Thursday, July 31, 2014


The Lord has already told you what is good,

& this is what He requires:

     to do what is right,

     to love mercy,

     & to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8

The longer I live, the more I believe what it means to be a Christ follower can be boiled down to a very few things.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014


Words I've been carrying inside me since the beginning of 2008...

Sometimes I've followed them...

     ...sometimes I haven't.

It ain't been pretty when I haven't...

Why is it so easy for us to lose our focus & get side-tracked?

Look straight ahead,

     & fix your eyes on what lies before you

Mark out a straight path for your feet;

     then stick to the path

     & stay safe.

Don't get side-tracked,

     keep your feet from following evil.

Proverbs 4:25-27 (NLT)

Here it is in The Message...

Keep your eyes straight ahead;

    ignore all sideshow distractions.

Watch your step,

    and the road will stretch out smooth before you.

Look neither right nor left;

    leave evil in the dust.

And in The Voice...

Keep your head up, your eyes straight ahead,

    and your focus fixed on what is in front of you.

Take care you don’t stray from the straight path, the way of truth,

    and you will safely reach the end of your road.

Do not veer off course to the right or the left;

    step away from evil, and leave it behind.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


"...don't try to figure everything on your own."

I'm always trying to figure things out.

I think part of it might be a defense mechanism;

     another may be that I may be trying to get ahead of the game & be prepared for whatever eventualities lie ahead;

     while on the other hand, I may be just curious about makes things tick.

In any event, it seems I am always trying to fit the pieces of the puzzle together, of situations, of people, of life.

But sometimes God just wants me to shut up & follow Him.

     sometimes He doesn't tell me the why of situations bc He knows I'd run away from them if I knew;

     He also knows if I have a complete explanation of things, sometimes I'll try to make them happen.

Following Jesus doesn't always mean we'll know the who, what, where, when, & how of any given situation.

Lots of times, we just know to follow & let Him handle the rest.

That's been my life especially these past 4 years - there doesn't seem to be any change in that coming up.

So I follow, as best I can...

I guess it's all any of us can do, really.


Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust God from the bottom of your heart;

    don’t try to figure out everything on your own.

Listen for God’s voice in everything you do,

     everywhere you go;

  He’s the one who will keep you on track. (The Message)


Place your trust in the Eternal;

      rely on Him completely;

    never depend upon your own ideas and inventions.

Give Him the credit for everything you accomplish,

    and He will smooth out and straighten the road that lies ahead. (The Voice)


Trust the Lord completely,

      and don’t depend on your own knowledge.

With every step you take,

      think about what he wants,

     and He will help you go the right way. (ERV)


Trust in the Lord with all your heart

    and lean not on your own understanding;

in all your ways submit to him,

    and he will make your paths straight. (NIV)


Trust in the Lord with all your heart,

    and do not lean on your own understanding.

In all your ways acknowledge him,

    and He will make straight your paths. (ESV)


Lean on,

     trust in,

     and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind

and do not rely on your own insight or understanding.

In all your ways know,


     and acknowledge Him,

and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths. (Amplified)


Trust in the Lord with all your heart;

    do not depend on your own understanding.

Seek His will in all you do,

    and He will show you which path to take. (NLT)

Monday, July 28, 2014


John 2

23 Because of the miraculous signs He did in Jerusalem at the Passover celebration, many people were convinced that (Jesus) was indeed the Messiah.

24 But Jesus didn't trust them,

        because He knew what people were really like.

25 No one needed to tell Him about human nature.

Jesus knew & knows who we each are, really deep down inside.

     He knows the person we REALLY are when no one's around.

He knows how fickle we are, how weak,& how foolish.

And yet, He still  died for us.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

the Son

John 1

 In the beginning the Word already existed.

  The Word was with God,

  and the Word was God.

 He existed in the beginning with God.

 God created everything through him,

  and nothing was created except through him.

 The Word gave life to everything that was created,*

  and his life brought light to everyone.

 The light shines in the darkness,

  and the darkness can never extinguish it.

