Sunday, December 31, 2006

New Year, New Expressions

In the midst of this old darkness the past is slipping away

I await the dawn, and its new mercies each day

But in this night I find myself seeking,

following but one star in the sky,

A light for my way, a light shining for all the world

This Star keeps leading me on a Pilgrim’s Journey,

and as long I follow I am ok,

for when I stray a chill bruns through me,

the Voice of the Star speaks to me.

A voice of correction I have learned not to ignore

I’ve found the Star loves me even enough to teach me.

I don’t know what I will see on the way or what I will face with each coming day.

but the Star keeps on guiding and I have learned by abiding,

to just keep on plodding this straight narrow way.

I don’t know where the Star will lead you,

nor do you know where it will lead me

But this I know, I must keep following that Star

and I would welcome your company…

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Wishing Christmas

This season I want to take a moment to say Merry Christmas to each person who reads this. May each of you come to see why this holiday is more than a holiday. May you see it as God at work, powerfully, in the world he created for us.

God be with each of you


Sunday, November 12, 2006

Snapshots of a church

There are times when you are see something in life that really captures a moment. Today while at church I saw this...

There sitting about six rows from the front of the church was a middle aged woman bowed in prayer and there sitting next to her was a ninety year old widow who has been at this church for sixty years praying for her. Both of them were totally focused on the moment the younger woman removed her glasses mid prayer so to be able to wipe away the tears that were now streaming down. There was in that moment a complete look of peace on their faces.

That is my snapshot of the meaning of church. I doubt I will ever forget it. When was the last time you saw that at your place of worship. When was the last time you were one of the two people described

God be with us in this life

Monday, October 23, 2006


I want to share this with you and please tell me if you agree or disagree.

this comes from Eugene Peterson - you should read at least one of His books

American pastors are abandoning their posts, left and right, and at an alarming rate. They are not leaving their churches and getting other jobs. Congregations still pay their salaries. Their names remain on the church stationary and they continue to appear in pulpits on Sundays. But they are abandoning their posts, their calling. They have gone whoring after other gods. What they do with their time under the guise of pastoral ministry hasn’t the remotest connection with what the church’s pastors have done for most of twenty centuries.

A few of us are angry about it. We are angry because we have been deserted…. It is bitterly disappointing to enter a room full of people whom you have every reason to expect share the quest and commitments of pastoral work and find within ten minutes that they most definitely do not. They talk of images and statistics. They drop names. They discuss influence and status. Matters of God and the soul and Scripture are not grist for their mills.

The pastors of America have metamorphosed into a company of shopkeepers, and the shops they keep are churches. They are preoccupied with shopkeeper’s concerns–how to keep the customers happy, how to lure customers away from competitors down the street, how to package the goods so that the customers will lay out more money.

Some of them are very good shopkeepers. They attract a lot of customers, pull in great sums of money, develop splendid reputations. Yet it is still shopkeeping; religious shopkeeping, to be sure, but shopkeeping all the same. The marketing strategies of the fast-food franchise occupy the waking minds of these entrepreneurs; while asleep they dream of the kind of success that will get the attention of journalists.

The biblical fact is that there are no successful churches. There are, instead, communities of sinners, gathered before God week after week in towns and villages all over the world. The Holy Spirit gathers them and does his work in them. In these communities of sinners, one of the sinners is called pastor and given a designated responsibility in the community. The pastor’s responsibility is to keep the community attentive to God. It is this responsibility that is being abandoned in spades.”

God be with us All

Sunday, October 22, 2006

let's see what happens when...

What if I just start writing. No Real agenda or point to make just a writing out my thoughts.


Sometimes I wonder why the Bible says relatively little about things that we think are so important. Maybe we like so many pharisees and saducees are missing the point. Maybe not entirely missing the point but missing the point on certain issues. I wonder...

I love new ideas and new places to check out on the net so maybe now is a good time to intorduce to some great places I like to go and to invite you to check out a few great organizations.
No real order to these other than this is the order they came to mind.

International Justice Mission
- On a Mission to bring God's Justice to the World - give them $$$
(Not pocket change either the stuff you spend on yourself. Skip a meal out and send them a check)

while at iTunes check out the

CBC Radio Podcasts for the Program "IDEAS"
Emergent Village Podcasts

or listen to some sermons by John Piper. I really like a lot of his preaching.

So what else...

Places to do some reading of ideas worth hearing

The Other Journal
Broken Stained Glass
Pajama Library
the eBay atheist » Blog Archive » Willow Creek

Random thought:

Christianity needs to put its work clothes on. (heard in a Sunday Sermon)

Next time you hear a sermon about God wanting to bless your life ask yourself:
"If I lived in Sudan where the Muslim Gov't were trying to kill me or enslave me b/c I am Christian how would I interpret this sermon?"

