Friday, February 28, 2014


Matthew 9

35 Jesus traveled through all the towns and villages of that area,

        teaching in the synagogues

        and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom.

And he healed every kind of disease and illness.

36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless,

        like sheep without a shepherd.

37 He said to his disciples,

"The harvest is great,

     but the workers are few.

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

        ask him to send more workers into his fields."

For years now, God has been saying 1 word predominately...


Go to the people closest to you.

Go to the people you know.

Go to the people you run into each day in all kinds of places.

Go to people in places you're not comfortable with.

Go to people you're not comfortable with.

Go to a different work.

Go to a different ministry.

Go to a different way of presenting Me.

Go to a social network you know nothing about.

Go to a different place.

Go to a place I tell you to move to.

But mostly, He's said, "Go."

This was not a request.

He never said / says, "Would you go for Me?"

This was a mandate.

He just said, "Go."

And He still does.

I hope He always will.

He's saying the same thing to you...


Do it.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

rich or poor

James 2:1 My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people over others?

  2 For example, suppose someone comes into your meeting dressed in fancy clothes and expensive jewelry, and another comes in who is poor and dressed in dirty clothes.

3 If you give special attention and a good seat to the rich person, but you say to the poor one, "You can stand over there, or else sit on the floor"—well,4 doesn't this discrimination show that your judgments are guided by evil motives?

  5 Listen to me, dear brothers and sisters.

Hasn't God chosen the poor in this world to be rich in faith?

Aren't they the ones who will inherit the Kingdom he promised to those who love him?

6 But you dishonor the poor!

Isn't it the rich who oppress you and drag you into court?

7 Aren't they the ones who slander Jesus Christ, whose noble name you bear?

  8 Yes indeed, it is good when you obey the royal law as found in the Scriptures:

        "Love your neighbor as yourself."

9 But if you favor some people over others, you are committing a sin.

You are guilty of breaking the law.

What is God's general attitude toward the poor?

And what is it about the rich?

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

2 words

Jesus is the One speaking here in this passage...

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.

For everyone who asks, receives.

Everyone who seeks, finds.

And the door is opened to everyone who knocks.

Matthew 7:7-8

I think the key words in that passage are "keep on..."

Someone reading this today needs to hear those 2 words from Jesus today.

"Keep on..."

I don't know what your doing, wanting, needing, seeking, or asking for or about.

Al I know is that Jesus is saying to you this morning, "keep on..."

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

don't worry

Matthew 6

25 "That is why I tell you 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.

Did ya ever have someone say something to you that just changed your life?

In January, 2008, I was at staff prayer @ Christ Chapel Macon.

(We all used to get together @ 8:30am to pray for an hour. Wow! Wish I could do that now!)

Aaron Barth, my mischievous nephew, came in one day on his way to work to pray with us too.

While we were sitting there talking, he said something I'll never forget.

He said something like this...

"The last few days I've been studying the Sermon on the Mount (dan note: that's Matthew 5 - 7).

"I was reading in Matthew 6 that part about the the lilies of the field & the birds in the air.

"Ya know, you really don't have to read all that part of that passage because the whole thing can be summed up in what Jesus says at the very beginning...

"He says, 'don't worry about your life...' "

I was thunderstruck.

Ya see, I'm a worrier.

(yeah, I know, I know - worry is really a lack of trust & faith & a denigration of the basic personhood of God - I get that!)

But those 5 words have been resounding in my head for the last 6 years...

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

Now, there's been a LOT of water under the bridge since then...

     a LOT of changes,

     a lot of moving,

     a lot of hellos,

     a lot of goodbyes,

     a lot of mistakes,

     a lot of good choices,

     a lot of letting go,

     a lot of holding on...

...just a LOT of a lot of things.

Over & over again God has tried to whisper to me, "don't worry about your life..."

Sometimes I listen. Sometimes I worry. But mostly, I worry a whole lot less since that day in January, 2008.

And one more thing...

What would have my life been like these last few years in Aaron hadn't said that to me that day?

We never know what our words will mean to someone else.

(Thanks, Aaron, for being who you are, & sharing your life with me. I love you, gobbs!)

