Saturday, November 30, 2013


Roman s 13:14a Let the Lord Jesus Christ take control of you...

The apostle, Paul, wrote those 7 words in his letter to the Christians in Rome.

They lived in a city considered by the western world at the time to pretty much be the center of the world's activities.

It was an unbelievably wicked place in an equally unbelievably wicked world.

And Paul tells them to let Jesus take control of their lives.

What would our lives look like if we REALLY did that?

If we let go of our hopes, dreams, desires, & wants...

If we relinquished control of our present, our past, & followed Him into our future...

If we became & did what He led us to be & do...

What do you think that would look like?

What do you think it would be like for you, or for me, or anyone for that matter?

Friday, November 29, 2013

keep on

Who, besides me, needs to be told this morning to endure, persist, hang on, persevere, continue, last, or finish?

Why did these 2 two verses stand out today as I was up early reading this morning?

I've gotta think about how the overarching truth of these verses applies to me right now.

But I also felt like these 2 verses are for more than just me.

Maybe they're for you, too.

Read them, & see if God speaks into your life through them.

When you see the repeated parts, emphasize the words in caps (I'm not shouting ;-) .

Matthew 7:7 - 8

Keep on


        & YOU will be given what you ask for.

        & you WILL be given what you ask for.

        & you will be GIVEN what you ask for.

        & you will be given what YOU ask for.

        & you will be given what you ASK for.

Keep on


         & YOU will find.

         & you WILL find.

         & you will FIND.

Keep on


         & the DOOR will be opened.

         & the door WILL be opened.

         & the door will be OPENED.

For everyone who asks,


Everyone who seeks,


And to everyone who knocks,

     the door is opened.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

don't worry

Matthew 6

25b ...don't worry about your life...

     whether you have enough food and drink,

     or enough clothes to wear.

Isn't life more than food,

     and your body more than clothing?

26 Look at the birds.

        They don't plant or harvest or store food in barns,

        for your heavenly Father feeds them.

     And aren't you far more valuable to him than they are?

27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?

  28 "And why worry about your clothing?

Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow.

     They don't work or make their clothing,

     29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are.

30 And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today

        and thrown into the fire tomorrow,

     he will certainly care for you.

Why do you have so little faith?

  31 "So don't worry about these things, saying,

     'What will we eat?

     What will we drink?

     What will we wear?'

32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers,

but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.

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.

My mischievous nephew, Aaron Barth,came to staff prayer one morning.

He told me that he had been studying Matthew 5-7, called by some as the Sermon on the Mount.

And he said something remarkable...

"Ya know, that whole section about the lilies of the field & the birds of the air? Jesus could have stopped at the very beginning of all that & just said 'don't worry about your life'. He didn't need to say the rest."

What he said rocked my world.

It still does.

And it's just as true now (if not more) than it was then.

I'm a worrier.

Yeah, I know that worry is really just a full blown lack of trust.

But anyway, I'm a worrier.

And Jesus whispered to me then, & continues to whisper to me...

"...don't worry about your life..."

How then would we all live if we truly believe what Jesus said?

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


Romans 10

9 If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord

        and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead,

you will be saved.

10 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God,

        and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.

11 As the Scriptures tell us, "Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced."

12 Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect.

        They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on him.

13 For "Everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved."

14 But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him?

        And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him?

        And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?

       15 And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent?

       That is why the Scriptures say,

            "How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!"

Think about this...

Setting up a connecting with God is so simple - not easy, but simple.

And that connection is usually brought about by the work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts AND the active participation of Christ followers who are in anyone's life.

What if the people who impacted you & me & encouraged you & me to make a connection & commitment to Jesus had been as iffy & wishy-washy about it as you & me are?

What kind of state would you & I be in?


God says "Go!"

So, let's "Go!"

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


Hebrews 10

35 Don't throw away this confident trust in the Lord,

        no matter what happens.

36 Patient endurance is what you need now,

        so you will continue to do God's will.

Then you will receive all that He has promised.

Hebrews 12

12 So take a new grip with your tired hands

        & stand firm on your shakey legs.

13 Then those who follow you,

        though they be weak & lame,

     will not stumble & fall but will stay strong.

4 verse I believe God's given me to hold onto during 2014...

As I absorb them for next year, here's some of the stuff running through my head...

What could they all portend?

What could "no matter what happens" mean?

"Patient endurance" means it's gonna get tough, or it's gonna take a long time? Or both?

I can't figure out what "promise" it's talking about.

Well, I certainly have tired hands & shakey legs!

