Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Being Jesus

It's Wednesday morning. I'm at the Corner Bakery with a room full of people in community. This is the new community for our culture, a place where we can gather, drink coffee and fellowship. People need this! With the electronic age so dominant people don't have a place to connect. A coffee shop or restaurant like this offers such a place. A place to visit. The buzz around me is loud, people connecting. We so need that. We need someone to talk to, someone to listen to us. We need people and a little food on the table is always a good thing.

It's what Jesus did. Eat, visit, fellowship, focus on others. I would have loved to sit at a meal with Jesus. I'm sure it wouldn't have been a meal focused on him. I'm sure he was one of the best listeners ever! I can see him in my imagination even as I write this, intently listening as his dinner companion would ramble on about life, problems, people, fears and struggles. I can see his laser focus on the other person's words and thoughts. You would have thought, if Jesus were listening to you, that you were the only person in the world at that moment! Food, fellowship and a visit with Jesus, there is no counselor on earth that could accomplish what a meal with Jesus would do.

We are designed for community, for fellowship, for others. We are designed to be connected to others. That's how God made us. Our culture today is doing everything it can to get away from this, but we are never satisfied with this isolation, we need others! We need community. I watch as young people around me are busy texting someone who isn't there even while sitting in the presence of a real person. I watch as a couple out for dinner together are both on cell phones talking to someone else instead of talking to one another. Amazingly we are isolating ourselves in the midst of community, we are alone in a crowd. It's not the way we were designed, it's not healthy for us.

If Jesus sat down to a meal with you he would gently take your phone, turn it off with a smile and then focus all his attention on you. He does that even now. He listens, cares and is focused on us because he designed us to be in community, to be connected…..and connected to flesh and blood, not to electronics. I'm sure he would set aside everything to focus on me, and he does. It's something we desperately need and until he returns he has given us the task of being Jesus to those around us.

Simple instructions

I have to admit that I'm a very simple person. I don't think about grand thoughts of glory or have amazing insights into life and eternity. I am just a very simple guy who is trying to follow God and walk with him. I honestly find that most people are just like me, trying to find their way.

This morning, as I read Micah 6, I once more come to these simple instructions,

"He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?"

In my simple language I would instruct someone else with these directions, do what's right, be nice and respond rightly to God. It's not all that hard. Life comes down to some very simple instructions. That helps a guy like me.

Jesus repeated these instructions and framed it in an even clearer way. He said "Love God and love each other." That's Micah 6 in its simplest form. Basically scripture tells us to focus on eternal things- God and people. Those are the things, the relationships that will be eternal. Everything else will burn up, rust, rot or be thrown away.

So today, I hope to focus on the eternal things- God and people. I hope to respond to them as Micah describes, do what's right, be nice and walk humbly with God. I'm so glad this is simple. It helps to know how easy this really is. The secret is this- it's not about me, it's about God first and others second. It's a life focused outward, focused not on the frantic scramble for security and stuff, but on people and God.

Simple instructions.....for a simple race, do what's right, be nice and walk humbly with God.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Prophetic words

“Religion today is not transforming people; rather it is being transformed by the people. It is not raising the moral level of society; it is descending to society’s own level, and congratulating itself that it has scored a victory because society is smilingly accepting its surrender.”
- A. W. Tozer

Monday, August 29, 2011

Much about nothing

One of my morning rituals, like many of you, is to read the news. It's becoming quite clear that nothing ever changes. The news is the same every day, they just change the names and the places. Every day a celebrity does something wrong. Every day there is war somewhere. Every day there is conflict and chaos. Every day the news is the same. We are masters at making much about nothing.

I would love to read the news one morning and find that we have made much of the right things. It won't happen until Christ returns, but imagine the morning news in this way: Today God is on the throne, those who have extra are helping those who don't, no one was shot anywhere, no one cried last night as they went to sleep, no baby felt unloved anywhere, there were no divorces yesterday anywhere we can report....imagine such a place. It would be the most wonderful place, wouldn't it? Why, it sounds like heaven and it is.

