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: January 2017

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, January 30, 2017

Tug of War

Although, I've posted about the war against the flesh before, this is my confession: I write it more so as a testimony that I can look back upon years later and hopefully see some growth. Some evidence of increased understanding and fortitude based on better actions. I also pray that if you read this and recognize any similarity in your own struggle, that you be encouraged.
You are not alone.

If you look up ‘Tug of war’, the definition goes something like this: A contest of two forces, pulling opposite ends of a rope until one is pulled over a central line. Most times, I break this down and consider that both sides have ‘equal’ opposition or it wouldn’t be much of a contest at all. I also consider what that central line is – the measurement for achievement, which I also find funny, in such that when I looked up “tug of war”, I also saw a variety of images: One of God and the devil pulling at a person, two dogs pulling at one chew toy, two people pulling at money and one guy in the middle of the pulling between his head and his heart.

For me personally, I grapple with what’s being pulled and what is the central line. It seems that I identify with the head and heart thing but is that what it should be? If my head is one side, I can see it pulling for what makes sense; in that case, my heart then pulls for what feels better….I’m not so sure, because in that case you’d be hard pressed to always be on one side rather than a ‘deciding’ that needs to take place in regards to who SHOULD win the tug. I rather like the idea of the central line being a striving for righteousness and Holy living, which then pits the opposers as my old understanding. My old way of living and things that used to make selfish sense to me. On the other side is my ‘new man’. My redeemed self that cares more about the things of God than the things of this world. But then WHY the struggle? Is not my redeemed self, empowered by God’s Holy Spirit, much stronger than my old man? I believe that it absolutely is.
When I consider this, I’m left with the revelation of a continued expressed brokenness that lives in a word I touched on earlier….’deciding’. My old man is considerably weak when compared to The Spirit, and that weakness is where the power of the flesh wrestles with the strength of the spirit….doesn’t that seem contrary?

Here’s The Word:

Romans 7:22 -23 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

Paul is speaking of a real and present negation happening: A tug of war if you will between two decidings: One is the Law of God and righteousness which concludes on the grace of God expressed in the sacrifice of Christ and His deserved Lordship …versus the “Thou shalt not” list in me that my flesh keeps arguing, using ad hoc extenuating circumstances, keeping me from my desired freedom in Christ.

Here’s The Word:

Matthew 26:41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

So, this tug of war is not against equal opposers, just consistent ones. While we remain here, in the flesh, we must keep a persistent rein on our desires; great as well as what we could consider insignificant….we have to stay vigilant to ‘check ourselves’.
The central line is not central, but advancing to the degree with which you decide to give strength to one side or the other. The perception of stagnation is only to be considered as a tactic of deception used by the flesh side to gain ground. And finally, YOU are the rope: Your conviction, your fortitude and your resolve. And as such, if you’re in Christ, here are some valuable promises given to you: The rope will not break NOR will the flesh claim lasting victory in this contest. You may stumble and regrettably be pulled to the point of discouragement. However, you must choose to let God’s decision strengthen your deciding.
He sees this war very differently than you do – you may simply be trying to increase good and lessen bad, but God is strengthening a piece of rope, purifying you to pour even MORE righteousness into you for this life now and the life to come and only He knows what He’s preparing you for, but rest assured after this life now, we can expect responsibilities and strength to fulfill them to God’s glory. There will come a day where this will all be a distant memory where we'll hardly even remember that tug of war.

In Him,

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Likes Makes Right!

Today, I touch on an idea that’s about as old as communication itself. The heart of this matter was epitomized two thousand years ago when Pontius Pilate asked of a condemned Christ, “What is truth?”

With today’s global onslaught of; news media, watchdog sites, left wing this and right wing that, as well as political info-war propaganda sites, our days have become so bombarded…or rather, completely “inundated” with information.
How do we determine if this information is right? How do we differentiate truth from lies? Even when it can be verified that a piece of data is true, many platforms take 'facts' and proceed to distort and twist them out of context. And let’s not forget the ‘sound bites’ or MEMES that go ‘viral’ immediately with the push of public sway.
Who’s at fault? How often, before clicking “Thumbs-up”, “Like” or other supportive emoticons do we ever question or spend any time validating a statement? How many people in the crowd chanting "Crucify Him" do you suppose really understood what they were a part of? Many probably just heard the statement "He said he was God."... and knowing neither the truth nor context, simply jumped right in.

The pursuit of truth is of utmost importance and seeking to validate information is an invaluably noble effort.

Here’s The Word;

Acts 17: 11 These (Bereans) were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

From the response of those at Thessalonica, it was obviously as easy then as it is now to simply take someone’s word as ‘gospel’. And it does seem apropos that we’re talking about the preaching of the Apostle Paul. I mean you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who’s words were more trustworthy, but the Bereans didn’t settle for personality, prominence or popularity; they sought the source.
Remember, even in that day, there were many who sought to persuade people into many variations of belief and sadly, all of this points to the reality of a devil who loses nothing in spending everyday, taking advantage of every opportunity to lure anybody further from the truth...and he's tenaciously patient: A 'little by little' progressing compromise is better than an immediate failing of faith since there really is no regrettable guilt associated.

