Saturday, January 31, 2015


Don't worry about anything;

     instead, pray about everything.

Tell God what you need,

     & thank Him for all He has done.

If you do this,

     you will experience God's peace

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

His peace will guard your hearts & minds

     as you live in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7

Now,read that again...

Don't worry about anything;

     instead, pray about everything.

Tell God what you need,

     & thank Him for all He has done.

If you do this,

     you will experience God's peace

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

His peace will guard your hearts & minds

     as you live in Christ Jesus.

Now, read it just one more time...

Don't worry about anything;

     instead, pray about everything.

Tell God what you need,

     & thank Him for all He has done.

If you do this,

     you will experience God's peace

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

His peace will guard your hearts & minds

     as you live in Christ Jesus.

Why don't we believe these 2 verses?

Why don't we put them into practice?

Why do we continue to live in our worrisome, fret-filled, stressed out world?

That is, if we believe these 2 verses.

Why can't we make this a daily thing?

Why are we short changing ourselves every day?

Why don't we tap into a peace "which is far more wonderful than the human mind can conceive"?

Why are we so stupid to continue to not connect with that peace?

All we have to do is tell God what we need, & thank Him for what He gonna do with our need.

That's it.

Why can't we rest in this promise?

It is that we don't believe?

Or are we just stupid?

Friday, January 30, 2015

strong & courageous

Do you feel like God has ask you to be or do something impossible?

Do you feel like He's asked you to move in a new direction in your life that doesn't make sense &/or scares you spitless?

I'm not talking just about doing something stupendous &/or glamorous - it can be small, or medium sized - whatever it may be that you feel like God is leading you to be or do.

If that's you this morning, this passage could be for you.

Read through it - if it speaks to you, if it resonates with your spirit, or if when you read it you feel God nudging you, like, yeah, this pertains to you, too - then maybe it's God trying to tell you something.

This passage happens right after the death of Moses.

Joshua has been given leadership to take the children of Israel across the Jordan River & conquer the Promised Land - this was gonna be no small task!

And God says to Joshua - be strong & courageous!

Maybe that's what God is saying to us in regards to whatever He's called us to be &/or do - be strong & courageous.

So, go ahead - read it...

And let's see what chooses to speak to each of us about through it.

Joshua 1

 After the death of Moses the LORD's servant, the LORD spoke to Joshua son of Nun, Moses' assistant.

He said,

     2 "Moses my servant is dead.

     Therefore, the time has come for you to lead these people, the Israelites, across the Jordan River into the land I am giving them.

3 I promise you what I promised Moses:

        'Wherever you set foot, you will be on land I have given you;

 from the Negev wilderness in the south to the Lebanon mountains in the north,

        from the Euphrates River in the east

        to the Mediterranean Sea* in the west,

        including all the land of the Hittites.

'5 No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live.

For I will be with you as I was with Moses.

I will not fail you or abandon you.

  6 "Be strong and courageous,

        for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them.

7 Be strong and very courageous.

Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you.

Do not deviate from them,

     turning either to the right or to the left.

Then you will be successful in everything you do.

8 Study this Book of Instruction continually.

Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it.

Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.

9 This is my command - be strong and courageous!

Do not be afraid or discouraged.

For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

Thursday, January 29, 2015


In Acts 5, Jesus has ascended back to heaven & the Holy Spirit has come to fill the Apostles.

The apostles are teaching about Jesus in the Temple. There's lots of signs & wonder accompanying their teaching - Acts 5 mentions healing the sick & casting out demons. It's interesting that miraculous healing & casting out of demons are usually mentions as the signs & wonders.
If this was a normal thing, I wonder why we don't see more of that kind of thing happening at gatherings of Christ followers these days? But that's a discussion for later.

The high priest of the temple had them arrested. During the night, an angel came & spring the apostles from jail. Yeah, that's what it says!
When the high priest sent for them, the temple guards found everything locked up & guarded, but the apostles weren't there. Oops!
They told the high priest the apostles were gone, but as they were telling this, people came& said the apostles were back in the temple again. Oops, again!

