Thursday, February 28, 2013


You know sometimes in life I think we give up to quickly, especially when it comes to prayer. Our culture has become so much about "I want what I want and I want it now" that if we don't get it "now" then we blame Abba and say "oh it must not have been in God's will".  This attitude has even infected our church services, you know you have 3 songs, announcements, a message that better not go over 20 minutes or you will half the congregation looking at their watches complaining that it went over again. The reactions we used to get from folks when they found out our church services would last 5 hours on average, were kind of funny. But once they came they understood why. I guess there were some things we figured out kind of by accident, we found that sometimes sitting around a living room with a snack and other Abba loving folks is a great form of ministry His love flows and stuff just happens, it's ok to stop and back up to make sure everyone is ok or to have a teaching moment, that when we are praying for people that we need to not let time interfere with what the Holy Spirit is doing and in that sometimes persistence is the key (Jesus tells us to ask and keep asking, seek and keep seeking) these things take time and commitment.
We need to maintain our focus keep our eyes on Him, let Him know we are serious about being the overcomer's  that He has called us to be. That doesn't happen when we have a drive-thru, microwave mentality. It takes persistence and pursuit of what Abba lays before us.
Luke 18:1-8 "ALSO [Jesus] told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not to turn coward (faint, lose heart, and give up). He said, In a certain city there was a judge who neither reverenced and feared God nor respected or considered man. And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and  saying, Protect and defend and give me justice against my adversary. And for a time he would not; but later he said to himself, Though I have neither reverence or fear for God nor respect  or consideration for man, Yet because this widow continues to bother me, I will defend  and protect and avenge her, lest  she give me intolerable annoyance and wear me out by her continual coming or at the last she come and rail on me or assault me or strangle me. Then the Lord said, Listen to what the unjust judge says! And will not [our just] God defend and protect and avenge His elect (His chosen ones), who cry to Him day and night? Will He defer them and delay help on their behalf? I tell you, He will defend and protect  and avenge them speedily. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find [persistence in] faith on the earth?"

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

choosing who we trust

I think there are many that become wary or even afraid of the Holy Spirit, mostly because of gift abuse or sheep abuse, where people misuse the Holy Spirit for personal gain or use the gifts to manipulate and control others. However, when you look at the names that Jesus gave the Holy Spirit you don't see manipulator in the list what you do see is this; Comforter, Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate,  Strengthener, Standby. Personally I welcome the Holy Spirit and everything that comes with Him, its not always easy and sometimes the things He leads you to do or deal are a little scary, but that is when trust and faith come in. We need to do what Jesus told us to do through the power of the Holy Spirit we can take control of our hearts and not let them be troubled or afraid. That is a choice we have to make and in doing so we can overcome fear and dispel manipulators.
John 14:26-27 "But the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate,  Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will cause you to recall (will remind you of, bring to your remembrance) everything I have told you. Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]"

Friday, February 22, 2013

logical, courteous and respectful

Be logical, courteous and respectful... Wonder if Peter was a Star Trek fan or maybe Spock was a Peter fan. Just sayin'
1 Peter 3:14-16 "But even in case you should suffer for the sake of  righteousness, [you are] blessed (happy, to be envied). Do not dread or be afraid of their threats, nor be disturbed [by their opposition]. But in your hearts set Christ apart as holy [and acknowledge Him] as Lord. Always be ready to give a logical defense to anyone who asks you to account for the hope that is in you, but do it courteously and respectfully. [And see to it that] your conscience is entirely clear (unimpaired), so that, when you are falsely accused as evildoers, those who threaten you abusively and revile your right behavior in Christ may come to be ashamed [of slandering your good lives]."

Thursday, February 21, 2013

the basics

Many times in ministry situations you hear people say "I want to know what God's will is for my life." Frequently in trying to figure this out we spend so much time focusing on  the big thing He might want us to do that we miss the things that He wants us to do on a daily regular basis. His  will for us at the most basic level is love Him, love others as you love yourself and to be obedient to what He is telling you to do. If we do these three things we will be in His will for our lives. In the story of the Samaritan woman at the well this is demonstrated to us by Jesus. It says that Jesus needed or had to go through Samaria. In this time Samaria was completely avoided by the Jews they looked down on the Samaritans, they would walk around Samaria to get where they were going even if it were faster to go through. But Jesus NEEDED to go there, the Father put it on His heart to go where no one else was willing to love and minister to a woman and then a town. 
You see when you stick to the basics there really aren't any limitations to what you can achieve.
John 4:3-10 "He left Judea and departed again to Galilee. But He needed to go through Samaria. So He came to a city of Samaria which is called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour. A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her,  “Give Me a drink.” For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. Jesus answered and said to her,  “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”"

