Thursday, May 28, 2009


While continuing my journey through the Bible a few days ago, I found myself reading about the settling of the people of the region in Samaria (I’ll bet you didn’t know this passage was even there :))….and in the middle of fairly complex stuff, I was literally startled by this text:
“They would not listen, however, but persisted in their former practices.
Even while these people were worshiping the Lord, they were serving their idols.
To this day their children and grandchildren continue to do as their fathers did.”
II Kings 17:40-41

It stung: “worshipping the Lord..and.. serving their idols.”

It points to the casualness that can become of worship.
- “Neat words….and I love the picture on the screen…but we sing them too many times.”
It points to the insidiousness of idols…that steal into our hearts.
“Yeh Bill….that 96 incher sure fits above the fireplace well.”
It points to the rampant splits that can occur in our souls.
“Missions is really important….why, I give at least $20 each month to reach Asia.”

God, would you heal our hearts?….would you expose the idols to ourselves?…and would you purify our hearts that we may worship in “spirit and in truth?”
For the sake of the Name above every other….Jesus.
Oh, yes, and for the sake of our children, too.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

May 26


An elevator with glass doors?
I would back into a corner.
A hotel with multi-story atrium and rooms all around it?
I would pray for a spot on the main floor.
Scheduled to fly?
…I would close my eyes at takeoff and pull down the shade.
Stairs – with open spaces between them?
…not good.
Escalators open to the sales areas below?
Just keep looking at your feet.
Fear and height were at times almost interchangeable.
I had never enjoyed heights, but now it was ridiculous.
In my wipeout emotionally, irrationality had taken hold.
That’s part of why my mountain bike had hung on the side of the garage wall for the past three years.
……..Until Saturday.
“Want to take a ride?”
It was my daughter and her husband beckoning me to join them.
With crash helmet in place, I did.
And went some miles on streets, then paths, then gravel paths, then up and down paths, then across stream paths……and that is where I said, “enough for today.”
But, Jesus and me had won.
Fear was moved even further back and away from my life.
I enjoyed the ride.
Seems true – facing your fears is the best way….with Jesus.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


May 20


Lots of unkindness out there.

Harsh words.
Raised finger/s.
Loud voices.
Long stares.
Veiled threats.
Agitated gestures.
Curled lips.
Piercing eyes.
Cutting in.
Cutting down.

Harshness comes from quick reactions,
selfish reactions,
pressured reactions,
surface reactions.

Just got off the phone with someone I have never met.
Wife of a very gifted pastor looking for work.
Family on the edge.
Urgency and fear in her voice.
The clock is ticking before they have to do something.

I listened for a long time.
And she finally said: "I've called a lot of people and you are the first one who has taken time to listen and seems to care. Thank you."

And it seemed that a special thing called hope was birthed a little bit inside her.

And mayby there is something I can do for them.

And mayby not.

But at least I listened...and felt their pain....and prayed for them.

And offered myself to God to make a contact for them...and be a part of the solution. Not a further layering of the problem.


Jeff Lucas spoke about kindness at the men's retreat....and I am thankful for an opportunity to put feet to words. kind.

It can make a great difference in someone's life
.......yours too.

"The fruit of the Spirit is.....kindness." - Galatians 5:22



Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Tuesday, May 19, 2009


A picture of a man doing a gut-straight, elbow prop body stand was featured on the promo brochures for Honorbound Men's Conference 09. "Strong" was our theme.

What a time we had...with each session tying into the theme in high impact ways.

Among the things I will carry with me always:
* Jeff Lucas studies on Elijah...notes about kindness, not quitting, "I'm Jeff. And I'm 53...and"
* The fabulous weather all weekend.
* Responses strong to every teaching session with people breaking through into a new place in God each time.
* The testimony of the group who brought 15 men...and three made a commitment to trust Christ on Saturday night!
* Don's teaching about receiving Christ....and then receiving the Spirit.
* Awards for the strong arm contest.
* Glenn Jones and the, they did it again.
* The huge turnout on Sunday morning!
* The many pastors and presbyters present with their men.
* The Saturday night altar time.
* The offering of over $1700.
* Almost all the HB shirts sold...gone.
* The accapella singing on Sunday morning.
* Hugs and eyes shining with the presence of God.
* The$600+ dollars for Teen Challenge raised in the golf tournament.

What a great weekend it was!

Someone (who has been to all the HB retreats) called this one "the best ever."

We returned to the city full of joy and gratitude in our hearts to God.

Every perfect gift is from His hand.

Thanks to those who prayed strongly for this event - reports of men awakend during the night, pacing the floors, down on their faces in prayer.