Who's following me?

Yes, I know this sounds neurotic, but welcome to the inside of my head! ;-)

Anyway, it will be interesting to see how these 4 verses are ones I'll need next year.

Monday, November 25, 2013

epic stuff

Sometimes the apostle Paul gets to writing & the Holy Spirit gets a hold of him, and all kinds of incredible stuff comes pouring out.

That's what Romans 8 is like.

I'm sharing the verses I've underlined - verses that for one reason or another have stood out as I've read this chapter over the years...

Read it slowly...

Romans 8:1 So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.

2 And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.

So God did what the law could not do.

He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have.

     And in that body God declared an end to sin's control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins.

  5b...those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit.

  9a But you are not controlled by your sinful nature.

          You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you.

10 And Christ lives within you,

        so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God.

11 The Spirit of God,

        who raised Jesus from the dead,

       lives in you.

And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.

  12b have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do.

13b ...if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature,

              you will live.

14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.

  15 So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves.

Instead, you received God's Spirit when he adopted you as his own children.

     Now we call him, "Abba, Father."

16 For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God's children.

17 And since we are his children,

       we are his heirs.

In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God's glory.

But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.

  26 And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness.

For example, we don't know what God wants us to pray for.

But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.

27 And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying,

        for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God's own will.

28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

31 What shall we say about such wonderful things as these?

If God is for us,

   who can ever be against us?

32 Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all,

        won't he also give us everything else?

  35 Can anything ever separate us from Christ's love?

Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?

37 No,

despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.

  38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God's love.

Neither death

     nor life,

neither angels

     nor demons,

neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow; 

     not even the powers of hell can separate us from God's love.

39 No power in the sky above

        or in the earth below;


     in all creation

    will ever be able to separate us from the love of God

        that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Sunday, November 24, 2013


Psalm 95:1 Come, let us sing to the LORD!

  Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.

2 Let us come to him with thanksgiving.

  Let us sing psalms of praise to him.

3 For the LORD is a great God,

  a great King above all gods.

4 He holds in his hands the depths of the earth

  and the mightiest mountains.

5 The sea belongs to him, for he made it.

  His hands formed the dry land, too.

6 Come, let us worship and bow down.

  Let us kneel before the LORD our maker,

7   for he is our God.

We are the people he watches over,

  the flock under his care.

I know that we all have it tough sometimes.

At the same time we aren't thankful enough for what we do have.

Perhaps it is a greater virtue to be thankful for what we have rather than being sorrowful for what we don't have or what we've lost.

Does that last sentence make sense?

As we approach our national holiday of thanksgiving, maybe we should ask ourselves if we TRULY are thankful for what we have, what God has done for us, & how He continues to "watch over" us.

Think about it...

Friday, November 22, 2013

strong passage

Romans 5

1 Therefore, since we have been made right in God's sight by faith,

     we have peace with God

     because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.

2 Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand,

      and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God's glory.

3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials,

       for we know that they help us develop endurance.

       4 And endurance develops strength of character,

       and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.

       5 And this hope will not lead to disappointment.

For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

  6 When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners.

7 Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person,

      though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good.

8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.

9 And since we have been made right in God's sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God's condemnation.

10 For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son.

11 So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

giving thanks

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.

  You have anointed me with the finest oil.

11 My eyes have seen the downfall of my enemies;

  my ears have heard the defeat of my wicked opponents.

12 But the godly will flourish like palm trees

  and grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon.

13 For they are transplanted to the LORD's own house.

  They flourish in the courts of our God.

14 Even in old age they will still produce fruit;

  they will remain vital and green.

15 They will declare, "The LORD is just!

  He is my rock!

  There is no evil in him!"

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


I don't know where some of you are in your lives.

If you're scared, worried, stressed out, or in an impossible place, read this psalm slowly.

God may be speaking to you through it,like He whispered to me this morning.

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 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,

  though ten thousand are dying around you,

  these evils will not touch you.

8 Just open your eyes,

  and see how the wicked are punished.

9 If you make the LORD your refuge,

  if you make the Most High your shelter,

10 no evil will conquer you;

  no plague will come near your home.

11 For he will order his angels

  to protect you wherever you go.

12 They will hold you up with their hands

  so you won't even hurt your foot on a stone.

13 You will trample upon lions and cobras;

  you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!

14 The LORD says, "I will rescue those who love me.

  I will protect those who trust in my name.

15 When they call on me, I will answer;

  I will be with them in trouble.

  I will rescue and honor them.