12 But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.

14 So the Word became human

        and made his home among us.

He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness.

And we have seen his glory,

     the glory of the Father's one and only Son.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Niagara Falls

Sometimes my life is overwhelming.

Sometimes it feels like I'm standing under a waterfall, with the water flowing down on me & around me.

And sometimes the waterfall is Niagara Falls.

Sometimes, reading these verses help...

Psalm 139

 O LORD, you have examined my heart

  and know everything about me.

 You know when I sit down or stand up.

  You know my thoughts even when I'm far away.

 You see me when I travel

  and when I rest at home.

  You know everything I do.

 You know what I am going to say

  even before I say it, LORD.

 You go before me and follow me.

  You place your hand of blessing on my head.

 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,

  too great for me to understand!

7 I can never escape from your Spirit!

  I can never get away from your presence!

 If I go up to heaven, you are there;

  if I go down to the grave, you are there.

 If I ride the wings of the morning,

  if I dwell by the farthest oceans,

 even there your hand will guide me,

  and your strength will support me.

 I could ask the darkness to hide me

  and the light around me to become night—

   but even in darkness I cannot hide from you.

To you the night shines as bright as day.

  Darkness and light are the same to you.

13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body

  and knit me together in my mother's womb.

 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!

  Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.

 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,

  as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.

 You saw me before I was born.

  Every day of my life was recorded in your book.

Every moment was laid out

  before a single day had passed.

17 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.

  They cannot be numbered!

 I can't even count them;

  they outnumber the grains of sand!

And when I wake up,

  you are still with me!

Friday, July 25, 2014

loving each other means what?

1 John 3:11 This is the message you have heard from the beginning:

     We should love one another.

 We must not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and killed his brother.

And why did he kill him?

     Because Cain had been doing what was evil,

     and his brother had been doing what was righteous.

13 So don't be surprised, dear brothers and sisters, if the world hates you.

14 If we love our Christian brothers and sisters, it proves that we have passed from death to life.

     But a person who has no love is still dead.

 Anyone who hates another brother or sister is really a murderer at heart.

And you know that murderers don't have eternal life within them.

16 We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us.

      So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters.

 If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion - how can God's love be in that person?

18 Dear children, let's not merely say that we love each other;

      let us show the truth by our actions.

19 Our actions will show that we belong to the truth,

      so we will be confident when we stand before God.

Thursday, July 24, 2014


Luke 22:26

those who are the greatest should take the lowest rank, & the leader should be like a servant. (NLT)

the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. (NIV)
The one with the most authority among you should act as if he is the least important. The one who leads should be like one who serve. (ERV)

let him who is the greatest among you become like the youngest, and him who is the chief and leader like one who serves. (Amplified)

let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves. (ESV)

Your greatest man must become like a junior and your leader must be a servant. (J.B. Phillips)

Let the senior among you become like the junior; let the leader act the part of the servant. (The Mesage)

he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he who governs as he who serves. (NKJV)

the greatest must become like the youngest and the leader must become a true servant.(The Voice)

Of course, this thought process of Jesus' about leaders & those who live a life of heightened greatness run completely & diametrically opposite to what our world & cultures believe - no surprise there...

But I wonder what our world would be like if we lived the concepts Jesus expressed here in our jobs, our neighborhoods, our churches, in our political arenas, our nation, & our world.

I wonder what our churches would be like if this expression of authority were the norm?

Our would our local, state, & national governments dealt with each other with their modus?

What kind of governing would take place in our national capital, or in any country's national capital if this was the leadership model?

And what would our world look like if all nations, in their dealings with other nations, followed Jesus' lead as expressed in this verse?

I think our world would be a VERY different place, don't you think?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


This section from Matthew 25 roles around in my head a lot these days...

Jesus places no stipulations, no disclaimers, & no qualifiers in what He's saying here.

And before we all (including me!) insert our usual "Yeah, but...", read it again.

Jesus is pretty straightforward here.

Read it slowly a couple or three times, & just think about it...

