Saturday, March 31, 2007

Eternal ripples

I was able to attend and participate in a memorial service for a very dear lady today. One who loved the Lord and loved others. She is home with the Lord today, but the footprints of her life will be seen for years to come. She cared for and loved others in a way that changed their lives, and she did it by aiming them to Christ.

Jesus said, "You are the light of the world...let your light shine in such a way that people will see your good works and glorify your father in heaven."

This dear one always had her light pointed toward Christ. Her life has glorified the Lord, and the ripples from that one life will be eternal.

Well done, dear friend, you have FINISHED WELL!

Friday, March 30, 2007

Palm Sunday, part 4

Luke 19:41 As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it 42 and said, "If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. 43 The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. 44 They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God's coming to you."

Palm Sunday began with praise and celebration. The king has come. Hosanna in the highest!

But this day ends with tears because they didn't recognize who had ridden into Jerusalem. They rejected their Messiah! But they missed even more than that. Did you notice that last phrase of verse 44- "because you did not recognize the time of GOD'S coming to you." God had been in their midst providing salvation and offering to be their king and they said, "no".

The sad end of this story is in John 19:15- "We have no king but Caesar," the chief priests answered.

They rejected the king of the universe, and were left with the king they most wanted to be rid of.

It seems that when I reject God's best what I end up with is a sad substitute. And so, Jesus wept over Jerusalem...and Israel missed the very king they were looking for.....

I wonder how often I miss him in my life?

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Palm Sunday, part 3

Daniel 9:24-27 is a very key Biblical passage. It is in fact the only Old Testament passages which calls the Messiah “Messiah.” Elsewhere He is called “Shiloh” (Genesis 49:10), the “Root of Jesse” (Isaiah 11:10), the “Righteous Branch” (Jeremiah 23:5), the “Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6), etc. But the name by which He is best known, “Messiah,” appears in only one passage: Daniel 9:24-27. Here is an excerpt from the passage:

"Seventy sevens have been decreed for your people… So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be seven sevens and sixty-two sevens; it will be built again, with plaza and moat, even in times of distress. Then after the sixty-two sevens the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary.”
Exactly what is meant by “seventy sevens”? If you read these four verses just by themselves you might be a bit confused, but if you read the passage in context (as you should) it’s pretty clear what is meant. The text interprets itself. Daniel’s prayer in verses 3-19 refers to seventy years fulfilled, the 70 years of the Babylonian captivity prophesied by the Prophet Jeremiah. The seventy sevens prophecy came in answer to Daniel's prayer. It foretold a period of seven times seventy years which was still to come.

The seventy “sevens” are seventy seven-year periods - 490 years. The prophecy states that “from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be seven sevens and sixty-two sevens.” 7 + 62 = 69. So 69 seven year periods (7 sevens and 62 sevens) would pass from the decree to rebuild Jerusalem till the coming of the Messiah. The Messiah would be “cut off” and the city and the temple would subsequently be destroyed again.

This prophecy is according to the ancient 360-day calendar employed by both the Hebrews and the Babylonians (Daniel being written in Babylon during the Babylonian captivity after the fall and decimation of Jerusalem by King Nebuchadnezzar). So, 69 x 7 years = 483 years, 483 years x 360 days = 173,880 days.

The Persian Emperor Artaxerxes Longimanus (who ruled Persia from 464-424 BC) issued the edict to rebuild Jerusalem on the 1st of Nissan in the 20th year of his reign (that is, March 5th, 444 BC; see Nehemiah 2:1-8). 173,880 days from March 5th 444 BC is March 30th 33 AD. Here’s the math: March 5th 444 BC to March 5th 33 AD = 476 years (1 B.C. to 1 A.D. is one year, there is no year zero) 476 x 365.24219879 days (which is the length of one year according to our modern calendar) = 173,855 days March 5th to March 30th is another 25 days. So, 173,855 days + 25 days = 173,880 days March 30th, 33 AD was exactly 5 days before the Passover (April 3rd, 33 AD). So what happened exactly 5 days before the Passover in 33 AD?
In John’s Gospel we read, “Then, *six days before the Passover*, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had been dead, whom He had raised from the dead. … Now a great many of the Jews knew that He was there; and they came, not for Jesus' sake only, but that they might also see Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead. But the chief priests plotted to put Lazarus to death also, because on account of him many of the Jews went away and believed in Jesus. *The next day* a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out: ‘Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD! The King of Israel!’" (John 12:1, 9-13)

