Friday, December 14, 2007

Name your pillars

Proverbs 9:1
Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars.

First perusal of this verse suggests a metaphor, an abstraction at best, but I believe this to be something entirely different. Wisdom, in the world, is an abstract, poorly defined and rarely found. Likewise, if wisdom is an abstraction, what but a house of air and a pillar of hope can an abstraction hew?

Instead, let us consider the possibility that wisdom is not mere abstraction, but has feet! Let us consider that wisdom is something that is present - which it may not be measured by the means of man, but still has a firm presence in reality, and has distinct aspects that it can and does touch us.

One of the most powerful approaches to understanding something in scripture is to identify where it is first mentioned. Doing so often sheds light on something that, at first, appears only abstract.

Let us initially turn our eyes to wisdom.

The first mention of wisdom, in scripture, appears in Exodus 36:1 - and provides clear indication that wisdom comes from the LORD. In Proverbs 5:1 we find that we can choose to respond to wisdom. Thus, wisdom is a gift from God, but is not autonomously heeded - we must CHOOSE to attend to it. Indeed in Proverbs 8:1 it is revealed that wisdom itself is requesting our attention. Thus wisdom is a gift from God, desires to draw our attention, but the following of which is optional.

Then the question might be: what use is wisdom? Or, rather, what does the heeding of wisdom offer? According to Ecclesiastes 8:1, it makes man's face to shine and gives the man boldness. Likewise Proverbs 14:1 indicates that a woman with wisdom builds a house. Thus heeding wisdom gives boldness, confidence, and security of a sort. So scripture has revealed where wisdom comes from and that it has practical results.

Thus, the next question is - what are the seven pillars mentioned in the original verse?

Sevens, in various forms, show up nearly 600 times. As pillars are items, we will shy away from units of time as well as groups of people. Likewise, wisdom is given of God, so we will also shy away from groups of sevens that are crafted by man. Thus, for the first grouping of seven we look to the seven fruits of the spirit, clearly revealed in Galatians 5:22.

Do you recognize and observe these as part of your walk with Christ Jesus?

I challenge you this day to
... identify what pillars wisdom has built in you.
... identify what pillars wisdom has not finished building in you.
... identify what pillars wisdom intends to build in those around you, through your witness of the LORD.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Is your sacrifice accepted?

There are a number of feel-good faiths. These faiths are based on ways of presenting spiritual truths or interpreting scripture that make you feel something - sometimes they focus on making you feel more righteous, sometimes more justified, sometimes more accepted, or occasionally more purposeful.

If you, as a believer, associate being a believer with feeling a certain way, if your walk with Christ Jesus is based upon a feeling, there will be a point where God will challenge you to act in accordance with His will that will not align with your heart. And you will be faced with a choice.

In the same way, various faiths expect sacrifices of specific kinds. Some are sacrifices of time, some are sacrifices of money, some are sacrifices of service, and there are others. You might be witnessing regularly for its own sake, getting the word out about your church or sharing what you believe with every person you run across. You might give, as your tithe, 25% of your income to your church, fellowship, or organization. You might spend three hours a day making meals for the homeless solely out of a need to make a difference.

There are many kinds of sacrifice - although a number of them might appear good, right, and appropriate, not all of them are accepted by Christ Jesus.

Is the sacrifice you are offering to Him in accordance with what He has asked you to offer?

I challenge you this day to pray.

Pray to the Christ

... that His will for your sacrifices be revealed to you.

... that His definition for your living sacrifice be accepted (and if not, why)

... that His plan for you for this moment be quickened to you.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Is it possible that planning for spiritual Black Swans can bring us closer to God?

A Black Swan is an intense, unforeseeable and unpredictable event that redefines a person's paradigm. The name comes from the discovery of a black swan in Australia - prior to that point, all swans were assumed to be white simply because all the swans anyone had seen were white. And, once a black swan is discovered, the gross majority of us will attempt to explain or justify the blacks swan by including it in the definition of "normal".

Black Swans happen at whatever interval black swans occur, and there is no true causality that can explain their instantiation - thus, including them in the bell curve doesn't improve the accuracy of the bell curve, nor does it help in predicting the next black swan.

However, planning for spiritual black swans, being open to their observation, not assuming they won't happen, and not alluding falsely to earnestly perceived phenomenon would do two things: it would make you more open to God speaking to you (because you would not have a preconceived notion of the manner in which He would be speaking) AND you would have an enhanced capacity for recognizing and truly seeing miracles.

One wonders how often we classify miracles as something other than miracles - and how, by doing so, we are separated from God.

My challenge to you is this: pray to Jesus that your blinders would be weakened, at least for the day - which you would be privy to all the miracles He has for you this day. And claim them as intentional experiences, to be savored, considered, and appreciated.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Is (any/all) knowledge a good thing?

From Adam's election to join Eve in a mid-morning snack to the new movie out in theatres entitled "The Golden Compass", the idea that knowledge is or is not a good thing has been tossed about, considered, with the result that it seems to be one of those questions that never gets addressed any more - as if the answer were so obvious that it needed no further consideration.

I challenge you, reader, to answer the question for yourself.

Can it even be generally, directly addressed? Is it early knowledge "of good and evil" that we should warn against or all early knowledge? Is it true that all information should be available to anyone? Is there a point of ethical concern or edification that all points of knowledge each have a threshold?

Or is the opposite something you hold true - that each genre of knowledge can be specifically addressed? That the earlier you know something, the better you can address whether the knowing of that thing is right for you? That the knowing of something itself, separate from acting or doing, should have no ethical consideration?

So what say you?

I challenge you reader, in particular, to consider:
... whether knowing something for its own sake is truly a goal worth achieving
... whether you would be comfortable with your own children learning anything with that same intellectual candor

Monday, December 10, 2007

How seriously do you seek and claim hope?

Acts 26:6
And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers.

We will be judged for the hope we have in God's promises to our ancestors. In particular, the scripture likely hearkens to Abraham and the set of promises made to the Israelites - but if you are a believer and follower and acknowledger of Christ Jesus, this also includes you; you are an adopted son, accepted and grafted into the clan, not on your the basis of your own gifts, but due to your election to acknowledge that Jesus died for your sins, and that only through His love and sacrifice are you worthy of heaven.

Now consider what this verse says - it does not focus on what you did, it does not focus on the tasks you accomplished, nor does it even care what nationality, what denomination you hold, or for whom you pray.

It asks a very simple question, one that I believe God asks each of us:
"How seriously do you take my promises? Serious enough that being filled with the very hope of the promise is enough to claim faith to act as if the promise were already fulfilled, or actively being fulfilled?"

This is a powerful question, and strikes deeply, especially in our culture of fast and impersonally personalized gratification, where we're trained to use micro-waves to heat our food and are still impatient that it takes 30 seconds.

How often do you thank your creator for the things you don't recognize?
How often do you actively and consciously act on the hope of His promises?

I challenge you, dear reader, to spend half an hour today, in a quite space, to talk with Jesus about this.
... if you do not know of promises He has intended for you, ask Him for them
... if you do know of those promises, pray for long-suffering and discernment for wisdom

All in all, seek to reclaim today for His glory and allow the hope of His promise to guide your steps!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

God is knocking on your door, will you answer?

Scripture is filled with suggestions, hints, and expectations that God has for us - He knows that we falter, He knows that we need Him, and He knows that the only way we even know we need Him is that He reveals it to us. A very closed loop.

The problem is that sin, in all its forms, causes us to believe we don't need Him. Ultimately that is what every aspect of sin does.

Have the sin of lust? You feel you need sex more than you need Jesus.

Have the sin of gluttony? You feel you need that (taco/burger/milkshake/quesadilla/whatever) more than Jesus.

Have the sin of wrath? You feel you need to be angry or need vengeance more than Jesus.

The List goes on ... and is quite long, though personalized for each of us.

The question isn't whether we need Jesus.

Likewise, the question isn't whether or not God wants to help us - scripture tells us that God's nature does not change, and Christ Jesus knows the thoughts He thinks of us (and that they are for good and not for evil), that He thinks of us as His children. Think of him as an amazing father who wants only our best - to such a degree that he's CONSTANTLY knocking on our door, asking if He might come in.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Will you lay down your sword?