The apostles were arrested again & brought before the high priest & the Sanhedrin, the ruling temple group. They told the apostles to stop talking about Jesus. The apostles basically said we're going to obey God, not you.

When the Sanhedrin decided to have them killed, Gamaliel gave his speech telling the Sanhedrin to be careful what they did, bc they could be fighting against something & someone that was just might be of God.

Here's where we pick up the narrative...

 Acts 5

40b They called in the apostles and had them flogged.

Then they ordered them never again to speak in the name of Jesus, and they let them go.

41 The apostles left the high council rejoicing that God had counted them worthy to suffer disgrace for the name of Jesus.

42 And every day, in the Temple and from house to house, they continued to teach and preach this message: "Jesus is the Messiah."

Now, before we think being flogged back then was kind of an adult form of spanking, here's what has to say...

"Flogging was a form of Roman torture using a flogging whip, which was made up of leather thongs tied to iron balls and bits of bone. This was used to repeatedly strike the victim's back with full force. The iron balls would cause deep bruises, and the leather thongs and sheep bones would cut into the skin and tissue, and even down to the muscle."

Hardly an adult form of spanking...

I said all that to say this...

We hear a lot these days about Christianity being under attack, how our rights are being violated, & other such stuff.

That is the norm for Christ followers.

Being a Christ follower doesn't mean having this kind of Club Med experience all through our lives.

It doesn't mean we will experience the American Dream to its fullest.

It certainly doesn't mean our lives will be without controversy.

Who we are, & what we're about, will always be in conflict with the world in which we live bc we are in many ways the very exact opposite of the world.

I kinda chuckled when I thought about the flogging thing.

I wonder how many of us would be Christ followers if we knew we could get beaten up like that by the people who govern us.

I wonder what our response would be if we got flogged?

We'd prolly be screaming about our rights, how persecuted we are, & how we're not gonna stand for it!


Violent response who who & what we are as Christ followers has been the norm down through the centuries.

Why should it be any different today?

Just a thought...

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


Jesus said to the people who believed in Him,

    "You are truly my disciples if you keep obeying my teachings.

    "And you will know the truth, & the truth will set you free."

(John 8:31-32)

Jesus said we were disciples if we obey His teachings.

read that again - if we obey Him...

...not if we witness to everyone who moves.

...not if we embrace a conservative political viewpoint.

...not if we give our cast off clothing that we never liked to Goodwill or the Salvation Army.

...not if we go on a mission tourism trip to a tropical location for 6 days.

...not if we only read just the King James Version of the Bible.

...not if we equate the American Dream to be the same as a life of discipleship.

We are His disciple if we obey His teachings.

And how many of us know what He taught?

How many of us have bothered to read through all four of the gospels?

Yeah, if we're gonna obey His teachings, we'd better read all four of the gospels - fyi: that's Matthew, Mark, Luke, & John.

This doesn't mean we read a book, or books, about the teachings of Jesus that's written by some pop theologian or Christian TV personality that preaches to 20,000 people each week.

We actually have to read the first four books in the New Testament.

And remember, as we read Matthew, mark,Luke,&John, that being a disciple doesn't mean we get to treat Jesus' teachings like a smorgasbord...

     ...we don't get to pick & choose which of the teachings we intend to obey,

     ...not following the ones that are distasteful, inconvenient, embarrassing, put limitations our lifestyle, or in any way demean us or diminish our standing with our friends or the folks at work.

We are His disciples if we obey Him -that's the long & the short if it.

He also said that as a result, we'd know the truth, & as a result of knowing the truth, we would be set free.

Truth is defined as "a verifiable, indisputable fact".

And when we know the ultimate "verifiable, indisputable facts", we will free.

Isn't it therefore the next step to understand that Jesus is saying that His teachings are the ultimate, the "verifiable, indisputable fact",

     iow: the truth, & in knowing the truth, our lives are set free to be & do who & what we really are?

Think about all this today...

Tuesday, January 27, 2015


This is Jesus speaking here...

Let anyone who is thirsty come to Me and drink. 

For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from the heart of anyone who believes in me.’”

