Thursday, July 30, 2009


Sometimes, just reading it is enough... no need for comment...

Romans 6: 1 Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace?2 Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? 3 Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? 4 For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.
5 Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was. 6 We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin.7 For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin.8 And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him.9 We are sure of this because Christ was raised from the dead, and he will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him.
(dan note: or over us, either!) 10 When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God. 11 So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.
12 Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful 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.
15 Well then, since God's grace has set us free from the law, does that mean we can go on sinning? Of course not!16 Don't you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living.17 Thank God! Once you were slaves of sin, but now you wholeheartedly obey this teaching we have given you.18 Now you are free from your slavery to sin, and you have become slaves to righteous living.
19 Because of the weakness of your human nature, I am using the illustration of slavery to help you understand all this. Previously, you let yourselves be slaves to impurity and lawlessness, which led ever deeper into sin. Now you must give yourselves to be slaves to righteous living so that you will become holy.
20 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the obligation to do right. 21 And what was the result? You are now ashamed of the things you used to do, things that end in eternal doom. 22 But now you are free from the power of sin and have become slaves of God. Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life.23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

amazing - friends of God

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.

Does anybody else see how incredibly amazing these verses are?

Does anybody see what an amazing impact the basic thought process Paul formulates here can be if communicated well & under the guidance of the Holy Spirit?

In verse 11, Paul ties it all up by saying that God, thru Jesus, has made us "friends of God"

When I look at my sinful life & think that God has chosen to make me a "friend of God," I don't know whether to laugh at the absurdity of all that, or cry in the sheer wonder that our God, who is SO holy, would make a way for sinful me to be His friend.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


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 or what we've done.
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.
27 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, July 27, 2009


Proverbs 15:22 Plans go wrong from lack of advice; many counselors bring success.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

dearly loved

Romans 1:6 You are among those who have been called to belong to Jesus Christ... 7b dear friends in Rome. God loves you dearly, & He has called you to be His very own people. (NLT, 1st Ed.)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

living, & dying

John 11: 25 Jesus told her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. 26 Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die.

Friday, July 24, 2009

what Jesus offers

John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal, kill, & destroy; I came that they may have life, & have it abundantly.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

a promise

Galatians 6:9 Don't get tired of doing what is good. Don't get discouraged & give up, for we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time.

This is a promise I believe God gave me about two people in my life.

Sometimes it's hard to believe that the "harvest pf blessing" I've asked for with them is ever gonna come.

But I continue to claim it. I may not see it until we all three get to heaven, but none the less, I believe it for both of them.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

richness from Galatians

Galatians 5: 13 For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don't use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. 14 For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: "Love your neighbor as yourself." 15 But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another.
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.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

just a couple of things

John 7:37b Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! 38 Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.

Galatians 4: 4 But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. 5 God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. 6 And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, "Abba, Father." (dan note: Abba is the intimate, familiar term used for Father in Hebrew, something along the lines of "papa") 7 Now you are no longer a slave but God's own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir.

Monday, July 20, 2009

never be hungry again

John 6: 35 Jesus replied, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

who I am

Galatians 2:20 My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

the task at hand 2

John 4:35b Vast fields are ripening all around us & are ready now for harvest.

Friday, July 17, 2009

being & doing

Colossians 4:17 Be sure to carry out the work the Lord Gave you.

5 Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. 6 Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

the task at hand

Proverbs 4: 25 Look straight ahead,
and fix your eyes on what lies before you.
26 Mark out a straight path for your feet;
stay on the safe path.
27 Don't get sidetracked;
keep your feet from following evil.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Colossians 2: 7 Let your roots grow down into Him, and let your lives be built on Him, so you will grow strong in faith, strong & vigorous in the truth you were taught. Let your lives overflow with thanksgiving for all He has done.

I've been living with this verse as one of 4 verses God gave me back in November/December 2007 for this season of my life in 2008 & 2009 - & who knows, maybe beyond those 2 years.

The stakes are high in the places He has sent me & in the person He's calling me to become. If I don't sink my roots deep into His Word (iow, the Bible) & spend time listening for His voice & direction, I'm gonna mess things up.