One day this will be the morning news. One day all will be right with the world because God will be on his throne, satan will be in his place, sin will be dealt with and every tear will be gone. One day is near. I long for that great day....that day when we can make much of the right things.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

A royal inheritance, a wonderful invitation

Galatians 4:4 But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. 6 Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.”7 So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.

What an amazing passage! The God who made us has provided a way for his creation (you and I) to become adopted, to be his sons and daughters. We are not only adopted, but we have his Spirit living in us to lead, teach, guide and grow us up. And, we can come to God not as creator, but as Father, as "Daddy." But there's, because we are his children, we are his heirs as well! We get the inheritance of sons and daughters of the father. These things are astonishing to a creature on planet earth, a fearful little creature, I am invited into relationship, sonship and heirship with the God who made me! Who wouldn't respond to that invitation? Who wouldn't want to be part of this grand plan of God?

Thursday, August 25, 2011


"A schmuck like one of us"

A cup of cold water

I had a refreshing experience yesterday. It was sadly unusual. One of the guys in our church sent me an e-mail to talk about some issues in the ministry and then, as he closed, he asked, "While I’m at it, how’s your spirit lately? Do you need encouragement? How can I serve you?" It was like a cup of cold water on a hot day for me! I am especially worn right now with prep for the fall, people's needs and other considerations so for someone to ask how I am was a surprise and refreshing. He followed up our dialogue with an invitation to a coke later that day. He said, "I’ll bring the cold water." And, in fact we did meet. The first thing my friend ordered was a cup of cold water. What a treat. I drank it with joy because it represented so much more than refreshment for the body. He had refreshed my soul. A cup of cold water...often it does more than you could ever imagine!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Take a few minutes. Watch this video. Tell me what you think....

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Hold on!

I've been thinking about my own walk with God, my life as a Christian lately. I've been thinking about what a life of a Christian should look like. I wonder that because my own walk with God isn't really very exciting. Sometimes it's just downright boring! I seldom have brilliant thoughts. I seldom stand out as a wonderful witness for the faith. It's rare when I feel that I have had a great day as a Christian.

So, I've been thinking about my walk with God. What should it look like? What should I be doing? Am I missing something? Is there more than I know to this walk with God?

I think I ask these questions because I want to make sure I'm not missing something. I don't want to finish poorly. While many are optimists I find that I am the perpetual pessimist. I am always asking, "what did I miss? what didn't I do?" instead of enjoying what I did do right, what I did understand.

Like a good mountain climber I would be the guy dreading the fall instead of enjoying the view. It's a challenge to enjoy the moments when life and death are in the balance, but there are two simple rules for a mountain climber, 1. never let go (hold on!) and, 2. keep climbing. You may not be at the top yet, but you are further than you were an hour ago. Mountain climbing, like the Christian life, is just boring hard work at times, but the rewards are amazing. As the climber nears the summit there is a growing excitement in both the quest and the distance down. The key thing to remember is this- all the work and effort will rewarded at the summit, it will be worth the work, just hold on and keep climbing.

I wonder....even as I think about my walk as a Christian, how much of this is simply a step by step climb to the summit? How basic are the rules for us? 1. Hold on and, 2. Keep climbing! Hold onto God, your faith, the word, other believers. Hold on, and keep climbing, don't stop! There's no place to rest here, the only rest is at the summit. Keep going, don't give up. It will be worth all the effort once we reach the top.

Jesus spoke of this in Revelation when he said through John, "To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne." That will be the ultimate mountain top experience!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Quote of the day

"Jesus didn't come to make bad people good. He came to give dead people life."

Saturday, August 20, 2011


I went to the local Muslim mosque tonight to attend their Ramadan celebration and


What a great experience,

what nice people,

what amazing food!

Saturday's cartoon

The gods of convenience

2 Kings 17 describes why Israel, as a nation, was finally dissolved by God. In the aftermath of the exile a group of people were brought into the land to live there. It was an ancient custom of conquest. The new residents soon discover that "the god of the land is upset" and so they ask for a priest from Israel to teach them how to worship "the god of the land," but the whole time they continued to worship their own gods as well.

