Author Archive

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On-line Study

July 23, 2020

I had the opportunity to preach this past Sunday. I did a short introduction to the on-line study “Making Sense of the Bible”. Message me if you are interested in joining us.

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INHERITANCE

July 13, 2020

I will give you a treasure. It will be your inheritance.

These words, inheritance and treasure, receive their significance in the reality of the allocations. The mind can rationalize throughout the period of promise while treasure remains intangible.

All inheritors hope in the promise while all remains a promise. What happens on the day the promise is fulfilled, when hope becomes reality; when deeds are issued and seekers become the bequeathed?

Allocated assets enter balance sheets. Future net earnings are calulated. Improvements determine based upon their return on investments. Fortunes are made in these declarations of allocations. Yet, not all land is the same; not all fortunes are equal. The inheritances will be different.

The differences do not matter while they remain a promise. Something is better than nothing lasts until something become something.

The satisfaction of the heart is tested when comparison becomes unavoidable. It seems the greatest test resides with those examined with intangible promises while others are scheduling meetings with their accountants.

The mind can reason that God is better. He is a treasure, a pearl of great price, better than anything the world can offer. The tangible inheritors might even agree.

What does the heart believe when others take up residence in the land you have walked through, the possessions you have fought for, the assets you have suffered for.

The balance sheets will quantify the comparison between tangible and that which is not.

  • What if the Baptists received Wall Street, New York City and all the businesses that call it home;
  • The Episcopals got Google, Apple, and all of Silicon Valley;
  • The Methodists got Amazon, Seattle and the Pacific Northwest;
  • The Lutherans got all the resources of Texas,
  • While the Presbyterians received Alaska?

On and on, the allocations go but you are told that these fortunes are not yours to hold. Your inheritance is God. How would your mind value the allocations as the balance sheets are told?

Would your reasoning, God is a treasure surpassing all earthly wealth, determine that you received the most valuable of all inheritance? How will your contentment weather the reality of others taking possession of their new wealth?

Our eyes are so quick to turn evil to the generosity of God. Our chameleon hearts change rapidly when confronted by God’s unequal gifts.

Has God done us wrong by giving as our gift, Himself?

Perhaps, we have been set apart, holy unto Him; spared from that which God knows will corrupt.

Have you ever considered that prosperity absent holiness is never a gift? Wealth in unrighteousness is always a curse.

Our inheritance does not come in this world. We are like the tribe of Levi, content in the best of inheritance!

https://soundfaith.com/logos-media-share/514827

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Virtue?

June 27, 2020

Many appeal to a standard of virtue but few can list it’s practical attributes and even fewer can identify the true source.

Virtue is not knowledge. It is action; action driven by it’s source.

If you pursue the attributes of virtue without the source of the virtuous, your pure virtuosity is nothing more than the self-serving actions of the ambitious.

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HIS WAYS

June 24, 2020

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There is a degree of confidence that comes with knowledge.  Assurance rises through the fullfillment of an agreeable plan.  We rest comfortably while our lives unfold in accordance to the foreseeable circumstances of normal.

We rarely have difficulty when our thoughts are aligned with His and His ways correspond to ours.  The course of life is comfortable while the heavens seem in line with the earth and God does not demand anything beyond our normal aspirations.

What happens when our ways diverge from His;
when His ways cause pain and His thoughts seem cruel?

The worlds of the created can fall apart in the of a span of a day.  Within a week, I received the news that my Sister-in-Law and my cousin have limited time on this earth.  It appears that God’s ways are truly not my ways.  His thoughts assuredly are not my thoughts.  The diagnosis of terminal shocks one out of the delusion of normal and into the confusion of a denied reality.

People die before the time that I had prescribed for them.
Families grieve losses cloaked in the darkness of the unknowable.
Minds are clouded in the defeat of impending death.

This world sucks.

The delusion of normal is a dangerous mindset.  The delusion of the world as wonderful and a place of paradise cannot abide with the reality of suffering.  We were never promised a world of delights.  We were never promised a world unbroken. We were never promised a world without pain.

That is why this world had to be overcome.

We were told that this world contains suffering even as we thrash beneath its hand.  We were told that evil rules even as we look away from the evidence.  We were told that there are mysteries beyond our understanding even as we try to deduce them.

