Friday, January 30, 2015


"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."  Phil. 4:6-7

Last night a friend and I went to hear Eric Metaxas talk about his new book, "Miracles."  It's interesting that in Dallas over 1,000 people will attend an event where the author is basically hawking his work, but it was a great two hours.

One of the things he said was "if Phil. 4:6 is true it means you have to deal with it".  Those aren't exactly his words, but it's what I heard.  In the first four words of verse 6 are some mountains for us to climb.  "Be anxious for NOTHING" are huge words, giant concepts and four words that demand we stop and address them.

IF there is a god and IF he's the God of the bible and IF he's all powerful and IF he really loves you and IF he said he would take care of you and IF...

Well, you get the idea.  If those things are true, and they are along with many more important truths, then I must deal with these four words, be anxious for NOTHING!  Nothing?  Really?  I can't, rather shouldn't, worry about anything?  NOTHING!

And when anxiety comes, when worry invaded the following words give direction..."but in everything..."

The author only talked about this verse for a moment, but my mind raced to what it would look like to really live out "be anxious for nothing."  As a well trained worrier this will be difficult, but I'm committed to memorizing and living out these verses.

And, there is another aspect to this we have not mentioned yet.  Be anxious for nothing implies that God really does care about everything in our lives!  He's with us, he's on our side, he wants to help.  He's small enough to be interested in me, but big enough to deal with anything I face.  

Now that's a God I can worship!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


Have you noticed how many around you are angry these days?  

Maybe you are angry as well.  

It happens easily.  

It's emotional.  It's a real response to fear. It takes over all other emotions and overwhelms us.  Anger comes when we feel threatened, cheated, hurt, taken advantage of.....and a hundred other reasons.  It's our natural defense to attacks of any kind.

Anger affects every part of takes over your emotions, your thoughts, your passions and your face!  Most of the time it displaces rational thought and drives us to get even, to make things right, to hurt the other person like they have hurt us.

Epidemic is a mild word for what anger has done in our day in every nation.  It is spreading like wildfire!  Along with it, it's partner- fear.  These two emotions make even the best of us crazy.

Anger is defensive.  It's an emotion that makes us do or say things we would never do or say in a saner moment.  Anger says if I don't make it right, make it fair, no one else will.  

But imagine, in the midst of the pain and hurt that brings anger, you hand the offense to God.  Imagine you go to God with those past pains that cause your anger and hand the whole mess to him and say, "Lord, here's all the reasons I'm angry.  I can't fix any of it.  Would you take care of this stuff, this mess?  It's ruining my life and I would rather have your peace."

Then just walk away.  Leave it all with your father.  He will work things out better than you could ever imagine and you will have peace.  Don't let one offense that caused your anger create a second one...your bitterness.  Leave room for God.  

Besides, life is much too short to be angry.

Here's how scripture guides us,  

Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.  Romans 12:19

Tuesday, January 27, 2015


Lord, today I want to walk with you, hold your hand, see your smile and listen to your voice.  Your presence will make it a perfect day and will be all I need.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Don't be afraid

"Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."  Isa. 41:10

Two things I need, 

1. to know that God is with me, 


2. to know that he is my help, the one who holds my hand.  

These words calm my fears, quiet my heart and helps me in the midst of any difficult day.  

These are words of comfort from a God who is bigger than we could ever imagine.  And I must tell you in times like these you need a big God!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

100 year plan

Business often does this.  They will take a broad brush and plan out for 100 years.  Of course no one will know what might happen in 10 years, but to think and plan out beyond our lives seems like a brilliant idea.

So, let me move the idea from a business model to a personal one.  If you were to design a 100 year plan for your life, planning 100 years out from now, what would that look like?  

Of course you would say, "You're crazy!  I won't even be here in 100 years."

And you would be right...but I'll be somewhere.  In 100 years where will I be?  And, if I don't know, why don't I know?  If I believe I'm just an animal and will be dead and gone when I die, then I don't need a plan, but what if....what if we live forever.  If that's true then a plan 100 years out sounds like a pretty good idea.

So,  where do we start?

How do we plan beyond our years here? I'm not talking about a financial legacy, but an eternal one.

How do we "invest" for the real retirement...the retirement from this life?

Let's talk about it.  I'm going to leave this as a working piece and will update it as I work on my plan, but I would love to read your thoughts on a 100 year plan for your life. 

I wonder...

I have been absent for a bit.  I guess being busy with life and work has me distracted, but I wanted to share a few thoughts this morning before the day gets too busy.

These are just a few rambling queries, so don't take them too serious, but they are thoughts that leave me silent more often than not.  Here we go...

I wonder why God put us messed up broken people in charge of telling the world about him.  Didn't he know how bad we would be at this?

I wonder why all the atheists I read are so mad at God.  If they don't believe in him then why don't they talk about something else?

I wonder why God chose me to be a pastor.  I am completely inept and unqualified to do this!  What was he thinking?

I wonder why we work so hard to earn money to have stuff so we can take vacations.  Why do we live this way?

I wonder why we like to have noise 24 hours a day.  Is it because we fear the silence?