Now...let's keep the fire alive.

Be strong in the, and tomorrow...and.... daily.



Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Two things had come together at about the same time.

a word from someone very close to him that had made him wonder if something was up...if there was some disfavor in the air...a hint of suspicion or distrust.

then came the last blog...talking about speaking the truth in love....and highlighting the fact that sometimes we don't speak the truth and just smooch things over and look the other way.

coming within hours of one another, the two things proved to be alarming.


And about "aim?"

The "him" in this blog is a marksman.
He can hit small targets from hundreds of yards away,
in fact, uses weapons that hold records for flawless shooting at over 2,000 yards distance.

But now his aim was off...and his buddy said. What's wrong with you?

Our aim is affected by our feelings.

Clear hearts and focused minds make a lot of things in life hit the intended targets.

So what to do if our "aim" is off?

He faced what he was feeling with open candor.
He asked questions to see if there was distrust.
He explained how circumstances had placed him in a corner.
He was vulnerable and open.

And it was all a bunch of miscues.

And he cried a bit...and others did too.

And then there was laughter.

And a good night's rest.

And peace.'s your aim these days?

Got a few things in the air that need to be cleared up?

Better do it....
because the path of life is just too short
and eternity is just too long
to miss the mark.



Monday, May 11, 2009

Grow up

Monday, May 11, 2009


I remember having those words spoken to me.
As if the words were not enough, the tone of voice wrote them all in red,
fire-engine red.

I'll bet you have had that happen too!

And it stung....for I thought I was pretty grown up already! :)

Instead, this word from my sister - a full two years "growner" than I :), diagnosed the apparent littleness of my behavior, and the wrongness of my self-assessment.

Double ouch.

And so I pay a bit closer attention to the words in the Bible that say "grow up"....for I don't want anyone else but that holy book to speak that to me again.

The whole verse I am reminded of that includes "grow up" reads like this:
"Speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ." (Ephesians 4:15)

It's like a two-cylinder engine.

Speak the truth

Do that in love.

Speak the truth.

Do that in love.

The first stroke (if you would) is "speak the truth."
Don't fudge on what the case of the matter really is. Don't compliment when you should be offering constructive cricism. Don't say I "love" you, when "I like you" would take an element of faith to even speak. Don't deny the person the gift of your objective insights and kind feedback that will take them so far down the path of character building and maturity. If you refuse to speak the truth, you are a harm to them, not a blessing.
Parents that don't speak the truth to their children, deny them a foundation for the rest of their lives. They end up living in a make-believe world where no one sees their faults or can call them on growing up.

But..."Do it in love."
One way I have found to do this is to express genuine love prior to tough truth, and after truth is expressed, to follow up with genuine expressions of love again.
I am challenged by this cycle of the grow up if I have to speak hard truth, I will often write it out for my own sake...and pray over it a lot, and talk with someone close to me about it to make sure it has balance and wisdom tucked in. Naked truth can be daggar like. Thoughtless words do separate good friends.

Speak the truth in love.....and if we do, we will grow up in every way.

So, is there any fibre you need to add to your truth telling?
....any softness to your expressions of affirmation and regard?

Only a speaker of truth? Bet you don't have too many long-term friends!

Only a relater through love, softness? Bet you don't have too many long-term friends!

A speaker of truth with love?

Ah, now there is a key to "all kinds of growth."



Friday, May 1, 2009

The Pills

I take two pills a day to moderate blood pressure and the other to pump in some vitamins.


I have a great ability to get involved in so many things that "pills" fades on the list of things to be done.

And given that they sit in little containers in an out-of-the-way place,

and I don't like taking any pills at all anyway

....well, there are days when I "forget."

And every now and then I get this urgent reminder

that forgetting can have dire consequences,

especially if I am not exercising and am facing a pressured time just ahead.

And just popping those pills and three swallows and I am done,

"safe," healthier, being managed at a much better level.

So just do it.

No resistance.

No hesitation.


Now you are listening to my inner talk.

And we all have conversations like that about various things.

Like, getting into the word today, spending some quality time in conversation with God, exercising, eating in a healthier way, laying down our lives for those around us as God prompts us to, giving beyond reasonability to a need before us.......

Maturity doesn't just drop onto us or into us...or become the culmination of some extraordinary encounter with God or His Spirit. Maturity is worked out through us on a daily taking the pills....a bit at a time, each day, the endless "yes" to the Holy Spirit that forms a long chain of progress that leads to great life and character.

So today, may we live in the "yes" realm, and take whatever "pills" come our way! :)