Monday, February 28, 2011

here it is, all boiled down...

Mark 12:28 One of the teachers of religious law was standing there listening to the debate. He realized that Jesus had answered well, so he asked, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?"

  29 Jesus replied, "The most important commandment is this: 'Listen, O Israel! The LORD our God is the one and only LORD. 30 And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.' 31 The second is equally important: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'* No other commandment is greater than these."

  32 The teacher of religious law replied, "Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth by saying that there is only one God and no other. 33 And I know it is important to love him with all my heart and all my understanding and all my strength, and to love my neighbor as myself. This is more important than to offer all of the burnt offerings and sacrifices required in the law."

  34 Realizing how much the man understood, Jesus said to him, "You are not far from the Kingdom of God." And after that, no one dared to ask him any more questions.

Love God, love others.

I have a really cool new friend who has those words tattooed on his arms.

I believe his inner right forearm (yes, from his wrist to his elbow) says in beautiful script "Love God".

On the opposite inner left forearm, it says "Love Others". I have serious tat envy.

But that's it folks - of all the things God wants us to be & do, Jesus Himself said it - Love God, love others.

So, let's get to it.

Sunday, February 27, 2011


Psalm 13:5 But I trust in Your unfailing love.
  I will rejoice because You have rescued me.
6 I will sing to the LORD
  because He is good to me.

unfailing (from
1. without error or fault
2. reliable or constant

Saturday, February 26, 2011


Numbers 23:19 God is not a man, that He should lie.
   He is not a human, that He should change His mind.
Has He ever spoken & failed to act?
   Has He ever promised & not carried through?

Psalm 12:8 The Lord's promises are pure, like silver refined in the furnace, purified seven times over.

Whenever I'm reading in the mornings & I see similarities in what I'm reading, I listen up. I read something in the Old Testament, Psalms (me & Billy Graham), & the New Testament. I don't try to coordinate them. I read sequentially in the OT & Psalms - as in book to book, psalm to psalm. In the New Testament, I ask where I'm supposed to go next when I finish a book. Right now I'm reading sequentially through the Gospels

So, when I saw "promises" twice, I pricked up my ears to see what promise(s) I'm supposed to count on from God.

It seems these are the promises. The first one came from this morning's reading in the gospel of Mark. The other is one of the 5 passages He gave me in 2010 to hold on to through this season of change & relocation.

Mark 10:29 "Yes," Jesus replied, "and I assure you that everyone who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or property, for my sake and for the Good News,30 will receive now in return a hundred times as many houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and property—along with persecution. And in the world to come that person will have eternal life.31 But many who are the greatest now will be least important then, and those who seem least important now will be the greatest then.*"

Isaiah 41:9b For I have chosen you & will not throw you away.
10 Don't be afraid, for I am with you.
   Don't be dismayed, for I am your God.
   I will strengthen you.
   I will help you.
   I will uphold you with My victorious right hand.

You may say that this is all a coincidence.


But in the 8 years I've been getting up early & reading the Bible & listening, the coincidences happen more & more frequently, at the right times.

I don't know if this is for someone out there, or what. I just wanted to record what's going on with me. If that helps you - great!

Friday, February 25, 2011


Mark 9:33 After they arrived at Capernaum and settled in a house, Jesus asked his disciples, "What were you discussing out on the road?" 34 But they didn't answer, because they had been arguing about which of them was the greatest. 35 He sat down, called the twelve disciples over to him, and said, "Whoever wants to be first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else."

This goes against everything we're taught by the world.

We're taught to get ahead, win, be # 1, the one who dies with the most toys wins.

Servanthood is the model.

But remember that anyone who says, "All I want to be is a servant of the Lord" has never been one.

Servants follow instructions.

Servants often don't get explanations for why they're doing what they're doing.

Servants are often never thanked or appreciated.

Servants serve because the find the One they follow worthy of service.

This passage also bears out one other thought - life isn't all about me.

There's a great story that illustrates this.