God Bless you and be with you all

Friday, September 22, 2006

love for God is love for others

I have been challenged in my heart of late to practice love. To love meaning to do good for others no matter who they are, or what they have done, or may do, or are doing. To give my best to them. To hope the best for them. Not simply to do no harm or to think no ill of them, for that is what love can so easily come to mean. To bless everyone I meet by the way I think of them, talk to them, and what I am able to do for them. I am challenged to truly love as God loves. To love and not condmen even every one of us has faults worthy of condeming.

It seems to me like this is the kind of love demonstrated by Jesus, the visible image of the invisible God. He loved people, he did not condone all their actions but neither is he condemning to them, yet somehow so many of these people saw their need to change. Why do christians feel as though we need to be the group that condemns and points out the worse in everyone and everything. Why wouyld anyone want to attend a church like that, or what is more, serve a God that is like that. I do not think our God is like that. He is loving without condmening. When face to face with God we all see not with our eyes but with our hearts where we need healing and then our God transforms us into his image.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

views from the inside

Have you ever worked hard to decorate something, create a piece of art, plan and execute a festival or event? When you are doing these things it is next to impossible to see the true effect of it. Or maybe another way to state the last sentence would be to say there is no good way for you to be objective about what you have accomplished.

I wonder and believe to be true that we as people have no way of understanding who we really are in the order of creation. For example, we look at nature and see a stunning display of color, shape, and sound. We are awed by it and call it beautiful. But what if nature looks at people and calls us beautiful. What if nature realizes a truth that we are not able to observe because we are on the inside. That truth being that you and I are the sons of God. Maybe all of the rest of creation is in awe of you and I as we follow Christ and are even "hidden in Christ". I think people are far more beautiful than people can realize.

C.S. Lewis writes in his article The Weight of Glory "It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as now you meet...only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations. ... There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal... it is with immortals we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit - immortal horrors or everlasting splendors."

As we follow Christ daily we become the latter, without Christ we can only become the former. So, there is no room for those who follow Christ to be proud of themselves for without Christ we are monsters. In Christ we are being transformed into creatures of incredible glory and splendor such as now exists only in our minds as a thing we long for, believing it to be true, but with no way to comprehend the truth of its effect on us.

For today this is what is rattling in my mind
God be with you

Thursday, September 14, 2006

so limited

So often I feel so limited, so trapped, so small. Then today as I was praying the Holy Spirit brought to my mind the story of Moses. Specifically how he kept trying to talk god out of using him to secure the release of the Israelites from Egypt. Then the Holy Spirit guided my own mind to ponder how many times have made myself useless simply by not allowing myself to take a step of faith. In the midst of my thoughts I very often become paralyzed by what may not work. Sure I need to analyze a situation or opportunity, but I do not need to be paralyzed. I think my life could be so much more fulfilling to myself and others if I only let go of my insecurities and self doubts and allowed God to work more fully through me. Moses is a great example of this to me.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

What if...

I love the following story it is truly a picture of the world in which we live and the world in whcih we should live. May we all grow older and wiser like this...enjoy...

His name is John. He has wild hair, wears a T-shirt with holes in it, jeans and no shoes. This was literally his wardrobe for his entire four years of college. He is brilliant. Kind of esoteric and very, very bright. He became a Christian while attending college.

Across the street from the campus is a well-dressed, very conservative church. They want to develop a ministry to the students, but are not sure how to go about it. One day John decides to go there. He walks in with no shoes, jeans, his T-shirt, and wild hair. The service has already started and so John starts down the aisle looking for a seat. The church is completely packed and he can't find a seat. By now people are looking a bit uncomfortable, but no one says anything. John gets closer and closer and closer to the pulpit and when he realizes there are no seats, he just squats down right on the carpet. (Although perfectly acceptable behavior at a college fellowship, trust me, this had never happened in this church before!) By now the people are really uptight, and the tension in the air is thick.

About this time, the minister realizes that from way at the back of the church, a deacon is slowly making his way toward John. Now the deacon is in his eighties, has silver-gray hair, a three-piece suit, and a pocket watch. A godly man, very elegant, very dignified, very courtly. He walks with a cane and as he starts walking toward this boy, everyone is saying to themselves, "You can't blame him for what he's going to do. How can you expect a man of his age and of his background to understand some college kid on the floor?"