Numbers 17:6

And Moses spake unto the children of Israel, and every one of their princes gave him a rod apiece, for each prince one, according to their fathers' houses, even twelve rods: and the rod of Aaron was among their rods. (KJV)

Moses, in the wilderness, was speaking the Word of God over and over, and in the middle of the book of Numbers, Moses asks the prices of each tribe to each give him a rod (staff). This is a time before mass commercialization, before mass production, so each of these staves was hand-carved. It probably had symbols that we wouldn't recognize today, were likely of specific heft, and they all were likely specific to the individual who used them. Likewise, they likely each had a family crest of some sort.

It would have been a big deal to hand over the family staff - there were probably rituals that rose around the staves. Maybe they were only used in certain functions. Maybe they were under lock and key, or perhaps a minor hazing would result if one family's youth "borrowed" a family staff. Or maybe they were sacred objects, dedicated to that family's spiritual walk, with each staff being a kind of spiritual anchor for that family, an abstract representation of what that family was proud of, stood for, or most identified with.

In addition to being a kind of family crest, staves are weapons. And unlike most other weapons, they are every-day sorts of things - it is rare, while walking through the wilderness, that a staff would not be useful. Possibly it was used as a hangar, frame for carrying luggage, or other things, but staves are also useful in protecting the family, as well as general offense.

Another aspect to staves is they tend to be quite tall. The use, for a family travelling in a pack through the wilderness, would have been to provide a kind of guidon - a symbolic flag for the family to follow.

So we have an object that was both spiritual and physical protection and guidance of each tribe.

Thus, for Moses to ask for each family's staff, the setting must have been quite an amazing thing.

Do you have a staff of your own?

Do you have some object you hold dear, that you associate personal comfort, hope, guidance, satisfaction, or general well-being with?

Will you offer it to God?

Will you voluntarily hold it up and allow God to guide your hands and heart in the use of it?

I challenge you to draw near to Christ Jesus and ask Him to reveal what you might hold as your family's guidon.

And then I challenge you to offer it to Jesus, to do with as He will.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Are you unclean?

Leviticus 15:18
The woman also with whom man shall lie with seed of copulation, they shall both bathe themselves in water, and be unclean until the even.

This is a literal, potent example from scripture - if a man and a woman are lying together with the seed of copulation, they are unclean until the even. It doesn't say that they're unclean unless go scrub with Lava soap, or they'll be unclean unless they repent - it says they will be unclean until the even. Some things remain unclean until an appointed time, independent of what one does.

This speaks to the heart of the modern culture, because it suggests a basic question -
What does it mean to be unclean?

Modern mankind does not answer this question. In fact, if it IS answered, it is answered first by redefining the question. You will often get a revision "Do you mean dirty?" ... "Do you mean immoral?" ... "Do you mean illegal?" Answering these questions or defining uncleanness on the spot (without preparation) will often detract from the import of the question. And this redefinition of a base word necessarily draws one away from the root question, namely: "By what standard is someone or something unclean?"

Scripture offers answers for this - it would be wise to do a word study on uncleanness.

Note simply: only God can give you a consistent and objective answer to this question.

I now challenge you, reader, to address these questions yourself:

1. What does the word unclean mean?
2. By what standard is something or someone unclean?
3. How does someone or some thing become unclean?
4. How does someone or some thing become clean (after having been unclean)?

1. What is one thing you do, think, say, or have that is unclean?
2. Have you considered how your life would differ if that thing were clean?
3. Did you know that Christ Jesus has an answer for that thing?
3. Will you now consider offering that thing to Christ Jesus, thus intentionally drawing closer to Him?

Thursday, December 06, 2007

The wings touched

Kings 16:27
And he set the cherubims within the inner house: and they stretched forth the wings of the cherubims, so that the wing of the one touched the one wall, and the wing of the other cherub touched the other wall; and their wings touched one another in the midst of the house.

In a family, the husband/father's walk dictates the spiritual umbrella of that family; it is part of that individual's sacred duty to ensure their family has as much and as specific a protection as is appropriate. The choice of metaphor of umbrella is specific and appropriate - considering the world as being perpetually rained upon by spiritual attack, the particular density, character, and volume of the umbrella a husband/father brings to a family indicates how well protected, guided, and loved is that family.

Scripture offers a specific example of the same kind of umbrella - found in the temple designed by God. There are a number of particular details outlined in scripture ... and unless you have ever seen the temple in real life, or attempted to draft your own rendition (whether in clay, on paper, or any other medium) you will not truly have an understanding of the care that God put into His temple. I would like to draw your attention to a single facet of this temple - the wings of the cherubim*. The wings of the cherubim were specific in that they touched the walls and they touched one another. No overlap, no insufficiency ... they touched.

I think this is a great example of the kind of spiritual protection that men are to seek for their own families - too often we over-pray, attempting to over compensate for what we think matters, or we under compensate, thinking that we'll "get to it". This is of greatest concern when a man discerns in his own understanding for what to pray. It is quite easy to stick to the immediately perceptible - the car needs work, the rent is due, the kids need healing, and the like - all of these are important.

Do not miss the message here: Pray before it happens. Send your family out covered.

To do that you need up-to-the-minute information from God about what to pray.

So today's challenge is specific, every timely, and of the utmost importance:

If you are a husband, father, uncle, or brother, or person in some authority:

Pray that God will reveal exactly what you are to pray for, in what proportion, and concerning whom.

Pray that you will stand, hands open, praying at the frequency, valence, and in the manner necessary to hearken to Jesus.

If you are a wife, mother, aunt, sister, or person under some authority:

Pray that Jesus will provide the wisdom, words of knowledge, and guidance to that person who is in authority over you.

Pray that that person who is in authority will understand what to pray, how to pray, when to pray, and in what manner to pray.

Above all, hold fast to your relationship to Christ Jesus.

[* - cherub is singular, cherubim is plural, cherubims is wrong]

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Wrimo for God

Tomorrow marks the beginning of a competition across the United States (and some other countries too), one that few enter and even fewer finish. The contest dimensions are easy enough - write a 50,000-word novel during the month of November.

I believe YOU have a novel within you. It might be started this November. It might only be a stream-of-consciousness collection of anecdotes about your walk with Christ. It might be a collection of recipes, one hundred for every state in the union. It might be a set of poems you start and finish writing with more focus than you have ever given anything.

The question is - are YOU one of those people who has felt they had a novel waiting to get out, waiting to have a voice, waiting for the right moment?

What if tomorrow is that moment? What if THIS November, you were open to the possibility of writing that novel?

I challenge you to pray! Seek God's guidance in this! And if you are open to it, and God is speaking to you through this blog, then write! Write to glorify His name! Write to convey the sorrows you have experienced and how Jesus walked you through resolution! Write about how forgiveness changed your life once you gave some problem to Him. Write about some personal miracle or revelation you have experienced!

You don't need to share it ... you don't even have to write this for any particular reason ... but consider praying about it. It might be that small step you need to begin a profound change in your life!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


On being a martyr
There is a facet of faith that most of us only have second-hand knowledge: being martyrs for God. It is an odd thing - looking through Fox's book of martyrs, one gets the impression that there USED to be people who were willing to die for Him, if only to get the word out and to further His kingdom, but now the faith and passion and zeal of the 'true' believer has died down, leaving only the initial followers of Christ Jesus and those that manage to hang on long enough to be a witness and testimony for others. However, there will never be a book that catalogues the number of martyrs in today's world - people in China are under attack this very moment for believing in the very same thing I am free to post. Thus, dear reader: do you know of any family, individuals, or churches I might pray about?

On what a believer's life looks like
From scripture we know there are a number of tools and instances where people are very clearly suffering. Paul, for instance, not only suffered, but accounted it a blessing to suffer, in the line of duty. The question has drawn itself to my awareness because I see God's glory, God's grace, and God's blessings nearly all the time in everything I see and do. The result is that I am full of thanksgiving I often miss the suffering - is that the key? Are we to assume that a believer has his own share, or more, of suffering, but has a completely different perspective on the experience?

Monday, October 22, 2007


This marks the end of the set of blog posts which are entitled via a praise and worship song - early on I stopped using the title itself as meaningful, which takes away from the potential for such posts to tie together; likely due to lack of planning on my part. If that last sentence doesn't make sense, consider this: what if you loved a particular song, and each word meant something to you. You could then post paragraphs of content on that one word, the particular aspect of which could somehow relate to the gross meaning of the praise song itself. Ultimately, the entirety of posts which would be comprised of said titles would be an amazing testimony to your walk and hopefully would give Christ Jesus the glory.