The day after six days before the Passover equals five days before the Passover. March 30th was the Triumphal Entry, the day upon which Christ presented Himself to the nation of Israel as their Messiah, the first time in His entire ministry that Christ allowed Himself to be publicly proclaimed as the Messiah (Matthew 21:8-16; Luke 19:37-40; cf. Matthew 16:13-20; Mark 8:27-30; 9:9-10; Luke 9:18-21; John 6:14-15). Christ was crucified four days later, the day before Passover. Within one generation Titus razed Jerusalem and destroyed the temple.*

In other words, Jesus came on the exact day prophesied by Daniel hundreds of years earlier, on the 10th of Nissan, the day the passover lamb is selected. The Jews of Jesus day could have figured out when Messiah would come, the information was there for them. As mentioned above Daniel clearly told them the details of when Messiah would arrive. Why did they reject him? Why didn't they know about this day and receive him as their Messiah and King?

Because Jesus came to do something diffeent than they expected, something different than what they wanted. He came the first time as the Messiah to fulfill the role of priest and passover lamb. They were watching for a king to defeat the Romans. They rejected the Messiah and his purpose because it didn't fit with their idea of Messiah.

Do we do the same thing? Do we miss the Messiah in our lives because he doesn't look like what we wanted? Do we miss God's work in our lives because he doesn't do what we want him to do?

*(thanks to for the detail and math in the notes above. It's a good site for bible questions.)

Palm Sunday, part 2

Exodus 12:1-11- 1 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt, 2 "This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year. 3 Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household. 4 If any household is too small for a whole lamb, they must share one with their nearest neighbor, having taken into account the number of people there are. You are to determine the amount of lamb needed in accordance with what each person will eat. 5 The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect, and you may take them from the sheep or the goats. 6 Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the people of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight. 7 Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs. 8 That same night they are to eat the meat roasted over the fire, along with bitter herbs, and bread made without yeast. 9 Do not eat the meat raw or cooked in water, but roast it over the fire—head, legs and inner parts. 10 Do not leave any of it till morning; if some is left till morning, you must burn it. 11 This is how you are to eat it: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste; it is the LORD's Passover.

The passover is at the very core of the Jewish faith. Moses, by God's leading, established passover while they were still slaves in Egypt. But what I want you to notice in this passage is WHEN they picked the lamb for the passover sacrifice. They picked the lamb on the 10 of Nissan, their first month of the year. Then, four days later, the lamb was sacrificed on passover.

Guess when Jesus entered Jerusalem? Yes, it was Palm Sunday, but it was also the 10th of Nissan, the very day when the passover lamb is chosen. Four days later, on passover, Jesus is crucified. He came as the king on that day, but he also came as the lamb of passover who would die four days later for the sin of the world.

John told us about this when he introduced Jesus by saying, "Behold, the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world."

Only God could plan something so amazing! The prophet Zechariah talked about a man who will someday come as king AND priest. He has come. He has fulfilled his role as priest, and is already king in the lives of millions. One day he will come back, not on a donkey, but on a white horse, to set up his eternal kingdom. Come, Lord Jesus....I look forward to the day!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Palm Sunday

This Sunday is Palm Sunday. It is a celebration in the Christian church of the day Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the donkeys' colt with the praise of the people welcoming him to town. It's an important day!

This is a quiz for all you great bible students out there- Why is Palm Sunday important? What does it mean and why is it an important day in the Christian faith?

(Over the next few days leading up to Sunday I will unpack this day. I'm really excited about what it means, and I can't wait to tell you more!)

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The solitary quest

Prayer is the solitary quest of the christian life. It is the bowing of my knees, heart and mind to God and it's not easy. All that is called my flesh rebels against this solitary quest called prayer.

For me to take time aside from the world, to quiet my mind and heart and spend time with God is one of the most important things I can do in my walk with God, and yet, I must admit it is often the last thing I make time for in my busy day.

