Thursday, November 29, 2012

humbling ourselves

Don't know who this is for...

I could be wrong, but I feel like this is something someone needs to read this morning...

James 4:7 So humble yourselves before God.

Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

8 Come close to God, and God will come close to you.

Wash your hands, you sinners;

     purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.

9 Let there be tears for what you have done.

Let there be sorrow and deep grief.

Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy.

10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

faith & trust

Psalm 106:24 The people refused to enter the pleasant land, for they wouldn't believe His promise to care for them.

The people talked about in this verse are the Jews who had fled Egyptian slavery.

They'd watched God send plagues in Egypt that forced Pharaoh to let them go.

They'd walked across the Red Sea on dry ground.

They watched the Red Sea come back & drown all of Pharaoh's army.

But they couldn't bring themselves to enter the promised land of Canaan because they didn't believe that God would take care of them.

They decided that they would all be killed if they went in, even though the God who had done all the things to get them out of Egypt had promised to take care of them.

God was not pleased.

So they wandered in the wilderness of Sinai for 40 yrs, until every last one of them who didn't believe was dead. Then the Jews entered Canaan.

How many of us follow God, enjoying His care & guidance, until we come face to face with what seems to be a completely impossible?

At that point we simply decide to not believe He can pull this one off - that His care & guidance was fine before, but this is something He can't do.

And our lives begin to drift & wander.

I've entered the "pleasant land" 2 1/2 yrs ago & my life has come to a standstill. But I continue to believe, even when I don't feel like I believe, that He will continue to care & guide.

On March 31 of this year, I woke up at 2am & while lying there thinking, I seriously considered packing it up & moving back to Macon.

When I got up that morning to read, 9 verses hurtled up from the pages of the Bible as I read - 9 verses about His care & guidance & how I shouldn't give up.

Coincidence, you might say? I wasn't looking for verses to prop me up. I'd already decided that that morning I was gonna talk to Lynn about moving back to Macon. But here's 2 of the 9 verses that popped up...

Isaiah 46:3b I created you & have cared for you since before you were born. 4 I will be your God throughout your life - until your hair is white w/ age. I made you & I will care for you. I will carry you along & save you.

2 Corinthians 4:1 since God in His mercy has given us the wonderful ministry, we never give up.
(2 Corinthians 4 is all about Paul basically saying he's not gonna give up, even though quit looks good to him. Read all of that chapter to get all the things Paul says there that was pertinent to my situation)

And so, even though I think I'll lose my mind sometimes, I continue to wait, in the stand still for whatever is next in "pleasant land".

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Psalm 105:19 Until the time came to fulfill His word, the Lord tested Joseph's character.

I know some of you may have a hard time with this verse.

But think about this...

When our daughter, Hannah, was little, like preschool age, both Lynn & I started allowing her to make small decisions for herself, & then let her live with the consequences.

We did this intentionally over the years as she grew up. If we had never done this, she wouldn't know how to make decisions on her own, nor would she have learned how to live with not only the benefits of her good decisions but the consequences of her bad decisions. Essentially, her growth as a person would have been stunted as a result.

Then wouldn't it follow that God, who over & over in the Bible stresses that He wants us to think of Him as a Father, would be consistent in His behavior as a kind & just Father if He allowed us to be in situations that taught us similar attributes?

Got any feedback on my thinking here?

Monday, November 26, 2012

stuff from James

James packs a lot in his short book. here's some things that came off the page this morning in the 1st chapter...

James 1
2 Dear brothers and sisters,* when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.

3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.

4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

  5 If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you.

        He will not rebuke you for asking.

6 But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone.

        Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.

        7 Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.

        8 Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.

  9 Believers who are poor have something to boast about, for God has honored them.

10 And those who are rich should boast that God has humbled them.

        They will fade away like a little flower in the field.

        11 The hot sun rises and the grass withers; the little flower droops and falls, and its beauty fades away.

In the same way, the rich will fade away with all of their achievements.

  12 God blesses those who patiently endure testing.

        Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

13 And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, "God is tempting me."

God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else.

14 Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away.

15 These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.

  16 So don't be misled, my dear brothers and sisters.17 Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens.

He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.

18 He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word.

And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession.

19 Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters:

       You must all be quick to listen,

       slow to speak,

       and slow to get angry.

