Monday, October 31, 2011


Proverbs 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.

Just sayin"...

Sunday, October 30, 2011

the least

Matthew 25
31 "But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit upon his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered in his presence, and he will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will place the sheep at his right hand and the goats at his left.

  34 "Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. 36 I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.'

  37 "Then these righteous ones will reply, 'Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? 39 When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?'

  40 "And the King will say, 'I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!'

  41 "Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, 'Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons. 42 For I was hungry, and you didn't feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn't give me a drink. 43 I was a stranger, and you didn't invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn't give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn't visit me.'

  44 "Then they will reply, 'Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?'

  45 "And he will answer, 'I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.'

  46 "And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life."

So, what does this say about our excessive lives & our insensitivity to those around us?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

feedback, please

I'd like some feedback - if God gave these verses to you to hold on to, what do you think He would be saying to you?

I'd really like to know - 2 heads are better than 1 ;-) - I've lived with the Isaiah verses for 2 years. I've just started living with the Matthew verses - You may see or hear things about them that I've missed. Tell me what they say to you.

Matthew 6 The Message

 33 Steep your life in God-reality,



Don't worry about missing out.

        You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.

 34 Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now,

     and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow.

God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up
   when the time comes.

Isaiah 41 NLT

9b For I have chosen you & will not throw you away.

10 Don't be afraid,
        for I am with you.

Do not be dismayed,
        for I am your God.

   I will strengthen you.

   I will help you.

   I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.

Friday, October 28, 2011


Psalm 72
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,

   & my spirit may grow weak;

        but God remains the strength of my heart,

   He is mine forever.

In the first 5 months of 2003, God brought a "restlessness" to my spirit. (I was on staff at Christ Chapel in Macon.)

This usually means that change is coming.

So I waited & kept my heart open to what & where he might lead.

To make a long story short, on the first Friday in May (5/5/03), I was at home. Lynn was off at a medical conference or something. Hannah was in her room, studying. I was reading Erwin MacManus' book, "Seizing Your Divine Moment".

And God started dropping into my head & heart that I was supposed to leave music ministry (after 30 years) & start serving in Christ Chapel's 20something ministry, called House of Grace.

The next morning I got up as usual to read & listen out for Him. Every day for 5 months He'd been bringing things up off the page to continue the restlessness, to challenge me to change, & to be committed enough to serve in whatever way He led.

So the day after I make one of the biggest shifts in my life, at His leading, I get up & read Psalm 72, which is all about this guy talking about how the wicked prosper.

I was not impressed.

I figured someone as super holy & sacrificial as I deserved a word of encouragement!

And then I got to verse 24...


I was pretty ashamed of my "super holy" pouting.

Now I find myself in another season, 8 yrs older, not sure if I'm much wiser.

Sometimes, regardless of whatever we're facing, we have to believe things like what we read in verses 24-26.

Sometimes, the true strength of our hope for what lies ahead, our trust in Him, & our servanthood with Him is truly most evident when we're clueless.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

the whole ball of wax

Matthew 22:34 But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees with his reply, they met together to question him again. 35 One of them, an expert in religious law, tried to trap him with this question: 36 "Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?"

  37 Jesus replied, "'You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.'*

38 This is the first and greatest commandment.

39 A second is equally important: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'

40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments."

Iow, to sum it up in 4 words...

love God,

love others.

I have a dear sweet friend who has that tattooed on his forearms in BIG script.

Just sayin'

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

some verses

These are just some verses that came up of the page today as I read this psalm...

Psalm 71
1a O Lord, You are my refuge...

3a, c Be to me a protecting rock of safety
   where I am always welcome...
You are my rock & my fortress

5 O Lord, You alone are my hope
   I've trusted You, O Lord, from childhood.

6a Yes, You have been with me from birth;
   from my mother's womb You have cared for me.

9a and now, in my old age, don't set me aside.

15 Now that I am old & 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.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


2 Chronicles 16:9 The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him.

iow, amongst the many facets of God's identity...

     He's looking around for those who are serious about Him,

knowing that life's no picnic if we totally follow Him;

        and He does this with a specific purpose...

   to give us the strength to be & do what He dreamed for us to be & do.