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

attitude is everything

How many times do we hear that your attitude is everything?  I tend to agree with that and the thing about our attitudes is that we have the ability to have control over them. Uhoh I used the "c" word, so many people cringe at the word control, mostly because they confuse control with manipulation. But when control is used in a godly sense it is a good thing, especially when we talk about self-control. In fact the Bible says in Galatians 5 that self-control is fruit of The Holy Spirit. We also need to be open to and accepting of correction and guidance, especially when it comes from Abba Himself, but also when it comes from the godly folks in our lives that have the relationship and authority to bring it.  A litmus test on the source of this guidance or correction is this; is it given in love, and does it line up with God's word and things He has already been showing you? If it is brought with condemnation and manipulation it isn't from Abba. When Abba brings correction it brings life, growth and wisdom when we decide we are going to accept and obey what He brings to us.
Proverbs 15:28-33 "The mind of the [uncompromisingly] righteous studies how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things. The Lord is far from the wicked, but He hears the prayer of the [consistently] righteous (the upright, in right standing with Him). The light in the eyes [of him whose heart is joyful]  rejoices the hearts of others, and good news nourishes the bones. The ear that listens to the reproof [that leads to or gives] life will remain among the wise. He who refuses and ignores instruction and correction despises himself, but he who heeds reproof gets understanding. The reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord brings instruction in Wisdom, and humility comes before honor."

Monday, February 18, 2013

mature insight from Peter

I would have to say that Peter definitely matured as he got older and took a place of leadership in the early church.  He was the guy that was so passionate he went from being praised for his prophetic insight to being reprimanded for sticking his foot in his mouth all in the same conversation. Believe me there are times I can really relate to him.  One thing that he does well is lay out guidelines for how we should live being a part of the body of Christ. We need  to be hospitable, care for and love one another, especially for other members of the body. The Bible says that we should be recognized by outsiders by our love for one another, how ya doing there? He also tells us that Abba has given us gifts and talents that are to be used to bless others. That we should speak as oracles of God, which means that we should be a prophetic voice into others lives calling out the things that are hidden there waiting for life to be spoken into them. And finally that we need to fully rely on Abba for our strength so that everything we do brings Him glory because He is the provider of it all. If we work and function in the gifts that He has given us so that we can receive the glory due to Him then we become no better than Satan who was cast out of heaven for doing just that. Don't get me wrong, it's good to receive compliments. We just can't do what we do forgetting them. On the flip side of that to be self effacing and say that you aren't worthy and it was just Jesus is false humility and a form of pride.
People will know who you are by what you do, how you love and the fruit you bear. What are you known for?
1 Peter 4:9-11 "Practice hospitality to one another (those of the household of faith). [Be hospitable, be a lover of strangers, with brotherly affection for the unknown guests, the foreigners, the poor, and all others who come your way who are of Christ’s body.] And [in each instance] do it ungrudgingly (cordially and graciously, without complaining but as representing Him). As each of you has received a gift (a particular spiritual talent, a gracious divine endowment), employ it for one another as [befits] good trustees of God’s many-sided grace [faithful stewards of the extremely diverse powers and gifts granted to Christians by unmerited favor]. Whoever speaks, [let him do it as one who utters] oracles of God; whoever renders service, [let him do it] as with the strength which God furnishes abundantly, so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ (the Messiah). To Him be the glory and dominion forever and ever (through  endless ages). Amen (so be it)."

Thursday, February 14, 2013

mopey or joyful?

You ever hear people who don't have a relationship with Jesus say things like: "why should I become a Christian? I don't see any difference in them than anyone else" or "if I decided to become a Christian I'll just have to follow a bunch of religious rules and be all mopey all the time, and i can't have any fun anymore." ?
These comments tend to irk me, not because of their statements but because the people that are Christians in their lives   haven't been setting a good example. We need to be showing them something different that is attractive not repelling them with religious stuff.
We need to be better about expressing the benefits of a deep relationship with Abba. He loves us, protects us, is interested in us and pays attention when we speak or are in need, He also gives us rest, peace and an incomprehedible joy. Don't you think that is what we should be showing the world instead of mopey religiousness?
Psalm 4 "ANSWER ME when I call, O God of my righteousness (uprightness, justice, and right standing with You)! You have freed me when I was hemmed in and enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me and hear my prayer. O you sons of men, how long will you turn my honor and glory into shame? How long will you love vanity and futility and seek after lies?  Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]! But know that the Lord has set apart for Himself [and given distinction to] him who is godly [the man of loving-kindness]. The Lord listens and heeds when I call to Him. Be angry [or stand in awe] and sin not; commune with your own hearts upon your beds and be silent (sorry for the things you say in your hearts).  Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]! Offer just and right sacrifices; trust  (lean on and be confident) in the Lord. Many say, Oh, that we might see some good! Lift up the light of Your countenance upon us, O Lord. You have put more joy and rejoicing in my heart than [they know] when their wheat and new wine have yielded abundantly. In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for You, Lord, alone make me dwell in safety and confident trust."