What always amazes me is that the sovereign God of the universe invites me into his presence at any time in my day to spend time with him! As I write that I'm embarrassed because I don't spend time with God as I know I need to. Now, I'm not being a legalist here, I simply know that my whole life and all that's involved in it is dependent upon the God who made me, who also invites me to come and visit anytime! Why do we find that prayer is low on our list of things we do?

I do believe that prayer is neglected because it's hard work. It demands silence in a world of noise. It demands solitude in a world of people. It demands dependence upon someone else in a world of self-reliance. It demands patience in a world of NOW. It demands time in a world where we think we have so little free time to give away.

The solitary quest is not intended to get God to do something. It's not intended as a time to submit my wish list. It's not meant to be a time to complain. It's my opportunity to quietly tune my mind and life to the one who made me. It's my opportunity to get to know God personally. It's my time to be quiet in his presence and listen....for you see, my goal is not to get a word from goal is to know him. And when I spend time with him, and get to know him, my world changes. My mind and heart quiet down. My fears calm. My brow softens. My sighs turn to giggles. And the God who already knows what I need often answers prayers I never asked.

I spent time with the creator of the universe! Will he not do what's best in my life? The more I know him the more I will trust him. When I'm fearful, worried,'s clear I have lost sight of's time for a solitary quest to spend time with my God. Whether he answers my prayers is no longer the issue, now my quest is simply be with him. The rest will work out, for you see he's God!

Col 3:1 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
Col 3:2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.
Col 3:3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
Col 3:4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

The great adventure

The christian life is the great adventure. There is no life more exciting than the life of a christian. Starting with this picture what would you say about your walk with God? Yes, it's your turn to talk about what God is doing in your life...have fun....I'm looking forward to hearing your story.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Resting in the wrong places

In my reading I'm back at Psalm 1 again. I have memorized this Psalm, so I love it and often take it for granted as well. The message is clear- resting in the wrong places can get you in trouble! "Come on, sit down, relax." they tell you, but you don't realize where the chair is located....finding rest in the wrong place can be dangerous. It's a very visual chapter- the pictures he paints are very clear. Make sure you are resting in the right places...make sure you are fnding your rest and delight in his word. Read over this short Psalm, and then take a look at your days in the last week. How has it lined up with David's direction? Do you find yourself looking for rest in the wrong places?

Psa 1:1 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
Psa 1:2 but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.
Psa 1:3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.
Psa 1:4 The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
Psa 1:5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
Psa 1:6 for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Trusting God

Psa 131:1 A Song of Ascents, of David. O LORD, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty; Nor do I involve myself in great matters, Or in things too difficult for me.
Psa 131:2 Surely I have composed and quieted my soul; Like a weaned child rests against his mother, My soul is like a weaned child within me.
Psa 131:3 O Israel, hope in the LORD From this time forth and forever.

I think in pictures, so when I see a picture it will often remind me of something I have read. This IS the perfect picture for this Psalm. Total trust, complete dependence, not a worry in the world, quiet and at rest in his mother's arms.

We often fret and worry when we most need to simply rest in the Father's arms. Why do we do that? Why do we struggle so much with God as our Father?

Lord, help us to rest in you. Help us to trust you. Let us see your face so we won't worry about what is going on around us. We need you.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

What do you want?

