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: October 2012

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!

Monday, October 29, 2012

What's That Smell?

Hello All,

It may not be particularly familiar to you, but there’s a fairly common conversation that goes into the “dullness” of our senses due to the fall. The discussion promotes the idea that we as individuals, as well as the world in general, exist in a kind of “oxidized” state; That if it wasn’t for the taint of sin, we would be able to see more clearly, have a more keen sense of hearing and smell. We’d be able to taste on a more varied and intense level. The conversation usually leads to the idea of how much more absolutely horrible hell will be due to the enhanced sensitivity to pain. Yeah, definitely not a happy thought. But my thoughts today aren’t on hell. Actually, I was thinking that the same enhanced sensory abilities already exist in Heaven. I had an incident a few years back, involving Zicam nasal spray – NEVER use the Zicam nasal spray! I temporarily seared my sense of smell and couldn’t smell a thing; neither cologne nor burning pot on the stove. What a horrible time that was. I was actually scared of what life would be without even my sinfully dulled sense of smell. Interesting thing about the sense of smell in comparison to the other senses; To see something, you have to actively look , to feel, you have to put out your hand or come in physical contact. Hearing comes easy enough, but to discern, you have to focus your listening. But smelling comes without much effort at all.

Let’s take a contrasting look: Ever thought about God’s sense of smell? If your average person can recognize 10,000 different odors, and dogs have 20 times more smell receptors than humans; imagine God’s sense of smell. Not that a tomato REALLY REALLY smells like a tomato to God, but that He can smell things we simply can’t. Where we can smell cotton candy or baking bread, God can literally smell love and it’s as distinctive a smell as any other emotion; where most of us enjoy the smell of salt air blowing in from the ocean, God enjoys the smell of righteousness. Most of what you’ll find in the Bible regarding smell or the word “savour”, centers on the sacrifice system in Leviticus. But here’s a reference I also found interesting.

Here’s the Word:

Exodus 30:34-36 And the Lord said unto Moses, Take unto thee sweet spices, stacte, and onycha, and galbanum; these sweet spices with pure frankincense: of each shall there be a like weight: And thou shalt make it a perfume, a confection after the art of the apothecary, tempered together, pure and holy: And thou shalt beat some of it very small, and put of it before the testimony in the tabernacle of the congregation, where I will meet with thee: it shall be unto you most holy.

God gave Moses a recipe for a perfume that He enjoys. And not only that, If you read further, He commanded that this scent be meant only for Him and no one else.

Understanding that burnt offerings were meant to please God with a “sweet smell”; The first chapter of Isaiah chronicles how the Nation of Israel had turned away from God and how their disobedience spoiled the smell of their worship and burnt offerings. Scripturally, we know God prefers obedience over sacrifice. I bet obedience smells better than a sacrifice tainted with pride and unrepentant sin.

Isaiah 1:15 And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood. Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.

Ephesians 5:2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

When we’re trying to humbly conduct our lives, motivated by the empowering love from and a fervent love for Jesus Christ (even when it’s hard and everything in our “old man” is trying to get our old way), I imagine it’s the best “smell” we can offer: A smell that reminds the Father of His dear Son. So keep that in mind when you consider the things you “do” for God; especially as often as we approach God in prayer. Do you imagine Him drawing in a deep smell and as He exhales, you hear the faint sigh "...Ahhhhhh ...My Son!" Or does an odor show up unannounced provoking a disdainful squint and the snappy quip of a question: What’s that smell?

In Him,

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

How Did You Die?

Hello All,

Hmmmm..... How did I die? Well if I remember correctly, it was a Wednesday (Funny that I hadn’t considered the coincidence of that until now) but it was a clear, cool evening. I lived on a sparsely populated street so as I strolled into the front yard….complete silence. As I looked up into the starry night, my mind ebbed and flowed with thoughts of my current situation as well as my past. Unfulfilled plans and shattered dreams antagonized and heckled me from the front row. Just then, I entered into what most call ‘A moment of clarity’. I’d seen the summation of my life thus far and also considered the bleak outlook of what was to come, and I thought; “You’d been taught way better than this.” The echoing thought of my Grandmother’s words continued to remind me of so many discussions we’d had in the past. I was 23 and had already had a daughter and been divorced after a short tumultuous marriage, but at that moment I knew…I knew better. No, this wasn’t a “promise to God” after being overcome in the painful throes of a drunken stupor, but the reality that I’d been goin my own way without Him. Not that I would expect Him to “fix” all of my mistakes, or to never allow me to make new ones, but simply that I’d go “with” Him and try my best to live like I knew better. So that was my prayer; “Each day Lord, a little closer.” From there, I started to really let “what I knew better” to become the drive and focus of my life. And that’s how I died.

