faster, faster, faster

via Quicken

Ask those who know me really well, and they will confirm for you, I’ve never been a very patient person.  My kids learned their driving habits from me, so I’ve no one to blame but myself when they drive too fast.  I used to drive really fast, and loose, and a little on the edge.  I’m older and wiser now, but occasionally I’ll still need to lighten up on the accelerator, if you know what I mean.  This lack of patience sometimes leaks over into other aspects of my past, present, and future.

I was so in a hurry to get through college, so that I could go on to Seminary.  I knew I was headed there, so why focus on the now, when where I really want to be is there.  In Seminary I was always in a hurry to get through each semester, so I could graduate, and get on with being a Pastor.  Unfortunate circumstances (translation life-interruptus) caused there to be a 20 year hiatus on finishing that degree.  I spent most of that 20 years in the computer industry as a career, and serving my ministry desires through lay-ministry in the church we attended at the time.

When I finally got the opportunity to go into ministry full time, and later finish my Master of Divinity education, then a Doctor of Ministry degree, I pursued each of these with the same vigor and lack of patience as before.  I’ve been a driven person most of my life, always trying to go faster, faster, faster.  I wasn’t trying to run ahead of God, so much as I just wanted to get there faster.

It reminds me a little of the disciples wanting Jesus to quit taking so much time setting up His earthly kingdom.  They asked him after the resurrection, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?”  [Acts 2:6]  They were wanting to get there faster.  The reply from Jesus is something we should really focus on here, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority;“[Acts 2:7]  Part of the problem with having this “faster” mentality is thinking God is just a slow-poke.  But Jesus helps them (and us) understand that it isn’t just “kingdom” things that God has fixed in time, but that each minute of our lives is accounted for under God’s sovereign authority.  God saw me before I was born.  He knows the number of my days.  Don’t take my word for it, look at Psalm 139:16 – “Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all my days were written in Your book and planned before a single one of them began.

Today, most days, because we think God is a slow-poke, we become impatient about life, always wishing we could get “there” (wherever there is) faster, faster, faster.  In fact it’s easy to get all wrapped up in “end of days” mentality, wishing God would get it all over with already, so we can all go be with Him in heaven.  Trust me when I say, God isn’t even “nearly” through saving people yet!  Peter tells us, “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.”  [2 Peter 3:9]  God isn’t about to end human history until all the humans who will be saved… are saved.  God’s will is that all come to repentance.

So if you’re one of those who likes to see timelines and deadlines in the Book of Revelation, then let me offer you a small bit of advice.  Slow down.  Read the book, and study the book differently.  It isn’t all about judgment and just getting to heaven.  It is about God saving people who will say “yes” to His grace, even in the worst seven-year period of human history… the end of days.  I can help you with this, if you’d like.  Click to read more.  BOOK

“I am”

via Center

This journey I’m on, writing everyday, using the “Daily Post” as a vehicle to jumpstart my mind, has been at times exhausting, and at other times exhilarating. Some days I have a host of people who read, like and follow what I’ve written.  Other days, I’m lucky to have a handful.  Life is like that isn’t it?  In the now famous words of Bubba Gump’s momma, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”  I always liked this line in the movie because it reminded me of my own mom, she just loved chocolate covered cherries. That bit-sized morsel of chocolate so delicious made even sweeter with the juicy richness of the cherry in the center.  My mother loved them, would eat them by the box;  me – not so much.


Last week I made a treat for desert one night which turned out to be a real hit among some friends at church.  German Chocolate Carmel Bars have been a favorite of mine for a long time.  My new hobby/pass-time for the last 8 months or so has been learning to cook.  While I’m quite sure I’ll never be a “chef” by any stretch of the imagination, I do ok from time to time.  We’re still alive.  So, I decided to make these chocolate bars I have always liked.  Essentially it is a chocolate brownie type treat with caramel and chocolate chips at the center of every bite.  I had a great time making it, and several friends kindly affirmed my burgeoning interest in my new hobby.


These images reflect how wonderful my life is today, and the true message I wish to convey through this blog.  Parts of my life these days are like a confectioner’s chocolate, smooth, rich, and tasty.  Other parts of my life are more like the baked chocolate bar, a little crusty and harder on the outside than inside, because of the time spent under the heat of pressure.  Both are treats, and both are made sweeter still by what is on the inside, at the center.  The essence of the chocolate is made sweeter still by the cherries or the caramel, and so my life is enriched by what is at the core of my existence: Jesus.

When Moses wanted to know God’s name, God simply said, “I Am.”  The Creator of the Universe is the center of all life, all knowledge, or any other created thing.  According to John the apostle [John 1:3], “All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.”  Jesus is the center of all things.  According to the apostle Paul [Colossians 1:16] “For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities– all things have been created through Him and for Him.”  Jesus is the center of all things.

When we discover this simple truth, we come closer to understanding what brings the sweet richness of life which God always intended for us to experience.  When someone asks you, “What is at the center of your life?”, how do you answer?  Go ahead, ask me at what is at the center of my life.  “I Am.”  Not me – the ornery, cantankerous, sometimes obstinate Dr. Wilkins.  THE – I AM – the Creator, the one who designed me, to be but a reflection of His glory.  I am here to experience God’s grace every day, and to extend His glory to the ends of the earth.  I can only do that when “I AM” is at the center of my existence.

What is at the center of your life?





via Jiggle

My uncle Wylie was a funny man.  My memories of him are somewhat questionable according to my sisters.  They don’t remember him quite the way I do.  I may have mentioned him in previous articles.  One of my favorite memories is being at his house when the phone would ring, he would grab it up, and say, “ummm… Jello!”  Cracked me up every time.  I think he did it just for me.

(Jello TV ad circa 1960)

Jello was a staple at the Wilkins home.  My favorite of course was either purple or green. Grapes and Limes.  I don’t know why, it just was.  I liked how the Jello squished in my mouth.  Mom said Jello was good for you all the time.  When my own kids were growing up their mother would make Jello Jigglers, because that was the “in” thing at the time. Jigglers are easy to make, just use your favorite cutter and make Jello shapes the kids love to eat. My favorite part was eating the left overs from the cutouts, the shapeless throw aways, the fringes and edges.

Sometimes it seems to me we have a “Jello Jiggler” approach to studying the Bible.  People love to cut out Psalm 23, Luke 2, Jeremiah 29, John 3, and Romans 8, shake them up and watch them wiggle and waggle as our favorites to study and digest.  Sure there are lots of favorite stories, pet stories, pastors love to teach about.  But what about the cutouts?  What about all the left overs that no one really wants to eat?  Are they too dry?  Do they not wiggle enough?  They don’t have that delightful little jiggle? Are they so hard to understand that most of God’s children just avoid them altogether?

Yes.  And there is one book of the Bible in particular that draws very little attention, in fact is avoided most of the time… the Book of Revelation.  If God didn’t want us to read it, study it, learn from it, or eat it like Jello, then why is it there?  There are letters to the church in this book, dictated personally from Jesus.  There are miracles and wonders describing the glory and majesty of God.  There are promises and explanations of why we are here, our very existence is explained in detail, and purpose!  No other Book in the Bible gives us the glimpse of our future home, that is found in Revelation.  The promise of Christ’s return is described and guaranteed in the Book of Revelation!  There is plenty of shake, joggle, waggle, wiggle, fidget, squirm, quiver, tremble, and jiggle in Revelation.

Is it always easy to understand?  Nope.  Is it worth trying?  Yep.  I offer you the opportunity to go on a journey few have been willing to make.  Travel with me into the rough edged, cutout, loose ends of the Jello in the Bible … that is Revelation.  It is a tasty treat!




Very Funny

via Arid

Apparently the type of humor I really enjoy is not dry, it’s absolutely arid.  Don’t ask me to tell a joke, no one can survive that desert. Let me give you a few examples of the jokes that make me hee-haw.  Ready?

I totally understand how batteries feel because I’m rarely ever included in things either.

It’s hard to explain puns to kleptomaniacs because they always take things literally.

I used to think the brain was the most important organ. Then I thought, look what’s telling me that.

The midget fortune teller who kills his customers is a small medium at large.

A farmer in the field with his cows counted 196 of them, but when he rounded them up he had 200.

What does a nosey pepper do?  Get jalapeño business.”

[All jokes courtesy of Christopher Hudspeth]

Often when I would be preaching or teaching and tell one of these type jokes, I might here a snicker or two, one particular lady got my humor almost every time.  But for the majority of my listeners, most would kind of cock their heads, like a dog does when its owner talks baby talk to it.  Occasionally, a few minutes later someone would start laughing quietly, and I knew they finally got it.  I know a few pastors who can’t preach a single sermon without several jokes planted somewhere to keep their audience listening to the lesson.


What about Jesus?  Was He funny?  Did He laugh?  Are there actual examples we can draw from in the Bible?  Yes, Jesus was hysterically funny, but like the arid jokes above, sometimes he had to point it out later to His disciples.  For example, think about the name He gave Simon Peter.  Jesus called him, “the rock.”  Which is ironic and humorous all at the same time, since this fisherman vacillated back and forth between trusting the Master, and wanting to do it his own way, usually comically failing in the process.