I had an early morning breakfast with a friend today. He asked me an interesting question, "What do you want to do?" I know my answer, because I have thought about this a lot....I want to serve God, and serve his church. What does that look like? It depends on the need of the moment. There are times when I have to simply sit and listen to one of our family dealing with a big loss or a great victory. There are other times when it's simply setting up chairs for an event. The thing I have to constantly cultivate is the heart of a servant. It's not normal for any of us, but it's important to God.
I often go back in my mind to a passage of scripture in John 13. It gives us, as Christians, our directions on how to interact with one another. Here's what Jesus did and said-
Joh 13:3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come forth from God and was going back to God,
Joh 13:4 *got up from supper, and *laid aside His garments; and taking a towel, He girded Himself.
Joh 13:5 Then He *poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.
Joh 13:6 So He *came to Simon Peter. He *said to Him, "Lord, do You wash my feet?"
Joh 13:7 Jesus answered and said to him, "What I do you do not realize now, but you will understand hereafter."
Joh 13:8 Peter *said to Him, "Never shall You wash my feet!" Jesus answered him, "If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me."
Joh 13:9 Simon Peter *said to Him, "Lord, then wash not only my feet, but also my hands and my head."
Joh 13:10 Jesus *said to him, "He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you."
Joh 13:11 For He knew the one who was betraying Him; for this reason He said, "Not all of you are clean."
Joh 13:12 So when He had washed their feet, and taken His garments and reclined at the table again, He said to them, "Do you know what I have done to you?
Joh 13:13 "You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am.
Joh 13:14 "If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet.
Joh 13:15 "For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you.
Joh 13:16 "Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him.
Joh 13:17 "If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.
That last verse is what has my attention. I am blessed when I serve others? When I do menial things that others need? When I do what no one else wants to do? When I'm a servant and no one says, "thank you"? I'm blessed HOW?
I'm blessed by God by obeying him. I'm blessed by seeing God use me. I'm blessed because I put someone else ahead of me.
The thing I have to constantly cultivate is the heart of a servant. It's not normal for any of us, but it's important to God.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Just thinking

In my reading this morning I was in Revelation 4. As I was reading I got one of those, "hey, wait a minute...." moments. May I share it with you? Here's the passage and then I will share what I'm thinking-

Rev 4:5 Out from the throne come flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder. And there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God;
Rev 4:6 and before the throne there was something like a sea of glass, like crystal; and in the center and around the throne, four living creatures full of eyes in front and behind.
Rev 4:7 The first creature was like a lion,

and the second creature like a calf,

and the third creature had a face like that of a man,

and the fourth creature was like a flying eagle.

Rev 4:8 And the four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes around and within; and day and night they do not cease to say, "HOLY, HOLY, HOLY is THE LORD GOD, THE ALMIGHTY, WHO WAS AND WHO IS AND WHO IS TO COME."

These four creatures are called Seraphim. They are the angels who are contantly in the presence of God crying out "Holy, holy, holy." Now I don't have pictures that would show them as they are, but can you imagine what amazing angels these are? How wonderful...six wings, full of eyes....we have no idea how awesome they look, but we do have a little picture of them. It suddenly struck me today, as I read, that these angels were created before God made the heavens and the earth. Is it possible that these animals are a small glimpse of what those Seraphim look like? Did God make the Lion, the calf and the eagle to honor those angels? Do they give us a glimpse at how amazing even God's angelic creation is? I think I will look at lions, calves and eagles in a different way from now on.....just a "hey, wait a minute...." moment for me.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Early morning thoughts

This morning, at 3, I woke up. I do that often. I will often use those times to pray, read or write. This morning I wrote a great blog piece (trust me), hit the wrong key, and lost it all. Now that's a bad way to start the day!

Basically what I was thinking about this morning is God's placement of me in time and history to be part of his kingdom plan. I'm here, in this place at this time by his divine plan. He has a task for me to do in his kingdom.

For me, I have always sought lofty accomplishments. I have wanted to do great things for God- build big churches, be the next Billy Graham, or write the great Christian get the idea, but that's not what I was made for. And I must be honest, finding out what God made you to do and doing it is one of the most important things in life! I was made to care for people. If all I do in life is touch one life at a time with the gospel and help people in their walk with God then my reward at the judgment seat of Christ will be what God intended because I did what I was designed to do.

I am always amazed by the picture painted in Revelation of 4 angels who were created to do one thing, and they haven't done it yet! They will be successful because the will do their one thing as God planned. And that's my goal- to do those things I was made for. It's funny how grand aspirations fall away quickly when you know what God made you to do.

If you don't know what the Father designed you to do then ask him. Ask a pastor. Talk to your friends. Get in the word. The best place you can be is to be you doing what God made you to do.

1Co 12:7 Each person is given something to do that shows who God is: Everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits. All kinds of things are handed out by the Spirit, and to all kinds of people!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Monday's cartoon

a fun musical cartoon to start the week. enjoy.


