Wednesday, March 21, 2018


   Just when you think college campuses cannot get any more ludicrous: the March 15, 2018 edition of the Washington Times  reports Simmons College in Boston MA has decreed saying "God bless you" after a sneeze is considered micro aggressive behavior.  And why would saying "God bless you" be considered micro aggression, you ask.  "God bless you" is micro aggression because, according to Simmons College, it assumes your religious identity as the norm.  I guess the Declaration of Independence should be banned from college campus as "We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator..." assumes a religious identity and may trigger a delicate hater of God.          

     I fear for the future if today's college students are so fragile the very cliched mention of God after a sneeze can cause a sense of being bullied!  I may, as a public service, go on up to Simmons College and collect all the little green slips of paper that say, "In God We Trust" on them so none of those precious leaders of tomorrow will feel aggressed against when they reach into their pockets to pay for their morning Starbucks.  

     Seriously though, the real agenda on these campuses is not to create a "safe space" conducive to learning, it is to undo 230 years of American culture that acknowledges absolute moral truth  imparted to us by God.   The goal is to cast off restraint and to replace God's moral law with "do as thou wilt", as espoused by famed sorcerer and black arts devotee Aleister Crowley.  Crowley, the self proclaimed Beast 666,  and Helena Blavatsky, before him promised to transform society by transforming the youth.  Alice Bailey, founder of the Lucifer Publishing Company, wrote numerous books espousing a society free from the constraints of the God of scripture.  The Lucifer Publishing Company became the Lucis Trust and is now an integral component of the United Nations.  

      The late Robert Muller, who served as assistant deputy director of the United Nations was an open follower of Alice Bailey. Muller espoused Bailey's ideas, writing over a dozen books touting eastern mysticism and promoting a one world religion headed by the UN.  One of Muller's roles at the UN was to prepare curriculum for schools world wide.  You can kind of see where this is going.  Blavatsky, Crowley, Bailey, and Muller, each guided by evil forces, touted the importance of conditioning the children in order to transform society.  

     As silly as banning "God bless you" from campus sounds and as ridiculous  as this makes the academic society look, we have to keep in mind we are in a spiritual war for the heart and soul of all people.  Banning "God Bless you" is not the real problem, just as the hoopla over whether or not to say  "Merry Christmas" is not the real problem.  The real problem is we do not recognize there are actual spiritual forces working to undermine God and His influence on society.  Influence the children and you change the culture.

     Until churches figure out a way to become relevant to the youth of America, without compromising the Gospel, the enemy will continue to have the upper hand.  Like the Pied Piper of yore, Satan,  the modern day piper, is leading our children to oblivion by encouraging them to think with their heart rather than their minds. We live in a society where truth is relative and facts only cloud the issues, and Satan is holding court in the highest institutions of learning, laughing his rear end off.  

     I know the God of Scripture is the one true God and I will continue to say "God bless you" when someone sneezes.  Whether that person feels triggered is not my responsibility, my responsibility to speak truth in love.  As we roll into spring and people begin to battle allergies, I imagine I will be very "micor-aggressive".  I hope you will too!

Now, go live as Christ... and give the devil hell!


Thursday, March 15, 2018


 Have you ever felt discounted or ostracized because you did not meet some physical standard of a particular group?   Maybe you had the wrong clothes or hair style.  Maybe you were obviously of a different economic level, social class or ethnicity.  People tend to distrust those who are different.   

     The saying, Birds of a feather flock together, holds a great deal of truth.  Most people naturally gravitate toward those with whom they can identify.  Though affirming the similar is a natural tendency, it may be a destructive practice.  What happens when a church filled with suits and dresses receives a visit from a guy in jeans and a t-shirt?  Will t-shirt man be made to feel welcome or will he get dirty looks and under the breath comments?  I have actually heard rumors about a church in Knoxville which turns people away at the door if they are not properly dressed.  I am considering a visit there one Sunday...