And, interestingly enough, as I sink my roots deeper into Him, it becomes easier to let my life overflow with thanksgiving, because I have SO MANY reasons to be thankful.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

4 words

Colossians 1:27b ...Christ lives in you

4 words...

4 words no other religion can say...

Jesus Christ lives in you & me.

Think about that...

Monday, July 13, 2009

this is true

Philippians 4: 6 Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.7 Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

This was 1 of 2 verses God gave me for 2005. I lived with the truth of it for over a year.

I told God so many times that year what I needed.

And He came through.

And His peace really did guard my heart & mind. Really.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Philippians is so rich

Philippians 3:3b We put not confidence in human effort. Instead we boast about what Christ Jesus has done for us.

vs 13b Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.

How many can't forget the past?

For those of us who've sinned boldly throughout our lives: If we've surrendered ourselves to God & asked His forgiveness, He's forgotten it.

For those of us who've been sinned against: we have to choose to forgive & move on, b/c if we don't, those who have used & abused us with continue to abuse us through our continuing to hold on to unforgiveness. If we let it go & move on, their cycle of abuse stops.

We all must move on, leaving behind what controls or destroys us.

God dreamed a dream for our lives long, long ago. We just need to let go of our lives & let Him bring us into te life He dreamed for us all.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

deliciously free

Philippians 2:13 For God is working in you, giving you the desire to obey Him & the power to do what pleases Him.

Sometimes, I write the date I read something in the Bible. Sometimes I know why I date them, sometimes I don't.

This morning, I was reading in Philippians 2, when I got to verse 13. I'd dated that verse on 1/24/03. I googled what day of the week it was - Friday.

Friday, January 24, 2003 was the day God released me from a prison I'd lived in for 52 1/2 years. I finally shared with someone the primary issue of my life - the BIG one - something I'd never done before.

God had been talking to me for over a month, poking me & prodding me to tell Andy King. I knew my life would come to an end if I did. I knew I'd lose my job, my friends, my reputation, & my relationships, & I'd be an outcast for the rest of my life. At least, that's what the devil had been telling me for over 52 years.

That morning God threw me a lifeline & let me know that He'd be with me in the telling & that He's give me the power to do it.

And, ya know, He did - I did tell Andy that day, in the late afternoon, in Andy's office at the Edna Place church. I didn't know that morning that on that very day I'd be telling Andy the thing I thought defined my life, that I'd never told anyone before.

Incidentally, it didn't & doesn't define my life - God's love defines my life.

Btw, all the things the devil told me would happen, the things the devil had used to keep me locked up & locked away - didn't (& haven't) happened.

And I've been deliciously free ever since.

Little did I know that very morning when I read that verse how my life would change so much in just a few hours. God did give me the power to do what pleased Him.

The hilarious thing about my life now is that I can't remember who all I've told - hundreds & hundreds of you.

What a miracle & scandal His grace is!

Friday, July 10, 2009

above all

Philippians 1: 27 Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

be strong

Ephesians 6:10 A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God's armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12 For we* are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
13 Therefore, put on every piece of God's armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. 14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. 16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. 17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

our God

Psalm 145: 8 The LORD is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love

Monday, July 6, 2009

how wide, how deep...

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. 17 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. 18 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. 19 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.
20 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.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

just a thought

(Knowing the level of my interest in football, I know the illustration I’m going to use will amuse many of you.)

The huddle in football is an essential part of the game. Information is given out, changes in plans are shared, & everyone gets in sync with what’s going on & what’s gonna happen next.

But how much time is spent in the huddle during the game? Not that much.

What’s the major task of the team? Being engaged in the game.

I have a lot of people in my life these days who spend a lot of time in “huddles.” These could be regular services, as well as small groups meetings, plus spontaneous &/or serendipitous times of prayer, worship, or intersession.

I’m so thankful that so many of these people are seeking God at all kinds of levels. I enjoy, & benefit from, much of the spill-over of their lives.

At the same time, lately I’ve started wondering about something.

