Friday, May 18, 2012


we are coming up to a dark place in this world, If we haven't already arrived.  We must choose quickly how we are going to fight and ready ourselves.  We need to put on the warpaint and tell the devil we will no longer lay down but stand up
I am not talking about picking more fights, more arguments, and making more redundant laws but to get on our knees and pray to our all powerful God to intervene on our behalf. 
To shed light into the darkness.  
I am talking about spiritual battle through prayer, fasting and fellowship.  We can stand up to the darkness by getting on our knees and on our faces to pray for this world to open it's eyes and ears and soften our hearts.  

.:The Armor of God:.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 
Ephesians 6:10-13

Pray for those around us who's lives are in ruins, 
who are desperate for peace and love and Jesus.  
Pray for a true revival.  
Pray for true justice.
Love with action.
Focus on the Father.

Chaos is culminating, we must push back.
We must strengthen and enrich our lives with the word of God.
We must SHINE in this dark world!

"No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can 
see the light."
Luke 8:16

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Separate the Church and the State.

The church would do better to stop trying to legislate the bible and be more concerned with advancing the kingdom into the hearts of people.  We need to show love to those who are sinning against God, whether we agree with their life or not.  We need a clear line between government and religion as much as atheist or anyone else.  If we look back at the history of the church we will see that the combined power of religion and government is too great when mixed with human pride.  The kingdom advances better when we are on our knees rather than exalting ourselves in political battle.

Do we really want the government telling us how to follow Jesus?
Do we really want the government telling us how to interpret the bible?

I am certainly not advocating a loose interpretation of God's word. I am not far left or even left of center.  I believe that what God says is a sin - is a sin, whether we like it or not.  As people we would do better to adhere to God's law at all times even if it is against our agenda.  Sometimes the old-self  wants to believe that as long as you love someone then that is acceptable with God, but homosexuality goes against God's design just as polygamy does.  However, if we want to make it illegal to marry someone of the same sex we should also make it illegal to have an affair, be gluttonous, gossip, disrespect our parents,  miss a Sabbath, etc.... right?
Just as in the abortion issue, concentration on loving more, winning hearts and minds will shine a brighter light to the world.  We need to be loving.

The commandments, "Do not commit adultery," "Do not murder," "Do not steal," "Do not covet," and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: "Love your neighbor as yourself."
Romans 13:9 NIV

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
1 Peter 4:8 NIV

God will be the ultimate judge of this world.  He will seek those who He wants to seek and/or those  who seek Him and then soften their hearts.  Others who continually deny Him will be turned over to their own sin.

 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator--who is forever praised. Amen.
Romans 1:24-25

Do we really want the government to enforce the ten commandments?
Have you sinned today?
Do you think you should be punished for all your sins by human courts?

Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
Psalm 84:10 NIV

Considering the current climate in the political sphere I don't want the government  near my bible, my marriage, my family or my church.  I also don't want my church to be subverted by any man-made government.  This is in no way a call to abandon God's law but to adhere to second most important law, to love each other.  The most important being to love the Lord, your God with all your heart, all your mind and all your soul.

Friday, March 23, 2012

On the Alter of Sex: We Lay Ourselves.

There's more to sex than mere skin on skin. Sex is as much spiritual mystery as physical fact. As written in Scripture, "The two become one." Since we want to become spiritually one with the Master, we must not pursue the kind of sex that avoids commitment and intimacy, leaving us more lonely than ever - the kind of sex that can never "become one." There is a sense in which sexual sins are different from all others. In sexual sin we violate the sacredness of our own bodies, these bodies that were made for God-given and God-modeled love, for "becoming one" with another.
1 Corinthians 6:16-18 MSG

Pornography is killing men's drive to be the man.
Pornography is killing men's desire for relationships with their wives.
Pornography is killing men's thirst for real fellowship with God.
Pornography is the antithesis to commitment and intimacy.
Yet, we go to the trough willingly.

As a man in this era, with any image at my disposal, within a second of weak temptation, it is easy to fail in this area.  Over time pornography has has shown itself to have been the biggest wedge between me and my wife and a huge obstacle between a real relationship with God.  It created a bitterness in me that led to retreating from any desire for engaging my wife mentally.  For me, there was an attraction to pornography that could not be overcome without divine intervention.  I did not even see it as an issue until God brought it to light.  It is nothing short of a miracle, in my eyes, that I am not involved with this anymore, on a day to day basis.  I can not say that I have not fallen since I started praying to have this temptation taken from me but it has subsided greatly.  It can be accomplished by the power of prayer and willingness to turn away.