Early on my goal for this blog was to make it about God ... and I tried ... but I have to wonder - if a blog is set up by a person, and all they can possibly blog is what Jehovah gives them, what they experience through Christ's glory, and ultimately are only able to share that data that Yeshua presents to that person ... is it even possible for a blog to truly be about the one one worships, instead about oneself?

I recently heard that "Jesus", though in current usage is the name of my christian God, is actually the modified name of an ancient Egyptian pagan god. So the question I ask YOU, dear reader, is this: What do you know of the origins of the word Jesus? Were you told it and took it for granted? Did you research its origins (for, to be sure, Christ Jesus was likely never called by that name, as he was Hebrew, and did not speak English), did you look at the lingual history of the languages that the holy scriptures have experienced, or have you done what I have done and taken on faith that the name of the God you serve is the same that He is called by? On that note: if you have any books, links, or other literature on this subject, or even the bibliography of same, please comment them.

Today's miracle: The sunset over my backyard fence was beautiful today. I am perpetually and continually amazed how beautifully God paints pictures with tools I could never hope to use, on canvases I have no means of interacting with. Ya'ay God!

Monday, September 17, 2007


Baptism is one of those staples of christian life we don't give much thought. Yes, most believers are (or will be) baptized. Yes, it's a good and right thing, yes it's biblical, and yes it has some sort of Jewish association.

We could also go another route ... remember Jesus? Yeah, the guy that scripture tells us was the living embodiment of God? Well, Jesus didn't do any miracles until after he had the holy spirit descend upon him (like a dove) . And that was after he had been baptized. Thus, one might observe, that for most bible-believers, that without the both of them, in that order (baptism + holy spirit), one's capacity to expect and claim miracles might be hampered by the lack of baptism.

Another question is - what exactly is baptism? The christian manner seems to be an asociation with water. Either a bit of sprinkling on the head, sometimes dunking a newborn babe in water (or at least the head), and appears to be (on the surface) and archaic ritual where-by one is introduced to water.

My challenge, for you, dear reader, is
Discover where baptism comes from
Is it only / exclusively in Jewish culture prior to the Bible being written?
Does it exist outside of christian child-rearing?
are there aspects to it that christians are unaware because they are only accepting the scripture?
I have heard that the word 'baptize' was transliterated instead of being translated

May you grow closer to Christ every day

Saturday, September 15, 2007


Before you read the following, please consider:
It has been said it is easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.
More potent is the point that it is better to offer obedience than sacrifice - it is, to my way of thinking, the essence of why the sacrifice of Christ Jesus is so potent - he was obedient unto death; however, I would speak to the distinction here (though only lightly) and address the fact that obedience is a kind of sacrifice. In fact, one might point out that the act of giving is one of those rare opportunities in which obedience and sacrifice overlap.

Thank You

Giving is one of those actions which cannot be performed alone; you need a giver and a givee. Much like the fact that you cannot give a hug without receiving one (arguable but I believe is still valid), you cannot give (or be given) a gift without there being an exchange of something else in return. Sometimes it is simply time, sometimes it is appreciation, sometimes it is another gift, and sometimes it is expectation.

And I believe sacrifices are a kind of gift - a very particular kind of gift. This kind of gift is something we are expected to expect something in return; something that falls into all four of the realms above - time, appreciation, a return gift, and an expectation.

We give a sacrifices because we expect time to offer that sacrifice in; sometimes we even have a word of knowledge that the sacrifice will result in more time with someone or to accomplish some task ... but I believe God has graced us with a large amount of personal time, a great deal of which is to be used as a resource for sacrificing. To put this another way, one cannot offer a sacrifice without the time in which to offer the sacrifice. God provides this time. It is an implicit gift, often taken for granted, but without which, we cannot hope to provide any sacrifices.

We give a sacrifice because we expect an increase in the capacity to appreciate God. Indeed, we are called to pay tithes (certainly a kind of sacrifice) with a joyful air, and I believe, when giving said tithe, one's capacity for appreciation of God can truly gain. Often, the very act of sacrificing can result in an increased one-ness with Christ Jesus, the result being that appreciation is immediate and enduring!

We give a sacrifice because we expect an increase in resources - I believe one of the reasons God provides time to sacrifice and increased appreciation after sacrificing is that we will value the act of obedience to God and provide a not only sacrificial praise but a praise of humility (which is a kind of sacrifice of ego) - and I have seen myself (and others) be given an increase in resources as a result. I believe there is a cycle here - the more we willingly give to God, the more resources we commit to Christ Jesus, the more resources God will give us to sacrifice! Much like the parable of the talents, when the faithful servant invested all ten of his talents, he was given more than all the rest of his brethren (and remember too, only three of those servants were listed as having been faithful at all - consider well the import of sacrifice!)

We also give sacrifice because we expect expectation. Another word one might use is vision. God has said that in the last days, that there will be visions and dreams - and we are also reminded that without vision, the people perish. We know the thought God thinks toward us, that they are for good and not for evil, and this we can expect visions, Godly and holy visions, that will draw us closer to Him and help us recognize what new task, goal, or direction we are to fulfill - and we can expect this readily through sacrifice.


Friday, September 14, 2007


One day closer

Besides the obvious pun

the double entendre remains

for God is the one day closer

and one day closer he maintains

Each of walks a path

defind by walls we can't see

for God is the one day closer

and thus one day closer we be

Decisions created to force us

to choose to see things as they are

for God is the one day closer

and He is one day closer, by far

Monday, August 13, 2007


Please forgive the idiosyncratic title - it will continue until I finish the sentence.
Please forgive the infrequent postings - I have been much away from this place.

I have a new reason to write, to complement the purpose of this blog - to mast the art of writing well. Pursuant to that I have found, as reference, a book by Thomas Uzzell, something of a work so well regarded I haven't found anyone thrashing it and a good many people referencing it as the basis for analysis of narrative technique. Seeing as one of my weaknesses is the narrative (in prose, in life, as well as most of my writing) it is something I can certainly work on; and I believe my blog posts will be better for it - so much so that I wish to invest my time in blogging by covering the same type of material, but do so through doing narrative technique exercises.

If I do my job well, you won't notice ... and, I suppose, if I do my job poorly you won't notice either. That being said, I won't be working on it just now ... but soon.

Welcome back, dear reader.

May the Lord Jesus Christ lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

Thursday, July 19, 2007


Religions, to my mind, can be summed up by their articles of faith. This isn't a good or bad thing - but it is a powerful thing. That something can be defined by the expression of a set of abstract principles. But religions aren't the thing.

Consider, for example, yourself. Let us assume that a parallel existed between religions and yourself, and that you yourself had your own articles of faith. The question is - can you be summed up by your personal articles of faith?

I think this is the goal that a paradigm believer needs to seek - not that their articles are perfect, not that the expression of those articles is perfect ... but if their goal isn't to model the articles themselves, then the REAL articles of faith of the person, the ones they are truly modeling, will be the 'religion' they are summing up.

So my question is two fold: what are the articles of faith someone outside of you might define YOU by - and is the resulting person, the one summed up by those articles ...
The person you see yourself as?
The person you truly wish to be?
The person you hate the most?

Note: This call to action is difficult. There will be many temptations to lie to yourself. If you feel this is temptation real, please consider choosing someone you trust and who does not judge you and ask them to check out the list. This will be your accountability person. Their job is not to add to the list, nor take away from the list - their job is to tell you if the list itself matches how they see you or understand you to be.

Call to action
*) Define, for yourself, what key things you feel are most important.
Try to get them down as simply as possible. But do so without sacrificing accuracy.
Note - this list might change while you're writing it.
Done correctly, this will either wake you up or help you regain your focus

*) Compare your actions through the filter of those articles.
How much of what you do or say match your articles?
How often does the list of articles not quite match or explain an action.
(In this event, you might consider adding to your list of articles)

*) Revise this list, when you first make it, once a week.
Repeat the revision process for a month, then update it once a month.
Continue doing so until your list has not fundamentally changed.

