Monday, April 30, 2007

Christians in business

I was visiting with one of our men in the church this weekend. He had some questions about some business ventures he's part of with another Christian. His partner wants to take time to pray about every move, every decision. The man that called me said, "I don't believe that's necessary. I believe if my relationship with God is right, then the business will take care of itself."

He made a brilliant insight. God's working on hearts, not businesses. Now I know I will hear protests on this statement, but think about it for a minute....God's in the "heart business"...transforming lives, not in the "business-business"...making "Christian" businesses.

In fact I don't think there is any such thing as a "Christian" business. There are Christians who are in business, but the business itself has no moral character or conviction. It only reflects the heart and nature of the owner.

So, what's the application? Make sure you have a life surrendered to Jesus as Lord, make sure you are walking in the Spirit, and then go live your day. The business decisions will reflect who you are....your life will be demonstrated in what you say and what you do.

Make sure your walk with God is right, and business will work itself out...

Sounds simple, doesn't it? Yes. It friend has it right.

Monday's cartoon

Sunday, April 29, 2007


Today, in my reading I am in 1 Samuel 17. This is a chapter I always look forward to reading. It's the story of David and Goliath. I'm always impressed by David's boldness in the face of the giant's threats. While the rest of the army cowers in fear David is ready to take him on.
He had proven himself while caring for the sheep in his battles with a bear and lion. Both of these encounters prepared him for this giant, and made the giant seem smaller to him than what those around him saw as they looked at Goliath. While the rest of the army sees a giant David sees another opportunity to trust God.
Difficult times, lions and bears, prepare us for the big battles- giants. We will all have giants in our lives. We all face problems, but to be honest if you never have to trust God with the lions and bears how will you be ready for the giants?
Giants are coming in your life, pray for some lions and bears to get ready for the giants. Trust God with the small battles and you will be amazed at what giants you can defeat when they show up.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

God's passion

"Then they will know that I am the LORD their God."

I'm in the middle of reading Ezekiel. It's a long, difficult book of prophesy. I am enjoying the "big picture", but the details and judgments are often difficult.

The most interesting thing to me about this book is this reoccurring theme- "Then they will know that I am the LORD their God."

It's in this book over 63 times!

In the midst of their exile God's passion was that they would know him. It was his great desire then, and still is.

John 17:3 "This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

Knowing God is the most important goal of the human race because it's the most important goal to God.

The book of Ezekiel was written to draw the nation of Israel back to this primary passion of God- knowing him.

In Amos God spoke through the prophet to say, Amos 5:4 "For thus says the LORD to the house of Israel, "Seek Me that you may live."

In Psalms David wrote, Psalms 27:8 "When You said, "Seek My face," my heart said to You, "Your face, O LORD, I shall seek." "

Throughout the bible this is God's great passion, but to be honest it's not always mine. There are moments when I want to know God more than anything, but most of the time....most of the time my passions are aimed in other directions. I'm busy with other things. Focused on lesser things...wasting my passions on things that will not last.

I so wish I could focus on knowing God. It is so important, but at times you wouldn't know it by the way I talk, think and live. I wish that were different.

Lord, make your passion for me to know you my passion too....I do want what you want.

Give me a passion to know you better.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Happy Birthday!

On this day, 32 years ago, our son Ian was born. He's turned out to be a great guy, and I'm very proud of him.
Happy Birthday, son!

Marketing Jesus

Amazing! Now there is a whole line of "Jesus" characters for your different passions of life. Here's one. It's called, "I am freedom". There is a whole line of these figures with different "I am" slogans attached. Here are a few of your many choices- "I am freedom", "I am youth", "I am spirit"....

Well, this shouldn't be a surprise that the world would exploit Jesus for money, they always have, but they don't want to respond to his message.

I'm not sure if I'm disgusted or just amused....

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Dealing with floods

Psa 11:3 If the foundations are destroyed, What can the righteous do?"

It's raining in Texas! We don't get a lot of rain. In fact we have been in a draught for several years, but when it does rain, wow! Today is a "wow" day. We live in a house that has foundation problems, so rain is not a good thing. Our back patio "leans" toward the house instead of away from it, so when we get the rains of spring I run home to make sure we don't get flooded. We are hoping to fix this, but right now we must deal with it. So, for us, if the foundations are destroyed, what can we do? The answer? get wet!! I am soaked, and have been trying to battle the water and keep it out of our house. Today I won! I haven't always beaten the storms in the past, but it has taught me a lot.

I now understand this verse so clearly.