I wonder. How can I live in such a way that I can show the love of God to others who don't know him.  It often seems fake and "plastic".  I wish I could break down the walls between me and other people and really let them see God's love.

I wonder why we are all so afraid.  All around me are people with an underlying panic, a fear driven manic that keeps them moving so they don't have to really think about their life.

I wonder what impact our lives will have on the culture around us.  It seems we live 70 to 80 years and then are quickly forgotten.  Do we make a difference in our time?  How does that happen?

I wonder why we live in this great cosmic battlefield for the souls of men.  It seems so dark at times, but then God shows up.  I'm looking forward to the day when the battle is over.

I wonder why we so easily value things above people.  It seems to me we have it backwards.

I wonder, and honestly so, how God makes all this work out for my good.  There are days I think he's on a vacation.

Ok, enough for now...just a few thoughts from a jumbled mind.

More another time, but I wonder...what do you wonder about?

Monday, January 19, 2015

Quote of the day

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."  -Martin Luther King, Jr.

Coloring your life

Be careful what you add to your life. 

It changes you, it flavors you. 

All that we read or watch affects us. It affects who we are and how we act with those around us. Just a few drops of bitterness can change the color of a bright day and a bright life into something quite different, something we wouldn't want if we could see it in colors.

Be aware that we "color" our lives by what we put into them. Most of our lives end up looking like a muddy gray with no clarity, no distinct color, no brightness....just a mess of colors poured together. The picture we paint is confusing, the life we live does not tell anyone who we really are.

Choose your colors well....what you read, what you watch, what you say, what you entertain, who you hang out with....because they really do make a difference.

Here's a passage from Psalms that has fascinated me for a long time. It describes a man who isn't picky about the colors he puts into his life.

Psa 109:17 He also loved cursing, so it came to him; And he did not delight in blessing, so it was far from him.
Psa 109:18 But he clothed himself with cursing as with his garment, And it entered into his body like water And like oil into his bones.
Psa 109:19 Let it be to him as a garment with which he covers himself, And for a belt with which he constantly girds himself. 

His words had "colored" his life, how he thought, what he saw, and how he lived. It made him into someone he may have never imagined. 

Choose your colors carefully, make your life a painting that will beautifully point to Christ as Lord of your life, and will bring glory to God. We have enough "gray" people around us already, paint your life in such a way that all who look at you will see a painting of Jesus.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Secrets, principles and keys

I have had enough!

Today, as I listened to another sermon giving me a list to fix my life, I decided I have had enough!

10 steps to success

7 secrets to prosperity

5 keys to a happy marriage

List them any way you wish, call them anything you far as I'm concerned they are all a silly waste of time!

I won't remember the list,  I can't keep the secrets and I always lose the keys.

Life isn't as simple as a list of solutions.  To be honest, as I've watched it for these six decades, it's just messy.  There is no list that will fix it.  It's not that simple.

I know the list makers are just trying to help, but it isn't helping!  We all want an easy fix, but there is no easy fix, no list or secret that will make it easy.  It's life, it's an individual walk that often wanders around a bit, stumbling and fumbling to find the way.

Don't give me another list!  I can't remember them or do them.  Just reassure me that my walk with God will be messy and different than any one else and I'll be fine.  Tell me there are no secrets.  It's just it.

I'm so glad God didn't give us a list for success, secrets to happiness, etc.  There are principles in the bible, but this list making in our day to fix everything just doesn't help.  Living well isn't ever done with a list in hand.  Life is just messy.  I fail often, but God doesn't abandon me.  I'll try the same thing at least three times before I realize it doesn't work, but it's worth the education.

Secrets, principles and thanks.  Just remind me that life is messy, but God will hold my hand as we stumble through it together.  

And in the end we will laugh at all the lists we created to fix what only a relationship with God could fix.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Insulting Muhammad

I'm a Christian.

I believe that Jesus is God in flesh, the only savior, the only provision of God for man's sin.  

Islam would tell me I have committed shirk  (شرك‎ ).  It's the unpardonable sin of associating anyone with God.

I get that.  But I truly believe the bible teaches that Jesus is God, the second person of the Trinity.

On many theological issues I disagree with Islam dramatically.  I know the issues.  I have taught courses on Islam.  I have read much of the Quran and studied it to know what Islam teaches.

I really love the Muslim people.  They are, for the most part, sincere passionate people of faith.  To the best of their ability they are living for and obeying the God they know.

So why would I, a Christian, insult Muhammad?  Why would I say something negative about a man my Muslim friend considers a prophet of God?  How would those statements help me relate to another person I believe God really loves? 

I wouldn't!  I couldn't insult their prophet.  It serves no helpful purpose except to inflame and divide even more.  I truly believe that God loves the Muslim people and many millions are finding Christ as savior each year.  God is working with these sincere God seekers...he's drawing them to him.

For me, a Christian, to insult a man they revere would only grieve the God I serve.  Instead, can I tell you more about my wonderful savior, Jesus Christ?