What does this indicate about God?

What does this indicate about what He thinks about us?

And what does this indicate about His level of care for us?

Do any of us really believe this statement?

And if we do, how then should we live?

Monday, October 24, 2011


Matthew 19
16 Someone came to Jesus with this question: "Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?"

  17 "Why ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good. But to answer your question—if you want to receive eternal life, keep* the commandments."

  18 "Which ones?" the man asked.

  And Jesus replied: "'You must not murder. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. 19 Honor your father and mother. Love your neighbor as yourself.'*"

  20 "I've obeyed all these commandments," the young man replied. "What else must I do?"

  21 Jesus told him, "If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."

  22 But when the young man heard this, he went away sad, for he had many possessions.

  23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, "I tell you the truth, it is very hard for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. 24 I'll say it again—it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!"

  25 The disciples were astounded. "Then who in the world can be saved?" they asked.

  26 Jesus looked at them intently and said, "Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible."

  27 Then Peter said to him, "We've given up everything to follow you. What will we get?"

  28 Jesus replied, "I assure you that when the world is made new* and the Son of Man sits upon his glorious throne, you who have been my followers will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

29 And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property, for my sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will inherit eternal life.

30 But many who are the greatest now will be least important then, and those who seem least important now will be the greatest then.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

some stuff

King Asa said this...
2 Chronicles 14: 7 The land is ours because we ought the Lord our God, & He has given us rest from our enemies.


so does that dovetail into Matthew 6:33
   NLT Seek the Kingdom of God[a] above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
   (or in The Message) Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.

So, what could God be trying to say to me?


Psalm 68: 19 Praise the Lord; Praise God our Savior!
For each day He carries us in His arms
20a Our God is the God who saves.


Matthew 18:20
NLT For where 2 or 3 gather because they are Mine, there I am also.

The Message And when two or three of you are together because of Me, you can be sure that I'll be there.

I've always wanted to this verse as the cornerstone of a gathering ministry & name a ministry 18/20.

Saturday, October 22, 2011


Matthew 17:20 "You don't have enough faith," Jesus told them. "I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.

Do we believe this?

Or do our rational, scientific minds get in the way? defines faith as"strong or unshakeable belief in something, esp without proof or evidence".

So, if we believe what Jesus said here, then what would that mean?

And if we don't, what does THAT mean?

Friday, October 21, 2011

losing & finding

Matthew 6
24 Then Jesus said to his disciples,

"If any of you wants to be my follower, you must
      put aside your selfish ambition,
         shoulder your cross,
            and follow me.

25 If you try to keep your life for yourself, you will lose it.

But if you give up your life for Me, you will find true life.

26 And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul in the process?

Is anything worth more than your soul?

So much here...

"put aside your selfish ambition" - how many of us have selfish ambitions?
        Some that are disguised as "ministry goals"?

"if grasping something, we'll lose it; in letting go, we find what we long for" - how many times have we all seen this happen in our lives & in the lives of the people around us.

"getting everything, losing the most important" - I think of Steve Jobs today when I read this

I'm finding that the more we let go of our lives, the more God is able to express the dreams He dreamed for us a gajillion years ago.

Think about these verses today, will ya. I've lived long enough to know they speak the truth.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

faith & trust

Matthew 15:32 Then Jesus called his disciples and told them, "I feel sorry for these people. They have been here with me for three days, and they have nothing left to eat. I don't want to send them away hungry, or they will faint along the way."

  33 The disciples replied, "Where would we get enough food here in the wilderness for such a huge crowd?"

  34 Jesus asked, "How much bread do you have?"

  They replied, "Seven loaves, and a few small fish."

  35 So Jesus told all the people to sit down on the ground.36 Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, thanked God for them, and broke them into pieces. He gave them to the disciples, who distributed the food to the crowd.

  37 They all ate as much as they wanted. Afterward, the disciples picked up seven large baskets of leftover food. 38 There were 4,000 men who were fed that day, in addition to all the women and children.

This is the SECOND time Jesus did this kind of thing. The first time is recorded just a few chapter before.