Here’s another few examples.  His encounters with the Pharisees are just loaded with one-liners Jesus tossed their way to poke fun, hidden in a truth.  You might have to think a little about these.  “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s.” [Matthew 22:21 -irony]  “Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” [Matthew 15:14 – slap stick] “You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!” [Matthew 23:24 – juxtaposition]  There’s more but you get the point.

Humor is an integral part of the human condition, there is a reason for laughing as much as there is for crying, and what it does cathartically in our souls.  Don’t be one of those people who live barren-dry humorless lives, always taking life so seriously, and making those around you miserable.  Laugh a little.  Jesus did.



via Baby

What an interesting word prompt from the Daily Post!  A person with a certain bent could go so many different ways with this word.  Mother’s could write about newborns, Pro-Life and Pro-choice people could write about viability, or when life begins. Anyone (like me) who is tired of the continual alt-left rhetoric about Trump not being their president, might write about how the democratic party is acting like big babies.  People in love could write about “baby” as their favorite pet name for their lover.  Or, someone like me who is the proud grandfather of an almost one-year-old grandson, might write about a grand-baby.  Here’s an interesting fact about babies.  Did you know that a baby’s eyeballs do not grow?  The eyeballs are fully formed and the baby’s head grows to allow more of the whites than the irises to show over time.


Of course, I’m going off in another direction.  My particular bent always seems to have a biblical point, and why should this one be different, right?  When I saw this word today I almost immediately went to Bethlehem in my mind.  We’re almost two full months past the Christmas season, and for most people, with Valentine’s Day behind us, all eyes are on Saint Patrick’s Day.  Too many people spend a few weeks in December thinking about angels, shepherds, kings and Baby Jesus, then it’s football playoffs, new year’s celebrations, and super bowl parties.  We like to celebrate, and often.  And hey, birthdays are celebrated every day of the year by someone.

Babies are mysterious to me. I want to know what they are thinking when those huge eyes look me, full in the face, with curiosity.  It’s hard for me to side with the pro-choice folks, and not just because of the highly charged political battles, and not just because of the spiritual issues, but because I’ve looked into the eyes of my own children at birth, and now my grandson’s eyes as he is still not yet a year old.  In these moments, I have often thought about the mystery that is salvation, brought to us in a baby, born in Bethlehem.

This baby was destined to grow up, travel to Jerusalem around bar mitzvah time and confound the spiritual leaders of the nation of Israel, then become a carpenter like his earth-daddy.  Not one peep was heard after this until Jesus shows up in Cana at a wedding, and began His earthly ministry.  After three years of wondering around as an itinerant preacher/teacher, he is arrested for blasphemy, tortured then crucified by the Roman army, and put to rest in a borrowed tomb.  That is quite a narrative.  Many today still think it is a mythical story perpetrated on mankind by a bunch of loser disciples.

My question is, “How do you look into a baby’s eyes, and not believe in a Creator?”  God’s infinite wisdom and mercy and grace allow us, if we will, to come to Him in faith, and declare that He is this very Creator.  However, it’s important to understand, in our human minds we can never fathom how God the Creator, could give His only baby boy, to offer us this grace.  I don’t understand it, I cannot comprehend it, the mystery is too great.  Yet it’s true.  It is only when I stepped over the line of faith in the FACT of it, that I too began to feel reborn, a new baby, in Christ Jesus.





The dissonant slur

via Slur

It’s not easy for those losing their hearing to admit this truth. When you raise the level of your voice so the hearing-challenged can understand your words, they pretend something different and shout “you don’t have to yell.”  They don’t even know they’re yelling, because they can’t hear. They live in a Charlie Brown world where most of the conversation, sounded more like, “blah blah, blah blah wa aw wa blah.”  The slurred sound of someone’s voice makes no sense, they can’t distinguish the notes, and it’s frustrating.


Charlie Brown represents a time period for me.  There was a time in high school and college when I could not get enough.  I knew what was coming and I still laughed my head off every time Lucy pulls the football away.  Aaugh!  In college I also spent a lot of my time reading The Gospel According to Peanuts, written by a Presbyterian minister, Robert L. Short. Sometimes when I speak, or write, my impression is that my hearers or listeners are hearing the “blah blah, blah blah wa aw wa blah” rather than the actual thoughts and words I’m communicating.  No amount of wishful thinking on my part can change this it seems.  So just for today, allow the art of a brilliant man named Schultz to help you grasp what my articles are really about.


This world is not getting better, I’m sorry to break it to you this way.  This world is full of darkness and evil, and we hold onto the rhetoric of peace in the middle east, the solving of medical disease, the concept of freedom of the press, because these ideals are not easy to let go.  The Word of God is very clear about what is coming in the near or distant future.  Yet we cling, like Linus to his blanket, to almost anything that will bring us personal peace about who we are, and where we are headed.

It’s just easier for some people, to not be so serious all the time.  Maybe that’s why I identify so strongly with Charlie Brown.  He was always so serious, and naive all at the same time, that’s the story of my life.

Today, I’m hopeful for a bright and glorious future.  Not because the world is getting better, or mankind is evolving to a higher plane, or because we’re on the verge of overcoming racism, violence, plague and pestilence.  When I hear this stuff, I hear”blah blah, blah blah wa aw wa blah.”  I’m hopeful today because I’m closer than I’ve ever been in my life to seeing Jesus.  My hope is Jesus.  Paul taught Titus there is no other.

Titus 2:11-14
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.




via Rhythmic


In the spring of 2005, while going about my chores, I became aware of a heavy pressure in my chest, as though I was pinned to the earth by a giant boulder; I could hardly breathe.  Anyone reading is quickly aware that I did in fact have a heart attack.  Albeit a minor one, tell someone in the middle of a minor heart attack that it’s “minor,” and see how they respond.  I, like so many other men at 50 years old, thought the pain would subside and I would go on with my day.  Not quite.  With every rhythmic beat of my heart the pain seemed to grow in intensity, until I had to sit down.  My brain finally kicked in and I asked myself, “could this be a heart attack?”

Naturally, being a man, my first instinct was to investigate, so I went to the “googles” and typed “Heart Attack Symptoms,” and began to read the checklist.  By the time I got halfway through the list, the pain was growing, so I went to my teenage daughters bedroom and said, “I think I need to go to the hospital.”  She was just learning to drive, and only had her learner’s permit, and said, “I can’t drive you to the hospital!”  Of course I simply responded with, “that’s ok, I”ll drive, let’s go.”  Did it ever occur to me to dial 911, not so much, duh.  So, I drove to the hospital.

Upon arriving at the ER, a woman at reception asked how she could help, I simply said, “I think I’m having a heart attack.”  To which she responded, “Sit down now! We’ll come get you.”  Moments later I was on a bed, strapped with wire to a couple different machines, someone shoved a nitroglycerin pill under my tongue, and off we went to discover what was going on inside my chest.  Here’s where the “minor” part comes in.   While the cardiologist, the attending physician, and all the nurses and aids believed I was having a problem, nothing was registering on the machines to indicate I was in immediate danger.  That said, they weren’t quite ready to send me home.

It took almost 15 hours for the blood work to come back with the enzyme evidence indicating that I did in fact have a heart attack.  The next morning through an angiogram the cardiologist discovered blockages in the lower arteries feeding my heart, and put in two stints.  As it turns out, I had a genetic cholesterol issue, which is now completely controlled with medications.  It was just a minor heart attack, meaning no damage, and I’m still healthy as the proverbial horse.  The result of the whole episode however, changed the rhythmic beat of my life.  I had to slow down.  This my friends was not easy for me to do.

Over the next couple of days my cognitive functions seemed to work overtime processing exactly what had happened to me.  I came face-to-face with the reality or my mortality, and pondered the inevitability of death.  During those sometimes dark hours, I also re-examined my foundational beliefs.  One narrative from Mark’s gospel came back to me time after time, bringing me peace.  As the story goes, Jesus had been teaching about the “the sower and the soils,” and “the mustard seed,” in Mark 4, concluding the day by telling the disciples they were all going to the other side of the Sea of Galilee by boat.

That night a storm arose, so fierce, these seasoned, trained fishermen believed with all their hearts they were about to die.  All the while, Jesus was sound asleep in the stern of the boat.  The dialogue of life is pretty telling here.  The men woke Jesus and asked, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”  Rather than answer them, Jesus stands up in the boat and says to the wind and the sea, “Hush, be still.”  The narrative teaches us that even the wind and the sea obey His commands.  Then Jesus says, “Why are you afraid?  Do you still have no faith?”  [Mark 4:35-41]

When the rhythmic cadence of your life is upended, when you think you may be dying, when the emotional pain or physical exhaustion almost wins the battle for your existence, listen for the voice of Jesus telling them all, “Hush! Be still!”  The Creator of the Universe is in Sovereign control of all things, events, or circumstances of your life.  Yield to His presence, and do not be afraid.  He will never leave you nor forsake you.  He has promised it to be true.