A man was talking with God about Heaven and Hell.

"Come," said God. "Walk with me, and I will show you Hell."

And together they walked into a room of cold, rough stone. In the center of the room, atop a low fire, sat a huge pot of quietly simmering stew. The stew smelled delicious, and made the rabbi's mouth water. A group of people sat in a circle around the pot, and each of them held a curiously long-handled spoon. The spoons were long enough to reach the pot; but the handles were so ungainly that every time someone dipped the bowl of their spoon into the pot and tried to maneuver the bowl to their mouth, the stew would spill. The rabbi could hear the grumblings of their bellies. They were cold, hungry, and miserable.

"And now," God said, "I will show you Heaven."

Together they walked into another room, almost identical to the first. A second pot of stew simmered in the center; another ring of people sat around it; each person was outfitted with one of the frustratingly long spoons. But this time, the people sat with the spoons across their laps or laid on the stone beside them. They talked, quietly and cheerfully with one another. They were warm, well-fed, and happy.

"Lord, I don't understand," said the rabbi. "How was the first room Hell; and this, Heaven?"

God smiled. "It's simple," he said. "You see, they have learned to feed each other."

Thursday, February 24, 2011


Mark 8:34 Then, calling the crowd to join his disciples, He said,
   "If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ambition, take up your cross, and follow me. 

35 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it.
   But if you give up your life for my sake
     and for the sake of the Good News,
   you will save it. 

36 And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?
   37 Is anything worth more than your soul? 

38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my message in these adulterous and sinful days, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in the glory of his Father with the holy angels."

I'm thinking of Christy, Michael, & Dexter this morning, off on the World Race...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Psalm 9:10 Those who know your name trust in You,
   for You, O Lord, have never abandoned anyone who searches for You.

Trust (from
1. reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence.
2. confident expectation of something; hope.
3. confidence in the certainty of future payment for property or goods received; credit: to sell merchandise on trust.
4. a person on whom or thing on which one relies: God is my trust.
5. the condition of one to whom something has been entrusted.
6. the obligation or responsibility imposed on a person in whom confidence or authority is placed: a position of trust.
7. charge, custody, or care: to leave valuables in someone's trust.
8. something committed or entrusted to one's care for use or safekeeping, as an office, duty, or the like; responsibility; charge.

I often wonder if we (I) really trust God - if we (I) really believe He's gonna come through for us.

Or if we (I) in truth believe more in "God helps those who help themselves."

Yes, I know all the laziness arguments about sitting back & waiting for God to bring something or someone in on a silver platter.

But many times, God really simply wants us to believe & trust Him, and then get out of the way & let Him make things happen - iow, all He wants sometimes is for us to watch Him work.

Think about it, & tell me what you think - please, no glib spiritual cliches or slogans - tell me your thinking from specific things you've experienced.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

think about this...

Mark 6: 6b Then Jesus went from village to village, teaching the people. 7 And he called his twelve disciples together and began sending them out two by two, giving them authority to cast out evil* spirits. 8 He told them to take nothing for their journey except a walking stick—no food, no traveler's bag, no money. 9 He allowed them to wear sandals but not to take a change of clothes.

  10 "Wherever you go," he said, "stay in the same house until you leave town. 11 But if any place refuses to welcome you or listen to you, shake its dust from your feet as you leave to show that you have abandoned those people to their fate."

  12 So the disciples went out, telling everyone they met to repent of their sins and turn to God. 13 And they cast out many demons and healed many sick people, anointing them with olive oil.

Now, think about this...

Knowing everything as He did about everything & everybody,
   including everything about His disciples...

Jesus sent Judas out too.

Monday, February 21, 2011

what we want

Mark 5:1 So they arrived at the other side of the lake, in the region of the Gerasenes. 2 When Jesus climbed out of the boat, a man possessed by an evil* spirit came out from a cemetery to meet him. 3 This man lived among the burial caves and could no longer be restrained, even with a chain. 4 Whenever he was put into chains and shackles—as he often was—he snapped the chains from his wrists and smashed the shackles. No one was strong enough to subdue him. 5 Day and night he wandered among the burial caves and in the hills, howling and cutting himself with sharp stones.