Monday, February 11, 2013


We need to remember that others watch and follow us, could be our kids, coworkers, or people at church. In order to disciple them we need to be disciples ourselves, part of that means we have to be able to receive discipline and correction in fact we should welcome it.  The Bible says . if we love Him we will be obedient to Him.
What's the example you're setting?
Proverbs 10:17 "He who heeds instruction and correction is [not only himself] in the way of life [but also] is a way of life for others. And he who neglects or refuses reproof [not only himself] goes astray [but also] causes to err and is a path toward ruin for others."

Saturday, February 9, 2013

repairer and restorer

We are called to set folks free from oppression and not overwhelm them with religious yolks. We are to bring restoration and the Father's love to those that have been torn down and feel they are not worthy of love. We need to be different and set apart in a way that makes our lives attractive to others and doesn't repel them.
Will you be called a restorer and a repairer?
Isaiah 58:6-12 "[Rather] is not this the fast that I have chosen: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the bands of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every [enslaving] yoke? Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house--when you see the naked, that you cover him, and that you hide not yourself from [the needs of] your own flesh and blood? Then shall your light break forth like the morning, and your healing (your restoration and the power of a new life) shall spring forth speedily; your righteousness (your rightness, your justice, and your right relationship with God) shall go before you [conducting you to peace and prosperity], and the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry, and He will say, Here I am. If you take away from your midst yokes of oppression [wherever you find them], the finger pointed in scorn [toward the oppressed or the godly], and every form of false, harsh, unjust, and wicked  speaking, And if you pour out that with which you sustain your own life for the hungry and satisfy the need of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in darkness, and your obscurity and gloom become like the noonday. And the Lord shall guide you continually and satisfy you in drought and in dry places and make strong your bones. And you  shall be like a watered garden and like a spring of water whose waters fail not. And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of [buildings that have laid waste for] many generations; and you  shall be called Repairer of the Breach, Restorer of Streets to Dwell In."

Friday, February 8, 2013

truth & consequences

Ever notice that the Bible is full of if-then statements? If you do this thing I am showing or commanding then you will be blessed, most people like to stop here. However there is usually a flip side the side no one wants to deal with this is the "and if you don't do these things then there will be consequences". Some will try to hide behind forgiveness and grace to try and avoid the consequences and then get mad at God when even He forgives them He doesn't release them from the consequences of what they have done. It reminds of the guy that was a murderer and thief on the cross next to Jesus he recognized Jesus as the Son of God and confessed such. Jesus forgave him but didn't help him off the cross, but made a place for him in heaven.  Obedience is a key that unlocks so many things that we can't even imagine.
Isaiah 1:16-20 "Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes! Cease to do evil, Learn to do right! Seek justice, relieve the oppressed, and correct the oppressor. Defend the fatherless, plead for the widow. Come now, and let us reason together, says the Lord. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; But if you refuse and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken it."

