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.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

parts of Psalm 71

Psalm 71:5 O Lord, you alone are my hope.
I've trusted you, O L
ORD, from childhood.
6 Yes, you have been with me from birth;
from my mother's womb you have cared for me.
No wonder I am always praising you!

14 But I will keep on hoping for your help;
I will praise you more and more.
15 I will tell everyone about your righteousness.
All day long I will proclaim your saving power,
though I am not skilled with words.
16 I will praise your mighty deeds, O Sovereign L
I will tell everyone that you alone are just.

17 O God, you have taught me from my earliest childhood,
and I constantly tell others about the wonderful things you do.
18 Now that I am old and gray,
do not abandon me, O God.
Let me proclaim your power to this new generation,
your mighty miracles to all who come after me.

19 Your righteousness, O God, reaches to the highest heavens.
You have done such wonderful things.
Who can compare with you, O God?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

what we've got

2 Peter 1: 1 This letter is from Simon Peter, a slave and apostle of Jesus Christ.
I am writing to you who share the same precious faith we have. This faith was given to you because of the justice and fairness of Jesus Christ, our God and Savior.
2 May God give you more and more grace and peace as you grow in your knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord.
3 By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence.4 And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world's corruption caused by human desires.
5 In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God's promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge,6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness,7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.
8 The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.9 But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins.
10 So, dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Do these things, and you will never fall away.11 Then God will give you a grand entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

caring & promises

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

1 Peter 5:2 Care for the flock of God entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not begrudgingly - not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God.

1 Peter 5:11b After you have suffered a little while, He will restore, support, & strengthen you & He will place you on a firm foundation.

This last verse God evidently brought up off the page on 11/23/07. This was about 6 weeks before He started talking to me about downtown.

Interesting, isn't it, now that we look back after almost 2 years.

Monday, October 19, 2009


1 Peter 4:7b ...continue to show deep love to each other, for love covers a multitude of sins

Sunday, October 18, 2009


1 Peter 3: 13 Now, who will want to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don't worry & don't be afraid. 15 Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. 16 But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ. 17 Remember, it is better to suffer for doing good, if that is what God wants, than to suffer for doing wrong!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

light & dark

1 Peter 2:9d He called you out of darkness into His marvelous light

Friday, October 16, 2009


Psalm 63:3 Though our hearts are filled with sins, You forgive them all.

1 Peter 1:2 God the Father chose you long ago & the Spirit has made you holy. As a result, you have obeyed Jesus Christ & are cleansed by His blood.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

fat cats

James 5: 1 Look here, you rich people: Weep and groan with anguish because of all the terrible troubles ahead of you.2 Your wealth is rotting away, and your fine clothes are moth-eaten rags.3 Your gold and silver have become worthless. The very wealth you were counting on will eat away your flesh like fire. This treasure you have accumulated will stand as evidence against you on the day of judgment.4 For listen! Hear the cries of the field workers whom you have cheated of their pay. The wages you held back cry out against you. The cries of those who harvest your fields have reached the ears of the LORD of Heaven's Armies.
5 You have spent your years on earth in luxury, satisfying your every desire. You have fattened yourselves for the day of slaughter.6 You have condemned and killed innocent people, who do not resist you.

Like many, during this time of financial collapse these last 18 months, I'm provoked at the utter stupidity of the rampant greed pf many in the financial sector.

Like many, it drives me crazy that so many of these high level executives of bailed-out companies get fantastic amounts in bonuses - all because of Byzantine rules within their companies; companies we're bailing out.

And then, there's people like Bernie Madoff...

So, this morning, as I read these verses above, I was thinking about how all these rich fat cats will one day get their come-uppances...


Then I got to thinking about it.

I don't care what anyone has done. I don't care if you're Bernie Madoff, or some fat cat on Wall St pulling in hundreds of millions of dollars unnecessarily, or what.

The bottom line here is these people are all headed for an eternity separated from God.

And eternity if a VERY long time.

Now matter what anyone's done, I don't wish an eternity separated from God on anyone.

Think of the icon's that have died recently:
Heath Ledger,
Michael Jackson,
Patrick Swayze,
Ted Kennedy,
Mary Travers,
Walter Cronkite,
Paul Newman,
Steve McNair
Farah Fawcett
& many, many more...

Now, think of the many people you know who have died recently...

I wonder what any of them would say to us now?

What would Walter Cronkite say to us now?

Or how about Michael Jackson?

Wonder what Bernie Madoff would say to us in a few years whe he passes on, if he continues in the direction he seems to be going without a relationship with Jesus?