David’s Song

via Hideout

Every soldier needs a hideout, a secret place to go and not be found by his enemies.  When we think of King David, more often than not our minds turn to his heroic display of courage against the nine-foot tall giant named Goliath.  Or we think of Paul, standing in the synagogue of Psidian Antioch, teaching Hebrew history, and the story David.  Paul said:

Acts 13:22
After He had removed him (king Saul), He raised up David to be their king, concerning whom He also testified and said, “I HAVE FOUND DAVID the son of Jesse, A MAN AFTER MY HEART, who will do all My will.”

Thousands of years before hand when King Saul was only 30 years old, the king assumed God’s will, made a battle-preparation sacrifice since Samuel the priest/prophet was late to the party, and went on to war.  Because of this, Samuel speaks for God in 1 Samuel 13:13-14:

You have acted foolishly; you have not kept the commandment of the LORD your God, which He commanded you, for now the LORD would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. But now your kingdom shall not endure. The LORD has sought out for Himself a man after His own heart, and the LORD has appointed him as ruler over His people, because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you.

Until he became king, David hid in caves, on mountain tops, and low valleys, because he knew all the good places to hide.  He was after all a shepherd well versed in the protection of his herd from thieves or wild animals.  What is so interesting about David is his consistent reliance on God to provide all that he needed.  Psalm 23 is perhaps one of the most sacred and memorized passages in the whole Bible describing God’s provision.

David however, was also a man of war. Most people don’t understand this.  He was a king/soldier, as well as the shepherd boy.  2 Samuel 21 documents this pretty well.  This passage also leads to a wonderfully descriptive song which David spoke the day Jehovah the Lord delivered him from his enemies and King Saul.  Listen to just the first phrases and see if it doesn’t lead you to go read the whole thing.

2 Samuel 22:2-4
The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge; My savior, You save me from violence.  I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.”

David’s hideout was God.  David described Him as Jehovah Roi – The Lord is my shepherd: Psalm 23:1.  God provided David all he needed, a place to sleep safely, water, guidance, comfort, anointing oil, a future home, and the promise of dwelling together in perpetuity with his Lord.  God was David’s hideout.

Where, or in whom, do you hide yourself for safety from your enemies?


The Glittering Life

via Daily Post Glitter

The simple definition: to shine with a bright, shimmering, reflected light.  From sequins on a dress, to crystal that dances in the dark radiance of the moon, the origin of the shimmering light is neither the sequin or the crystal.  From a child’s artwork filled with glitter, to the ballroom dancer’s gown, the light shining brilliant and arresting is only reflected from these elements.

There are no sources of reflected light streaming in my office this morning.  It’s overcast, and although the sun is shining on the world, it isn’t in my little office, or out in my yard, or anywhere else I can see with the naked eye.  This doesn’t prove the sun isn’t shining, it just means I can’t see it through the filter of the clouds.  Life is like that sometimes.  I wouldn’t describe this as a dark day, nor would I say it’s gloomy, although that comes closer.  It just is what it is; overcast.

It’s as though The Creator just covered this part of my personal world with a curtain which allowed light to pass through and bring sight, but not beaming in full force, or being reflected off of every shiny surface.  My mind races with the symbolic inferences of my daily life.  Jesus said, [John 8:12] “”I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”  Then Matthew records another time when Jesus said, [Matthew 5:14] “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.”

Jesus is The LIGHT, we are the glitter.  I know this because He also went on to say [Matthew 5:16]” Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”  The Dr. Jim version of Jesus’ statement is: “Reflect My light through what you do in a way that God get’s the praise.”  We do this best when we comprehend, then live in the understanding, that we are not the original source of the light we reflect.  When God found us, we were a lump of coal.  When God delivers us from the darkness, we become multifaceted diamonds designed to reflect the Glory of God’s radiance.

So does your life glitter this way?  What about days when the sky is overcast, spiritually?  When you’ve had a late night, it’s a little difficult to get out of bed, it’s a Monday and all that work is still waiting for you?  When storm clouds roll in and it gets really dark, is there enough Son still shining into your life, that you glitter, shine and sparkle God’s love and light to everyone around?

According to Jesus, that’s why we’re here.




An Indistinct Shape

via Daily Post: Blur

If only we could see through the smears and stains of life which obscure our perspectives of past, present, and future, then we might have an opportunity to make sense of the shape and form of reality and truth.  The blur often takes place in the question, “Why me?”  Not that the question isn’t valid, because I to have asked it often in my own life.  Validity notwithstanding, it’s the blur causing us to ask the question, so it’s the blur we need to get through.  We seek clarity, understanding, some logical sense of purpose for whatever is causing our eyes to blur.

Sometimes it’s a log.  This common mistake is common among every human ever born. It’s described for us clearly.  Hear the words of Jesus for understanding.

Luke 6:42
Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye.

Hypocrite is not a “church” word, although it’s often been designated as such.  Hupokrites (Greek) means “actor.”  This definition perfectly describes someone who thinks they know how to fix their neighbors blurred vision, while acting as though they can see perfectly.  Just look around at the political system of the United States government in action for the last 18 months for a grandiose example of hypocrite.

Still, sometimes it’s pain, loss or suffering.  We love to be entertained by the Hollywood moguls who give us great lines of sacrificial pain or death.  Circa 1982 in the Wrath of Khan, Spock says, “Logic clearly dictates that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.” Kirk answers, “Because the needs of the one outweigh the needs of the few.”  Our heart strings pull as Spock dies to save the Starship Enterprise.

Our minds are blurred by our own pain or suffering so we ask, “Why me?”  It’s another common mistake, common to every human. Even the Apostle Paul asked God to take away his pain, three separate times according to Paul’s own blurred memory…our equivalent of “why me?”  Listen to Paul’s witness about what happened next…

2 Corinthians 12:9-10
And He (GOD) has said to me (PAUL), “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

Apparently, it was through the acceptance of God’s sovereign hand on Paul’s life, that Paul was able to get past the blur and see the reality, logic, and purpose for his pain, suffering and loss.  To what end?  Well, Paul gives us that information too.  2 Corinthians 1:3-11 is a lengthy description of Paul’s afflictions.  Listen to the message of verses 3-4.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

All too often we are so blurred in our thinking due to our pain, suffering or loss, that we become paralyzed into thinking or believing we are the only ones hurting this way.  Paul admonishes us to see through the haze, and recognize a greater purpose for our personal relationships with friends and family.  They hurt too.  They experience pain, suffering, and loss too.  In the same way God gives us strength through our own misery, He wants to use us to bring soothing comfort to others our life touches.

Have you ever considered that when you reach out to touch, comfort or soothe someone else’s pain, suffering or loss… even if you haven’t healed completely yet… that this is when the blur fades away and your vision clears, and your pain decreases?  This is by design.  The Creator made us this way on purpose.  He is the God of all comfort.  His great desire is to use us to bring comfort to others.

Blurred vision or crystal clear sight more often than not is a personal choice.


It’s all Greek to me

via Daily Post: Translate

Imagine living for three years with someone where you slept just feet apart; ate every meal together, walked everywhere you went, as your group of 13 traveled from Galilee to Judea and back again.  Imagine seeing the leader of your group doing miracles, hearing Him calling your name personally to follow Him, and knowing the miracles He performed clearly authenticated the claim He made of Himself to be the Promised One, the Anointed, the Messiah.  Imagine living this way among a people who’s culture was being ripped apart by Roman occupation and law.  Listening daily to the words of your leader, it would have been an easy leap of faith to want this powerful man to be the new King of Israel, and remove the pagan laws from your land.  So they did.  To a man, each of the disciples Jesus hand-picked, believed not in the pie-in-the-sky kingdom far into the future, but in an imminent establishing of a new nation of Israel in Jerusalem.  Jerusalem after all was the city of God.

Now imagine each of these men watching their leader being dragged off in chains.  Imagine their confusion for Judas kissing Jesus on the cheek in the Garden of Gethsemane, being taken by the Temple Guard, and hauled off for a mock trial in the middle of the night.  Having spent all those long hours with their Rabboni (Great Master), the huge storm clouds of doubt and despair descend on the group of 11.  Judas has gone and hung himself for his misguided attempts at forcing Jesus to act immediately.  Jesus is being taken to Caiaphas, Peter’s stands by a fire trying to get warm, John finds Mary and tries to offer comfort, and everyone else scatters, thinking they could be next.

We have no context for this life, or for even beginning to think we understand the nature of their confusion demonstrated by their actions.  You and I are not challenged today in these ways, and it was a road to be traveled by only 12 hand-picked men anyway.

So, what’s the point?  The narrative I’m trying to paint for you is one that has a few key elements.

First, when they chose to follow Him, the faith in Jesus these men exhibited is one of complete abandonment of any previous life-choices.  This would be the very definition of the Greek word κύριος (koo’-ree-os) translation: Lord or Master.  Today our closest English variation might be “Sir.”  These men forsook everything to follow Jesus; family, friends, businesses, life stability, just to sit at Jesus feet and listen to Him teach.