Thursday, February 7, 2013

moral power and excellence of soul

Man sometimes I can really relate to Paul, I really like his directness and confidence in his calling.  Also his use of sarcasm to point out areas that need correction. In this chapter in Corinthians he was dealing with a group of people that were being divisive they were creating factions or separations based upon which apostle the learned from or associated with. They would also claim to have obtained special gifts or anointings because of these relationships, essentially taking what was not given them and claiming it as theirs. This still happens today, you hear people talking about going here and there to see a certain preacher or prophet so I can get some of what they got. Or they will claim they are disciples of different "famous" speakers, even though they don't have relationship with them.  Don't  get me wrong here it is important that we find solid godly teachers and mentors. I also think it makes us stronger when we can glean from different teaching streams and I also know that when you get around some people in some environments and their anointings can overflow and we can catch some splash from it. But that doesn't mean we have their anointing now it just means that we got to experience something for a moment. True leaders, ministers and mentors don't draw people to themselves but guide them to their spot in the kingdom. Will people come and follow? Sure they will but as leaders we don't collect them for ourselves but for Jesus. They should be attracted by the love of the Father and the power that comes from that, not from eloquent speaking and persuasive words. I like when Paul says, "For the kingdom of God consists of and is based on not talk but power (moral power and excellence of soul)."
1 Corinthians 4: "SO THEN, let us [apostles] be looked upon as ministering  servants of Christ and stewards (trustees) of the mysteries (the secret purposes) of God. Moreover, it is [essentially] required of stewards that a man  should be found faithful [proving himself worthy of trust]. But [as for me personally] it matters very little to me that I  should be put on trial by you [on this point], and that you or any other human tribunal should investigate and question  and cross-question me. I do not even put myself on trial  and judge myself. I am not conscious of anything against myself, and I feel blameless; but I am not vindicated and acquitted before God on that account. It is the Lord [Himself] Who examines and judges me. So do not make any hasty or premature judgments before the time when the Lord comes [again], for He will both bring to light the secret things that are [now hidden] in darkness and disclose and expose the [secret] aims (motives and purposes) of hearts. Then every man will receive his [due] commendation from God. Now I have applied all this [about parties and factions] to myself and Apollos for your sakes, brethren, so that from what I have said of us [as illustrations], you may learn [to think of men in accordance with Scripture and] not to go beyond that which is written, that none of you may be puffed up and inflated with pride and boast in favor of one [minister and teacher] against another. For who separates you from the others [as a faction leader]? [Who makes you superior and sets you apart from another, giving you the preeminence?] What have you that was not given to you? If then you received it [from  someone], why do you boast as if you had not received [but had gained it by your own  efforts]? [You behave as if] you are already filled and think you have enough [you are full and content, feeling no need of anything more]! Already you have become rich [in spiritual gifts and graces]! [Without any counsel or instruction from us, in your conceit], you have ascended your thrones and come into your kingdom without including us! And would that it were true and that you did reign, so that we might be sharing the kingdom with you! For it seems to me that God has made an exhibit of us apostles, exposing us to view last [of all, like men in a triumphal procession who are] sentenced to death [and displayed at the end of the line]. For we have become a  spectacle to the world [a show in the world’s amphitheater] with both men and angels [as spectators]. We are [looked upon as] fools on account of Christ and for His sake, but you are [supposedly] so amazingly wise and prudent in Christ! We are weak, but you are [so very]  strong! You are highly esteemed, but we are in disrepute and contempt! To this hour we have gone both hungry and thirsty; we [habitually] wear but one undergarment [and shiver in the cold]; we are roughly knocked about and wander around homeless. And we still toil unto weariness [for our living], working hard with our own hands. When men revile us [wound us with an accursed sting], we bless them. When we are persecuted, we take it patiently and endure it. When we are slandered and defamed, we [try to] answer softly and bring comfort. We have been made and are now the rubbish and filth of the world [the offscouring of all things, the scum of the earth]. I do not write this to shame you, but to warn and counsel you as my beloved children. After all, though you should have ten thousand teachers (guides to direct you) in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the glad tidings (the Gospel). So I urge and implore you, be imitators of me. For this very cause I sent to you Timothy, who is my beloved and trustworthy child in the Lord, who will recall to your minds my methods of proceeding and course of conduct and way of life in Christ, such as I teach everywhere in each of the churches. Some of you have become conceited and arrogant and pretentious, counting on my not coming to you. But I will come to you [and] shortly, if the Lord is willing, and then I will perceive and understand not what the talk of these puffed up and arrogant spirits amount to, but their force (the moral power and excellence of soul they really possess). For the kingdom of God consists of and is based on not talk but power (moral power and excellence of soul). Now which do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a rod of correction, or with love and in a spirit of gentleness?"

