Monday, May 31, 2010
I always think this is such a sad verse. The children of Israel didn't go into Canaan bc they didn't think God would take care of them.
This is the crowd that saw the plagues in Egypt & crossed the Red Sea on dry land.
But how many times do you & me do the same thing?
if John McCain can run for president at 71...
if Grandma Moses can start painting her masterpieces in her late 70's...
if Golda Meir can become premier of Israel at 75...
if Moses can lead the Hebrew children out of Egypt at whatever he was...
if Gandhi could lead the Indian subcontinent out of British colonialism in his 70's...
if Rachel Welch can look that good at 70...
then Lynn & I can embrace whatever our "next" is with God.
Sunday, May 30, 2010
Psalm 106:19 Until the time come to fulfill His word, the Lord tested Joseph's character.
So, does this mean, as we wait on God to move, He will reveal to us the substance of ourselves, the real us when nobody's around, so that we won't have illusions about ourselves, or think ourselves so "holy" or "righteous" or "such a great catch for God" that we are not useful?
Is that what He's saying here?
Is the testing to reveal ourselves to ourselves, or what?
Or is it to toughen us up, to add grit & vigor to our resolve?
What does He mean here?
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Friday, May 28, 2010
vs 35c Vast fields are ripening all around us & are ready now for harvest.
What do we do with these words?
Yes, I know the correct answer to that question.
But what is the real answer, fleshed out in a real world, with realities that are as neatly brought into line with what we have heard to be the correct answer?
How do we bring ourselves in sync with the food & shelter needs we all have, while continuing to live with these 2 truths?
Is there anyone out there in the ether /ethereal world of the Internet willing to share not the correct answer, but a real response to me question?
Thursday, May 27, 2010
28 You yourselves know how plainly I told you, 'I am not the Messiah. I am only here to prepare the way for him.' 29 It is the bridegroom who marries the bride, and the best man is simply glad to stand with him and hear his vows. Therefore, I am filled with joy at his success.
30 He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.
31 "He has come from above and is greater than anyone else. We are of the earth, and we speak of earthly things, but he has come from heaven and is greater than anyone else. 32 He testifies about what he has seen and heard, but how few believe what he tells them!
33 Anyone who accepts his testimony can affirm that God is true.
34 For he is sent by God. He speaks God's words, for God gives him the Spirit without limit.
35 The Father loves his Son and has put everything into his hands.
36 And anyone who believes in God's Son has eternal life. Anyone who doesn't obey the Son will never experience eternal life but remains under God's angry judgment."
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Psalm 101:1 I will sing of your love and justice, LORD.
I will praise you with songs.
2 I will be careful to live a blameless life (dan note: so I guess that means I can't have sex of any kind with my girlfriend or boyfriend, even though we love each other & are "probably gonna get married"?)
when will you come to help me? (dan note: I'm not sure I want Him all up in my "bid'ness" like that)
I will lead a life of integrity
in my own home. (dan note: iow, when no one is around, I'll be who I'm supposed to be & who I sometimes pretend to be around others?)
3 I will refuse to look at
anything vile and vulgar. (dan note: I guess that rules out porn, movie & YouTube vids that are objectionable, & anything hanging on the walls of Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister, or Victoria's Secret?)
I hate all who deal crookedly;
I will have nothing to do with them. (dan note: so if my friend or co-worker decides to do something illegal or unethical, I won't follow along & do it too, or look the other way when he or she does it?)
4 I will reject perverse ideas
and stay away from every evil. (dan note: does this mean I can't fantasize about, well, you know...? I mean, it's just in my head. It's not hurtin' anybody, or like I'm gonna do it or anything)
5 I will not tolerate people who slander their neighbors. (dan note: hmmm... does that mean I can't listen to gossip, or "prayer concerns"?)
I will not endure conceit and pride. (dan note: uhm, this kinda eliminates most of the people I know, including me!)
6 I will search for faithful people
to be my companions. (dan note: now where the heck am I gonna find people like that?!)
Only those who are above reproach
will be allowed to serve me. (dan note: who's talking about serving?! it's hard enough just to find peeps to hang with!)
7 I will not allow deceivers to serve in my house,
and liars will not stay in my presence. (dan note: ain't nooooooobody coming to my house then)
8 My daily task will be to ferret out the wicked
and free the city of the LORD from their grip. (dan note: my social life is gone!)