Here’s The Word:

John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

This may be hard to hear, not because we resist or are made ashamed, but we see "lies" so often, the idea simply doesn't fit into our definition of abhorrent 'devilishness'. You see when it comes to information, it goes much deeper than we think. It may seem superficial at the onset, but can become a deeply spiritual matter in the blink of an eye. We first have to genuinely care more about truth than we do any other agenda. Whether we believe these ideas benefit us personally or tug at our heartstrings for whatever reason; we must not quickly follow after things we haven’t validated as true. Popular outcry has become very adept at preaching varying messages of solidarity that sway the masses.

It’s no secret: trying to validate truth in all of the things that come our way on a daily basis is daunting, to say the least. But to assume that the truth rises and falls on our ability to discover it down to its foundations would be a false assumption.

Here’s The Word;

John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

Another unfathomable benefit of belonging to Christ, is the gift of The Spirit. The Spirit not only guides us, He solidifies and promotes those things that are of ‘more’ importance. If you can't use the spirit of truth to establish priority and to validate what's right, you're forced to use something lesser; your feelings, your trust in someone else's ideas, or even public approval....and as beautiful a thing as UNITY is, a bunch of people can indeed be wrong and far from the purposes of God, altogether. "Likes" never makes right.

In Him,

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

When God Is Silent

Is it just me or do we really never feel ‘free’ of the devil’s presence? I mean, even on good days, there remains an awareness of evil in the world that is inescapable and haunting. A real understanding that it wouldn’t take much for his wiles and schemes to exploit an opportunity to turn things contrary. This is really uncovering a desperate prayer that I need to pray because I can’t say the same thing about God. There are times when I don’t ‘feel’ His presence in the way I just described about our adversary. Sometimes, God seems distant, silent and altogether ‘far from me’.

Here’s The Word:

Mark 13:34 For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.

Acts 17:27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:

So one verse explains in parable how Jesus is on a far journey and another says that the Lord is not far from every one of us. Is this a contradiction? I imagine that we each may give a different answer based on the circumstances we find ourselves in. That’s why this is an important idea to wrestle with: Truth is not circumstantial, it’s reliable, dependable and trustworthy no matter the situation.

As a father to my children, more appropriately my son (since he’s the only one still at home), I find myself frequently gauging his motivations: Not only will he do what I tell him, but where his heart is in the midst of all of his ‘doing’.
When we talk, I don’t withhold my ideas and expectations. I also encourage and welcome any input he has – it may not convince me to handle things differently but it gives me an opportunity to clarify things for him.
In these brief encounters with my son, I've become keenly aware of how much God does love us, His children. Psalms 7:9 says "For the righteous God trieth the hearts and reins", and though He may not be a God of many words in the midst of trials, He’s said more than enough to give us a clear understanding of what His purposes are.

And at the end of the day, we can trust Him. We know that the isolation, desolation and desperation we feel is not empty and worthless. If we are truly His, then our prayers and our plight are not falling upon deaf ears or going unnoticed. Although Our Heavenly Father (and a great cloud of witnesses) don't come to our immediate rescue: He’s prepared rewards for us as our faithfulness is strengthened.

Here’s The Word;

2 Corinthians 4:9 - 11 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.

These verses and all of 2 Corinthians 4 encourage us in the midst of trials when God seems silent. Lastly, we can look toward Christ – although we may 'feel' forsaken, cast down and dying. He WAS forsaken, cast down and died in a real separated way from the Father that NO trial on earth can ever compare to for us. Please don’t get me wrong, this message is not to discount our pain when ‘going through’, but to strengthen our hope that a great and valuable work is being worked in us in the midst of our trials.

I’ll close with this – When God is silent, it can become very easy for us to become stagnant: Scared or discouraged to move. However, this is not God’s intent. Just like the servants in the Matthew 25, there were instructions left for them to follow. We have the same instructions that don’t require constant input: Strive for righteousness. Let your light so shine. Build yourself up in faith. Distance yourself from the snares of this world. Cultivate in yourself Christ’s love for the loss. Keep doing the things He said last, knowing that He is coming again.

In Him,

Tuesday, January 10, 2017


Look around where you are right now. What do you see? Unless you’re somewhere unfamiliar, you know where you are and to some degree, there’s probably a sense of safety and freedom from distress (other than what may be going on circumstantially and emotionally).
However, do you realize that your world is made up of much more than what you see?
Even scientifically speaking, the idea of Dark Matter, which can’t be seen, makes up most of the universe and a hundred million particles of it have passed between you and this blog post since you began reading.

Think about the food we eat. For the most part we interact with food firstly from an immediate sensory understanding, but we do know that there are many foods that affect our moods. “Mood” is less physically substantive, but still, a very real concept. Coffee drinkers are a good example; it’s coffee beans, grounded and filtered through hot water. It creates a desirable tasting beverage (if that’s how you roll) but there’s also something bigger that happens beyond sight, smell, touch and taste –

Coffee appears to affect a number of neurotransmitters related to mood control, so drinking a morning cup could have an effect on your general sense of wellbeing. Research has also shown that coffee triggers a mechanism in your brain that releases BDNF, which activates your brain stem cells to convert into new neurons, thereby improving your brain health. Interestingly enough, research also suggests that low BDNF levels may play a significant role in depression, and that increasing neurogenesis has an antidepressant effect!

