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Friday, January 31, 2014

How do we sleep while our beds are burning?

It's good to remember that no matter how bad things get, we still haven't seen the wrath of God.  Now is the time of his mercy, that it might bring about the repentance and saving of many.  God pursues those He loves and sometimes that pursuit will look like a raging fire consuming all in its path.  But if it drives us to Zion, to our knees in humility and reliance on Him alone and on the blood of Jesus to save us, then it is a righteous burn.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Don't laugh, in Him is Life and Love.

We were meant for so much more.

We are still blessed with so much.

Why do we squander it on that which does not last?  Why do we work so hard for that which is not life?  Why do we plead with God to give us stuff...

...when all He has is ours and we are always with Him and in Him are a thousand delights?

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Bob and weave

Going along with yesterday's theme.  If you do endeavor to live a holy life of faithful obedience and you do use your words to tell of the hope you have.  The Word is clear.  You should not just expect the rocks to come at your head, you should pre-emptively duck.  But duck with good cheer, for He has overcome the world!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Use words.

i think Peter and Paul would have had a problem with the saying attributed to Frances of Assissi, "Preach always and sometimes use words."  Both of them in Acts are described as "and using many other words...".  They seemed to think this Jesus guy was pretty important.  Paul would hold all day exhortation parties.  Anyone could come at anytime and he would tell them why Jesus was the hope of all nations.  Why he was our only hope.  Why he was the fulfillment of the law and the prophets.  Why he was the most important person and the most important thing that ever happened and until he came again was going to be the most important person and the most important thing that ever happened.

The fact is, everyone is always preaching.  Always.  We are always broadcasting our belief system through everything we do and say.  All our fears point to our beliefs.  The things we value.  The things we become offended over.  The work we do.  The people we choose to hang with.  They all say what we believe.  They all tell the world who's in charge.  Who we answer to.  Those who speak the name of Jesus into every situation are often accused of being "preachy" and hypocrites.  The popular definition of hypocrisy, according to this article i read yesterday, is to act in a way out of character with your feelings.  So if you're grumpy, you have to stay and say and be grumpy to be authentic.  At least until you magically feel something else.  Which as you and i both know, doesn't happen until either the circumstances change or you DECIDE to ungrump.  At which time, you are now a "hypocrite".  Cuz you still feel grumpy but you're choosing to not BE grumpy.  Which is the point of the article.  A true hypocrite is someone who acts out of character with their BELIEFS!  If i am grumpy but believe and know i have no right to be, then it would be hypocritical of me to continue in my grumpiness despite my feelings.  If i believe there is a hope of a savior and a better life to come and yet act as if this life is all there is, even though it often feels as if this life is all there is, i am a hypocrite.  If i believe the God of the Universe loves me so much he died in my place to make me his perfect son and heir to the kingdom of God and yet act like an unloved orphan because things aren't going so well right now, i am a hypocrite.  If i know the world is dying and going to hell upon its chosen path and i know the way of salvation and say nothing, i am the chief of sinners!  If i know there is a king in charge of everything and yet remain silent...

Well, all authority in earth and heaven were given to one guy.  The very same guy who made them.  Seems to me, we probably ought to pay that guy a little lip service... but what do i know?

Monday, January 27, 2014

Whatchu facing, sparrow?

There is nothing you are facing today,
that escapes the notice and interest of your Father in heaven.  He is not sitting idly by.  As when Stephen looked to heaven and saw Jesus standing, he is active.  Because you may not trace his hand only shows a lack of perception on your part, not a lack of love on his.
It is not too small.
It is not too big.
It has not gone on for too long.
It is not impossible.
They are not impossible.
Yes, you are not worthy but that didn't stop Jesus before and it won't stop him now.
No, you cannot make yourself worthy.
Stop trying.
Stop that!
Be grateful for he has already orchestrated the end from the beginning.
Call the saints to pray and fast, only pride stops you from doing that.  And your pride does not come from God.
Release control.
Release the illusion of control.
You cannot dictate the ending.  That's God's work.
Trust him.  He is good.  Much better than you think.
The answer is never, "No."  It is, "I have something better in mind."

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Friday, January 24, 2014

Seek the treasure!

i'm never sure in this parable, who's the treasure and who's the seeker?  Do we find the kingdom of God, the Gospel of Jesus Christ and give up everything to possess it?  Or did Jesus want us, "find" us and give up everything he had to possess us.  As with many things in the Word, it's probably both.  

We have to be found to find.  Jesus did give up everything for us.  And that's the Treasure we find!  That when were hopeless, God gave up everything for us!  How good is that!?    

So what do we give up in return?  Not to pay back.  Could never be done.  But to "find" more of him?  "Do not be deceived: God is not to be mocked, for whatever a person sows, this he will also reap, because the one who sows to his own flesh will reap corruption from the flesh, but the one who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit." Gal 6

There is a distinct tendency these days for us to buy that field and then never visit it again.  Forget we even own the treasure at times.  For believers to stop congregating.  To just add Jesus to their lives and then go about as they would, maybe with a moral bent, but otherwise, indistinguishable from the culture.  To slip out of prayer.  To stop reading the Word.  To find Bible Studies to be too much trouble.  Instead of serving others, to feed our comfort and then wonder why we live sad, busy but unfulfilling lives.  i'm not judging.  i'm warning.  We reap what we sow.