20 Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires.

21 So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.

  22 But don't just listen to God's word.

     You must do what it says.

     Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.

23 For if you listen to the word and don't obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror.24 You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like.

25 But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don't forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.

  26 If you claim to be religious but don't control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless.

27 Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

think about this

Just think about what this says about God...

Psalm 103
1 Let all that I am praise the LORD;

  with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.

2 Let all that I am praise the LORD;

  may I never forget the good things he does for me.

3 He forgives all my sins

  and heals all my diseases.

4 He redeems me from death

  and crowns me with love and tender mercies.

5 He fills my life with good things.

  My youth is renewed like the eagle's!

13 The LORD is like a father to his children,

  tender and compassionate to those who fear him.

14 For he knows how weak we are;

  he remembers we are only dust.

15 Our days on earth are like grass;

  like wildflowers, we bloom and die.

16 The wind blows, and we are gone—

  as though we had never been here.

17 But the love of the LORD remains forever

  with those who fear him.

His salvation extends to the children's children

18   of those who are faithful to his covenant,

  of those who obey his commandments!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

interesting words, in this day & time

2 Timothy is the last letter Paul wrote before he was executed, so the portent of it is all the more important. Paul's words speak our day & time, as they did back then to Timothy...

2 Timothy 3

1 You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times.

2 For people will love only themselves and their money.

They will be boastful and proud,

     scoffing at God,

     disobedient to their parents,

     and ungrateful.

They will consider nothing sacred.

3 They will be unloving and unforgiving;

they will slander others

     and have no self-control.

They will be cruel and hate what is good.

4 They will betray their friends,

     be reckless,

     be puffed up with pride,

     and love pleasure rather than God.

5 They will act religious,

     but they will reject the power that could make them godly.

Stay away from people like that!

14 But you must remain faithful to the things you have been taught.

      You know they are true,

          for you know you can trust those who taught you.

15 You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood,

        and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus.

16 All Scripture is inspired by God

        and is useful to teach us what is true

        and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives.

It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.

17 God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.

Friday, November 23, 2012

right living

Right living in a sin-soaked, perverse, perverted world that continually dries to draw us in & drag us down?

Psalm 101

2b I will lead a life of integrity in my home.

3a I will refuse to look at anything vile or vulgar.

4 I will reject perverse ideas & stay away from every evil.

2 Timothy 2

10 I am willing to endure anything if it will bring salvation & eternal glory in Christ to those God has chosen.

21 If you keep yourself pure, you will be a utensil God can use for His purpose.

Your life will be clean,

     & you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work.

22 Run from anything that stimulates youth lust.

Follow anything that makes you want to do right.

Pursue faith & love & peace,

& enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord w/ pure hearts.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

This seemed appropriate for today...

Psalm 100

1 Shout with joy to the LORD, all the earth!

2   Worship the LORD with gladness.

  Come before him, singing with joy.

3 Acknowledge that the LORD is God!

  He made us, and we are his.

  We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving;

  go into his courts with praise.

  Give thanks to him and praise his name.

5 For the LORD is good.

  His unfailing love continues forever,

  and his faithfulness continues to each generation.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


I read this today & thought about all of us who live SO well,compared to the rest of the world.

Read this & just think about the lives & culture we now live in, & how this could relate to all that...

1 Timothy 6
6 Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth.

7 After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can't take anything with us when we leave it.

8 So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content.

  9 But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction.

10 For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.

        And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.

11 But you, Timothy, are a man of God; so run from all these evil things.

        Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness.

       12 Fight the good fight for the true faith.

       Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have confessed so well before many witnesses.

  17 Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable.

        Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment.

18 Tell them to use their money to do good.

        They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need,

              always being ready to share with others.

19 By doing this they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future so that they may experience true life.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

all I got

Sometimes, all I've got is a psalm of praise

Psalm 98
1 Sing a new song to the LORD,
  for he has done wonderful deeds.
His right hand has won a mighty victory;
  his holy arm has shown his saving power!
2 The LORD has announced his victory
  and has revealed his righteousness to every nation!
3 He has remembered his promise to love and be faithful to Israel.
  The ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God.

