Wednesday, January 21, 2009


January 21


The last post on this blog was on January 8th! After months of one or two posts per week - totalling 54 - I dropped almost 2 weeks without an entry. I apologize to those of you who have faithfully been tuning in and finding no new entry. You have been faithful friends and your words of feedback have really been a blessing.

The reason for the lapse has been the turn of the year pressure. It is always a scramble at this time - for in just days we will be on the road with a District Sectional Tour - across Colorado and Utah. In one stretch I will be gone for 9 consecutive days. And there is a lot to do to get ready for these days.

I am not sure of the future of the blog process for me, though entering faithfully has been both a delight to me and a source of encouragement.

Here is my proposal: I will return on the week of February 25 with the tour behind me, and some time to think and pray about the way ahead on this blog. Your prayers and feedback would be invaluable to me at this time....cast your vote, offer your idea, help me decide what the future should look like. I will utilize that to figure my way along.

Meanwhile, let's stay together in prayer...and the word. I am beginning today to read Exodus and will read a few chapters a day with the target of reading the Bible through this year. If you wonder what to pray...pray in the Spirit (see I Corinthians 12-14).

These are the days of specific tour presentations - February 2,3,5,6,9,10,17,19,20,23....and often there is travel before or after these dates. Then, we hope on the 11th to fly to Texas to see Micah who is projecting to be home on leave at that time.

Looking forward to hearing from you. With you in the Spirit.


See you around the 25th.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


Thursday - January 8, 2009


Hunting is really big in too.

Elk, deer, bear, trout, sheep and more had better go for a very long sleep when the season that puts them in the sights arrives. Even horses, cows and more are a bit in peril.

I am not a hunter. Only times I have hunted have established new records for imaginative staring at distant trees....and shivering.

Hunting? That's what they do...not me.

Then I am starting to read through my Bible this year - through the first book, Genesis....and I come to this phrase about a guy named Nimrod...."a mighty hunter before the Lord." (Genesis 10:9) In a place and time when hunting was the grocery store, he was good at it. He probably never just stared at trees and came home empty-handed.

But what really caught my eye too was "a mighty hunter before the Lord."

As I pondered that I realized that God had just exposed one of my tendencies. Compartmentalization. You can sing before the Lord and pray to the Lord and talk about the Lord. But you hunt, and bowl, and golf, and fish by yourself (or with friends).

Not so....God sees all, knows all, and is invested in all the stuff of our lives. It is all done before the Lord. It's just us that tune in and out of awareness.

That's why so many men talk about how they communed with God when they were out hunting. One man told me recently - I didn't even get to shoot, but I felt so restored in my soul. Hmm..sounds like a modern version of Nimrod to me.

So, whatever you are doing today. Realize you are doing it "before the Lord." No compartments. No stuff done where "no one can see." Nope...all we do and are is done before the Lord."

So, let's do whatever that is today...with all our might.

For today's Nimrod gang.


Monday, January 5, 2009

Ezekiel's Vision of Dry Bones

Monday -

Yesterday, we had a special time of ministry in Woodland Park. We drove through a wonderland of snowy trees and low mountains - 35 miles west of Colorado Springs.

We were invited to minister in the church gathering and took up the text of Ezekiel 37. It seemed to be a word for us all - and Jackie & I felt, perhaps for you too. Here it is in very brief summary. I have included three action steps for those of you who want to take this into your life immediately.

(You need to get a Bible and read the first 14 verses of that 37th chapter of Ezekiel. Look in the index if you have trouble finding it.)

Chapter 37 - verses 1-6 -

1. God takes Ezekiel to a valley - a valley is normally the place of roads, streams, growth, habitation, food, livestock is a good place. But this one is not...

2. The valley is "full" of bones....the bones of people "slain" (:10) in combat at a much earlier time. (This part of the world has been a perpetual battleground for generations.)

3. The bones are "very dry"...they have gone though decomposition and on until they are like the heads of cattle we sometimes see on ranges that are vast and dry....or in Egyptian archeology.

4. God says to Ezekiel - walk around, look, what do you see? God is helping Ezekiel really see....and that is often our need too. We are surrounded by dry bones in our valleys and don't really see them. Consider: David Wilkerson who walked the streets of New York some years ago - sees the same people the other millions of people see, but sees them differently - drug addicts, without truth, without hope, without help..."dry bones." And out of his seeing, God births Teen Challenge - a ministry that today some 50 years later is ministering to thousands of youth, even as I write this blog.

5. Then after Ezekiel really sees what is in the valley, God asks this question: Can these bones live? (In this passage there are 9 times when "ruah" - the Hebrew word for life, spirit, breath - is used. That is the key to everything - it is the life of the Spirit of God that must come upon us for spiritual dryness to end and our full function as people on the planet now to begin to happen.) So...can these dry bones live? - can this dryness end? - can what was lost be found? - can bitterness be replaced with forgiveness and love?

6. Ezekiel's response to God's question is a polite demurring - he takes what to me is the righteous detour that many of us find so easy to take when faced with a faith challenge. "God is sovreign. He knows everything - omniscient" (if I need to impress someone with my theological grasp). Now, isn't that a polite and safe way for Ezekiel/me to reply?

7. So God guides Ezekiel along a path that will lead to seeing life in the valley.

Here is the path:

Step One - Really see the bones that are bleaching around you...the ruin that can come from the battles of life. Unforgiveness. Bitterness. Anger/rage. Depression. Hopelessness. Self-destruction. Let the needs you really see in your valley grip you...there will be little that happens that makes any difference at all - unless you and I really see and are gripped by it.

When I think of my valley right now, here is what I see -:

Step Two - "Prophesy to the bones" ie - speak words as led by God to something lifeless. We all must begin by getting so close to God, so close, that we can speak in faith to what seems impossible. This often takes special prayer, soaking in the Bible, getting very clean inside - confessing anything that might hinder the full, open spirit we must have to be so used by God. In due season, the conviction will begin to rise within us that we are hearing the heart of God and can begin to speak in faith. (Remember the declaration of the Bible: "you can all prophesy" - see I Corinthians 12-14)

This is the name of a person who seems to be close to God that I can talk to and share what I am hearing as I draw close to God:

Step Three - "Prophesy to the bones" - and don't pull back from words that are so impossible that only God could make it happen. The bones were very dry that day, scattered in a valley - they rattled when God started to work with them :) Even when re-corpsed (is that a word?) they had no life in them. Ezekiel had to keep prophesying - and we have to too. It is not "all at once" very often...most of what God does is process-and-time stuff, because He wants always to use what He does to bring growth in us - and WE - not He - need the process and time.

Here is what I think God would say to the bones in my valley:

Now read thoughtfully 37:7-14.

May you and I be part of God's "vast army" and may He speak through us in this new year.