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


Have you read some Scripture and thought "man that's some scary stuff"? Happened to me this morning as I was reading this Scripture in Matthew. I guess there couple things in this that bother me. One is as a leader, how am I doing in helping people find the narrow gate, the way less trodden? Does my life and ministry reflect a narrow gate lifestyle?  Another thing is even though we aren't called to be fruit inspectors we need to be able to discern between good fruit and bad. There are many false prophets who are tricking people to follow the wide and easy path, some of their fruit has the appearance of being good but is rotten and bitter at the core. And when it comes to prophets remember the Bible says that the prophet need to judge the prophets.
We need to choose the narrow, less popular route with our lives. We need to be ok with going against the grain and flow. We need to be willing to stand and be obedient to Abba even if others pressure us to go a more comfortable way.  I want to be like the man that built his house upon the rock.
Matthew 7:13-24 "Enter through the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and  spacious and broad is the way that leads away to destruction, and many are those who are entering through it. But the gate is narrow (contracted by pressure) and the way is straitened and compressed that leads away to life, and few are those who find it. Beware of false prophets, who come to you dressed as sheep, but inside they are devouring wolves. You will fully recognize them by their fruits. Do people pick grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles? Even so, every healthy (sound) tree bears good fruit [worthy of admiration], but the sickly (decaying, worthless) tree bears bad (worthless) fruit. A good (healthy) tree cannot bear bad (worthless) fruit, nor can a bad (diseased) tree bear excellent fruit [worthy of admiration]. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and cast into the fire. Therefore, you will fully know them by their fruits. Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father Who is in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name and driven out demons in Your name and done many mighty works in Your name? And then I will say to them openly (publicly), I never knew you; depart from Me, you who act wickedly [disregarding My commands]. So everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts upon them [obeying them] will be like a sensible (prudent, practical, wise) man who built his house upon the rock."

Monday, February 4, 2013

grace and truth

Have you ever noticed that we tend to pick and choose the verses and stories in the Bible to reflect how we have been taught or as a reflection of where our hearts are?  If you are very religious and have a judgmental heart you will find and verse that has to do with judgment even if you have to twist it or skew it to make it fit. I know at this point the high compassion I want everyone to feel good and happy folks just gave a little cheer. But guess what? You are just as guilty of the same actions.
In the last week or so the subject of Jesus being 100% full of grace and 100% full of truth has come up at prayer and church ( thanks Pastor Bob). If we are supposed to be Jesus in the flesh, His hands, mouth and feet, then we need to embrace both and provide both in equal measure.
I was reading this passage in Luke this morning where John the Baptist had been thrown in jail and he sent his follower's to Jesus to ask if He really was the Messiah. So you have to ask yourself what changed? John recognized Jesus when they were fetuses and when he baptized Him. So what changed? John was in jail fixing to be beheaded and you know part of what he was thinking is if I am such a great prophet and evangelist why am I in jail why aren't You here getting me out if You really are the Messiah? Usually when this story is referred to we only hear verse 22, which essentially says here is all the stuff that is happening that proves I am the Messiah.  What usually gets skipped is verse 23,where He says you will be blessed if you don't get offended at Me because of your circumstances. Basically He confirmed John's question and then gave him a warning to check His heart because Jesus knew where John's heart was going. This was then followed by Jesus giving John public honor. 
My point here? We need to be full of grace and truth and love people with both despite their circumstances.
Luke 7:22-23 "So He replied to them, Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the good news (the Gospel) preached to them. And blessed (happy--with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, apart from outward conditions--and to be envied) is he who takes no offense in Me and who is not hurt or resentful or annoyed or repelled or made to stumble [whatever may occur]."

Saturday, February 2, 2013


The story of Lazarus being raised from the dead is one of my favorites for so many reasons, but mostly it shows so much of God's character. It is a good example of how He does things in His timing, His compassion for those He loves, and how when He shows up stuff happens. This morning in this passage there are two things that really got my attention. When Jesus said "Did I not tell you and promise you that if you would believe and rely on Me, you would see the glory of God?" in this situation  He was essentially saying "are you going to trust Me despite what you see in the natural?" The other thing is when He prayed to Abba and said "Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. Yes, I know You always hear and listen to Me". We need to have this attitude, boldness and confidence when we come before the throne of grace. Jesus was setting the example for us when we are in line with Abba and what He is doing we should live with that level of expectation, when we pray and minister to others.
John 11:39-45 "Jesus said, Take away the stone. Martha, the sister of the dead man, exclaimed, But Lord, by this time he [is decaying and] throws off an offensive odor, for he has been dead four days! Jesus said to her, Did I not tell you and promise you that if you would believe and rely on Me, you would see the glory of God? So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. Yes, I know You always hear and listen to Me, but I have said this on account of and for the benefit of the people standing around, so that they may believe that You did send Me [that You have made Me Your Messenger]. When He had said this, He shouted with a loud voice, Lazarus, come out! And out walked the man who had been dead, his hands and feet wrapped in burial cloths (linen strips), and with a [burial] napkin bound around his face. Jesus said to them, Free him of the burial wrappings and let him go. Upon seeing what Jesus had done, many of the Jews who had come with Mary believed in Him. [They trusted in Him and adhered to Him and relied on Him.]"