He is so amazing, so wonderful, he loves you and cares more for you than you will ever know.  And, as the Quran says, one day he is coming back to judge the world.  Can I tell you more about my wonderful Jesus?

Friday, January 09, 2015

The butterfly circus

My fellow pastor, Steve, shared this on Facebook today.  It's really quite amazing.  I hope you will watch it.

We love it here

Andrae Crouch just went home to be with the Lord.  In celebration of his graduation here is one of my favorite songs from his Mercy I'm sure he's singing today.

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

My portion

Jesus told a story in Luke 15 about a young man who said to his father, "Give me the portion that is my due"  and when he received it he left his father and spent it all.

In my reading this morning I came to a verse that made me pause with just five words.  These five words are the entirety of my thoughts this morning and perhaps my personal reflections for many days ahead.

"The LORD is my portion;" Psalms 119:57

And with those five words I am overwhelmed.  In our world we want all we can get.  We work for stuff, live for stuff, watch commercials about stuff....but this writer ignores all of that and instead claims all he wants is God.

The LORD is my portion relinquishes all claims to the stuff of the world and declares, "I just want God."  I am silenced with these words. I gasp at the profound message of these five words.  To declare, simply and directly, all I want is God is the very heart of the bible's's the goal of every man or woman who really understands what life is all about.  It's the heart of it all.

Paul said this same thing in a different way in Philippians.  He wrote, 

"But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.  What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ...." 

"The Lord is my portion."  Those five words sharply focus the desires and passions of life, the passions of the heart and the way we invest everything.  Oh that I might make these five words my passion and desire!  May God alone be my portion!

Kara's story

There is a sweet lady dying of cancer.  Here name is Kara.  She loves Jesus, but faces her near death.  Her story is heart wrenching and inspiring.  This morning I thought I would share her most recent post with you.  Do take a moment and read it-  KARA'S STORY 

Saturday, January 03, 2015

A paradigm changer

Have you ever read a book, had an experience, met a person who changed your life, changed the way look at life and ministry?

I just finished a book that has done that for me.  It's small, short but very challenging.  It will force you to think and live differently.  

Don't read it if you're happy with your life as it is....because you will have to rethink everything.

Here it is-

Difficult days

Your greatest growth in faith comes from your most difficult days.  When your situation is difficult, discouraging, desperate...and you seek God in the midst of will discover an awesome and amazing God walking with you to help you, to hold your hand.  

It will be those days, those difficult days, that you will remember as the sweetest and most glorious in your walk of faith.  

The easy and comfortable days will be forgotten and seem uneventful, but the difficult sweet they will you remember the presence of God in your most difficult your most desperate moments.  It's there that we grow, it's there we see God.  It is there, in the fires of trials, tests and difficulties, that we are refined into the greatest thing we could ever be...into the very image of Christ.

Friday, January 02, 2015

He's cheering for me!

Did you ever play on a sports team as a kid?  

I remember the days, many years ago, when I stood in outfield looking for my parent's smiling faces in the bleachers while ignoring the game on the field.  I wanted to make sure they saw me.  I longed for someone who was there to watch me!  I wanted someone who was cheering me on, rooting for me.  We all want that.

Here in Texas we have Texas A&M University, a school that considers the fans in the crowd the "12th man" on the field.  Having someone on your side, someone cheering for you is often more important that ability on the field.

It was sure something I wanted as a kid....just to know my parents were there, that they were watching, cheering ME on...even though I rarely played more than a few moments.

This morning I read a passage in Psalms that brought those pictures flooding into my mind again...the thoughts of someone cheering me on, cheering for me.  Here are just two short verses that honestly I had never seen does that keep happening?

"The LORD is for me; I will not fear; 
What can man do to me? 
The LORD is for me among those who help me;" 
Psalm 118:6-7

As I read those verses the image of God, my creator, in my bleachers cheering me on to success, wearing my team shirt, wearing my hat...with my number on his shirt...gave me the picture I think the author was trying to communicate to the reader.  God is cheering for me!  He's cheering for you!

He is interested in our success, our victory.  He doesn't want any to fail, for anyone to lose, he made us and his great desire is that we do well in this game of life, that we look into the bleachers and see him there, smiling, watching, cheering us on.  He wants us to win!

The Lord is for me.  Take a moment and think about that.  How does that change your view of yourself and your life?  What would be different if you really believed that?  Do you realize how profound that is?

So many have a picture of God as a cruel old man with a white beard just waiting to punish us, but how our lives would change if we saw him as the Father he really is sitting in the bleachers, wearing my team shirt, cheering me on to victory.  

The Lord is for me.  He's for you.  He want us to know him as Father, to know the life he gives through Christ and to realize he is on our side!  God is cheering for you!  Don't be afraid.  What can man do when God is on your side?

In fact, you may not know it, but he's planned to eternally celebrate the victory you will have from knowing him and trusting him in the days ahead.  

The God who made you is for you!  Have a great day.

Thursday, January 01, 2015


This year, once more, I'm resolved to extend to others the grace that God has extended to me.

In a world that knows less and less of what grace really means this is an exciting opportunity to shine a bright light on the God of all graces.  

Have a great new year.