We may do our best to fight back the floods of sin and wickedness in our cultures, but if the foundations are destroyed, if we have a country and culture that no longer has a moral foundation, what can we do? Many are doing their best to fight back the floods of our culture, and are frustrated by the lack of success. Personally, I am convinced that to win this battle we must deal with it one life at a time. When I am following God there is one life making a difference in the storm. One "house" that didn't get flooded.

I change the culture one changed life at a time. I may not stop the flood, but there are days when I win. When one life is changed, and on that day I fought back the floods and rebuilt the foundation in one more life.

I am not a political person. I have never felt that is the place to put my energies. You can't change culture through law, you can only change it through the heart.

So, today I fought back the flood....maybe tomorrow I will be able to do that in a, getting wet is a small price to pay to win the battle on this day.

Excuse me....but the rain has started up again. I must go fight the battle!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Monday's cartoon

Ask Jesus along for the "ride", and he's going to change things. It's what he does best.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Children say the best things

This morning our granddaughter's Sunday school teacher told me she just loves our granddaughter, Lucy. The teacher asked her, "Do you like your grandparents?" Lucy said, "Yes, I love them...they care more about our happiness than our health. They give us candy when we go to their house." The teacher was laughing about this comment and thought it was great. I do too.
But,'re not supposed to give out our secret. And to tell the truth, isn’t that what grandparents are best at? Caring more about their happiness than their health….

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Finding God

We all come to a faith in God in different ways. What was it that brought you to faith? What was the thing that made it real for you?
Yes, it's testimony time!

Friday, April 20, 2007

A slippery slope

I just got a call from a friend to let me know that the university I graduated from MANY years ago no longer has "inerrancy" in its doctrinal statement regarding the word of God.

Yes, it is (maybe was?) a Christian university.

This is very troubling to me, because it's a trend I see in the church in general. As the bible says, "If the foundation is destroyed, what can we do?" If we no longer believe the bible is the inerrant word of God then we have destroyed the foundations, and we are heading down a slippery slope that will not end well.

Many of those behind me in the church have abandoned the inerrancy of scripture and have no problems with it. What they don't know is that this has been tried before with disastrous results.

I am one who believes in the inerrancy of the word of God. In fact I dearly love the doctrinal statement of our church that speaks to this in some detail that I won’t go into here. It’s foundational to our faith. What I mean by that is that if we do not have a stable foundation- the bible and it’s inerrancy- then anything goes, any doctrine will work, and any result is ok. In some of the churches we are already seeing this happen. Some of the heresy I have read and heard has amazed me! It’s as if they haven’t even read the bible, but there they are with bible in hand declaring lies about God. How can that happen? Destroy the foundation and you can build any theology you want, and people will follow you.

But be careful…at the end of this slide it gets very wet!

2Ti 3:16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;
2Ti 3:17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


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.
Jas 1:6 Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought.
It's early Wednesday, and I'm up...praying....thinking...praying....and my mind comes to these verses. Consider it a sheer gift...or, as another version says, consider it pure I have been considering. I'm considering that most of us in this culture don't really know how to go through difficult times. We seem to really struggle with any difficulties, any problems or adversities. We don't like difficult times, and yet the bible promises that they will come. God uses these times to refine us, and yet we so hate to be refined. I'm considering that I can't help anyone else through their refining time, other than pray for them, love them and encourage them to trust God.
But what I often see is an anger at God for the refining fires instead of a joy at God's work. We don't like to be refined. We don't want to grow up. So, many continue to be children in their faith....avoiding the refining fires. I watch as the tests and challenges come, and believers scatter to get away from the tests, they run and hide to avoid being affected by anything difficult.
I'm considering that these tests and trials are allowed by a loving God who has a goal in mind. He wants me to be like Christ, he wants me to trust him, he wants me to grow up, he wants me to show the world what God dependence looks like. He will take us out into the wilderness to test us and make us trust him. He will bring us to places where we must depend on him. He does it for our good...because he loves us!
I'm considering....and I'm praying...and I'm watching as I am refined. I'm watching as others are refined. I want to encourage you with James' words from this passage- "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."
God is the master refiner. He is in the refining business. He is refining hearts. Don't run away from his refining fires, let them do their work in your life. You will never be the same, and that's a good thing!
Consider it pure joy!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Monday's cartoon

Getting away

It's early Monday, and I'm going to get out of town for the day! I am looking forward to a day out on the motorcycle...a day to get away and clear my head. East Texas, here I come.
I have been asked if I ever get any down time to rest. Here it is....and off I go. I will be smiling all day.
Have a great day!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Spiritual realities

I'm taking a break between services, and to be honest...I think I did a poor job in the first service, but one thing I know- I prayed and asked God to glorify himself through me. That prayer, and that spiritual reality moves rock at a time. It's God who works in the spirit even when I think I did poorly in the flesh. I'm so glad I'm not doing this alone....even when I think I failed HE succeeds. Thanks Lord for doing the impossible! The work of God in spiritual realms will be wonderful to see.......and we will......very soon.