4 Shout to the LORD, all the earth;
  break out in praise and sing for joy!
5 Sing your praise to the LORD with the harp,
  with the harp and melodious song,
6 with trumpets and the sound of the ram's horn.
  Make a joyful symphony before the LORD, the King!

7 Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise!
  Let the earth and all living things join in.
8 Let the rivers clap their hands in glee!
  Let the hills sing out their songs of joy
9 before the LORD.
  For the LORD is coming to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with justice,
  and the nations with fairness

Monday, November 19, 2012

Psalm 97

Psalm 97:1 The LORD is king!
  Let the earth rejoice!
  Let the farthest coastlands be glad.
2 Dark clouds surround him.
  Righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.
3 Fire spreads ahead of him
  and burns up all his foes.
4 His lightning flashes out across the world.
  The earth sees and trembles.
5 The mountains melt like wax before the LORD,
  before the Lord of all the earth.
6 The heavens proclaim his righteousness;
  every nation sees his glory.
7 Those who worship idols are disgraced—
  all who brag about their worthless gods—
  for every god must bow to him.
8 Jerusalem has heard and rejoiced,
  and all the towns of Judah are glad
  because of your justice, O LORD!
9 For you, O LORD, are supreme over all the earth;
  you are exalted far above all gods.

10 You who love the LORD, hate evil!
  He protects the lives of his godly people
  and rescues them from the power of the wicked.
11 Light shines on the godly,
  and joy on those whose hearts are right.
12 May all who are godly rejoice in the LORD
  and praise his holy name!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

who's got me covered

Isaiah 46:3b I created you & have cared for you since before you were born.

4 I will be your God throughout your lifetime - until your hair is white with age.

I made you, & I will care for you.

I will carry you along & save you.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

verse for 2013

Psalm 32:8 The Lord says, "I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you & watch over you.

I think this may be one of the verses God's given me for 2013.

At the end of 2002, my friend & little brother, Andy King, told us that he'd asked God for a verse to hold on to for 2003. God has done so. I thought it was a kool idea & something that might be important.

So I asked.

Some years, it's be one verse. Some years it's been 4. ALL OF THEM have been VERY appropriate for what I faced during that year.

Interesting, isn't it?

There have been & are times when the verses He's given me were (& are) the only thing I had to hold on to.

Other times they were tangible reminders of His love & care.

How do I find these verses?

Well, they find me...

God knows I really want & need something from Him to hold on to, so I just keep my heart open. Usually sometimes toward the end of the year, He'll kinda poke me when I'm reading something, or simply put a thought in my head that a certain verse or verses are for me.

It's really kinda miraculous, come to think of it.

I read this verse on Saturday, September 15 of this year, & wrote it in my journal, just as a verse to remember,one that came up off the page that morning.

I've returned to it every few days, just as a verse to kinda hold on to these days.

Then a couple of weeks ago, I kinda got this thought that maybe it's for 2013. This thought came to me kinda randomly - iow, I wasn't thinking about verses for next year.

So I've kept my heart open,& I haven't gotten any kind of feeling that it is NOT for 2013.

So, we'll see...

Think about asking God for a verse,or verses for 2013. He'll prolly mess with ya, but then, God loves us too much to leave us as we are ;-)

Friday, November 16, 2012

walking in the truth

Matthew 6 (The Message)

33 Steep your life in God-reality,



Don't worry about missing out.

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

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.

These were the verses God gave me for this year. Some days I walked in them, some days I haven't.

The days I have walked in them, believed them, & trust Him in have been easier than the days I haven't walked in them.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

psalm 92

Psalm 92
1 It is good to give thanks to the LORD,

  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.

  How refreshed I am by Your power!.

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 nothing but goodness in him!"

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

just read it

Psalm 91
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 fear the dangers of 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,

  if you make the Most high your shelter,

  no evil will conquer 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."

Monday, November 12, 2012

no matter what happens

Notice that these are all imperative sentences.

1 Thessalonians 5:18

No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. (NLT)

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (NIV)

Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus [the Revealer and Mediator of that will]. (Amplified)

Thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live. (The Message)

Be thankful, whatever the circumstances may be. If you follow this advice you will be working out the will of God expressed to you in Jesus Christ. (J. B. Phillips NT)

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (ESV)

 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (KJV)

If you want to know the story behind this verse's impact on my life, just ask - I'll fill you in.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

how to live

1 Thessalonians 4
1 Finally, dear brothers and sisters, we urge you in the name of the Lord Jesus to live in a way that pleases God, as we have taught you.