I'm dismayed & discouraged at the lack of holy living that I see in so many of the people around me who claim to be Christ followers. (well, if I'm honest, in me sometimes, too)
In the last year or so, I've become shocked at how many people that really are Christ followers who are having sex with the people they're dating &/or fixin' to marry. This is just NOT ok, no matter how you spin it.
I'm dismayed at how many are honest & have integrity when it suits them - iow, morals are relative to the situation.
I'm just flabbergasted at the number of people I know who seldom show up for work on time, or at all, & don't call their workplace.
Now let's get one thing straight here - I'm NOT holding myself up as the living example of all that's good & pure in the world. No one's EVER accused me of peeing holy water - nor ever will.
But PLEASE! could we understand that there are some fundamental differences between being a Christ follower & not being one?!
No, life isn't a list of do's & don't's, but there are some things that simply aren't on the list of things we get to be & do if we're supposed to be becoming more & more like Jesus every day.
We simply cannot listen to the world & the devil when they tell us that there are no absolutes, that truth & right living are relative to who's involved, the circumstances, & our personal viewpoint, plus, there's no overarching general way of being.
Face it - we will be known as "peculiar people" without even trying to be, because there are some things that are simply not endemic to our identity simply because we claim to be following the life & example of Jesus.
This isn't a rant, even though it sounds like one.
It's just a thought in a sea of chaos, an ocean of disfunction & sin.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
8 They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water.
Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought.
Their leaves stay green, & they go right on producing delicious fruit.
I asked God for a word today. I'm not in some sort of trouble (well... not any more than usual ;-). I'm just in a BIG transition right now, some of which is settling into a definite direction, while another part is still very much in process.
What does these verses say to me?
His strength sustains me in this time of transition & walking into or waiting for the unknown.
That as we walk into His next for us, we'll be okay & continue to be of a positive impact for Him.
Monday, May 24, 2010
It's funny sometimes the kind of strength we need from the Lord.
Most of us think of a verse like this when we're being persecuted, we're in trouble (usually of our own making), or dealing with something traumatic or catastrophic.
Not so, sometimes...
Sometimes it's strength to be patient one more time, when we want to just throw our hands up in exasperation.
Sometimes it's strength to continue to be positive in an increasingly negative situation, when we'd like to just escape the whole mess.
Sometimes it's strength to just endure one more day of whatever is going on.
Sometimes it's strength to be Jesus, to be who we know God wants us to be, in a sea of people who aren't.
Sometimes it's strength to be functional in a world that seems filled with dysfunction.
And any of us could sight a gajillion other examples.
Strength from God comes for all kinds of reasons in all kinds of situations.
Thank You, Father, that You provide different amounts & different kinds of strength, specific for the ever changing needs of your puny children.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Friday, May 21, 2010
Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise!
12 Let the fields and their crops burst out with joy!
Let the trees of the forest rustle with praise
13 before the LORD, for he is coming!
He is coming to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with justice,
and the nations with his truth.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Psalm 951 Come, let us sing to the LORD!
Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
2 Let us come to him with thanksgiving.
Let us sing psalms of praise to him.
3 For the LORD is a great God,
a great King above all gods.
4 He holds in his hands the depths of the earth
and the mightiest mountains.
5 The sea belongs to him, for he made it.
His hands formed the dry land, too.
6 Come, let us worship and bow down.
Let us kneel before the LORD our maker,
7 for he is our God.
We are the people he watches over,
the flock under his care.
For over half a century, I didn't read His Word on anything that smacked of regularity.
In the 7 1/2 years I have been, my life has become amazing.
Now, God's messed with me, lots.
But the ship of my life has a rudder.
Most of the time I'm just going where sent, doing what I'm told to.
Do I worry about my life? Light years less than a used to.
Do I grasp parts of my life with a choke hold, like I used to? Nope.
Do I miss "being is charge"? hahahahahahahahahaha
Do I love my life? ;-)
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Who will stand up for me...?
17 Unless the LORD had helped me,
I would soon have settled in the silence of the grave.
18 I cried out, "I am slipping!"
but Your unfailing love, O LORD, supported me.
19 When doubts filled my mind,
Your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.