Knowing what your own articles of faith include can often help you see where you need to change, to truly identify your weaknesses, as well as drawing you closer to the goals you have set before you. Indeed, knowing your own personal articles of faith will generally reveal which of your goals you truly care about and likely indicate which goals you care about that you're not actually working toward, regardless of your opinion to the contrary.

Be honest and be yourself. Are you up to the challenge?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


I went to a Bible study today - and it showed me how far I had come.

I used to be the question guy - more focused on debating the merits of perspectives instead of shooting from the hip. My goal was simple - if I gathered enough information, asked enough questions, but didn't push too hard, I would gain a clear understanding of things.

I met myself at the Bible study. I was thin, sleepy, friendly, passive, and when directly pressed, I responded with a position focused more on posturing than listening. And what a dance it was - people rising to the occasion, suggesting this course of action or that - I continued to detract from their approaches, pointing out that nobody really knew anything and perspectives that are based on subjective reality are objectively valid - good stuff, if you want atheistic ammunition.

I saw who I was, who I had the potential to be still, and who I had seen God deliver me from being, and I ran out of time, unable to witness fully to him. But I know God used me in some way and believe that His will was done in that Bible study.

I am no longer the frazzled, unfocused teenager using wit, perception, intelligence, and arbitrary philosophies to build air castles out of subjective frameworks. I am no longer the beleaguered young man searching for answers, failing to listen in the hopes of hearing just one more answer to the same question, and no daring to actually put into practice the information I got. I am no longer the man with no home, no hope, no foundation, and no past.

God has healed the years the locusts have eaten.
God has given me a new voice, a new heart, new eyes, a new compass, and new hope.
God has chosen me for the job of being me - and none other was ever better or more perfectly qualified.

I am glad I met the man I once was.
And I am excited about teaching my own children in such a way that the man I once was remains dead.

Thursday, June 28, 2007


I have a need to witness about how God has been working in my life, but I don’t know the words and I’m wondering how my sentences, paragraphs, and phrasing will turn out; however, my goal is to honor God and so I write – in the hope that my words will make sense when I’ve had more sleep.

I have been under attack for many years. The attacks have been of certain categories, and certainly they have attacked in waves, but have focused on two predominant categories.

The first was an attack of loneliness. I do not know whether it was caused by my family's modest gypsy-like travel docket, the assignments of a parent to be not-present, the loss of a treasured friend early on, the discovery of perversion in a public place, dreams that placed me at odds with the authorities in my family, or some combination, but the first measured attack was that of loneliness. I can distinctly remember feeling suicidal, apathetic, seeking answers and being disconnected from everyone around me. Regardless of the cause, the attacks were very real, and it was through various means that God has saved me from suicide, insanity, and worse.

The second was perversion. I believe it was introduced through the earlier public perversion, magnified by the loneliness, and reinforced through peer and family, to the point where it was the norm for many years – for perversion is a special kind of deception that implies it is its own standard. It breeds rebelliousness, pride, false-righteousness, haughtiness, and points only to itself. This, much like creating an opening for loneliness, directed me back still more to loneliness.

And so both attacks mirrored one another, the result being a life that has had much potential but for which little potential was claimed.

Of late it has been pointed out that I had chosen, some time prior to the recent framework, to agree with a few forms of perversion … the result was a spiritual deadening and destruction that directed me to still worse forms of perversion … and it has only been His holy hands and will that have given me the strength to turn away from what looked like a completely sane and perfectly natural path to walk - for God's ways are not our ways. So GREAT are His ways!!!

I write these words to both remind myself how far God has brought me and to draw attention to the two categories which God drawn me close to him - for I believe that much like before, loneliness wants to creep in and become a part of my life. I claim that God has HEALED the years the locusts have eaten, I claim deliverance, and I claim an awareness that God has something greater!

Thank you, Jesus, for reminding me that I need you, that one of my weaknesses is to choose loneliness, and that only through prayer, humility, and faith can we heal, draw closer to you, and claim the reality of hope.

Thank you, Jesus, for never giving up on me and for giving me hope – and for wanting me delivered more than I could ever imagine. And for reminding me of my weakness.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


I have recently achieved ownership of a book by one Frank E. Peretti - it is a compilation of two 'blockbuster novels in one volume: This Present Darkness and Piercing The Darkness'. I'm on the fourth chapter of the first book, This Present Darkness, and I'm as a honed blade, more aware than ever how my life is often one praise report after another and how often I am under attack. I claim it as a blessing, but the closer I feel and know myself to be attentive to the words of my Lord and Savior Christ Jesus, the more often I feel as if so many, many other distractions are far more alluring. I am reminded that the result of accepting and following any one of those distractions is always, reliably, and explicitly, a falling away from Christ Jesus.

And so I claim it as a blessing, to know that I'm being singled out, because it means I am a believer, a member of the body of Christ, and that God has a purpose for the tools, talents, and resources He has given me. And I am awakened to the reality that the single greatest shared characteristic of the believer is the capacity, certainly spiritual in origin, to withstand such attacks - for said endurance is not of the flesh and it is only through the grace and mercy of my Lord and Savior that surviving to the last is possible.

So I encourage you - you who are reading this journal, this blog, these words - hold fast, stand humbled before Jesus, and spend time daily, as often as He leads, and more often if you aren't led, to open yourself to ONLY Jesus and ache to hear the words of He who loves you!

Call to action
Resolve to set aside daily a time for hearing Christ Jesus BEFORE you start your day.
Begin your day in reverent, focused, first-love prayer.
Plan on beginning your day with such prayer, going to sleep a little earlier the day before.
Resolve to set aside daily a time for hearing Christ Jesus DURING your day.
Choose to pray prior to minor events, during lunch, and throughout the hours of your day.
Plan on giving God a sacrifice of praise by setting aside an hour for just Him.
Resolve to set aside daily a time for hearing Christ Jesus AFTER your day.
Awaken the sweet Love you have for Christ and claim His will in your life.
Plan on capping your day with the presence of Jesus.
Don't go seeking after Jesus, instead spend time hearkening to His love, words, and direction.

Thursday, June 21, 2007


Deliverance is a very prickly subject. Most believers have an opinion about it - sometimes that opinion is based on scripture, sometimes it is based on what a particularly revered speaker says, sometimes it is based on personal experience, and sometimes it is gleaned from popular culture. Regardless, deliverance is real, and something every believer should research. They should do so for at least two reasons.
1 - Demons are real.
2 - Spiritual protection only protects those who engage it.

As a result, there are many people, the world over, under the influence of demons. I would argue, without the Holy Spirit, it is nearly impossible to defend yourself against demons. And here is where it gets sticky. The question is simple - can a believer be under the influence of a demon?

If you believe the answer is no, and you know someone is saved, then you could point to that person and state that they had a relationship with Jesus, thus fully believing they were free from influence. You likely believe that the person, prior to being saved, may or may not have had demons within them, or about them, and upon being saved were freed from the immediacy of the demons. Likely, you also believe that, because the New Testament makes no mention of deliverance where a believer is concerned, that it then can be argued that believers have no real need for deliverance.

If you believe the answer is yes, whether someone were saved wouldn't indicate the presence of a demon, it would merely indicate that the person had more tools with which to fight the demon. You likely believe that the person, regardless of their state, will have demons within and about them, believe that everyone has demons about them, and upon being saved were given the first set of real tools to combat those demons. Likely, you also believe that, because the old testament makes mention of deliverance, and because the Old Testament is the New Testament concealed, that deliverance is very real and for today.

I have my own opinions in this matter, and I don't wish to sway you - what I wish for you to do is truly delve into the matter. I have personally seen too many people delivered, people who were believers, who clearly loved Jesus and were saved, and who were given deliverance, to be convinced that believers aren't under the influence of demons. Likewise, I believe that the whole of scripture is true, thus anything in the New Testament that doesn't quite make sense can often be clarified from the Old Testament, and events in the Old Testament can often be expounded in the New Testament. They are similar messages bound in different parchment but from the same source.

My only true wish is that you pray before and during your quest for information on this subject - I believe this one subject to be so fundamental to a believer's walk that it can dictate whether they truly are freely able to access the Lord's love and walk His path.

Call to action
Research deliverance
Much like selling cars or anything else, the primary purpose of sales is not to sway so much to research. And the best salesmen convince others to purchase from them by providing that research that best exemplifies their point. So your best defense against immoral salespeople is to conduct your own research. Thus, delve into scripture, with prayer, and ask God to reveal to you the truth about deliverance.

