Saturday, January 29, 2011


His whole ministry focus was unusual.

Deal with past sin - repent.

Don't follow me - I'm not the one - but do get ready to follow.

Public words of fearsome are in big trouble.

And especially...get ready, prepare...something big is about to happen.

And if you are really serious, come here and I will put you to the test publically.

John the wonder camel skin suits fitted him well.
A rugged man...a wilderness preacher.

His whole focus was to prepare people.

In our quieter segments of life, a lot is about prepare.

On our journey for a few months now, we have sensed there is more for us, and yet can't quite get a handle on it....long conversations, much prayer, soaking in the word, doing whatever God seems to bring before us.

Either we aren't able to just settle down...or something is on the horizon, yet we don't know what that is.

While wrestling with this time...(are you too?) has come with the realization that we can use the time well, by preparing for an uncertain future. We can be on the way, while still trying to figure it all out.

We can do this...
1. By being in the best physical condition that we can be in. (Athletes are already doing this as I write, for an Olympics that is years off...and a few seconds on the track.)
2. We can prepare the way of the Lord by lingering in prayer, and seeking to best tune up our hearts and our ears to hear the voice of God. Sharpen our spiritual tools for whatever is ahead.
3. We can simplify our lives, so that when He says, it is time, we are ready to move out, and not be encumbered by such a myriad of things that could otherwise make it all "impossible."
4. We can simply do everything that God gives to us in the now, as a simple offering of obedience and faith to Him...blooming where we are now planted.
5. We can remind ourselves daily that we are called to trust Him with His timing in everything...and His changing paces for our lives. So we can keep a confident upward gaze.

May some of this be a word that focuses new energy, and lifts your heart.

Preparing...with you.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Our fear & our identity

Came across this quote some hours ago...

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be?
Brilliant? Gorgeous? Talented? Fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small, does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.

And as we let our own light shine,
we unconciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our fear,
our presence automatically liberates others."

Nelson Mandela
- in a 1994 Inaugural Speech

So, today, go forward, boldly, playing big, and in the power of Christ.


Monday, January 24, 2011

He never had been drafted.
Never yet got a touchdown in the NFL.
Never started an NFL game.
Only 8 completions in three seasons.
Hadn't played for a big time college team.
Lingered at third string behind two proven pros.
Team behind 14-0.
Championship at stake.
Freezing weather.

And you might already know the story.
#1 quarterback went out with a bad knee.
#2 quarterback was pulled..four incompletions, playing "terribly."

So. last night, it became Caleb Hanie's turn.
And he threw 13 of 20 completions.
And got a touchdown.
And had everyone holding their (frosty) breath...because he had brought the team just one play away from a tie...and maybe a win.

Didn't happen....but the Denver Post in this morning's paper called him "the best quarterback in the NFC championship."

Life can be just like that...against all odds, the opportunity comes to do something great. And you end up on the big field, and way over your head.

But, with God's can be the best time ever.

So prepare. Dream. Walk humbly and faithfully in the place He has given you.

Grow in God this day.

He is the source of our the "impossible" place.

Today - it's one day closer to your time on the big field.*



*Might think this to be a bit wishful thinking? I believe that if the big field doesn't come to you in this life, it will show up in the next. (See Mtt.13:43, 19:27-30, 25:21)

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Lyle Gamble was one of a kind.

Tough: Chief of police, World War II vet.

He had been declining for some time and finally it was the end.

So we gathered in a church in Seward, Nebraska, to remember and learn.

We did both..very well.

Together we sang "The Old Rugged Cross."

And a group of men - the Kitones-Lyle.the founder -all in their 70's and 80's sang together..."Amazing Grace," and "God Will Take Care of You."

I'll always remember scanning their faces over and over as their aged voices filled the air with truth and wonder. The leader waved hands before them hands with fingers now very mishapen by age.

One of the men sang much of the last piece - "God Will Take Care of You" - looking full at Lyle's widow as if to write it forever on her heart.

