Saturday, June 29, 2013

Saturday's cartoon

Awww...the prayer of so many....praying for fame, money and the very things that God said will be a source of problem for us.  How interesting we would idolize the very things God tells us to avoid.

"For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever."  -1 John

The Sad Christian

This is an excellent article, The Sad Christian, by Michael Patton.  I encourage you to read it.  There are so many struggling with discouragement, depression, sadness, and so much more.  Michael's words are honest, a bit painful, but very helpful. I hope you will take a moment and read his story.

Quote of the Day

Jesus Christ is to me the outstanding personality of all time, all history, both as Son of God and as Son of Man. Everything he ever said or did has value for us today and that is something you can say of no other man, dead or alive. There is no easy middle ground to stroll upon. You either accept Jesus or reject him. --Sholem Asch

Friday, June 28, 2013

Quote of the Day

As the centuries pass, the evidence is accumulating that, measured by His effect on history, Jesus is the most influential life ever lived on this planet. -- Historian Kenneth Scott Latourette

Is the bible reliable?

Is the bible reliable?  That question is rarely discussed well among Christians.  We seem to be afraid of the debate somehow thinking we don't know enough.  Here is an article and a short video to help you if you are wondering about the reliability of the scriptures.  I can assure you that the bible is reliable and will stand up to the most rigorous critique.  

Here's the article (I encourage you to read it)- "How we got the Bible"

 and the video-

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Quote of the Day

"Christianity has been successfully attacked and marginalized because those who professed belief were unable to defend the faith from attack, even though it's attackers' arguments were deeply flawed."  -William Wilburforce (1759-1833)

Is it enough?

This morning I was listening to the story of the creator of Veggie tales on the radio.  He talked about losing everything and finally filing bankruptcy.  In his own faith he came to this question-  if all you have is Jesus is it enough?

In our culture we want Jesus AND a nice job, a great family, a new car, but what if we lost it all? What if everything was lost and all you had left was it enough?

As I thought about this my imagination wandered and I he enough for me?  If he was all I had would It be enough for me?  That is a hard question.  I think the apostle Paul found that place.  I've known a few that have found it, and so I it enough for me if all I had was Jesus?  I'm working on it....

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Quote of the Day

"Jesus is the God whom we can approach without pride and before whom we can humble ourselves without despair." –Blaise Pascal

Monday, June 24, 2013

Quote of the Day

"I am an historian, I am not a believer, but I must confess as a historian that this penniless preacher from Nazareth is irrevocably the very center of history. Jesus Christ is easily the most dominant figure in all history."  -H.G. Wells

Home again

My sweet wife and I just got back home last night from a wonderful week of rest in Colorado.  It was a blessing to have this time to get away.  I got to read a couple books, walk, listen to some music, eat some great and not so great food,  and just do nothing at all.  It was a wonderful week.  Now we are home.  Even though I have another week off I'm busy preparing for the weeks ahead.  

I'm thankful for rest and places like Colorado.  I'm thankful for wonderful friends who let you use their cabin.  I thankful....and back to life at home.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Saturday's cartoon

(I hope it doesn't get this bad, but I have to admit I use my iPad for weddings's so much easier.)

Friday, June 21, 2013


Today this blog passed the 300,000 visitor mark!  That is amazing!!!  Thank you all for your visits, your comments and your friendship.  It's been great fun so far, I think I'll keep writing if you will keep visiting.  Thank you!

Once for all!

My friend Larry and I were talking this week about the finished work of Christ.  It is always a thrill to discuss this because when you understand it there is always praise to God as the response.  

The great battle cry of the church should be "ONCE FOR ALL!" and with that declaration of victory praise should follow, but instead most Christians still struggle with sin as if they were defeated foes before its power.  

This morning, as I read, I came once more to the amazing chapter in Hebrews that speaks to this issue, chapter 10.  Here's a portion of the author's celebration of Christ's finished work,

"As a priest, Christ made a single sacrifice for sins, and that was it! Then he sat down right beside God and waited for his enemies to cave in. It was a perfect sacrifice by a perfect person to perfect some very imperfect people. By that single offering, he did everything that needed to be done for everyone who takes part in the purifying process... 