Ok, Lord, here I go again. Glorify yourself through me....I won't worry about the results, you do the impossible things...move those rocks!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Hallelujah Nuns

The Turtle Creek Chorale in Dallas presented this version of Handel's Messiah. The presentation is very well done, and fun. Enjoy.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Sermon blogging

My fellow pastor and blogger, Brent, sent me this cartoon. He said he saw it, and thought of me...not sure what that means. Should I be offended? What's the implication here? I guess I need to preach my sermon before I work through it here, huh?

Thanks, Brent! Thanks a lot!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Buying time and looking for caves

Life gets busy! It's Thursday afternoon, and Sunday is coming! It's amazing how busy our lives are these days. I have a sermon to prepare, and have not had time to pray and work on it as I should, as I would like's been so busy!

But we are in a time and culture that is moving at warp speed. How do you find time to stop, quiet yourself, pray and rest in the Lord? I find that the demands of this life quietly steal away what's most important, and we let them. Now, I must admit that I have not mastered this monster, in fact it's breathing down my neck as I much to do, so little time....

Stealing moments...that's what I need. Time with God. He's waiting for me. He looks forward to our times together, and so do I, but when to get that time?

Matthew reminds me of the invitation...and so I leave you for my cave, I'm going to buy some time, and talk to God.

Mat 11:28 "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.
Mat 11:29 "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.
Mat 11:30 "For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."

Jim & Casper go to church, follow-up

Recently I mentioned a book I had just read, "Jim & Casper go to church." One of my fellow pastors, Brent, is sharing some interesting details from his reading of the book. Let me invite you to visit "The diner" and get his thoughts on the book. You can read his thoughts at
The McKinney Diner.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Reading the word

Today I'm reading a passage of scripture I will be teaching from next Sunday. Did you ever read the word and feel that the "fruit" was just out of reach? It's there, but just a little beyond your reach? I'm there. I am working on a passage that is rich, and meaty, but.......what do I do with it?
Years ago, reading Jim Elliott's journals, I discovered him struggling with the same dilemma. As he wrote he was trying to figure out what the passage of scripture meant for him. It's so encouraging for me to read that he struggled and labored over this as he tried to find "fruit" in the passage he was reading.
I think we all do that. There are times when I feel dry, and reading the word gives me no water for my thirst. Now, I know it's there, but I am not "getting it." I know we all go through that because so many have told me they do as well.
For me? I just keep reading. The bible is the book that feeds me. If not this chapter, then maybe the next. In fact, "this chapter" may be meant for another day for me, and I'm just not finding the "fruit" God has for me today. It's there, I just have to keep reading.

2Ti 3:16 Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another--showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God's way.
2Ti 3:17 Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Monday's cartoon

A cute short animation with a strong message. Enjoy, and let me know what message you got from this video. This should be fun.

Sunday, April 08, 2007


It's Easter Sunday. We had a great day today. Church, with God working in our midst, a wonderful lunch with family. A good nap and time to relax. God is good.
The sunrise service was a little cold, 32 degrees outside this morning, but we had a good crowd for that service as well. It's wonderful to see God work in our fellowship.
I wish you all a wonderful day as you celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and savior, Jesus Christ.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

My head hurts!

I just finished a new book I got late this week and my head hurts! The book is titled, "Jim & Casper go to church". It's a great idea for a book- Jim is the Christian, Casper is the atheist and they go to church....a bunch of churches...and share what they see. It is a book I must read again! My head is spinning as I think about their observations. The focus of their visits was the larger, well known churches in America...Saddleback, Willow Creek, Mosiac, Joel Osteen's church, and a number of others. The questions Casper, the atheist (by the way I really like this guy) made were challenging to me. I am very provoked by this book and look forward to going through it again with a notepad and sure has me thinking.....

Friday, April 06, 2007

Good Friday?

It's good Friday. The day we remember Christ's death on the cross. It was, as one author said, the worst and best day of all human history. It is, in fact, the day that clarifies how much God loves us. The depth of his love is shown by the price he was willing to pay to save us. It was a wonderful and awful price all in one. Thanks, Lord, for showing us your wonderful love in that horrible cross.