We know coffee alters mood, but without extensive study, it’s probably difficult to understand or communicate just how that happens. Bananas are amazing mood boosters as well.

And that is exactly my point: Spiritually speaking, there’s more to our world than what we see and this unseen realm has way more of an impact than we can fathom. Without extensive study, it’s difficult to operate effectively in the truth of such a large and weighty impact on our experience. I’m a big fan of Angelology and it’s amazing to me when you discuss the realm of ‘the spiritual’ – just the amount of real things going on just beyond your ability to perceive it.

The following is one of the most intriguing verses in all of Scripture to me. It’s a discussion on how to handle an issue on earth concerning the demise of the evil King, Ahab and it looks like a committee meeting where at the conclusion, this spirit speaks up and God approves of his recommendation and the plan is enacted. Now just to clarify, I believe all of the beings in Heaven are ‘spirits’ but not all fall into the same categories – Angels are spirits but have a different specialized function than other spirits.

Here’s The Word:

1 Kings 22:21-22 And there came forth a spirit, and stood before the LORD, and said, I will persuade him.22 And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so.

John 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

Exodus 28:3 And thou shalt speak unto all that are wise hearted, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom,

Proverbs 20:27 The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord, searching all the inward parts of the belly.

Isaiah 11:2 And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord;

Hosea 5:4 They will not frame their doings to turn unto their God: for the spirit of whoredoms is in the midst of them, and they have not known the Lord.

Luke 4:33 And in the synagogue there was a man, which had a spirit of an unclean devil, and cried out with a loud voice,

Romans 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

1 Corinthians 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

Ephesians 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

Ephesians 4:23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;

2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

1 John 4:6 We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.

Sorry, I know that's a whole lot of verses. It was hard to whittle down a list of verses as there are MANY that talk about “spirit”. Remember, its the bigger part of our world.

I In Hebrew, spirit is commonly translated ר֥וּחַ (Ruah….roo-akh), in Greek, its translated πνεύματι (pneuma – noo-ma) and both boil down to wind, breath or spirit. But when we see the impact of the spiritual realm on our natural one, it stands to reason that words as simplistic as wind or breath don’t capture the fullness of what spirit really is.

So if you are of "The Spirit", I pray that your curiosity has been raised, that you are now hungry for more and will start down your own path of ‘extensive study’ to turn on spiritual eyes. To hopefully and prayerfully begin to perceive that unseen, yet impactful realm that exists alongside you, dealing with some pretty heavy issues. The good thing is that God does not want to remain hidden, The Bible in Acts 17: 27-28 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.

In Him,

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Happy New Year 2017!

Ahhhhh YES!!! Another ‘New Year’! What is it about ‘New Years’ that invigorates us with such hope? I guess it’s the idea that we know there’s things we should be doing, steps in better directions we should be taking, better habits we should be incorporating but aren’t because somehow, life has gotten the better of us. So we wait for that reset button. A time where we replace feeling overwhelmed with a surge of confidence for change; an opportunity where we can seize the castle and take back our will and determination!
For the most part, waiting for the New Year’s reset isn’t as effective as we’d like: Most resolutions, on average, last for about three weeks before life begins to pull and push us into compromising those feelings of vigor and promise.
After a few short weeks of “fight”, we again begin to get pummeled by job expectations, the reemergent desires for old unhealthy habits that haven’t died and a general feeling of tiredness that comes when goals are set higher than the energy available to accomplish them.

In regards to new year’s, people always wish “Happy and prosperous”, but this is simplistic, and usually neglects certain fundamental truths.

Here’s The Word:

Deuteronomy 8:18 But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.

Isaiah 55:6 Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:

Hebrews 8:13 In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.

When I think of new, I think of NOW and all of the promises that intersect with “new and now”. But I keep it in context; the Bible says that one man plants, and another waters but GOD gives the increase. It’s insane to pursue any prosperity without regard for its provider and God as a Father will not give abundance to those whom He hasn't first given ability.

I pray that this year would find us in Christ, Who makes all things new. I pray that we’re more able to embrace truth and live lives reflective of it: Live a life worthy of the Gospel, speak truth as if your life and the lives of others depend on it (it does), and a sufficiency of strength and motivation by God’s own Spirit to quicken us daily to pursue righteousness.
Remember, these three things:
First, if anything that is worth doing, it’s worth doing TODAY and anything that would prevent this progress needs to be investigated all the way down past the excuses.
Second, any hindrance that doesn’t HAVE to be tolerated, should be dealt with quickly and seriously.
And third, it’s not what you desire, but what you DO that makes the difference. If you can’t do it all now, do what you can now, and realize progress incrementally...make it matter – Prioritize progress!

In Him,