Only one adequate plan has ever appeared in the world, and that is the Christian dispensation.
John Jay - First US Supreme Court Chief Justice
Wednesday's Word

Wednesday's Word

Welcome friends, feel free to look around, make comments and whatnot. I'll try and keep this thing updated with interesting pics, stories and other odds & ends. Feel free to criticize, but please share the 'truth in love'. No reason to be purposefully offensive. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018


When I reflect on my childhood, or childhood in general, it’s quite laughable at how easy fear comes to us as kids. All you have to do is turn off the lights. Even when all you’re really seeing is darkness, your mind starts to see so much more than darkness. God forbid you actually do see something like a jacket hanging from a chair, toys on the dresser, or stuff on the floor with the lights on: Once the lights are out, those things are anything but what they clearly were when the lights were on.

What is this? Most of us would say fear, but I’m not sure I totally agree. Fear is the response to this phenomena but I don’t think that fear is the phenomena itself. I know adults that still have an issue with things like ‘lights out’ that provoke a response of fear.

Here’s what I think the phenomena really is: at its basic level, it’s influence. Influence is benign until it’s followed up by a choice; an action that then gives form and function to the influence.

Here’s why I’ve come to the conclusion I did. I believe that two people, given the same influence, can respond widely different and on the other hand, two people can DO the exact same thing for opposite reasons.

I would venture to say that although they’re opposites, faith and fear are the same “types” of thing; A response to influence. Fear and faith are both responses prompted from varied influences. And speaking of responses, either can be considered ‘dead’ if there’s no action to measure it by. Even if the action looks like inaction, this is not to say that the influence didn't promote a response. You could stand still out of being overwhelmed with fear, or you can stand resolute, knowing that the next move is God’s and His alone. Faithfully.

Fear is a substance, just as faith is, However, as faith is a substance that supports hope, fear is a substance that supports dread. Just as faith is the evidence of things not seen, fear is also. The difference is that the evidence of faith is something desirable, that of fear is not.

This is about provoking you to think. And in thinking, that you would seek to come to resolutions and conclusion on how you perceive the world around you as well as your faith walk. That you would analyze and interrogate your motivations.
This is so you can effectively take captive every thought that would exalt itself against the knowledge of God (2 Corinthians 10:5). I’m not trying to give easy answers as much as I’m encouraging us to strengthen our ability to strive for right thinking. Not just to defeat blatant sin but to identify misdirected thinking and to enrich and enlighten a right understanding.

Fear is to Uncertainty as faith is to Certainty. Don’t mix the two.

When you see the proverbial monster under the bed, the first thing that comes is uncertainty. You’re not certain that there’s a monster, you’re just uncertain that there’s NOT a monster. Just like as some adults after watching a scary movie – the movie hasn’t created a certainty in you that something is about to happen, it’s created an uneasiness, a fear that something uncertain can “likely” happen and cause you harm.

Faith is different. The more that we not just learn about God but really begin to trust Him and start to truly ‘taste and see that The Lord is good.’ This truth begins to command our influence. It’s not that we start to deny that there is uncertainty in the world, but that our certainty is stronger. The overriding certainty is that God CERTAINLY knows our situations and still plans ‘good’ for our lives.

Certainty shouldn’t just be present in an opposing kind of way to uncertainty, but overpowering it in a “Casting down imaginations” kind of way. Even when uncertainty is pulling out all of the stops, trying to shake our faith, we would resolve to “fear no evil.”(Psalm 23) You DO know that God is stronger and His mercy abides forever and that there is nothing that can stand against that.

Here's The Word:

Mark 4:40 And he(Jesus) said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?

Hebrews 11:27 By faith he(Moses) forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing HIM who is invisible.

Everyone always uses Hebrews 11:1, feel free to look it up. I eluded to it earlier, but I didn't use it outright because I think we can become too used to what its meant for us in the past. Not that we don't have a good understanding, but I think that sometimes, having such familiarized ideas makes it harder to stir up new motivations. Faith and fear are both very powerful, but what makes them powerful? As for fear, it derives its power from many things, but none of those things can dare compare to The One Who is the power and promise behind Faith.

In Him,

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Penthouse View

This is a tough one. Maybe it’s not for you at all, but I feel like I need to write for what Joshua 4 refers to as a stone of remembrance. An altar. This is one of those times where you know…your view has just fundamentally changed.