Second, Jesus continually was surrounded by thousands of people in crowds, all gathered as word spread of His teaching, and miracle-working ministry.  At one point, looking at the masses of people, Jesus said, “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” [Luke 6:46]  If the 12 men who were hand-picked didn’t understand half of what Jesus said and did, after all the time they spent with Him privately, what’s to cause us to believe those on the fringes, hearing Him only one or two times, could even partly comprehend His message, purpose or intentions?

Third, we can only have context for the meaning of the word “LORD” if we step back and stop laying our 21st century interpretations on a 1st century document (the Bible).  Here’s a verse we like to quote:

Philippians 2:9-11
For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

What’s the reason?  See, that’s the real question.  What is the actual reason every knee bows, or every tongue confesses that Jesus Christ is Lord?  We do such an injustice when we translate these scriptures in 21st century contexts.

The REASON that Jesus is LORD is because:

Philippians 2:5-8
Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Obedience is the best and clearest example of why Jesus is Lord.  Even to the point of death, even death on a cross.

The LAST point of my narrative is, until we see Lordship as something more than occasional church attendance, sporadic giving to ministry or charity, or passing out water at the 4th of July parade… we have completely lost the message in translation.  Jesus is Lord not because I “make” Him Lord of my life.   Jesus IS Lord.  My only choice is to serve Him or not.  My choice is to completely vacate my preconceptions of what it means to serve Him, and follow His Spirit leading me into uncharted waters.  Jesus is Lord whether I see Him walking on water or not.  My obedience, to His command of my life, will be the only determining factor for the world to see … He is my Lord.

Let me try to translate for you one more time… you can hear it if you will…

Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?


via Juicy

Living in Texas has its benefits, especially if you like your fruits – juicy.  When I was growing up in West Texas I looked forward to spring and summer because we had peach trees in our backyard.  There’s nothing better than walking about 10 paces out the door to a tree so loaded with fruit, we had to use 2 x 4 braces to hold up the limbs.  The whole tree wasn’t more than about 12-15 tall, but it was easily 25+ feet across and bearing a boatload of juicy peaches.  As a young boy I had to hold the fruit with both hands, because they were as big as my daddy’s fist.  Other families around us had plumbs, and some had apricots.  My mother put fruit in our freezer that lasted us through the winter every year.  What great memories.


Another favorite was cantaloupe.  One of my strong memories from childhood is stopping at a fruit stand outside of Odessa, then watching my mom and dad pick out a large paper bag stuffed with 8-10 cantaloupes about the size of a good dodgeball.  My mouth watered the whole 20 miles back to our house.  Mom would slice up and trim 2-3 cantaloupes in a bowl and chill them for our supper.  Finally at supper she would have to limit my intake, because that’s all I would eat!  The fruit was so juicy and fresh, it would run down my face onto my shirt, and everybody laughed.  Fun times.

God’s Word says the “fruit” of God’s Spirit is JUICY!  In fact, it has so much juice it is evidenced in a person of faith in at least 9 different ways.
Galatians 5:22-25
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.
So my question becomes, “Just how juicy is your life in Christ?”  If Jesus really is the center of our being, the juiciest part of who we are, shouldn’t our inward and outward appearance reflect God’s glory?  Is your life filled to abundance in Christ through His own Holy Spirit?
John 10:10
I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
What does your Spiritual fruit look like… is it Juicy?

Squatting in the House of God

via Daily Prompt: Squat

The church building – the structure itself – is often called the house of God.  Traditionally it has been thought of as a sacred place, where God’s Spirit dwells.  That concept comes out of ancient Hebrew culture, where in the Tabernacle in the Old Testament, and the Temple in the Old & New Testaments, both were constructed with an inner chamber called the Holy of Holies, the place where God’s Spirit was present on earth.  As a man came to worship in the Temple, Jewish law stated that every man should pay a tribute for the service of the Temple with a Jewish coin known as a “shekel.” [Exodus 30:11-16]

By the time of the first century, many Jewish people scattered all over the Roman world in the Middle East no longer used Jewish coins or money.  They worked, lived, and were paid in Roman currency.  It became a matter of necessity (convenience?) to have a place where sojourners to Jerusalem could change their money from Roman to Temple currency.  The outer courtyard of the Temple was called the Courtyard of the Gentiles, and was actually more or less a thoroughfare from the Eastern Gate of Jerusalem connecting a passageway to the city on the West.  In this courtyard the money-changers would provide their services for a “fee” the “exchange rate.”  During the Passover week when almost one million Jewish natives would come to Jerusalem to celebrate their heritage, changing money was a profitable business, which led to fraud and corruption at the highest levels of the priesthood.


Money is one thing, but these leaders extorted the Jewish people in another way.  Again, according to Jewish Law [Leviticus 14:22], two doves or pigeons were required as a sacrifice.  Most travelers didn’t bring these birds with them on their distant journey, deciding to simply purchase the offerings at the Temple on their arrival.  The sacrifice brokers would set up shop and have plenty of animals, but at outrageous prices, extorting God’s people for profit.  There were merchants selling cattle and sheep as well, all at exorbitant costs.

Enter Jesus.  There are two specific recorded times when Jesus cleansed the Temple: John 2:13-22, and Matthew 21:12-13.  The first time was right after His first miracle at a wedding feast in Cana.  The second time was after His triumphant entrance into Jerusalem beginning the week of Passover, just before His arrest and crucifixion.  The description of the cleansing process employed is much more detailed in the first account.  Jesus observed, then acted.  He made a “scourge of cords” and whipped the merchants into shape, overturning tables of coins, and commanding those selling animals, “Take these things away; stop making My Father’s house a place of business.

In many places across our land today, church has become big business.  Recently I’ve seen coffee bars, bookstores, and money raising plans out the wazoo.  I’ve listened to different church leaders talk about money in ways that make me wonder who’s kingdom they are really trying to build.  It feels like “squatters” in the Temple all over again, and it makes me wonder what Jesus would do if He visited these places.  Would He lash out like in the Temple and say, “My house shall be called a house of prayer; but you are making it a robber’s den,”?

How do we return to the intended purpose of making a journey to God’s house?  Perhaps by entering in the spirit of prayer, by not going through the motions of tradition, by not succumbing to the temptations to turn our places of worship into temples of enterprise.

We need to quit being squatters in the House of God.  We need to return to the heart of worship.

The silence in my head

via Sound


Simon & Garfunkel’s song was pounding in my headache as I awakened today. “Hello darkness, my old friend… I’ve come to talk with you again…”  Recorded in 1964 by Columbia Studios in New York City, I was only 10 years old when I heard this song on my sister’s radio.  Half a century later, clear as crystal these lyrics sang back to me from my subconscious sleep, over and over and over.  Now I need a nap, to get some rest.

Actually, I’ve had a great deal of experience with silence.  For years as a pastor, whole periods of my daily existence were completely void of sound.  While I would read, study, and write sermons and Bible studies, even the clock made no noice, it was digital. Occasionally I would hear a squirrel run across the roof, or the sound of thunder during a rainstorm, the wind howling through the leaky windows.  Mainly though, the silence was deafening.

It wasn’t that I couldn’t have called someone on the phone.  Yet there it sat, inches away, making no sound.  I could have listened to music, turned on a playlist, the radio, something.  The sound of silence had truly become comfortable for me.  During those hours of quiet contemplation and communion with God, He instilled in my mind during these times of silence, thoughts I would write then later speak.  Even now, as I write these words, the click-click-clicking of the keyboard is as loud as the framer’s hammer driving 3 inch nails into the house being built down the street.  It’s silent in my office, and I hear the cars rushing by on the street as their drivers stream toward work and school while I sit silently listening.

Last line of “The sound of silence” goes like this:

And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the sign said “The words of the prophets
Are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls
And whispered in the sounds of silence

The cryptic language of the song is a fascinating study in the power of lyrics and music. A neon light, thousands of people talking without speaking, hearing without listening, writing songs that no one hears, because they are never shared… these are very powerful images, but what does it all mean?  Simon said in an interview with NPR, “It wasn’t something that I was experiencing at some deep, profound level – nobody’s listening to me, nobody’s listening to anyone – it was a post-adolescent angst, but it had some level of truth to it and it resonated with millions of people. Largely because it had a simple and singable melody.”  So there you go, just a song that resonated with millions of people, because of the music and lyrics.

David the King of Israel wrote music and lyrics thousands of years ago, which people still sing.  We don’t really know what the music sounded like, so much as we know the lyrics today.  Although Amy Grant helped us all with “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path,” [Psalm 119:105] and other music artists along the way have captured the Psalms in their music,  I wonder if there was music accompaniment at all to some of the things David wrote.  For example, “Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth; Break forth and sing for joy and sing praises.” [NASB] many people my age recognize as “Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.” [KJV] Psalm 98:4

During my hours of study there would be times of joy and shouting, and times of weeping and silence.  In all those hours I remember fondly God’s voice “whispering in the sounds of silence.”