He concludes,
I’ll forever wipe the slate clean of their sins.
Once sins are taken care of for good, there’s no longer any need to offer sacrifices for them."  -THE MESSAGE
In other translations the phrase "once for all" appears a number of times.  One what for all what?  What does this cover? How far does this go?  What are the implications for my life?  What Jesus did on the cross was offer one perfect sacrifice for all people, for all sins, for all's done.  There is no more to forgive...Jesus paid the price for all sins!
That statement immediately gets this response from most people, "yeah...but...." and what follows is the religion of man.  When Christ died he paid the price for all sins, for all men, for all time.  How do I know that?  I know that because he hasn't come back to die again (Heb. 10:18).  He paid the perfect price and redeemed all mankind, forgave all wonderful is that?
So here is the first "yeah but"-  Yeah, but what about the sins I haven't committed yet? What about those? Don't I need to ask forgiveness for those?  Simple answer- no.  Why? Because they are already forgiven.  
So what do we do when we sin, and believe me we will.  We go to the Father in prayer in this way, "Father, thank you that you forgave all my sins in what Christ has done.  I'm so grateful for your salvation. I'm sorry I have sinned and once more proven my need for a savior. Thank you for forgiving me already. Please help me walk with you and not do this again. Amen."  
"Yeah but" #2- Yeah, but what about the man who hasn't trusted Christ yet? Are you saying his sins are forgiven?  Listen carefully, these next few words are really important...Yes, his sins are already forgiven, but he has yet to receive that forgiveness until he trusts Christ.  The debt is paid, but he has not trusted in the one who paid the price.  The saddest day in all eternity will be the day a lost man stands before God and realizes forgiveness was already done IF ONLY he would have trusted in Christ as savior.  There will only be one sin that will send a man to will be the sin of not trusting in Christ who paid the sin debt.
Ready for one more?  "Yeah but" #3- Yeah, but if you're saying my sins are forgiven then I can do anything I want and I'm already forgiven, right?  Read Romans 6.  You can't do what you used to do because you are not who you used to be.  You are now a son of God, why would you act like a son of the devil?  Obviously this question has been asked for more than 2,000 years and we still ask it.
Here's the great verse in this passage that I am captivated by, Hebrews 10:14-  "He has made perfect forever those who are becoming holy."  Did you see that "already-not yet" tension?  I'm perfect, but still becoming holy....what an exciting reality.  If I have trusted Christ I'm already perfect in him...even as I sin today and work on becoming more like him, more holy in my life.  Theologians call this sanctification, but it simply means me, with the help of God, conforming to the image of Christ.
And, if he has done all I've described above who wouldn't want to be like him, to please him, to praise him for his astonishing "ONCE FOR ALL" work?  Once for all...I rejoice in a perfect Lord who has provided total forgiveness for men and women who deserved none of it.  I rejoice in his salvation that promises eternal life...even now, in this moment, as I rest in His finished work.  ONCE FOR ALL!  How wonderful.
(If you're reading this and have never trusted Christ as your savior then the most important thing you can do is accept his gift of salvation, forgiveness and eternal life by trusting in Christ as your savior.  Here is a wonderful place to start in finding the forgiveness Christ has already provided for you-  "GOOD NEWS")

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The deer have moved in!

With fires all around the little town of La Veta, Colorado has been overrun by deer!  There were a dozen on the lawn of the Catholic church and more in every yard around.  They didn't seem too intimidated.  They were just watching the traffic and enjoying the shade.  Fires do strange things for sure...this was a site to see....wish I had counted all the deer we saw in this little town down the road.

The Grace Effect

I just finished reading a most amazing book, "The Grace Effect".  It was written by Larry Taunton, a Christian apologist and speaker.  It's not like any book you have read before....I don't even know exactly how to describe it to's about Christianity and atheism, it's about the effects of both in culture, it's about adoption, about love, about family, about grace, it's about Sasha....

May I encourage you to read this amazing book?  What's the old line, "you'll laugh, you'll cry"....and you will, but at the end of it your faith in your faith and understanding of the grace of God will be strengthened in ways you never imagined.  

Get this book, read it, you'll thank me.

Sasha and her dad, Larry


There's nothing more exciting than being in Colorado....unless wildfires break out near you.  Last night a large fire erupted about five miles to the east of us.  It was visible through the night as the flames reflected from the smoke.  This morning it still burns out of control, but now there's a new problem...VERY heavy winds.  I hope those in its path can get away in time.  