How do stop the process?  Nevermind what Pete says, Seek the treasure!  "If anyone serves me, he must follow me, and where I am, there my servant will be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him." John 12

Thursday, January 23, 2014


They call me,

But getting back to the Scripture... why indeed?  i am often tempted when things are going poorly, when i'm feeling persecuted or put upon, to think that either God doesn't love me, God doesn't care or God hates me.  i have no problem believing God's in control so if bad things are happening, God must be making bad things for me.

Usual suspects: sin, poor vision, mis-representation of God.  Satan's oldest lies.  God doesn't love you.  God doesn't know what's best for you.  You did this to yourself.  God can't love you now.  You gotta get cleaned up first.

Truth is, Dad's waiting for us to come home.  He's watching.  If we stop feeding the pigs and turn around we'll see He's right there with a hug, a ring, a robe and a feast.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Que es veritas?

i hear many people say,
again, i hear christians say,
They do not indoctrinate their children.  They believe it is better for children to find truth on their own without having it shoved down their throats.  This is an obvious extension of people's distaste for proselytizing.

Okay.  Ignoring for now the question of how good must you believe Jesus to be, if you don't even want to tell your children of him?  Of treating him like an ex-spouse we're somewhat embarrassed by...

Children learn what is true from their parents and elders.  They only test that truth when they become teenagers.  When you try very hard to teach no truth to them, what you teach them instead is, they are the final arbiters of truth.  You are teaching them the same thing Satan taught Eve.  You are the best god for you.  And is that someone who's curriculum we really want to follow?

When the Truth comes, what will He do with all these arrogant opinions masquerading as truth?  Sitting on his rightful throne?  Messing up his kingdom?

Monday, January 20, 2014

You have no idea

You are a sinner.
i wish i could show you just how much you suck and deserve to die, how much better the world would be without you.  How far short of holy you are... imagine being an Emo cutter and then times that by a lot.
Because if you understood that, how much more beautiful would the love of God through Jesus' death and resurrection be?  If you started from a full understanding, an ocean quaking to its roots at the righteous feet of a Holy God understanding... and realized that instead of dropping his wrath on you in fire... he gently picks you up and hugs you...
oh nothing would be impossible for us then.

Friday, January 17, 2014

The war to end all wars

Composition is not my forte.

There will only be peace when there is an absence of opposition.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Whoa, there! Steady, steady....

Well, they can't all be works of art.

But the appointed time is coming.  Praise God!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

and when it arrives, i'll SMASH IT WITH A HAMMER!!

Random unrelated thought:  You have heard it said, "Forgive us our sins as we forgive others there sins against us."  And again, "Anyone who forgives his brother, his Father in heaven will forgive him but anyone who does not forgive his brother, neither will his Father in heaven forgive him."

On the surface, to our cause and effect, law driven, karmaic little squirrel brains, these look like if/then statements.  You do this, God does that.

But the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that while were were dead in our trespasses, God became a man and died in our place and now sits on the right hand of God, forgiving the sins through his blood of anyone who believes in him.  We were dead.  We were enemies.  God had to rescue us.  That's not if/then.  That's Grace!  So if we don't forget grace how do we read these passages?

Well there's the rub, isn't it.  In order to not forgive someone, i would have to forget the grace which has forgiven me.  That while i was chief among sinners, Christ died for me.  The only way i can refuse to forgive is to refuse the Gospel.  I would have to avoid God and all he's done.  i would have to make up lies about God.  That he is pleased with me, but not with so and so.  Or that God doesn't care about what has been done to me.  These lies smash the sanctuary of Grace, they destroy the image of Christ in our minds, they chop up and smash to bits the Gospel!  When we don't forgive, we lose our peace.  We lose our faith!

Thank God he is steadfast and faithful to pursue us!  Help him out, will ya?  Put down the axe.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Friday, January 10, 2014

Open my eyes, Lord

Don't ask why, cuz i don't know, but i really like this picture.

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Sunday, January 05, 2014

The Eagle has crashed

"Now when he saw the crowds, he went up the mountain and after he sat down, his disciples approached him. And opening his mouth he began to teach them, saying,
“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    because theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are the ones who mourn,
    because they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
    because they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are the ones who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    because they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful,
    because they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
    because they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
    because they will be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
    because theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you
    when they insult you and persecute you and say all kinds of evil things against you, lying on account of me.Rejoice and be glad, because your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets before you." Matt 5

This is not a roll call of the righteous.  This is not a who's who of the winners of the world.

"For consider your calling, brothers, that not many were wise according to human standards, not many were powerful, not many were well born. But the foolish things of the world God chose in order that he might put to shame the wise, and the weak things of the world God chose in order that he might put to shame the strong, and the insignificant of the world, and the despised, God chose, the things that are not, in order that he might abolish the things that are, so that all flesh may not boast before God. But from him you are in Christ Jesus, who became wisdom to us from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, just as it is written, “The one who boasts, let him boast in the Lord.”" 1 Cor

It is good the Eagles lost last night.  It has reminded me again that God does not help those who help themselves.  God saves the helpless.  Jesus came to save the losers.  And it is to the degree that we know our failure and our worthlessness that we will know his love and grace.  The only chest thumping Jesus condones is...

"But the tax collector, standing far away, did not want even to raise his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’" Luke 18

Thursday, January 02, 2014

No matter the weather, somebody, somewhere likes it.

My eldest son, Happ, is home for winter break.  i made him a sammich for lunch the other day too.  So, extra post-its!  Yeah, Happ wasn't happy about going to work in the rain.

You know how when you have to go back to work or school after a long break or vacation and people say, "Back to reality!"?

That's a lie.

Because some day, when we wake up in Eternity, to those who's sin is covered by the blood of Jesus, this is going to seem like a bad dream.