The first time there were 5000 men, which means there were probably an equal amount (or more) of women. And those women probably brought children with them. So there could easily have been 10,000+ men & women there - plus children!!!

If you saw Jesus feed that many people, would you have asked Jesus the question the disciples asked in this passage?

Or would you have said anything, in light of what you'd seen Him do just before?

I used to think the disciples must have been idiots.

Then Someone reminded me that I'm the same way.

How many times is my life has God bailed my butt out?

How many times has He pulled off a miracle for me?

How often have I seen His hand guiding my life?

And how often do I whine, fret, worry, complain, & pout when my prissy little life doesn't go the way I think it should (like this last year)?!

Yeah, me & the disciples must be at least cousins...

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Matthew 14:22 Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and cross to the other side of the lake, while he sent the people home. 23 After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone.

  24 Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. 25 About three o'clock in the morning* Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, "It's a ghost!"

  27 But Jesus spoke to them at once. "Don't be afraid," he said. "Take courage. I am here!"

  28 Then Peter called to him, "Lord, if it's really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water."

  29 "Yes, come," Jesus said.

  So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus.30 But when he saw the strong* wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. "Save me, Lord!" he shouted.

  31 Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. "You have so little faith," Jesus said. "Why did you doubt me?"

  32 When they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped. 33 Then the disciples worshiped him. "You really are the Son of God!" they exclaimed.

Anybody besides me been like Peter?

What I mean is, has anyone, besides me, ever took a leap of faith, jumped out of the prissy, precious little life you're livin', & then overwhelmed by the storm around you?

And why do we doubt?

Is it because we've read the beginning of chapter 14, which recounts John the Baptist losing his head? John the Baptist - Jesus' forerunner? John the Baptist, whom Jesus characterized as being a greater prophet than anyone who had come before?

Is it that we doubt Jesus, or is it because we know that sometimes the story doesn't end "...and they lived happily ever after"?

Is it because we've read Hebrews 11:35-40, & read about those who lived lives of faith but whose lives didn't quite reflect the American Dream or have a storybook ending?

Or have I missed the point of this event in the disciples lives with Jesus?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Matthew 13:47 the Kingdom of Heaven is like a fishing net that was thrown into the water and caught fish of every kind.

48 When the net was full, they dragged it up onto the shore, sat down, and sorted the good fish into crates, but threw the bad ones away.

49 That is the way it will be at the end of the world.
        The angels will come and separate the wicked people from the righteous,
        50 throwing the wicked into the fiery furnace,
         where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Maybe it's a sign I'm getting older, maybe not, but whenever I hear of the death of someone...

    someone like...
      Steve Jobs,
        Amy Winehouse,
           Dan Wheldon,
              or Elizabeth Taylor...

I wonder what they're doing right then & what would they say to us if they could.

I wonder if we really believe if the people who haven't accepted Jesus as their Savior will be separated from God for eternity?

I don't think so.

Or maybe we just don't think about it.

Judging from our day to day behavior, I think we don't believe it, &/or we don't think about it.

Just think about this - eternity is a VERY long time.

And there's tons of people all around us who are not gonna spent it with God.

Do we really believe that?


Or do we really, really think that somehow a person's goodness counts for something?

If we really do think there is only one way to assure we will be with God for all eternity, how then should we live?

One more thought...

Where would I be (or you) if the person(s) who encouraged me & led me by the hand into a saving relationship with God had been as wishy-washy as I am (or you are) about sharing the truth about Jesus & the life He offers?

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Matthew 10:28 Then Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light."

At the beginning of January, 2008, my friend, Aaron Barth, came to staff prayer one morning. He mentioned to me that he'd been studying what is called "The Sermon on the Mount", which happens in Matthew 5-7. He said he'd been reading the section in chapter 6 about the lilies of the field & the birds of the air & how God provides.

Then he said something that changed my life - he said something like, "But ya know, you don't have to read all of that because Jesus sums it all up at the beginning when He says, 'Don't worry about your life' ".

Ever since, that statement has resonated in me. I can't tell you how many times I've heard God whisper "don't worry about your life." In view of the crazy life I've been living since the beginning of 2008, I know that is Aaron hadn't said that, & I hadn't absorbed it, I'd now be even nuttier than the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland!

