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: June 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!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Super vs Superficial

A quick note about the picture and it’s tie-in to today’s Word. Did you know that Superman isn’t “Super” at all on his home planet of Krypton?
No flying, no strength, no laser eyes. That’s why I’ve always had a deeper appreciation for the Superman logo. Superman wouldn’t be ‘super’ if it wasn’t for what his father did for him...And what did his father do? I’m glad you asked. He exposed him to the yellow Sun of earth, which gives him his powers. So when I wear my 'Superman' t-shirts, I’m not paying homage to the DC character, I’m reflecting on what Our Father did for us in giving us The Son and with Him, The Spirit's power. In particularly:

John 1: 12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name

But this isn't about The S, it's about our relationship with God.

Ask the average person about their relationship with God and odds are, you’ll get an answer conveying the idea that even if they don’t believe their holding up their end as well as they could/should, it’s still a good, solid relationship. Most won’t give you the answers you'd likely get if you asked about personal relationships.

Expectation is a word that most people try to avoid when it comes to relationships, mainly because they tie the word to unreasonable extremes. But be very sure that the word ‘relationship’ is synonymous with expectations. They just need to be reasonable and clearly communicated: fidelity, compassion, and sincere investment are reasonable expectations in a committed relationship.
Be sure you’re sure – there are many people in frustrated relationships and although it seems like an answer most women would give, I wouldn’t doubt that it’s a feeling that’s also very familiar with men as well. They’ll say “Well, I don’t know where this relationship is going and I don’t know if he/she REALLY loves me”

It’s a very real possibility that our relationship partners are not as IN the relationship as we are and even though this person can do nice things for us, it doesn’t replace that comfort of knowing that the relationship is solid.
This makes me wonder – because so many people in social media want to pay lip service to God as if their relationship is solid when in actuality, there is nothing being expressed other than God’s common grace that shouldn’t be misconstrued as a solid relationship.

Here’s The Word:

Isaiah 58:3 ‘Why have we fasted, and you see it not? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you take no knowledge of it?
(GOD's Answer)
’Behold, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure, and oppress all your workers. Behold, you fast only to quarrel and to fight and to hit with a wicked fist. Fasting like yours this day will not make your voice to be heard on high. Is such the fast that I choose, a day for a person to humble himself? Is it to bow down his head like a reed, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Will you call this a fast, and a day acceptable to the LORD?
(He then gives the right reasons - the expectation)
“Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
(He then shows how the benefits of the relationship will be manifested)
Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you; 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 the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness, if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. And the LORD will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.

Yeah, it’s kind’ve long, but you see where God’s people were confused about their relationship with Him. God wasn’t meeting their expectations. They did what they wanted to do; paying lip-service and giving superficial involvement and were left wondering why their lives weren’t blessed. God’s answer – You know my expectations and you’re doing your own thing. You want to show off while I expect humility. You want to exact revenge when I said “I would repay” – How can you expect me to bless this relationship?

One of the most dangerous places a person can be is thinking that God approves of their action when He doesn’t. God causes the sun to shine on the wicked as well as the righteous and he sends rain on all.
It’s unfathomably precarious to interpret rain on your crops as the significant evidence that you must be IN with God. His common grace does that for people who will not enjoy eternal paradise.

Matthew 5:45 for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust

There’s a difference between getting a blessing and BEING blessed. God says that if you draw near to Him, that He would draw near to you (James 4:8). Reasonable expectations that have a very different outcome than superficial involvement.
The choice is yours: Do you want the heart change, or just to wear a chain with a cross on it? Do you want your prayers to impress people, or move Heaven? Do you want intimacy or an empty imitation? Do you want super or superficial?