John 7:37b-38a

Jesus says 3 important words here...

...come to Me.

The God of the universes says...

...come to Me.

He says that is we have a longing of any sort, to come to Him.

iow, connect with the God of the universes.

Does that mystify you any more than it does me?

I don't think Allah, Buddha, or Shiva ever expressed that sort of sentiment.

Jesus says "come to Me"

How many of us do?

And how many of us struggle along, trying to make things work & happen?

Jesus says "come to Me."

Think about that today - & think about what it would mean in your life if you went to Him with everything.

Monday, January 26, 2015


Be strong & courageous!

Don't be afraid of them!

The Lord your God will go ahead of you.

He will neither fail you or forsake you.

Deuteronomy 31:6

Do not be afraid or discouraged,

     for the Lord is the One who goes before you.

He will be with you;

     He will neither fail you nor forsake you.

Deuteronomy 31:8

I will never leave you nor forsake you.

Hebrews 13:5b

In this life, is there anyone that we can REALLY depend on?

The first & second verses are Moses speaking to the Hebrews as they were fixing to go into the Promised Land of Canaan,

     to conquer all the different groups of people,

     & make Canaan their homeland.

This was no small task.

But Moses tells them to no be afraid.

God will never leave them nor forsake them.

And He didn't.

The Hebrews conquered the people of Canaan & made it their homeland.

The verse from Hebrews is used by the author to tell the people to whom he was writing that they didn't need to be consumed with the love of money & the materialistic.

Hmmmmmm... don't need to love money or be materialistic...

Sounds like us & our world, today.

The author of Hebrews was saying that God's got our back,

     He's always gonna be with us.

     He's never gonna abandon us.

Hebrews 13:5b is my "life verse".

I really feel like God gave me those 8 words to hold on to, back when I was a freshman at Asbury University.

"I will never leave you nor forsake you."

It's interesting to know from where the author of Hebrews was quoting those words.

And do I feel like God ever left me since my freshman year at Asbury?


Do I feel like God has ever been unfaithful?


And as a result, have I be a living example of faith & trust in Him,

     never worrying about what's ahead,

     or how things are going to go?





But I've kept going, I've kept moving forward with Him, & I keep stepping out.

Because over the decades, He's ALWAYS come through for me.

And He always will, no matter how much I worry, fret, mistrust, hesitate, or limp along.

I may not understand nor see the who, what, where, when, or (especially) how of how His care will be expressed.

But I know He will come through.

Because He has come through, over & over again, in the 4+ decades since He first dropped those 8 words into my head.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

if we do this, then this will happen

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,

     do not depend on your own understanding.

Seek His will in all you do,

     & He will direct your paths.

Proverbs 3:5-6

This is one of those stupendous"if you do this, that will happen" passages.

The writer of Proverbs (historically attributed to King Solomon) makes it pretty simple...

God will show us what to be & do if we trust Him,depend on Him, & seek to be & do what He wants.

Sounds like a pretty sweet deal.

It's a pity that so few of us do it.

Saturday, January 24, 2015


whether you're 64, like me...

or 24...

or 44...

or whatever age...

this is a good couple of verses to hold on to...

God is not unfair.

He will not forget who hard you have worked for Him

     & how you have shown your love for 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.

Hebrews 6:10-11

Friday, January 23, 2015

light & dark

In all of my life, I don't think I have ever heard these verses talked about - not by authors, preachers, Bible study leaders, no one.

I think these verses are just overlooked because of where they are located.

Give them a read...

There is no judgment against anyone who believes in Him.

But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God's one and only Son.

And the judgment is based on this fact:

     God's light came into the world,

      but people loved the darkness more than the light,

      for their actions were evil.

All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed.

But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.

That is Jesus speaking there. Sounds like He's describing us today, don't ya think?

Goodness knows, there's a lot of "loving the darkness" going on these days.

It does kinda narrow things down for us, too...

     if we believe in Jesus, we face no judgement  w/ God.

     if we don't, we do.

Here's why we never hear about these verses - it's because these verses precede them, & kinda of overshadow them...