Monday, February 24, 2014

tired & shakey

Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith,

let us strip off every weight that slows us down,

especially the sin that so easily trips us up.

And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.

2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus,

     the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.

Because of the joy awaiting him,

     He endured the cross,

     disregarding its shame.

Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God's throne.

3 Think of all the hostility He endured from sinful people;

     then you won't become weary and give up.

4 After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin.

  5 And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children?

He said,

     "My child, don't make light of the LORD's discipline,
      and don't give up when He corrects you.

6 For the LORD disciplines those he loves,

  and he punishes each one he accepts as his child."

7 As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children.

Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father?

8 If God doesn't discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all.

9 Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn't we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever?

  10 For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how.

But God's discipline is always good for us,

     so that we might share in his holiness.

11 No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it's painful!

But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.

 12 So take a new grip with your tired hands and stand firm on your shakey legs.

13 Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who follow you,

        though they are weak and lame,

        will not stumble & fall

         but will become strong.

I feel tired & shakey most days.

But I guess I don't have the choice to succumb.

Too much is at stake, too much to still be & do, too many depending on God working through me to help them not stumble & fall.

Sunday, February 23, 2014


Hebrews 11, called by some the Faith Chapter, spends 34 verses talking about the giants of the faith.

And then, these verses appear...

Hebrews 11:35b  But others were tortured, refusing to turn from God in order to be set free.

They placed their hope in a better life after the resurrection.

36 Some were jeered at, and their backs were cut open with whips.

Others were chained in prisons.

37 Some died by stoning,

some were sawed in half,

and others were killed with the sword.

Some went about wearing skins of sheep and goats, destitute and oppressed and mistreated.

38 They were too good for this world,

        wandering over deserts and mountains,

        hiding in caves and holes in the ground.

  39 All these people earned a good reputation because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised.

40 For God had something better in mind for us, so that they would not reach perfection without us.

I believe that all those mentioned in the first 34 verses, although they be giants of the faith, were the EXCEPTION, while those talked about in verse 35 onward were THE RULE.

Today, we hold up the high & mighty as living examples of all that is good & pure in the world.

But let us never forget that the Kingdom is held together, & carried forward, with ordinary people, serving an extra-ordinary God.

You and I are part of the billions of unsung heros of the faith through the millenia,

      who are who we are,

      living lives of servanthood,

      loving as He loves,

      & going about our lives being the feet & legs of the One who loves us so.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

speak up

Speak up for the poor & helpless,

      & see that they have justice.

Speak up for those who can not speak up for themselves;

      ensure justice for those who are perishing. Proverbs 31:8-9

So, practically speaking, what does this mean for us Christ followers in 21st century America?

Friday, February 21, 2014


what does this passage say to you? What things stand out?

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.

Those those who follow you,

     though they are weak & lame,

     will not stumble & fall but become strong.


12 So take a new grip with your tired hands,

       & stand firm on your shakey legs.

How many of us have tired hands & shakey legs, besides me?

13 Mark out a straight path for your feet.

Iow, move ahead without wondering off & being distracted by stuff instead of focusing on the main thing?

Those those who follow you, though they are weak & lame,will not stumble & fall but become strong.

All of us are people of influence - either a good influence, or a bad influence.

Some of us exercise that influence.

Some of us never use that influence to its best advantage.

Bottom line, there are people in our lives who take their cues from us - scary thought, isn't it!

And it is in following what they see in our lives, they are able to move forward & not make the same mistakes over & over again.

Thursday, February 20, 2014


This passage really struck me this morning.

It's the Lord talking directly to Israel, through His prophet, Isaiah.

It's some pretty stern stuff.

But could it be that God is also speaking in this passage directly to us who live in 21st century America?

Isaiah 58:1 "Shout with the voice of a trumpet blast.

  Shout aloud! Don't be timid.

Tell my people Israel of their sins!

2   Yet they act so pious!

They come to the Temple every day

  and seem delighted to learn all about me.

They act like a righteous nation

  that would never abandon the laws of its God.

They ask me to take action on their behalf,

  pretending they want to be near me.

3 'We have fasted before you!' they say.

  'Why aren't you impressed?

We have been very hard on ourselves,

  and you don't even notice it!'