For them worshipping the real God was simply a necessary part of living in this new country. It was a necessary part of their life, but they continued to worship the gods they had brought with them. It made me wonder about my own many "gods" do I worship? Am I a closet polytheist without realizing it....simply to make my life easier?

These are only the seeds of thought for me right now, but the story has me wondering about my own choices. I'm still working on this. I will let you know what I find in my walk that I need to correct.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Quote of the day

“The great thing, if one can, is to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions of one’s ‘own’, or ‘real’ life. The truth is of course that what one calls the interruptions are precisely one’s real life – the life God is sending one day by day: what one calls one’s ‘real life’ is a phantom of one’s own imagination.”

(from a 1943 letter from C.S. Lewis, included in Yours, Jack: Spiritual Direction from C.S. Lewis)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


I have always felt like an outsider.

"Outside what?" you might ask. Outside everything!

I don't think I've ever met anyone who didn't have this sense of being on the outside trying to get in. The sense of being an outsider is something we all deal with. I think it's simply part of being fallen. Sin separates us and creates that sense we are on the outside looking in. Everyone feels this same aloneness!

It's this sense of being an outsider that makes us gather others around us to be on a new "inside" so that we no longer have that painful sense we are outside, alone, rejected. We create our own group and so now everyone else may be outside, but we are safely "in," accepted, part of something. That is how gangs draw new members to such a difficult and harsh "family." Suddenly you are wanted, needed, part of something and you're no longer on the outside, no longer alone, no longer rejected.

Another way we cope with this is to get into an existing group. If we could only get on the football team, the chess club, the motorcycle gang......whatever the group we simply want to be "in." To be included, accepted, part of something is core to our desires to belong. We will even become something we aren't to fit in. We want to be accepted so badly some will give up core beliefs to belong. Being outsiders is just too painful.

God knows that about us. He knows better than we do what sin has done to us. One man understood this "outsideness" better than most, he was a leper, the ultimate outsider. He came to Jesus with a simply request. Here's his story,

"A man with leprosy came and knelt in front of Jesus, begging to be healed. “If you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean,” he said.

Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” Instantly the leprosy disappeared, and the man was healed. Then Jesus sent him on his way with a stern warning: “Don’t tell anyone about this. Instead, go to the priest and let him examine you. Take along the offering required in the law of Moses for those who have been healed of leprosy. This will be a public testimony that you have been cleansed.”

But the man went and spread the word, proclaiming to everyone what had happened. As a result, large crowds soon surrounded Jesus, and he couldn’t publicly enter a town anywhere. He had to stay out in the secluded places, but people from everywhere kept coming to him."

The one and only "insider" with God, Jesus, met the ultimate outsider, this leper. He was outcast from every community, every group, everyone he knew. He was sick physically and emotionally, being an outsider messes with your head and this poor guy was desperate. He did the most unthinkable thing- he came up to the one man everyone wanted to be close to and asked for help. With one gesture, a most amazing gesture, Jesus invited him into his "group", his community. Jesus touched him. An unthinkable thing to the Jews who watched, but the one who could remove all his barriers, all his problems, did the most important thing, he touched him. He made him, in that moment, an insider, accepted, loved, healed outside and inside.

It so changed this guy that he couldn't stop talking about it. He had been touched by Jesus even while he was covered in leprosy! It changed everything for him. It's just the way a relationship with Jesus goes. An outsider approaches him and suddenly being an outcast is gone, he's accepted and loved by God.

For my fellow outsiders let me invite you to stop trying to be accepted by man. It's never enough, it never satisfies and it won't last. Come to the one who loves you just as you are now, with all your fears, worries and problems. In a moment and a touch he will make you the ultimate insider, accepted and loved by the one who made you. Eternally a son, a daughter of God. You can't get more inside than that!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Thoughts on the day

Romans 11:33 Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments,
and his paths beyond tracing out!
34 “Who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been his counselor?”
35 “Who has ever given to God,
that God should repay them?”
36 For from him and through him and for him are all things.
To him be the glory forever! Amen.