"For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son,

     so that everyone who believes in him will not perish

     but have eternal life.

God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world,

     but to save the world through him.

Yeah, that first passage is John 3:18-21

The second passage is John 3:16-17

Thursday, January 22, 2015


John 2

23 Because of the miraculous signs Jesus did in Jerusalem at the Passover celebration, many began to trust in him.

24 But Jesus didn't trust them,

        because he knew human nature.

25 No one needed to tell him what people are really like.

Yeah, I bet Jesus knew what people were really like.

He being God meant He knew all about them, their past, their present , & their future.

He saw everyone's big picture - the whole entirety of everyone's life.

He knew what each was capable of.

So does this mean that we shouldn't trust people?

What I think may be the basic truth here is that we, like Jesus, should only completely trust one person,

     & that is God Himself.

Because, in the final analysis, God is the only One who is completely trustworthy, in every way, every time.

The only One who is going to always be & do the best is God Himself.

     People are flawed, sinful, & will fail to come through.

This doesn't mean that everyone is the scum of the earth.

What it does mean is that everyone - you & me - are imperfect,

     & imperfect people will sometimes be & do imperfect (read: sinful) things.

Does all this make sense? Sometimes when I write this stuff I wonder if what I'm thinking is what I'm saying / writing.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


John gives a towering description & definition of who Jesus is.

In these next 18 verses, some of the most pivotal things we think about Jesus are expressed.

Read it slowly, read it more than once, & try to absorb what it's saying.

How many times have I, or you, read this, r heard someone talk about it?

But each time I read it, there is something I see or think about that is new &/or different.

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.

  6 God sent a man, John the Baptist, 7 to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony.

8 John himself was not the light;

     he was simply a witness to tell about the light.

9 The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.

  10 He came into the very world he created, but the world didn't recognize him.

11 He came to his own people,

        and even they rejected him.

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

13 They are reborn...

        not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan,

        but a birth that comes from 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.

  15 John testified about him when he shouted to the crowds,

        "This is the one I was talking about when I said,

         'Someone is coming after me who is far greater than I am,

             for he existed long before me.'"

  16 From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another.

17 For the law was given through Moses, but God's unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ.

18 No one has ever seen God.

But the unique One, who is himself God, is near to the Father's heart.

He has revealed God to us.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

2 passages

You will keep on guiding me with Your counsel,

     leading me to a glorious destiny.

Whom have I in heaven but You?

I desire you more than anything on earth.

My health may fail,

    & my spirit may grow weak,

but God remains the strength of my heart,

He is mine forever.

Psalm 73:24-26

For God is not unfair.

He will not forget how hard you have worked for Him

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

     as you still do.

Our greatest 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 continue.

Hebrews 6:10-11

These are 2 passages I feel like God has given me to hold on to during 2015.

They speak to me in ways & about things far too numerous to mention here.

But this morning, maybe you need to read one or both of these passages.

Take them to heart.

They are not just passages that are pertinent for my life.

There is a glorious universality to the Bible.

They are passages for you, too.

Monday, January 19, 2015


If you're around my age, or older, maybe this will encourage you.

I don't remember how I stumbled upon this passage, but it's so powerful, while at the same time, intimate.

When the word, "carry" is, its context feels like God is carrying us like an infant, or a small child.

It's from Isaiah - in many instances, hardly a warm & fuzzy book.

I've come up with different translations - it's interesting how they are similar, & how they are different.

I've use to find all these translations & paraphrases - it's a good website if you're not familiar with it.

Isaiah 46:3b-4

It is you who have been carried from before you were born.

        Indeed, when you were still in the womb, I was taking care of you.

And when you are old, I will still be there, carrying you.

        When your limbs grow tired, your eyes are weak,

    And your hair a silvery gray, I will carry you as I always have.

        I will carry you and save you. (The Voice)

I created you & have cared for you since before you were born.

I will be your God throughout your lifetime;

     until your hair is grey with age.

I made you, & I will care for you.

I will carry you along & save you. (NLT, 1st edition)

I’ve been carrying you on my back

    from the day you were born,

And I’ll keep on carrying you when you’re old.