"I will tell you why!" I respond.

  "It's because you are fasting to please yourselves.

Even while you fast,

  you keep oppressing your workers.

4 What good is fasting

  when you keep on fighting and quarreling?

This kind of fasting

  will never get you anywhere with me.

5 You humble yourselves

  by going through the motions of penance,

bowing your heads

  like reeds bending in the wind.

You dress in burlap

  and cover yourselves with ashes.

Is this what you call fasting?

  Do you really think this will please the LORD?

6 "No, this is the kind of fasting I want:

Free those who are wrongly imprisoned;

  lighten the burden of those who work for you.

Let the oppressed go free,

  and remove the chains that bind people.

7 Share your food with the hungry,

  and give shelter to the homeless.

Give clothes to those who need them,

  and do not hide from relatives who need your help.

8 "Then your salvation will come like the dawn,

  and your wounds will quickly heal.

Your godliness will lead you forward,

  and the glory of the LORD will protect you from behind.

9 Then when you call, the LORD will answer.

  'Yes, I am here,' he will quickly reply.

"Remove the heavy yoke of oppression.

  Stop pointing your finger and spreading vicious rumors!

10 Feed the hungry,

  and help those in trouble.

Then your light will shine out from the darkness,

  and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.

11 The LORD will guide you continually,

  giving you water when you are dry

  and restoring your strength.

You will be like a well-watered garden,

  like an ever-flowing spring.

12 Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities.

  Then you will be known as a rebuilder of walls

  and a restorer of homes.

13 "Keep the Sabbath day holy.

  Don't pursue your own interests on that day,

but enjoy the Sabbath

  and speak of it with delight as the LORD's holy day.

Honor the Sabbath in everything you do on that day,

  and don't follow your own desires or talk idly.

14 Then the LORD will be your delight.

  I will give you great honor

and satisfy you with the inheritance I promised to your ancestor Jacob.

  I, the LORD, have spoken!"

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

hold on

Today, I feel like someone, besides me, needs to hear what these 2 verses say.

I hear 2 words for you - hold on

I don't know what is goin' on in your life - you may be ready to give up - but this is for you...

If so, will you message me & let me know?

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

     no matter what happens.

Remember the great reward it brings you!

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 10:35-36 NLT)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

not unfair

God is not unfair.

He will not forget how hard you have worked for Him

     and how you have shown your love to Him by caring for other Christians,

        as you still do.

Our great desire is that you will keep right on loving others as long as life lasts,

     in order to make certain that what you hope for will come true.

Then you will not be spiritually dull & indifferent.

Instead, you will follow the example of those who are going to inherit God's promise because of their faith & patience.

So God has given us both His promise & His oath.

These are two things unchangeable

     because it is impossible for God to lie.

Therefore, we who have fled to Him for refuge can take new courage,

     for we can hold on to His promises with confidence.

Hebrews 6:10-12, 18 (NLT)

Monday, February 17, 2014

yes, but...

Isaiah 55:8 "My thoughts are completely different than yours," says the Lord.

"And my ways are far beyond anything you can imagine.

9 "For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,

        "so are My ways higher than your ways

        "and my thoughts higher than your thoughts."

That explains why I'm clueless a lot of the time.

I don't see the BIG picture - I see what I can see.

So my cluelessness would be inherent in a relationship between Someone who is infinite & someone who is finite?

yes, but...

Juxtapose that with this passage written by the apostle, Paul...

1 Corinthians 2

9b "No eye has seen, no ear has heard,

  and no mind has imagined

what God has prepared

  for those who love him."  ( dan note: here Paul is quoting Isaiah 64 - hmmmm...)

  10 But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit.

        For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God's deep secrets.

11 No one can know a person's thoughts except that person's own spirit,

        and no one can know God's thoughts except God's own Spirit.

12 And we have received God's Spirit (not the world's spirit),

        so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us.

  13 When we tell you these things, we do not use words that come from human wisdom.

Instead, we speak words given to us by the Spirit,
        using the Spirit's words to explain spiritual truths.

14 But people who aren't spiritual can't receive these truths from God's Spirit.

It all sounds foolish to them and they can't understand it,

        for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means.