But, the bottom line for me remains the same. I don't wish an eternity separated from the Source of all love & beauty.

Eternity is a VERY, VERY long time.


We're all surrounded by people who are going slam to hell. And we act like it's nothing.

Each one of us who knows we'll spend an eternity with God is able to say that because someone(s) cared enough to tell us about Him.

Where would you or I be today if people responsible for us becoming Christ followers had been a little slack in their commitment, or, worse yet, just decided not to share Him?

Yep - we'd be on the slippery slope to hell, too.

NEVER underestimate the ripple effect of our sharing the love of Jesus with everyone around us.

Think about it...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


James 3:13 If you are wise & understand God's ways, live a life of steady goodness so that only good deeds will pour forth.

Steady goodness...I guess that's sometimes just putting one foot in front of the other, huh?

Anybody besides me feel like that sometimes? Like it's not about being brilliant, wise, creative, discerning, or any of those other glamorous & glittering personality traits.

Sometimes it's about just livin' the life, just taking one step at a time, one step after another.

Maybe that's what faithfulness is all about; continuing to move in the direction we're going. Maybe it's just getting up in the morning, putting your clothes on, brushing your teeth, gathering your things, & moving into the life & tasks at hand. I see so many of my friends unable to see that life is lived in days of "steady goodness." That days when the glamorous & glitsy supernatural happens are the rewards & rejuvinators of our walk with our Abba Father, but not the place where we live every breathing moment. I think God knows if we live in the rarified state of constant supernatural activity we would probably wear out & short circuit quickly. Our lives are to be lived in His Word, the true source pf steadiness & in the simple doing & being He dreamed for us.

Monday, October 12, 2009

favoritism & prejudice

James 2: 1 My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people over others?
2 For example, suppose someone comes into your meeting dressed in fancy clothes and expensive jewelry, and another comes in who is poor and dressed in dirty clothes. 3 If you give special attention and a good seat to the rich person, but you say to the poor one, "You can stand over there, or else sit on the floor"—well, 4 doesn't this discrimination show that your judgments are guided by evil motives?
5 Listen to me, dear brothers and sisters. Hasn't God chosen the poor in this world to be rich in faith? Aren't they the ones who will inherit the Kingdom he promised to those who love him? 6 But you dishonor the poor! Isn't it the rich who oppress you and drag you into court? 7 Aren't they the ones who slander Jesus Christ, whose noble name you bear?
8 Yes indeed, it is good when you obey the royal law as found in the Scriptures: "Love your neighbor as yourself." 9 But if you favor some people over others, you are committing a sin. You are guilty of breaking the law.
10 For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God's laws. 11 For the same God who said, "You must not commit adultery," also said, "You must not murder." So if you murder someone but do not commit adultery, you have still broken the law.
12 So whatever you say or whatever you do, remember that you will be judged by the law that sets you free. 13 There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others. But if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when he judges you.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


James 1: 2 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
5 If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. 6 But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.7 Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.8 Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.
9 Believers who are poor have something to boast about, for God has honored them. 10 And those who are rich should boast that God has humbled them. They will fade away like a little flower in the field. 11 The hot sun rises and the grass withers; the little flower droops and falls, and its beauty fades away. In the same way, the rich will fade away with all of their achievements.
12 God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. 13 And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, "God is tempting me." God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else. 14 Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. 15 These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.
16 So don't be misled, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. 18 He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession.

19 Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. 20 Human anger does not produce the righteousness* God desires. 21 So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.
22 But don't just listen to God's word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. 23 For if you listen to the word and don't obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. 24 You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. 25 But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don't forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.
26 If you claim to be religious but don't control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless. 27 Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

life verse

Hebrews 13:5b I will never leave you. I will never forsake you. (NLT)

I was a freshman at Asbury College, beginning to struggle with all my issues - & boy! did I have issues! I wasn't sure who I was, what I was about, how God felt about me, how I felt about myself, if I was worth anything, if God really loved me, if the struggle was worth it, if there was any future for me, as well as a gajillion other insecurities, self-loathings, & neuroses.

I remember going to the small prayer chapel up in the practice room hall of the music building & just praying a lot about whatever the crises of faith & blaring issues I was grappling with that day.

In the middle of all that angst, God spoke to me by dropping a thought in my head - one of the first times He'd done that in my life.

He said, "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee, saith the Lord God of Hosts."

(Back then, I guess God spoke in King James English ;-) hahahahahahaha!!!)

Ya see, I needed to feel like I belonged to someone - that someone loved & cared about me unconditionally, & wasn't going anywhere, physically or emotionally.