    I’ll be there, bearing you when you’re old and gray.

I’ve done it and will keep on doing it,

    carrying you on my back, saving you. (The Message)

I have carried you since you left your mother’s womb.

I carried you when you were born,

     and I will still be carrying you when you are old.

Your hair will turn gray,

     and I will still carry you.

I made you,

     and I will carry you to safety. (ERV)

Listen to Me, you whom I have upheld since your birth,
    and have carried since you were born.
Even to your old age and gray hairs

    I am he who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you;

    I will sustain you and I will rescue you.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

who He is

Sometimes it's good to remember who it is we're hooked up with in the connection we've been given with the God of the universes.

Sometimes it's good to think about who He really is.

Psalm 145

 I will exalt you, my God and King,

  and praise your name forever and ever.

 I will praise you every day;

  yes, I will praise you forever.

 Great is the LORD! He is most worthy of praise!

  No one can measure his greatness.

4 Let each generation tell its children of your mighty acts;

  let them proclaim your power.

 I will meditate on your majestic, glorious splendor

  and your wonderful miracles.

 Your awe-inspiring deeds will be on every tongue;

  I will proclaim your greatness.

 Everyone will share the story of your wonderful goodness;

  they will sing with joy about your righteousness.

8 The LORD is merciful and compassionate,

  slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.

 The LORD is good to everyone.

  He showers compassion on all his creation.

 All of your works will thank you, LORD,

  and your faithful followers will praise you.

 They will speak of the glory of your kingdom;

  they will give examples of your power.

 They will tell about your mighty deeds

  and about the majesty and glory of your reign.

 For your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom.

  You rule throughout all generations.

The LORD always keeps his promises;

  he is gracious in all he does.

 The LORD helps the fallen

  and lifts those bent beneath their loads.

 The eyes of all look to you in hope;

  you give them their food as they need it.

 When you open your hand,

  you satisfy the hunger and thirst of every living thing.

 The LORD is righteous in everything he does;

  he is filled with kindness.

 The LORD is close to all who call on him,

  yes, to all who call on him in truth.

 He fulfills the desires of those who fear him;

  he hears their cries for help and rescues them.

 The LORD protects all those who love him,

  but he destroys the wicked.

21 I will praise the LORD,

  and may everyone on earth bless his holy name

  forever and ever.

Friday, January 16, 2015

worry 2.0

Don't worry about anything;

     instead, pray about everything.

Tell God what you need,

     & thank Him for all He has done.

If you do this,

     you will experience God's peace

         which is far more wonderful than the human can understand.

His peace will guard your hearts

     & minds

  as you live in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7

These are truly remarkable words.

Well, actually, they're amazing words.

This is the apostle, Paul, writing to the Christ followers in Philippi.

Philippians is a short, 4 chapter love letter Paul sent to the faith family there, chock full of all kinds of memorable truths that we all hold on to, whether we know it or not.

Maybe you should read it. ;-)

But look at those 2 verses I've quoted above.

We live in a world where it seems everybody worries about all kinds of things, all the time.

Some live with the stress of constant worry to the point they become depressed, sometimes to a clinical depressive level.

What if we believed Paul when he said to not worry about anything, but instead, pray about everything?

He said the peace of God would be ours.

Let me repeat that...

He said the peace of God would be ours.

How many of us would like to have that kind of peace, instead of the constant worry we engender.

Think about that today...

never alone

Psalm 142

 When I am overwhelmed,

  You alone know the way I should turn.

Wherever I go,

  my enemies have set traps for me.

 I look for someone to come and help me,

  but no one gives me a passing thought!

No one will help me;

  no one cares a bit what happens to me.

 Then I pray to you, O LORD.

  I say, "You are my place of refuge.

  You are all I really want in life.

All of us feel alone sometimes.

But when we feel sometimes that we're on our own with no one to help us out or care about us, we need to quit whispering the negative things to ourselves & hold on to the things we know...

     that even if we really are all alone, God is with us.

I know that sounds cliche...