This morning, as I read these words, I once more paused to get my breath. There is a grand majesty to these words. There is a royalty to these thoughts. In just a few words Paul, the author, encompasses God's wisdom, knowledge, judgment, omniscience, sovereignty, omnipotence and finally his royalty. God is creator, king, Lord, judge, guide, source, supplier and finally the one we will all report to in the end.

What a wonderful picture of God's greatness in just a few words....from him, through him and for him are all things. He is our source, he is our supply and he is our reason. I should probably read these words every morning. I forget the grandness of God so easily. In other words, it's all about God.

That's the idea of these's all about God and not about me. I'm here by his creation, I live by his supply and I am living that he might be glorified. All of me is about all of him. It's all about God. I pray these words soak into me today that I might rest in his sovereignty, his omniscience, his omnipotence and desire to accomplish his will in my life. He is more than able and will bring about his great glory. Lord, do that in my life today, would you? I'm available.

Friday, August 12, 2011

What God cares about

Ideas and slogans like this are everywhere. The idea is simple- don't waste your life, do something! It's the doing that matters most in our culture....just do something, be remarkable, do something memorable. But I doing something the most important thing? I wonder if being someone isn't the lost secret. I'm convinced that it's not what you do that's important, but who you are. The secret is not in the doing, but in the being.

I don't think God's as interested in what we do as he is in who we are....because who we are will determine what we do. We, in our culture, are focused on the "do", but God is focused on the "be". We are in a culture of great things, make a lot of money, get an education, accomplish something great, but inwardly we are empty and heartless. We have spent all our time working on the things that won't last and neglected the things that will....the eternal things of the soul.

God's not as interested in what you do as he is in who you are because who you are will determine what you do.

It's simple. Work from the inside out, not from the outside in. Greatness isn't measured by the "kingdom" you create, but by the man or woman you are inside. Truly great people may have little to show in the way of possessions, but are immensely rich of soul and spirit. As you begin your day focus on the right from the inside out. Starting from the heart and working out will make a big difference in focus, direction and results.....because God's not as interested in what you do as he is in who you are because who you are will determine what you do.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


It fascinates me how fearful we are. Almost anything makes us afraid. Fear is one of the enemies best weapons against faith and trust in God. At any one moment I would guess we each have something in the back of our minds connected to or caused by fear. It's the plague of the fallen race of men.

From those fears we imagine all kinds of ghosties and monsters. Fear connected with imagination is a terrible thing. I hear the stories often of fear based events that surely will happen....all based on our imaginations fired by the fear of our moments.

One of the great stories of the bible is in 2 Kings 7. It's a story of what happens when fear and imagination combines to create imaginary monsters. Here's the portion of the story I want to talk about,

"When they got to the edge of the camp, surprise! Not a man in the camp! God had made the army of Aram hear the sound of horses and a mighty army on the march. They told one another, "The king of Israel hired the kings of the Hittites and the kings of Egypt to attack us!" Panicked, they ran for their lives through the darkness, abandoning tents, horses, donkeys—the whole camp just as it was—running for dear life."

All it took to put an army on the run are the sounds of war from God. There were no horses, no soldiers, no monsters close, but with a sound of horses, the rattle of swords, the sounds of an army approaching their fears were given story and here's what they imagined, "The king of Israel hired the kings of the Hittites and the kings of Egypt to attack us!"

None of that was true, but it was enough to get their imaginations going and the result? "Panicked, they ran for their lives through the darkness, abandoning tents, horses, donkeys—the whole camp just as it was—running for dear life." A few noises from the Lord, a little fear mixed in and their imaginations did the rest.

How often do we do that? How often do the sounds of war, the worries of the stock market, the angry words of a wife or the problems of a child cause our fears to write the end of the story and we flee when no one is pursuing? Fear is a wicked monster with no substance. It causes panic, flight and abandon. It causes us to write a story that is only imagined by the fear we feel. We are a fearful little race. Fear dominates our lives and actions more than we know. I think that's why Jesus' words for us are so profound,

Mark 5:36 "Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe."