Anybody besides me ever been in the impossible place?
The impossible place is when there seems to be no way out.
Sometimes, the only way out of the impossible place is to just keep walking forward, not looking back.
Sometimes, to simply survive is all w can do.
God, in unfailing love, walks with us, as we walk out of an impossible place in our lives, or an impossible season.
One thing's for sure - the only way out is to keep moving - standing still makes us a target for the devil.
Listen to this...
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Luke 18:27 Jesus replied, "What is impossible from a human perspective is possible with God."
These aren't just verses of truth that we know about. These are verses we're living as we "shut up & wait" for God's next for Lynn & me.
(wanna know what the "shut up & wait" is about? see Psalm 37:7 ;-)
Monday, May 17, 2010
to sing praises to the Most High.
2 It is good to proclaim your unfailing love in the morning,
your faithfulness in the evening,
3 accompanied by the ten-stringed harp
and the melody of the lyre.
4 You thrill me, LORD, with all you have done for me!
I sing for joy because of what you have done.
5 O LORD, what great works you do!
And how deep are your thoughts.
6 Only a simpleton would not know,
and only a fool would not understand this:
7 Though the wicked sprout like weeds
and evildoers flourish,
they will be destroyed forever.
8 But you, O LORD, will be exalted forever.
9 Your enemies, LORD, will surely perish;
all evildoers will be scattered.
10 But you have made me as strong as a wild ox.
You have anointed me with the finest oil.
11 My eyes have seen the downfall of my enemies;
my ears have heard the defeat of my wicked opponents.
12 But the godly will flourish like palm trees
and grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon.
13 For they are transplanted to the LORD's own house.
They flourish in the courts of our God.
14 Even in old age they will still produce fruit;
they will remain vital and green.
15 They will declare, "The LORD is just!
He is my rock!
There is no evil in him!"
Sunday, May 16, 2010
1 Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 This I declare about the Lord:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
he is my God, and I trust him.
3 For he will rescue you from every trap
and protect you from deadly disease.
4 He will cover you with his feathers.
He will shelter you with his wings.
His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
5 Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night,
nor the arrow that flies in the day.
6 Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness,
nor the disaster that strikes at midday.
7 Though a thousand fall at your side,
though ten thousand are dying around you,
these evils will not touch you.
8 Just open your eyes,
and see how the wicked are punished.
9 If you make the Lord your refuge,
if you make the Most High your shelter,
10 no evil will conquer you;
no plague will come near your home.
11 For he will order his angels
to protect you wherever you go.
12 They will hold you up with their hands
so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.
13 You will trample upon lions and cobras;
you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!
14 The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me.
I will protect those who trust in my name.
15 When they call on me, I will answer;
I will be with them in trouble.
I will rescue and honor them.
16 I will reward them with a long life
and give them my salvation.”
Saturday, May 15, 2010
3 So Jesus told them this story: 4 "If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won't he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? 5 And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. 6 When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, 'Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.' 7 In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven't strayed away!
I just wonder what ya had to do back then to be a "notorious sinner"?
If Jesus was walkin' around on earth today, like He did back then, who do you think He'd be hangin' with? Who would the "religious leaders" of our day think it inappropriate for Him to be around - up to & including eating with them? (Quelle horreur!!!)
Who do you think Jesus would point to these days & say to you or me, "go hang with them"?
So, why aren't we?
Friday, May 14, 2010
I think this verse gets a bad rap. It sounds like we're left without anything.
When God dreamed this whole thing called humankind up, He dreamed a BIG dream for each & every one of us - yes, He dreamed a BIG dream for me, & certainly a BIG dream for you.
It's only in letting go of our lives - yes, everything - that He is finally free to put into motion the life He's planned for each of us.
Until we do, our plans keep getting in the way of His.
I wish this verse had been a little more specific; something like this...
no one can become my disciple without giving up everything for me, so I can be free to create & guide this extraordinary, exciting, challenging, scary, amazing, breathtaking adventure I dreamed a gajillion years ago just for you to fit into the overarching plan I have for humankind.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
God uses a different measuring stick in comparison to the world.
So, as we all struggle along in seeming obscurity, God knows & sees us.
In the final analysis, it's what He thinks about who we are in Him & what we do for Him will determine our eternal level of greatness & importance.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
24 Look at the ravens. They don't plant or harvest or store food in barns, for God feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than any birds!