Matthew 25

 "But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit upon his glorious throne.

 All the nations will be gathered in his presence,

      and he will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.

      33 He will place the sheep at his right hand and the goats at his left.

34 "Then the King will say to those on his right,

         'Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world.

 For I was hungry, and you fed me.

     I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink.

     I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home.

     36 I was naked, and you gave me clothing.

     I was sick, and you cared for me.

     I was in prison, and you visited me.'

 "Then these righteous ones will reply,

     'Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you?

     Or thirsty and give you something to drink?

 Or a stranger and show you hospitality?

     Or naked and give you clothing?

     39 When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?'

40 "And the King will say,

     'I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!'

41 "Then the King will turn to those on the left and say,

     'Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons.

     42 For I was hungry, and you didn't feed me.

     I was thirsty, and you didn't give me a drink.

     43 I was a stranger, and you didn't invite me into your home.

     I was naked, and you didn't give me clothing.

     I was sick and in prison, and you didn't visit me.'

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

 "And he will answer,

     'I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.'

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

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


I wonder what this incident in Jesus' life has to say to our lives today?

Luke 20

 Watching for their opportunity, the leaders sent spies pretending to be honest men.

They tried to get Jesus to say something that could be reported to the Roman governor so he would arrest Jesus.

21 "Teacher," they said, "we know that you speak and teach what is right and are not influenced by what others think.

"You teach the way of God truthfully.

22 Now tell us—is it right for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?"

23 He saw through their trickery and said,

 "Show me a Roman coin.

     Whose picture and title are stamped on it?"

  "Caesar's," they replied.

  25 "Well then," he said, "give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God."

 26 So they failed to trap him by what he said in front of the people.

Instead, they were amazed by his answer, and they became silent.

Monday, July 21, 2014


This is Jesus talking...

...those who use well what they are given,

     even more will be given.

But from those who do nothing,

     even what little they have will be taken away.

Luke 19:26

What does that mean for you?

Sunday, July 20, 2014


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.

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

Saturday, July 19, 2014


this is Jesus talking here...

Luke 17

 "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.'"

We have such a screwed up idea of what "serving the Lord" is.

It's all wrapped up in this success orientation that we have about everything...

     ....if we're not "successful" where we're serving then we certainly can't be doing what is right because if we serve the Lord we'll be fantastically successful...

     ....if we're gonna do something it might as well be BIG!


I think in the last 4 years I've learned more about what it means to be a true servant of the Lord than in the rest of my life put together - that's 60 years!

If we truly serve the Lord, sometimes it's all about obeying, & only obeying, & being willing to maybe never know the who, what, where, when, or how of it all.

Anybody else gone through that crucible of understanding, besides me?

Friday, July 18, 2014

A 2 Z

Revelation 1:8

"I am the Alpha & Omega;

    the beginning & the end,"

     says the Lord God.

"I am the One who is,

     who always was,

     & who is still to come,

the Almighty One." (NLT)

The Master declares,

“I’m A to Z.

     I’m The God Who Is,

     The God Who Was,

     and The God About to Arrive.

I’m the Sovereign-Strong.” (The Message)

I am the Alpha and the Omega,

    [the very beginning and the very end,]

the One who is,

the One who was,

and the One who is coming:

the All Powerful.
(The Voice)

I am the Alpha and the Omega,      the Beginning and the End,

     says the Lord God,

He Who is

and Who was

and Who is to come,

the Almighty (the Ruler of all).

They all say the same thing - God is infinite.

And 129 times in the New Testament this God says He wants us to think of Him as a Father.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

who wants to hang w/ us?

Tax collectors & other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach.

This made the Pharisees & teachers of religious law complain that He was associating with such despicable people - even eating with them.

Luke 15:1 - 2

I've written before about Jesus hanging out with "notorious sinners".

I've always found it interesting that these "notorious sinners" actually WANTED to be around Jesus.

I'm sure the "good church folks" didn't treat them very well.

As someone told me recently, the reason they don't like to go to church around here is because when they come into a church, everybody "looks" at them.