I think if Aaron read this passage in Matthew 11 to us right now, I betcha he'd say something like, "ya know, you don't have to read the whole thing because Jesus said it all in those first 3 words - 'Come to Me' ".

Thanks, Aaron, for the way you've taught me to boil things down to the essentials.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

precarious times

Psalm 60:5 Now rescue your beloved people.
  Answer and save us by your power.
6 God has promised this by his holiness:
"I will divide up Shechem with joy.
  I will measure out the valley of Succoth.
7 Gilead is mine,
  and Manasseh, too.
Ephraim, my helmet, will produce my warriors,
  and Judah, my scepter, will produce my kings.
8 But Moab, my washbasin, will become my servant,
  and I will wipe my feet on Edom
  and shout in triumph over Philistia."

9 Who will bring me into the fortified city?
  Who will bring me victory over Edom?
10 Have you rejected us, O God?
  Will you no longer march with our armies?
11 Oh, please help us against our enemies,
  for all human help is useless.
12 With God's help we will do mighty things,
  for he will trample down our foes.

Here's what my Life Application Bible footnotes these verses...

"God said the cities & territories of Israel were His, & He knew the future of each of the nations.

"When the worlds seems out of control, we must remind ourselves that God owns the cities, & knows the future of every nation.

"God is in control. With God's help we will gain the victory."

Friday, October 14, 2011


Psalm 59:16 as for me, I will sing about Your power.

     I will shout w/ joy each morning bc of Your unfailing love.

For You have been my refuge,

   a place of safety in the day of distress

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Matthew 8:23 Then Jesus got into the boat and started across the lake with his disciples.24 Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping.25 The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, "Lord, save us! We're going to drown!"
  26 Jesus responded, "Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!" Then he got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm.
  27 The disciples were amazed. "Who is this man?" they asked. "Even the winds and waves obey him!"

I used to think the disciples were pretty stupid to get all scared.

Then some "storms" came my way.


I cut the disciples a little slack now...

'cause I'm just like them.

here's a vid that sums up what I want to be in a storm...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

keep on...

Matthew 7 (New Living Translation)

vs 7
Keep on asking, & you will be given what you ask for.

Keep on looking, & you will find.

Keep on knocking, & the door will be opened.

vs 8
For everyone who asks, receives.

Everyone who seeks, finds.

And the door is opened to everyone who knocks.

What stuck out of these verses for me today?

"Keep on..."

Keep on moving forward. Don't slow down. Don't give up. Don't get tire & weary. Don't quit believing. Don't be discouraged. One foot ahead of the other.

I don't feel like doing any of that.

I don't know what I feel like doing, but it's none of that.

But since when does what I think & what I wanna do affect the journey I am on with Him?

Don't know who else needed to hear this today, but this is for you too.

Even though I don't feel as strong as this song is, it still applies, today, & always...

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

steep your life

This seems to be one of the passages I'm to add to those I'm carrying in my heart these days, & I believe I'm supposed to carry it with me into 2012.

Wonder why I'm gonna need these words in the days & months ahead?

from Matthew 6 in The Message

vs33 Steep your life in

(dan note: reality is defined as "something that exists independently of ideas concerning it & of all other things and from which all other things derive.")

(dan note: initative is defined as "readiness and ability in taking action.")

(dan note: provisions is defined as "arrangement or preparation beforehand, as for the doing of something, the meeting of needs, the supplying of means.")

Don't worry about missing out.
   You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.

vs34 Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now,
            & don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow.

God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the times comes.

Monday, October 10, 2011


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

Here's what my Life Application Bible has to say about this verse...

"God wants us to give our burdens to Him, but often we continue to bear them ourselves even when we say we are trusting in Him. Trust the same strength that sustains you to carry your cares also."

Anybody guilty of this besides me?

Is it a trust issue?

Or are we simply believers in the adage, "God helps those who help themselves"? (which incidentally is NOT in the Bible ;-)

I think it's a trust thing.

Part of it may be that we don't want to relinquish control because if we trust Him to tote our load(s) then this implies we are comfortable with the outcome & ramifications of allowing Him to be in control as Sustainer?