So in that, I’m not simply trying to convey the usual ideas or encouragements: I’m writing for posterity sake. I need to put it all down while it’s still fresh and raw…emotions and all. I’m so wrecked right now.

I grew up in churches where speculations…or rather, suspicions ran high. If the pastor had a nicer car, of course he was misappropriating funds from people living paycheck to paycheck. Also, it probably should’ve been someone’s job to notify “testifiers” that they'd gone on enough about being blessed and highly favored. Yes, I know how judgmental this sounds. I don’t feel that way anymore, but that’s really how it was when I was much younger. When I think about that reality, it helps me understand why some people perceive God in distorted ways: as if ‘imitating’ God is best expressed in living well and being above it all. Like He’s just up in Heaven looking down. Strutting around heaven in vain magnificence. Looking only to zap people with either blessings or curses.

Then I grew up. At some point, you just get a little older and hopefully wiser. You see where your uninformed opinions fail miserably, and you also see where some thoughts have merit. It’s obvious that some pastors DO misappropriate money to fund extravagant lifestyles. It’s also true that if people are honest, ‘blessed and highly favored’ is a great place to be but we also ALL experience pain and sufferings that should be neither overly sensationalized nor disregarded altogether.

And absolutely, getting those invaluable glimpses of God through unexpected circumstances helps you see that He’s not just leaning against the windows of Heaven, enjoying a penthouse view.

So, enough with the preface, here’s what happened:

I had a thought last week about taking an opportunity to be generous. I remember growing up with very little (monetarily speaking), and I wondered about the kids at my son’s school and the meal program.

So I called. I called the school and talked to the meal program manager and explained what I wanted to do – to identify the kids who had the most need. Not the highest balance, but those in situations of poverty where even if the amount was small, it was unlikely that they had, or would ever have the means to take care of it.
Of course, he was surprised and thankful and all of that. I expected the response but I wasn’t looking to have my ego stroked. I knew at the end of all of this, there would be a small bit of relief for students in desperate situations. Now mind you, I was in a giving spirit and it was well enough for me that I thought I would just write a check and they would figure out how best to disperse the funds – That would’ve been fine, but that’s not how it played out. The program manager, let’s call him Mr. Eric, said that it was best to pay with cash. No problem. So I go to the school expecting to drop off money (instead of a check) and then it starts. He had prepared 3 lists of kids. ALL of them in different situations, but ALL of them owe. My mind is still trying to make this a quick transaction so I’m like “Here’s a list with the total contribution I had in mind, can we just…”

Mr. Eric starts explaining each list. He tells me about kids who received lunch while waiting for their paperwork to be processed and all of that… I’ll spare you each detail. Suffice it to say, this wasn’t going to be quick. Eventually, we get to the idea of the kids with the greatest need and we put checks by their names. The highest balances (over 5 dollars), with the least likely ability to pay.

With modified lists in hand, off we go to the registers. He has to type in the PIN # for each kid to bring up their account. As each account displays, there’s also a picture. Now it’s real. Now it’s hitting my heart. These kids walk these halls each day with these smiling faces…hiding a secret…a debt they can’t pay. My mind is racing, relating what I thought, rather, what I wanted to be “less” significant, into relationships between the practicality of this situation and the predicament that we're all born into: We're ALL born into a spiritual debt…a debt we can’t pay. Yet we hide behind smiles and superficiality trying to not look "needy".
It continues. We decided it would be most helpful to pay the round numbers – the dollar amount and let the kids handle the change themselves. See that? Our debt has truly been paid, but WE have to handle the CHANGE.

Now I’m holding back tears and we’re just getting started. More faces, more names, more paying. Now I see God. NOT enjoying a penthouse view but having such a heart of mercy and generosity to engage Himself at each face and each account…paying each one personally. Not for just one school, but for all humanity for all history.
You'd think that THIS would be enough of an unexpected lesson to rejoice in for the rest of the day, right? Right.