Be still, and know that I am God!   Psalm 46:10a




via Expectation


Does expectation shape the result? Often one’s expectations only reflect the hope of something different than reality.  When I stand on the first tee box, driver in hand, I expect to hit a perfect drive down the middle of the fairway, somewhere between 250-275 yards away.  On any given day, and any given golf course, this expectation may or may not happen at all.  Other days, 12 out of 14 times I’ve accomplished the middle part, or the fairway part, or the distance part… but not necessarily all at the same time.

In Oscar Wilde’s essay The Decay of Lying, he said, “Life imitates art far more often than Art imitates life.”  It’s a philosophical argument where Wilde suggests that what is discovered through life or nature is not what is really there, but only what artists have taught us to find there – through art.  As you can imagine, I have difficulty with this philosophy.  Do I really need some artist to describe for me the glory of God’s world, or my relationship to it?  I don’t think so.  When I smell the freshly mown grass, when I feel the sand in my eyes after hitting out of the bunker, when the sun shines directly in my eyes as I stare eastward into the dawn on that short par 3, artists generally cannot improve on what I experience in those moments.  God created me with the capabilities through my five senses, and through the cognitive processes of my brain, and the willful choices of my soul, to recognize and give Him glory for the stunning beauty of nature and life.  It’s not just my philosophy, it is absolute truth, according to God’s Word.

Romans 1:20-23
For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.  For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.  Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.

Obviously I  use the golf model as my illustrative point because I truly enjoy playing the game.  It affords me the opportunity to be out of my office and enjoy God’s world of nature in a way that is satisfying to me.  According to Wilde, I would never know the grass was green or just mown, know the grain of sand was in my eye, or how brightly the sun was shining if some artist didn’t clue me into these experiences.  Doesn’t that sound just ridiculous to you?

Here’s another example.  A  high school student’s artwork depicting police officers as pigs gets taken down, and that draws attention to the prevailing attitude among many in the black community toward the police officers in this country.  But did this high school artist help us comprehend this reality?  No, it has been clearly seen by anyone with their eyes even half open.  It has been this way for a really long time.

John the Apostle could be considered an artist in one sense.  In the final book of the Bible which he authored, John uses dramatic imagery that is often mysterious to us today because we have no context for what the imagery means.  His illustrations come from a Hebrew mindset, in a late first-century world, dominated by Roman authority, all while John is in exile on an island called Patmos.  Do your relate to these conditions in any way? The whole book is filled with visions and narratives that chill us with their apocalyptic finality.  Yet, if we focus only on the imagery, we lose the message of the book.  For it is not a book meant to bring fear, but hope and expectation.

The Book of Revelation is divinely designed to reveal the true nature and character of Jesus Christ as God.  Within this basic belief is this simple truth:  The whole Book of Revelation is about the extravagant love of God, and the exorbitant lengths and measures taken by God to allow all who will, to come to salvation through Jesus.

When we approach understanding Revelation with the expectation that God wants us to understand it, then we can, in the proper context.  The context is the hope found in Christ alone.  In Christ alone I place my trust.  Keith Getty and Stuart Townend wrote a wonderful new hymn of praise capturing the essence of “expectation”, which I leave with you today:

In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light my strength my song
This Cornerstone this solid Ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm
What heights of love what depths of peace
When fears are stilled when strivings cease
My Comforter my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand

In Christ alone who took on flesh
Fullness of God in helpless babe
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones He came to save
Till on that cross as Jesus died
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live

There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave He rose again
And as He stands in victory
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ

No guilt in life no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From life’s first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny
No power of hell no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from His hand
Till He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand

Keith Getty | Stuart Townend
© 2001 Thankyou Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing)

Danger Zone

via Seriousness


The feeble attempts being made today to minimize, trivialize, make light of, or outright dismiss the seriousness of the spiritual sins of our country goes beyond the pale.  Wow, now that’s one somber statement huh?  Yes it is; it’s what I’m known for I guess.  People who know me, really see me and get me, recognize these initial thoughts as pretty standard stuff from me.  That’s because they also know that for most of my life, I’ve been more serious than silly, more earnest than carefree, and more passionate than apathetic.  It’s in my DNA for some reason.  While I’ve tried really hard in the last couple of years to realize all the seriousness can at times get in the way of clear communication, I seem to live in the danger zone of being misunderstood constantly.

I’ve looked at ways to try to stem the tide of my serious nature.  Yet, just by viewing some quotes on the internet to adjust one’s attitude, rather than becoming soothed  or adjusted, I was in some ways saddened, becoming even more serious. Here are just a few of the quotes I found:

Learn to laugh. Seriousness is a sin, and it is a disease. Laughter has tremendous beauty, a lightness.  It will bring lightness to you, and it will give you wings to fly.” – OSHO

Concern yourself with not what is right, and what is wrong, but with what is important.” – LIFEQUOTESRU.COM

Seriousness is the only refuge of the shallow.” – Oscar Wilde

You know my name, not my story.  You’ve heard what I’ve done, not what I’ve been through.” – QuotesGram

It’s this last quote that really caught my attention today.  This turn of phrase allowed me to conceptualize why people find me so serious-natured all the time.  Most pastors would fall into the category of “public figure,” even if they never pastored large or mega-large churches.  This is because their lives are constantly under the microscope of public (translated: congregational) opinion (translated: judgment). Having lived under this microscope for most of my life, the seriousness of my role dictated my conduct, speech, and actions… even when it was contrary to what I really wanted to say or do.  My seriousness resulted in people asking “Are you ok, you don’t look well?”  Actually, what they saw in my facial expression was not feeling ill, but concentrating so hard on what I was about to teach or preach, that my seriousness was perceived as illness.

Anyone who really knows me would never say that I was “shallow.”  Many would say, “Dr. Wilkins, why do you go on… and on… and on…” when I become seriously passionate about the importance of trusting in God’s Word instead of man’s opinions.  I laugh a lot. I’m a pretty goofy person actually, but not many people see me this way.  Not because I don’t want them to, but because they only see me when I am in the role of Pastor/Teacher.  They do not know any other me, most I believe don’t want to.

What the last two years has taught me, is to recognize “seriousness” can be a danger zone. A topic of discussion, relationship issues, interpersonal communications, emotional and psychological implications, physical responses and reactions, can all be effected by the earnest, sober-minded, DNA-hardwired approach I’ve inhabited for so long.  So lighten up already.  Chillax.  Choose your moments wisely Dr. Wilkins.  Take some of your own medicine.  Didn’t you say God’s Word teaches us: “there is a time… to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.”  [Ecclesiastes 3:4]

Why yes, I did.  Thanks for reminding me. [By the way, I’m smiling right now.]




via Lukewarm

Laodicea was located on a plateau several hundred feet high, making the city easily fortified, but vulnerable in another way.  Located in a valley but up on a plateau, the city had no natural springs or sources of water at the top.  Consequently, the city had to pipe in the water from miles away, using an elaborate aqueduct system, and this water system was vulnerable to attacking forces.  Antiochus II established the city, naming it for his first wife, establishing the town’s founding date as sometime before 253 B.C., since by this time he had divorced her.

There was a large Jewish contingent in the valley’s three cities, which led the local governor to issue a decree to stop them sending the temple taxes to Jerusalem.  Of course the committed families tried to send it anyway, but this tax shipment was confiscated. From the amount of gold confiscated by the Roman government, scholars have determined that around 7,500 Jewish men lived in Laodicea at the time.  Which means that several thousand more women and children would have lived there also.  At the time of peace in the Roman Empire, these families prospered as the city grew and prospered.

The city served as an important commercial center, banking center and industrial center. It was so rich in fact, that when ruined by an earthquake in 60 A.D., the city used its own resources to rebuild; it needed no additional assistance from Rome.  The most famous product coming out of Laodicea at the time was soft, black wool.  This wool, extremely valuable and sought after, was used in clothes, carpets, and for many other products. Another important aspect of the city’s wealth came from medicine.  In Laodicea an eye-salve was discovered that the city then exported all over the Greco-Roman world.  These three aspects of the city – finance, wool, and eye salve -are seen clearly in what Jesus has to say to this church.

Revelation 3:14-22 is a letter from Jesus to the church in Laodicea.  We look back at this ancient document and wonder if it could really hold some information which applies to our lives today.  The clear answer for those who want to find it is, yes.  The church of Laodicea looks so similar to many churches today, and many scholars have said so.  Consider this quote from John R. W. Stott:

Perhaps none of the seven letters is more appropriate to the twentieth-century church than this. It describes vividly the respectable, sentimental, nominal, skin-deep religiosity which is so widespread among us today. Our Christianity is flabby and anemic. We appear to have taken a lukewarm bath of religion.

In fact it was this church’s lukewarm condition that led Jesus to say:

Revelation 3:16
So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.

In this letter, Jesus is calling lost people to step over the line of  faith, the weak in faith to become zealous in their convictions, and the lukewarm to become committed through repentance.  The point of Revelation 3:16 is not to bring condemnation, but to stimulate the church to return to Jesus in faith and service.  It is restorative, not judgmental.  It is a second chance, or maybe a third.  That’s why the spitting out part is not the last thing Jesus says to this church.  He also says:

Revelation 3:20
Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.