  6 When Jesus was still some distance away, the man saw him, ran to meet him, and bowed low before him. 7 With a shriek, he screamed, "Why are you interfering with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In the name of God, I beg you, don't torture me!" 8 For Jesus had already said to the spirit, "Come out of the man, you evil spirit."

  9 Then Jesus demanded, "What is your name?"

  And he replied, "My name is Legion, because there are many of us inside this man." 10 Then the evil spirits begged him again and again not to send them to some distant place.

  11 There happened to be a large herd of pigs feeding on the hillside nearby. 12 "Send us into those pigs," the spirits begged. "Let us enter them."

  13 So Jesus gave them permission. The evil spirits came out of the man and entered the pigs, and the entire herd of about 2,000 pigs plunged down the steep hillside into the lake and drowned in the water.

  14 The herdsmen fled to the nearby town and the surrounding countryside, spreading the news as they ran. People rushed out to see what had happened. 15 A crowd soon gathered around Jesus, and they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons. He was sitting there fully clothed and perfectly sane, and they were all afraid. 16 Then those who had seen what happened told the others about the demon-possessed man and the pigs. 17 And the crowd began pleading with Jesus to go away and leave them alone.

  18 As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon possessed begged to go with him. 19 But Jesus said, "No, go home to your family, and tell them everything the Lord has done for you and how merciful he has been." 20 So the man started off to visit the Ten Towns of that region and began to proclaim the great things Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed at what he told them.

Here's what my Life Application Bible says about verse 17...

"After such a wonderful miracle of saving a man's life, why did the people want Jesus to leave?

"They were undoubtedly afraid of His supernatural power.

"They may have also feared that Jesus would continue destroying their pigs.

"They would rather give up Jesus than lose their source of income & security."

Before we think how stupid these people were, maybe we should ask ourselves if we're not the same way.

We are often times directed by the Lord to be & do things that might place us in situations where our prissy little American Dream lifestyle might not be quite as luxurious as we're accustomed to.

And many times He leads us into places, things, & situations where life can be very insecure, where we can't depend on anything or anyone but Him.

And many times we, like those people in this passage, choose our prissy, (seemingly) self-sufficient lives & the "security" it supposedly brings, rather than embracing the wild, risky, barbarian life God dreamed for us a gajillion years ago.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

a promise

I wonder if this is a promise for Blairsville?

Mark 4:1 Once again Jesus began teaching by the lake shore. A very large crowd soon gathered around him, so he got into a boat. Then he sat in the boat while all the people remained on the shore. 2 He taught them by telling many stories in the form of parables, such as this one:

3 "Listen! A farmer went out to plant some seed. 4 As he scattered it across his field, some of the seed fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate it. 5 Other seed fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The seed sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow. 6 But the plant soon wilted under the hot sun, and since it didn't have deep roots, it died. 7 Other seed fell among thorns that grew up and choked out the tender plants so they produced no grain. 8 Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they sprouted, grew, and produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted!" 9 Then he said, "Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand."

10 Later, when Jesus was alone with the twelve disciples and with the others who were gathered around, they asked him what the parables meant.

11 He replied, "You are permitted to understand the secret* of the Kingdom of God. But I use parables for everything I say to outsiders, 12 so that the Scriptures might be fulfilled:

'When they see what I do,
  they will learn nothing.
When they hear what I say,
  they will not understand.
Otherwise, they will turn to me
  and be forgiven.'"

 13 Then Jesus said to them, "If you can't understand the meaning of this parable, how will you understand all the other parables? 14 The farmer plants seed by taking God's word to others.

15 The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message, only to have Satan come at once and take it away.

16 The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. 17 But since they don't have deep roots, they don't last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God's word.