16 I will reward them with a long life

  and give them my salvation."

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Grace So Glorious

right now, I can get enough of this song.

copy & paste it in your browser.


Monday, November 18, 2013

tough stuff

Romans1:16 For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ.

It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile.

17 This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight.

This is accomplished from start to finish by faith.

     As the Scriptures say, "It is through faith that a righteous person has life."

18 But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness.

19 They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them.

        20 For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky.

        Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature.

        So they have no excuse for not knowing God.

  21 Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn't worship him as God or even give him thanks.

And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like.

As a result, their minds became dark and confused.

22 Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools.

23 And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles.

  24 So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired.

          As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other's bodies.

          25 They traded the truth about God for a lie.

          So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen.

26 That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires.

        Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other.

        27 And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other.

        Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved.

  28 Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done.

29 Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip.

30 They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful.

They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents.

31 They refuse to understand, break their promises, are heartless, and have no mercy.

32 They know God's justice requires that those who do these things deserve to die, yet they do them anyway. Worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

more or less

Those who use well what they are given, even more will be given.

But from those who are unfaithful, even what little they have will be taken away. Luke 19:26

So, we have a responsibility to use & be of use in all areas of our lives?

And if we use them well & for His glory, they will be enhanced while other areas of use are given?

And if we don't offer them for use, they will shrink or disappear?

Anybody know anyone who has experienced either?

Saturday, November 16, 2013

child-like faith

Luke 18:15 One day some parents brought their little children to Jesus so he could touch and bless them.

But when the disciples saw this, they scolded the parents for bothering him.

  16 Then Jesus called for the children and said to the disciples,

"Let the children come to me.

     Don't stop them!

For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children.

17 I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn't receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it."

What does it mean to have faith like a child?

I think my son, Kevin Eakins, shared something once at a combined staff meeting that put it well...

He told us he has pics on his computer of him & his son, Trey.

He noticed something about those pics.

In each one, Trey is looking at Kevin.

He's not looking around.

He doesn't care where they're going.

He doesn't care what they're gonna do when the get there.

He doesn't care how long it's gonna take to get there.

And he doesn't care why they're going there.

All Trey care about is that he's with his daddy, Kevin.


Maybe that's the way we should be?

That's the kind of faith we should have in the One who holds the universes together?

Think about it...

Friday, November 15, 2013


Luke 17:7 "When a servant comes in from plowing or taking care of sheep, does his master say, 'Come in and eat with me'?

8 No.

He says, 'Prepare my meal, put on your apron, and serve me while I eat.

Then you can eat later.'

9 And does the master thank the servant for doing what he was told to do?

Of course not.

10 In the same way, when you obey me you should say, 'We are unworthy servants who have simply done our duty.'"

And so, what does that say about our present concept here in America of what a life of servanthood should & will look like?

We have such a success orientation toward being a servant.

And we think that God should just fall all over Himself thanking us for serving Him.

Plus,we "deserve" to know the who, what, where, when, & how of our service.

In the light of these verses spoken by Jesus, how does that thinking hold up?

Thursday, November 14, 2013

what's being said here?

What is Jesus saying here?

Is it a commentary on the insensitivity of the rich for the poor?

Does it have something to say about both our rampant consumerism as well as our socially acceptable selfishness exhibited in our characterizing the poor as lazy & sorry?

What is the crux of this parable, & how should it affect our lives.

I don't have an agenda here - I'm just curious what you think Jesus was trying to communicate here?

If you have thoughts, would you please comment below?

Luke 16

19 Jesus said,

"There was a certain rich man who was splendidly clothed in purple and fine linen and who lived each day in luxury.

20 At his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus who was covered with sores.

21 As Lazarus lay there longing for scraps from the rich man's table, the dogs would come and lick his open sores.

  22 "Finally, the poor man died and was carried by the angels to be with Abraham.

The rich man also died and was buried,23 and his soul went to the place of the dead.

     There, in torment, he saw Abraham in the far distance with Lazarus at his side.

  24 "The rich man shouted,

'Father Abraham, have some pity! Send Lazarus over here to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue. I am in anguish in these flames.'

  25 "But Abraham said to him,

'Son, remember that during your lifetime you had everything you wanted, and Lazarus had nothing.

So now he is here being comforted, and you are in anguish.

26 And besides, there is a great chasm separating us. No one can cross over to you from here, and no one can cross over to us from there.'

  27 "Then the rich man said, 'Please, Father Abraham, at least send him to my father's home.