15 Those who are spiritual can evaluate all things,

        but they themselves cannot be evaluated by others.16 For,

"Who can know the LORD's thoughts?

  Who knows enough to teach him?"

But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.


we in ourselves are incapable of "getting it" or understanding completely what's going on...

But with the coming of the Holy Spirit, we possess more of the thinking of Jesus (who is God),

        therefore not being as clueless as we (as in humankind) have been before the coming of the Holy Spirit?

Sunday, February 16, 2014


In this chapter in Isaiah, God speaking to Israel...

Isaiah 54:2 Enlarge your house;

     build an addition;

     spread out your home!

3a You will soon be bursting at the seams.

Isaiah 52:2-3a stood out on the page right off the bat this morning - it was the first place I read.

Oh my...

vs 10 For the mountains may depart,

        & the hills disappear,

but even then I will remain loyal to you.

Here's the whole chapter...

Isaiah 54:1 "Sing, O childless woman,
  you who have never given birth!
Break into loud and joyful song, O Jerusalem,
  you who have never been in labor.
For the desolate woman now has more children
  than the woman who lives with her husband,"
  says the LORD.
2 "Enlarge your house; build an addition.
  Spread out your home, and spare no expense!
3 For you will soon be bursting at the seams.
  Your descendants will occupy other nations
  and resettle the ruined cities.

4 "Fear not; you will no longer live in shame.
  Don't be afraid; there is no more disgrace for you.
You will no longer remember the shame of your youth
  and the sorrows of widowhood.
5 For your Creator will be your husband;
  the LORD of Heaven's Armies is his name!
He is your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel,
  the God of all the earth.
6 For the LORD has called you back from your grief—
  as though you were a young wife abandoned by her husband,"
  says your God.
7 "For a brief moment I abandoned you,
  but with great compassion I will take you back.
8 In a burst of anger I turned my face away for a little while.
  But with everlasting love I will have compassion on you,"
  says the LORD, your Redeemer.

9 "Just as I swore in the time of Noah
  that I would never again let a flood cover the earth,
so now I swear
  that I will never again be angry and punish you.
10 For the mountains may move
  and the hills disappear,
but even then my faithful love for you will remain.
  My covenant of blessing will never be broken,"
  says the LORD, who has mercy on you.

11 "O storm-battered city,
  troubled and desolate!
I will rebuild you with precious jewels
  and make your foundations from lapis lazuli.
12 I will make your towers of sparkling rubies,
  your gates of shining gems,
  and your walls of precious stones.
13 I will teach all your children,
  and they will enjoy great peace.
14 You will be secure under a government that is just and fair.
  Your enemies will stay far away.
You will live in peace,
  and terror will not come near.
15 If any nation comes to fight you,
  it is not because I sent them.
  Whoever attacks you will go down in defeat.

16 "I have created the blacksmith
  who fans the coals beneath the forge
and makes the weapons of destruction.
  And I have created the armies that destroy.
17 But in that coming day
  no weapon turned against you will succeed.
You will silence every voice
  raised up to accuse you.
These benefits are enjoyed by the servants of the LORD;
  their vindication will come from me.
  I, the LORD, have spoken!

Friday, February 14, 2014

have faith in God

 Mark 11:22 Then Jesus said to the disciples,

     "Have faith in God.

23 I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain,

        'May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,'

    and it will happen.

But you must really believe it will happen

     and have no doubt in your heart.

24 I tell you, you can pray for anything,

        and if you believe that you've received it,

    it will be yours.

25 But when you are praying,

        first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against,

        so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.

I think we all know that this does NOT mean that God is some sort of celestial vending machine.


...if we TRULY believe what Jesus is saying here, how should that impact & change our lives?

I'm curious to know.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

child-like faith

Mark 10:13 One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so he could touch and bless them.

     But the disciples scolded the parents for bothering him.

  14 When Jesus saw what was happening, he was angry with his disciples.

He said to them,

     "Let the children come to me.

     Don't stop them!

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

15 I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn't have their kind of faith will never enter the Kingdom of God."

16 Then he took the children in his arms and placed his hands on their heads and blessed them.

So what did Jesus mean about "their kind of faith"?