18 The seed that fell among the thorns represents others who hear God's word, 19 but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life, the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things, so no fruit is produced.

20 And the seed that fell on good soil represents those who hear and accept God's word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!"

Saturday, February 19, 2011

my help

Psalm 4:8 Lead me in the right path, O Lord,
   or my enemies will conquer me.
Tell me clearly what to do,
   & show me which way to turn.

Matthew 3:13 Afterward Jesus went up on a mountain & called the ones He wanted to go with Him. And they came to Him. 14 Then He selected 12 of them to be His regular companions, calling them apostles.

Here's what my Life Application BIble says about these verses in Matthew.

This footnote has always been so riveting to me...

"From the hundreds of people who followed Him from place to place, Jesus chose 12 to be His apostles. 'Apostle' means 'messenger or authorized representative.'

"He did not choose these 12 to be His associates & companions because of their faith; theyir faith often faltered.

"He didn't choose them for their talents & ability; no one stood out with unusual ability.

"The disciples represented a wide range of backgrounds & life experiences, but apparently they had no more leadership potential than those who were not chosen.

"The one characteristic they all shared was their willingness to obey Jesus.

"After Jesus ascension, they were filled with the Holy Spirit & empowered to carry out special roles in the  growth of the early church.

"We should not disqualify ourselves from service to Christ because we do not have the expected credentials. Being a good disciple is simply a matter of following Jesus with a willing heart."

Here's two songs that play in my head these days. I hope that is you need them as much as I do right now, that they will play in yours. Cut & paste them if you can't click on them.

Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir - My Help

Jeremy Camp - I Will Walk by Faith

Friday, February 18, 2011


Mark 2:13 Then Jesus went out to the lake shore again and taught the crowds that were coming to him. 14 As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at his tax collector's booth. "Follow me and be my disciple," Jesus said to him. So Levi got up and followed him.

  15 Later, Levi invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other notorious sinners. (There were many people of this kind among Jesus' followers.) 16 But when the teachers of religious law who were Pharisees* saw him eating with tax collectors and other sinners, they asked his disciples, "Why does he eat with such scum?"

  17 When Jesus heard this, he told them, "Healthy people don't need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners."

I've often wondered what a person had to be like back then if they were a "notorious" sinner. They were pretty bad back then. (well, we're pretty bad right now, ourselves!)

This passage also says there were lots of "notorious" sinners who were among Jesus' followers.

I wonder if we'd be comfortable with "notorious" sinners hangin' out around us?

Or would we be worried that people would wonder "why does he (or she) eat with such scum?"


Yeah, like a pimp, or a prostitute.

Or a Republican.

Or a Democrat.

Or a porn addict.

Or a drug addict.

Or the office gossip.

Or an African American.

Or the office fundamental Christian right person.

Or an alcoholic.

Or the office liberal, whatever-feels-good-do-it Christian

Or someone who's of mixed race.

Or the office flaming liberal / tree hugger.

Or a homosexual.

Or a loud-mouthed guy who thinks he's a player.

Or a Muslim.

Or that person who's got tattoos &/or piercings.

Or a Latino.

Or a poor or homeless person.

Or are we more concerned with being more like Jesus, God Himself, who simply loves people with such a powerful love that even the notorious sinners were drawn to Him?

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Yesterday was the day I was supposed to read Matthew 28. One of the places I'm reading right now is  through all four of the gospels. I do this a couple of times a year. I reread this section this morning, before I plunged into Mark 1.

Matthew 28:16 Then the eleven disciples left for Galilee, going to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.17 When they saw him, they worshiped him—but some of them doubted! (dan note: I still find this fascinating - they were looking at the risen Jesus, whom they had seen deader than a hammer - and some of them STILL didn't believe He was the Messiah. Incredible!)

  18 Jesus came and told his disciples, "I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. 19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

Jesus said "...go..."

We always think this means go to the "deepest, darkest jungles of Africa" & spend your life living in a mud hut preaching on the street with a huge black Bible in your hand.


