Tuesday, February 28, 2017


It would seem that God has given me an entire psalm to hold on to for 2017.

That's the first time that's happened since 2003, when I started asking Him for a verse to hold on to for he year.

As I live with it, I' going to share it here in this blog.

There's all kinds of stuff in it, some of it pretty obviously relevant to my situation, but some of it is curious, too.

Read it & live with it with me this year. It speaks to me in different ways each time I read it. Hopefully it will for you, too.

Psalm 37

1 Don't worry about the wicked or envy those who do wrong.

2 For like grass, they soon fade away.

  Like spring flowers, they soon wither.

3 Trust in the LORD and do good.

  Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.
4 Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you your heart's desires.

5 Commit everything you do to the LORD.

  Trust him, and he will help you.
6 He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn, and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.

7 Be still in the presence of the LORD, and wait patiently for him to act.

Don't worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes.

8 Stop being angry!

  Turn from your rage!
Do not lose your temper - it only leads to harm.
9 For the wicked will be destroyed, but those who trust in the LORD will possess the land.

10 Soon the wicked will disappear.

  Though you look for them, they will be gone.
11 The lowly will possess the land and will live in peace and prosperity.

12 The wicked plot against the godly;

  they snarl at them in defiance.
13 But the Lord just laughs, for he sees their day of judgment coming.

14 The wicked draw their swords and string their bows to kill the poor and the oppressed, to slaughter those who do right.

15 But their swords will stab their own hearts, and their bows will be broken.

16 It is better to be godly and have little than to be evil and rich.

17 For the strength of the wicked will be shattered, but the LORD takes care of the godly.

18 Day by day the LORD takes care of the innocent, and they will receive an inheritance that lasts forever.

19 They will not be disgraced in hard times; even in famine they will have more than enough.

20 But the wicked will die.

  The LORD's enemies are like flowers in a field - they will disappear like smoke.

21 The wicked borrow and never repay, but the godly are generous givers.

22 Those the LORD blesses will possess the land, but those he curses will die.

23 The LORD directs the steps of the godly.

  He delights in every detail of their lives.
24 Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the LORD holds them by the hand.

25 Once I was young, and now I am old.

  Yet I have never seen the godly abandoned or their children begging for bread.

26 The godly always give generous loans to others, and their children are a blessing.

27 Turn from evil and do good, and you will live in the land forever.

28 For the LORD loves justice, and he will never abandon the godly.

He will keep them safe forever, but the children of the wicked will die.

29 The godly will possess the land and will live there forever.

30 The godly offer good counsel; they teach right from wrong.

31 They have made God's law their own,
  so they will never slip from his path.
32 The wicked wait in ambush for the godly, looking for an excuse to kill them.

33 But the LORD will not let the wicked succeed or let the godly be condemned when they are put on trial.

34 Put your hope in the LORD.

  Travel steadily along his path.
He will honor you by giving you the land.
  You will see the wicked destroyed.

35 I have seen wicked and ruthless people flourishing like a tree in its native soil.

36 But when I looked again, they were gone!

  Though I searched for them, I could not find them!

37 Look at those who are honest and good, for a wonderful future awaits those who love peace.

38 But the rebellious will be destroyed; they have no future.

39 The LORD rescues the godly; he is their fortress in times of trouble.

40 The LORD helps them, rescuing them from the wicked.

He saves them, and they find shelter in him.

Monday, February 27, 2017

lead dog

Mark 9

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

"What were you discussing out on the road?"

34 But they didn't answer,

because they had been arguing about which of them was the greatest.

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

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

Well, there you have it.

I don't think we see much of that last sentence evidenced in the lives of those that trot across our televisions & media, social media, smart phones, or much of anywhere.

But then, we don't see it evidenced much in the everyday people all around us, either.

And if we were totally honest, we don't see it show up that much in our own lives.

It is a counterintuitive thought process for our culture & society.

Of course, much of what Jesus taught & showed us is counterintuitive to the “anything goes” attitude in our world today.

But truth is truth, no matter who says it.

If Jesus says if we want to be preeminent – if we want to be the lead dog – then our attitude should be that of one who serves rather than one who is exalted.


I wonder what our world would be like if 10% of us actually lived that out in our lives?

Sunday, February 26, 2017

let go & live

Mark 8

34 Then, calling the crowd to join his disciples, (Jesus) said,

"If any of you wants to be my follower,

you must turn from your selfish ways,

take up your cross,

and follow me.