...and then he told me, My grace is enough; it's all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness. Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ's strength moving in on my weakness.

There was a period of time which I had been praying for God's help with this yet, at the first sign of opportunity, I would return to the old-self-vomit.  God gave me a wake up call, in the form of a physical reaction to what I was doing.  It felt like a contortion.  It felt like I was being physically grappled by evil.  Contorting into a self-loving/self-loathing, lover of instant gratification.  Our Father in heaven wanted to remove this ugliness from my life.  With it I could not love my wife properly. I could not speak to God properly.  With it I could only see what was available to me through a frosted glass window.

As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly.
Proverbs 26:11

...continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. 
Phillippians 2:12-13

The sad thing is I don't need to put up a bunch of statistics to show you how it is killing marriages and weakening the backbone of civilization.  It is an obvious conclusion.  Sadly, it is sold to us today as the ultimate 'manly' thing to do in culture today.  We as a society are so accepting of it that those who abstain are seen as weak 'girly-men'.  We are told that all men do it, therefore it is normal.  It may be normal now but that doesn't mean that we should remain the prodigal son admiring the pig's filth.  Allow yourself to be truly challenged by God AND show yourself how strong you really can be.  
Don't allow yourself to be weak to the temptation. 
Don't let this keep you from what God has designed you to be.

Push yourselves away from the trough of vomit!
Return NO MORE!

Love your wives!
Turn to your God.
Ask for His mighty power to help you change your heart.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

On the Alter of Pleasure: We lay Our Babies.

Americans are obsessed with comfort, happiness and pleasure.  Pleasure has become the god to worship at all costs, including those of our future generations.  The fetus has become the sacrifice.  Humanism the theology.

hu·man·ism   [hyoo-muh-niz-uhm or, often, yoo-]

Philosophy: a variety of ethical theory and practice that emphasizes reason, scientific inquiry, and human fulfillment in the natural world and often rejects the importance of belief in God.

We are sacrificing our babies on the alter of pleasure of sex, money, self advancement, convenience and prosperity.  Which, as with all of Satan's tactics, is not a new concept.  In biblical times the Hebrews turned away from God and worshiped Baal the god of fertility.  Worshiping with indiscriminate sex, in turn producing babies and sacrificing them to Baal for prosperity.

Sound familiar?

Even with multiple tools to keep from getting pregnant we are still aborting our babies at a rate of about 1.5 million per year. 50 million legal abortions occurred between 1973 and 2008.  Does this go unnoticed by God?  These are people with souls that God had plans for.  He is bringing us into the world for a purpose, not to just do our time and promote ourselves and go to the dust.  Not to advance our personal agenda but His kingdom.  We as a nation are undermining this effort.

You guided my conception and formed me in the womb.
Job 10:10 NLT

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother's womb.

I knew you before I formed you in your mother's womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my spokesman to the world.

It has been noted in "Massacre of the Innocents" by Eric Holmberg that this is seen in Genesis Chapter 19 when the daughters of Lot, rebelling against God, deceived their father into getting them pregnant, then, their offspring worshiped Molech by way of child sacrifice.  Showing itself again in 17th century France as witchcraft in the court of King Louis XIV as satanic ritual with grotesque accounts of child sacrifice.

We can not succeed today with self worship, remaining ignorant to evil and turning away from God yet again.  If we are not advancing the kingdom of God we are only enlarging Satan's borders by enlarging  the borders of selfish desire/pleasure. We can be sure that God will judge our nation.

The Lord says: I will not relent from punishing the Ammonites for three crimes, even four, because they ripped open the pregnant women of Gilead in order to enlarge their territory.
Amos 1:13

Archaeologists have found burial grounds with stone markers in the ancient Carthage, the capital of Phoenicia,  showing that child sacrifice as pretty common.  We don't even mark the graves of aborted children. I shutter to think of what happens to their bodies.  I can only imagine a great repentance if our nation could see the great volume of those killed in this way.