It all comes crashing in when my thoughts go to...My son. My son goes to this school. He walks up and down these halls everyday with THESE kids.
Do they even know him? Are they nice to him? Are they jerks to him?
Too many tears to hold back. It's not disruptive, just a quiet, somber weeping. I put my head down and just keep giving the money. To clarify that I get it, I know I'm not God, my son is not THE SON. I fully receive that when in Jesus' parable in Matthew 7:11, He says "if you then, being evil know how to give good..." I know amongst us fallen humans, we may consider ourselves as something better than evil, but in comparison to God, we're evil. So in that, I know I’m getting just a smidgen of God and the level of HIS sacrifice in giving us His Son – We walk these halls everyday. Do we know Him? are we jerks to Him? I think back - Is there even a penthouse view in Heaven at all?
With all He’s paid and all that’s happened to His son, Heaven is now looking quite different to me.

We finally get to the last student that I knew we could contribute to and I’m exhausted. Of course not in a way where I’m regretting the idea of giving. That’s fine, and I’m satisfied in a “mission accomplished” kind of way.
I’m exhausted of the wrenching barrage of thoughts and considerations hitting my mind and the weight of the spiritual lessons I’m being overcome by. So the last person’s account pops up and it was one of the most in terms of amount. I didn’t have enough to pay off the account but when I saw the pic, I couldn’t stop there. I went back to the car and got enough to pay it almost in full. I’d paid more than I expected to. Whew!
Okay God, You don't only have my attention, You have my affection. In a small way, at a small school, in a small town…I get it. In a way that's been shrunk down for my finite mind to grasp, even though I'm overwhelmed by my inability to fully "see" it, I’ve gotten a small but powerful glimpse of your GREAT love for us and Your desire to handle our greatest need.

Here’s The Word:

Matthew 23:11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.

Galatians 6:2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ-

I obviously grew up with a pharisaical take on some of the things I saw in church. A 'showy' display of Christianity as it relates to panache and prosperity. Now that I'm older: I see differently, I think differently and I desire differently. I'm also well comforted in the fact of what comes next.
Eternity will be unmatched in splendor and unimpeded, tearless enjoyment. It's just that we're not there yet and the law of Christ is not a pursuit of trouble-free paradise. Its directly tied to the needs of the here and now and learning His heart through giving, bearing, striving and serving shouldn't be resisted. I'm thankful for being exposed to the Love that God has for us and the magnificence of Who He is in it and His active engagement based on resolve and resolution is valuable beyond measure

In Him,

Monday, March 12, 2018


I’m not a pastor, but in this post I plan to use a ‘pastoral privilege’. I need to make use of a couple of uncommon words. One might even venture to say that I made this word up. Thing is, the pastoral privilege of creative wording isn’t a carte blanch allowance to spout jibberish, it’s simply a matter that when used rightly, it brings the message to life.

When I think of the Christian Walk, it’s an absolutely amazing thing. Jesus didn’t only provide Himself as the perfect sacrifice for us, but He also lived as the perfect example and He has given us ALL things that pertain to life according to 2 Peter 1:3. The biggest ‘Thing” that He’s given us is the gift of the Holy Spirit which Christ Himself in Acts 1:8 said would be POWER. And here’s where we set up camp today – understanding the uses of this power.
Most people see this power as linear. Its intent and availability to give us things and make things happen; boldness, courage, endurance, patience, stronger faith, wisdom, etc.

However, using simple mathematical deducery(that’s one), you realize that this power afforded to us is also intended and useful to tear things down…. In a good way. The fruit of The Spirit needs to be empowered, the influences of the old self, need to be depowered.(and there’s the other).

Here’s The Word:

Colossians 2:15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it

Romans 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

Think about it like this – When Christ died and rose again, He took the sting of death and made an open spectacle of the principalities and powers. You could say that IN His power, he depowered the forces of evil. This same power that raised Christ from the dead is now at work in us and I don’t mean to make it sound effortless, but we do have the power to not live under the former principalities and powers.

I needed to use depower because I needed a word that conveyed a different idea than to power down, or disconnect. I needed a word that didn’t convey evading or dismissal. I needed a word that clarified an active “lessening” and overcoming of a real power with a better power. In Christ’s gift of the Holy Spirit to us, we have been given the power to depower.

2 Corinthians 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

Fasting depowers the influence of flesh
Worship depowers the influence of self
Trust depowers independence
Study depowers ignorance

Wisdom depowers uncertainty
Grace depowers self-sufficiency
Accountability depowers arrogance
Love depowers indifference

Sacrifice depowers expectation
Impurity is depowered by consecration
Patience depowers anxiety
His will, His time is alright by me.