(Did that last sentence make any sense?)

Or do we simply believe that the God of the universes doesn't have that intimate a knowledge of our individual lives, or doesn't want to be bothered with the minutiae of our lives?

Is it a control issue for us? Or is it a surrender issue? Or are surrender issues really trust issues?

I'm think I'm over-thinking this ;-)

Saturday, October 8, 2011


1 Chronicles 28:20 Be strong & courageous & do the work. Don't be afraid or discouraged by the size of the task, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.

This is King David talking to his son, Solomon, who would become king when David died. David was telling Solomon to be strong in the face of the daunting task that would be Solomon's of building the temple to God in Jerusalem.

What does this say to us?

Be strong - iow, be decisive, step forward & take the bull by the horns & make things happen

be courageous - many will nay say what we are about; we need to focus on what we're about & move on it

do the work - God's not gonna hand us something; we've got to put our "sweat equity" into something so we'll own it

don't be afraid or discouraged of the size of the work - all of us are scared when something is BIG tha God wants us to be or do. But how do we feel if God asks us to be & do something small or medium sized when we think we should be being or doing BIG things for Him? Yeah... chew on that one for a while...

for the Lord God, my God, is with you - the God of the universes is with us - the One who created the whole of creation, who is timeless, who is, has been, & will always be is with us in what He's told us to be & do

He will not fail you or forsake you - iow, He's gonna come through for us, & He ain't gonna get distracted & leave us high & dry, or get tired of watching over us & go on to someone more productive & leave us in the dust

Now, will someone please remind me of this on a daily basis?!

Friday, October 7, 2011


Psalm 52:8 I am like an olive tree thriving in the house of God.
      I trust in God's unfailing love forever & ever.
9 I will praise You forever, O God, for what You have done.
      I will wait for Your mercies in the presence of Your people.

I've always been a little uncomfortable with people who seem to have this kind of trusting attitude toward God that's all ooshy-gooshy, touchy/feely, & warm & fuzzy - all big, deep sighs with the closing of your eyes. It just somehow never quite felt all that real.

Didja ever know anybody like that? Ya know what I mean?

I've wondered sometimes how much of all that was real & how much of it was just a show to impress others or just something people did to get authenticated by the people around them or important to them.

(Boy howdy, that sounded harsh!)

Well, anyway, that's what I've wondered sometimes.

Particularly in the last 11+ yrs, I've learned that trusting God isn't anything like that. Sometimes it take a lot of grit in your craw. Sometimes it seems like the stupidest thing in the world to do. And sometimes it's just downright scary, or dangerous.

And to top it all off, we've got to do it most of the time with the whole world watching - well, at least it FEELS like the whole world is watching.

I especially feel like everybody's watching me right now. (No, I'm not paranoid - at least not anymore than usual ;-)

We've stuck our necks out, bought a house, moved up here to Blairsville in a flurry of faith & resplendent expectations...

...and have been at a standstill ever since.

When I read "I will wait for Your mercies in the presence of Your people." this morning, I kinda chuckled.

Boy howdy, Mr. Psalm-writer - do I know how you felt!

So, we wait, & we trust.

no ooshy-gooshy...

no touchy/feely...

no warm & fuzzy...

no big, deep sighs with the closing of our eyes.

Just trusting...



while all God's people seem to be watching.

Would I go back to believing what God has led me to be & do but trusting in myself to make it happen?

Heck no! (I sound like my Navy son, Wood ;-)

We wait, & we trust.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

a 2012 verse

In 2003 my friend & brother Andy King told us at staff meeting that God had given him a scripture to hold on to for that year. I thought it was a cool Idea, so I asked God for one too. He gave me Romans 12:12 "Be glad for the things God is planning for you."

I was suspicious immediately.

I knew God was up to something.

Little did I know that God would address 3 gianormous issues with me that year. I wouldn't give a million gajillion dollars for the delicious freedom I now know because of His hand in my life. But that year was also so difficult that I wouldn't live through it again for any amount of money!

Ever since then I've asked Him for a scripture to hold on to.