It takes a long time for the man to reach the boy. The church is utterly silent except for the clicking of the man's cane. All eyes are focused on him. You can't even hear anyone breathing. The people are thinking, "The minister can't even preach the sermon until the deacon does what he has to do." And now they see this elderly man drop his cane on the floor. With great difficulty he lowers himself and sits down next to John and worships with him so he won't be alone. Everyone chokes up with emotion. When the minister gains control he says, "What I'm about to preach, you will never remember. What you have just seen, you will never forget."

Saturday, August 19, 2006

time to Ponder?

"In prayer I am brought into the dynamic life of the Trinity through the Holy Spirit, the spirit of Jesus, who cries out from within my soul: Abba, Father. The spirit of Jesus links me into the Blessed Trinity. When God looks at me, he desires me and is saying: You are desirable. I made you good. I want you. God sees me as his daughter or son, whom he loves. He says: You are mine. His gaze says: I delight in you. Can I accept this gaze of love? Or do I run back into disapproval of myself? His gaze is like sunshine: can I rest in it, bask in it, enabled by the Holy Spirit?"

pasted from:

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Mystic Moments

Today I prayed for a while at an unusual place and at an unusual time. I needed to pray. I needed to know God was with me and in me. So in the back of this Roman Catholic Cathedral I knelt down and began to pray. There was no one else there but in moments I felt as though Jesus Christ stood right in front of me. No words came from him, he was just there. I guess it was like when Jesus suddenly appeared to the disciples after his resurrection. All of the sudden he was there. Emmanuel - God with us. Always

This experience reminds me that for all of the study in the world about the Bible and theology the Christian faith is mystical. It is beyond description, classification and analysis. It is mystical. It is by faith that we believe and live. By faith we believe in God. Because of faith we pray to God.

I truly believe I met with Jesus Christ yesterday. I can't prove it and what is more I feel no need to prove it to any of you. I was there and it was a mystical experience only understandable by faith. The mysticism of our faith leads me to think that no matter what is ever written about our faith it can never be fully explained because you must have faith and faith is mystical and mysticism is impossible to explain. There are so many denominations fighting with and against each other to try to define the Christian faith. I think they all fall off the rails when they forget that the Christian life is more than a set of doctrinal truths you give mental assent to. It is a mystical life of faith. The Christian life is a return to the garden of Eden for a walk with God in the cool of the day even when you know there is no garden and the day is not cool. Still in the midst of this life in some way we walk with God in the garden. To try to explain that is not possible it is not a doctrine it is indescribable...

When God changed your life was it not mystical beyond all reason?

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Unity of the Faith

I was walking across a bridge one day, and I saw a man standing on the edge, about to jump off. So I ran over and said "Stop! Don't do it!"

"Why shouldn't I?" he said.

I said, "Well, there's so much to live for!"

He said, "Like what?"

I said, "Well...are you religious or atheist?"

He said, "Religious."

I said, "Me too! Are you Christian or Buddhist?"

He said, "Christian"

I said, "Me too! Are you Catholic or Protestant?"

He said, "Protestant"

I said, "Me too! Are you Episcopalian or Baptist?"

He said, "Baptist!"

I said, "Wow! Me too! Are you Baptist Church of God or Baptist Church of the Lord?"

He said, "Baptist Church of God!"

I said, "Me too! Are you Original Baptist Church of God, or are you Reformed Baptist Church of God?"

He said, "Reformed Baptist Church of God!"

I said, "Me too! Are you Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation of 1879, or Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation of 1915?"

He said, "Reformed Baptist Church of God, Reformation of 1915!"

I said, "Die, you heretic scum!", and I pushed him off. - Ephesians 4:13

Friday, June 30, 2006

The Dawn

There are times that you are overwhelmed dazed and paralyzed. You are stranded not daring to go anywhere and then slowly you realized there is no needed to hide, or run. There is nothing to fear, nothing to dread. What you have been putting off, avoiding, dreading, is actually pleasant, worthwhile, healing. In those moments you are suspended in the hand of God while he speaks to your soul. As he leads you in prayers of repentance, as he heals the wounds never realized you had because you have been so busy with the fight of your life. Then you realize it is God that was pursuing you. He was not out to kill you, expose you, or humiliate you as you feared, but to heal, restore, and impart. Had you taken the time to look at your pursuer maybe you would have stopped, and maybe not. Too often you run for no good reason, often for no reason at all. In those overwhelmed, paralyzed moments you are suspended in God between the worries of this life, the failures of this life, and the hopes of eternity. It is as though the dawn of eternity has sent a barely perceptible ray of light upon you and it brings heal and strength. Then He sets you down, but the ray of light no longer to be seen, but still you are full of hope knowing it is coming. This was my morning.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Read; Reflect for a lifetime.