But it's true

I've lived it.

I'm living it.

Thursday, January 15, 2015


Luke 19

 The crowd was listening to everything Jesus said.

And because he was nearing Jerusalem, he told them a story to correct the impression that the Kingdom of God would begin right away.

 He said,

"A nobleman was called away to a distant empire to be crowned king and then return.

13 Before he left, he called together ten of his servants and divided among them ten pounds of silver,* saying,

        'Invest this for me while I am gone.'

14 But his people hated him and sent a delegation after him to say,

      'We do not want him to be our king.'

  15 "After he was crowned king, he returned and called in the servants to whom he had given the money.

He wanted to find out what their profits were.

16 The first servant reported, 'Master, I invested your money and made ten times the original amount!'

  17 "'Well done!' the king exclaimed. 'You are a good servant.

          You have been faithful with the little I entrusted to you, so you will be governor of ten cities as your reward.'

  18 "The next servant reported, 'Master, I invested your money and made five times the original amount.'
 19 "'Well done!' the king said. 'You will be governor over five cities.'

  20 "But the third servant brought back only the original amount of money and said,

           'Master, I hid your money and kept it safe.

           21 I was afraid because you are a hard man to deal with, taking what isn't yours and harvesting crops you didn't plant.'

 "'You wicked servant!' the king roared.

        'Your own words condemn you.

        If you knew that I'm a hard man who takes what isn't mine and harvests crops I didn't plant,

        23 why didn't you deposit my money in the bank?

        At least I could have gotten some interest on it.'

 "Then, turning to the others standing nearby, the king ordered,

     'Take the money from this servant, and give it to the one who has ten pounds.'

 25 "'But, master,' they said, 'he already has ten pounds!'

  26 "'Yes,' the king replied,

        'and to 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.

This is kind of a tough story to read, told by Jesus.

Each of us has stuff, abilities, gifts, graces, things that are unique to each of us that are given to us by God.

There is a responsibility to allow Him to use those abilities & for us to do something with them ourselves.

Like I said this is a tough story, not the warm & fuzzy kind of story we attribute to Jesus in our middle class concepts of Jesus & following Him.

It's something to think about today...

Tuesday, January 13, 2015


Luke 17

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

 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.

 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 success orientation connected with servanthood.

iow, we automatically think that just because we decide to follow Jesus & do what He tells us to do, we will live some sort of glitteringly fabulous life, praised by many, & adored, appreciated, admired by most.

that's not quite how it works out.

The people we see who live lives of serving who are all those things are the EXCEPTIONS, not the rule.

Most of us who serve the Lord just kinda slog it out each day in our places of service, loving people, & doing the best we can.

And most people will think we're crazy for being it or doing it.

And just remember that anyone who says (use a super-spiritual voice here), "all I want is to be servant of the Lord" has never been one.

Many times we don't & won't know why we're being &/or doing what we believe the Lord wants us to be &/or do.

Many of us won't see the results of our serving.

And lots of the time we won't know exactly who it is we're touching w/ our service.

iow, y'all - as a servant, we spend a lot of time being clueless.

Servants serve - we're seldom let in on the big picture.

We simply live lives that indicate we've told the Lord He can use us in what way He wants, whenever He wants, wherever He wants, with whomever He wants (but usually with crazy people!), or however He wants.

Lots of the time He won't explain what's going on.

He simply says "be this", &/or "do this" - & doesn't let us in on the plan.

This is an uncomfortable truth.

We expect God to tell us what's going on, why it's going on, what's going to eventually happen, how it's gonna happen, & how all these hordes of people are going to be affected.

It's like we have some sort of right to know, like God ought to feel lucky to have us out here in the trenches serving Him.

These are a lot of the things I've learned (the hard way) in the last 4 1/2 years here in Blairsville.

Being a servant is seldom glamorous for most people.

It's just what it says it is - serving - with no rights of our own, only the knowledge that God trusts us enough to allow us to be a small part in His overarching plan for humankind.

And like I said, it's one of those "inconvenient truths" as Christ followers we seldom talk about.