They worshiped their idols, and this led to their downfall. They even sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons.
Psalms 106:36-37

Yet with all of our intellectual power we remain ignorant to the plans of evil.

They have built pagan shrines to Baal in the valley of the son of Hinnom, and there they sacrifice their sons and daughters to Molech. I have never commanded such a horrible deed; it never even crossed my mind to command such a thing. What an incredible evil, causing Judah to sin so greatly!
Jeremiah 32:35 NLT

These terminated pregnancies are people being taken away from God's plan for their lives and ultimately for the world.  Possibly this is the front lines of the battle.  In a selfish cowardice act we are throwing our children to the spiritual war-front.  In the end they are not given the chance to advance the kingdom of God.  In the old testament God asked for the first born children to be dedicated to Him.  Similar to God asking for Isaac in Genesis Chapter 22.  Different in the way that Abraham had faith that God had promised a blessed nation through Isaac.

"History and archaeology has shown us that child sacrifice, as with the example of the King of Moab, centered on the first born child. Is it simple irony or coincidence that the majority of children that will face the abortionist's knife in this country are also first born - "set apart for the Lord"?"    -Eric Holmberg

It is also interesting to note that in Eric Holmberg's article that the Valley of the Son of Hinnom (Gehenna in Greek) is possibly where these sacrifices took place.  In Mathew 16:18 Jesus says, "And upon this rock, I will build My Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."  What if Jesus is telling us He will bust through the Gates of Hell (selfish desire) and plant His flag where the devil is no longer welcome.  On the rock of self sacrifice, humility and child-like innocence. 

"Jesus' use of the word Gehenna clearly substantiates that there is no greater manifestation of hell on earth than the sacrifice of children."    -Eric Holmberg

Is our selfish desire, self promotion acting as the gates of hell, protecting Satan?

They have committed both adultery and murder -- adultery by worshiping idols and murder by burning their children as sacrifices on their altars.
Ezekiel 23:37 NLT

Is abortion an unforgivable sin?

I don't believe so.  This is in no way promoting a call to action physically but spiritually. We need to pray, forgive and love those who have fallen into this snare, who are being used as slaves to sin.   We can serve a God who is forgiving in such ways that will blow your mind.  I am not necessarily looking for a change in law but looking for a change in the heart of the nation.  Once again, we do not need an additional law but adherence to God's laws as individuals.  If people begin to turn away from the practice of abortion we can anticipate evil will justify the practice by pointing to God's request for the sacrifice of Isaac and Jesus as the bible promoting child sacrifice.  We can stay ahead of it all if we listen to God's calling.  Love what He loves and hate what He hates.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

What is evil?

The devil's best hand may not necessarily be to make everyone believe he does not exist but rather to redefine evil.  It is all too easy to read the news and find out that evil does in fact exist and is flourishing in this world.  But if he can question what is evil than we can easily be led down the wrong path or through the slaughter gates.  The moment when we are given the keys to define evil for ourselves is the moment we shut the door to God and His wisdom.

Is a serial killer evil?  Absolutely!
How about a murderer?  Sure!
How about someone who aborts their baby? question.
The person themselves may not be evil or have evil tendencies, they have just been led down a path of acceptable selfishness. The devil sits next to a woman looking at a positive pregnancy test and asks, "Did God really say that a fetus has life?" It's an old rusty tactic from satan's first playbook, which we are still falling for.  Mass aborting of babies as a country could easily be defined as evil.  

The serpent was clever, more clever than any wild animal God had made. He spoke to the Woman: "Do I understand that God told you not to eat from any tree in the garden?"
The Woman said to the serpent, "Not at all. We can eat from the trees in the garden.  It's only about the tree in the middle of the garden that God said, 'Don't eat from it; don't even touch it or you'll die.'" 
The serpent told the Woman, "You won't die."
Genesis 3:1-4

Is rape evil?  See, there really are dumb questions.
Is pornography evil?  Depends on who you ask.
Is premarital sex evil?  Well....
Society has recently come to the conclusion that it is okay to live together before marriage and look at pornography as long as we are looking at consenting adults or as long as we are not hurting anyone.  In the interest of full disclosure my wife and I started out this way.  According to statistics we are rare in the fact that we have survived this long.  

Does evil exist?  Look around!
But do you know it when you see it?