"Go" could mean anything, anywhere, anytime.

"Go" could mean start listening to your coworkers & caring about them, & start pointing them to Jesus.

"Go" could mean start talking to your neighbors & caring about them, & start pointing them to Jesus.

"Go" could mean start going to prisons or nursing home, listening & caring & pointing.

"Go" could mean making yourself available to be used wherever needed at the church we're a part of - serving as helping hands to leading something or someone

"Go" could mean spend part of your summer helping out somewhere in town, or in state, or in the country, or overseas, from doing mundane things (painting) to leadership (sharing the truth about your life as a Christ follower with people)

"Go" can mean anything, anywhere, at any time, with any one. God is VERY creative. If we're brave enough to say to God, "whatever", that's exactly what He'll use us in - whatever.

And His whatever will change many times over time.

Jesus' mandate was to "Go"

The question is will we? Or will we continue to secure our tidy, safe, prissy little lives?

Will we let God "undomesticate" us & live the wild, wide-open life He dreamed for us?

One other thing...

You & I are Christ followers today bc there was someone(s) will to "Go" - to share with us the reality, freedom, & grace of being a Christ follower.

Where would we be if those someones had chosen to continue to live their safe little lives & hadn't reached out for us?

I don't know about you, but I know I'd be dead, and in hell.

You & I are that "someone" for someone(s) around us.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

pressing on

Numbers 13:25 After exploring the land for forty days, the men returned 26 to Moses, Aaron, and the whole community of Israel at Kadesh in the wilderness of Paran. They reported to the whole community what they had seen and showed them the fruit they had taken from the land.

27 This was their report to Moses: "We entered the land you sent us to explore, and it is indeed a bountiful country—a land flowing with milk and honey. Here is the kind of fruit it produces. 28 But the people living there are powerful, and their towns are large and fortified. We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak! 29 The Amalekites live in the Negev, and the Hittites, Jebusites, and Amorites live in the hill country. The Canaanites live along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea* and along the Jordan Valley."

  30 But Caleb tried to quiet the people as they stood before Moses. "Let's go at once to take the land," he said. "We can certainly conquer it!"

  31 But the other men who had explored the land with him disagreed. "We can't go up against them! They are stronger than we are!" 32 So they spread this bad report about the land among the Israelites: "The land we traveled through and explored will devour anyone who goes to live there. All the people we saw were huge. 33 We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak. Next to them we felt like grasshoppers, and that's what they thought, too!"

Remember that God had already promised Jews that they could have & would take the land He had promised to them.

The God of the universes had promised them they would take the land.

But 10 of the 12 scouts convinced the people they couldn't.

How many of us are like that? We just simply don't think God's gonna come through on His promise to make whatever He promised would happen would happen.

Or is what's really going on is that we simply think we made a mistake in what we thought God was leading us to be &/or do?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


I'm starting over reading Psalms, again. Me & Billy Graham read a psalm each day ;-)

It takes about 5 months to read through them - 150 psalms, 1 a day, divided by 30, equals 5 months

Each time I read it, they get richer & richer, a lot of the times because of the stuff I've written in the margins from previous readings.

I recommend it - 1 psalm a day, reading sequentially.

I will warn you, though...

God will mess with you.

Psalm 1:1 Oh, the joys of those who do not
      follow the advice of the wicked,
      or stand around with sinners,
      or join in with mockers.
 2 But they delight in the law of the Lord,
      meditating on it day and night.
 3 They are like trees planted along the riverbank,
      bearing fruit each season.
   Their leaves never wither,
      and they prosper in all they do.

 4 But not the wicked!
      They are like worthless chaff, scattered by the wind.
 5 They will be condemned at the time of judgment.
      Sinners will have no place among the godly.
 6 For the Lord watches over the path of the godly,
      but the path of the wicked leads to destruction.

Monday, February 14, 2011


Psalm 121 (The Message)

1-2 I look up to the mountains; does my strength come from mountains?
   No, my strength comes from God,
      who made heaven, and earth, and mountains.

