short time or a long time), you need to take this course.

Do it. You will not regret it one bit.

Btw, I passed. I qualified for a full operator’s license. Scary, isn’t it?!

No, I’m not taking off on a road trip to California! Nor am I gonna be tooling around town any time soon. I need LOTS & LOTS of practice time on the quiet streets of North Highlands & Shirley Hills, as well as the parking lot of Big Lots.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

I'm so... yet...

Psalm 69:5 O God, You know how foolish I am; my sins cannot be hidden from you. 6 Don't let those who trust in You stumble necause of me.

Romans 7: 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.

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.

I didn't underline or comment b/c I just wanted it to sweep over you & speak to you in the ways He would want it to.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


Romans 6: 16a ...whatever you choose to obey becomes your master.
Vs 19c Now you must choose to be slaves of righteousness so that you will become holy.

It's all about what we choose. We must choose life, choose to survive, choose to not do those things we used to do before we were Christ followers, choose to listen to the Lord when Hetells us what to do.

But you don't have the strength to choose?

The Power of the Holy Spirit is available, living inside us, to make it possible.

This is the same Power that raised Jesus from the dead, & created the universes.

It's all about making simple, small choices day to day, to be who He wants us to be, & do what he wants us to do.

Rome wasn't built in a day. But over the span of years, it was.

We won't become super-Christians glowing with holiness & clean living overnight. But over the span of the years, if we choose to allow His Holy Spirit control & empower us, we will become more of what He intended us to become all along

Friday, April 17, 2009

soak this in

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.
4 And endurance develops strength of character,
and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.
5 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

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

what it's all about

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.

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?
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.

After all, is God the God of the Jews only? Isn't He also the God of the Gentiles?
Of course He is.

There is only one God,
and He makes people right with Himself
only by faith,
whether they are Jews or Gentiles.

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.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


  1. Having the attention diverted.
  2. Suffering conflicting emotions
Sometimes it feels like life is filled with urgent things that grab what little attention we have, leaving us even less time for the necessary.

Monday, April 13, 2009

still an incredible thought

Romans 1:6b God loves you dearly & He has called you to be His very own people.

Still blows my mind, after all these years.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

keeping on

Colossians 4:17 And tell Archippus, "Carry out the work the God gave you." (NLT)

Tell Archippus: "See to it that you complete the work you have received in the Lord. NIV

Say to Archippus, "Take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord, that you may fulfill it." (NASB)

And, oh, yes, tell Archippus, "Do your best in the job you received from the Master. Do your very best."

And say to Archippus, See that you discharge carefully [the duties of] the ministry and fulfill the stewardship which you have received in the Lord. (Amplified)

And say to Archippus, “Take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord, that you may fulfill it.” (NKJV)

Sometimes, for us, this isn't a call to begin something, but to continue faithfully putting one foot in front of the other in the work we're already in.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

a tall order

Colossians 3: 1 Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God's right hand. 2 Let heaven fill your thoughts. Do not think only about things down here on earth. 3 For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all His glory.

5 So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality (dan note: interesting that one's he first one he mentioned), impurity, lust (dan note: guys!!!), and evil desires. Don't be greedy (dan note: how many of us are not greedy? - iow, always wanting more), for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. 6 Because of these sins, the anger of God is coming. 7 You used to do these things when your life was still part of this world. 8 But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior (dan note: we all got some of this in us!), slander, and dirty language. 9 Don't lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds. 10 Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like Him. 11 In this new life, it doesn't matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free (dan note: in Galatians or Ephesians, Paul adds here to this list "male or female"). Christ is all that matters, and He lives in all of us.

12 Since God chose you to be the holy people He loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.13 Make allowance for each other's faults (dan note: not an easy task), and forgive anyone who offends you (dan note: Oh, good grief! "anyone who offends you"?! That's half the world!!!). Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others (dan note: ok, ok... I get the picture). 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.

16 Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom He gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.17 And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, and always be thankful through Him to God the Father.

Friday, April 10, 2009

"mighty things"

Psalm 60:12
With God's help, we will do mighty things,
for He will trample down our foes.
NLT 1st edition

With God we will gain the victory,
and he will trample down our enemies.

Through God we shall do valiantly,
And it is He who will tread down our adversaries.

In God we'll do our very best;
He'll flatten the opposition for good.
The Message

Through God we shall do valiantly, for He it is Who shall tread down our adversaries.

Through God we shall do valiantly: for he it is that shall tread down our enemies.

You will give us victory and crush our enemies.

but we can win with God's help.
He will defeat our enemies.

With your help we will win the battle.
You will walk all over our enemies.

With God we will perform valiantly;
He will trample our foes.

I went to & checked out how a bunch of different translations translated this verse from the Hebrew.

No matter who translated it, it came out basically the same...

We will do ___________ (fill that in with something superlative or highly expressive)

But this will only happen if we let God make it happen.

And, what's more, He will in some way thwart the actions & attempts of those that try to keep us from being or doing what He purposes us to be or do.

Do we really believe this?

Do we really, really believe that God is gonna make it happen if we just simply trust in Him to come through?

In the NLT 1st edition, it says we will do "mighty things" b/c God will effectively neutralize those who would keep us from His intended purpose or fruitfulness.

Do we really believe this?

Do we really believe that we will do "might things" - whatever God might consider "mighty" to mean or to apply in each of our individual lives & paradigms?