We need to turn away from this path we are on.
We need to look to God for what is evil and what is love.
We need to change our hearts, more than our laws, to what God intended for us.  Change our hearts to love God and His laws, not bending the lines of truth in order to match the profile of how we are living.

And that means killing off everything connected with that way of death: sexual promiscuity, impurity, lust, doing whatever you feel like whenever you feel like it, and grabbing whatever attracts your fancy. That's a life shaped by things and feelings instead of by God.
Colossians 3:5 MSG

The further we walk away from the truth of the bible and God's love the closer we walk to the devil and deceit and anguish and confusion and chaos.  The further we get from God, the easier it is to define your own morals.
Satan roams the earth seeking to devour, and if you leave yourself out there without the protection of a shepherd, you will be devoured like a lamb to a lion.

These two topics give us a picture of the two wedges separating each individual family member from each other.
The mother from the child.  The father from the child.
The father from the mother.  The husband from the wife.
Aside from drugs and alcohol these are all the wedges he really needs.
If he can separate us from ourselves and from God we are done.
But we can only be separated from God if we walk away.

Hell has a voracious appetite, and lust just never quits.
Proverbs 27:20 MSG

Dear brothers and sisters, if another Christian is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Rich Man~Poor Man

"It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God."
Mark 10:25

Often times the word of God is taken out of context to benefit an argument that is not in line with what is being said in the bible.  The words of Jesus used as a political football. We as people are drawn to Jesus because he was and is revolutionary in his love for us.  People on the right take his words to beat others over the head with sin and people on the left take his words to wag in the faces of those who do not follow their belief system.  One side holds Him up saying, "This is how you are supposed to be!" and the other side says, "This is how you are supposed to be!" Both saying the same thing, both worlds apart, just how the devil wants us to be.

If you are interested in the truth in it's context you can find it in Mark 10:17-31.  Another example of Jesus forgiving a rich man is that of Zacchaeus in Luke chapter 19.  A very rich chief tax collector who repents for taking more than what is owed to him.  Jesus forgives him after he gives back four times what he had wrongfully taken.  He was not a sinner for being rich because Jesus proclaimed him to have salvation after giving back only half of his wealth.  It was the change of heart that Jesus was looking for.

Rich Man in wealth: can have all the world has to offer and fall short into spiritual poverty by not seeking God.

Poor Man in wealth: can have nothing the world has to offer but be wealthy beyond imagination spiritually, which can only be achieved by seeking God in all things.

Rich Man in Spirit: does not need anything in the world because God is supplying everything he needs by grace.

Poor Man in Spirit: May or may not have worldly wealth and without God's grace can feel alone and bitter and jealous.  People with earthly wealth are not the only ones who can fall victim to greed.

The point being, God can make the impossible possible.  Not to mention there will be no need for commerce in Heaven.  We can only go there after being stripped of all earthly things.
"For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows."
1 Timothy 6:10 NLT

It's not the money itself that is evil it is the love of money.  It's not about how much money you or your neighbor do or do not have. It's about where your heart is.  If you love money your heart will cause you to be jealous of what someone else has.  If your heart is with Jesus you will not only be happy with what you have but also happy for what others have for themselves.

Wealth is a relative term.  Someone who is financially poor in this country is most likely wealthier than those in less developed countries.
If you are making $25,000 in this country, compared to the rest of the world you are in the top 10%.  Does this make you wealthy?  Granted we have a higher cost of living, but we also have a higher standard of living.  What is acceptable in the eyes of the Lord?  

He wants your heart, your mind, your body and your soul.
Whether you are rich in wealth or spirit or both.
Whether you are poor in spirit or wealth or both.

To God it is irrelevant how much money we make or how comfortable we are.  He wants us to be able to seek Him in all things and have a relationship with Him.  No matter how awkward it might seem.

"You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself."
Luke 10:27

Calculator used to determine global wealth standings:

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Adopted by the Father.

God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.