 3-4 He won't let you stumble,
      your Guardian God won't fall asleep.
   Not on your life! Israel's
      Guardian will never doze or sleep.

 5-6 God's your Guardian,
      right at your side to protect you—
   Shielding you from sunstroke,
      sheltering you from moonstroke.

 7-8 God guards you from every evil,
      he guards your very life.
   He guards you when you leave and when you return,
      he guards you now, he guards you always. 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Proverbs 30:1b I am weary, O God;
  I am weary and worn out, O God.
2 I am too stupid to be human,
  and I lack common sense.
3 I have not mastered human wisdom,
  nor do I know the Holy One.

4 Who but God goes up to heaven and comes back down?
  Who holds the wind in his fists?
Who wraps up the oceans in his cloak?
  Who has created the whole wide world?
What is his name—and his son's name?
  Tell me if you know!

5 Every word of God proves true.
  He is a shield to all who come to him for protection.

Saturday, February 12, 2011


Proverbs 29:25 Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but to trust the Lord means safety.

How many of us REALLY trust the Lord?

Or how many of us trust in the statement "God helps those who help themselves"? (which is NOT in the BIble!)

How many of us think God may lead us to be or do something, but it's up to us to make it happen?

And how long will it take us to finally absorb the reality that it's not our job to make things happen, it's our job to stay out of the way so God (who delights in this role) can make things happen?

I've been a "make things happen" kind of guy for decades.

In the last 10 years I've been making a shift to letting things happen, in His power & timing.

Is it easy?


Is it easy now in this season right now?

Uhm... nope.

I just have to hold on to the fact that IF I'm where I'm supposed to be, being who I'm supposed to be, learning the lessons I'm supposed to learn, doing what I'm supposed to do, then God's gonna make things happen, in His timing & in His manner.

When we get to the other side of this season, it will be interesting to see how He made things unfold.

Friday, February 11, 2011


Matthew 23:11 The greatest among you must be a servant. 12 But those who exalt themselves will be humbled, & those who humble themselves will be exalted.

Here's what my Life Application Bible says about these two verses...

"Jesus challenged society's norms. To Him, greatness comes from serving - giving yourself to help God & others.

"Service keeps us aware of others' needs, & it stops us from focusing only on ourselves.

"Jesus came as a servant.

"What kind of greatness do you seek?"

How many of us seek true servanthood - a lifestyle & a thought process of others orientation?

How many of us have bought the concept that the American Dream of success is synonymous with being a Christ follower?

How many of us have forgotten that being a Christ follower means sacrifice & struggle?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

a song

For the last year or two, when I wake up in the morning, there's been a song rolling around in my head. It's a different song each morning. Sometimes it speaks to something going on in my life, sometimes in the life or lives of someone(s) I know.

In the last 2 or 3 months that has stopped. Somehow I wasn't really aware of it stopping... until this morning, as I just got up. There's a song in my head this morning.

Paste this link & hear Phillips, Craig, & Dean sing it -

Revelation Song - Kari Jobe

Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
Holy, holy is He
Sing a new song to Him who sits on
Heaven's mercy seat

Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
Holy, holy is He
Sing a new song to Him who sits on
Heaven's mercy seat

Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty
Who was and is and is to come
With all creation I sing praise to the King of kings
You are my everything and I will adore You

Clothed in rainbows of living color
Flashes of lighting rolls of thunder
Blessing and honor strength and glory and power be
To You the only one who's King

Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty
Who was and is and is to come
With all creation I sing praise to the King of kings
You are my everything and I will adore You

Filled with wonder awestruck wonder
At the mention of Your name
Jesus Your name is power, breath and living water
Such a marvelous mystery

Oh, You're worthy, mystery
You are worthy

Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty
Who was and is and is to come
With all creation I sing praise to the King of kings
You are my everything and I will adore You, I will adore You

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Matthew 21:21 
Then Jesus told them,
"I tell you the truth, if you have faith
    and don't doubt,
  you can do things like this
    and so much more.