    You know what I mean when I say they would "look" at them?

     It's that look we've gotten more than once, prolly you too...

     It's that "look" that kinda says, "who the hell are you & what are YOU doin' here?!"

     Know what I mean now?

I wonder when these "notorious sinners" would show up to listen to Jesus, if the "good church folks"would "look" at them?

I just continue to wonder if I channel the love of Jesus enough that the "notorious sinners" around me actually want to be around me.

What is it that would make us that kind of person?

What traits, attitudes, & feelings do we need to display that would cause people to WANT to be around us?

I guess that's the question, isn't it?

And, of course, the other question is, do we want to live with the displeasure & disapproval of our Christian friends when we do hang w/ people who aren't Christ followers?

Or do we just want to hang w/ our precious Christian friends & not let those who aren't Christians influence &/or taint our prissy little lives?

Of course, where would you & I be if the people who showed us the way to Jesus were more concerned about their friends' approval than spending time pointing us to Jesus?

The question for me is I just wonder what it was about Jesus that was so compelling that the "sinners" in that day would buck the "looks" & disapproval, as well as the chilly attitudes, just so they just be near Jesus & hear what He had to say?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

following Jesus

Luke 14:25 A large crowd was following Jesus.

He turned around and said to them,

  26 "If you want to be my disciple, you must hate everyone else by comparison;

     your father and mother,

     wife and children,

     brothers and sisters,

     yes, even your own life.

Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple.

27 And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple.

  28 "But don't begin until you count the cost.

For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it?

29 Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money,

     and then everyone would laugh at you.

30 They would say, 'There's the person who started that building and couldn't afford to finish it!'

  31 "Or what king would go to war against another king without first sitting down with his counselors to discuss whether his army of 10,000 could defeat the 20,000 soldiers marching against him?

32 And if he can't, he will send a delegation to discuss terms of peace while the enemy is still far away.

33 So you cannot become my disciple without giving up everything.

I have sweet friend & colleague in ministry, Beth, who often says something like this to people...

"Salvation is free. Following Jesus costs you everything."


Ya see, in following Him, Jesus sets about doing something radical...

Making us more like Him.

And what does that mean?

We have to let go of our life & ourselves.

And the person we've become in our sinful selves has to die.

For us to become like Him, we have to surrender our hopes, dreams, wants, needs, future, past, present - you name it, it has to be surrendered to Jesus.

And then He takes what we surrender, keeps what's in sync w/ His person & identity, & starts filling in the rest of our identity with Himself.

Sound scary?

Only if we insist on holding on to ourselves.

But think of this - what do we get in this surrender?


...and all that He is.

iow, Jesus endeavors to turn us into what we were originally purposed by God to be, before we polluted it with sin...

We were to be like Jesus.

Chew on that for a while...

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Psalm 139

Sometimes it's good to just let a passage speak for itself....

Psalm 139

1 O LORD, you have examined my heart

  and know everything about me.

2 You know when I sit down or stand up.

  You know my thoughts even when I'm far away.

3 You see me when I travel

  and when I rest at home.

  You know everything I do.

4 You know what I am going to say

  even before I say it, LORD.

5 You both precede and follow me.

  You place your hand of blessing on my head.

6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,

  too great for me to understand!

7 I can never escape from your Spirit!

  I can never get away from your presence!

8 If I go up to heaven, you are there;

  if I go down to the grave, you are there.

9 If I ride the wings of the morning,

  if I dwell by the farthest oceans,

10 even there your hand will guide me,

  and your strength will support me.

11 I could ask the darkness to hide me

  and the light around me to become night—

12   but even in darkness I cannot hide from you.

To you the night shines as bright as day.

  Darkness and light are the same to you.

13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body

  and knit me together in my mother's womb.

14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!

  Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.

15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,

  as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.

16 You saw me before I was born.

  Every day of my life was recorded in your book.

Every moment was laid out

  before a single day had passed.

17 How precious are your thoughts about me,* O God.

  They cannot be numbered!