      I am blessed to be part of a ministry where a black t-shirt is basic garb for our events.  Metal Mission of Knoxville tries to create an environment where "come as you are" is literal.  The danger for us is  allowing a certain look or style to become standard and not accept someone who looks more traditional.  At our last ministry meeting, I jokingly asked out loud, "what if some guy in a romper shows up?"  My comment got a good laugh but... what if?  

    In the last year, our ministry was contacted by a dear lady in another state who lamented there were no ministries like ours where she lived.  This woman felt judged by the local churches because of her background. I thought, surely there must be a local church near her where she could feel welcome.  As I began to visit church website after church website I discovered something disturbing, every church displayed photos of upper middle to upper class people enjoying time together.  As I looked through the photos each church chose to represent itself, nowhere did I find any indication my friend would be welcomed.  To me, the message was clear, "if you look like us, you are welcome."  

     I know you cannot judge a book by it's cover, but the practice I have observed in many churches and is evident throughout the country on Sunday mornings is people desire to worship with people who look like themselves.  Worse, many create a standard of what is acceptable appearance and anyone not meeting the standard is written off as unworthy. 

    If you attend church, what would the reaction be if a group of bikers or young adults in concert t-shirts showed up Sunday morning?  Would they be welcomed and included in fellowship or would they be ignored and avoided?  

     God is interested in the heart. We have to get passed the outer and focus on the inner.  What is the basic thing we all want? Love and acceptance. As Christ's representatives, are we properly demonstrating God's love and desire for individual relationship or are we deeming people worthy of hell because they do not meet our standards? 

 My Bible has no passages referring to Sunday best attire or the standard appearance for a committed Christian.  I love the response I get when I tell someone I am a pastor, especially when I am not dressed for work.  My go to garb is jeans and a t-shirt, preferably black, I have tattoos, both my ears are pierced, and my preferred musical style is, of course, Metal.   Not exactly standard fare for the average minister.

     The point of all this is, we have to look beyond the outer and pursue the inner.  Just because someone does not wear a sweater vest or does not dress business casual does not mean they are less intelligent or less in need of love.  To many, a tough outer appearance is designed as protection.  My original purpose in getting tattooed(when tattoos were still taboo) was to send a message: LEAVE ME ALONE!  Not because I was dangerous but because I was insecure.  

     When we judge someone unworthy of our time or attention because of the way they dress or any other aspect of their physical appearance, we are, in essence, saying, "You don't look like me, so you can go to hell."  Your mission today, should you choose to accept it: go out of your way to be friendly to someone you would normally avoid because they look different than you.  I am not talking about hit and run evangelism or walking up to a stranger and asking if they know Jesus.  Just be friendly and see where it leads.

    Act 10:34  Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: 

If God is no respecter of persons, how can we, His representatives, disregard those we deem different?  

Now, go  live as Christ... and give the devil hell!


Wednesday, March 7, 2018


 Do ever you feel insignificant?  Do you ever feel as if you are busy, but accomplishing nothing?   Does contentment seem to elude you because you put forth effort and seem to have no impact.  Everyone experiences frustration from time to time, feeling as if even our greatest efforts are in vain.

    As the world mourns the loss of Evangelist Billy Graham, it may be a good opportunity to ponder things like legacy, spiritual impact and motive in our own lives. There is no question Billy Graham's legacy is secure.  America's Pastor has established a ministry that will most likely outlive his grand children.  Millions of souls have been redeemed through Graham's ministry and personal life.  Graham's spiritual impact is evident, and here is no evidence to question Graham's motives. Billy Graham had a burden for the lost and God gave him a tremendous platform which he faithfully and obediently utilized.  Billy Graham's secret was being satisfied with what God called him to do.  Billy Graham's impact grew out of his obedience.

    Why do we do what we do, is it for notoriety, personal gain, accolades? What is our motivation?  Am I content to follow God and not see the outcome I think I deserve?  Am I content with being obedient or do I want specific results? 