You can even say to this mountain,
    'May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,'
  and it will happen.

22 You can pray for anything,
    and if you have faith,
  you will receive it."

This doesn't imply God is a vending machine for our wants.

It does say that if we believe & trust in Him, our requests & concerns become more in line with His thinking.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


I'm always curious about why some verses come up off the page when I read. I wonder where I'll need these verses. And I wonder who of you might need them too.

Proverbs 25:15b ...soft speech can crush strong opposition.

And who has the patience & maturity to do such?

Proverbs 25: 21 If your enemies are hungry, give them food to eat. If they are thirsty, give them water to drink. 22 You will heap burning coals on their heads, & the Lord will reward you.

Yeah, & how many of us have ever done this one?!

Matthew 20:26b Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must become your slave.

Anyone who says "All I want is to be a servant of the Lord" has never been one.

Monday, February 7, 2011


Proverbs 24:10 If you fail under pressure, your strength is not very great.

I heard it said that "troubles don't MAKE you what you are, but REVEAL who you are."

Iow, troubles are often all a part of the refining process God has us in.

Fyi, if you haven't already guessed, in each of our lives, "WE are the project, NOT what we DO."

And last night, on the Superbowl, I heard something on a car commercial - hey! truth is truth, no matter who it comes from! ;-)

"The hottest fire makes the strongest steel."

But the hottest fires also burn away ALL but the true essence of a metal.

You can see what then analogy means  in regards to us and the refining fires of the Holy Spirit active in our lives.

I figure most of me, if not all of me, is gonna be burned away this time.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Matthew 10 - read it at your own risk

1-4 The prayer was no sooner prayed than it was answered. Jesus called twelve of his followers and sent them into the ripe fields. He gave them power to kick out the evil spirits and to tenderly care for the bruised and hurt lives. This is the list of the twelve he sent:

   Simon (they called him Peter, or "Rock"),
   Andrew, his brother,
   James, Zebedee's son,
   John, his brother,
   Matthew, the tax man,
   James, son of Alphaeus,
   Simon, the Canaanite,
   Judas Iscariot (who later turned on him).

 5-8Jesus sent his twelve harvest hands out with this charge:
   "Don't begin by traveling to some far-off place to convert unbelievers. And don't try to be dramatic by tackling some public enemy. Go to the lost, confused people right here in the neighborhood. Tell them that the kingdom is here. Bring health to the sick. Raise the dead. Touch the untouchables. Kick out the demons. You have been treated generously, so live generously.

 9-10"Don't think you have to put on a fund-raising campaign before you start. You don't need a lot of equipment. You are the equipment, and all you need to keep that going is three meals a day. Travel light.

 11"When you enter a town or village, don't insist on staying in a luxury inn. Get a modest place with some modest people, and be content there until you leave.

 12-15"When you knock on a door, be courteous in your greeting. If they welcome you, be gentle in your conversation. If they don't welcome you, quietly withdraw. Don't make a scene. Shrug your shoulders and be on your way. You can be sure that on Judgment Day they'll be mighty sorry—but it's no concern of yours now.

 16"Stay alert. This is hazardous work I'm assigning you. You're going to be like sheep running through a wolf pack, so don't call attention to yourselves. Be as cunning as a snake, inoffensive as a dove.

 17-20"Don't be naive. Some people will impugn your motives, others will smear your reputation—just because you believe in me. Don't be upset when they haul you before the civil authorities. Without knowing it, they've done you—and me—a favor, given you a platform for preaching the kingdom news! And don't worry about what you'll say or how you'll say it. The right words will be there; the Spirit of your Father will supply the words.

 21-23"When people realize it is the living God you are presenting and not some idol that makes them feel good, they are going to turn on you, even people in your own family. There is a great irony here: proclaiming so much love, experiencing so much hate! But don't quit. Don't cave in. It is all well worth it in the end. It is not success you are after in such times but survival. Be survivors! Before you've run out of options, the Son of Man will have arrived.