If anyone… is the operative phrase here.  Jesus excludes no one from His grace.  Jesus will reject no one who comes in faith.  Jesus is all-inclusive to those who return to Him, or having rejected Him come in repentance for their lack of faith.  For the church today, for people of faith all over the world, this letter to Laodicea ends with an applicable truth.

Revelation 3:22
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.


via Aware

According to the Urban Dictionary, “Ignorance is Bliss” is a term used to falsely justify apathy on the given subject in the form of a catchy cliche.  Example: Seat belts are to be worn while driving a motor vehicle in Texas. If an officer of the law stops you to ask why you aren’t wearing your seat belt, don’t answer “I didn’t know I had to.”  Ignorance of the law, is not immunization from the law.  And by the way, every passenger in the vehicle must also be buckled up… don’t be caught unaware.

Today, after examining FaceBook, it seems to me that we should expand the meaning to include any attitude used by the liberal media, iconic celebrities, Facebook post writer, or Twitter-bird who screams incorrect information, to falsely justify their hate.  They are blissfully ignorant of just how wrong they are; they are unaware and don’t seem to care.

It’s an easy trap to fall into because most of us live in such small circles of influence, and this earth is a great big world.  I would venture to say that less than 1% of FaceBook writers even know what Trump’s travel ban document really stated, because they haven’t read it.  To have an opinion on a matter so grave as this would necessarily dictate, that a person do some research on the topic, don’t you think?  Yet, the constant spin-doctored dribble from the “unaware” social media, is like a festering sore oozing green-grey slime, seeking out someone to infect with this particular version of social cancer.  For example, a simple search on my browser this morning yielded the EXACT language used, showing the WHOLE executive order as submitted by the White House.


Perhaps we should return to a Three-Wise-Monkey attitude.  See wisely, hear wisely, and speak wisely.  The Three-Wise-Monkeys came to us from Japan, where they have been widely known since the 17th century.  While there are many possible meanings, the exact meaning lost in the passing years, there is something we should gain here.   The monkey’s gestures suggest that we “see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil.”  A wise “monkey” person is one who is prudent in what they look at, listen to, or what they say.  The wise person considers the consequences (awareness of each having consequences), then makes sensible decisions with the awareness that if he or she does not know what to do, they ask another “monkey” person for advice.


Awareness, or consciousness, is what distinguishes us as a human.  That a monkey should have to teach us how to act is rather insulting at the least.  Humanity has traveled down a long dark path away from what we were created to know deep inside our DNA.  Right and wrong go all the way back to the beginning, with Adam and Eve choosing to use the “but we didn’t know” excuse with God.  The problem is, both Adam and Eve, and God, knew this wasn’t true.  They saw evil, they heard evil, and they spoke (said yes) to evil.  They were not wise in these actions.  They pretended to be unaware of the consequences of their actions, but in this they lied even to themselves.

Ok.  Time to wrap it all up.  First, every person’s actions have consequences.  Being blissfully ignorant of this fact, will not impede the person’s accountability in the matter. Second, when we continue to only see the “evil” in other people, instead of the “good,” we unwisely tend to lash out in ways that are in themselves evil.  Third, this in no way brings glory to the God who created us to know better.  It’s time we employ the “one another” rule given to us in God’s Word.

Ephesians 4:32
Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.

1 Thessalonians 5:11
Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.

Ephesians 4:2
with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love,

John 13:34
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.



via Lush

My uncle Wiley always said, “I’d rather have a bottle in front of me, than a frontal lobotomy!”  Lush.  I have fond memories of my uncle and his constant barrage of jokes and wit.  I can’t remember a time when I was around him that I felt threatened, afraid, or bored.  When his visit to our house was over, he always left our home with a phrase I still use today: “Glad you got to see me!”  His life seemed full and large to me… Lush.

Golf in west Texas can often be the opposite.  In fact growing up in Odessa, Texas, we considered it a huge success if we could find the lush section of any given fairway.  I’ve played on a few now, over the last several years, and I can say with some authority, there is a huge difference playing off lush fairways instead of waste areas.

I’ve had steak and potatoes all my life, Texas boys usually do.  Some were overcooked, some were barely cooked, some were tender, some were still kicking, but hey, it was steak so there you go.  When you have the rare experience (no pun intended) of ordering steak and have it arrive in front of you perfectly cooked, succulent, tasty, and juicy… that’s lush.

Perhaps what many people experience in their spiritual relationship with God is the fontal lobotomy, waste area landing zone, or something less than a succulent steak.  But my question is, “Why?”  Surely God doesn’t intend for us to play or live in these kinds of existences all our lives.  I realize everyone encounters a tough road every now and then, the proverbial steak that’s still kicking.  But certainly this shouldn’t be the defining attribute of our communion with God.

I’m not into the “name it – and claim it” prosperity gospel being presented in some Christian circles today.  Yet it seems just as clear that those of the more conservative Christian variety seem to go so extreme in the opposite direction, that they feel they aren’t spiritual enough until they “prefer” the wasteland to the Promised land.  Didn’t Jesus say, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” [John 10:10]  My heart believes that Jesus means: spend some time in the lush life I promised you!

Paul told his readers:  1 Corinthians 10:31
Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

Today I want to challenge you to live in the lush promised land found only in the abundant life that Jesus offers… to all who will step over that line of faith… into Him!




via Criticize

It’s always easy to criticize.  Think about it.  When I use myself as the measuring standard, there will always be other people, in my opinion, who fall way short.  The result of this basic human tendency is criticism.  The issue then becomes, “who gets to set the standard by which all human action or attitude should be measured?”  Spiritually-minded people are at least open to the idea that they, themselves, are not the center of the universe.  However, I know a lot of “spiritually-minded” people who are also very critical of others, which causes me a great deal of consternation.  I don’t really understand their judgmental attitudes, if they consider Jesus’ words as the standard for living.

Matthew 7:1
Do not judge so that you will not be judged.

The world at large, and our nation in particular, has become attuned to the conflict stemming from unsolicited criticism.  The layers of vehemence originating in tweets, posts, emails, and the media, are so enormous it’s no wonder our folks are divided.  I’m trying hard to tune it all out.  But if you watch any television at all, if you’re on FaceBook, Twitter, or the plethora of social media streams out there, it is virtually impossible not to be caught up in the undertow of nonsense.  We’ve created a monster, it’s name is: Criticism.

Everyone and their dog seems to think it’s ok just to shove those words right down our throats, using every foul-mouthed verb in the book, and condemn us if we don’t agree with their ideologies.  Nobody is exempt.  If the revered position of President of the United States, can be the target of unfounded criticism from the uninformed masses, who can be exempt?  It’s not really much different than in Jerusalem of the 1st century.

The group responsible for the spiritual leadership in Israel were called priests. The head guy was called the high priest.  The majority of this group held the position that Jesus Christ was a false teacher, a heretic, dangerous, and should be killed.  While Donald Trump is certainly not Jesus Christ, today he faces this same attitude (and danger) from people who have bought into the lies of the media, and the Democratic Party.  Without doubt, those so highly critical often believe their own twisted logic so much, that they will do virtually anything in their power, to get their own way.  Criticism is just the beginning.

When the lust for power becomes so strong that it moves from influencing our thoughts, to motivating our actions, somebodies death is almost a certainty.  The Bible speaks clearly on this matter.

James 1:15
Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.

Those with the strongest voices of outrageous criticism today find no value in the Word of God.  This is clear from their voices, actions, and goals.  This reality makes the words of James even more tragic.  Because in this sense, while they lust for power, these lust motives give birth to actions of sin (falling short of God’s standard), resulting in their own spiritual death because they have rejected God, His Son, and His Word.


Am I being too critical here?  You can decide for yourself.  That’s what this blog is all about. I seek to stimulate thinking, and urge you to seek God’s direction while sorting through the mess we have become in this country.

Have you heard the one about…

via Heard

Humor is like craft beer and fine wine, not everyone likes the same vintage.  I once heard a young man say, “Man, I’m glad I’m not a cow.” Upon arriving at the ball, I once heard a man say to his golfing partner, who had hit a particularly short drive just slight of the center of the fairway but not very long off the tee box, “Found it!”  Have you heard the one about the nostalgic older woman who said, “Whenever I think about the past, it brings back so many memories.”  duh!  Or the favorite three year-old knock knock joke,

Knock knock.
Who’s there?
Interrupting chicken.
Interrupting ch…

See what I mean?  I wonder if there is anyone my age that hasn’t read “Laughter is the best medicine” in Reader’s Digest.  The first one to coin this expression is unknown, but Harry Ward Beecher said, “Mirth is God’s best medicine,” so perhaps that’s the place of origin. Laughing is so much more fun that crying, don’t you think?  I know life is hard, and sometimes circumstances and events just suck.  On the other hand, don’t you think God has a sense of humor?