Faith! You bet it depowers fear,
You don’t have to see, to know He’s near
Just as reliance depowers want
Humility depowers the desire to flaunt

Soberness depowers self-exaltation
Recognizing His Sovereignty depowers idol creation
Gratitude depowers entitlement
Mercy depowers unshakable guilt

Giving depowers fear of lack
You can’t out give God
He gives it back.

John 3:30 – He must increase, I must decrease

1 Corinthians 6:12 All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

We have the power to “having done all, to stand”. We have the power to lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us and the power to live as conquerors. This is not 'unplugging'. This is not power that makes things happen with no involvement, using the power to depower involves a fight. It takes sincere commitment and serious effort. But I'll say it in a way that paraphrases the previous verse in 1 Corinthians, the power in me is stronger than any power outside of me and I will prove my ability to not be controlled by anything but God.
The previous list is not exhaustive. Feel free, if not also somewhat obliged to look at your life and identify things that need to be depowered.

In Him,


I tried to make today’s image look like something from a funds investment presentation. The tie in is that ‘friendship’ should connote an appreciating value. We should seek to better, and to be made better by the people who choose as friends.

I realize that much of what I write can be interpreted (or misinterpreted) based on how individuals define things. Of course, we try to convey the most common understandings about things we think we agree on, but fact of the matter is….there are no guarantees. I don’t know whether to call it a phenomena or not, but something new seems to have caught my attention.

This is about Facebook and my question is this - When did it become “a thing” to friend someone and then unfollow them because ‘unfriending’ is frowned upon (unless absolutely necessary)? It makes me wonder about how we define “friend”. I always thought that the basis for friendship was mutual interests. Something common and equally desirable . The flip side was the realization that if there was no mutual interest, then there probably was no reason to be friends. Nothing personal, but how can it work if there’s nothing personal or intimate to base a friendship on?
But when it comes to Facebook, is this important AT ALL? Maybe people don’t see Facebook as particularly real in the first place, and if that’s the case, then the answer is “No", this probably isn’t important. However, what if on the contrary, something more subtle is happening? If you unfollow someone, yet still claim to be their friend even though they are no benefit to you and you’re no benefit to them, what are we to make of that?
That means that we can redefine something to its absolute opposite, yet experience no impact of it. For believers, whether the matter is big or small, we should stay conscious of how the natural and spiritual can impact or influence each other.

In VERY obvious of ways, people claim to have a relationship with God yet they live with no mutual interest. God Himself says in Luke 6:46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say. God promotes the idea of mutual interest and its not as simple as with social media. If you unfollow Him, then essentially, you’ve unfriended Him.

Here’s The Word:

James 4:4 know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

There are many things IN life that the Bible doesn’t speak distinctly about; Math, physics, next week’s weather or what the stock market is going to do. BUT for us who FOLLOW Him, when we come across things He's expressly addressed, we should pay close attention and make sure that His definition, is our definition. And if we’re honest, there’s more than enough in His word to keep us occupied, edified and sanctified for His use.

Mutual interests in regards to Christ – We need a savior and He so happens to be the BEST one ever!
– not only out of His divine power which speaks to Authority, but also out of His great love. He went to lengths greater than we’re able to comprehend in order to not simply demand obedience, but to deserve it. He also invites and involves us in His great work in the world. If He were simply being a Divine Ruler, judgement would’ve rightfully found all of us paying for our sins through eternal separation and suffering. But He had compassion on us as a friend would, and helped us in exactly the way we needed it. He showed us by example exactly what a friend should look like.

Here’s The Word:

Proverbs 18:24 A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly

John 15:15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.

Philippians 2:4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.

Look, this is not for you to feel scolded into handling your social media any other way than how you see fit. As a matter of fact, I have many friends who don't DO social media at all. Hopefully, this was just an encouragement to look at things maybe a little differently, or maybe just a little more closely. If you have friends - be a friend, treat your friends as friends according to mutual interests, and live by Christ's example.

In Him,

Monday, February 26, 2018


Sometimes I think that as we enjoy such an unprecedented level of 'convenienced lifestyle', at a deeper level, we lose much more than we gain. However in this instance, I think the contrast is particularly revealing.
Back in our grandparent’s day, doing the laundry didn’t mean throwing a few sparse things into a machine, popping in a pod or two (or three) and setting a dial and/or pushing a button. No, back in their day it was called “the warsh” and it took the better part of the day, not counting the time it took to dry things on the line.