Like a lot of people I can easily say growing up was tough. I could almost say that I was raised by a pack of wolves but really I was mostly raised by my two older brothers.  Being raised in the country in the seventies and eighties maybe it was more common to let your children do their own thing, at least in my family it was.  We spent most of our days out in the woods, playing war, fighting with each other, sneaking out in the middle of the night to run down a country road, jumping in ditches when cars went by. We had free reign of our days and nights from what it seemed.  Most of these things aren't bad in themselves but with no fatherly example we were just drifting through childhood.  Most of the time my father was absent whether he was home or not and even when he was around he was full of bitter anger.  He lashed out at us in the most unexpected and unpredictable times, we learned to stay away from him as much as possible.  He was essentially a good man with no reference on how to be a father and especially how to deal with kids.  I'm not going to spend much time railing on him or excusing him and myself because of circumstance.  Thankfully today, I have the privilege to say that my father has found Jesus, is focusing on his walk and is a loving grandfather to my kids.

My point is, I did not have a perfect image of a father, like more and more of us today.  I am thankful that God did not give my wife and I children, prior to becoming followers of Jesus.  I was a horribly selfish, conceded, self-serving, self-centered jerk and it got worse when I was drinking.  There would have been no room for diapers, crying, screaming, hugs, bedtime prayers, talks, walks or love.  I am in no way a perfect father now but I am thankful that I have a footing in Jesus and His love.  He is the image I look to when I don't know where to turn on how to act like a father.

I am thankful that God has found me fit for adoption into His family.

" received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children.  Now we call him, “Abba, Father."  For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children."   [Abba=Daddy in Aramaic.]  
He has adopted us as His own!
I now have the greatest example to look to and believe me I need to look to Him often.  Even putting aside the idea that we can use God the Father as an example on how to be fathers, we can also rejoice that God the Father has taken us in.  That alone is worthy of praise.  If we believe in Jesus, that he has died for us, had been resurrected and ascended to the right hand of the Father, then God has chosen or wanted us to be a part of His family.

"...and if children, also heirs—heirs of God and coheirs with Christ—seeing that we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him."

Co-Heirs to the throne!!  Are you serious?!
Brothers, Sisters... if you are not with Jesus yet, is this not motivation enough?!
To be a co-heir to the throne is unfathomable and to think christians previous to me have been keeping this to themselves!  It's the greatest secret un-shouted to the mountain tops!
If we are to suffer in this world there is no better way than with Jesus and a Father in heaven.

"Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later.  For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are.  Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay."
Romans 8:18-21

"We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us."
Romans 8:23


a·dopt   [uh-dopt] 
verb (used with object)
1.  to choose or take as one's own; make one's own by selection or assent: to adopt a nickname.
2.  to take and rear (the child of other parents) as one's own child, specifically by a formal legal act.
3.  to take or receive into any kind of new relationship: to adopt a person as a protégé.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

A Call of Duty.

Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church-a love marked by giving, not getting.

For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word. He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church.

Sounds easy enough, right? Just love your wife!
On the face of it, it should be a given, a no-brainer. We shouldn't even have to work at it. But there is a reason that this command is one of few that specifically addresses how husbands are to interact with their wives. If it were easy God would not have been compelled to put it in the bible for men to read. If it were easy everybody would be doing it. The unfortunate truth is that the lack of men actually loving there wives is what is breaking the back of society today.
Breaking the heart of God.

What does it mean to put loving our wives into practice?
How did Christ love the church?

Logically and practically speaking, Jesus Christ literally died for her.
He gave up his life for her, to make her holy and clean.
We are fortunate enough to be able to use His sacrifice as an example rather than a literal command. We are called to deny ourselves so that she can be made right. Regardless of what is deserved, regardless of what she has said to you today, regardless of what she has not done for you lately, regardless of how you feel about denying yourself.

What is love?

Love is patient, love is kind.
Love does not envy, is not boastful, is not conceited,
does not act improperly, is not selfish, is not provoked,
and does not keep a record of wrongs.
Love finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth.
It bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends.

Love is not a checked box on your list of rewards.
Love is not something to be held hostage.
Love is not a tool.
Love is a fruit of the Spirit!
The Spirit being the Holy Spirit of God and the fruit being the reward there of.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Against such things there is no law.