 24-25"A student doesn't get a better desk than her teacher. A laborer doesn't make more money than his boss. Be content—pleased, even—when you, my students, my harvest hands, get the same treatment I get. If they call me, the Master, 'Dungface,' what can the workers expect?

 26-27"Don't be intimidated. Eventually everything is going to be out in the open, and everyone will know how things really are. So don't hesitate to go public now.

 28"Don't be bluffed into silence by the threats of bullies. There's nothing they can do to your soul, your core being. Save your fear for God, who holds your entire life—body and soul—in his hands.

 29-31"What's the price of a pet canary? Some loose change, right? And God cares what happens to it even more than you do. He pays even greater attention to you, down to the last detail—even numbering the hairs on your head! So don't be intimidated by all this bully talk. You're worth more than a million canaries.

 32-33"Stand up for me against world opinion and I'll stand up for you before my Father in heaven. If you turn tail and run, do you think I'll cover for you?

 34-37"Don't think I've come to make life cozy. I've come to cut—make a sharp knife-cut between son and father, daughter and mother, bride and mother-in-law—cut through these cozy domestic arrangements and free you for God. Well-meaning family members can be your worst enemies. If you prefer father or mother over me, you don't deserve me. If you prefer son or daughter over me, you don't deserve me.

 38-39"If you don't go all the way with me, through thick and thin, you don't deserve me. If your first concern is to look after yourself, you'll never find yourself. But if you forget about yourself and look to me, you'll find both yourself and me.

 40-42"We are intimately linked in this harvest work. Anyone who accepts what you do, accepts me, the One who sent you. Anyone who accepts what I do accepts my Father, who sent me. Accepting a messenger of God is as good as being God's messenger. Accepting someone's help is as good as giving someone help. This is a large work I've called you into, but don't be overwhelmed by it. It's best to start small. Give a cool cup of water to someone who is thirsty, for instance. The smallest act of giving or receiving makes you a true apprentice. You won't lose out on a thing."

Saturday, February 5, 2011


I think my perspective is changing on something...

Money has been scarce lately at our house. I haven't had a job since September. Lynn hasn't worked full time since May, & isn't working now. So money is flowing from our life like a mountain stream after an afternoon shower.

As a result, we've become very frugal, out of simple self defense, not out of any deep sense of simplicity ;-)

I now marvel at how much money we spent, on all kinds of things. And I marvel at how much the people around me spend, & why.

And as we've moved our things from Macon to Blairsville in a rather higgledy-piggledy manner, a pickup truck load at a time, I've realize how much "stuff" we have that we never use, or need.

In the last month I've kinda stood with my mouth open at how much we all spend needlessly. Since I've been asking myself many times over the past few months, "do we need this", it's natural to do the same thing when I've watched the spending of others.

Now, before you think I'm sitting in judgment here, that's not it at all. I'm just telling you that since we're having to justify our spending these days, I've begun to look at spending in general, for us, & for those around us.

I find that simply because we can afford to spend our money on something does not justify spending it on it - "just because we can" isn't reason enough to buy something.

We have such a strong sense of entitlement here in America, & in the west. We feel that if we want it, we should have it. How many times have we heard the commercial with the undervoicing that says, "I want it all, I want it all, I want it all, & I want it now!"

And we all live at the top 5% of incomes in the world - yes, even those below the poverty level in America are in the top 5%.

What am I getting at here?

Let's all just take a look at what we spend, & why. For those what have much, much is expected. Is the expectation that we spend our resources on ourselves, or is the expectation that because we have much, we should become less self-absorbed & self-centered, & simply "spread our money around like manure, helping small things grow." (That's a line from "Hello, Dolly!"  ;-)

Look at your life & what you spend, and why - I certainly am.

(I just reread this - it doesn't come close to expressing what I'm thinking & feeling these days, but it's the best I can do for now. Sorry.)