I love our church because of the family feel, the closeness of us all riding through our joys and sorrows together. We have hit some bumpy roads in recent months, but what has made it easier is that the family of the church has gone down this difficult road together.
Some have left. I am told that always happens. But it has made our church family even stronger for the ordeals we have been through. I find that I am much closer to many in our church because of the difficult road we have been down. It has drawn us closer, it has made us stronger, it has drawn us back to a God dependence.....and in spite of the reason those results are all good.
We are not finished with our trip down this bumpy road yet, but we are doing it together, and when we get through this difficult time we will all be closer to each other, closer to God, and better prepared for the next bumpy road when it comes.

Friday, March 16, 2007

A casting call

This is a casting call-

1Pe 5:7 casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.

There is, in the Scottish games, something called "Braemar Stones." It's a contest to take a heavy stone, usually weighing 18-28 pounds, and throw it as far as you can.

I would be the comic relief in this contest! Do they have a competition for the shortest throw?

Here's the call- take all of those things that worry you, that cause you anxiety, and throw them on Christ. It just takes a moment, and you will walk a little taller the rest of the day.

It's always been interesting to me why we are invited to do this. Did you notice it? Because he cares for us. What an incentive! God cares for me, and wants to take care of my worries too.

So, here's your casting call- cast them all on the Lord.....because he cares for you!

Thursday, March 15, 2007


There's a lot of discussion about faith these days. I hear many on Television telling me it's a force. They tell me that I can "use" my faith and make things happen. I have watched as many of them worship at the altar of faith and elevate it above the God who is supposed to be the object of their faith.
Let me simplify this a little. The bible makes it clear that faith is simply a dependance on someone else to do for me what I cannot do myself. Real biblical faith is trusting God, and believing he will really do what he says. That's it! It's not hard. It's not a lever I pull to get a jackpot. It's not a formula that I can work to get God to act.
It's simply trusting God to do what he says.
These birds show what faith should look like. They know that their parents will meet their needs and they are waiting for that to happen. Oh that I lived in such a way with God! A simple trust that he will provide. I must tell you that God is always faithful. He always cares. He is always good. He daily meets our needs, and will continue to do that.
Faith is an open mouth, waiting for the food!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

"Neck-up" Christianity

I have created a new way to describe many Christians I run into these days. I call them "neck-up" Christians. They have tremendous knowledge. They know doctrine. They know the word. They know "stuff!" And they are of no use to the Christian world or the kingdom of God at all!
Christianity is supposed to be holistic. It's supposed to affect every part of who you are and what you do. It's supposed to change you into the image of Christ.
If your faith does not move from what you know to what you do then you are a "neck-up" Christian. You have heard of the comedy skit "you might be a red-neck if..."? Let me play off of that for a moment with some observations of my own based on this idea....
You might be a "neck-up" Christian if... love bible studies, but don't want to help the poor. will spend hours reading your bible, but don't have time to serve in your church. think discipleship has to do with an open bible and a notebook, and not with painting a widow's home. will go hear the great bible teachers of the day, but don't have time to go listen to the lonely people in nursing homes near you. know the word, but still live in sin. can quote the bible with the best of them, but it doesn't affect your life.
Christianity is supposed to be changes all of me or it's not's a "neck-up" religion. Jesus came to confront that kind of religion. In his day they were called Pharisees. He railed against them. He called them white-washed tombs. He called them hypocrites. Today I call them "neck-up" Christians.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Steve Harvey Introduces Jesus Christ

Take a few minutes, sit back and worship...this will bless you!


Life is never boring. There are spices for each day. I find that I wake up not knowing what's ahead. Each new day has seasoning of its own...spices that flavor that day. I never know what it will be.

Personally, I love Indian food, Mexican food, Chinese food, German food.....well, you get the idea. I think it's the different spices that flavor each food that I really enjoy.

My days are like that. I love the spice of each day as much as the day itself. I love the salt of tears that come from both joy and sorrow. I love the hot pepper of a spirited visit with a friend. I love the sweet of fellowship with my wife. I love the bitter-sweet taste of old friendships revisited.

Flavors abound. They make the days memorable. It's the days of my life without any spice that I will forget, but add a little spice....a laugh, a tear, a giggle, a friend, and it will be a day I won't forget.