  3 God's will is for you to be holy, so stay away from all sexual sin.

4 Then each of you will control his own body and live in holiness and honor;

       5 not in lustful passion like the pagans who do not know God and his ways.

6 Never harm or cheat a Christian brother in this matter by violating his wife,

     for the Lord avenges all such sins, as we have solemnly warned you before.

7 God has called us to live holy lives, not impure lives.

8 Therefore, anyone who refuses to live by these rules is not disobeying human teaching but is rejecting God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.

  9 But we don't need to write to you about the importance of loving each other,

        for God himself has taught you to love one another.

10 Indeed, you already show your love for all the believers throughout Macedonia.

      Even so, dear brothers and sisters, we urge you to love them even more.

  11 Make it your goal to live a quiet life,

          minding your own business

          and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before.

12 Then people who are not Christians will respect the way you live,

        and you will not need to depend on others.

Saturday, November 10, 2012


1 Thessalonians 2:4b Our purpose is to please God, not people. He is the One who examines the motives of our hearts.

Sometimes I wonder if God puts less emphasis, less importance on WHAT we are & do, & is supremely more interested in WHY we are who we are & do hat we do.

I just did a word search at to see how many times "motive" pops up in the New Living Translation. It appears 17 times- about half in the Old Testament, half in the New Testament.

They all refer directly or obliquely to an examination of motive.

In the past decade or so, God seems to keep poking me in the eye about this motive thing. It seems there is no merit accruded from the simple being or doing unless we are & do something for the right reasons.

But the reason God pokes me about motive is because lots of the time, my motives aren't all that good.

Sometimes my motive may be simply because I have to be or do something.

Sometimes it's to finesse may way through something.

Sometimes it's to just get ahead.

Sometimes it's to just keep up!

And unfortunately, I've had to adjust my motive, more than once!

But over & over again, He keeps reminding me that the motive is as important, or maybe more important, than the act.

Think about it.

Think about why you are who you are & do what you do.

Ask yourself the why question until you get to the bottom of your motive to being &/or doing  whatever is at hand.

Just a thought...

Friday, November 9, 2012


1 Thessalonians 1
2 We always thank God for all of you and pray for you constantly. 3 As we pray to our God and Father about you, we think of your faithful work, your loving deeds, and the enduring hope you have because of our Lord Jesus Christ.

  4 We know, dear brothers and sisters, that God loves you and has chosen you to be his own people. 5 For when we brought you the Good News, it was not only with words but also with power, for the Holy Spirit gave you full assurance* that what we said was true. And you know of our concern for you from the way we lived when we were with you. 6 So you received the message with joy from the Holy Spirit in spite of the severe suffering it brought you. In this way, you imitated both us and the Lord. 7 As a result, you have become an example to all the believers in Greece—throughout both Macedonia and Achaia.

  8 And now the word of the Lord is ringing out from you to people everywhere, even beyond Macedonia and Achaia, for wherever we go we find people telling us about your faith in God. We don't need to tell them about it, 9 for they keep talking about the wonderful welcome you gave us and how you turned away from idols to serve the living and true God. 10 And they speak of how you are looking forward to the coming of God's Son from heaven—Jesus, whom God raised from the dead. He is the one who has rescued us from the terrors of the coming judgment.

I think we worry about "witnessing" way too much.

Paul spends this whole chapter talking about how people are talking about the christians in Thessaloniki. And it wasn't their "witnessing" the people were talking about - it was the quality of the christians lives that got the people talking.

Ya see, people may listen to us, but what really speaks to them is how we live, day to day.

I'm really proud of our daughter, Hannah. She lives in a very secular academic world. She has for many years. She's an exceptional Christ follower. Many times she's a lot more Christ like than me - not a difficult thing! ;-)

Many of the people around her don't like christians.

But they like her.


Because she loves them well.

Maybe if we just love the people around us well, unconditionally, non-judgmentally, maybe we wouldn't have to worry about witnessing so much.

Our lives & loving will speak more loudly than anything we say.

Just a thought...