It is not a sin to struggle with this but to not seek God's help is the beginning of decay.
The truth is I am no expert on loving my wife day to day.
The unfortunate truth is it is a major struggle for me.
Fortunately God has superseded my ineptness for the greater good of my marriage.
I have prayed relentlessly that God help me with this.
God has, over time, transformed my heart and attitude toward my wife.
I no longer see a villain or adversary walking into the room but the woman God has chosen for me to spend my life with.
Raise my children with.
The woman I love with all my heart.
The way Jesus has shown me love.
I have proven time and time again to myself, my wife and my God that I am incapable of doing this marriage thing without Him.
Him being Jesus.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

toil: noun.

1. hard and continuous work; exhausting labor or effort.
2. a laborious task.

To Adam he said, "Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, 'You must not eat of it,' Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life."
Genesis 3:17

As an owner of a small contracting company, I became very familiar with peaks and valleys.  There were times when I believed God was showering my business with blessings, and other times I perceived Him to be silent. Let's just say the blessings were not financially comparable to other contractor companies.  I had to work for every penny.  Looking back rationally, I know He was there pulling me through it all.

One particular low point was when I was purchasing materials with a credit card that turned out to be maxed out. I had a cart full of lumber excited to start a project made for a carpenter.  The first time the card got declined it was kind of uncomfortable but I assumed the cashier made a mistake.  The second time and third times I asked her to run the card again were down right embarrassing.  I had assumed God had forgotten about me,  my God ordained business and my family.  I guess it was my pride and confusion that sent me into a tail spin.

How could God let this happen to a business He is blessing?
The truth is we are not destined for smooth sailing when we are adopted by God.

I had to push the cart full of lumber out of the way and leave the store to figure out how I was going to pay for these materials and start a much needed project.
As I pulled away from the store I hit a wall of frustration, disbelief and doubt.
I didn't get it, I didn't see it, what was the point of trudging through every moment, every DAY!

Must I toil everyday for such small blessings for my family?
The truth is we are in a fallen world, due to sin.

The answer may not be yes but most likely.  The consequences of Adam's sin, that sent this world into a tail spin is still being felt today.  I had been so focused on seeking the blessings of God that I had missed the point of living every moment for His love.  Seeking the blessings more than the Blesser.
When things weren't going well I focused on the toil rather than what God was protecting me from.
The funny thing is, no matter what financial capacity we are in, we perceive ourselves to be toiling.
Unable to see the blessings through the blessed.

The solution:
Pray continually to be content where God has placed you.

"I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want."
Philippians 4:12

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Jesus Weeps over Jerusalem

But as he came closer to Jerusalem and saw the city ahead, he began to weep. “How I wish today that you of all people would understand the way to peace. But now it is too late, and peace is hidden from your eyes. Before long your enemies will build ramparts against your walls and encircle you and close in on you from every side.
They will crush you into the ground, and your children with you. Your enemies will not leave a single stone in place, because you did not accept your opportunity for salvation.”
Luke 19:42

This portion of today's passage could have easily be written for our country.
Or even for the human race as a whole.  It may seem that peace is hidden from our eyes.  If you look at current headlines you would think that there is no peace anywhere in the world.  That we are a world full of only tormented souls.

The question is who are our enemies who encircle us?
Is it anyone who does not subscribe to our own brand of religion or denomination?  Is it anyone who offends us?  Is it the unlovable?

No! It is not.

In some cases our most relentless enemies are ourselves.  We throw ourselves to the ground, protesting the consequences of our own decisions.  Our real enemies love for us to focus on that.  I think our enemies are much harder to see.  They work to see us at each other's throats and pointing fingers and dividing ourselves.
They love to see husbands and wives divided by a pile of little things.
Love to plant the seed that our wives are the enemy.
Our real enemies will show no mercy.

Before it is too late...
How can we keep Jesus from weeping over our country?
What is the way to peace?

Jesus told him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me."
John 14:6

We can build a strong foundations and walls!
It begins at the trail-head to Jesus.  A path of which may be scarred with switchbacks, wrong turns, forks, deep valleys and heaven scraping peaks.

I will call on the LORD, who is worthy of praise, for he saves me from my enemies.
Psalms 18:3 NLT

Then I will hold my head high, above my enemies who surround me. At His Tabernacle I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy, singing and praising the LORD with music.
Psalms 27:6 NLT

It begins with your heart and your relationship with God.