Most detergents had a chemical called “lye” which needed to be handled with serious care. Lye was the stuff that fought against the stains and got the wash clean. Over time, laundry soaps have become more user-friendly although they still advertise being “Tough on stains”. It’s an easy concept: We want clean laundry and we realize that it takes a detergent that fights stains but doesn’t do more harm than good(bodily). There are still older people who swear by lye, and would argue that today’s clothes aren’t anywhere near as clean as what they’d remembered in their day.
So then that’s the real question - How clean does clean need to be, to be clean? And this is also the part where the impact of the contrast is revealed. Nowadays, we feel like if we’ve done our part; loaded the machine, popped in some detergent and pushed the right buttons that the “clean” produced by these efforts is clean enough. We don’t have a lye-washed comparison to hold our wash up against. We don’t know enough to realize how ‘dingy’ or sub-standard the product of our efforts is and because of that, we assume that our best is good enough.

SO the next question is this – how perfectly clean should Heaven be? Should we be able to determine how clean it is based on our best efforts? What if our bestest efforts isn’t clean enough? should God somehow “understand” and settle?

This issue is at the core of Who God is, and He deals with it in very REAL ways in His word.

Heaven’s splendor is glorious beyond measure. You could even use "glorious" as the level of "clean" enjoyed by Heaven. There is absolutely nothing on earth that can produce or even compare to it. Scripture says "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God". Because of the sin we're born into, the sin we're subject to, and if we're honest, the sin we crave, we're just incapable of producing that kind of clean. No matter the amount of sincere desire nor a life given to ceaseless efforts. Compared to Heaven, even our very best is still filthy.
We see the reality of this in the order of sacrifices God established with His people, Israel. God clearly communicated that sin is a stain: Not just unsightly, but unbearable.
Sin is a stain worthy of being cast as far from "Holy" as east is from west, and these stains absolutely need to be washed out. So in instituting the ordinance of sacrifices, God, communicated His high level of Holiness, expectancy AND set detailed standards as to what the people would need to do to wash themselves. To purify themselves back to a desired clean state. This message did more of a job conveying God's holiness and the seriousness of the stain than it did to really clean those who’d stained themselves. Later in God’s Word, He makes it clear that this “washing” wasn't working (in any lasting way), and in some ways that it really wasn’t meant to. The ordinance of sacrifice was about the need for continued obedience, but even more important, it was a foreshadowing; pointing towards what it REALLY takes to get things clean.

Here’s The Word:

Isaiah 1: 18(a) Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow;

Isaiah 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

Hebrews 9:22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

Hebrews 10:4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.

Psalm 51:7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Ephesians 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

John 15:3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

Revelation 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,

Hebrews 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high:

God sits in glorious splendor and nothing here can attain to it. This is why His lasting remedy for us couldn’t include our input. It would’ve made anything we touched, not just unacceptably dingy, but still apparently filthy. This is where we have to stop trying to esteem our “good” as anything worthy. God, in recognition of His “Brightness” calls our best efforts “as filthy rags”. For us to try doing our own laundry; cleaning our own sin to a level of Heavenly pristine-ness is an exercise of ultimate futility. Filthy just can't improve filthy. This explains two very important things. God’s reaction to the stain of sin is righteously and severely violent AND the fact that Christ is REALLY worthy. His washing didn't just clean, it made things NEW! He now sits at the right hand of The Father after providing the stain-fighting remedy in His blood, once and for all. This means that the laundry is DONE.

In Him,

Tuesday, February 20, 2018


Okay, this one is a little different (I’m getting used to saying that) – but here goes:
Take out a piece of paper and get something to write with…yes, seriously.
I’m going to ask you 10 questions and you’re going to write your honest answer accordingly.

1. Explain the Gospel?
2. Where do believers spend eternity?
3. Who all will end up in Hell? Why?
4. Explain the difference between Salvation and Sanctification?
5. Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?
6. Why does God allow good things to happen to bad people?
7. What's the relationship between works and faith?
8. Aren't we all God's children?
9. Explain the purpose of church?
10. Explain your responsibility to God and the Gospel.