Here’s the Word;

Colossians 3:3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

That first plunge into the death is a necessary turning point for all who would walk in newness of life with Christ. For some, it happens with a Sunday School teacher, or youth pastor or even a parent early in life. The important thing being that it happens. Of course I still make mistakes and the world doesn’t treat me like I’m something special, and more often than not, I find myself again: Not at a turning point, but at a point of decision where I rely on my ‘death’ experience and die again. Even still, I can look back at that starry night in Rapid City, South Dakota and praise God for His faithfulness; He heard my plea. It truly has been a little closer each day. A little more of me continues to die away, replaced with more of Him and His will for me and those He allows me to reach.

Here’s the Word;

Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

John 3:30 He must increase, but I must decrease.

Such a curious thing, that as many different personalities there are, it seems there are just as many ways to die.

Think back and remember…..How did you die?

In Him,

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

See, Here He Is

Hello All,

I grew up in church like many of you and now that I’m an adult, I spend quite some time going back “re-evaluating” the lessons I learned as a child. Not that I believe I was intentionally misled, and I recognize that it’s even likely that much of my theological inconsistencies come from my own desires of what I want God to be. I see now however, that what I’ve done basically equates to “idolatry” whereby I worship a manufactured “god” rather than The God identified in Scripture. The more time I spend there in His Word, without dragging my distorted theological baggage along, the more I tear down that idol and see Him for who He really is. “See. Here He is.” I do believe that God is ALL loving and ALL powerful and ALL Perfect without question. And when I “see, here He is” In Scripture, I see that it’s more SERIOUS than that.

See, Here He Is:

Leviticus 10:1-3 And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD.

1 Chronicles 13:9-11 And when they came unto the threshingfloor of Chidon, Uzza put forth his hand to hold the ark; for the oxen stumbled.10 And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzza, and he smote him, because he put his hand to the ark: and there he died before God.

Exodus 15:3 The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name.

Psalm 47:2 For the LORD most high is terrible; he is a great King over all the earth.

Micah 3:4 Then shall they cry unto the LORD, but he will not hear them: he will even hide his face from them at that time, as they have behaved themselves ill in their doings.

I wonder if reading those verses, do you envision a younger God… know, before the big white beard; before He chose to stay sitting there on His throne.

A few weeks ago, I used a verse from Zephaniah about how God rejoices with singing. I think we’re so used to picturing a seated God that our theology doesn’t allow for Him to do anything else. I don’t know how right I am, but I think of the Queen of England: She has a throne, but she’s not always just sitting there. Rest assured; no one else sits in her seat either. The creation account in Genesis says that man was “formed” from the dust of the ground. I believe that God “could” have made man while He sat on His throne, but I don’t think He did. I think He got His hands dirty, because that’s really the kind of God He is. I believe He made the garden up close and personal and enjoyed walking through it in the cool of the day. When He lead the Israelites out of Egypt, it doesn’t say He “sent” a pillar of fire and cloud but He was IN the pillar of fire and cloud and there stood over His people. (Numbers 14:14)

So, this is just an encouragement to take a “See, here He is”ly (get my little play on words?) look at The God of Scripture. Not to cherry-pick the verses that keep Him in His rightful place in your mind. You’ll find that to “See, Here He is” in Scripture is a SERIOUS matter.

In Him,

Tuesday, October 09, 2012


Hello All,

Imagine if you will a classroom. What comes to mind? Chalkboard (or whiteboard for you not old enough to remember), a globe, a big wall atlas, pin ups of cursive letters, etc.…OR what if I’d said a High School lab, does the word “lab” evoke images of rows of sinks, beakers, Bunsen burners, and a periodic table of the elements?