18 I can't even count them;

  they outnumber the grains of sand!

And when I wake up,

  you are still with me!

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;

  test me and know my anxious thoughts.

24 Point out anything in me that offends you,

  and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

Monday, July 14, 2014

what stood out today

Sometimes on some mornings, God makes certain verses of similar theme stand out.

These 4 verses seemed to stand out as a group this morning...

Psalm 138:8 The Lord will work out His plans for my life - for Your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever.

Luke 12
vs 7 ...the very hairs on your head are numbered. So don't be afraid...

vs 22b ...don't worry about everyday life.

vs 32a ...don't be afraid.

So, what do you think He's trying to tell me?


here's some other verses that stood out this morning...

Luke 12
vs 35a Be dressed for service & well prepared...

vs 45b Much is required from those to whom much is given,

& much more is required from those to whom much more is given.

1 John 5
vs 14 we can be confident that He will listen to us whenever we ask Him for anything in line with His will.

vs 15 if we know He is listening when we make our requests, we can be sure that He will give us what we ask for.

vs 21 Keep away from anything that might take God's place in your hearts.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

keep on

Maybe you need to hear these 2 words from Jesus today - "keep on..."

Don't know what's going on in your life, but maybe this is Jesus speaking to you...

 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.

What are you asking for?

What are you looking for?

What way are you looking to be made?

Jesus says here that EVERYONE who asks,


     wants to move ahead

     WILL get what they're asking for,

     WILL find what they're looking for,

     & WILL have a way made for them to come into whatever it is they're wanting to move into.


Yeah, I know what you're thinking - I'm thinking the same thing.


All I know is what Jesus said.

Go read the section in Luke 11 that this comes from.

All I know is all I know.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

good sam

In light of a lot of what's happening right now, what does this parable of Jesus say to us today?

Luke 10

25 One day an expert in religious law stood up to test Jesus by asking him this question:

        "Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?"
26 Jesus replied,

        "What does the law of Moses say? How do you read it?"

  27 The man answered,

        "'You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.'

        And, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"

  28 "Right!" Jesus told him. "Do this and you will live!"

  29 The man wanted to justify his actions, so he asked Jesus,

     "And who is my neighbor?"

30 Jesus replied with a story:

"A Jewish man was traveling from Jerusalem down to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits.

They stripped him of his clothes,

     beat him up,

     and left him half dead beside the road.

  31 "By chance a priest came along.

But when he saw the man lying there,

     he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by.

32 A Temple assistant walked over and looked at him lying there,

     but he also passed by on the other side.

  33 "Then a despised Samaritan came along,

     and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him.

34 Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them.

Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn,

     where he took care of him.

35 The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins, telling him,

     'Take care of this man.

     If his bill runs higher than this, I'll pay you the next time I'm here.'

  36 "Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?" Jesus asked.

  37 The man replied, "The one who showed him mercy."

  Then Jesus said, "Yes, now go and do the same."

Friday, July 11, 2014

butt kicked

1 John 2

1 My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin.

But if anyone does sin,

     we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father.

He is Jesus Christ,

     the one who is truly righteous.

 He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins;

     and not only our sins but the sins of all the world.

  3 And we can be sure that we know him if we obey his commandments.

 If someone claims, "I know God," but doesn't obey God's commandments,

     that person is a liar and is not living in the truth.

 But those who obey God's word truly show how completely they love him.

     That is how we know we are living in him.

6 Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.

Does anybody else see the profound truth in these 6 verses?!

In 1 & 2, John says if we sin (who doesn't?!) Jesus makes it possible for God to forgive our sins.

In verses 3, 4, & 5 John says if we say we are follow God, then we will obey Him.

     It's like we can't have one without the other.

Obeying is a big deal with God.

iow, do what He say.

Now, how many of us be & do that?!