In Him,

Tuesday, June 27, 2017


In these days, we really have to be careful with how we handle what “catches on” in our culture. Post-reletivism has made it too easy to give uninvestigated affirmation to “memes”..I call it Meme-theology and as long as the picture is good and the words are provocative and wise sounding, who am I to say it’s wrong?
Today’s quote is from Peanuts creator, Charles M. Schultz. So of course, with as much as we just LOVE Charlie Brown and Snoopy, Schultz can’t possibly be wrong, right? Let’s check. Chuck is actually being encouraging in saying that there’s no easy answers in life, you have to live it and learn from it. But what if we chose to look at this differently…

Okay, think back…way back. Remember back in like 3rd grade when math got hard? I do. I remember the problems were much harder and the textbook was much bigger. However, as devastating as that was, it was also the introduction to one of the most magical forms of deliverance we’d experienced up until that time: Actual answers in the back of the book. Remember that? Usually it was just half of the answers - all evens, or all odds but it came with the promise of no matter how bad this gets, you can walk away half right. Yeah, maybe you didn’t enjoy that as much as I obviously did but what can I say?

As remarkable as having half of the answers was, it came with an equally impressive amount of responsibility because even if you chose to simply transcribe the answers from the back, you knew that this choice was self-defeating. You knew that eventually a test was coming that would afford you no such advantage. The idea behind providing the answers was not a safety net to stop you from hitting the floor in utter failure, but a guide to let you know you’re learning in the right direction.

Here’s The Word:

Revelation 1:3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

At the end of The Book ; the first words, of the first chapter of the first verse proclaims “The Revelation of Jesus Christ”. Some Bibles have a title page that says “The Revelation of Saint John the Divine”, I don’t see that as much as I used to but the point is that it’s not Saint John being revealed, just that the revelation of Christ was delivered to John to be written down for our benefit.

Even at a glance, you have to realize that Revelation is not like any other book in the Bible. It’s the grand finale. It’s the culmination of ALL things, and in it we see Christ receive His bride as well as full dominion over all things in existence after a final annihilation of the propagators of disobedience and darkness that began at the fall in Genesis 3. We see the ushering in of the eternal state; paradise and intimate closeness for all who know Christ, called to be His.

And just like that old math book, knowing that the answers are in the back of the book is no substitute for the studying to show ourselves approved. It’s no escape for the enduring that we all must suffer as we strive after Christ, and it’s no respite for giving every effort to growing in righteousness at the beckoning and leading of Our LORD.

Hebrews 2:9 - 11 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,

The answers are not a net, but a guide – if anything in your doctrine doesn’t promote the Lordship of Christ: The sufficiency of His propitiatory sacrifice, His distinctness, yet full co-equal, co-eternal, singleness in essence, nature, power, action, and will with the rest of The Trinity, as well the plan for the redeemed, culminating in The Bride of Christ – then you’ve probably got some defective reasoning going on somewhere producing inconsistent and unbiblical results. A good Systematic Theology book is a wonderful aid to help you check your math.

So Chuck Schultz isn't wrong conceptually about life, but in his case, there really is no book either. However, we DO have a book of life. It's God's Word. His revelation of Himself to us that reveals Christ and leads "many sons to glory" and in that case, there really are answers in the back.

In Him,

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

What Do You Want?

Take a moment and think of how many ‘wants’ were on people’s minds just this morning. Many woke up wanting a job, while many others woke up wishing they didn’t have to go to work. Some woke up lonely, wanting a special someone in their lives. Others wondering how to fake their own deaths to get out of a bad relationship. And while some woke up wanting a change of pace, others woke up terrified at how fast things were changing, just wanting it to stop. The idea of “want” or desire is very intriguing to me. I think it’s the purest expression of our individual “free will”.

As “proper” Christians, we know that it’s wrong to see God as a genie in a bottle, (even though many still act that way). However, there are times when God proves us by submitting Himself to an open request.

Here’s The Word:

2 Chronicles 1:7 In that night God appeared to Solomon, and said to him, “Ask what I shall give you.”

Mark 10: 35 -36 Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.” “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.

Mark 10:51 51 “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him.(the blind man, Bartimaeus)

These 3 requests show God in all His power asking what these people wanted, and I believe that He (within reason of course) was ready and willing to “grant” them their desires which is made evident by His response to them when He received their requests.

In Chronicles, Solomon didn’t ask for riches, which he didn’t have yet – He asked for wisdom to lead God’s people right. Look at God’s response - 2 Chronicles 1:11-12 “Since this is your heart’s desire and you have not asked for wealth, possessions or honor, nor for the death of your enemies, and since you have not asked for a long life but for wisdom and knowledge to govern my people over whom I have made you king, therefore wisdom and knowledge will be given you. And I will also give you wealth, possessions and honor, such as no king who was before you ever had and none after you will have.”