One advantage of age is that I begin to see the blessing of those things I used to dread. Oh for a day with spice...that will be a day I will remember.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Trusting God

I know there are many people who wear a cross around their neck as a symbol of their faith. There are other symbols as well- the fish bumper sticker, T-shirts with a message, tattoos, and many more that people use to demonstrate their faith and remind themselves of their commitment to God.
This picture (which I have used before) is one of those icons to me. It's the rock of Horeb. It's the rock that Moses struck in the wilderness after they left Egypt to provide water for 2,000,000 people for months.
It's important to me as a reminder, because I find myself, like the children of Israel, fretting and complaining about what is going on in my life. I find myself worrying....what will happen to us will we get by.....I'm sure you have struggled with many of the same thoughts. This morning I awaken from a very fretful night of worry. Thinking, praying, fretting, tossing, worrying, praying....I hate to tell you this, but us old pastors struggle with trusting God at times like anyone in our faith communities. It's the worse part of being human for me- knowing God, knowing he has always taken care of you, knowing he has promised to always care for you in the future, and yet finding yourself worrying. I hate that part of my fallen heart....the part that truly doubts God's willingness and ability to care for me. I know I would have been one of the Jews in the wilderness saying, "can God really provide for us here?"
So, I come back to Horeb. I remind myself of what God has done in the past, and I know he will care for me in the future. He never changes, he is always aware of me and my needs. He loves me. So I come back to remember.
Thank you Lord for your wonderful care and awesome love. I'm so sorry I worry. I'm so grieved that I doubt. But I come back and fall at your feet and say, Lord, I'm yours, help me.

Psa 37:3 Trust in the LORD and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.
Psa 37:4 Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart.
Psa 37:5 Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, and He will do it.
Psa 37:6 He will bring forth your righteousness as the light And your judgment as the noonday.
Psa 37:7 Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.
Psa 37:8 Cease from anger and forsake wrath; Do not fret; it leads only to evildoing.
Psa 37:9 For evildoers will be cut off, But those who wait for the LORD, they will inherit the land.

Monday's cartoon

Saturday, March 10, 2007

A special visit

I had a rare honor today. I got to visit the home of a man dying of cancer. He has a very short time left. He's only 45.
In the discovery of his disease he also discovered God.
In facing death he also chose to face his spiritual dilemma.
His name is Tom. In the last week he called his friends who were Christians and asked, "what must I do to be saved?" His friends met with him, shared the gospel message, and Tom put his trust in Christ for forgiveness of sin and salvation.
His family and friends gathered at his home today. They were there to witness Tom's baptism. We all gathered around Tom's bed. Tom shared with us his faith in Christ, and his assurance of knowing that his sins were forgiven. Tom almost glowed through the pain as I listened to him talk. Tears were plentiful.
I took a few minutes to share, with those attending, the gospel message and the choice Tom had made.
We talked about man's dilemma- the fact that we are all sinners in need of a savior.
We talked about God's solution- Christ's death on the cross.
We talked about our need to trust Christ for salvation and forgiveness of sin.
We talked about Tom's choice.
Then I took a glass of water, and baptised Tom while he lay in his bed. It was a heavenly moment. It was a holy event. In that moment I could sense God's love for Tom.
I invited those there with us to share their hearts with Tom. It was a worship service like none you have ever seen. It was a holy event like few I have ever been part of. It was a wake with the guest of honor in attendance. It was as close to heaven as I have been in a long time. It was a moment in time that changed lives...Tom's included.
Tom literally beamed, wet face and all.
He's ready to go.
His only regret is waiting until the very end to know and experience the love of God.
As I sit here and think about those few moments in time I realize that people driving by had no idea what was happening in Tom's life and the lives of those attending. So many miss the love of God because they are too busy...too busy with life here. Too busy with work, with soccer, with living. Too busy to take care of the really important things, things of eternal value. Death has a funny way of making us focus on what's really important.
I'm so glad I got to be part of Tom's life and see the wonderful work of God in him. I know I will see him in heaven....welcome to the family, Tom!

Act 4:12 "And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved."

Friday, March 09, 2007

Trials, tests and temptations

Jas 1:2 Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides.
Jas 1:3 You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors.
Jas 1:4 So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.
Jas 1:5 If you don't know what you're doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You'll get his help, and won't be condescended to when you ask for it.