Purpose deliverance
Much likely prayer and fasting, deliverance can bring you closer to God's heart. Akin to the reactive deliverance that fasting exemplifies, acting on and realizing proactive deliverance can not only cause a real and sometimes immediate improvement in our walk in Christ but can also gird us against different types of spiritual attack.

Realize deliverance
Once you've researched deliverance and discover who can be its recipients, seek God's will about whether you should be involved in the administration of deliverance. There are billions who would benefit from being freed and released from the demons that sway their decisions, minds, and hearts, have destroyed family lives, and have kept them from hearing and hearkening to God's heart. Being a part of someone's deliverance, and seeing God work the miracle that deliverance is in someone's life is a profound life-changing event.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


The potential for joy, in living out God's will for one's life, is profound - enough to submerge any kind of fear, any kind of sorrow, any kind of pain ... if we have the courage to claim that joy.

One of the most amazing gifts that the Holy Spirit grants is being in one accord. It is a powerful and moving thing to know that a group of people, who all serve the same God, can bring together completely different paradigms, experiences, ages, and perceptions, yet be of one accord, because each is dedicated to focusing and observing the tenets given them, through scripture and Holy Spirit, and to love Him and one another. Indeed, I firmly believe that with the Holy Spirit, any conflict can be resolved, and without it, none can truly be surpassed.

That being said, the exact opposite is quite painful. If you've ever tasted single accordance, come to know and expect it between believers, and then experience its lack during a particularly intense discussion: you know it is painful. You go in knowing each of you loves the Lord, you go in knowing that each of you has had separate testimonies and has personal, Holy-Spirit-enriched
evidence that the Lord is very real, and come out a bit spiritually flustered. It is very much like waking to a wife of a decade (or four) and realizing an inability to speak about something you'd been lovingly sharing for years.

Given the reality of this possibility, I strongly encourage each reader of this blog to assume the heroic mantle of humility and come before the Lord, reinforcing your walk with Christ, so that in the event such a lack-of-accord occurs, you can focus on your walk with Christ and not the dissonance that seems to resonate from such a spiritual separation. And let the Lord Jesus Christ guide each person involved to His will.

Call to action
Pray. Pray with everything you have. Pray without ceasing. Be modest, humble, and come before His thrown with clarity of thought and purpose. Pray.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

relationships and time machines

Before I begin, I'm going to make some assumptions. I'm going to assume that you, visitor-to-my-blog, know of God and that you believe that an instantiation of Him, namely Jesus, came to be born, live, and voluntarily gave up His life. These are, to me, givens ... and I mention them because they are assumptions I bring to the table. These are the easy assumptions.

I am also going to assume that your understanding of your responsibility to God includes a relationship with God. And that you are accountable to Him to claim and accept the sacrifice of Jesus daily, to die to self daily, and to seek your day's attributes through your relationship to Him. This is the harder of the two assumptions - it is less passive and far more involved. Especially because it can touch on nearly every decision of your life.

Thus, I now reach the point in this post where the essence of the content is broached. And I bring notes to consider.
I - I have confirmation that a beautiful woman is to be my wife.
That said woman is the same woman I have been courting.
That said woman is on the same page as regards being my wife.
That said confirmation has come from several points, directly connecting to several miracles.
II - I have confirmation this is not something that is approached with equal degrees of joy.
That said joy is not shared across the board.
That said confirmation was not received by every onlooker.

And thus I have learned, and been reminded, that the Lord's timing and guidance are needed in all things, especially a marriage. That the Lord has His own time table for things. And one of the greatest faith-building exercises are to gain faith through acting as if the faith were already there. And that the Lord is in control, and to focus on anything else inevitably magnifies the real nature of your relationship to God. Either your focus will bring your heart more in line with God or it won't.

Call to action:
Please agree with my prayers that I have the wisdom to hearken to God. Please agree with my prayers that I have the foresight, patience, and focus to act on the hearkening to God.
Please agree with my prayers that others involved in this process see clearly what God wants them to see, are blessed by the revelation, and are too able to act in accordance with the will of Jesus Christ.


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

My (never late) Jesus

Note: for those who peruse both, this post is different than its counterpart at Xanga.

Today I woke up rushing. I saw the minutes, saw the hour, realized the time, and jumped out of bed, wondering what I should attack first, becoming one of those hyper-planning mad scientist you see in the old black-and-white movies. I prepared to send apologies to my carpool ride (for this is my week to drive), worded in hushed and hurried tone phrases designed to describe my less-than-timely state, and explain why I would be a little later than our best laid plans.
Then I looked again at the clock and realized I was not late, but an hour early. Such happens when you get up between five and seven in the morning - five and six look alike and a rushed approach will often lead one to the wrong conclusion!

Some assume lateness on the part of Jesus. I personally don't do it often, but I know I have at least once challenged God to explain why something or someone happened in the order and manner that it occurred, chiefly because I believed it should have happened in some other order, or at a different time. I believe the reason for this is easy to see - if we are made in the image of God, and Jesus was made (physically, at least) similarly to us, we might conclude that Jesus (and thus God) had some of our own weaknesses, in particular that of an ability to mis-schedule, double-book, or the like, with the result that events don't take place in the way that is expected.

The thing to remember is simply: by whose standard are they unexpected?

Call to action
Notice events today you consider inappropriately timed
Examples include a traffic light that doesn't go as planned, a phone call that lasts longer or shorter than you'd like, hobbies that don't get to happen, or clothes you intended to wash that you never got around to washing.
Examples also include making that traffic light, getting just the phone call you need to keep you going, a hobby you were able to pick up after a decade of not touching it, and a spare pair of clean socks.

Realize that God is the God of everything and everywhen
Even of events that don't seem to happen when you expect.
Even of timeframes that you expect cannot happen, people who will not change, and governments who do not govern justly.

Claim joy and praise Him
Spend time, preferably at least an hour (but seek His guidance as to how long), praising Him for the fact that everything in your life happens, ultimately, to glorify Him. Thank Him for that missed traffic light, for the phone call you never wanted to take (or make), for that hobby you were finally able to pick up, and for that relative you did not want to visit (but who showed up anyway).
Thank Him for all the various events in your day that went according to "plan" too, for those events that were mundane and boring and obvious, like the sun rising, how food tastes, and being able to read these words. Thank Him, also, for your senses - for the autonomous manner in which your senses work, mostly without any effort on YOUR part.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

wherein doth thine heart lie?

2 Samuel 17: 23

And when Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his ass, and arose, and gat him home to his house, to his city, and put his household in order, and hanged himself, and died, and was buried in the sepulchre of his father.

One of the more difficult things to deal with, in this life, is dissenting opinion among like-minded people. It is easy to deal with when you are holding discourse with someone who doesn't think like you do - the assumption you bring to the table is simply that you'll either argue or not. Regardless, unless you both take measures to actually listen to one another it is likely you will only wait your turn to speak, and ultimately only touch down on some few common points. And you certainly will not be of like minds because of that single issue.

Not so among believers of the same camp. One of the dangers of being among people who strongly go after the same goals you do, and who are of a mind similar to yours, is that any sudden change is actually shocking. If you and your brother spent the last twenty years only fishing in your spare time, and then tomorrow he asks you if you want to take up language study, it is likely your first response will not be "sure!" but rather "who are you?" Moreover, if your brother explains his reasons, no matter how good, there will be a transition point where you will have to truly evaluate your own fundamental beliefs in this regard.

How much more so for Ahithophel here - he and Absalom were in one accord, seeking to take out David and put Absalom on the throne. They were gung-ho for it, and God seemed to be blessing many of the efforts that were geared toward that goal. But Absalom and Ahithophel were not being led by God - and I believe Ahithophel realized this. It is why he killed himself.

I bring this verse to bear as a reminder - our eyes should be not be focused on our peers, our loved ones, our goals, our friends, our families, or ourselves. They should be focused on God. Any other focus will bring condemnation and death.


I - Pray a song of praise

God has done marvelous things in your life!

Claim ten things that He did that made a profound difference in your life. Include anything YOU feel God did in your life.

example(s): a new job, a check that covered a debt, a new wife, a sunrise that made you day better, a pay raise, no fighting during a family outing

II - Pray another song of praise

God has done even more marvelous things in your life!!