      These are all legitimate questions and a healthy part of self examination.  We all should be asking these questions, or similar ones of ourselves from time to time.

  I am blessed to be in ministry with some very talented musicians.  Many of whom I would put up against any superstar talent. Amazing song writers who are talented at their craft. I and others write and promote stuff on social media. My musician friends record and promote their stuff on various platforms.  Many of us have work we have produced available on Amazon.  What's it all about?

      Mostly, we do what we do because we recognize God has given us a specific ability and we get to use it to His glory.  The bonus is, I love writing.  The musicians I minister with love playing and love creating music.

       I am not a "successful" writer.  Of the over 200 blog posts I have shared, only 2 have been what the blogging industry considers successful.  I am not writing for high volume numbers, I am writing because I feel led of the Lord to do so on this platform.  Will that change? Perhaps, someday.  For now, I continue, in obedience to God, to write and hopefully impact someone's life for the Kingdom. 

   Two passages of scripture motivate me. Matthew 6:33  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. And 1Corinthians 10:31  Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. 

  If we can understand and incorporate these two passages into our everyday lives, the ideas of success and achievement will take on whole new meaning. We will recognize our obedience is victory and  honoring God is our success. 

What you accomplish may impact only one person but that person is infinitely important to God.  We, also, do not know the long term  impact of our obedience.  We see, in scripture, men like Nehemiah whose obedience had touched the ministry of the Messiah almost 500 years later. 

    If you are doing what you believe God has called you to do and you see evidence of His equipping you to do it, do not worry about the reception or outcome, be content with obedience.  God will use your efforts in His way, in His time, and to His glory.  Be encouraged and strengthened by the knowledge you are in God's will.

Now, go live as Christ... and give the devil hell!

Thursday, February 22, 2018


 It seems Biblical Christianity is under attack everywhere, from pop culture to the very institutions of the mainline Church.  Entertainment icons such as Oprah Winfrey who declared "Jesus can't possibly be the only way." speak as authorities on the subject of faith.  Religious authorities such as Pope Francis recklessly declare such inanities as, " The issue for those who do not believe in God is to obey their conscience. Sin, even for those who have no faith, exists when people disobey their conscience."

     Winfrey and Francis both tout a multipath journey to God and redemption.  Jesus told us He is the only way to the Father. We cannot coexist with something that contradicts!  Either Winfrey, Francis and all the other multipath voices clamoring for a say are wrong or Jesus is a liar.  

     Culturally, we are inundated with the idea that good people go to heaven. Liberal adherents to most major religions believe the heart of every religious system is loving others.  Surely you have seen the Coexist bumper sticker touting the cohesion of all the major world religions.  The now defunct Coexist Foundation's  stated goal was to Promote, encourage, and support engagement between Jews, Christians and Muslims both individually and through their respective communities through dialogue, education and research.   All of this sounds wonderful.  Rodney King said it better than any, "Can't we all just get along?"  Well...

     If you listen to the those who promote this theology of sorts, you will come to the conclusion that Utopia is just around the corner.  Who hasn't listened to the words of John Lennon's  Imagine and whimsically imagined the world actually living as one.  The only problem with Lennon's vision is it requires we suspend believe in heaven, hell and religion.  Hmm... so a world with no moral absolute truth and no expectation of consequence for bad behavior will actually promote peace and love...  I imagine a world more closely resembling Mad Max than the Garden Of Eden!

    So, what do we do?  Do we go on the offensive and stand on the street corner shouting about the coming Judgment of God?  Do we quietly disagree amongst ourselves and try to teach our children better without engaging the culture?  As in all things, let scripture be our guide:  2Timothy 4:2  preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.  Matthew 5:44  But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,.  We have to love those who oppose God but love them enough to share the truth.  