Or, how many of us have adopted this smorgasbord, middle class attitude toward following Jesus,

     where we get to pick and choose what we are or do.

     where we pick & choose what parts of the Bible we follow.

     where we will obey Him as long as it doesn't affect our bottom line,

        or our relationships,

        our pet sins,

        or doesn't invade areas of our lives where we have issues that need addressing,

        or places us in a position of being out of sync with everything & everyone around us.

But here's the real kicker...

In vs 6, John says if we say we follow God, if we're livin' the life, if we're supposed to be all sucked up into God & all that, guess what?

     we're supposed to live just like Jesus did. just like Jesus did.

....just like Jesus.

Now, how many of us are gonna do that?

Think about how Jesus lived His life...

Go ahead, I got the time - think about it before you read ahead...

How many of us are gonna live like THAT?!

How many of us are gonna LOVE like that?

How many of us are gonna let go of our possessions like that?

How many of us are willing to be that others oriented?

How many of us are gonna be that ultimately selfless like that?

How many of us are gonna be THAT forgiving?

But John says here that if we're as all up in God's stuff as we say we are, we're gonna live like Jesus did.

...just like Jesus did.

I think John kicked us in the butt w/ verse 6.

Think about verse 6 today, & as we face every situation & person today, try to live like just like Jesus did.

yeah, I think we'd better brace ourselves for finding our just how much we're NOT just like Jesus...

Thursday, July 10, 2014

walking in the Light

It's amazing how John is able to say so much in so little space.

There are some pivotal verses in this short chapter.

Read it slowly...

1 John 1

1 We proclaim to you the one who existed from the beginning,

     whom we have heard and seen.

We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands.

He is the Word of life.

2 This one who is life itself was revealed to us,

     and we have seen him.

And now we testify and proclaim to you that he is the one who is eternal life.

He was with the Father,

     and then he was revealed to us.

3 We proclaim to you what we ourselves have actually seen and heard so that you may have fellowship with us.

And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.

4 We are writing these things so that you may fully share our joy.

5 This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you:

God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all.

6 So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness;

     we are not practicing the truth.

7 But if we are living in the light,

     as God is in the light,

     then we have fellowship with each other,

     and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.

  8 If we claim we have no sin,

     we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth.

9 But if we confess our sins to him,

     he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins

     and to cleanse us from all wickedness.

10 If we claim we have not sinned,

     we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

keep on

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.

As long as we are here on earth, we don't have the option to quit, to retire from life.

Now that I've lived long enough to move into my "golden years" (whoever quantified those years with that tag obviously hadn't lived them yet!), I've seen more & more of my peers "retire".

The unfortunate thing about it is that many are interpreting "retire" to mean quit engaging the people & things around them & live a totally self-centered life, frittering away their lives, influence, & continued impact.

I don't believe the word "retire" ever comes up in the Bible.

I don't think Paul ever wrote an epistle about retiring.

I don't believe David ever wrote a psalm about retiring.

And I don't think Jesus spent a chunk of time talking about it in the Sermon on the Mount.

You do realize I'm not talking about that thing we do in our 60's in regards to the job we have or Social Security?

I'm talking about living.


As my Granny Carrie used to say (she lived until she was 108?),

     "Danny, live till you die."

She certainly did.

SO MANY people, especially Millenials, have no positive role models in their lives - iow, they don't have a lot of people they know that seem to live fairly functional lives.

If nothing else, we can be an example & warning to them how NOT to live our lives!

In the last few years, I can't count how many times I've said,"Well, I did that, & I got into a LOT of trouble."

And there's also been lots of times I've said,"Yeah, I've seen that work!"

A lot of Millenials just need someone to say to them, "You can do this" or "You've got what it takes to do this" or "I believe in you" or "I'm proud of you".

So many of them have NEVER heard anyone say that to them.

SO MANY of them have never been a priority for someone - they've been neglected, ignored, abandoned, abused, rejected, or simply put on the back burner of the lives of the very people in which the Millenial should be a major focus.

So all of us with tired legs & shakey legs - keep on...

There's a world out there who still needs us.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

tough stuff

This is Jesus speaking here.

This is not easy stuff.