God be with us all and help us to see, spiritually, the work of Christ on our behalf which we were in no way deserving of.

Psalm 3:1-2

1 Lord, how they have increased who trouble me!
Many are they who rise up against me.
2 Many are they who say of me,
“There is no help for him in God.” Selah

- Charles Spurgeon from The Treasury of David (specifically referring to verse 1)
"This is a good place to remember the innumerable hosts that surrounded our Divine Redeemer. The legions of our sins, the armies of fiends, the crowd of physical pains, the host of spiritual sorrows, and all the allies of death and hell battled the Son of Man. How precious to know and believe that He has routed the enemy and trodden them down in His anger! Those who would trouble us have been captured. Those who would have risen against us have been laid low. The dragon lost His sting when he dashed it into the soul of Jesus."

3 But You, O Lord, are a shield for me,
My glory and the One who lifts up my head.

- Charles Spurgeon from The Treasury of David (specifically referring to verse 3)
"Oh, for grace to see our future glory in our present shame. There is present glory in affliction, if only we could discern it. It is no small thing to have 'fellowship with Christ in His Sufferings'."

Thursday, May 18, 2006

I can't take it anymore

Okay, this is my only public voice to the global community so here it goes. SHUT UP! Christians Shut Up! There is a certain book and now a movie coming out and the Christian community, at least North American, is rant and raving about how it is wrong and they see this is a HUGE threat. When this book is not a big threat. I am not even going to name it because I am so tired of Christian giving it free publicity. This whole issue would have been but a small ripple in the cultural ocean if we would have just made a quiet statement and then let it go. But now, as with many things, we have drawn more attention to it than it deserves. Now people will look into it because of pure curiosity.

In fact look at this quote from George Barna, "A survey we completed this week shows that among the tens of millions of people who have read the bestseller, The Da Vinci Code, from cover to cover, the book has influenced their thinking – but it has not necessarily changed their religious views so much as it has confirmed what they already believed prior to reading the book." In other words the people reading the book already don't believe. My fear is that we are pushing people to the book.

Once again Chrsitians will be known for what they are against and not what they are for. We are for lives transformed by the power of God b/c of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Let your light so shine today and everyday.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Recieving Easter

Throughout this most signifcant of Christian holidays I have been wanting to write something to capture its meaning. I guess what I wanted to do was to write a letter, poem, essay, to God almost as a return gift for the greatest gift ever given in all of eternity. But tonight as I sit reflecting on this day, I am drawn by God's Spirit in me to simply accept His Love and ponder its incredible greatness. That I, a great sinner, have been called by God to recieve salvation.

i, Called, by GOD!

Ponder that with me if you will.

God bless you, God be with you. Happy Easter

Monday, April 03, 2006

Defintion of Godly Success

I came across this a long time ago, but it is worth sharing and remembering and actiong on.

God bless us all as we endeavor to live out the life of the Spirit in a world that ignores God's leading

The version found written on the wall in Mother Teresa's home for children in Calcutta:

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered.

Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.

Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies.

Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you.

Be honest and sincere anyway.

What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.

Create anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.

Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, will often be forgotten.

Do good anyway.

Give the best you have, and it will never be enough.

Give your best anyway.

In the final analysis, it is between you and God.

It was never between you and them anyway.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Moments Poem

This is taken from a great TV Ad for Lexus. I like it so much I want to share it with all of you.


A Moment If You Please
Moments Can Be Short
Moments Can Be Long

There Are Moments of Joy
Moments of Sorrow Moments Of Passion
Moments you’ll Never Forget
Moments You’ve Already Forgotten
Moments You Didn't Get

There Are Awkward Moments
Senior Moments
Moments of Truth
And Momentary Lapses In Judgment

People Who Ask For A Moment
Share A Moment I Need A Moment
You Got A Moment?
Wait A Moment

You Can Take A Moment
Make A Moment
Spoil A Moment
And If All The Stars Line In The Right Moment, That Moment Can Be Perfect

Moments Can Define You
Moments Can Delight You
And Moments Can Change Your Life

Here’s To The Moment
And Squeezing All You Can Out Of Every Last Single One Of Them

Monday, March 06, 2006

Powerful Beyond Measure

Powerful Beyond Measure

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

-Nelson Mandela at his inaugural speech

Discovered at:

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Prayer Space

While reading a book by Tony Jones. The Sacred Way I came across this prayer site from the Irish Jesuit Priests. It is a great place to go and be guided through a prayer time. I pray you find it worthwhile, and spiritually uplifitng

God be with us all as we live to serve and praise Him in our dialy lives.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The Gods of the Age

The God’s of the Age

Convenience and Comfort.  They are the new gods of the age.  Huge sums of money are paid by all of us if we are honest just so we can be comfortable and have convenience.  These gods have been promoted at the expense of diligence and dedication and discipline.  Here is the problem though.  Not all things are convenient and comfortable.  Not all things we may want can be had for a monetary value.  There are some things that come only through diligence, discipline and dedication.  God cares more about our diligent, disciplined, dedicated devotion to Him than about our comfort and convenience.