    God is not weak nor powerless, in needs of us to defend Him.  We are not God's law team dispatched to defend God against defamation or libel. We are called to demonstrate God's love and goodness.  Matthwe 5:16  In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven Make no mistake, there is a culture war. There is a war for the hearts and minds of every person on planet earth. We do not battle with conventional warfare, we must understand the battle is directed by dark spiritual forces and our warfare must take place on that plane.  2Corinthians 10:4  (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 

     Know what you believe, study the Word, be vigilant in prayer and love people enough to tell them the truth.  Above all remember: Zechariah 4:6  Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts

Now, go live as Christ.... and give the devil hell!

Monday, February 19, 2018


 Today, I published my first short story and chose to use Kindle self publishing.  I weighed out my options and this seemed to be the best way to ease into the world of writing for profit. I am not expecting to get rich or sell a ton of copies, but I am expecting to learn from the experience.  I am now a published author! check out my first short story on Kindle and Amazon:

The whole project is over 3,000 words, about right for a short story, and took about two months from start to finish.  I do not have much spare time, so writing was done in 10-20 minute increments. This caused me to have to re-read my work constantly in order to keep continuity.  After several edits, I sat on the completed manuscript for a week or so, praying about a publishing platform. 

I spoke to a co-worker who published his first novel on Kindle, about a year ago. He earned enough to purchase a new car.  I will be happy to earn enough to motivate me to write another story!  

I looked at some of the big Christian publishers and was quickly discouraged with the process.  Unless you are writing a text book or commentary, you pretty much have to hire an agent to shop publishers for you.  Hiring an agent for a short story did not seem to be very wise, so I took my co-worker's advice and self published on Kindle.

The process was easy and relatively quick, from setting up a new account to submitting the manuscript, I spent maybe 3 hours.  In less than  24 hours, my story was up for sale.  

Whether you are a new writer, or have some completed manuscripts, I encourage you to try this platform.  As far as promotion goes, hit social media. I posted on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.  This is all free publicity and if you can get a few people to like and share your link, all the better.

Well, if you get the chance, go check out my story on Kindle, it's only 99 cents!

If you are an aspiring writer, you have nothing to lose, head over to Kindle and get published!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018


  I am amazed when I read about how clueless the first followers of Christ were! How could they, the 12 disciples miss the point so often?  Their perception did not often match reality. Then I think about it a little more and realize I am no better.  

What happens when what I think the Bible teaches conflicts with what the Bible actually teaches?  Like most people, I may simply pass over the parts that contradict my theology without even thinking about them.   Even the disciples ignored the parts they did not understand according to their theology.

    In Matthew 20, Jesus very clearly explains to the Disciples, as they traveled to Jerusalem for the last time, how He is about to die: Matthew 20:17  And as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside, and on the way he said to them,   "See, we are going up to Jerusalem. And the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day."
I do not think Jesus could have made this any clearer.  Minutes later, completely ignoring everything Jesus just said, James and John apply for the jobs of sitting at Christ's right and left side in the Kingdom!  Imagine this scene, "I am about to go die for the sins of the world."  "yeah, yeah, ok, whatever, oh by the way, can we have the top positions when you set up the Kingdom?"  

     How can this happen?  The worst trap we can fall into when studying the Bible is thinking we know what it will say before it says it.  The disciples believed Jesus was the Messiah, but they also believed the Messiah had come to establish the Kingdom, period.  When Jesus spoke about dying and going away, it did not match their theology.  Rather than adjusting their theology, the disciples ignored the parts they did not understand or which conflicted with their belief system.

     I have a friend who is a skeptic.  His biggest beef with Christianity is how so many different groups of "Christians" interpret the Bible so many different ways.  I explained to him, the Bible is pretty self explanatory and pretty simple to understand if taken literally. The problem is, people choose to make the Bible fit their beliefs rather than making their beliefs fit the Bible.  Another problem, which is a topic for another blog, is many false teachers count on the Biblical ignorance of their audience in order to exercise control by twisting scripture.  

