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: February 2018

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, 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,