He wrote it too on mine.

Grandaughters sang, "Where the Roses Never Fade."

And we thought a lot about the quick passage ot time and the enduring future - heaven.

And he was given full military falling snow, people packed in to witness the event. 21 gun salute. Flag moved from draping the casket to folded with precision for endurance.

And we drove back home the next day, through blizzard and cold...arriving by evening and grateful indeed to be home.

And thinking a lot more with clarity about "home."

Thanks, Lyle, for the lessons you have taught us all.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Spirit Life update

Just got off the phone moments ago with Chi Alpha personnel discussing the future of Spirit Life, the book. They are almost out of the first printing and want to go into a second edition.

This means, among various things:
1. they believe in the book and what it is doing
2. they are wanting to keep it going and making it available
3. the general reception to the book has been good.

Among the highlights for me of these months of the first edition:
1. launching it with Chi Alpha people in Phoenix in the July national conference
2. seeing the impact of it in the lives of Teen Challenge people in Texas - when truths about the Spirit were presented, God's Spirit visited them powerfully
3. presenting it to a large church and having half of the class immediately stand asking for prayer to go further with the Spirit
4. having a pastor of a very large and growing church say (about the group dynamics presented) this is the answer to questions that I have had. This is the way forward.
5. spending half a day with Chi Alpha leaders locally and sensing the bendiction of God upon our time
6. a senior staff member of a strong church ordering multiple copies so he can present it to key leaders in that church.

And now the opportunity to fine tune, adjust the refocus, and see it go to the next level.

So many of you that hit this blog (now pushing towards 12,000) have been partners with us in the Spirit Life project. So now I am soliciting response from you one more time:
1. Would you pray about the potentials at hand, asking God to equip us for the revising project?
2. Would you pray that the impact of Spirit Life would continue to grow and that it would be increasingly a God thing, rather than a people-energy-and-push thing?
3. Would you give feedback to us if you sense you have something to say or input to give?

Thanks for being our friends!

May God be glorified and His people strengthened.

Staying tuned..with you.

Monday, January 10, 2011


Great night of fellowship with friends on Friday, then home and to bed.
Phone call in the first hour of deep sleep. is Brad, and Amy is moving towards baby delivery.
Packing, a few things, and driving to their home.
Arrival: snowy weather.
Two vehicles pass in the with grandparents, the other with baby.
Baby arrives at c6am...Kendall Gabrielle...healthy, 8 pounds, eager to eat.
Footsteps arrive in our room at 6:30am...two boys wondering what is going on.
Breakfast...and to the hospital.
Refereeing :)
Hospital on the way home.
Crash at the end of the day...what a day!
What a wonderful scramble.
Kendall is here.
Mommy is fine.
Kids are happy.
Dog has done well.
We are sleeping pretty

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Humility 3

Had a great weekend in Salt Lake City. Flew there Friday, time with Paul and Cami and grandkids. Saturday...ministered in the evening and then again at two morning services. Capital Church is one special place...a sea of young professionals and college-aged. And so open-hearted to the word.
Sunday afternoon we met with a church board to coach them...and then the evening was spent with old friends in the area...a memorable meal and much laughter.
Times like this are a great gift from God...Who we have thanked many times over.

Humility is still in focus for me as I write this...and come across this quote:

"We should, I believe, distrust states of mind which turn our attention on ourselves. Even at our sins we should look no longer than is necessary to know and to repent them: and our virtues or progress (if any) are certainly a dangerous object of contemplation.
When the sun is vertically above a man he casts no shadow: similarly when we have come to the Divine meridian our spiritual shadow (that is, our consicousness of self) will vanish.
One will thus in a sense be almost nothing: a room to be filled by God and our blessed fellow creatures, who in their turn are rooms we help to fill."
C.S.Lewis to Walter Hooper - a letter. (Collected Letters - p.535)

May God give you a blessedly un-self-conscious in the Divine meridian.