Luke 12:32 "Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom."

Don't be afraid. The one who holds the future holds your hand. All will be well. Don't be afraid.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Choices. We make them every day. The results of those choices affect the course of our lives and all the choices ahead. Once we make a choice we can no longer make the other choice. Our course is set. Now a multitude of other choices on the other path are no longer ours. Now we must take the path of our choice with all that follows. We find new decisions to make, but the choice of the other path is no longer ours.

Often, as I talk with people at their crossroads struggling with the choice of which way to go I find they are already regretting the choice they plan to make. They know their choice is the wrong one and the path will not end well, but they don't want to take the other path. What they don't realize is that one choice eliminates the choices the other path might offer. Suddenly, once they start walking down one road the choices possible on the other road are gone.

I watch as they struggle at the crossroads, struggle with the decisions they face. Often they tell me they want what lies down both paths, but only one choice can be made. What none of us know is what other choices might be ours if we choose the right path. (Of course this last statement implies that one choice is right and the other wrong.) There are a hundred choices down each path, but none are known to us until we choose one and start the adventure.

It strikes me that the struggle at the crossroads is the choice of my way or God's way. That is the core decision at each crossroad we face, isn't it? At each point of decision I must decide to submit my will to God's way or choose my own way and hope for the best. It's a choice that should be obvious and simple, but it's really not. We live with fantasy and fear dominating our minds and thoughts. The fantasy of what could have been and the fear of what might be cause us to doubt that God's way will be for our good so we choose our own path, our own way.

This morning I faced those crossroads with another friend. I watched as he languished over his choices. As best I could I told him what lay down each road. I watched as he turned this way, then that. From years of standing at the crossroads with others I already know he has chosen the wrong path, but I know too that I can't force anyone to submit to God's will in their lives. That's a decision of the heart. Once they trust God with the results the decision of course is easy. Until that submission of heart and will is given to God the battle rages on.

As you face your own crossroads pray this simple prayer, "Lord, I want your way, your will in my life and not my own. Show me which way to go." In that simple prayer you have made the most important choice anyone will ever make when they come to the crossroads.

There are a number of verses in the Bible that deal with this very idea, but let me simply offer this one as I finish my thoughts, Proverbs 14:12-13 "There's a way of life that looks harmless enough; look again—it leads straight to hell. Sure, those people appear to be having a good time, but all that laughter will end in heartbreak." THE MESSAGE

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Abounding Grace

God's grace is a big deal to me. It's the most important thing to understand in all that God has provided in Christ. Many, by not understanding it, have resorted to works to please God and frankly God is not at all pleased by that response.

He has provided grace and wants us to live in it, but few understand its implications, even fewer are comfortable with how that is lived out. If you want to know a bit about what God has done and what it means in your life here are Paul's words in Romans 5 about that grace,

15 But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many. 16 The gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification. 17 For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.

Abounding grace. That very phrase should make you want to know what that means, what's the implications, why did it need to abound? Grace is one of God's most profound works, and one that few are comfortable with. It means that in Christ God has done all that needs to be done for us to please him. There's nothing more to do to find favor with God. If you have trusted Christ as savior you are his child, his son or daughter and you DO please him. He not only loves you he actually likes you just as you are right now. His grace has abounded above all your need and provided everything required to bring us into relationship with God, to provide forgiveness of sin, to give us security for eternity, to do all that needed to be done so there is nothing left for us to do.

Books have been written on this topic. I know in these few paragraphs I will not satisfy many hearts and minds with answers, there's simply too much to discuss, but there is a reality in our Christian world that needs to be resolved- Do you believe it's all been done or do you believe there's more that you must do? It's one or the other.

I know, as I write this, that many are saying, "Yeah, but...." And here begins the discussion about what I must do. Frankly, to please God there is nothing you can do. All that was needed to please God was done by Christ at the cross. The harsh reality of grace is this- there is NOTHING you can do to please God other than to say "yes" to the grace he has already provided.