When we spend so much time going from one meeting to another, do we get to the point where the meetings (& all we experience in them) become the focus?

Or should the times we spend with the Lord cause us to be about what we are called to be – trying to get the people around us in a relationship with God thru Jesus?

As I wonder about these things, remember this - this is not a value judgment - this is just something I think we ought to think about.


Ephesians 2: 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.

Think about that..

The God of the universes thinks of each of us as masterpieces, well-loved & cherished persons for who He made terrific plans "long ago."

Anybody feel like their self-worth just rose a little?

Saturday, July 4, 2009


Ephesians 1:4 Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes. (dan note: this doesn't suggest predestination. it just means He made a way for all of us to choose to believe in His Son, Jesus) 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.

God gets pleasure from His relationship with me.

Does that blow anyone way as much as it does me?

Friday, July 3, 2009

3 verses

I can't remember how many times I've shared with individuals those 3 verses I talked about yesterday.

Just yesterday, I shared them in the JCup with a man that I know. Right there in the cafe, with people moving all around us.

So, whoopee me?


One of the benefits of reading every day in the Bible is that it gives you something to give to other people when they need it the most.

Hey, if the Bible speaks to me, maybe it will speeak to others, too.

I hadn't gone to the JCup to do a round of "witnessing" to fill that square of obligations to God & expectations of my job. I was just sharing with this guy from where I live.

That's all people want to hear from us - not what we know, but what we've experienced of the truth in our own lives.

One of the top 3 or 4 greatest things I've ever done is read the Bible everyday. And probably yhe dumbest thing I've ever done is not do it until I was 52 1/2 to do it!!!

Don't be as stupid as I was.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

a head screwed on right

For the last year & a half, I've lived with 4 scriptures that I believe God gave me to hold onto as I walked through this season in my life.

One is from Matthew 10:39 - I've boiled it down to this bullet: don't cling to your life.

The verse reads, "If you cling to your life, you'll lose it; but if you let go of your life for Me, you'll find it."

Sometimes I cling to my life.

It can be a situation, a relationship, a way of thinking, a perception, a way of doing things - oh the list is endless.

But over & over & over again, especially in the last year & a half, God gently (& sometmes not so gently) reminds me - don't cling to this thing you're holding on to for fear of change.

And why does He want me to open my clenched fist & let that thing & grasping go?

So He can give the me life He dreamed for me.

The other verse is from Matthew 6:25 - my mischievous nephew, Aaron Barth, was the person God chose to alert me to it. It at the beginning of that section in Matthew 6 where Jesus talks about the lilies of the field & the birds of the air & how they don't toil or harvest, but are completely provided for by God. He pointed out you don't have to read the whole section because Jesus says it all at the beginning of the section...

"don't worry about your life."

In the last year and a half I've worried about what will happen if I let go of my life. I've had uncounted moments of "But what if I do this?" & "But how can this happen, God?" & countless other frettings.

Over & over again He's whispered, "don't worry."

Right now, God's continuing to remind me,
"don't cling to __________"
"don't worry"

And ya know what?

Over the last year & a half, I've learned in gianormous ways to trust God & let go of a lot of things - sometimes it feels like I've let go of most of my ife, if not all of it. And then, to not worry about it.

Easy? No. Simple? Yes.

Don't cling to your life. (because God's tryin' to give you this fantabulous life He dreamed for you)

Don't worry about your life. (God's gonna take care of ya)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

the scope of our lives

Psalm 139: 16 You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.

Now, before you think I believe in predestination, I don't.

God doesn't operate in time - we do. We can't imagine what that's life. God just is.

He sees the beginning of our lives, the middle, & the end. He knows how it's all gonna turn out.

He knows everything about us - iow, the BIG picture.

He's not up there in heaven, choosing to send one of us to hell & the other to heaven. We make that choice, not Him.

He's not up puppeteering our lives. He's perpetually guiding & influencing us, but we still have the choice to follow or not.

I guess the bottom line for me is that I know God sees the BIG picture of my life & is gonna be faithful.

(Hope this wasn't theologically too weak for those of you with that predilection ;-)