If kids REALLY enjoy being with us is it safe to say...

   they don't care where they're going

   they don't care how long it takes.

   they don't care what's going on along the way.

   they don't have to know the why of anything.

   they just care that they're with us, they love us, & they trust us.

   no expectations.

   no explanations.

   no value judgements.

   they just wanna be with us.


why can't you & I be like that with Jesus?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

1st & last

Could it be said that what Jesus says in verse 35 pokes some serious holes in our success orientation?

Mark 9:33 After they arrived at Capernaum and settled in a house, Jesus asked his disciples,

     "What were you discussing out on the road?"

34 But they didn't answer, because they had been arguing about which of them was the greatest.

35 He sat down, called the twelve disciples over to him, and said,

     "Whoever wants to be first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else."

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

when we wonder or doubt...

I have refined you but not in the way silver is refined.

     Rather, I have refined you in the furnace of suffering.

I will rescue you for My sake - yes, for My own sake!

   Isaiah 48:20-11a

But my work all seems so useless!

     I have spent my strength for nothing & to no purpose at all.

Yet I leave it all in the Lord's hand;

     I will trust God for my reward.

This is what the Lord says:

     "At just the right time I will respond to you."

   Isaiah 49:4, 8

How can we understand the road we travel? It is the Lord who directs our steps. Proverbs 20:29

Monday, February 10, 2014

2 things

here's some things that came to mind as I read this morning...

Proverbs 19

vs 2 Zeal without knowledge is not good; a person who moves too quickly may go the wrong way.

vs 21 You can make many plans, but the Lord's purpose will prevail.

I've been encouraged over the last 14 years to pray, "God, if this isn't Your perfect will, don't let it happen." & then walk slowly toward it.

That way, if things work out,or if the doors swing open, well, then just keep walking toward it, because we've asked God to not let it happen if it's not the right direction.

At the same time, if the doors slam shut, then there's a good chance that not the direction to go.

I've found that to be a workable paradigm so far.

And I'm a guy who likes to plan ahead. Over the last 40 years,many times it was in simple self defence ;-)

But the longer I live, the more I see that if I'm trying to be in sync w/ what God's overarching plan for humankind, God is gonna work out His plans. My task is to keep from go with the flow of His will & try not to fight the current or drag my feet to slow my progress.

Did any of this make sense?

Sometimes I wonder if what I'm thinking is coming out on the page like it is in my head.


vs 17 If you help the poor, you are lending to the Lord - and He will repay you.

Right now, the prevailing opinion in our political arena, which bleeds into our cultural paradigm, is one of intolerance or impatience w/ people who are poor.

But for the life of me, I can't find that attitude in the Bible - in either the Old or New Testaments.

I find that over & over again, the overriding thinking is one of compassion for the poor.

And over & over again, it seems the Bible indicates that our responsibility is to take care of them.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

feeding thousands

Do all of us believe this miracle happen?

Mark 6

30 The apostles returned to Jesus from their ministry tour and told him all they had done and taught.

31 Then Jesus said, "Let's go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile." He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn't even have time to eat.

  32 So they left by boat for a quiet place, where they could be alone. 33 But many people recognized them and saw them leaving, and people from many towns ran ahead along the shore and got there ahead of them. 34 Jesus saw the huge crowd as he stepped from the boat, and he had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.

  35 Late in the afternoon his disciples came to him and said, "This is a remote place, and it's already getting late. 36 Send the crowds away so they can go to the nearby farms and villages and buy something to eat."

  37 But Jesus said, "You feed them."

  "With what?" they asked. "We'd have to work for months to earn enough money* to buy food for all these people!"

  38 "How much bread do you have?" he asked. "Go and find out."

  They came back and reported, "We have five loaves of bread and two fish."

  39 Then Jesus told the disciples to have the people sit down in groups on the green grass. 40 So they sat down in groups of fifty or a hundred.

  41 Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and blessed them. Then, breaking the loaves into pieces, he kept giving the bread to the disciples so they could distribute it to the people. He also divided the fish for everyone to share. 42 They all ate as much as they wanted, 43 and afterward, the disciples picked up twelve baskets of leftover bread and fish. 44 A total of 5,000 men and their families were fed from those loaves!