Think about it today...

Monday, January 12, 2015


This is Jesus speaking here...

No one can serve two masters

For you will hate one & love the other, 

     or be devoted to one & despise the other.

You cannot serve both God & money.

Luke 16:13

I guess it's all about focus - either we're going to focus on God, or we're going to focus on other stuff.

I guess I've lived too long & see too much...

     ...because I've come to think that, in the final analysis, the only thing that REALLY matters in this life is how strongly we focus on God & what He wants us to be & do.

Unfortunately, that's not the main focus of most of the people I know & have known.

And I've continued to see that as problematic for each & every one of them.

It seems that most of us try to have it both ways - one foot in the Kingdom, one foot in the world.

iow, just enough attention to God so we get in the door of heaven when we die, but enough connected to worldly matters to not miss all the fun.

As my friend, Beth White likes to say, salvation is free; all the rest of it costs us everything.

Following Jesus costs us everything bc we have to come to the final point of saying yes to whatever He wants us to be & do, whenever He wants, wherever He wants, with whomever He wants, however He wants.

This is not an easy point at which to arrive.

Nor will it ever be.

But will always be the point we all must come to if we are to have the life He dreamed for us.

Well, I don't know where all that came from!

Think about it today... just a thought...

Sunday, January 11, 2015

a "wow" psalm

This psalm blows my socks off each time I read it.

There are some verses that have had pivot impact on my life, especially verse 5.

Just read t slowly, & realize that this psalm is not only talking about me, it's talking about you.

Then read it again...

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!

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

  test me and know my anxious thoughts.

 Point out anything in me that offends you,

  and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

count the cost

Salvation is free.

Following Jesus costs us everything.

We all should consider what following Him will mean to each of us.

Luke 14

 A large crowd was following Jesus.

He turned around and said to them,

 "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!'

 "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 you own.

34 "Salt is good for seasoning.

          But if it loses its flavor, how do you make it salty again?

35 Flavorless salt is good neither for the soil nor for the manure pile.

        It is thrown away. Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand!"

Friday, January 9, 2015


Luke 13

 About this time Jesus was informed that Pilate had murdered some people from Galilee as they were offering sacrifices at the Temple.

2 "Do you think those Galileans were worse sinners than all the other people from Galilee?" Jesus asked.

     "Is that why they suffered?

     3 Not at all!

     And you will perish, too, unless you repent of your sins and turn to God.

4 And what about the eighteen people who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them?

     Were they the worst sinners in Jerusalem?

 No, and I tell you again that unless you repent, you will perish, too."

6 Then Jesus told this story:

     "A man planted a fig tree in his garden and came again and again to see if there was any fruit on it, but he was always disappointed.

 Finally, he said to his gardener, 'I've waited three years, and there hasn't been a single fig! Cut it down. It's just taking up space in the garden.'

     8 "The gardener answered,

           'Sir, give it one more chance.

           Leave it another year, and I'll give it special attention and plenty of fertilizer.

           9 If we get figs next year, fine.

           If not, then you can cut it down.'"

Thursday, January 8, 2015

everyday life


We've all got it.

The primary verse for me for 2015 deals with worry - Philippians 4:6-7

It's interesting the different things that I've worried about as I've passed through each of the seasons of my life so far.

And yes, even in the "golden years" there are worries.

     (whoever titled the senior adult season as the "golden years" obviously had never lived them! ;-) LOL)

Luke quotes Jesus' take on worry & how it relates to our lives.

It's pretty compelling.

Read it slowly.

Read it more than once.

I'm going to do that today.

Maybe it will sink in for me.

Luke 12

 Then, turning to his disciples, Jesus said, "This is why I tell you, don't worry about everyday life;

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

 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.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

keep on

Luke 11

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.

For years, whenever  read these two verses, I seen more the things we get.

But in the last year or so, I've focused more on two words...

     keep on.

For some reason, that's what speaks to me...

     that God is saying the most important thing is to keep on,

     to continue moving forward,

     to not stand still,

     to not get discouraged & give up.

But how many of us besides me frequently think that quit looks good.