28 For I have five brothers, and I want him to warn them so they don't end up in this place of torment.'

  29 "But Abraham said, 'Moses and the prophets have warned them. Your brothers can read what they wrote.'

  30 "The rich man replied, 'No, Father Abraham! But if someone is sent to them from the dead, then they will repent of their sins and turn to God.'

  31 "But Abraham said, 'If they won't listen to Moses and the prophets, they won't listen even if someone rises from the dead.'"

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

full of stuff

This is a psalm that's full of stuff we've heard elsewhere - well, this is where those people got it.

Psalm 84
1 How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD of Heaven's Armies.

2 I long, yes, I faint with longing to enter the courts of the LORD.
With my whole being, body and soul, I will shout joyfully to the living God.
3 Even the sparrow finds a home,

  and the swallow builds her nest and raises her young at a place near your altar,

  O LORD of Heaven's Armies, my King and my God!

4 What joy for those who can live in your house,

  always singing your praises.

5 What joy for those whose strength comes from the LORD,

  who have set their minds on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.

6 When they walk through the Valley of Weeping, it will become a place of refreshing springs.

  The autumn rains will clothe it with blessings.

7 They will continue to grow stronger,

  and each of them will appear before God in Jerusalem.

8 O LORD God of Heaven's Armies, hear my prayer.

  Listen, O God of Jacob.

9 O God, look with favor upon the king, our shield!

  Show favor to the one you have anointed.

10 A single day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else!

I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God

  than live the good life in the homes of the wicked.

11 For the LORD God is our sun and our shield.

  He gives us grace and glory.

The LORD will withhold no good thing

  from those who do what is right.

12 O LORD of Heaven's Armies,

  what joy for those who trust in you.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

living for...

In a world committed to "looking out for # 1", these thoughts represent a different slant...

Luke 14:7 When Jesus noticed that all who had come to the dinner were trying to sit in the seats of honor near the head of the table, he gave them this advice:

8 "When you are invited to a wedding feast, don't sit in the seat of honor.

What if someone who is more distinguished than you has also been invited?

9 The host will come and say, 'Give this person your seat.'

Then you will be embarrassed,

     and you will have to take whatever seat is left at the foot of the table!

  10 "Instead, take the lowest place at the foot of the table.

Then when your host sees you, he will come and say, 'Friend, we have a better place for you!'

Then you will be honored in front of all the other guests.

11 For those who exalt themselves will be humbled,

        and those who humble themselves will be exalted."

  12 Then he turned to his host.

"When you put on a luncheon or a banquet," he said, "don't invite your friends, brothers, relatives, and rich neighbors.

     For they will invite you back, and that will be your only reward.

13 Instead, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind.

14 Then at the resurrection of the righteous, God will reward you for inviting those who could not repay you."

If we truly followed these words,what would our lives look like?

Monday, November 11, 2013

little is much when God is in it

I feel like God is juuuuuuust beginning to lead us toward what we're supposed to be & do up here in B'ville. We're just two people, but as I read these two sections today, I kinda felt like we might be like the mustard seed & the yeast - something starting small but eventually having a bigger impact.

Maybe that's where you are today - wondering if what God seems to be leading you to be & do is all that important, or significant, or worth the trouble being & doing.

We each carry the Kingdom of God inside of us. Sometimes we're called to take it to places where our efforts seem too small & too puny to matter.

But in the grand scheme of things, they matter - maybe we won't see & know that until we get to heaven - but they matter.

Luke 13:18 The Jesus said,

What is the Kingdom of God like?

How can I illustrate it?

19 It is like a tiny mustard seed planted in a garden.

        It grows & becomes a tree,

        & the birds come & find shelter among its branches.

20 He also asked,

What else is the Kingdom of God like?

21 It is like yeast used by a woman making bread.

Even though she used a large amount of flour, the yeast permeated every part of the dough.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

don't worry

Don't know who this is for, but here it is, if it's you...

Luke 12
22 Then, turning to his disciples, Jesus said,

        "Do not to worry about everyday life...

             whether you have enough food to eat or enough clothes to wear.

23 For life is more than food,

        and your body more than clothing.

24 Look at the ravens.

        They don't plant or harvest or store food in barns,

           for God feeds them.

And you are far more valuable to him than any birds!

25 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?

26 And if worry can't accomplish a little thing like that, what's the use of worrying over bigger things?

  27 "Look at the lilies and how they grow.

          They don't work or make their clothing,

           yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are.

28 And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you.

Why do you have so little faith?

  29 "And don't be concerned about what to eat and what to drink.