     Mostly, we hold a false belief because we were taught it, either in a Sunday School class or from the pulpit.  Some false doctrine is hundreds of years old and lingers because the source is so well respected, no on thinks to question.  

Here is a small example, most people in my generation imagine the Baptism of Christ like this: Jesus walks up to where John is Baptizing, John says "behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world" then John, after a brief discussion, baptizes Jesus. Guess what, John did not say the whole "behold the Lamb of God" thing until over 40 days after Jesus was baptized.  How did we get this confused?  Every year, around Resurrection Sunday, the Greatest Story Ever Told aired on television and depicted these two events as one.  

    Yes, this is a very minor thing, but it causes you to question what else you may be holding falsely.  What else may we have been taught wrong and just ran with.  The Bible is not some puzzle that needs to be deciphered.  

   Past all my rambling, my point is we have to read the Bible at face value.  Lay aside your preconceived ideas and let the Bible teach you.  If you come to a difficult passage, ask questions.  If you know someone with the gift of teaching, that person lives for tough Bible questions!  Usually, you will find the answer in another part of scripture as the Bible teaches the Bible.  

    The Bible is God's direct message to you. If your true love wrote you a letter, would you trust someone else to keep that letter and tell you what it said? Of course not!  You would want to read it for yourself and probably re read it over and over.  Sermons and books are good, but these should compliment your own personal study, not replace it.  God actually tells us to learn His Word for ourselves: 2Timothy 2:15  Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 

Now, go live as Christ... and give the devil hell!

Friday, February 9, 2018


 I love evangelism!  True evangelism, evangelism that takes place naturally.  I hate evangelism as most people understand it.  Many of us have been taught evangelism is walking up to strangers and asking if they know Jesus. I would rather eat a bug!  Think of any other scenario in which this would be appropriate.  "Hello sir, ah, I was uh wondering if you, uh, like vanilla ice cream?"  

    The funniest Super Bowl advertisement this year, in my opinion, was when the red M&M turned into Danny Devito and he ran up to strangers asking if they wanted to eat him.  The shear ridiculousness of this scenario made it hilarious. 

Why is it any less ridiculous for us to walk up to a complete stranger and ask such a personal question about their faith?  Is it never ok to engage a stranger about matters of faith?  Of course we need to be open to the leading of the Holy Spirit.  There may be times when we are prompted to do this, such as Phillip with the Ethiopian eunuch.  

Mostly, evangelism needs to happen naturally through established relationship.  This does not mean we have to wait weeks, months or years, a relationship can be established in a matter of minutes, under the right circumstances.

   Jesus met needs, establishing trust and opening the door to conversation.  Jesus did not meet needs in order to fulfill some quota of conversions, He met needs because He loved. Jesus met perceived needs so He could get to the real need, the often hidden or unrecognized need, freedom from the wages of sin. 

     Evangelism must be born out of love for God and others, empowered by the Holy Spirit and sincere.  If it is forced or canned everyone will be uncomfortable.  Look for opportunities to share love by meeting the needs of others, follow the leading of the Spirit of God and share your faith by your lifestyle first and words later.

     Nothing is more satisfying than seeing God transform a life and getting to be part of that!

Now, go live as Christ... and give the devil hell!!

Wednesday, January 31, 2018


   Ok, today's challenge, should you choose to accept it, go out and evangelize at least 2 people - ready, set... GO!

     If you are like most people, just reading that challenge causes you to seize up inside.  I, Like most people, am not a natural evangelist.  To me, "going out to share the Gospel" seems insincere and forced.  That is not who I am and it does not come naturally.  Thankfully, true evangelism is more about lifestyle than it is about knocking on doors, handing out tracts or inviting people to pray the sinners prayer.  Evangelism, in it's purest sense, is sharing something you are passionate about.