Justice says I get what I deserve. Mercy says I don't get what I deserve, but grace says in Christ I get what I don't deserve. In this abounding grace I come to God and find that by simply trusting Christ I please God! That's it. Nothing more to do. Grace says it's all been done already. My response? Worship. Praise. A life that obeys him, but these are all just responses. They merit nothing for my salvation. That's been done. Now, all that I do is respond to grace and in that response I find God's joy.

Many in our culture call this simple idea "cheap grace," but what they don't understand is that it must be this way. If any of my works, my deeds, my performance for God are part of grace it's a statement to the world that what Christ did on the cross wasn't enough. When he said, "it's finished" he just didn't understand. You can't have it both ways. Either he did it all or he didn't. And if he did it all then your only response it to simply say "yes" to his gift and bask in that grace. Abounding grace....abounding far above my need, abounding far above my understanding, grace to do for each of us what we could never do on our own.

Today I joyfully rejoice in God's abounding grace to me!

Monday, August 08, 2011


A friend of mine sent me an e-mail this morning with some wonderful encouraging words. She cares about me and often that makes all the difference. It sure does for me.

She was reading in Psalms 105 this morning and came to these words, "...until what He said came to pass, the word of the Lord tested him." In this passage is new insight into the life of Joseph as he waited in prison for God's work and word to come to pass. He had no idea what that might look like, but he trusted God when he could see nothing ahead. What he didn't know about those days is revealed in Psalm 105...the word of the Lord was testing him. I'm not sure what that looked like for Joseph. I'm not even sure what that look like for me or you, but I know there is a refining work that God does in each of us that is done through his word.

One day we will see the purpose of these days, these tests and celebrate God's preparation for our work for him. The test for us is believing God's word, trusting him and waiting for his work and timing in our lives. It often takes a while. It's usually difficult, but it's an adventure worth the wait. Trusting through testing yields triumph. What does triumph look like? I have no idea, but there is a reward for a walk with God, a walk that trusts him even when you can't see what he is doing.

It seems that James understood this better than most as he wrote, "consider it all joy when you encounter various tests..." because as you trust him through those days God is working in your life. Won't it be great to see what he does with us? I can't wait!

Sunday, August 07, 2011


Yesterday the Governor of Texas held a prayer rally. It's fascinating the ridicule I have read about this event. To simply gather people to pray is now mocked and joked about by many in our culture, but prayer is the one thing we most need!

God said to Jeremiah, "Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know." God invites us to pray and ask for his help in our difficult days, actually in all our days, but difficult days draw us to him when we have exhausted all other resources.

We jokingly say, "PRAY? Has it come to that?" But prayer, an appeal to the God of the universe for his help, is the most important thing we can and should do. God is more than able to help....if we will ask. Why does it seem that prayer is often our last resort when it should be our first response?

If God is who he says he is and is able to do all we read about in the bible then he can do the same things today, right? If he can't then God has changed and if he can change then he's not God. So, what is missing in all of this? Is it God's weakness, or as the atheist would say God's absence that is the problem? Or, may I offer a third choice...could it be God's people not asking for his help, his hand in our lives, our culture, our country? I believe our great need is for God's people to pray.

God is there and he's not silent. He's fully able to help, fully ready. Will we ask him?

Friday, August 05, 2011

Quote of the day

‎"The problem with legalists is that not enough people have confronted them and told them to get lost. Those are strong words, but I don't mess with legalism anymore. I'm 72 years old; what have I got to lose? Seriously, I used to kowtow to legalists, but they're dangerous. They are grace-killers. They'll drive off every new Christian you bring to church. They are enemies of the faith. Other than that, I don't have any opinion." ~ Charles Swindoll

Thursday, August 04, 2011

A bad example

Today I want to share with you the contents of an e-mail sent to an atheist who writes a blog I read. It's important for my community to see what they hear from those who "claim" our faith. The author of this e-mail claims to be a Christian, but his words tell me a much different story.