There are several types of classrooms, labs, seminars, and lecture halls. Now close your eyes and imagine the feel of fresh air, the sound of birds chirping; Or how about people, traffic, work, etc. These latter elements don’t automatically give you a sense of “classroom” right? As much as they describe the world around us, they’re just as much part of our classroom as a chalkboard. It all depends on the end goal of what's to be learned.

Here’s The Word;

Isaiah 6:3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.

Habakkuk 3:3 God came from Teman, and the Holy One from mount Paran. Selah. His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise.

Psalm 72:19 And blessed be his glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen.

It seems that at least ONE of the specific lessons we need to learn is to recognize the Glory of God. In a classroom setting, if the teacher asks a question, a student raises his/her hand to say the answer. I believe praise is the “answer” to a true embracing of God’s glory. It’s the sincere manifest expression. If you recognize His Glory, you can't help but praise Him. Remember in Luke 19, the Pharisees tried to quiet the disciple’s praise to which Jesus said If they don’t praise, the rocks will. It’s all based on “the TRUTH of the matter” which is why I use the word, “Maturification” – it’s not a common word, but once you see it used… get it.

We all start off learning the basics. Sort of akin to Kindergarten but eventually we grow in grace and deeper revelation of Truth by which we mature.

1 Corinthians 13:11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

3 John 1:4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.

Initially in our academic setting we primarily learn identification, association and regurgitation – which is simply to remember and repeat facts. We then build upon that with application and calculation – which applies constant methods in appropriate situations to find solutions. It’s easy to see “school” or “church” as the place where we learn and grow but we need to start seeing our very lives in whatever “place” we’re in as a sort of classroom or lab. In regards to spiritual growth however, it’s not many different subjects, the main thing is Truth: Naturally evident truth and the Word of God that we assimilate into our lives. Some truths are harder to grasp a hold of, but I’ll leave you with something TRULY glorious and praiseworthy: With Heaven’s Darling; Jesus Christ as the Author and finisher of our faith, He’s taken a personal interest in our maturification.

In Him,

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Safe and See Cure

Hello All,

As many of you know, I currently live in Charlottesville, Virginia. It’s not terribly small by any stretch of the imagination, but since I claim Chicago and Los Angeles as “home”, it definitely can’t be confused with a “Big” city. Anyway, about a couple of weeks ago, there was interesting occurrence; An Audi A8, going pretty darn fast, had run off the road, punched a rather large hole into a vacant house, and ended up upside-down in the house’s driveway. From the local news reports, the accident happened at about 3 AM and the driver fled the scene of the accident. Remember, Charlottesville is not a big city. And an Audi A8 can’t be confused with an “affordable” car. I heard estimates between 75 and 100 thousand dollars. Somebody knows.

So my thinking was: What was this person involved in to where they saw the best option was abandoning the scene?
Of course I’ve no idea but needless to say, they didn’t see owning up to the truth as a safe option. The above example maybe a little over the top, but I think we have to continually examine ourselves to make sure we see the difference between “safe” and seeing our real problem and seeing our real cure. Thing is, we start acquiring comforts for our lives and we start feeling safe in them: Safe in our income. Safe in our homes. Safe in our Audi A8s... Okay maybe not the A8.

It’s becoming all too apparent on the nightly news, or the local morning news that circumstances can alter the safety of these comforts faster than you could ever imagine. Which brings me to my point: As people, ALL PEOPLE, we’re born into a precarious situation. As sinners, in and of ourselves, there is simply no safety option for our eternal souls. But in this situation, there is something you can actually do. And once you’ve seen The Cure and grab ahold of it, believing, no circumstance can alter it.

Here’s The Word;

John 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

John 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

Nice “things” are nice and indeed should be considered a blessing from above, but be careful of what makes you feel safe. Remember, circumstance change in the blink of an eye. In the above story, that may not have been your car, but that could've been your house. Real safety comes from taking the free gift of Christ’s atonement for your sin. See Christ and See Cure.

See Cure In Him,