          Don't worry about such things.

30 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers all over the world,

        but your Father already knows your needs.

31 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else,

        and he will give you everything you need.

  32 "So don't be afraid, little flock.

             For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom.

  33 "Sell your possessions and give to those in need.

     This will store up treasure for you in heaven!

     And the purses of heaven never get old or develop holes.

     Your treasure will be safe; no thief can steal it and no moth can destroy it.

34 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

keep on

Luke 11

9 And so I tell you, keep on asking,

        and you will receive what you ask for.

Keep on seeking,

     and you will find.

Keep on knocking,

     and the door will be opened to you.

10 For everyone who asks,


Everyone who seeks,


And to everyone who knocks,

     the door will be opened.

The operative word in that passage?

Keep on...

Don't know who that's for besides me, but this morning, our God says to me & to you who needs to hear it...

Keep on...

Friday, November 8, 2013


Luke 10

2b The harvest is great,

        but the workers are few.

So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest;

     ask him to send more workers into his fields.

3 Now go,

     and remember that I am sending you out as lambs among wolves.

4 Don't take any money with you,

     nor a traveler's bag,

     nor an extra pair of sandals.

And don't stop to greet anyone on the road.

The word for me these last 3+ yrs has been "GO!!!"

At my age, most people don't wanna change things - they want things to be the same - safe, secure, easy.

For some reason,God keeps stirring me up.

And He keeps saying,"GO!!!"

And He reminds me(& you) that before we decide to not be & do what He bids, where would be all be if the person(s) who impacted & influenced us the most toward Him had decided to not "GO!!!"?

We'd still be on the slippery slope to hell.

I think God is telling us all to "GO!!!"

For some of us, that means move somewhere.

For some of us, that means become something new, different, or more.

But God wants us to be about new stuff,in new ways, in new places, w/ new people.

He doesn't want us to become stagnant.

He wants us to continue to grow in & w/ Him.

And He always want us to "GO!!!"

Thursday, November 7, 2013

'nuff said

Think about this...

  Luke 9:

23 Then Jesus said to the crowd, "If any of you wants to be my follower,

     you must put aside selfish ambition,

     take up your cross daily,

     and follow me.

24 If you try to hang on to your life,

     you will lose it.

But if you give up your life for my sake,

     you will save it.

25 And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose or forfeit your own soul?

26 If anyone is ashamed of me and my message,

        the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in his glory and in the glory of the Father and the holy angels.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


Luke 8:22 One day Jesus said to his disciples, "Let's cross to the other side of the lake."

So they got into a boat and started out.

23 As they sailed across, Jesus settled down for a nap.

But soon a fierce storm came down on the lake.

The boat was filling with water,

     and they were in real danger.

  24 The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, "Master, Master, we're going to drown!"

  When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and the raging waves.

Suddenly the storm stopped and all was calm!

25 Then he asked them, "Where is your faith?"

  The disciples were terrified and amazed.

"Who is this man?" they asked each other.

"When he gives a command, even the wind and waves obey him!"

As we "sail through life",

     knowing that Jesus is "in the boat" with us,

 how many times (like the disciples) do we think we're "gonna drown" every time a "fierce storm" blows in on us?

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


2 verses God seems to have given me to hold on to for 2014...

Hebrews 10
35 Do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord,

        no matter what happens.

Remember the great reward it brings you!

36 Patient endurance is what you need now,

        so you will continue to do God's will.

Then you will receive all that He has promised.

Hebrews 12
12 So take a new grip with your tired hands

        & stand firm on your shakey legs.

13 Mark out a straight path for your feet.

Then those who follow you,

     though they are weak & lame,

     will not stumble & fall

     but will become strong.

Monday, November 4, 2013

tough stuff

If we were to REALLY live like this, how would our world change?

Luke 6:27 "But to you who are willing to listen, I say,

     love your enemies!

     Do good to those who hate you.

     28 Bless those who curse you.

     Pray for those who hurt you.

29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also.

If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also.

30 Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don't try to get them back.

31 Do to others as you would like them to do to you.

32 "If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that?

        Even sinners love those who love them!

33 And if you do good only to those who do good to you, why should you get credit?

        Even sinners do that much!

34 And if you lend money only to those who can repay you, why should you get credit?

        Even sinners will lend to other sinners for a full return.

35 "Love your enemies!

Do good to them.

Lend to them without expecting to be repaid.

Then your reward from heaven will be very great,

     and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High,

     for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked.

36 You must be compassionate,

        just as your Father is compassionate.