Are you ready? Here it is, an e-mail from a "Christian" sent to an atheist blogger:

"Subject: Hell is waiting for you!

You fools are as crazy as anything I have ever seen. We have the damn right to include Christianity, as you do not to. You only want it one way - your way. Your rights end when it steps on my rights you stupid demon garbage. Your kind of people is what's wrong in America. Decaying the very fabric of our society. The time is quickly coming for us to take back America from people like you, the ACLU, the queers, lesbians, pedophiles and illegals. You all are grouped together for elimination from our society soon. It's coming....and we will be coming for fools like demon crap." (Read his entire post here.)

Makes you want to be a Christian, doesn't it?

I commented on this blog to apologize. I told them this is not the way most of us think or live. It's just sad to read words like these that express hate, anger, and stupidity.

What Christ has called us to is a life that emulates his...a life of a servant, someone who loves those on a different path. Jesus hung out with "sinners" (the rejected people of his day) and was rejected by the religious elite for his friendships. I so wish we had that same heart to love, care for and hang out with those who many might consider the "demon crap" of our day.

It's time for a different picture to be painted of real Christ followers. It's time we once more emulate Jesus and truly care for, love and hang out with those Christ loves even if they don't believe what we believe. It's time that your "neighborhood atheist" would consider you his best friend because you truly are. It's time, it's past time to live our lives in the shadow of a Savior who was willing to be ridiculed for seeing others as real people and not simply for what they believe or don't believe.

Let's paint a different picture with our lives...a picture of people who love those around us and really care about them simply because God made them and loves them. Don't worry about whether they are in your faith community or not, if they are fellow human beings we are called to love and care for them. Ok, there's your others as Christ has loved you!

Wednesday, August 03, 2011


Timing is everything.

I know you've heard that expression before, but in reference to God's work in our lives it's more true than you could ever imagine. He has made us and placed us in this time, in this place to be part of his plan.

Timing is everything and the God who invented time is working through it to show us his love and sovereignty. He's the master of the moments. He wonderfully unfolds his plan in time, in our lives, in the events of our lives at just the right moment.

We had a wonderful example of this on Sunday when our air conditioner went out. I wrote about it a couple days ago. It was hot on Sunday, but who knew it would be 110 yesterday and now 108 today? Timing is everything when you are walking with God. The times and events of our life are orchestrated for our good and his glory in HIS time.

When David wrote, "My times are in God's hands" (Psalm 31:15) he was speaking of more than he could ever imagine. Not only my times but my places are in his hands as I walk with him through the events of my life. When I look back over these years of walking with God I see amazing events coming together to accomplish plans I could have never imagine. That's why David could write, "Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge." (Psalm 62:8) In other words you can trust him....he won't fail you.

He reveals his plan in even more detail when the author wrote, "Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." (Psalm 139:16) Even the exact number of moments given to me have been the second...and each of those seconds align to accomplish God's perfect plan in his perfect timing in my life and yours.

Timing is an amazing thing to watch in the hands of the one who invented it. I think of his amazing timing when I met my wife on that Sunday morning long ago. I think of his timing when I quit one job without another in site only to have one provided the next day. I think of his care and work in my life in a hundred different moments of time realizing that every moment has that same attention from him. I am so grateful for a God who loves me in this moment right now.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Beginning year six!

Today I'm beginning year six of this blog. It's been quite an odyssey with more than five years of blogs, thoughts, devotions and life all wrapped up in more than 2,000 entries. I never imagined I would be sharing my life in this way, but it's been a rich blessing for me and I hope it has for you as well. Are you ready for another year? I know I am. I look forward to sharing more of what my walk with God teaches me and I hope it encourages you as well. Here we go....

Monday, August 01, 2011


Wouldn't it be sad if this was all life was about? I'm so glad that life reaches far beyond the grave into a wonderful eternity. In this montage called "life" there needs to be just one more panel, a picture of the life that is on the other side of the grave. Without that last panel this is a most depressing story, but with it everything changes.