The results of us having relationships with God can change the landscape if the world. It can move mountains and swell rivers. Washing away and filling in voids and caverns that separate us from God.  What is it like when our children only spoke to us when they need something?  What is it like when we get up in the morning and our wives don't say 'good morning'?  We need to turn away from our enemies and their work and turn towards our God and His salvation.

repent=turn around/change direction=change one's mind.

Then He will be able to protect us from our enemies who surround us.
We can shout with joy and praise Him for our protection and salvation.

He replied, "If they kept quiet, the stones along the road would burst into cheers!
Luke 19:40

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Dear God, Thank you.

Dear God,
Thank You for another chance at getting it right today.
Thank You for my wife  that you have given me!
Thank You for her beautiful dark hair and big beautiful eyes.
Thank You for her love and care.
I am so grateful that over the years that I was not loving her the way that You had designed me to love her, she stuck it out and loved me through it all.

Thank You for my oldest son!
Four years ago You handed him to me and I held my first son.
The world stopped, all the worries went away
and all I could do was look at him.

God, thank You for my youngest son!
When You handed him to me a year ago, everything was up in the air, hanging in the balance.  But You stopped my world again and all I could do was stop and stare at that little face.  Thank You for this abundance of time to spend on my wife and two boys.

Time to spend getting to know You.

Thank You for this home to live in!
It has a roof and walls and heat and a fireplace that if I wanted to I could just push a button and it would turn on.  It has this lever in the kitchen that when you push it back cool and hot water comes out, clean enough to drink!  I can use the bathroom in private and the toilet flushes.  I can take a hot shower.  I have a closet full of clothes that for the most part don't even have  any holes in them.  And they are all clean and if they aren't clean; I could put them through the washer and dryer and they would be!  Thank You for all the shoes I have in a pile at the bottom of the closet.

Thank You for transportation!
God, You have given, LITERALLY GIVEN,
two vehicles to this family and they are
How cool is that!

Lord, thank You for seeing me fit for fixing.
Thank You that you have put me in the furnace, heated me up and put the hammer to me.  I could not be who I am or who I am going to be without Your tempering.
Thank You for removing cigarettes from my life.
Thank You for removing the desire to drink excessively.
Thank You for squelching the desire to look at pornography.
And it may seem quaint to some but thank You for removing all those four letter words that I don't need to use.  There are far better words out there that are considerably more expressive!  I know there will be more times in my life that will require more molding and shaping and tempering.
I am grateful for those times.

These are some of the things I am grateful for.
Things that I can only credit to the Father.
I can trust in You that there will be more to be thankful for in the future.


Your faithful servant.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

All Fail and Fall Short.

I tend to get caught up in the idea that a president of this free country can pull us out of this mire we are stuck in.  But when I sit back and take mental notes of each person vying for this position I find myself disappointing on every front.
Some are so far from God that there is no way to comprehend how I could stand behind them.  Others have stuffed so many skeletons in their closets they can't keep track of them all.  Everyone is trying so hard to get their choice in the front that they will say and do anything it takes get them there.  All of them have stumbled at some point.

We are left trying to make sense of it all.

Where is the truth in all this?

We can only look to God to find direction, stability and truth.
We can only rely on His judgement.
We can only look to Him for leadership.
Let all else fall away.

With all this a story in the bible is brought to mind, when the Israelites are crying to Samuel to give them a leader since he is getting old and needs a replacement.
God wants them to look to Him for leadership.
God is not even in their radar.

He wants US to look to Him for leadership.  We want someone we can look at and deem good looking.  We want someone who can talk to us, say words to us and we want to believe it all to be true.  We choose those with the slick hair, great smiles and well read speeches.

God is standing right in front of us, saying, "Here I am, I will lead you."
We just look right through Him with a thousand mile stare.  Trying to focus on the earthly leadership to make it all right for us.
We reject Him.  We say, 'Lord, give us a leader!'

Samuel was very upset with their request and went to the LORD for advice. 
"Do as they say," the LORD replied, "for it is me they are rejecting, not you. They don't want me to be their king any longer.  Ever since I brought them from Egypt they have continually forsaken me and followed other gods. And now they are giving you the same treatment.  Do as they ask, but solemnly warn them about how a king will treat them."
1 Samuel 8:6-9 

But we push Him away with more and more fervency.
Pushing back against what we need and clutching at what we want.
As it all slips away, we may be left with nothing.