It’s often a good practice to write things down, because when they’re only allowed to be a thought, the parameters are less defined. When boundaries aren’t clear, you’re more likely to treat them as consequential or on occasion, dismiss them altogether.
Now, as you have clarified them, each of these answers carry significance and you need to ask yourself this pointed question – “Can someone look at my life and recognize that I live according to this understanding?”
Are you living with the seriousness of purpose that God showed when He delivered Christ to be our Sacrifice?
The book of Jude is small. One chapter of 25 verses but the impact of it can’t be overstated. The problem that he deals with then is just as much a major problem today: False teachings.

Here's The Word:


Jude brings to light one major idea. There is ONE faith, and we must strive to keep it in its pure and originally presented context against a real and present danger of subversion. The enemies of the faith are as old as disobedience and as relentless as the desire for self gain. We must keep watch and hold our doctrine dear to us, lest we be slyly coerced away and given to a counterfeit belief. We must give effort to know and keep the whole message of the Gospel and also to stay close, even clinging to its Author.

Everyone loves John 3:16,
but just as much The Holy Word of God is
Revelation 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.”
Do we see this is less important?
It's always a good time to take inventory and check our beliefs against The Bible. We may find that we have no reason to worry at all, but we may find that we've been slowly pulled away from some important fundamentals. At the end of the day, it's just important that we be sure.

In Him,

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

This Mind

What’s on your mind right now? I mean besides reading this, what are the other thoughts that have a measurable degree of your attention or focus? Are you having a good day? Something more along the lines of mediocre? Or is this one of those days fully deserving of a “REDO”? Are you thinking more about a person or a situation? A particular instance or a broader idea of time and circumstance? Are you experiencing the joy of a new day or is last night’s weeping wearing out its welcome?

As many things as I write about, it still boils down to thinking…doesn’t it? We always say that “God knows our thoughts even before we think them.” But then what? What are we to take away from that? This is about healthy thinking and it’s important to realize as it is with physical health – it’s possible to look healthy and still be ill. Medication (or coping mechanisms) can hide symptoms but they’re no substitution for being truly healthy and symptom free.

It’s truly a wonderful thought to ‘know’ that we have a God knows us intimately, but I would say that it’s way better to embrace the fullness of THIS God, and THIS intimacy. The "religious" side of our world likes to tout what it 'knows' but it lacks the fruit that comes from embracing: This is where we need to bridge the gap.

Here’s The Word:

John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

What sense are we to make of this? Christ is basically saying that there is an enemy; a thief who comes to take and tear down, but He is a contrast to that. He comes to give in abundance….but give what? The Bible says that we will have tribulation so we know that it’s NOT simply “trouble-free times”. We know what eternity holds for us, so in context of this, we can surmise that He’s not only speaking of the eternal.

There is something valuable and “abundant” for us here and now.

Earlier, I asked the question “What’s on your mind?” because the first step in taking hold of this abundance, is based on mindset. We all start with a natural mind that is (for the most part) completely understandable. That natural mind receives a ready a willing reception from the natural word.

As children, we’re taught that if someone snatches your toy, you snatch it back. And for children, it’s really either that assertiveness, or crying disappointment. When we’ve gotten a little older, we learn that if someone hits you, hit them back. It’s either defend yourself, or harbor a growing fear and regret. By the time we reach the point where we’ve come out of awkward adolescents and are ready to launch into life, we learn to better formulate our own viewpoints and stand on our principles. It’s either that or become part of (and silenced by), the noise of life.

Each of these ‘either or’ examples play out in the natural mindset – Cause and effect. Choices and consequences. This natural mind is where that enemy operates; taking and tearing down. Denying us from seeing the truth. It’s also in this mind where the offer of Christ, has its greatest appeal.

Here’s The Word:

Matthew 16:23 - 25 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.

How is this about thinking? I remember reading that for the first time and thought “What a harsh rebuke to Peter”, but now, I believe I see at least one aspect of where Jesus is coming from: He’s speaking to a natural mindset that’s at odds with a spiritual mindset.