25 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?26 And if worry can't accomplish a little thing like that, what's the use of worrying over bigger things?
27 "Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don't work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are.28 And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?
29 "And don't be concerned about what to eat and what to drink. Don't worry about such things.
30 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers all over the world, but your Father already knows your needs.
31 He will give you all you need from day to day if you make the Kingdom of God your primary concern.
32 "So don't be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
These days, so many have no real models for what a father is like because many fathers today just don't do a good job of fathering. I spend so much time trying to help people unlearn the things they learned or "caught" from their fathers or step-fathers.
So to think of God as Father is difficult.
I believe it was Louie Giglio in his 3-part sermon series "God as a Perfect Father," that whether we had a good role model of a father, we can still make a connection with God as Father.
Louie suggests that we think of what we should do is think about what we would consider a perfect Father. And then realize that God, who is infinite, is infinitely more of the kind of Father we long for.
That releases any of us from the negative father-concepts we inherited from our dads. It simply doesn't apply. God is perfect; therefore it would follow that He would be a perfect Father.
No matter how terrible, indifferent, or inept - or for that matter, how good - our fathers were, God is not a bigger version of us. Isaiah 55:8 says, "My thoughts are completely different from yours," says the Lord. "And My ways are far beyond anything you imagine." (NLT)
It would follow that His ways of fathering are completely different than our ways of fathering, & infinitely beyond anything we can imagine.
That's pretty daunting.
I think we have no idea what kind of incredible Father, incredibly kind & loving God we are hooked up with.
Think about this today - whatever we would think is a perfect Father, God is infinitely more than that, & waiting to turn that loose on us.
Monday, May 10, 2010
Lord of the Harvest (the Imperials) - from the 80's ;-)
See the fields, ripe and white as snow
Up from the seeds of faith we planted long ago
So many the hearts in season
With every prayer they've grown
You have made them ready
But we must bring them home
Lord of the harvest place, your fire in me
Servant you need now, servant I will be
Give me the eyes of your spirit,
Your heart of compassion to know
Lord of the harvest, show me where to go
Time like a free wind, so quickly slips away
Too soon today's tomorrow, too soon yesterday
So little time for the reaping and the laborers are few
Lift your head to the fields of white
The work that you must do
Wherever you may lead me
Lord of the Harvest I'll Go
Sunday, May 9, 2010
24 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.
25 And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but are yourself lost or destroyed?
26 If anyone is ashamed of me and my message, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in his glory and in the glory of the Father and the holy angels.
How many times in the last 3 1/2 yrs has God whispered to me, "don't cling to your life" ?
I think I cling to it less now than then.
I think I'm gonna have to cling to it even less in the days ahead.
Saturday, May 8, 2010
That's what Jesus asks of all of us isn't it.
It's all about trust.
I'm in that place right now. Lynn & I are waiting to see what our "next" is. We don't know what it will be. We've got some clues. We're in a place we've never been before - one of seeming mobility. We'll see.
Neither of us are afraid. (Ignorance is bliss? ;-)
We're gonna wait & see, & trust Him for whatever is ahead.
It's kinda exciting.
We've both learned that in the final analysis He is trustworthy.
And He'll let us know when it's time to know.
Do we wonder sometimes? yep
Do we get anxious sometimes? Well, I do
But are we gonna wait Him out for His will for us? yep
It's gonna be interesting. He's very creative. ;-)
Friday, May 7, 2010
Thursday, May 6, 2010
I think it's kinda interesting when people tell me they have a hard time hearing from God.
There's a part of me that would like to bellow at these people, "Read the Bible every day. If you do, you won't have ANY trouble hearing from Him. As a matter of fact, He won't shut up!!!"
Lately, He's be gently telling me to "shut up & wait." (Psalm 37:7)
Every once in a while, He reiterates that cue, like this morning.
I didn't know if He's speak this morning, or if the Word I'm reading would be just your basic great passages from the Bible that are always applicable to life. (I'm in Isaiah, Psalms - me & Billy Graham, & Luke)
So, I'm waiting ;-)
Thanks, Abba, for just simply speaking to me - You, the God of the universes, speaking to me, someone who is less than a nano-speck in the cosmos.