This type of thinking was so absolutely, positively revolutionary at the time - no one did these kinds of things that Jesus was mandating.

But think of this...

What would our world be like if we lived like this.

No disclaimers...

No "yes, but..."

What would our lives be like if each of us lived like this?

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.

37 "Do not judge others,

     and you will not be judged.

Do not condemn others,

     or it will all come back against you.

Forgive others,

     and you will be forgiven.

38 Give,

     and you will receive.

Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap.

The amount you give will determine the amount you get back."

Monday, July 7, 2014


Luke 5

27 Later, as Jesus left the town, he saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at his tax collector's booth.

"Follow me and be my disciple," Jesus said to him.

28 So Levi got up, left everything, and followed him.

29 Later, Levi held a banquet in his home with Jesus as the guest of honor.

Many of Levi's fellow tax collectors and other guests also ate with them.

30 But the Pharisees and their teachers of religious law complained bitterly to Jesus' disciples,

     "Why do you eat and drink with such scum?"

31 Jesus answered them,

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

32 I have come to call not those who think they are righteous,

     but those who know they are sinners and need to repent."

We're not like Jesus, are we?

We don't hang out with "scum", do we?

We only hang with Christ followers, don't we?

We don't want to be seen with people that our Christian friends would consider marginal or unseemly, do we?

We don't do that because we think people will think we're friends with them, & maybe are like them,don't we?

We're afraid it will "harm our witness", don't we?

What would our lives be like if the people who influenced us to follow Jesus had felt the same way as we do about hanging out with people who aren't Christ followers?

Sunday, July 6, 2014

our flocks

Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you.

Watch over it willingly,

     not grudgingly,

     not for what you will get out of it,

     but because you are eager to serve God.

1 Peter 5:2


God gives us people to look out for.

And as the years pass, that "flock", that group of people changes, as they move in & out of our lives.

Too many times we think that the only people with "flocks" are preachers / ministers.

But we all have flocks- people God has purposefully brought into our lives to influence & impact.

I don't remember who it was early on in my adult life who once said to me something I've carried with me since...

     "God often doesn't permit us to choose to whom we minister...

     "...nor does He often allow us to choose who ministers to us."

I see many people (myself included) who have missed opportunities of influencing people because we think ministry only happens at a church, with a minister, &/or in a healthy sized group.

I doesn't matter where God has put us...

     in a cubicle at Geico,

     building houses,

     doing shift work in manufacturing,

     or living quietly in semi-retirement in a mountain community...

God will & does bring people into our lives to whom we have a set task of caring for, influencing, & impacting in ways that only we can.

Perhaps we should look around this week at the people who move in & out of our lives, & look for opportunities to be Jesus to those people.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

selected verses

Don't know who this is for, but I feel like someone(s) need to read these selected verses from Peter's first letter.

1 Peter 4

 So then, since Christ suffered physical pain,

      you must arm yourselves with the same attitude he had,

     and be ready to suffer, too.

For if you have suffered physically for Christ,

     you have finished with sin.

2 You won't spend the rest of your lives chasing your own desires,

     but you will be anxious to do the will of God.

3 You have had enough in the past of the evil things that godless people enjoy;

     their immorality and lust,

     their feasting and drunkenness and wild parties,

     and their terrible worship of idols.

4 Of course, your former friends are surprised when you no longer plunge into the flood of wild and destructive things they do.

     So they slander you.

5 But remember that they will have to face God,

     who will judge everyone,

     both the living and the dead.

  7b be earnest and disciplined in your prayers.

8 Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other,

     for love covers a multitude of sins.

9 Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay.

10 God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts.

     Use them well to serve one another.

11 Do you have the gift of speaking?

     Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you.

Do you have the gift of helping others?

     Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies.

Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ.

All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.

12 Dear friends, don't be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through,

     as if something strange were happening to you.

13 Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering,

     so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world.

14 So be happy when you are insulted for being a Christian,

     for then the glorious Spirit of God rests upon you.