You can imagine how shocked I was a few months (?) later when I read Hebrews 13 for the first time & realized that what He's spoken to me was in the Bible.

It's my life verse - it's not something I trumpet - it's just something I live in the assurance of from day to day.

Btw, He's left me, & hasn't forsaken me. ;-)

Friday, October 9, 2009

lots of stuff

2 Kings 6:16 "Don't be afraid!" Elisha told him. "For there are more on our side than on theirs!

Wish we could all see & understand this.

Now brace yourselves. This is a doozie of a passage!

Hebrews 12: 1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God's throne. 3 Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won't become weary and give up. 4 After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin.
5 And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children? He said,

"My child, don't make light of the LORD's discipline,
and don't give up when he corrects you.
6 For the LORD disciplines those he loves,
and he punishes each one he accepts as his child."

7 As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father?8 If God doesn't discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all.9 Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn't we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever?
10 For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God's discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness.11 No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it's painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.
12 So take a new grip with your tired hands and stand form on your shakey legs.
(dan note: this was such a touching verse for me. When it first spoke to me, it was a dark time in my life, I didn't feel useful at all, & I felt like that at my age, at the time, my years of being productive were pretty much over. These words from Him encouraged me to press on. I'm glad. Look where His dreams for me have led me, so far. ) 13 Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong.

14 Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord.15 Look after each other so that none of you will miss out on the special favor of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.

25 See to it you obey God, the One who is speaking to you.

29 Our God is a consuming fire.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

faith & faithfulness

Psalm 57:1b I will hide beneath the shadow of Your wings
until this violent storm passes by.

Sometimes, when I underline a verse, I will put a date beside it, to help me remember when God made that verse rise up off the page.

Every time I read this verse & see the date next to it, I remember the faithfulness of God. That date was a dark time in my life, a time when I had quit wanting to come to work, a time when I felt like such a failure.

The violent storm passed by.

I was safe under His wings.

I still am.

He's faithful.


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

(You gotta read all of chapter 11 - it's a GREAT chapter about faith & the faith of people in the Bible, & some who are not.)

I wish I knew when I underlined this section & noted the info in the footnote. It would be interesting to know. It's been a while, I think.

The part I underlined in the footnote in my Life Application Bible says this: Do not be surprised if God asks you to give up secure, familiar surroundings in order to carry out His will.

Interesting that I underlined that a few years ago, since I'm now downtown.

Ya know, ya just never know how the road's gonna twist & turn in life. We serve a kind & loving God who is VERY creative.


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

continue in the direction you are going

Hebrews 10:36 Patient endurance is what you need now, so you will continue to do God's will. The you will receive all that He as promised.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Psalm 55:22 Give your burdens to the Lord, & He will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip & fall.

Monday, October 5, 2009

the fact is...

Psalm 54:4 God is my helper. The Lord is the One who keeps me alive.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

unless notified otherwise...

Keep moving in the direction you are going.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

coming through

Psalm 52:8 But I am like an olive tree, thriving in the house of God.
I will always trust in God's unfailing love.

Hebrews 6: 10 For God is not unjust. He will not forget how hard you have worked for Him and how you have shown your love to Him by caring for other believers, as you still do.11 Our great desire is that you will keep on loving others as long as life lasts, in order to make certain that what you hope for will come true.

Ya know, getting up & reading each morning, I'm amazed at the timing of God.

I know what I've gotten myself into with all the stuff that's happening with our ministry in The Warehouse in downtown Macon. It's all a bit daunting, sometimes.
We moved House of Grace there in January. It's flourishing.
We've just had a very good kickoff last Sunday for Christ Chapel Downtown's Sunday Morning Gathering.
We're still waiting for a sealed up room so we can initiate Open Doors during the week when we open The Warehouse to the community.
And there's a whole lot more we've seen we're to be & do besides all that.

I've been feeling "tired" lately. That usually means I'm worrying & trying to do this downtown thing in my own strength.

For weeks, in my morning reading, God has been loading me up with verses that basically remind me that God's the One who's doing this downtown thing; He's the One who's making it happen - not me.

This does not mean that we sit with our hands folded on the Bryan Nichols Memorial Deck & wait for people to flock to The Warehouse. What I feel it does mean is that we do what we feel Him leading us to do in preparations for things & connecting with people, but He's the One who's orchestrating the results.

So this morning I get up after a night of fretful sleep. I sat down here at my laptop (thank you, Christ Chapel & Bryan) & just said to God, "I need you to speak to me about this stuff."