The wisest man in the world once wrote,

There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven– A time to give birth and a time to die; A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.  A time to kill and a time to heal; A time to tear down and a time to build up.  A time to weep and a time to laugh; A time to mourn and a time to dance.
[Ecclesiastes 3:1-4]

I read these words often and think, “Is this some kind of riddle?  Does God have a sense of humor?  Does he laugh every time we read these words and try to make sense out of them in our own life experience?”  It’s like the statement, “Always do whatever’s next.” Is it funny?  Is it a test?  Is it a paradox?  Who knows what’s next?

Now for one of my personal favorites:  Everyone is born crying….some never outgrow it.

This sounds like the whiner left to me.  I want to just say, “someone tell a joke already, and get over yourself.”  The current political climate in our country would be outrageously funny, if it weren’t so horribly sad.  People just don’t know how to play nice any more, lose graciously while planning on the next opportunity, or say “congratulations.” It’s like saying, “My watch is three hours fast, and I can’t fix it.  So I’m going to move to New York.”  None of the rhetoric coming out right now even makes sense.

What would God have us do?  How do we fix this?  Let’s read what Solomon says:

A time to search and a time to give up as lost; a time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear apart and a time to sew together; a time to be silent and a time to speak.
[Ecclesiastes 3:6-7]

I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and to do good in one’s lifetime; moreover, that every man who eats and drinks sees good in all his labor—it is the gift of God.  I know that everything God does will remain forever; there is nothing to add to it and there is nothing to take from it, for God has so worked that men should fear Him. 
[Ecclesiastes 3:12-14]

It is time to search for a path to healing.  It is time to recognize God’s handiwork.  It is time to realize we can’t have all the answers all the time.  It’s time to laugh at ourselves, eat drink and see good in our labor… that’s God’s gift to us.

I’ll leave you with the one I saw today on the internet… and thought of myself.

I’m writing a book.  I’ve got the page numbers done, so now I just have to fill in the rest.





What makes you tremble?

via Tremble

When your North Face jacket doesn’t even begin to cut the cold north winds, chilling your whole body to the bone?  The soundtrack to Psycho, with Norman Bates in the shower scene?  When every opinion spewed on FaceBook makes you want to lash out in your own version of “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore“?  When the overwhelming sense of loss you experience because the person closest to you in this world dies leaves you feeling dead?  When you top the crest of the highest rollercoaster you’ve ever been on, and you’re stomach drops out your toes?  When the earth moves under your feet, literally, and the tremors just keep coming?  When you watch your child being born?  The swell of the orchestra in your favorite opera?  That first kiss?  When you continually become aware of the Creator through the unbelievable complexity of the earth we inhabit?  A sunset, a flower, the crashing of waves, the millions of species, gravity, air, water, sunshine?

All these and a million-zillion other experiences can elicit a physical response: the tremble.  I wonder why God wired us this way?  My personal belief is perhaps God desired that we not miss anything.  The emotional, psychological, and physical aspects of human life are supposed to be so intertwined, one cannot exist without the others. Just because people don’t cry the same, doesn’t mean they don’t all feel like trembling.  Likewise, just because we all don’t tremble at the same things, doesn’t mean we don’t all feel like crying.  God wired us to tremble, but all in different ways, according to what touches us.  This knowledge alone should make everyone tremble.

Psalm 99:1
The LORD reigns, let the peoples tremble; He is enthroned above the cherubim, let the earth shake!

Joel 2:1
Blow a trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm on My holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the LORD is coming; surely it is near.

I have often had a particular sensation when teaching or preaching; an awareness of something larger than me, not controlled by me.  In those moments my wiring, my DNA, my genetically programmed response, was to smile or laugh momentarily as I trembled on the inside.  This is what some would call a “nervous” response.  It was often misinterpreted by my listeners to think I was making fun of my topic, when in fact it was an unsolicited and totally uncontrollable response to what God was saying to me, and through me at the moment.  I trembled a lot during those times.

I love music of all kinds, and I have sung in choirs, as well as solos in contests and church.  Not one single time did I stand to sing, in any of those environments, when I wasn’t trembling inside.  In the middle of some song, I would become so involved in the words and the sounds coming from all around me, that I would begin to feel my legs go all wobbly, my breathing would change, my heart would pound,  my throat would constrict, and I could not speak or sing another note.

When I read the Word of God, I am often moved to tears, completely overwhelmed by the power of His love and grace. In those moments of communion with my Creator, I feel like David, the Psalmist, and my feelings are recorded like this:

Psalm 2:11
Worship the LORD with reverence, and rejoice with trembling.



Am I a loving person?

via Lovingly

This is a serious question for self-examination.  The key to discovering the answer is in determining the criteria for quantitative measurement.  In a self-determining culture which supports the free-for-all mentality of “there are no absolutes,” some would say “I am a loving person,” while others would disagree with their self-assessment.  Who then ultimately has the “absolute” authority to determine the answer to the question?  I’ll give you a hint: He isn’t human, He is divine.

When Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments,” did he add the qualifier, “perfectly”?  Did Jesus say, only if you keep My commandments 100%, then you can say you love Me?  No, He didn’t. Because even if we consider the audience to whom Jesus spoke, they were definitely not a bunch of “perfect” guys.

Consider first, that scholars suggest that all the Apostles were aged 13-15 years-old on the low side, and 18-20 years-old maximum.  Some were married that we know of, others we simply don’t know anything about them at all.  What we do know is, their age would determine their maturity level, both spiritually and emotionally.  Second, the Biblical record gives us some details on their actions during the three years they spent with Jesus, and much of it is not pretty.  The Gospels record how they bickered, were prideful and arrogant, one was a tax-collector willing to extort his own fellow-Jews, others are seen as rough and tumble fishermen, called “sons of thunder.” None of them were loving or accepting of anyone not Jewish.  None of them recognized the nature of Jesus’ mission was to bring salvation, not to establish an earthly kingdom.

So, on the night before His death, Jesus lovingly said to them: [John 14:11-15]
Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves. Truly, Truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in my name, I will do it.  If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.

God’s clearest and most loving example of how He feels about humanity is seen in the sending of His Son Jesus to be our Redeemer and Deliverer.  Jesus’ whole life is seen as giving loving grace and forgiveness, in one narrative after another.  His disciples then, and His disciples today, are to see His life-pattern as the one to implement for themselves. Putting other’s need above our own, and doing it from the motivation of love, is the mandated quantitative measurement.  Will any one person in this life ever love us like Jesus loved us?  No, and it’s not even humanly possible.

The One who has absolute authority to determine if a person is loving, is the One who loved perfectly, and modeled that life of love for us.  In a world with no recognized absolutes, I suggest no one can “absolutely” love in the manner that Jesus did.  No one can keep His commandments 100% even for an instant momentary slice of this life.  The goal is not perfection, the highest standard we’ll ever reach is excellence.  Perfection is unattainable.

However, we have the same choice today the disciples did when Jesus spoke these words to them.  He calls us today, to let the standard by which OTHERS examine our life to be:

Loving Jesus, by keeping His commandments, and loving others through His life-transforming power, all for the sole purpose of bringing great glory to God the Father, while we have life and breath on this earth.

Created to Create

via Craft

Communication has been my craft for most of my life.  By the time I was 16 years-old, I was speaking to small or large groups of students about the Word of God.  A friend of mine and I were a preacher/singer combo, going around the smaller towns of west Texas to preach “youth-led” worship services.  In retrospect, I’ve discovered many things about myself.  The most stark reality I face today is how imperfect I am in this craft.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m completely at rest where with I’ve been and the opportunities afforded me, and for having the great privilege of telling the Greatest Story Ever Told.

My skill was in simply creating an atmosphere or climate for someone to dive into the Word of God and see themselves as God sees them.  Then step back and allow The Holy Spirit to move their hearts and minds toward God in this process.  We always offered people an “invitation” to accept God’s grace, forgiveness, and salvation, right there on the spot.  We felt “called” to conduct the services in this way because of the gravity of the truth of the message.  From time to time I would be in the middle of speaking, when suddenly I would become aware of the words coming out of my mouth, and over the sound system, knowing they were being formed or created on my tongue by God’s Spirit. These were no “unintelligible” utterances, I’m not talking about “speaking in tongues.” I know for certain the words were given for someone in the room who needed to hear those very thoughts.

46 years later now, I yearn for the opportunity to once again speak with this same result. The tools of my craft included the Bible, commentaries, basic education and higher education, going to conferences, and listening to taped recordings of the world’s most recognized and gifted communicators.  From each of these resources I would make notes, script a sermon or Bible lesson, honing and trimming the excess or duplication of thoughts, until the day of the presentation.  I would then pray a simple prayer: “Lord, please use me one more time, just to speak Your truth, tell Your story – not mine, and trust Your Spirit to accomplish what my words never could.”

Other people, not me, would tell you whether or not I was successful in my craft.  My perspective is that I was doing the best I could in each moment I spoke.  Early days would clearly be evaluated as not nearly as effective as later years, but by definition I was not fully educated, or as practiced then as later years.  The Creator gave me the grand privilege of creating (or planting) a new church congregation in 2006.  11 years later, and now semi-retired from church staff work, God has planted in me the desire to continue my craft of communicating God’s word.