Serving Christ

Serving Christ is not a glamour job. It's humbling. It's ego crushing. It's a surrender of what I want to be a blessing to others. It is hard! All that is in us does not want to put others just isn't fair! And that is exactly right. Serving Christ, when done right, makes the one serving simply disappear....and so we often get walked on, ignored, taken for granted, abused, used, and...well....treated like a servant! It's dirty, hard, humbling work to must have the Lord's help or you will get angry, bitter, resentful...selfish.

After Jesus washed the disciples feet here are his instructions to them-

John 13:14 So if I, the Master and Teacher, washed your feet, you must now wash each other's feet.
John 13:15 I've laid down a pattern for you. What I've done, you do.
John 13:16 I'm only pointing out the obvious. A servant is not ranked above his master; an employee doesn't give orders to the employer.
John 13:17 If you understand what I'm telling you, act like it--and live a blessed life.

So, before you get all excited about serving Christ, count the cost. Realize that it's not glamorous. It's "heart-humbling" and it will demand dependence on Christ to do it. I know a few servants walking with God....they are blessed....but the price is high...the price is ME.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

He is risen!

He is risen! He is risen indeed!

And soon...very soon we who have trusted Christ as savior will be as well. The resurrection of Christ is the fulfillment of his promise to die and rise again.

It's his resurrection that proves he was who he said he was.

It's his resurrection that provides us life, and his Spirit for the now.

It's his resurrection that provides us with the hope of that day to come when we will see him and be like him.

It's his resurrection that promises us eternity!

In the very first sermon of the church Peter's focus was on the resurrection. Here is a portion of one of the most amazing sermons ever preached:

Act 2:22 "Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know--
Act 2:23 this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.
Act 2:24 "But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power....

Act 2:32 "This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses.
Act 2:33 "Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear.
Act 2:34 "For it was not David who ascended into heaven, but he himself says: 'THE LORD SAID TO MY LORD, "SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND,
Act 2:36
"Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ--this Jesus whom you crucified."

Amen. I am so excited about the hope we have. A risen savior, a living God, a firm foundation, a living hope....and a soon coming king.

Come, Lord Jesus, come.....we look forward to the day!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Deep thoughts, part 5

Ok, now for some deep thoughts from a shallow mind. Realize that profound is just a word to me, and I live in the world of application (so what do I do with that?) So my thoughts will not stir you to great heights, but I do hope they will encourage you.

It's Easter week. This is the most important week in the Christian calendar. It's the week when Christ came into Jerusalem at the beginning of Passover week (we call it Palm Sunday).

It's the week of the passion, when Christ died on the cross.

It's the week when he rose from the dead.

All of this is history. All of it had been witnessed by hundreds, even thousands. More than 500 saw Christ at one time after his resurrection. These events are part of the history of the human race....and yet, almost yearly we see attacks on the resurrection of Christ. This year they "have found his grave"!

I heard one of the film makers say that if this is true it shouldn't affect the Christian faith at all.

Excuse me!

The whole of the Christian faith is built on the resurrection of Christ, and in fact most historians agree with the historical accuracy of the New Testament accounts of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ.

Christ DID rise from the dead to live evermore, and will return to earth as the victorious King of all Kings and Lord of all Lords.

So what difference does it make? It makes all the difference! Paul writes,

1Co 15:13 If there's no resurrection, there's no living Christ.
1Co 15:14 And face it--if there's no resurrection for Christ, everything we've told you is smoke and mirrors, and everything you've staked your life on is smoke and mirrors.
1Co 15:15 Not only that, but we would be guilty of telling a string of barefaced lies about God, all these affidavits we passed on to you verifying that God raised up Christ--sheer fabrications, if there's no resurrection.
1Co 15:16 If corpses can't be raised, then Christ wasn't, because he was indeed dead.
1Co 15:17 And if Christ wasn't raised, then all you're doing is wandering about in the dark, as lost as ever.
1Co 15:18 It's even worse for those who died hoping in Christ and resurrection, because they're already in their graves.
1Co 15:19 If all we get out of Christ is a little inspiration for a few short years, we're a pretty sorry lot.
1Co 15:20 But the truth is that Christ has been raised up, the first in a long legacy of those who are going to leave the cemeteries.
1Co 15:21 There is a nice symmetry in this: Death initially came by a man, and resurrection from death came by a man.
1Co 15:22 Everybody dies in Adam; everybody comes alive in Christ.