This is why our home is not here.  This world had to be overcome in order for us to escape and enter into true rest.  A terminal diagnosis is yet another reminder that we need a redeemer, a rescuer, who will take us to our rest.  I do not love this world.  I want to go home.

I am thankful that His ways are better than mine.
I am thankful that His thoughts are beyond mine.
I am thanful that He is good.
I am thankful that He has overcome this world.
I am thankful that His love flows.

When normal crumbles, faith must remain.  When knowledge fades, hope must shine.  When defeat abounds, love must abide.

 

 

 

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Righteous Deciders

May 30, 2020

 
It seems easier to comprehend a God of the grand and monumental but what of the random and trivial?

Can I make a decision that He does not know?

Can the wind change the course of His intentions?

Can my decision alter His plan?

Can circumstances accumulate beyond His control?

My day will be filled with thousands of decisions, some are recognizable as consequencial but most are not even acknowledged as a decision.

Every decision is a dalliance with the future.  We speculate against the opaqueness of uncertainty.

How silly it is to play a blind prophet when we have One who controls it all? He knows how our individual minds work.  He knows the clouds that impede our thoughts and reasoning.  He has given us wisdom, knowledge, and reasoning.  He has given us prayer. 

Why do we become undone when decisions come?  Could it be that fear has shackled out minds at one of life’s respites because we cannot peer beyond the bend?

Good decision making does not remove uncertainty. It merely enables our minds to live with it. However, we usually live with uncertainty in the most unrighteous of ways.  We glorify the decisive decision makers.  We heap prestige upon the visionaries who appear prophetic of future’s prospects.

Yet, we ignore the One who  holds uncertainty’s tolls.

Believers should display our belief in the most practical of ways, by how we decide.  I suggest that righteousness displayed in decisiveness shows glorious godliness.  

This is my suggestion on how a Christian should decide:

  1. Pray
  2. Use your mind; use your knowledge and wisdom. They are gifts of God for this purpose.
  3. Pray some more.
  4. Ensure you are on solid Biblical ground and walking in the Spirit.
  5. Pray some more.
  6. Ask for wise counsel.  The body of Christ is our gift for this purpose.
  7. Pray some more.
  8. Weigh the cost. Weigh the benefits.
  9. Pray some more.
  10. Make the decision and then trust.  

Our decision making should not display anxiety and apprehension.  Our decision making should not be indecisive.  A righteous decider should display belief.  Belief that nothing is beyond God’s power.  Belief that God is a good Father.  Belief that God knows me down to the dwindling hairs on my head. Belief that the Spirit of God has been participating in this decision that I am making.

Belief that in Christ, I cannot make a bad decision.

I can make a righteous decision that may not turn out as I had hoped or planned, but that doesn’t mean it was incorrect to God.

I can make a righteous decision that may result in all sorts of unfortunate, unintended consequences, but that doesn’t mean it’s a mess that God has to clean up.

I can make a decision that displays my faith and confidently live in all the consequences because God holds the past, present, and future.

So, let’s start glorifying God in how we decide.

https://soundfaith.com/logos-media-share/498255

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Oreo Cookie of Life

May 26, 2020

 

Most of the time we over-complicate our relation to the absolute (God).  Now, over-complicate does not mean that we are making our relationship harder than it needs to be.  

Dying to self is a difficult task requiring endurance and perseverance. Over-complicate usually means misalignment; doing things for the wrong reasons.

I have recently engaged in an enlighting task for myself.  I applied a tool of my profession, a logic diagram, to the analysis of my spiritual life.  I want my “what” to correspond correctly to the appropriate “why”.

A logic diagram flows purpose (why) into actions (how).  A well constructed logic diagram readily reveals the reason for every contemplated activity and allows for each activity to be crafted to achieve the true purpose.

My logic diagram resembles an Oreo cookie.

One wafer is to glorify God & enjoy Him / Love God; my purpose.  The other wafer is faith; my how.  Everything between those cookie wafers is my life.

Not very complicated.

It is very easy to allow our relationship with the world around us to dictate out relationship with God or have no relationship with God.  That means we have replaced our wafers and if you’ve got wrong wafers them you’ve got inappropriate relationships.