Claim ten events or duties you take for granted that clearly indicate God's presence in your life.

example(s): perfect weather, water, food, divine providence, not feeling right about which path to take and thus not having an accident

III - Pray for guidance

God has a plan for your day!

Claim God's guidance today

- set aside 15 minutes to ask him for guidance about the issues of your day.

- set aside 30 minutes to listen to his answers.

- hearken to His guidance throughout the day for those answers that did not click yet.

IV - Pray a song of thanksgiving

God is real!

Thank Jesus for planning your day.

Give praise and glory to the most high God for knowing what you need even before you are aware.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

God save the king II

2 Samuel 16:16

And it came to pass, when Hushai the Archite, David's friend, was come unto Absalom, that Hushai said unto Absalom, God save the king, God save the king.

It is interesting that scripture now tells of Hushai speaking "God save the king, God save the king". The last point in scripture that held that phrase were the Israelites saying the same about Saul. The one speaking it is Hushai. From 2 Sam 15:34 we have evidence of just how old Hushai is - for David reigned over 40 years, and Hushai was David's father's servant. I assume this meant David's biological father - regardless, Hushai is likely at least 60 years of age, and has seen Saul in action. He knows what kind of king Saul turned out to be, and so we see, from Hushai's lips, what kind of king Absalom is, in Hushai's eyes. Someone possibly chosen by the Lord, but someone who needs to be saved by the Lord, because they are making poor choices. And this is the beginning of Absalom's fall as well.

Not that David wanted Absalom to die. David had fought wars prior; he knew the ins and outs of how to wage conflict. He even knew he had done wrong early on - in 2 Sam 16:5, we have one of the local's cursing David. His people are ready to jump up and defend him, and David speaks plainly, indicating that if the Lord wishes him to be cursed, then cursed he shall be. It may even be that the Lord will "requite" him good for it. Regardless, David knows enough about God that he knows he messed up. It is hard not to stare it in the face when your own son tries to take the throne from you without your consent. Further confirmation that David did not hate Absalom can be found 2 Sam 19, where the reigning king of Israel weeps over his son.

So I bring you back to the phrase "God save the king". Akin to Shakespeare's "me think you protesteth too much", the phrase (in practice) seems to imply, not that the speaker is seeking God's presence, but more that there is an implied "us from" between the 'save' and the 'the'. Which brings me to today's ...


What do YOU say about others that you only mean in a half-hearted way?

Do you greet people with a friendly wave, not because you earnestly wish their well-being - but because it is good manners?

Do you involve God in your interactions with people explicitly, expecting Him to provide guidance in the mundane as well as profound events in your life?

Do you find yourself dealing too harshly (or not harshly enough) with people to take your time and energy?

Today's call to action is simple:

I . Pray before you speak.

Before you speak any phrase today, give a silent prayer to God that the words out of your lips are His words and hold His intent

Before you share an opinion, describe something, talk shop, speak at a meeting, or engage in discourse of any kind, pray.

Before you open your mouth at all today, each time, pray to God for His wisdom.

II . Pray before you think.

Pray immediately after hearing anything

Pray immediately after seeing anything

Pray immediately after drinking anything

Pray immediately after eating anything

Pray immediately after walking anywhere

Even if you cannot do it all day, try doing it for an hour. Or maybe four.

You should feel foolish initially. Pray through that.

You should feel over-busy a little after that. Pray through that as well.

In a short while, you should have a little more faith. Pray a praise of thanksgiving.

Do it for as long as you can. Track the changes and witness the results with a fellow believer.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Prayer of Faith

Over the past recent months, I have been learning the power of effective prayer and what it takes to stand by the prayer I have prayed. Mostly, the difficulty doesn’t lie in the prayer… it lies in the belief of that prayer.

Faith is such a simple thing. Faith is easy to have when things are going right, the sun is shining, and answers come quickly. This is not a true indicator of your faith. It is when the sun becomes obscured with clouds and everything goes wrong, when answers seem never to come – it is during those blackest moments of tempest that true faith blossoms forth.

True faith believes. True faith is not just believing, but ACTING like what you have prayed has already been granted. Yes, you prayed for money to pay the bills this month, but what did you DO after you prayed? Did you immediately begin to fret in your mind about how the bills would be paid or where the money would come from? Did your imagination take you down the road of electricity and water cut-offs? Or did you pray again the next morning for money to take care of the bills?

This is not faith.

Faith utters the prayer for the provision for bills and then believes. Faith rejoices and finds hope and peace in the knowledge that God is taking care of it and He will provide the necessary funds/provision at just the right moment. Faith holds fast and does not waiver, standing before God and claiming His promises. Faith never doubts and does not fret. Faith always believes God will come through in the end, no matter how black the situation appears at the present.

Every morning, as I pray, I thank God for the many things I have prayed for. I thank Him because I believe He has already answered my prayers... I'm just waiting for the manifestation of His blessings. Every morning as I give that thanks (and sometimes it's more of a sacrifice of praise than others), I become tickled by the fact that the wording for giving thanks for an event which has not manifested yet is EXACTLY THE SAME wording as giving thanks for an event which has already occurred!!

For instance, I have been praying for some time now for the Lord to supernaturally provide a way for me to pay off my debts faster. I prayed once and every day say, "Thank you for providing a supernatural way for me to pay off my debts faster." A couple weeks ago, the Lord did indeed provide a supernatural way for me to pay off all my debts faster than I had believed possible! The next morning, as I thanked God now for an event which had happened, I laughed as I heard the exact same thank-you sentence come out of my mouth - not for something I believed would one day show up, but for a prayer God had answered!

My excitement was high as I realized the power contained in this form of praying; the form of praying once and then, every time that situation pops into my head, thanking God for answering that prayer. It really works and I have seen more miracles and answers to prayer in the past few months than I have seen in a long time. God loves faithfulness and He loves when we believe He will do what He promised. We are His children and He is our Father; how could He not delight in our faithfulness to Him?

And so it is that I have come to the living realization that the purest form of faith is to truly wait on God for His timing and His answers to our prayers. He is outside of our dimensions and can see so much more than we can. Trust Him to take care of all your concerns and if you find yourself lacking faith to believe, ask Him for that too… He will give it.

“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”

Hold fast in purest of faiths… stand and see the salvation and majesty of God as He works in your life, proving Himself time and time again to be a loving Father and Guardian of His children.

Faithfulness - is what He wants from us

Today I speak of faithfulness. It is not a hard topic to understand. It is a hard topic to choose, consistently. Put to other words, it is hard to be faithful in faithfulness.

One reason is the necessity of being attentive. In the latter years of David's reign, the people's loyalty to David were taken away by a man who was extremely attractive named Absalom. We have David's lagging attentiveness (which eventually led toward the people being drawn away from him). Likewise, we have the children of Israel not being attentive to follow after the Lord's anointed. In a very real sense, we see a model of how Satan likely tried usurping the throne of Christ. On earth, the plan worked a great deal better than in heaven. Regardless, the short and long-term results were to glorify God.

Another reason is the necessity of being steadfast. When Jesus was at the height of his popularity he was approached by thugs directed by a prior disciple and, through a kiss, Jesus was betrayed to the earthly powers-that-be. Jesus had the authority to pull any number of angels to change the events that lay before him. But Jesus was faithful in the execution of his duties, even to His own death. Again, we see the results of faith-based action resulting in God being glorified.

A third reason is the necessity of accountability. When the ten virgins were made aware of the approaching bride-groom, they rushed to meet him. Half had enough oil to sustain themselves. The other half missed the boat. If all ten had been accountable to one another, there would have been ten wives for the groom. Instead, five virgins missed out on what they had likely spent their lives in preparation. Again, we see the reality of faith-based decision making evidencing God's glory, as well as the awareness that choosing the path of steadfast faithfulness realizing the reward set aside for faithful believers.

The simplest approach to resolving the tendency toward faithlessness is captured in many points in scripture. From Revelation's note that those who are faithful to the last (receiving nearly every reward) to the same captured in the psalms (for example, where it suggests the love of the law is exemplified by meditating on it all day - every day).

There are two aspects to faithfulness - the daily and the hourly

  • Hourly
    • - Over-arching focus on the immediate
    • Are you being faithful to the responsibilities of your house, your job, your spouse, your family, your vehicles?
    • Is your heart focused on the faithful execution of your duties?
    • Is there any duty or responsibility you take for granted?
    • Is it possible, your mind wanders while in the faithful execution of those duties?