In contrast, in Mark; James and John asked what they wanted – They wanted prestigious position.
Look at our Lord’s response –Mark 10 38-40 “You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said. “Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?” “We can,” they answered. Jesus said to them, “You will drink the cup I drink and be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared.”

And lastly, we see Bartimaeus who of course, was blind. He like many others wanted to be healed from their physical predicaments; withered hand, blindness, leprosy, etc. I believe that each of these people could’ve either picked the Solomon route or the James and John route. It just depends on your own personal focus. In Psalm 23, David’s prayer to God acknowledges God as the divine Shepherd Who knows how to provide good for His sheep – even to the degree that we should never be concerned about our provision. I bring that up because some people think it’s wrong to desire and hopefully by seeing these examples in Scripture, they can come away with a better understanding. Paul says that he LEARNED to be content in any circumstance, that’s the road most of us are on.

A word of caution: We live in a world where Satan is called "The prince of the power of the air" and he does wield powers and abilities that draw us away from God with temptations of things we "want". He believes that we're no more than one thing waiting on the next, while being totally unpropitious to discomfort......but God delivers and strengthens those whose hearts are toward Him. Check yourself.

The take away is this: How deeply do you think about your desires? Are they more closely tied to relief of your current situation? More concerned with your future glory? Or are you mindful to see yourself as God’s and the most important thing you can ask of Him is that you’d be worthy to accomplish what He asks of you. One of my favorite requests someone ever asked of God was the Father of a possessed boy in Mark 9. Jesus says 9:23(b) - 24“All things are possible for one who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!”

We often look at our lives through the lenses of desires and choices and we don’t really factor in God the way we should. Why? Sometimes because we don’t believe that He’s that kind of God and sometimes because we just don’t know what kind of God He is at all. I pray that we get to know our God and what it means for us to truly have a will and desire to be shaped into His using. Where every want is properly aligned with Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.

In Him,

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Wipe Your Feet

I believe that a true delivery of The Gospel is to be completely saturated by Grace. Mustering it should only be as hard a task as looking into the mirror and realizing that even with your darkest days behind you, not one single day yet before you could find you deserving of something so wondrous; that The Darling of Heaven would subject Himself to such a low, pitiful estate to secure your ransom.
I can confidently say that a presentation of The Gospel lacking a preponderance of grace is no proper presentation at all.

But then there’s this other thing;

When you read the Bible, look at both sides of the message. Look deeply at how each is presented. The Gospel message is free, and sufficient, and the clearest expression of a loving God that no man can ever boast in anything but it’s universal application to all who would humbly receive it.

Now look at the message of sanctification – growing in righteousness. This is the appropriate response of appreciation that comes from highly valuing not only the fact that a Sovereign God would, but the lengths He went to - What it cost Him personally to redeem us.

When you enter The Door, you wipe your feet
Out of respect for the place that you’ve entered.
You don’t dishonor that you’ve been invited
Or prove yourself a rebellious dissenter.

The fact that you’re able to walk through the door
Can hardly be attributed to merit
For if you were able to see the filth of your sin
For certain you’d not be able to bear it.

Look down at your feet and the rug that you’ve trampled
Now spotted and splattered with grime
Reminiscent of the sin we took pleasure in
Yet, unable to pay for our crime.

As we wipe our feet, God wipes our slate
Our crimson is purged, white as snow
There’s an expectation of appreciation
That we’d walk in the truth we now know.

Yet many continue and keep getting into
The temptations and trappings of sin
They come back to the rug, with a nonchalant shrug
Wiping again and again

God gave us His Spirit, that we should walk in it
To give us the strength to resist
To become children of light, in power and might
Reach for perfection. Persist!

Let’s not cheapen this Grace, as we all run our race
Until the perfection of our Faith is complete
Let’s honor the cost of inconceivable loss
And remember what it cost to wipe our feet.