Thursday, November 8, 2012

we're that person

Colossians 4

5 Live wisely among those who are not Christians,

     & make the most of every opportunity.

6 Let your conversation be gracious & effective so that you will have the right answer for everyone.

How many people are in your life who are not Christ followers?

I'm not talking about acquaintances - I'm talking about people you've built a relationship with.

And how many of them have you shared something of what your life is like connected to God.

Now, I'm not talking about being a "Bible banger" - someone who is always hitting people over the head with scriptures, condemning their lives.

What I'm talking about is just the simple sharing anyone would do about the core of themselves.

There's a LOT of reasons we can give for not doing this.

They're just excuses.

Our daughter, Hannah, who has LOTS of people around her who aren't Christ followers, often says that her job is to love people well. God takes care of the rest.

Pretty good thought,huh? (She takes after her mother ;-)

Think about this...

What if the person(s) who talked to you about connecting with God & who influenced each of us to be a Christ follower had been reluctant to do so?

We wouldn't be in a connection with God.

We're that person for a lot of people.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

fat words

There's SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much in this chapter, but particularly in these first 17 verses.

Read 'em - wow!

Colossians 3
1 Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven,

     where Christ sits in the place of honor at God's right hand.

2 Think about the things of heaven,

      not the things of earth.

3 For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God.

4 And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.

  5 So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you.

        Have nothing to do with
             sexual immorality,
             and evil desires.

        Don't be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.

6 Because of these sins, the anger of God is coming.

7 You used to do these things when your life was still part of this world.

8 But now is the time to get rid of
     malicious behavior,
     and dirty language.

9 Don't lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds.

10 Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him.

11 In this new life, it doesn't matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile,* circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized,* slave, or free.

     Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us.

  12 Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with
     tenderhearted mercy,
     and patience.

13 Make allowance for each other's faults, and forgive anyone who offends you.

         Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.

14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.

15 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts.

For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.

  16 Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives.

Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives.

Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.

17 And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Now, more words from the apostle, Paul, when he wrote the young Christians in Colossae...

Colossians 2:
6 And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him.

7 Let your roots grow down into him,

     and let your lives be built on him.

Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught,

     and you will overflow with thankfulness.

  8 Don't let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ.

9 For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body.

10 So you also are complete through your union with Christ,

        who is the head over every ruler and authority.

"Let your roots grow down into Him..."

What does that mean?

Well, if we want to sink our roots into someone, what do we do?

We spend time with them.

We listen to what they say.

We ask them questions.

We watch their behavior.

We increase our trust in that person as we incrementally get to know them.

We have a realistic view of them.

We open ourselves up to them, become vulnerable with them, & become intimate with them, letting them see us as we are.


Monday, November 5, 2012

who Jesus is

Read this & then catch what I say at the end...

Colossians 1
15 Christ is the visible image of the invisible God.

  He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation,

16 for through him God created everything

  in the heavenly realms and on earth.

He made the things we can see

  and the things we can't see—

such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world.

  Everything was created through him and for him.

17 He existed before anything else,

  and he holds all creation together.

18 Christ is also the head of the church,

  which is his body.

He is the beginning,

  supreme over all who rise from the dead.

  So he is first in everything.

19 For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ,

20 and through him God reconciled everything to himself.

He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth

  by means of Christ's blood on the cross.

  21 This includes you who were once far away from God. You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions.

22 Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body.

As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault.

So get this - because of Jesus, when God looks at us,He doesn't see our sins & sinfulness - He see us holy & blameless.

Iow, He doesn't see us as the screwed up sinners that we've become, but as He created the person He dreamed up & created.

Talk about a second chance...

Just sit & think about that for a minute before your jump back into your hurried day...

Sunday, November 4, 2012

good words

Here's a few words from the apostle, Paul in Philippians 4:

6 Don't worry about anything;

     pray about everything.

Tell God what you need,

       & thank Him for all He has done.

7 if you do this, you will experience God's peace,

     which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand.

His peace will guard your hearts & minds as you live for Christ Jesus.

dan note: What would our lives look like if we actually believed these 2 verses? Is this too simple? Too naive? Or do we simply not trust HIm enough to believe it? Or is it more of a control issue?

8b Fix your thoughts on what is true & honorable & right.

Think about things that are pure & lovely & admirable.