  • Daily
    • - Over-arching focus on accomplishing God's goals
    • Are you mindful of what God has given you to accomplish?
    • Are you working, daily, on your goals?
    • Are you seeing measureable increases in faith over time?
    • Are you evidencing the fruit of the spirit?


Spend half an hour today in prayer, talking to God, asking him to convey to you in what manner you should be faithful in today.

Ask Him to help plan you day in such a way that you take care of your responsibilities AND resolution of faithfulness.

Ask Him also to reveal to you your next big AND little step, to be mindful of both.

Discover someone in your life to whom you can be accountable to and charge them to be accountable to you as well.

You may note that it will bear the most fruit to find a person who already loves God.

Develop a Godly relationship of accountability with this person.

Friday, May 25, 2007

light, life, and love

There are a great number of expectations each of us bring to the table each day. We expect certain things to be true. The sun will rise. We will be able to breathe the air. And there will be a longing to draw near God.

The question is - what are you doing about it?

You know the sun has risen or is rising.

Every day has this beginning, this same beginning with which scripture begins. The first thing God made was the light. So does every day begin. In fact "the evening and the morning" are how a day are defined. Thus, our lives as a whole start (whether we admit or acknowledge it or not) with light.

Every day has breath. The first mention of breath was, that of God breathing giving life to Adam, also in Genesis. Again, each day we are renewed through the breathing in of life, through the breathing in of nourishing oxygen, and through the breathing in of the potential God fills each of our days. Thus, our lives individually start with breathe, following the light.

Every day we have a longing for God. It is this longing that drives you to learn, grow, laugh, and interact with others. It drives you to find something to satisfy it. And it is only resolved through the recognition that its source and resolution are God Himself. Every day is fraught with opportunities to choose to rekindle and renew our relationship with God; however, most of us only recognize a fraction of them.

Call to action

  • Read through Psalms 119 verses 33-48

    • Notice how each passage indicates an expectation of God

    • We are to seek God, but we need Jesus to recognize that fact and we need God to actually find Him

    • We need Jesus in every step of the way

  • Pray that God will reveal Himself to you today

    • Notice how every major event, as well as the minor events, occur

    • Thank Him for every event you notice

    • Thank Him for every event you notice others experience.

  • Share your events with God

    • Have a chat with God, discussing what you saw in them and what He would have you learn from them

    • Have a chat with a believing peer who loves God, engaging in co-witnessing.

    • Have a chat with a non-believer

  • Recognize God's touch is miraculous

    • Events can always go far worse or last much longer

    • Learn to hearken to God's presence and and how His influence miraculously improves your day

    • Pray for understanding of how your life draws others to Christ

    • Pray for wisdom about how to be a blessing to God

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Foot Washing

Foot washing is an interesting concept to me and one I’m not sure I completely “get.” Some people are moved to tears as they perform this act for another, but, personally, I’m not sure what’s so special about it. Perhaps I am not looking at this act in the correct way or with the right mindset…

Foot washing was one of the last things Jesus did before he died. After the Last Supper was eaten, he got up, removed all his clothing and replaced it with just a towel, and took a bowl of water. He washed all his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he was wearing.

Peter’s attitude was initially a lot like mine; Don’t wash my feet! In response to Jesus’ “If I don’t wash them, you have no part of me.” Peter requested that not only his feet, but also his hands and head be included. As he finished, he told his disciples that he had given them an example of what they should do.

I think some believe this mandate applies to the actual act of foot washing. It is true, Jesus did tell the disciples that if he, the Son of God, had washed their feet, they should not hesitate to wash each others in like manner… the manner of a servant.

It seems to me that his point was to serve each other, especially those who are higher up. We are not to be separated by the ranks of prestige or power, but are to look to stoop as low as we can in service to each other, no matter how menial the service.

Jesus said, “I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if you do them.”

While I see no problem with foot washing, I do have a caution about placing it in such high estimation. It seems to me Jesus used the example, not the mandate, of foot washing to convey how we are to humble and submit ourselves one to another; the greatest of all serving the least of all.

Again, I could be wrong… maybe I just haven’t hit the right spot in my relationship with God for this to mean as much to me as it does to others. I’m not against foot washing, just cautious at making it such a big deal.

How clean are your feet?

Foot-washing hearkens back to a time when physical contact was something different. In Jerusalem, at the time of Jesus, leprosy was common, as was the possibility of being stoned. We're talking old-testament times. In addition, hygiene, although not a concept explicitly discussed, is implicitly included in Solomon's laws, and the result is that physical contact held the association and perception of a great many more dangers than we're likely familiar with but a greater degree of intimacy than we're familiar with. If a simple hug could convey friendliness, acceptance, a neutral and affectionate greeting, and a loving thought, how much more would a foot washing?

In addition, the concept of general cleanliness in the Jerusalem in question was markedly distinct from what we would call normal in our "modern-day American" way. Private access to running water was probably only realized by a few wealthy people - and then likely not for washing but for aesthetic pleasure. Regardless, there were public pools, separate for each gender, where people could be baptized or engage in holy rituals, and so the concept of cleanliness as something that is sought after was more sacred to the people of Jerusalem than it is today. Thus, to complement the intensity physical contact had, we have the Jerusalem of Jesus' day reflecting a greater conscientiousness toward cleanliness - certainly a greater association with spirituality than is often given credence today.

Third, one of the keynotes of Jesus’ presence was that of service. Classism is something we as Americans often take for granted as not being a significant factor in decisions. True, there is an implicit classism created by the presence or lack of resources, but the actual reality of classism was something intrinsic to Israel society, not because of resources, but because of social more - thus it was often unheard of that individuals would cross those social morasses between mores to interact, let alone SERVE one another. This is one of the reasons that Jesus' message was so profound - it implied that your profession didn't define your life, that people should be encouraged to function with one another (instead of within their caste), and that opportunities for service were something to be sought instead of avoided.

Additionally, we are called, as believers, to associate certain body parts with certain spiritual girding. In particular, the feet are intended to be shod with the preparation of the gospel. Certainly a simple enough metaphor - being founded and grounded in the WORD certainly provides appropriate fodder with which to grow in an edifying way and also protects those very same feet from stumbling when one interacts with the numerous obstacles that seek out the believer's life. How much more, when we consider the above three points, does being shod with the preparation of the gospel lend applicability?

Thus, the washing of feet wasn't just a ritual that we might observe as anachronistic event, observable on the outside but with no real relevance to today's "modern-day American" lifestyle, but has direct and literal repercussions to how we might consciously consider our own actions, at the very least as they concern interaction with others, the necessity of personal dedication to holiness and sacredness, and the responsibility to seek servitude, not its own sake, but as a means of glorifying God.
And it has a direct line of action to today's ...


  • Wash a loved one's feet

    Find someone you respect as a believer and ask them to set aside time to provide an opportunity to wash their feet

    Prior to the washing, convey what washing feet means for you

    During the washing, be mindful of Jesus' command to wash one another's feet

  • Have that same loved one wash your feet

    Ask the same person if they've ever considered what importance having spiritually and physically clean mean

    Ask them to wash your feet, being mindful of Jesus' command to wash one another's feet

  • Shod your feet

    Dedicate your life in a renewed way to cleansing your feet

    Dedicate time daily to read and consider scripture

    time daily to build on your relationship with God

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Strait Blessings

I have been amazed and bereft of speech when it comes to how God can bless obedience and submission to His plans!

For over two years now, I have been purposefully and willfully choosing to submit and to be obedient to God’s plans and timing with respect to a certain issue. It has, without a doubt, been the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do my entire life. So many times, it would have been much easier to walk away from my authority and simply do that which seemed right in my own eyes.

Throughout this long journey, two paths were clearly discernable. The easy path was broad and inviting, lined with alluring promises and tempting offers. The other path was excruciatingly narrow and limiting, lined with boulders and strewn with obstacles.

Robert Frost talks about two paths diverging in a wood; one clearly defined and well-trodden, the other not as clear. Like the narrator of his poem, I chose – emphasis on choice - the more difficult, less-traveled, limited path. Many times along that rocky walk I questioned the sanity of what I was doing. Why would I subject myself to this difficult life path?