I am literally days away now from publishing my first book.  It will be a Bible Study book on the most confusing book in the Bible – Revelation.  It is being designed differently than any other book about this material on book shelves today.  The book will read more like a script than a history book, in that each paragraph is a single thought (sentence) on which the Bible student can make specific notes. In this way, the individual reader while studying God’s word, can question, make observations, notes, ideas, or write their own conundrums down for later discussion.

Another thing that makes this book different than any other is my approach of avoiding timelines, future dates, or obscure language to interpret these scriptures.  I will help the reader who truly wants to understand the meanings, to gain insights that have escaped others.  Here is the premise of the whole work:
I believe the Book of Revelation defines the exorbitant length to which God will go to seek and save those who will be saved in this era of human existence.  Revelation is 100% about Jesus Christ; and everything in the book is created to reveal Him in new and exciting ways not previously understood in any other book.  Revelation is about a loving God, a holy God, and a saving God.  Trust me, it’s worth the read.

My prayer is that God will use this book as the vehicle or tool to once again have an audience, and communicate the best I can -The Greatest Story Ever Told.




You may know me…

via Recognize

… But you have no idea who I am.

I came across this image a couple of years ago, and it was one of those light-bulb moments.  Epiphany is such a life changing experience most of the time. It was evident and crystal clear that I was surrounded by people who could recognize the me they saw every day.  Yet, these same people had no recognition at all that their perspective was shallow, inept, and clueless of who I am.  The stark light of revelation was so bright I was blinded momentarily by this truth.

I was described and recognized by those attributes often listed in obituaries: dad, brother, son, husband, father, pastor, teacher, friend.  All these characteristics were indeed definitions of the parts of me which people recognized through observation,  and each through their own filtered relationship to me.  95% of the people in my life 2 years ago were looking at the top 10% of the iceberg, representing me.  Their perspectives were skewed by their relationship to me, which resulted in their inability to recognize the other 90% of me.

The 5% of people who recognized me were those who took the time to dialogue in meaningful ways, or spend time with me in activities which allowed them to view me through more than just one filtered lens.  There were a couple of people who knew me pretty much all the way to the core of my existence; the deepest parts of me.  And there were others who made extreme judgments about me.  Because who they thought I was at those deep levels, were determined by preconceived assumptions of their choosing, not because they wanted to know the me I really am.

The result was a Titanic-like collision.  Parts of me below the surface were indescribably fractured by the impact.  While above the surface, life all around me was suddenly filled with the debris of broken relationships.  It was as if almost nobody I knew recognized me.  There were parts of me they either refused to accept, blindly ignored, or had no interest in knowing. Don’t feel sorry for me, there are millions today going through exactly the same thing, and you may be one of them.  I survived. You can too.


Now, imagine we’re not talking about me anymore.  Imagine this graphic represents the Creator of the universe.  Many people “say” they believe in God.  Folks often confess to know Jesus Christ.  However, let me suggest you see this message as if it comes from God.  Through this image He is saying: those things you seem to think allow you to “recognize” God are just the tip of the iceberg.  It’s my humble opinion, that there are things we have no idea about, when it comes to God.  Much of God’s nature, character, and will, are hidden in the layers of the deep, beyond our visible capabilities. We must search for this truth with all our hearts.  We will be rewarded if we do.  If we want to know God, we can, but it takes a lot of work.

Jeremiah 29:13
You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.

I believe going forward from right now, God will go to exorbitant extremes to get His people, people of faith, to know Him deeper, recognize His handiwork, and trust in His grace more than ever before.  Our world is headed on a direct collision course with the Creator of the universe.  Those who recognize this, will be prepared.  Those who don’t… well, think: Titanic… on a galactic scale.


Alternative Cuss Words

via Overwhelming

There are just “those” times in life when the actions of people around you cause you to have an overwhelming urge to spew vitriolic verbiage right in their faces.  And everyone at one time or another has faced a circumstance where events didn’t go as planned, or a sudden unexpected situation occurs, which elicits a sudden and overwhelming verbal response bordering on the profane.  The old preacher’s yarn is told, about this man of the cloth  while building a cabinet he hits his hand with a hammer, then shouts to the heavens, “verily, verily, I hit my thumb!”  I don’t think so.  Now, having grown up in west Texas, I’ve heard most of these phrases at one time or another, from good ole boys (and girls) who wanted to keep their reputation in tact, but also need to spew a little.  The sign says, “Field tested and Mother Approved” for a reason.  For your amusement, and possible usage, I’ve posted here from the Tim Hawkins Handbook: Alternative Cuss Words.

So when you’re feeling overwhelmed choose something from the list that fits the situation and go at it.  It’s called freedom of speech.  You have the freedom to express yourself in a way that may make someone else laugh, which might cause you to snicker, then giggle, then laugh at yourself.  Life’s too short, and your response to life’s frustration or crisis doesn’t have to be profane.

Romans 12:2   And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.



Soak, Scrub, Rinse, Repeat

via Clean

Some stains are just seem impossible to clean. There are experts everywhere who seem to think they know the best way to attack this problem.  For example, one such solution for removing wine stains on clothing goes like this…

(1) act immediately: blot don’t rub; (2) strap the cloth down over a large bowl and secure it with a rubber band; (3) get salty: pour club soda or ice water on the stain and cover it with salt for 5 minutes; (4) heat it up: pour boiling water over the stain, then rinse.  If the stain is still present (5) soak in water and white vinegar then launder as normal.

Sounds like sage advice to me.  Wine stains can be a real problem.


There are stains that go way deeper than wine however, and our lives are filled with them.  That’s because life is messy most of the time.  Spills, tears, hurts and pains caused by our own actions, or the actions of others, often leave us feeling dirty, disheveled, and depressed.  Where does someone find relief and restoration to that “clean” state of being?

John the Apostle wrote the Gospel of John regarding the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ; letters to the churches in the Roman province of Asia; and the book of Revelation.  In the first letter, he wrote to the churches: “This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.  If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin.” [1 John 1:5-7]

People who live in the stain saturated darkness of the world need the cleansing power of Jesus.  I may never be able to convince them of this, in fact it isn’t even my job to try.  My task and calling is simply to offer this truth to them for acceptance.  The convincing responsibility is solely the job of the Holy Spirit of God.  For those of you who have experienced this cleansing power, one other thing you know is, it is never a once and done deal.  Because life is messy.  Because I may be clean today, but by this time tomorrow, I will have spilled something, sat in something, or had something splash onto me (spiritually) that causes me to need this cleansing again.

The daily process of a true child of the King consists of: soak, scrub, rinse, repeat.

Soak:  Philippians 4:8
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.

Scrub:  1 John 1
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Rinse: Psalm 51:7
Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Repeat: Acts 3:19
Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.

If you’re feeling a little “disheveled” today… this may offer some relief and restoration.


I can’t resist…

via Resist

Today’s word: resist. As I pondered the vast array of subject topics this word might yield, it soon became apparent I could lose myself in all the material. The topic of weight loss is obvious, just resist those empty calorie snacks.  Golf: feel your legs and lower body resist as you coil your upper body to create power in your swing.  Spiritual: resist the devil in the Spirit of Christ and he will flee from you.  Star Trek: resistance is futile.  Economic: resist the impulse purchase.  There are literally thousands of applicable topics available from which to choose.  However, there is one I can’t resist.

I really wish people would resist the urge to weigh-in on a topic they know nothing about. The best example I can offer is the verbal subterfuge from people who have no idea what they are saying regarding:

8 U.S. Code § 1182 – Inadmissible aliens

This law was established for the very purpose of protecting our nation from very real and very present dangerous threats.  Section 10 Miscellaneous, Subtopic (f) Suspension of Entry or Imposition of Restrictions by President, states:

Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate. Whenever the Attorney General finds that a commercial airline has failed to comply with regulations of the Attorney General relating to requirements of airlines for the detection of fraudulent documents used by passengers traveling to the United States (including the training of personnel in such detection), the Attorney General may suspend the entry of some or all aliens transported to the United States by such airline.


What happens with people, who “don’t like” the current protection plan, is they resist the voice of reason in their own heads and spout meaningless gibberish in protest.  In their resistance of this voice of reason they demonstrate how intolerant they have become.  They raise their voices claiming our president to be intolerant and prejudiced, while resisting the examination their own actions and words.  In this case resistance really is futile, they simply don’t know how to do self-examination.

How can our country resist this mob mentality?  What voice of reason will finally rise up and out of the midst of these mindless tirades by the uninformed?  When will someone stand up and say “resist the urge to be so destructive?”

Instead, what we witness daily is a boiling pot, stirred by the agenda of an ultra-liberal America, and the false-story media who twists and perverts every word coming out of the White House, by resisting every Presidential move Trump makes.  Soon I foresee the last two democratic presidents taking public stands, perpetuating this resistance.  Beyond that, where will it end?  What happens when people lose their resistance to lies and deception, to leaders with no morals, to the voice of reason? Chaos and anarchy are just inches away, when we fail to resist.