In 2008 He gave me 4. I needed every one of them! They hung over for 2009.

In 2010 He gave me 5 passages, not just verses. Since we moved to Blairsville, I've held on to them with a death grip. They've kept me from going completely crazy (or crazier!).

I think this is either another passage to add to the 5 I've been carrying these past 2 years, or it may be for 2012. God put His finger on my heart as Pastor John was reading his scripture last Sunday during his sermon. I wasn't thinking about a new verse to hold on to now or for maybe 2012. Funny how creative God gets when He wants to speak to you.

Here's how it's translated by the different translations available (or paraphrased, as in The Message).

I think I'm supposed to hold on to the way these verses are treated in The Message & the NLT.

Matthew 6:33-34

The Message
33 Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.
34 Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.

33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

J. B. Phillips
33 Set your heart on the kingdom and his goodness, and all these things will come to you as a matter of course.  
34 “Don’t worry at all then about tomorrow. Tomorrow can take care of itself! One day’s trouble is enough for one day.

33 But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides.
34 So do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries and anxieties of its own. Sufficient for each day is its own trouble.

33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


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."

23 giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me.
  If you keep to my path,
  I will reveal to you the salvation of God."

iow, all of those things we give up or stop doing aren't the things that rev God's motor.

It's when we're thankful to Him that He gets excited.


Chew on that one today...

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

what's comin'

Revelation 21
1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone.2 And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.

  3 I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, "Look, God's home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them.*4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever."

  5 And the one sitting on the throne said, "Look, I am making everything new!" And then he said to me, "Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true."6 And he also said, "It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life

Monday, October 3, 2011


Psalm 48:14b He is our God forever & ever, & He will be our guide until we die.

My Life Application says this about that verse...

"We often pray for God's guidance as we struggle with decisions. What we need is both a map who gives us directions & a companion who has an intimate knowledge of the way & will make sure we interpret the map correctly.

"The Bible is such a map...

"...and the Holy Spirit is our constant companion & guide,"


Sunday, October 2, 2011

discipleship revisited

Proverbs 4:25 Look straight ahead,
   & fix your eyes on what lies before you.

26 Mark out a straight path for your feet;
   stay on the safe path.

27 Don't get sidetracked;
   keep your feet from following evil.

I'd like to think out loud for a minute...

This blog today is inspired by a note my sister, Sheila, sent me yesterday about trusting God, & the lack thereof...

Sometimes if we've imbued our whole concept of servanthood & discipleship with success, leadership models, & the American dream?

We seem to feel that servanthood & discipleship can only be measured by how successful we are. And if we're not busily being about the business of serving & following that somehow we're not quite the servants & disciples we should be.

Maybe sometimes we're just supposed to be. Is our penchant for always knowing what to be & do a subtle, or not so subtle, expression of control?

Could our desire to always be doing something for humankind, making progress, making things happen, being effective, growing, getting big more about being successful in the eyes of those authenticators in our life & less about following God?

Does following sometimes really mean just that - following - & not asking a gajillion questons, knowing what's ahead, making plans, working the plans, administrating outcome(s) of those plans, growing those plans, & getting big?

Sometimes, if we're going to be &/or do something for God, we don't necessarily have to be big?

Sometimes, maybe what we're supposed to be about is something either seemingly or actually quite small?

Could it be that sometimes we're not supposed to race through life at a hundred mph's - that we're supposed to walk very slowly, & sometimes to stand still?

Is it a lack of trust if we can't just "be still in the presence of the Lord & wait for Him to act"?

What would our lives be like is we really were able to say "whatever" & relinquish not only the control of our lives to Him but relinquish the expectations we & our human authenticators have for that life of following Him?

My thinking seems to be moving more into something very basic. I don't know if it's simply a safety mechanism, to get me through this season, or if God is simplifying my concept of life while jettisoning the success orientation models & expectations we've hung on to the meaning of the words servanthood & discipleship.

I feel like I'm moving toward a more different way of thinking about servanthood & discipleship. Don't know what it means - since when have I known what much of my life means?! :-) LOL

I don't know if any of this made any sense.
Anyone want to comment back?