A relationship with God is one of those things.  No Church, no matter how convenient and comfortable, can give you a relationship with God.  There in is the problem.  Imported with many people on many Sundays is the belief that the church is there to serve them.  Pastors fallen under the weight of please congregants at the expense of speaking real Truth.  Pastor try to honestly, most of the time, give people the easiest answers to life’s issues.  They try to find and then preach about the most comfortable and convenient way to a relationship with God, who is to often mistaken for an extra terrestrial bellhop.  

Christianity is simple in its call to all people to diligently seek the Truth in God and live out that Truth in a disciplined and dedicated manner.  But this invalidates our hopes and attempts to make serving God convenient and comfortable.  Those two gods must be left at the altar of conversion.  To serve Christ, to live by the Spirit of God will demand a holy devotion to God.  It can only be lived through divine strength given us daily at the workplace of prayer and applied Bible study.  Peter tell us “through His Divine power we have been given all we need for life and Godliness.” John reminds us that “this is love for God, that we keep His commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome.”

There comes a time for all who have been called of God that we must tear ourselves from the tediousness of this fading and failing sin filled world and enter a sacred, secret and reverent place that no one else can enter with us or for us.  In this place we meet with our God.  We meet not to have our whims fulfilled like little children before a benevolent genie, but we meet with our God is silent Holy humble reverence.  We bear our soul our sins and failings and victories and seek to know the mind of God on all things.  We lift up the burdens of others seeking the Will of God to be done and for His Kingdom to come.  In these daily moments we realize again that we are the agents of the Kingdom we are the servants of God on Earth.  We realize our part in the bringing of the Kingdom of God.  We take our orders from the only Wise, True and Holy God and then proceed from our secret place to live out those orders with the power of the Spirit residing within us.  “Greater is he who is in us than he that is in the world.”

Let us once again raise a cry for the false gods of convenience and comfort to be banished from our lives until the fulfillment of the Kingdom of God.  When the Kingdom of God is fulfilled, then will come our rest and comfort.  Until then let us only find comfort in the secret times with our Lord who in those moments can give us rest and refreshing while wrapped in the loving embrace of His Holy Spirit.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Addicted to Entertainment

Addicted to Entertainment:

Since I have been reading a book, The History of Christian Missions by Stephen Neill, I have started to wonder about what the greatest hindrances to the advancement of the Gospel are today.  I hear report after report and demographic after demographic loudly proclaiming the slide from being a Christian continent to a pagan society.  Reasons are varied and there are far too many to go into depth to report them, but the truth is that there seem to be fewer people accepting Christian faith and baptism.  Now maybe this is the fault of churches and the Christians that occupy them, but what if that is only a small part of the truth.

What if it is simply a fact that there are so many choices to entertain one self that the gospel is hardly even noticed?  Every where I turn I see people being entertained all the time.  (Even as I write this I am listening to David Crowder Band on my laptop at a library)  There are cell phones that are mp3 players and TV’s.  There are portable video games, mp3 players.  I wonder about myself and others if we are to simple and live to be entertained by everyone else’s lives.  Movies, TV shows, computers, cell phones, PDA’s with games and MSN.

How different would life be without all the distractions?  Would conversations with real meaning start taking place or am I just too optimistic?  Would people start thinking the purpose of life might be more than just finding the next great band or movie or hit TV show?   Would people stop, or be less able, to escape from the reality or pain of the life they are living and look for real answers?  I think maybe many people are not Christian’s for no other reason than Christianity is not entertaining enough.  (And too many churches seem to be trying to compete on this level.)

Disclaimer: (This is in no way to be taken that the church or Christians should throw up their hands and tell God “We have tried everything we can think of, we’re done now.”  We must fulfill the Great Commission.  There are real criticisms for the church and Christians individually that needed to be discussed and assessed.  Real changes do need to be made, but I think what I have written above is a real factor in declining numbers of new converts and the slide of so many right out of the church in general.)