It's just another exciting day in Colorado.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Seeking God

"Seek the Lord while you can find him. 
Call on him now while he is near." 
-Isaiah 55

This morning, just after sunrise, I went for a long walk in the woods. If you are ever in a place like this you have to walk out into the woods and be still, listen, pray and praise.  That was my goal this morning...and I hoped to see a bear...but back to my topic.  I walked about a mile back into the forest and just stood still...waiting...waiting for God.  I prayed, I sang (badly), I quieted my mind and listened....

....I listened for God, but at times he feels as elusive as that bear I never saw today.  At times I wait, I listen and I hear nothing.....I want to hear from him, I want to follow him, I want to be aware of his presence, but often.....silence.

I know many struggle when this happens.  I have.  Is this a game of "hide-and-seek"?  Why is this so hard?  But there is much more going on than you know when you sense God is not there.  He's teaching us to be still.  God said to David, "Be still (shut up) and know that I am God."  God is there and he is not silent, but often I'm deaf to his voice.  How do I fix that?  What do I do?

I have to be quiet, quiet my mind, my heart, my voice and wait on him.  This morning I stood in the deep forest for more than 30 minutes.  I know, that's not very long, but as I stood there praying, listening, silent before God, I waited for his voice.  He knows I want to follow, he knows I desire his will, he knows me better than I know me....and yet he makes me wait.  He says nothing.

What is going on?  What's wrong?  Nothing at all....God is working on things I'm completely unaware of.  He's dealing with things in my life I have never dealt with.  For me the first task is stillness....God has the response...I will know that HE is God.  

I'm seeking God.  He's not like that old bear who avoided me this morning...he's always with me, working in my life...even when I don't see him, even when I don't hear him.  In these times I wait.  He always works in my life in ways that surprise me.  I look forward to his surprise today.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Amazing God!

Last night, as we looked at the stars and took this photo, I thought about five words in the creation narrative of Genesis 1, "He made the stars too."  I'm awestruck, as most of us are, by the sky at night...the vastness of the Universe, the galaxies that Hubble telescope has shown us...literally billions of stars and galaxies...and we can't see them all! 

And here is how God describes their origin,  "Oh, and he made the stars too..."  Almost as an afterthought to the creation narrative this is added.  Something that amazes us is almost an afterthought to the God who made it.  I'm struck by that.  It makes my awe of the Universe he has made pale in comparison to my awe of HIM.  He is so great, so powerful that a Universe that captivates us is an afterthought to him.

What an amazing God!  If he can do that he can surely care for me, meet my small little needs and work in my life.  But the question rises for me....why did he make the stars?  I think he made them to point to him.  When we look up at the vastness of the Universe around us we gasp in awe and without realizing it instinctively ask, "Who made that? There must be a God!"  

David wrote these words, 

"The heavens proclaim the glory of God.

    The skies display his craftsmanship."

Paul wrote,

 "For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. 
So they have no excuse for not knowing God."

Why the stars?  They reveal an amazing God!

Monday, June 17, 2013

My photo of the day

God's smile

"Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, 
or with the breadth of his had marked off the heavens?  
Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket 
or weighed the mountains on the scales 
and the hills in a balance?"  -Isaiah 40

We have the great joy of a week in a place I would call a preview to paradise.  It's a glorious escape from the busy lives we live in the city.  Here, for a moment, we get to escape the world and all its pursuits and simply enjoy God's creation.  Around us are beautiful trees, mountains, amazing clouds, birds singing and hidden everywhere are elk, deer and bear.  It's a glorious place.  As I listen and watch and think it makes me more aware of God than I have been in months....he's here!  He's everywhere.  But as we stop our lives for a moment and quiet our souls I am more aware of his presence, his sovereign hand ruling all that goes on around me.  

One of my favorite passages from Psalms is a prayer of David in Psalm 27 where he writes, "My heart says of you, "Seek his face!"  Your face, Lord, I will seek. Do not hide your face from me, do not turn your servant away in anger, you have been my helper.  Do not reject me or forsake me, O God my Savior."  As we enjoy this brief oasis from the world I sense I see him smile.

Stillness all around, birds singing, cool breeze through the is it that this refreshes us? How does nature give us such peace and life?  I think, at least for me, these places are "thin places".....places where the distance between us and God is very small, very thin.  I can almost hear his voice, see his smile, sense his presence....although I know he's always with least here, as I stop for a moment and celebrate him I think I see him smile.