If we believe Jesus pulled off this miracle, why do we EVER doubt He'll take care of us,in any situation?

Saturday, February 8, 2014

this one's for you

if you've never felt loved...

     this one's for you.

if you've never felt like you were a priority to anyone...

     this one's for you.

if you've been abused...

     this one's for you.

If you've been neglected...

     this one's for you.

if you've been abandoned...

     this one's for you.

if you've been used & cast aside...

     this one's for you.

if you don't think you can go on...

     this one's for you.

if you think you can't go on...

     this one's for you.

if you're lost...

     this one's for you.

no matter what shape you're in, or what you go going on, or whatever...

     this one's for you.

For the Lord says to you, & me, today...

I created you...

     and have cared for you since before you were born.

I will be your God throughout your life...

     until your hair is white with age.

I made you...

     and I will care for you.

I will carry you along...

     and save you.

(Isaiah 46:3b - 4)

Friday, February 7, 2014

lotsa stuff

Ok, this is gonna be long, so just sit back & read. Sorry. Just a lot to share...

These verses from Proverbs have a lot to say about our lives, what we think  & do, & Who REALLY foments the outcome.

They also speak to where I'm at right now.

Proverbs 16

vs 1 We gather our thought,

          but the Lord gives the right answer.

vs 3 Commit your work to the Lord,

        & then your plans will succeed.

vs 9 We make our plans,

     but the Lord determines our steps.

vs 19 It is better to live humbly with the poor

     than to share plunder with the proud.

vs 20 Those who listen to instruction will prosper;

     those who trust the Lord will be happy.

vs 25 There is a path before each person that seems right,

     but it leads in death.

vs 31 Gray hair is a crown of glory;

     it is gained by living a godly life. (dan note: uhm... just sayin'...  ;-)

vs 32 It is better to be patient than powerful;

     it is better to have self-control than to conquer a city.

vs 31 We may throw the dice,

     but the Lord determines how they fall.


Mark 4:1-20

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

  3 "Listen! A farmer went out to plant some seed.

4 As he scattered it across his field, some of the seed fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate it.

5 Other seed fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The seed sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow.

6 But the plant soon wilted under the hot sun, and since it didn't have deep roots, it died.

7 Other seed fell among thorns that grew up and choked out the tender plants so they produced no grain.

8 Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they sprouted, grew, and produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted!"

9 Then he said, "Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand."

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

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

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

  13 Then Jesus said to them, "If you can't understand the meaning of this parable, how will you understand all the other parables?

14 The farmer plants seed by taking God's word to others.

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

16 The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy.

17 But since they don't have deep roots, they don't last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God's word.

18 The seed that fell among the thorns represents others who hear God's word,

19 but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life, the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things, so no fruit is produced.

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

For me this morning, & each time I read it lately, God seems to speak of what the outcome will be of Lynn & my life here in Blairsville.

But it also may speak to you about the outcome of your life, your loving, your work, & your ministry in the place you are  RIGHT NOW.


Mark 4

35 As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, "Let's cross to the other side of the lake."

36 So they took Jesus in the boat and started out, leaving the crowds behind (although other boats followed).

37 But soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water.

  38 Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion.

The disciples woke him up, shouting, "Teacher, don't you care that we're going to drown?"

 39 When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Silence! Be still!" Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm.

40 Then he asked them, "Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?"

  41 The disciples were absolutely terrified. "Who is this man?" they asked each other. "Even the wind and waves obey him!"

It feels like God is saying the same thing to me as I walk toward what I think He has in store for us in Blairsville.

But God also may be speaking through this passage to YOU about what He may be leading you to be &/or do for Him in the season & place you are in now.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

a good worker

Paul wrote this letter to Timothy, a young leader in the early church that Paul basically looked upon him as his son.

I think I can relate to that paradigm ;-)

This letter turns out to also be the last letter he ever wrote to his son, Timothy. It is believed Paul was executed soon after writing this letter.

Paul knows he is about to die, which makes so much of what he is saying to this son of his all the more crucial.

Iow, Paul cuts to the chase.

We don't know if Timothy managed to get to Paul before Paul died. If I were Timothy, I'd probably move heaven & earth to try to make the journey.