Problems.....trials.....tests.....temptations....they are part of life. It's the fire we need to refine us. Don't resent problems, understand their purpose and thrive through them.

But, most of the time, I consider tests a real bother in my life. I constantly have to remember these verses, and realize that these tests are meant to help me, not hurt me.

Lord, help me to see my problems and struggles through your eyes.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Trying to be something I'm not

Rom 12:1 So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life--your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life--and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.
Rom 12:2 Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

Christians are funny...we don't realize that we aren't like the world. And yet we try to fit in. We try to look like those around us. We try to wear the "world costumes." We don't do it well. The world notices that we are different. They aren't fooled so why do we try to be like those around us? Why do we try to look like the world? God invites us to be like him. He invites us to stand be God's men and women in a world without hope.

Our "world costumes" look silly on us, and yet we try to fit in....let me encourage you to be what God made you to be.....transformed into the image of Christ.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

I've been thinking...

I've been thinking...
-why does it take old age to make us less concerned about what people think of us?
-why are we so hard on each other? Is it an attempt to elevate ourselves?
-why do we worry so much? Is God really in charge or not?
-why don't we spend time in the word and prayer? what does that say about our desire to hear from God or talk to him?
-why do we wait until retirement to "enjoy life"?
-why are we so fearful?
-why do we have such a battle with accepting ourselves as God made us?
-why are people so angry? It's almost the posture of the day, why is this happening?
-why are TV shows so bad? We are down to about 1 hour of TV per week now...there's nothing good on TV. (I guess that's good...I get a lot more reading done.)
-why don't we have more good aromatics to cook with? (onions and garlic) There has to be more than these two!
.....just a few things I've been thinking about...

Monday, March 05, 2007

Lunar eclipse

We had a lunar eclipse this weekend. It was dramatic. Reminded me of a passage in Revelation about the moon turning red. I know this is not what that passage is talking about, but it was so dramatic it drew my mind to those verses. Here are a few amazing pictures of the eclipse.

Monday update

Monday morning, a day off for me, and a little time to simply rest. Last night we had a congregational meeting to update our church family on all that is going on. We have a lot of changes happening, and I am excited about the direction we are moving, but change, even good change, is hard sometimes.

It will be exciting to see how God works in our church in the days ahead. I really do see good things ahead. The last few months have been very difficult for our church, but I think these days have actually made our church family even stronger. I can't wait to see what God is going to do next.

Monday's cartoon

Welcome to our world!

Friday, March 02, 2007

The Secret

Have you heard about The Secret ?

It's a new book written by an austrailan author that was recently featured on the Oprah show.

Here is a very good review of the book and the teaching- The Secret
(Let me say that I am NOT endorsing this book in any way, I am sharing this link so you will know what all the buzz is about when you hear it. In fact, I would encourage you to NOT read this book, in case you are unclear about my position, but do read the review above.)


I have a's part of my life now. I have been doing it so long that it's now the first thing I do in the morning. I get my bible out, get out my journal, check the date and turn to that chapter in Proverbs. This has been great for me. I literally read through Proverbs once each month. Over the years having the wisdom of Solomon in my head and life has been a tremendous blessing. It has helped me "see" things more clearly. Today I am in chapter 2 (today is the second of the month), and I read these words,

Pro 2:6 For the LORD gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.
Pro 2:7 He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity,
Pro 2:8 Guarding the paths of justice, And He preserves the way of His godly ones.
Pro 2:9 Then you will discern righteousness and justice And equity and every good course.
Pro 2:10 For wisdom will enter your heart And knowledge will be pleasant to your soul;
Pro 2:11 Discretion will guard you, Understanding will watch over you,

When I come to this passage each month I stop and slow down. I "crawl" through these words. There is more to the chapter, but if you just read these words and believed them you would be a committed bible student for life! Discretion will guard you, understanding will watch over you... what an amazing statement! These are the results of hearing God's word and allowing it to change your mind and heart....and as a result it seems there are some other things working for us too. It's just a fascinating passage....I just wanted to share a portion of it with you. If you aren't in the word daily, try reading the chapter in Proverbs that matches the day of the month. Read through it for one month, and let me know what you find.