I love You, Abba, even though I don't show it sometimes
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
29 Later, Levi held a banquet in his home with Jesus as the guest of honor. Many of Levi's fellow tax collectors and other guests (dan note: other gospels call them "notorious sinners" - wonder what you had to do back them to be a "notorious sinner?!) also ate with them. 30 But the Pharisees and their teachers of religious law complained bitterly to Jesus' disciples, "Why do you eat and drink with such scum?"
31 Jesus answered them, "Healthy people don't need a doctor—sick people do. 32 I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners and need to repent."
Recently, I was talking with my son, Kevin, who's the youth pastor at Christ Chapel Warner Robins. He mentioned this event in Jesus' life & posed an interesting question I've thought about since...
If Jesus was here now, who would He hang out with?
And if we're Christians (i.e. little Christ's), then who should be hang out with?
Think about that one today...
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
That's our mandate - GO.
That could be Africa, or the WalMart on Gray H'way.
That may be to the Aussies, or to your co-worker or boss who drives you crazy.
The mandate is GO.
Pro 3:5 (The Message)Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
don't try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
He's the One Who will keep you on track.
I've been guilty lately of maybe over thinking what's next for Lynn & me. Or maybe not. ;-)
One of the things God's been specific about is to not try to figure out what's ahead. As a type A personality, I tend to do this a lot.
Recently He said to me, "Be still in the presence of the Lord, & wait for Him to act." (Ps 37:7)
Iow, shut up & wait.
Do you know how hard it is to wait?
Do you know how hard it is to NOT try & figure everything out?
Is it caused by a lack of trust, anxiety, impatience, or just bull-headed I wanna know what I wanna know & I wanna know NOW!!!
There's a reason why He doesn't want me to figure it all out.
Maybe it would scared me if I knew?
Maybe I'd try to make it happen if I knew?
Maybe I'd say no if I knew now w/o knowing the full picture?
Maybe He wants me to walk by faith?
One day I'll be able to look back & know why I wasn't supposed to figure everything out ahead of time. I'll let ya know when I know.
Monday, May 3, 2010
22 for they did not believe God
or trust Him to care for them.
23 But He commanded the skies to open;
He opened the doors of heaven.
24 He rained down manna for them to eat;
He gave them bread from heaven.
25 They ate the food of angels!
God gave them all they could hold.
Not trusting God is so idiotic.
We're in relationship with the High Holy Omnipotent Omniscient Yahweh,
Who always has been,
always will be,
Who operates outside of time,
Who made all we see from here at the end of our noses to galaxies billions of light years away,
Who wants us (something less than a nano-speck in the cosmos) to think of Him as a Father.
In light of that, not trusting God is SO idiotic.
Sunday, May 2, 2010
We cling to the life we have all the time. At least, I seem to.
God dreamed as dream for our lives, but can only implement it if we let Him by letting go of the control of our lives.
Sometimes that's hard, because we come to love the life He's given us during any season of our lives.
But we have to let go of our lives, no matter what kind of season we're in with Him. He's got plans & dreams for us. We fit into an overarching master plan. If we don't follow His leading, that plan can be undermined.
For the past 2 1/2 years He's been whispering to me often, "don't cling to your life" - "let it go".
"If you let go of your life for Me, you'll find it."
Saturday, May 1, 2010
Pro 3:5 (The Message)Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
don't try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
He's the One Who will keep you on track.
It's SO hard to not try to figure things out.
Lynn & I are walking through a transition time; she's retiring, & all kinds of interesting stuff is happening to me. It's very tempting to try to figure out what's next in our lives.
Instead, we're supposed to trust, listen, & remember He's the One who will keep us.
We're supposed to trust Him with our lives.
We're supposed to listen out for whatever it is He wants to say to us, in everything we do, & just as important, everywhere we go. (We go a lot!)
Are we scared? Not really.
Would we like to know what's ahead? Sure!
But, as our daughter, Hannah, said about some important life decisions she was needing to make, "I'll know when I need to know."
I figure our Abba Father will make it plain what's next when it's time. If we know too soon, we'd probably try to make it happen, or be so scared, we'd either mess it up, or run away! ;-)
We're kinda standing on tiptoe, waiting to see what He has in store for us.
We know He's very creative.