Do we really individually believe that each of us individually will do "mighty things" for God while living in His strength & benefiting from His intervention w/ those who would stop us?

Do we really believe this simple, short verse?

Or do we think that it may be true for some, but my life & personhood is just very unamazing, so why should I even fantasize that I could do "mighty things" with & for God?

Or do we really think God can or will come through for us?

Or do we believe that He does for special people now, or that He may have done fantastically cool back in the day, but He's not up to anything extraordinary these days?

What do we really believe about verses like this one - verses that just state what the author indicates is a fact?

What would our lives be like if we really did believe this simple verse...

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

Now, read that over & over again, emphasizing one different word each time you read it.

For instance...

WITH God's help, we will DO mighty things,
for HE will trample down our foes.


With God's HELP, we will do MIGHTY things,
for He will trample down our FOES.

As you do that, think about about what is being said to us...
I love you

Thursday, April 9, 2009

what we're hooked up with

Colossians 1: 11 We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy,*12 always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light.13 For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son,14 who purchased our freedom* and forgave our sins.
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 reconciled you to himself 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.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Ephesians 6: 7 Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. 8 Remember that the Lord will reward each one of us for the good we do, whether we are slaves or free.

It doesn't matter whether we're a pastor in a 20something ministry, a staffer at CGTC, a web designer, a barista, a security guard, self-employed, or a server - we may have an earthly boss, but we ultimately work to feel the pleasure of one Person - God Himself.

And no matter if we're in charge, or in a serving role, we will be rewarded for the good we do.

So if we're the leader in our workplace, or we're someone who follows instructions, we have an audience of One. We have one Person to which we answer.

How does this affect us? No matter what we do, if we are striving to please the Lord, our level of excellence will always be higher than if we're doing what we do for mere humans.

As a result, everything that we do becomes an offering to God.

How would our workplace demeanor, attitude, & energy level be changed if we did our jobs for our Abba Father than for our supervisors? No matter what may be going on in our workplace, we would have an out - no matter what our earthly workplace is like, what we're doing is ultimately to please God. Working for Him changes the whole perspective, & the whole motivation.

It's easy to say, "But you don't know my job & my boss."

Nope, I don't. But God, speaking through Paul in these verses, didn't quantify this truth to basically say, "Work as if for the Lord, except for Charley who works for that idiot in receiving." It means everybody, in every situation.

It's also easy to say, "But my job doesn't mean anything."

I've learned the hard way that no matter what we do & where we do it, there's always something &/or someone that we have been place around for some reason - either to teach us a lesson, &/or to make a love connect with for Him.

As TD Jakes would say, "Nothing just happens." In other words, we're never anywhere by accident. We're there ofr a purpose.

I think the bottom line here is that no matter what we do in life, we're ultimately trying to please one Person - God. If we're doing it with the realization that He's watching every move we make, we do a better job & accomplish His purpose & plan in that situation, which, in the final analysis, actually will bring glory to Him.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Psalm 57:1b I will hide beneath the shadow of your wings until this violent storms is past.

I write in my Bible. I underline a lot. I circle words sometime. Rarely I'll write a comment in the margin.

Sometimes I write the date next to a verse, so I'll remember when it really spoke to me. My Bible is littered with dates when something was particularly important to me.

I read Psalm 57 this morning. There's date next to the verse. I remember that time in my life. There was a violent storm in my life at that time.

I remember resting in the gentle strength of our Abba as I just walked through it.

I remember how He just kept me.

I believe it's good to write in Bibles. I'm glad I did that day, so I could remember how God walked so closely through that storm with me.

Monday, April 6, 2009

living for Christ

Ephesians 4: 1b Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to
lead a life worthy of your calling, for
you have been called by God.

Always be
and gentle.
patient with each other,
making allowance for each other's faults
because of your love.

Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit,
binding yourselves together with peace.

Some of you wonder why I don't write comments after a scripture. Sometimes anything I may write would be completely redundant

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Ephesians is so rich

Ephesians 3: 14 When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, 15 the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth.

16 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.

Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God's love and keep you strong.

And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should,
how wide,
how long,
how high,
and how deep his love is.

May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think (dan note: J.B. Phillips translates this by adding, "or dare to dream").

Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Paul's letter to the Ephesians is so rich

Ephesians 2: 1 Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. 2 You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. 3 All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God's anger, just like everyone else.

4 But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, 5 that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God's grace that you have been saved!) 6 For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. 7 So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.

8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. 10 For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

Friday, April 3, 2009

a few words from Paul for us

Ephesians 1: 3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. 4 Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. 5 God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. 6 So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. 7 He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. 8 He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.
9 God has now revealed to us his mysterious plan regarding Christ, a plan to fulfill his own good pleasure. 10 And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth. 11 Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan.
12 God's purpose was that we Jews who were the first to trust in Christ would bring praise and glory to God.13 And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago.14 The Spirit is God's guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him.

19 I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God's power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power 20 that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God's right hand in the heavenly realms. 21 Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also in the world to come. 22 God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church. 23 And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

all I got, really

Galatians 6:14 God forbid that I should boast in anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.

God's is still the scandal of the ages.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Galatians 4: 16 So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won't be doing what your sinful nature craves.17 The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.18 But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.
19 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures,20 idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension,
division,21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there.25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit's leading in every part of our lives.26 Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.