Sunday, November 3, 2013


Jesus went to the home of Matthew, who was a tax collector before he became a disciple of Jesus.

There were lots of other tax collectors & friends who were at the meal, too.

The Pharisees didn't like the fact that Jesus was eating with people they thought of as sinners.

Here's what went down...

Luke 5:30c (The Pharisees said) "Why do you eat & drink with such scum?"

31 Jesus answered them,

    "Healthy people don't need a doctor - sick people do.

     32 I have come to call sinners to turn from their sins,

            not to spend my time with those who think they are already good enough."

Jesus was known as a guy who loved to hang out with "sinners" - iow, people who lived lives that weren't socially acceptable to the "more spiritually aware" of Jesus' day.

How many of us are like Jesus - purposefully spending time with people who don't follow Jesus, not because it our duty, but because we really do care about them & for them?

And how many of us are like the others in this story who played it safe, didn't get involved with those "sinners" & kept themselves "pure & undefiled" by the sinners' lives?

Plus, where would we all be if the people who had made the most impact on us to become Christ followers had thought more like the Pharisees, & not like Jesus?

I know where I'd be - on the slippery slope to hell!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

and then...

It was May, 2003.

I'd just spent 5 months of restlessness - restlessness usually means change is coming in my life.

And God had finally let me know what He wanted me to be & do.

After 30 years, I was to leave music ministry & start serving in our 20something ministry.


For 5 months, God had been talkin' & talkin' & talkin' to me every morning through the scriptures I would read each morning.

So the morning after I'd surrendered to what I believed was His will for me in the next season of my life, I got up expecting to hear some pretty stupendous things in that morning's Bible reading.

What did I get?

Well, I was supposed to read Psalm 73 that morning.

So I'm slogging through verse after verse of how the psalmist is all crabby about how the wicked people around him seem to prosper.

Needless to say, I wasn't impressed that after 5 months of restlessness, & then surrendering to His will that would result in a 90 degree direction change for me, all I get to hear in my Bible reading is someone complaining about wicked people getting ahead?!!!

And then I got to verse 24...

Psalm 73:24 You will keep on guiding me with Your counsel,

  leading me to a glorious destiny.

25 Whom have I in heaven but You?

  I desire You more than anything on earth.

26 My flesh may fail,

   and my spirit may grow weak,
  but God remains the strength of my heart;

  He is mine forever.

27 Those who desert him will perish,

  for You destroy those who abandon You.

28 But as for me, how good it is to be near God!

  I have made the Sovereign LORD my shelter,

  and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things You do.

Yeah, I felt pretty stupid.

Btw, He is still guiding me, leading me to a glorious destiny.

My flesh may fail, but God remains the strength of my heart.

This vid SO goes along with what I'm trying to say this morning...

Copy & paste it in your browser - it's pretty powerful.

Friday, November 1, 2013

read it slowly

I quoted verses 7 & 8 to someone this morning.

Verse 8 is the verse I believe God gave me to hold on to for 2013.

In verse 7, it says God is our hiding place. Sometimes we all need a place to hide, away from all the tensions, responsibilities, stresses, & stuff the fills our lives - iow, a place to go where we can get a little rest,& then go back & face our lives.

If you're not reading a psalm a day, I'd like to encourage you to do so. It'll put you in a different level of connection with God. I've been doing it for 10 1/2 yrs. It's changed my connection. God also reminds me of His faithfulness by calling to mind some of the things I've read in a psalm. And lots of times, what psalm I read that day addresses something going on in my life.

Just sayin'...

Psalm 32
1 Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven,

  whose sin is put out of sight!

2 Yes, what joy for those

  whose record the LORD has cleared of guilt,

  whose lives are lived in complete honesty!

3 When I refused to confess my sin,

  my body wasted away,

  and I groaned all day long.

4 Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me.

  My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat.

5 Finally, I confessed all my sins to you

  and stopped trying to hide my guilt.

I said to myself, "I will confess my rebellion to the LORD."

  And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.

6 Therefore, let all the godly pray to you while there is still time,

  that they may not drown in the floodwaters of judgment.

7 For you are my hiding place;

  you protect me from trouble.

  You surround me with songs of victory.

8 The LORD says, "I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.

  I will advise you and watch over you.

9 Do not be like a senseless horse or mule

  that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control."

10 Many sorrows come to the wicked,

  but unfailing love surrounds those who trust the LORD.

11 So rejoice in the LORD and be glad, all you who obey him!

  Shout for joy, all you whose hearts are pure!