That is the sweet work of a faithful follower of Christ; getting the sweet filling of life appropriately positioned between the absolutes of God and faith.

https://soundfaith.com/logos-media-share/497549

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Sign in the Sad

May 24, 2020

Depression is something I don’t understand.  I gravitate towards answers that are conclusive with clear prognosis.  Depression does not accommodate either. 

Depression does not lend itself to a comfortable cause-effect diagnosis.  I want those whom I love to be happy.  I want to “fix” it for them.  Their sadness seems like my failure, even though I know it is not.  

Depression relegates solvers into supports verging on spectators.  

I have heard the explanation of causes – chemical, biological, neurological, environmental and the combination there of.  I don’t dispute their veracity while acknowledging their bothersome uncertainty.

I have often wondered if there is more intertwined in the uncertain explanations than the physical.

We are told that there will be a time when the experience of the depressed will not be limited in numbers.   Consider a world where the reality of the depressed is not unique, not a clinical diagnosis, but the universal experience of the whole. Where the joy has gone and darkness reigns.  Where the merry of heart have resigned and numbness ascends.  

Maybe, depression is more than a taste for an unfortunate few but a universal sign beyond that particular issue; a foretaste to when merriment yields to blindfolds being removed.  Reality being revealed to a world, which has chosen it’s own rule.  A reminder of the warnings of old, to the prophesies, where we are told, that merriment in what we hold will be banished beyond any gravitational fold.

Maybe, these thoughts are more imagination than inspiration, but I long for the depressed to be made whole now. Even if depression isn’t a sign, I am motivated even more to pray for the lost to be found, so that they never know the absence of joy, follow into the on-coming darkness.

https://soundfaith.com/logos-media-share/496874

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Online Bible Study

May 21, 2020

Bible Study Invitation

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Socially Distant

May 21, 2020


We are told to distance ourselves.

Separation has become a prescription.

Conveyance prevention, a priority.

Efficacy measured by normality.

We separate, fearing the unseen.

Celebrating the fruitlessness of disease never known.

But what of maladies needing proximity?

I have heard it said, “I’m taking a break from God.”

Distancing for a time from the Divine.

Is separation the prescription for spiritual affliction?

What conveyance is this break preventing?

Do we need less Spirit; peace, love, joy?

To isolate alone, isn’t that a symptom of the malady?

Distancing oneself to ruin, it seems.

All the while, the prescription resides in drawing near.

We should pull close when unfelt feelings arise.

When God seems not to hear.

When the old man wants to flee,

We bind him in our need.

Abiding in the Spirit, there is the key.

Side by side or I’ll think, “A break is all I need”.

Assurance will come, when ruin is foregone,

Through the healing breath of the Unseen.

Celebrated in the fruitfulness of the Known.

https://soundfaith.com/logos-media-share/495489

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Testing For Fear – Psalm 56:3

May 14, 2020

I am a bit anxious this morning, I will not lie.

All the self-confidence belies the insecurities of a day full of significance.  Today, I lead a team readied for a presentation instrumental in winning a five year, $15 million contract.

It is a big deal for a small company.  We have been waiting for eight years. 

I am embarrassed by my own anxiety.  No lives hang in the balance.  My employment is not dependent upon the perfect pitch.  All today can hold is a hope for a bulwark against tomorrow’s uncertainty,  so that I won’t have to worry about where tomorrow’s prosperity will reside.

Oh, foolish man that I am.

In essence, my anxiety reveals an inherent resistance to trusting the One who truly controls the conditions of my future.

God knows what I need and when I need it. He has provided my daily bread my entire life and I know He will provide tomorrow’s.

My anxiety is just a fear;  a revelation of an unholy alliance with control.

Are you fearful, like me?  Our response to uncertainty is the most revealing test one’s faith can undergo. Testing for fear is not a scare opportunity.  

The nature response to uncertainty is fear, whether we recognize it as fear or not.  Fear changes us.  It effects our behavior.  It modifies our attitude.  It steals our joy.

Fear is a foe.

So, I repented this morning.  I have changed my anxiety to trust.  I have done all the work to be prepared for today but God has done more.  It has been Him who has sheltered me to this point and it will be Him who shelters me through tomorrow. 

Therefore, I can enjoy the opportunity of today.  There are not many people who get to do what I have the privilege to do.  I will trust, which enables me to enjoy.
https://soundfaith.com/logos-media-share/491949

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