    If you wear an Iron Maiden t-shirt, you are evangelizing for Iron Maiden.  If you are a collector of Coca-Cola memorabilia and you have Coke slogans around your house, you are evangelizing for Coke. True evangelism is naturally promoting something.  It really is that simple.  If you saw a good movie and told a friend, "Hey, you really gotta see this movie!" you've evangelized.  Evangelizing the Gospel needs to be just as natural.

     I  think the problem for most people is evangelism has been program-ised by the church.  We give training classes and then go out and cold call people to practice what we have learned.  This is not necessarily bad, but it places evangelism in a category of an event rather than a natural part of everyday faith.  We can have evangelistic events, just as we have prayer events and worship events, but, evangelism, like prayer and worship, should be a regular part of a believer's life.

     True evangelism is simply living your life for Christ and demonstrating the love of God.  You do not need to be a Bible scholar, you do not need to be persuasive or pushy.  An anonymous quote often mis-attributed to Francis of Assisi says, "Preach the Gospel and if necessary, use words."  Our very lifestyle should testify to our faith. 

     Successful evangelism is not about how many people you get to repeat a prayer.  Successful evangelism is any time you obediently share your faith in word or deed. Jesus said, Matthew 5:16  In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.  Jesus did not say, "walk up to strangers and ask them if they are going to heaven."  

      Yes, at some point, evangelism will require words.  If you are naturally passionate about your relationship with Christ and you are living in a manner pleasing to Him by serving others in your gifting, natural opportunities to share your faith will present themselves.  No different than discussing your favorite menu items at a popular restaurant. True evangelism is often about relationship building.  True evangelism is really a component of disciple making, something we have all been commanded to do.  

     Yes, there are those who have a gift of evangelism.  A person with this gift seems able to turn every conversation toward Christ and every chance encounter becomes an opportunity.  Not everyone has this gift, in fact, most people do not.  In Romans 12, we find a list of gifts God gives each believer.  Romans 12:4-8  For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function,   so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.  Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith;  if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching  the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness. 

In Ephesians, we find a list of distinct roles: Ephesians 4:11  And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 

We are called to serve God according to our gifting and to evangelize the same way.  Do not be discouraged because you feel inadequate to share your faith according to our flawed understanding of evangelism.  Know that your life is a living testimony and the more you operate in the manner for which you were designed, the more natural evangelism will take place in your life. 

 I will continue on this topic in my next post, next week, hopefully. 

Until then -  Go live as Christ.... and give the devil hell!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018


 Do your beliefs govern your behavior?  Actually, yes, belief absolutely governs behavior.  In fact, if your behavior does not line up with what you claim to believe, you probably do not believe what you think you believe.  You may agree with what you claim to believe, meaning you give mental ascent, but if you do not behave according to what you agree with, you do not really believe it.  

Proverbs 4:23  Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. 

      I agree that a sword is a fine weapon.  Millions, perhaps even billions, have perished at the edge of a sword.  I do not, however, believe a sword is a fine weapon for me.  If I did, I would be an expert swordsman.  I like swords, I own swords and I know about swords, but I am no swordsman.  I could bluff around other non-swordsmen, but if I ever came across a real swordsman, I would last all of about 30 seconds.  I have just enough experience with a sword to be dangerous to myself.

     The Bible is the sword of the Spirit.  If you are reading this, you probably agree the Bible is the Word of God.  You probably agree the Bible holds truth.  You probably agree it is good to read and learn the Bible.  Whether you actually believe these things, however, is demonstrated by your behavior.  You may agree the Bible is a fine book, you may like the Bible, you may own Bibles, you may know some things about the Bible, but do you read the Bible?  If you truly believed the Bible was important and relevant to you, you would read it.  