1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

John 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

It's all about thinking. But the foundation of that is HOW we think. What do we use to make sense of it all? and how do we recognize the difference between the two? (flesh and Spirit)
Now, don’t get me wrong. No one arrives at full spiritual freedom on ‘Day One’, it’s about continuing and enduring. It’s about being patient with yourself and recognizing two important things – Who’s Spirit it is and where He’s taking you. So don’t let your natural mind dump guilt on you by making much of where we need to yield to a renewed mind.
Here are a few ‘natural mind” tendencies that come right from Scripture –

The natural mind is a hesitant giver.
The natural mind will give help but not ask for it.
The natural mind curses those it feels persecuted by.
The natural mind is okay with doing just enough to get by.
The natural mind has limits where hope ends and anger prevails.
The natural mind gets exhausted when our efforts aren’t recognized.
The natural mind drives us to frustration when we have to wait too long.
The natural mind prevents us from letting people who can help get too close.
High moral character and personal integrity masquerades itself as Spirituality.
The natural mind is where it makes sense to “get people back” who’ve wronged you.
The natural mind enjoys the ease of reciprocative love, but not when there’s nothing in it for us.

I can’t even begin to imagine how long a full list of aspects of a natural mind would be. So when The Bible exhorts us to “renew” our minds, it has absolutely nothing to do with a natural effort to try and think better – to not be scared to take your stuff back, to become more assertive and less bullied, or to have confidence to speak your mind. It’s not as simple as a paradigm shift, it’s a paradigm replacement. This is such a thin line and that's exactly why we're told that the Word of God is sharper than a two edged sword. It can divide these two ideas like nothing else. Other than dominant ideas like revenge and the like, there are instances where natural and spiritual are almost indistinguishable – but it’s only the spiritual mind that can tell the difference, not so with the natural.

"Let THIS mind be in you is not just a recognition of Christ emptying Himself, but a plea for us who ARE fashioned as men to humble ourselves. To work at detaching ourselves from that natural mind and to realize that the abundance is wrapped in obedience. The obedience can only be accomplished by yielding to the Spirit - even the best natural mind can't do it.

In Him,

Monday, January 29, 2018


For Christians, it is of utmost importance to preach the Gospel. To let the world know that the free gift of salvation is available to all who will believe on Christ and His virgin birth, perfect life and atoning death.
Another like passion is discipleship – to help believers humbly yield, embracing the Holy Spirit’s transformative process of sanctification, growing in righteousness.

Matthew 7:21 is the verse that causes me the most grief in that as it underscores the fruit of a believer, it also upstages the personality of a God who watches. Saying Christ, but not being Christlike is dangerously regrettable.

Often, we can become stagnant, wondering what God’s will is for our lives. I do believe that God can, and often does have distinct specifics for our lives but there’s also SO much in the Bible that we can, and should be doing as we wait for that special word from ‘on High’.
We must remember: Our actions don’t purchase our salvation, they prove it and being near Christ is no substitution for being IN Christ. Looking through the Bible, you can easily fill your current season with things God tells us to do.

You endure hardship as a good soldier of Christ.
You hold fast to the Giver of the words of eternal life.
By God’s Holy Spirit, You keep continuing, being filled.
You reverence the fact the He Is God. Be still.

You give all diligence to add to your faith.
You purpose not just to run, but to win this race.
You do unto others as you would have done to you.
You hold to the words of the Faithful and True.

You be kindly affectioned, showing brotherly love.
You seek after wisdom that comes down from above.
You make sure you don’t cause your brother to stumble.
God resists the proud. Make sure that You stay humble.

You walk by faith and not by sight.
You yield to God’s Spirit - not your power or might.
You be unmovable. You be steadfast.
You reach for the things before, leaving behind the past.

Make sure you’re the whosover that shall believe.
Make sure it’s not in vain, the grace you receive.
Be serious about You being reconciled to God.
With the Gospel of peace, your feet need be shod.

You avoid evil motives, overcome evil with good.
If you have a hungry enemy, you give him some food.
You rejoice in hope and continue instant in prayer.
You be heavenly minded, and store your treasure there.

You study God’s Word, to show yourself approved.
You develop this fortitude - “I shall not be moved”.
You work out your salvation with trembling and fear.
Seek the Lord while He may be found, call while He’s near.

you show the same diligence, secure hope to the end.
You make sure to sharpen the countenance of friends.

Because of His commission, not to earn salvation,
You go be a witness for Him to all nations.
He’s given you power for what He asks you to do.
And in everything, Give thanks. This is God’s will for you.

In Him,