Friday, May 27, 2016


Ever heard the insulting remark that someone is "dumb as a rock"?
Think about this: Natural forces break stones down to become soil.
And God created Adam out of... what?

So, Jesus' statement was not an insult, but a statement of truth to
give perspective to the arrogant people standing in front of Him.

It is always good to keep things in perspective. If God sees value
in an inanimate stone, how much more does He value us?
Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to
  yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' For I tell you that out
  of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. (Luke 3:8 NIV)

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Bad Influences

While not the most eloquent way to express this, it communicates the
message: "Don't let people mess up your life!"

Remember this about bad influences: Regardless of whose idea it is,
you and you alone are responsible for what you do with your life.
My son, if sinners lure you, do not go along. If they say, "Come
  with us. Let's set an ambush to kill someone. Let's hide to ambush
  innocent people for fun. We'll find all kinds of valuable
  possessions. We'll fill our homes with stolen goods. Join us. We'll
  split the loot equally." My son, do not follow them in their way. Do
  not even set foot on their path. (Pro 1:10-11, 13-15 GW)

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Focus on you

This is what I have observed in my spiritual life:

 1. The more time I spend developing my relationship with God,
    the less time I have to point out someone else's error.

 2. The closer I get to Him and the more mature I become in our
    relationship, the less I care about what anyone else does.

We are each accountable to Him for ourselves--and ourselves only.
You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on
  your brother? For we will all stand before God's judgment seat. It
  is written: "'As surely as I live,' says the Lord, 'every knee will
  bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.'" So then, each of
  us will give an account of himself to God. Therefore let us stop
  passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to
  put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother's way.
  (Rom 14:10-13 NIV)

Monday, May 23, 2016

God Knows Whats Best

This is an almost universal experience: You pray, do not get what
you asked for, then become offended because God did not answer your
prayer. Some have even turned away from Him at that point.

I am humbled to realize all the grief and tragedy God saved me from
by not giving me some things I asked for. Knowing now what I did not
know then enables me to trust His choices for me--even when I do not
understand them or they conflict with what I (think I) want.
 He let loose the east wind from the heavens and led forth the south
  wind by his power. He rained meat down on them like dust, flying
  birds like sand on the seashore. He made them come down inside their
  camp, all around their tents. They ate till they had more than
  enough, for he had given them what they craved. (Psa 78:26-29 NIV)

Thursday, May 19, 2016


Someone once told me: "I have a sweater like that. It's the same, only
different." (My head probably tilted kind of like my dog's...)

That is like God in a way: A paradox. A contradiction. Always the
same. Always different. He never changes, and yet, the way He
interacts with us always changes--with circumstances, our level of
maturity, what we know (or need to know), timing, etc.

As long as our hope and faith remain anchored in Him, our
relationship with Him will always be the same, even as it changes.
Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very
  clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an
  oath. God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it
  is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the
  hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as
  an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner
  sanctuary behind the curtain (Heb 6:17-19 NIV)

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Just Know It Works

God has set many paradoxes and (seeming) contradictions as law in
the spiritual continuum (spirit realm, "in the spirit", or by
whatever other term you prefer to label it), e.g., lose your life to
save it; humble yourself to be exalted; give and it shall be given.

Whether we understand these things, agree with them, or even like
them is irrelevant: It is the way things operate in God's kingdom.

His Universe, His rules. He has already shown us how it works.
The greatest among you must be a servant. But those who exalt
  themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be
  exalted. (Mat 23:11-12 NLT)

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Get Off The Fence

I am one of those "yes-or-no, on-or-off, right-or-left" kind of
people who does not like gray areas, mediocrity, or an unwillingness
to commit (which can be bothersome to non-committal-type folks).

Elijah was one of those, and he was especially bothersome to Ahab
and Jezebel. God is too, apparently, because He immediately answered
Elijah's prayer with fire (v.38). No gray area there!

So, as Elijah said that day, "If the LORD is God, follow him."

  So Ahab summoned all the people and the prophets to Mount Carmel.
  Then Elijah stood in front of them and said, "How long are you going
  to waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him! But
  if Baal is God, then follow him!" But the people were completely
  silent. (1Ki 18:20-21 NLT)

Monday, May 9, 2016

Are You Willing?

God had a purpose and plan for Paul's life. Without question, He
enabled it to be accomplished. And it was done, because Paul was

I believe that God has a purpose and plan for each of us. I also
believe that He will enable that purpose to be accomplished as we
trust in, follow, and rely on God.

The question that remains to be answered is: Are we willing to do
what we must do in order for that to happen? Are you? (Think about
that before you answer.)
The dispute became so violent that the commander was afraid Paul
  would be torn to pieces by them. He ordered the troops to go down
  and take him away from them by force and bring him into the
  barracks. The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said,
  "Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you
  must also testify in Rome." (Acts 23:10-11 NIV)

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Grow up!

A 'narcissist' has been described as: "...a person who is overly
self-involved, and often vain and selfish." These characteristics
are a normal for young children--but not for mature adults!

A twenty-first century summary of Paul's teaching in today's verses
might be: "Grow up, people: Don't act like a narcissist! This life
is not all about you. Have compassion for your brothers and sisters
because you are responsible to the Lord for them."
  But you must be careful with this freedom of yours. Do not cause a
  brother or sister with a weaker conscience to stumble. You see, this
  is what can happen: Weak Christians who think it is wrong to eat
  this food will see you eating in the temple of an idol. You know
  there's nothing wrong with it, but they will be encouraged to
  violate their conscience by eating food that has been dedicated to
  the idol. So because of your superior knowledge, a weak Christian,
  for whom Christ died, will be destroyed. And you are sinning against
  Christ when you sin against other Christians by encouraging them to
  do something they believe is wrong. (1 Cor 8:9-12 NLT)

Monday, May 2, 2016


Much of what we do in this life is motivated by fear: Fear of loss,
pain, lack, vulnerability, shame, etc. For example: We work because
we fear lack--being without things we need.

When people or circumstances threaten our security, wellbeing, or
comfort, it can feel like a battle line drawn up against us.

God did not promise what our victory would look like. He did promise
that the battle would be won, on His terms and in His way (which is
always best), as we trust Him and follow His instructions.
After the Arameans saw that they had been routed by Israel, they
  sent messengers and had Arameans brought from beyond the River, with
  Shophach the commander of Hadadezer's army leading them. When David
  was told of this, he gathered all Israel and crossed the Jordan; he
  advanced against them and formed his battle lines opposite them.
  David formed his lines to meet the Arameans in battle, and they
  fought against him. But they fled before Israel, and David killed
  seven thousand of their charioteers and forty thousand of their foot
  soldiers. He also killed Shophach the commander of their army.
  (1 Chr 19:16-18 NIV)