Think about things that are excellent & worthy of praise.

dan note: we CAN control our thinking. The more we think in right directions, the synapses between the neural pathways in our brain will become easier to move through those synapses. The more we NOT think in destructive or addictive ways, those neural pathways become more atrophied, making it harder to go in that direction of thinking. That's how habits & addictions are broken. So what Paul here is suggesting actually has a basis in truth about the ways in which would brain finds it easier to move. (Did that make sense?)

11b I have learned how to get along happily whether I have much or little.

dan note: wouldn't it be wonderful if we could learn to live like this in our pathetically consumer oriented, materialistic culture?

13 For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need.

dan note: this is the money verse for this chapter. think about it these ways & check it meaning for you...

For I CAN do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need.

For I can do EVERYTHING with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need.

For I can do everything WITH the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need.

For I can do everything with the HELP of Christ who gives me the strength I need.

For I can do everything with the help of CHRIST who gives me the strength I need.

For I can do everything with the help of Christ who GIVES me the strength I need.

For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives ME the strength I need.

For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the STRENGTH I need.

For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I NEED.

Yeah, like I said, it's the money statement in this chapter.

19 this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from His glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.

And how would we then live if we REALLY believed this?

Saturday, November 3, 2012


The apostle Paul wrote 4 short letters 4 or 6 chapters long to 4 churches - Galatia, Ephesus, Philippi, Colossae.The letters are called, respectively, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, & Colossians.

These 4 short little letters are fat with good stuff. If you haven't read them, or if you haven't read them recently, haul out your BIble & read them, one chapter at a time, in a translation that makes sense to you. There's some pretty towering stuff in these short little books. Mine are underlined a lot!

Here's some of the things that stood out for me this morning.

Philippians 3
1a Whatever happens, my dear brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord.

8 Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.

For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ 9 and become one with him.

I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law;

     rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ.

For God's way of making us right with himself depends on faith.

10a I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead.

12 I don't mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection.

But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me.

13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it,

       but I focus on this one thing:

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

20 But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives.

     And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior.

21 He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own,

       using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control.

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

It's hard to "forget the past". I don't know about you, but sometimes I pretty overwhelmed by my own stupidity. It's hard to forgive ourselves & move on.

But I think Paul is telling us to let go of the past. If we're forgiven by God for all the stupids sins & sinning we've done, then we should forgive ourselves & move on.

Easy to say, hard to do.

But none the less, we should. Otherwise, it will keep us from being & doing all that God has in store for us.

Besides, God's forgiven us, & let it go - forgotten about it. That's the scandal of grace - He's forgiven us & forgotten about it.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

whine not

Philippians 1:12 And I want you to know, my dear brothers and sisters, that everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News. 13 For everyone here, including the whole palace guard, knows that I am in chains because of Christ. 14 And because of my imprisonment, most of the believers here have gained confidence and boldly speak God's message without fear.

Think about somethin' for a sec...

Most of what letters the apostle Paul wrote, he wrote while in prison.

These letters are a BIG chunk of what we call the New Testament.

And here, in Philippians, Paul plainly says that God has used his being in prison to spread the Gospel into places & among people that prolly wouldn't have come to know about Jesus otherwise.


We're so success oriented.

We figure that the only way we can be effective is if we're a part of something BIG, be that a church, ministry, mission group, worship team, or hot-shot recording / video / dog & pony show event.

Maybe that's not the way things are supposed to be.

Maybe we're supposed to be salt & light wherever we are. Maybe the truth about being a Christ follower is being successful - it's about simply obeying God as He leads & not whining & complaining that it ain't what you thought it was gonna be.

Maybe we're really supposed to be servants - saying yes to whatever, whenever, whoever, wherever, & however God wants to use us.

Maybe we ARE supposed to trust Him, no matter what happens.

Maybe we should think more like Paul & realize that in EVERY situation, no matter how glittering & glamorous, or had troublesome, difficult, boring, or weird, that God will use us & work through us to get people to come to know who Jesus is & what His coming means to them.

And maybe we should cut out the whining, complaining, wishful thinking, disappointment in not being "used" of God as we thought we should be used, & just simply be who we are in Him & let HIM take care of how we're used.

Think about all of that today - I certainly am