Here's what I got...
1) God is not unjust.
2) He will not forget how hard you have worked for Him
how you have shown your love to Him by caring for other believers, as you still do.
3) Our great desire is that you will keep on loving others as long as life lasts,
4) in order to make certain that what you hope for will come true

So, here's what I feel God said to my spirit through those verses...

God's not unjust - I know that. But it's good to be reminded of it.

He hasn't forgotten all that we've done so far downtown.

We're to "keep on moving in the direction we are going." (That's what the panic button on GPS's usually say when people get worried they haven't heard directions from their GPS's in a while.)

And by just continuing on in what He leads us to be & do, what we're hoping for, seeing & dreaming for downtown will happen.

My heart & spirit are quieter now. I don't feel that burden of feeling tired anymore.

God came through with the right thing to say, again.

Coincidence? (as the devil whispered to me as soon as I read it)

Nope. It's happened too many times.

Friday, October 2, 2009

don't be as stupid as I was

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

I know y'all get tired of how I harp on having a time each day set aside to read the Bible, listen to what God may have to say, & how all that is just so wonderful. I know it seems that I'm obsessed with it & talk about it all the time.

As I try to connect with people around me & do life with them, these same people talk to me about their lives & what's going on in them. They have questions about a lot of things, long to know what to be & do, & generally are seeking some sort of guidance in their lives from somewhere &/or someone.

Ya know, it's hard for me to not sound like a broken record in situations like that. Take it from me, who's decades-long devotional life can best be described as "higgledy-piggledy," the things these same people are lookin' for can be found in the Bible, & the guidance they're looking for & longing for is attainable by just saying, "God, do You anything You want to say to me?"

Of course, as my wife, Lynn, would say, "don't ask the question unless you're prepared for the answer."

Perhaps that's why so many people don't read the Bible & listen to what God wants to say. Part of my reason was pure laziness. The other was that I trusted my ability to plan & make the plan happen & I figured that what plans I came up with were from God, then I was on the right track. And probably in the back of my mind I wasn't completely sure God would talk to me all that much, let alone guide me all that much.

Boy, was I wrong! ;-)

Lynn is right - don't ask God questions unless you're ready for what He might say. Don't open your heart & life up to him in that intimate a way unless you're prepared for how He's gonna mess with you. And He'll mess with you in the very areas you don't want Him to mess with you in.

So, why do I get up everyday & read & listen? What do I "get" out of all this?

I get God.

God talks to me.

I read the Bible & He talks to me through it. Things that I read just speak to stuff going on in my life. And He just reminds me of those things during the day, sometimes in not so comfortable ways. And sometimes in some pretty amazingly wonderful ways.

I remember one night last summer in HOG when LeAnn came with her band of thousands & Ken Land spoke. It was an amazing evening. And the end of the service, I'm over on the Poplar St side of the room, fixin' to walk up & close the service. I'm thinking, "How the crap am I (hardly the sharpest knife in the drawer when it comes to closers) gonna adequately close this stupendous service?!"

God quietly reminded me of a verse in 2 Thessalonians that I's memorized week or 2 before...

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

So, I said, "Well, God, I guess You're gonna have to make me adequate in this closer."

So I walked up & closed the service. I don't know how everyone felt about what I said, but I felt like it was one of the best closings I'd done in a long time. And the sad thing of it is that when I walked up to close, I wasn't real sure I was gonna get off sounding pretty good. (Am I tower of faith or what? ;-)

Anyway, the reason I keep harping on this Bible reading & listening out for God thing is that it works - in miraculous, incredible ways - all the time.

And there's just no way to say it any plainer - don't be as stupid as I was & wait till you 52 1/2 years old to do it! Do it now!!!

Thursday, October 1, 2009


Psalm 50: 8 I have no complaint about your sacrifices
or the burnt offerings you constantly offer.
9 But I do not need the bulls from your barns
or the goats from your pens.
10 For all the animals of the forest are mine,
and I own the cattle on a thousand hills.
11 I know every bird on the mountains,
and all the animals of the field are mine.
12 If I were hungry, I would not tell you,
for all the world is mine and everything in it.
13 Do I eat the meat of bulls?
Do I drink the blood of goats?
14 Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God,
and keep the vows you made to the Most High.
15 Trust me in your times of trouble,
and I will rescue you,
and you will give me glory.

Basically, what I feel Him saying here is that God doesn't need or want us to make BIG sacrificies to show our love & devotion to him. He just was us to trust Him with our lives & obey Him.

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

(dan note: the smartest thing I've ever done in my life is to start reading the Bible every day, without fail, & just listening to what He might want to say to me. The DUMBEST thing I've ever done is waiting till I was 52 1/2 to do it!)

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