Because I had a promise. God had promised me at the very beginning that I would attain a life prize at the end… but I had to do it His way, not mine. Filled with fluffy and excited thoughts, I set foot on that path toward that promise. I had no earthly idea how difficult the road would be. I never guessed just how many rocks, boulders, obstacles, and pitfalls would be along the way. It never occurred to me how painful or how breaking my journey would be. I never thought it would take such a long time to traverse that path and never imagined what mountains I would have to climb or what lonely valleys I would have to tread.

I was never alone… and that with the vision of the promise given to me, urged and encouraged me onward in the harsh, restricting path. Though early on, I had many impulses to turn back and take the other route, at some recent point, the reward was so close that there was absolutely no point in even thinking of turning back or sneaking onto the other route.

The last mountain was actually a mountain range and I had to climb without human aid or consort to its peak. It was on that mountain range that I broke and became emptied of self, seeking only to let God’s will be done… it hurt too much to try and push my own agenda. Yet the struggle was not in vain and, footsore and weary I at last stood on that last mountain, looking into that Promised Land.

I have but taken a few steps down the mountain into that luscious valley and every step has issued jewels and priceless wonders. Blessings and miracles rain down on me at every turn so that I have no words to thank God for them. I cannot believe how much beauty and blessing are in this valley of promise – and I have not even descended the mountain!

Every sacrifice and every tear, every prayer and every cry, every choice to remain on that narrow restricting path has not gone in vain. The testimony of this walk has not gone unnoticed, the lessons learned have not affected only me – this story is much larger than I ever realized.

It is worth it all. I would never have appreciated the blessings which are starting to fall had I not been through the valley of affliction. I am amazed, stunned, blessed, agog with wonder, delighted, overjoyed, fascinated, touched, speechless at how God has blessed my faithfulness to Him. He has opened doors I never would have imagined and worked miracles my mind could not conceive of.

Now truly may I and those witnesses to my story say, “This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.”

Monday, May 21, 2007

A praying people equally yoke their nation

In the thirty-first chapter of first Samuel, many things happen, not the least of which is that Saul commits suicide. It certainly wasn't something you knew was going to happen, but Saul had been increasingly unstable, never really wanted to be king in the first place, and when the fire became too hot, instead of calling out to the Lord, he ran to death. Note Saul's focus in the fourth verse - Saul is not afraid of failing his kingdom, he is not afraid of death - he is afraid of what the Philistines will do to him; in particular, he's afraid of being abused by the Philistines. Soon, after Saul has revealed his fear of being abused by the Philistines, Saul asked his armor-bearer to kill him. Refusing to do so, Saul kills himself.

I am quite certain that on this day Samuel wept. Saul was the king that Samuel had selected, at God's choosing, to lead Israel. Saul, over-and-over, had shown himself to be exactly the type of king Samuel had warned about. Therefore, Samuel likely was relieved that Israel was finally free of Saul - but I believe Samuel wanted Saul to succeed. Samuel, early on, was supportive of Saul, offering him a feast before he was ever king to signify that he was going to be chosen. Soon after Saul was made king, there was another conflict and Saul's true colors shown through where, not waiting for Samuel to arrive, Saul gave the sacrifice in what he thought was the appropriate time.

That was the beginning of the end, for through a series of events Saul no longer acted kingly and lost the kingdom. Later, when David was a thorn in Saul's side (due to Saul's pride and fear), Samuel was also involved. David had been running from Saul and finally wound up running to Samuel. When Saul heard, he sent messengers to claim David. Three times. All three times the messengers stopped their mission and began to prophecy. Eventually even Saul showed up and he too prophesied. What bitter-sweet joy for Samuel to be around David and Saul, both men that God had chosen through him to rise up as kings, both men who had the potential to be great, but only David who truly loved the Lord.

I believe, of the few people who likely wept at the passing of the king, Samuel was high on the list. I believe he prayed for Saul every day of his life, at the very least to turn from his wicked ways, though maybe not for a regaining of the kingship. For that matter, because Jonathan and Saul died the same day, Samuel had double reason to be sorrowful - and yet David was under the Lord's protection and would soon be made king.

Call to action

It is very easy to dislike one's king, president, or ruler. Clearly they are in a position of authority, and that often is a reason alone to dislike someone. This distaste for authority comes from original sin in the Garden of Eden - for it was that same impetus that drew Adam away from God. Another reason to dislike a ruler is if they are unjust - and this is more in line with how God would have our hearts align. And it is here that I implore you to act.

Pray for your leaders

Most people in the world, including you who read these words, are under at least two people's authority. Even if you don't recognize that authority, it is still over you, and it deserves some respect and consideration. First and foremost is God, and second might be a father, a president, an older sibling, and sometimes even a spouse.

Regardless, of the count, those people were placed over you for a reason. God was placed over you to guide and protect you, keep you hearkening to Him, and eventually direct your soul to heaven. You have a great deal of free will about which direction to choose and nearly none about the results of that direction. It is a blessing that there is a significant delay between choice of direction and realization of this direction - that delay gives us all time to veer toward God's intended path.

Your second (and others) are placed above you for various reasons. Sometimes it is to teach you humility, patience, or love. Sometimes it is to bring your heart in-line with God's will. Regardless, those other people who have authority over your life will often be inconvenient to you in one way or the other.

My call to action, for you, is to genuinely pray for those in authority over you. Pray the Lord's prayer, honoring God and letting Him know that you truly honor him. Pray for the others that have authority over you, offing your intercessory prayer to support their needs for wisdom, strength of character, determination to complete goals that become harder as day press on, and satisfaction in doing the job God has for them. Pray that you also will respect and honor those in authority over you. And pray that the will of the people around you are focused on honoring those in authority over them as well.

One amazing benefit of these prayers is that it creates an environment for the whole nation you are a part of to be of one mind and one heart - to be equally yoked. Imagine how potent, focused, and edifying a nation would be if every heart in that nation were aligned with God's will for their lives!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Palace of wisdom: God's mobile home

It has been said that all roads lead to the palace of wisdom. This may be true ... but nobody has ever finished walking the path. One might say that Jesus started there, and the rest of us make our meandering ways trying to get there. One might even say that Solomon was given a road map to there, as well as the keys to the palace. Unfortunately, Solomon also decided he liked the environments surrounding the palace more than the palace itself and eventually chose not to dwell there. I have not heard that God gave those keys to any other human.

Another approach to wisdom it to evaluate what associates itself with wisdom. In so doing, by having more of those things, wisdom itself will be more likely to be present. From scripture, it seems that wisdom is not understanding itself, but is often paired up with it. This suggests that wisdom is the knowledge upon which understand is built. In other words, wisdom might be defined as the right knowing of something. This complements the understanding nicely - you might know what you are supposed to do but never discern why.

Because wisdom concerns itself more with the realities of God's will for your life, even a cursory look at where wisdom shows up will be rewarding. We might concern ourselves with how one might acquire wisdom. Scripture reveals the simplest manner of acquiring wisdom is to petition God for it. There are other ways, to be certain, but the simplest and most direct way to gain wisdom is to ask God. Clearly, this does not mean you will be given the information in your own time - but it gives you an explicit application of the relationship with Jesus and a means by which He can be glorified!

Another approach is found in Philippians chapter four. In this chapter, we are given a list of components to edifying thought-life. The list offers constructive boundaries for determining whether your own thought-life is aligned with God's intent for your thought-life and offers a simple means of gauging often your own thoughts are leading you away from God.

[Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.]

I posit that, although these components are not an explicit means of obtaining and being guided by wisdom, your actions will likely reflect wisdom by dwelling on these things. Add in a few gallons of steady prayer and your life will never be the same!

Call to action
Listen to your thoughts
Today, keep a journal with you. Write down whatever pops in your head, particularly anything upon which you spend more than a moment.

Pray about your thoughts
Ask God to reveal to you which of your daily jottings correspond to which of the points from the fourth chapter of Philippians. Also, ask him for guidance in the areas revealed by those thoughts that have little or no association with the points from the fourth chapter of Philippians.

Offer your thoughts
There will be a point, if you ever consider your thoughts in this manner again, that you will realize that God's plan for even your thought-life is better than your own. In that moment, please consider offering every thought to God. Know that each of us could be more aligned with God's plan for our lives if we would keep every thought captive. A way to do this is to gauge their worth and value by the standard offered in Philippians.