35 If you try to hang on to your life,

you will lose it.

But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News,

you will save it.

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

37 Is anything worth more than your soul?

38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my message in these adulterous and sinful days,

the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person

when he returns in the glory of his Father with the holy angels."

Verse 35 may the crucial verse in this passage.

All of my growing up & early young adulthood I heard about this section.

But I don't remember anyone giving the positive spin on verse 35.

Yes, if we hold on to the life WE think we should be living, we won't have it.

But, if we let go of our life,

if we surrender ourselves to God

& what He has in mind for us,

we will find a life with Him that FAR SURPASSES anything our finite minds could ever have conceived possible.

How do I know this?

I've watched people grip with a choke hold the life THEY think they should have, & watched how they self-destructed.

I've seen it over & over again in the people I have known over the years who have surrendered their lives to Him.

And I've seen it in my own life.

All I know is all I know.

Let go of your life & surrender to Him & His will, & then hold on tight ;-)

Saturday, February 25, 2017

no matter what

1 Thessalonians 5:18

No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. (NLT, 1st ed.) (dan note: I would add - no matter how you feel, no matter what you think.)

in every situation [no matter what the circumstances] be thankful and continually give thanks to God; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. (Amplified)

Whatever happens, always be thankful. This is how God wants you to live in Christ Jesus. (ERV)

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

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

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

Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live. (The Message)

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

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. (NLT, 2nd ed.)

give thanks to God no matter what circumstances you find yourself in. (This is God’s will for all of you in Jesus the Anointed.) (The Voice)

That's all I got today, folks...

Friday, February 24, 2017

one of those

There are some parts of the Bible I could read every day & find something to hold on to.

This is one of those parts...

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!

19 O God, if only you would destroy the wicked!

  Get out of my life, you murderers!
20 They blaspheme you;
  your enemies misuse your name.
21 O LORD, shouldn't I hate those who hate you?
  Shouldn't I despise those who oppose you?
22 Yes, I hate them with total hatred, for your enemies are my enemies.

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.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

dead or dying

Mark 5

21 Jesus got into the boat again and went back to the other side of the lake, where a large crowd gathered around him on the shore.

22 Then a leader of the local synagogue, whose name was Jairus, arrived.

When he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet,23 pleading fervently with him.

"My little daughter is dying," he said.

"Please come and lay your hands on her; heal her so she can live."

  24 Jesus went with him, and all the people followed, crowding around him.

25 A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding.

26 She had suffered a great deal from many doctors,

and over the years she had spent everything she had to pay them,

but she had gotten no better.

In fact, she had gotten worse.

27 She had heard about Jesus, so she came up behind him through the crowd and touched his robe.

28 For she thought to herself, "If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed."

29 Immediately the bleeding stopped,

and she could feel in her body that she had been healed of her terrible condition.

  30 Jesus realized at once that healing power had gone out from him,

so he turned around in the crowd and asked, "Who touched my robe?"

  31 His disciples said to him, "Look at this crowd pressing around you. How can you ask, 'Who touched me?'"

  32 But he kept on looking around to see who had done it.

33 Then the frightened woman, trembling at the realization of what had happened to her, came and fell to her knees in front of him and told him what she had done.

34 And he said to her,

"Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over."

  35 While he was still speaking to her, messengers arrived from the home of Jairus, the leader of the synagogue.

They told him, "Your daughter is dead. There's no use troubling the Teacher now."

  36 But Jesus overheard* them and said to Jairus,

"Don't be afraid. Just trust me."

  37 Then Jesus stopped the crowd and wouldn't let anyone go with him except Peter, James, and John (the brother of James).

38 When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw much commotion and weeping and wailing.

39 He went inside and asked,

"Why all this commotion and weeping? The child isn't dead; she's only asleep."

  40 The crowd laughed at him.

But he made them all leave, and he took the girl's father and mother and his three disciples into the room where the girl was lying.

41 Holding her hand, he said to her,

"Talitha koum," which means "Little girl, get up!"

42 And the girl, who was twelve years old, immediately stood up and walked around!

They were overwhelmed and totally amazed.

43 Jesus gave them strict orders not to tell anyone what had happened,

and then he told them to give her something to eat.

In both of these incidences, Jesus dealt with 2 people who had no hope.

There was the woman who was dying of some sort of blood or bleeding disorder.

And there was Jairus's daughter who was deathly sick & then died.

Both the woman & Jairus reached out to Jesus in faith born of desperation.