     I bet you agree if you stood in front of a speeding train, you would be killed.  I also bet I could not convince you to stand in front of a speeding train, no matter how persuasive my argument might be.  Why would no one convince you to stand in front of a speeding train?  No one could convince you because you believe a speeding train would kill you.  Your belief in the power of the speeding train not only governs your behavior, it also holds up against argument to the contrary.  You know in your core a speeding train would kill you.  You have never been killed by a speeding train, you have probably never seen someone killed by a speeding train.  You have no experiential evidence a speeding train would kill you, yet you believe it in your heart of hearts.  

     The challenge for the Church is to get what we agree is true in our minds to travel down 12 inches to our hearts.  What you truly believe in your heart will drive your life.  Proverbs 23:7 tells us "as a man thinketh in his heart, so he is"  

     Take a spiritual inventory, ask God to search your heart and reveal inconsistency.  The Psalmist was brave enough to confront his own heart and even asked God to search it on his behalf: Psalm  139:23  Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:  And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. 

     Do you really believe or simply agree that God is good?  Do you really believe or simply agree that the Bible is the handbook for life?  Do you live like someone who believes Jesus could return any moment or do you simply agree that Jesus is coming back someday?  Your life bears witness to your faith, this is why James told us in his epistle, "Faith without works is dead."  Works do not create faith, works reveal faith. What do your works reveal about your faith?  If a stranger spent the week with you, would they know you were a follower of Jesus Christ?  

       God loves you and wants to bless you in your service to Him.  Believe He is good and know in your heart He is trustworthy and His ways are the way of life.  

Now, go live as Christ... and give the devil hell!

Friday, January 19, 2018


Psalm 103:13-14  As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust. 
      Do not expect too much from me, I am only made of dust.  God understands this about me, so as long as everyone else gets this, my bar is set pretty low and I can pretty much put forth 100% of the bare minimum and everything is good... right?   Well, maybe not.  You see, I am also indwelt by the Spirit of God and there is that verse that says something about my weakness is His strength or something like that. 

The truth is, there are numerous passages in scripture that speak about pursuing excellence. The Apostle Paul charges us with this little nugget: 1Timothy 6:12  Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. Or how about this one: Deuteronomy 31:6  Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you." I could probably list 100 others just like this.

     It seems we have a dichotomous situation, on the one hand, we are called to be courageous and fight the good fight, on the other hand we are told God is compassionate with our failure because He knows our frame. How does this work? 

     As believers in Christ, we are called to pursue excellence. 

     Here is where the opening passage comes into play:                    2 Corinthians 12:9  But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 

   God gives us life and He gives us purpose.  Whatever purpose God sets before us must be pursued wholeheartedly.  If you hate your situation and give minimal effort, God has no reason to bless you with a better situation - Luke 16:10  "One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.

In Genesis we see the story of Joseph. Sold by his brothers, enslaved, and jailed on false accusations.  If anyone had an excuse for exerting minimal effort in life, it was Joseph.  Instead, Joseph pursued excellence and rose to the top of every situation he found himself, going from prisoner to second in command of the most powerful country on earth, at the time!  Joseph's commitment to excellence affects your life today, believe it or not.  Because Joseph pursued excellence in his life, the family from whom the Messiah would one day come was saved from starvation.

     Joseph did not wallow in self pity or focus on what he could not do, he utilized the strength found in his faith and accomplished the impossible.  As believers, we have something Joseph did not have, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.  We are empowered by the very Spirit of God and yet, sometimes we are satisfied with mediocrity.  

    If only I had more money, I could... your Father owns the cattle on a thousand hills.

    If only I had more influence, I could... if you have the faith of a mustard seed, you could move mountains.

    If only I were smarter, I could... Jesus said, "what you are to say will be given you."

   The key to unlocking all this is Matthew 6:33  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 

If we are truly pursing God's Kingdom, we will naturally pursue excellence.  This covers every aspect of life, not just ministry. Family, work, school, personal relationships, you name it.  1Corinthians 10:31  So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. This is the truth and the truth don't lie!  

Stop accepting mediocrity, pursue excellence, and find your strength in Christ.

Now go live as Christ... and give the devil hell!