 If you suffer, however, it must not be for murder, stealing, making trouble, or prying into other people's affairs.

 But it is no shame to suffer for being a Christian.

Praise God for the privilege of being called by his name!

19 So if you are suffering in a manner that pleases God,

     keep on doing what is right,

     and trust your lives to the God who created you,

     for he will never fail you.

Friday, July 4, 2014

a pretty tall order

1 Peter 3

 Finally, all of you should be of one mind.

Sympathize with each other.

Love each other as brothers and sisters.

Be tenderhearted,

     and keep a humble attitude.

9 Don't repay evil for evil.

Don't retaliate with insults when people insult you.

Instead, pay them back with a blessing.

That is what God has called you to do,

     and He will bless you for it.

10 For the Scriptures say,

"If you want to enjoy life

  and see many happy days,

keep your tongue from speaking evil

  and your lips from telling lies.

 Turn away from evil and do good.

  Search for peace, and work to maintain it.

 The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right,

  and his ears are open to their prayers.

But the Lord turns his face

  against those who do evil."

What would our lives be like if we lived like this - especially when we look at verse 9?

What would our world be like if we lived like this?

And why won't  / don't we live like this?

Thursday, July 3, 2014


Unless the Lord builds a house,

     the work of the builder is useless.

Unless the Lord protects a city,

     guarding it with sentries will do no good

Psalm 127:1

The older I get, the more I believe that what we are able to be & do is all about God's favor.

I can't tell you how many times I've planned something for months, put it together, & then pulled it off, all with little to no results.

At the same time, sometimes I've felt compelled to be or do something by God, followed His leading for the preparation of it, & then been or done it with results far & beyond whatever I could have imagined.

The difference?

God's favor.

So what was the difference?

In the first, using my own insight & "wisdom", I was being or doing what I thought God would want me to be or do under my own steam.

In the second instance, I was being or doing something God was compelling or leading me into, something that scared me, & something I KNEW I couldn't pull off in my own strength & "wisdom" - it was all up to God, or I was sunk.

It's all about God's favor.

Did any of this makes sense?

I hope so - it's been a slow lesson for me to learn & digest.

Don't be as slow as I've been  ;-)

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

some verses

Psalm 126

4 Restore our fortunes, Lord,

     as streams renew the desert.

5 Those who plant in tears

     will harvest with shouts of joy.

6 They weep as they go to plant their seed,

     but they sing as they return with the harvest.

1 Peter 1

2 God the Father chose you long ago,

     & the Spirit has made you holy.

As a result, you have obeyed Jesus Christ

     & are cleansed by His blood.

4 For God has reserved a priceless inheritance for His children.

It s kept in heaven for you,

     pure & undefiled,

     beyond the reach of change or decay.

6 So be truly glad!

There is a wonderful joy ahead,

     even though it is necessary for you to endure many trials for a while.

7 These trials are only to test your faith,

     to show that it is strong & pure.

It's being tested as fire tests & purifies gold -

     & your faith is more precious to God than mere gold.

I wish you were sitting here with me right now

     & I could tell you want is going on in my head

     & how these verses are what I needed to hear this morning.

In the years to come, if you forget about me, who I was, or what I did, try to remember this one thing...

     read the Bible every day.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

all I know is what it says...

James 5

 Look here, you rich people:

      Weep and groan with anguish because of all the terrible troubles ahead of you.

2 Your wealth is rotting away,

     and your fine clothes are moth-eaten rags.

 Your gold and silver have become worthless.

The very wealth you were counting on will eat away your flesh like fire.

This treasure you have accumulated will stand as evidence against you on the day of judgment.

4 For listen!

     Hear the cries of the field workers whom you have cheated of their pay.

     The wages you held back cry out against you.

     The cries of those who harvest your fields have reached the ears of the LORD of Heaven's Armies.

5 You have spent your years on earth in luxury,

     satisfying your every desire.

You have fattened yourselves for the day of slaughter.

6 You have condemned and killed innocent people, who do not resist you.

Most of us are considered rich, compared to the rest of the world.