But the people wouldn't listen to Samuel. "No!" they said. "We will have a king to rule us!"
1 Samuel 8:19 

As we can see from day to day, not one of the earthly candidates, even by adding them together, will add up to what we need.
They will all lie, at some point.
They will all fail, at some point.
They have all fallen short.
No matter which side you choose.
No one can lead us like the Father.

They've all taken the wrong turn; they've all wandered down blind alleys. 
No one's living right; I can't find a single one.
Romans 3:12

Then Jesus answered, "I am not an earthly king. If I were, my followers would have fought when I was arrested by the Jewish leaders. But my Kingdom is not of this world."
John 18:36

I have to continually remind myself to not get caught up in the details of who will lead this country.  I have to trust that God will appoint who is supposed to be there for this season.  If we are supposed to go further into the ditch for more people to cry out to the Father, then that is what we need.

Until the leader of my home, Jesus Christ comes to re-establish His throne,
we will wait and watch.

Come quickly Lord Jesus!

For at the right time Christ will be revealed from heaven by the blessed 
and only almighty God, the King of kings and Lord of lords.
1 Timothy 6:15

Friday, January 13, 2012

Trust and Obedience: A Season of Building.

  Confident expectation of something; hope.
  One upon which a person relies: God is my trust.
  To have trust or confidence in; rely or depend on. believe.

About three years ago I entered into a season that I am referring to as the building season.  In which God has taken me in as a formless lump or pile of clay, slowly building me up into a vessel to be used as He has designed.  When this whole building process began I would say to people, "I'm just trusting in the Lord, that He will provide."  Partly (in the beginning) because I knew that's what I was supposed to say.  I thought if I said it enough times, people (including myself) would begin to believe me.  In the beginning  it was a molecule of  faith.

  A belief in or confident attitude toward God,
  involving commitment to His will in one's life.

I had to trust that, even though God was not providing our family with enough income to save our house from foreclosure, that He would provide what we needed and another plan.
A better plan.
This trust could not come whole heartedly by me saying it a thousand times but through prayer.  I had to trust that even though owning a house is the "american dream", it is not a God given right and He would provide a home to live in.

God asked us to lay down our house at his feet.

After months of trying to come up with an alternative plan, we began to believe that we didn't need a huge house full of possessions.
We began to lay it at His feet room by room.

Memory by memory.

Dream by dream.

Trust me I am no bohemian or minimalist or revolutionary on a public binge to rid everyone of their fortune.  I don't believe you need to where sackcloth and cut your hair and rub ash on your ears three times a day to be a true believer.  But previous to this building period I was drunk with success and progress and all the trappings that came along for the ride.
Alone and angry.
Buying and consuming to fill the whole in my life that could only be filled by Jesus.  God has since stripped these things away.  Pealing the layers back to find something worthwhile.

We had to trudge through pride, feelings of failure and confusion.  Maybe it was the act of walking and trudging with confidence that God would give my family a place to live, that fostered the faith that God was instilling in me.

Through prayer and obedience... faith was born.
Through providence, trust was born.
Asking God to give me more faith, not once but countless times.
Even when I was tired of hearing the asking.

Our God answered by using his children, stepping out in obedience.
In this season of building, we have received so many gifts and blessings.
Gifts of checks, gift cards and home supplies and a new home to live in.
Our God used his children as conduit to supply the needs of our family at that present time.  Giving more faith by showing in real terms that He was there, providing.  Even though I was tired of being the receiver.

Building trust.

I began to want to receive the builder more than the gifts.
More than a big house.
More than pride.
More than my own feeble plans.

God has provided me with hope.

Now, I can honestly say that I trust in God.
That He is providing, time and time again.
I can walk in confidence that He will provide for us if we can go to Him seeking faith.
Loving by obeying.

I believe we are being prepared to enter into a new season.
God has asked me to go in a direction.
A destination to be revealed later.
My foot is in the air stepping out in that direction.
Into another wilderness with eyes up... waiting for manna.

Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them."
John 14:23

  In both the Old and New Testaments, the word obey is related to the idea of hearing.
  Obedience is a positive, active response to what a person hears. 
  Obedience was the basis for knowing God's blessing and favor.

  To submit to...
  To conform to...
  To comply with the wishes, instructions, and commands.