Nothing seems to be happening.

It feels like everything is an uphill battle.

It seems we've tried everything ans still nothing happens.

And that no matter how hard we try, or from .what angle we approach something, the end product is always the same frustrating result.

Besides, who'd notice if the thing(s) we're "keeping on" for ever came to fruition?

Yeah, sometimes quit looks REALLY good.

All we can do is be obedient. If God keeps saying "keep on" , what else is there to be & / or do?

Our problem is that we don't see the BIG picture. We only see what is right in front of us.

God sees what has happened, what is happening, & what will happen.

He sees the whole thing, all at once.

If He says keep on, then He must know the outcome.

So, I guess we have to trust Him.

That's what it's all about, isn't it?

Whether we trust Him, or not?

It's always about trust, isn't it?

Now, I'm not just trying to shoot a little sunshine in your life.

Right now, quit looks good with some stuff in my life.

But everything I read says keep on, trust Me, don't worry about it, I've got your back - & your front!

I know some of you reading this have stuff like that in your life, too.

I have no words of wisdom, no magic wand, no easy out.

All I can do is point you to these verses & just say, "keep on"...

     I'm doing the same, too.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

a familiar story

It's interesting to me that many of us have heard about this story Jesus used in His teaching one day.

But few of us have ever actually read it.

Well, here it is...

Luke 10

 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?"
 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.

 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.

 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."

Monday, January 5, 2015

let go

 Luke 9

 Then (Jesus) said to the crowd,

     "If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your 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 are yourself lost or destroyed?

So much of our time is fruitlessly majoring on the small stuff, the unimportant stuff, or the stuff that is all too fleeting.

And we neglect or ignore the very things that are most important.

Sunday, January 4, 2015


Luke 8:17 For all that is secret will eventually be brought into the open,

and everything that is concealed will be brought to light and made known to all.

Uh oh...

So, that means all those things we don't want anyone to know about us will one day be exposed to the light of God?

All those parts of us that we keep hidden from everyone else (or so we think!)?

Jesus was speaking here in this verse.


So that means one day EVERYBODY will know EVERY BIT of the stuff that was going on inside my head, my motives, what & REALLY thought & did, & who I really REALLY am & was?

I've got to think about this....

Saturday, January 3, 2015


"I am the Alpha & the 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."

Revelation 1:8

I think a lot of the time we've all forgotten who we're hooked up with.

We seem to put a premium on intimacy with God, to the point where some refer to Him as daddy.

I wonder sometimes in our blanket ability to approach Him as free & clean children that we've forgotten Who is it we're approaching.

The Person we are connected to now is infinitely bigger, wiser, holier, & more powerful than any of us can EVER imagine.

Sometimes I think it's good to think about Who God is - I mean, REALLY is.

He's not just an "uber" version of us.

He is infinitely more than that.

Think about that today....

Friday, January 2, 2015


Luke 6

 "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.

 "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.

This is Jesus speaking in this passage.

Do we believe what He says here?

And if so, how should that impact how we live?

And how should it affect how we operate in the world?

How can we live like Jesus says to in this section of Luke 6?


Thursday, January 1, 2015

2015 verses

Each year, since 2003, I've asked God to give me a scripture to hold on to throughout the year.

Some years, there's been 3 or 4 passages.

Some years it's been just 1 verse.

Although there seems to be some secondary passages this year, as well as some hold overs from last year, I have this feeling that this is the main thing for 2015.

We'll see how it all shakes out - & trust me, it always does.

Don't worry about  anything;

     instead, pray about everything.

Tell God what you need,

     & thank Him for all He has done.

If you do this, you will experience God's peace,

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

His peace will guard your hearts & minds

     as you live in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7

It's going to be interesting how that relates to this year & all I'll face along the way.

I try to not second guess what it can mean.

God is VERY creative.

Ya just never know what may happen.

There's some interesting things about those 2 verses.

Obviously, this may be a year when God works on  the worrying I expend a lot of energy on.

But there's undertones of trust, peace, & God's keeping power.

It's going to be interesting to see how these verses will speak this year.