And Jesus healed the woman & raise Jairus' daughter back to life.

How many of us have an area of our lives that's slowly dying?

It could be a physical ailment, mental problems, life dysfunctions, relationship ills, or anything we can quanitfy as dying.

And how many of us have something in our life that's been slowly dying & now is dead?

We can quantify that situation in any number of ways.

In whatever situation we find ourselves, Jesus shows the same hope to us that He did to the woman & says the same thing to us that He said to Jairus.

Don't be afraid. Just trust Me.”

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

believe it or not

Mark 4

35 As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples,

"Let's cross to the other side of the lake."

36 So they took Jesus in the boat and started out,

leaving the crowds behind

(although other boats followed).

37 But soon a fierce storm came up.

High waves were breaking into the boat,

and it began to fill with water.

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

The disciples woke him up, shouting,

"Teacher, don't you care that we're going to drown?"

  39 When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves,

"Silence! Be still!"

Suddenly the wind stopped,

and there was a great calm.

40 Then he asked them,

"Why are you afraid?

Do you still have no faith?"

  41 The disciples were absolutely terrified.

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

"Even the wind and waves obey him!"

Have you ever been out on a lake in w boat when a bad storm blows up out of nowhere?

Or maybe on a river?

Or how about even the ocean?

Yeah... it can be pretty compelling.

So, that's what happened to Jesus & the disciples.

And this was at night – making it even more compelling (read: scary big time).

And the boat was filling up with water = even more scary.

I find it interesting that Jesus was supposedly ASLEEP in the back of the boat.


with His head on a pillow.

(I wonder why Mark mentions the pillow?)

So the disciples wake Jesus up – probably not very gently.

And they shout at Him – interesting, isn't it that they shouted - & question whether He cares that they're all going to die.

And Jesus basically tells the storm to shut up.

And it does.

Then, in so many words, Jesus asks the disciples if they thought He was gonna let them die?

Mark says the disciples kinda whispered to each other something like “who the heck is this guy?!”

Wouldn't you have loved to have been in the boat after the storms goes away? Talk about awkward! ;-) LOL

Whenever I read an account in the Bible of something like this, I sometimes am reminded of people who say that Jesus was a good man with good ideas, or a great example of love, but was not the son of God.

How do we get around the fact (if you believe this account) that Jesus just basically said, “yo! Turn it off!” and the raging storm quit, just like that.

Now, I've known some pretty amazing people, with some pretty amazing ideas.

I've also known some people who had incredible capacities to love the unlovely.

But I ain't never known anyone who could snap their fingers & a raging storm would quit.

I've said all that to say this...

Jesus is the son of God.

He's not just a good man.

He doesn't just have a lot of nice ideas to share.

He's not just a good example of how to love people.

He's God, who went on to die for us, & save us from ourselves.

Only God could tell a storm to stop & it happen, just like that.

That is, if we believe the account Mark gave.

But if we don't believe it, what other things that Mark said about Jesus could we choose to not believe.

And before we know it, we don't believe anything about Jesus.

So we must believe the accounts & who He claimed to be.

Or we can not believe, making Jesus not who He said He was.

I choose to believe.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017


Hebrews 1

1 Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets.

2 And now in these final days, he has spoken to us through his Son.

God promised everything to the Son as an inheritance,

and through the Son he created the universe.

3 The Son radiates God's own glory

and expresses the very character of God,

and he sustains everything (the universe) by the mighty power of his command.

When he had cleansed us from our sins,

he sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven.

4 This shows that the Son is far greater than the angels,

just as the name God gave him is greater than their names.

I don't know if we appreciate the uniqueness of our God.

Here the writer of Hebrews plainly says that before, God spoke to us through men – prophets.

But now, God has chosen to speak to us thru His Son, Jesus.

So, iow, in this final expression, God chose to come & live here on earth,

among us,

so we could see Him,

know Him,

touch Him,

do life with Him,

& see how life should be lived.

That is the uniqueness of our faith walk.

That God didn't send us word – He came Himself to live with us & give us His word one on one.

In doing so, God can say to us, “I understand,” because He lived here with us.

He REALLY does know what life is like here.

Our God is not far distant – He's been here – He knows what life on earth is like.


Mind blowing amazing.

There's nothing I can say to Him, share with Him, that He hasn't experienced Himself.

That's kinda really weird in a colossally wonderful way.

He knows what it's like for each of us.

Let that sink in...