Here's The Word:

John 8:11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

Hebrews 6:4-6 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

Hebrews 10:22 - 24 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:

Hebrews 10:26 - 27 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

Remember, I'm all about the proper context of Bible verses, and with the one from Hebrews, I'm not trying to get into a theological debate about losing salvation (which I don't believe is possible).
However, I am drawing simple attention the Bibles emphasis on how valuable salvation is and how continuing in sin is not compatible with it. No, none of us will ever be perfect this side of Heaven but it should most certainly be our goal. Meaning, we shouldn't look at sin as something so flippant, like an occupational hazard. But we should give every effort(in the strength of The Spirit) to eradicating it from our lives.

It's a wonderful thing, this salvation we've been given and we absolutely need Christ to clean us up, but it needs to be proclaimed and appreciated, not cheapened underfoot. If God tells us not to cast our pearls before swine (Mt 7:6) you can best believe that He doesn't do it with His pearl of such a great price!

In Him,

Thursday, June 01, 2017


It's funny how little things can present such obvious sways in our disposition, changing our mood. For instance, if you saw your name on the ladder and you recognize the name of anyone who's ahead of you, it can be disconcerting. Just like if you recognized a name further down than yours, a little feeling of satisfied accomplishment probably came to your mind. Even though it's a picture and of course the names aren't placed in any particular order on purpose. That's simply the nature of our pride - we may not feel comfortable admitting it out loud but it gets 'affected' when someone else is in a place of prominence over us OR if we feel we're being placed lower than someone else; they're similar but not exactly the same thing.
This is actually about those who are better than us, but not in a way that should affect our pride. This is not about envy but embracing the task before us.

If you’re anything like me, you realize how wholly unrelenting this all seems sometimes. I make choices, make remarks, make mistakes and make a total mess of things, requiring me to repent, regroup and try it again. Since I've been at this for a while, I realize that there's no where else to turn, so I can't say that I feel like giving up, but I can say that sometimes it's hard going on.
Then I think - Whew! Thanks be to God that it's in those times that I have to remember WHO’S doing the making and what method HE’s using.

The same way God uses people (man & woman) to make people, who also uses Disciples to make disciples. So who’s around you? Who's doing this Christian walk thing ‘better than you’? Don’t let your pride get in the way, making you feel icky about someone better than you – remember, if this is going the way God plans someone should also be looking at you because you’re better at it than them.

Notice the picture of the very TALL ladder – There’s Jesus at the top rung and we’re all somewhere NOT at the top rung. You need to see that you’re not reaching past the next rung, but for it. Someone who’s got their tongue under a little better control, someone who’s got their thought life a little cleaner. Someone a little better at being slow to anger and slow to speak. Someone who makes that next rung close enough to be reachable. Those are the kinds of friends we should be looking to get close to. They're the kind of friends that would be all too pleased to help you get to your next rung as they reach for theirs.

Often times its our imaginations that are our biggest enemies. We look at people ahead of us and begin to assume how life must be that much better for them - Uhhh...let's not forget, no matter where anyone else is on the ladder, they're still ON A LADDER and although we may pause here and there, there are no hammocks on the ladder, no lemonade stands in the shade, no places to take an extended break in lasting comfort, we ALL still have climbing to do. This is about being okay with seeing people as better than us - People who actually see themselves as better are either due for a fall, correction, or are simply a ladder rung themselves and we'll learn how to get past them.

Here's The Word;

1 Corinthians 11:1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

1 Thessalonians 1:7 - 9 So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia. For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing. For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God

Philippians 4:9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

1 Peter 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:

Ultimately, Christ is the goal. He's also the strength. He's the author and finisher, perfecting of our faith.
Let's put our pride aside and choose to feel inspired rather than antsy. Let's appreciate and encourage those ahead of us, just as we encourage and lead by example those who are coming up behind us. Remember, no one has it easy.

Some may take issue with the use of the word 'better' in this and I totally understand. I'm just being honest about what goes on in the quietness of our hearts when that old man tries to impose 'attitude'. If we can take it, embrace it and turn it into praise, we rob him of that tool and are able to see more clearly to move ahead. I'm thankful for every 'better' friend that I have and I hope that I can provide the same steadfastness to others as they have provided to me.

For each rung of 'this' ladder, one things stands true; I won't be here long and someone else will be here soon. This isn't about bragging rights, this is about the business of us all, getting better.

In Him,