So in the verses listed, knowing they probably won't see each other again on earth, Paul is telling his son, Timothy, how to live & be a good worker, and a good person, for the same Lord they both serve.

God spoke to Timothy through Paul's letter to his son.

And, in turn, God has continued to speak to us through the centuries through that same letter.

I'm not really sure why I share this w/ y'all today. There's all kinds of stuff in it that speaks to me. But I also think there's some stuff in it for some of you out there reading this right now.

Don't know who this is for, don't know for what.

Anyway, read through it. If it speaks to you in your present situation, well, then kool.

2 Timothy 2

15 Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval.

Be a good worker,

     one who does not need to be ashamed

     and who correctly explains the word of truth.

19 But God's truth stands firm like a foundation stone with this inscription:

        "The LORD knows those who are his,"

        and "All who belong to the LORD must turn away from evil."

20 In a wealthy home some utensils are made of gold and silver,

        and some are made of wood and clay.

     The expensive utensils are used for special occasions,

     and the cheap ones are for everyday use.

21 If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use.

        Your life will be clean,

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

22 Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts.

      Instead, pursue righteous living,



      and peace.

Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.

23 Again I say, don't get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights.

24 A servant of the Lord must not quarrel

        but must be kind to everyone,

        be able to teach,

        and be patient with difficult people.

25 Gently instruct those who oppose the truth.

        Perhaps God will change those people's hearts,

        and they will learn the truth.

26 Then they will come to their senses and escape from the devil's trap.

        For they have been held captive by him to do whatever he wants.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

and here's what the BIble said then...

Last night, I wrote this in my FB status,

"what do you do when you feel you're being drawn inexorably into something far scarier, far more demanding, & inexplicably impossible?

"please give examples of what it was you were facing & how you dealt with it."

Here's what came up off the page this morning. Just a coincidence, or is God trying to tell me something?

You tell me...

I wanna know what you think...

Isaiah 43:1 But now, O Jacob, listen to the LORD who created you.

  O Israel, the one who formed you says,

"Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.

  I have called you by name; you are mine.

2 When you go through deep waters,

  I will be with you.

When you go through rivers of difficulty,

  you will not drown.

When you walk through the fire of oppression,

  you will not be burned up;

  the flames will not consume you.

3 For I am the LORD, your God,

  the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.

I gave Egypt as a ransom for your freedom;

  I gave Ethiopia and Seba in your place.

4 Others were given in exchange for you.

  I traded their lives for yours

because you are precious to me.

  You are honored, and I love you.

5a "Do not be afraid, for I am with you.


2 Timothy 1

7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear & timidity,

     but of power,


     & self-discipline.

vs 13b ...remember to live in the faith & love that you have in Christ Jesus.

14 With the help of the Holy Spirit who lives within you,

      carefully guard what has been entrusted to you.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

responsibilities of the rich

Ok, what does these 3 verses by Paul to his adopted son,Timothy, have to say to us about material things, & the poor,juxtaposed with current attitudes about either or both?

Do we need to acknowledge that in comparison to the rest of the world, we are rich?

1 Timothy 6

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.

Monday, February 3, 2014

waiting 2.0

For all of us who resonated with yesterday's note, this one's for us, too!

Isaiah 41:9b 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 w/ my victorious right hand.

13 I am holding you by your right hand - I, the Lord your God.

And I say to you,

     Do not be afraid.

I am here to help you

Sunday, February 2, 2014


Here's a promise from God...

It's for all of you, like me, who are in the waiting room of life.

I understand how you feel because I'm there myself right now, & I've been there before all too many times.

This is a promise from the Lord - let's hold onto it together as we wait for whatever is next?

Those who wait on the Lord will find new strength.

They will fly high on wings like eagles.

They will run & not get weary.

They will walk & not faint.

     Isaiah 40:8

Saturday, February 1, 2014

true leaders

those who are the greatest should take the lowest rank, & the leader should be like a servant. Luke 22:26

Well, so much for a success orientation.

So much for "looking out for # 1".

this goes against everything we're taught to be & do in our culture & in our world.

how do we respond to this mandate from Jesus, in our present paradigm?