31 March 2013


Praying you are having a blessed Resurrection Sunday …

Planet Shakers – The Anthem Hallelujah


30 March 2013

No Death ... No Resurrection

This was a topic that came up as I had coffee with one of my best friends last night. death ... and resurrection
As we talked about the challenges that many are facing, we found ourselves also discussing the occasional difficulty in moving toward the path that God desires for each of us individually and becoming all that He desires - which is for us to be like Christ. Further, we noted the power of God to resurrect us and our hopes /dreams, even when we feel like all is lost, dying or dead.
Now the definition of resurrect from our modern day dictionary has a two-fold, meaning:
1 : to raise from the dead
2 : to bring to view, attention, or use again
Some synonyms include: recharge, regenerate, rejuvenate, rekindle, renew, revive, resuscitate, revitalize and re-awake. Many of these ‘re-‘ words are the very things that are needed by those who have become weary from the journey and tired of experiencing the same things day in and day out. Yet there is a role each one of us plays in the process of experiencing these things in our lives.
As my friend and I talked about why it sometimes seems so challenging to move forward in life, I pointed out the fact that God will often allow us to keep walking through a situation until our character has matured to a point where He deems us prepared for what He has prepared for us. This process can be very arduous and unsettling. The Israelites who wandered in the desert for forty years could certainly relate. But here is where I pointed out to my friend:
He cannot resurrect you, if you will not die –
Although many Christians will spout the phrase that 'death has lost its sting' (speaking of the physical), there are many who still refuse to embrace the process of death (spiritually). They continue to wrestle and strive against what they know is needed in hopes of somehow getting and end-product without submitting to the process. In my post Kingdom Alphabet: 'R' after 'S'  I note how in the kingdom ‘r’ comes after ‘s’ – resurrection follows suffering.
·         You cannot experience a miraculous healing, if you are never sick
·         There is no supernatural provision, if there is never a need
·         Your character will not be transformed, if you never die to self
The issues of life can only be raised to newness if we allow certain things to die. Yet, all too often, we work desperately to be our own solution rather than humbly submitting the matter to God and letting Him have His way in and through us.
One of my biggest challenge areas is my ability to let people into my world – a fact you likely would not surmise from the content of this blog. However, it is an area that I am committed to working on … dying to my preferences of being intensely private and instead embracing God’s desire for me to be a bridge to His Word and Himself by sharing my life. It is what Jesus modeled for us. He emptied Himself out for the benefit of encouraging and uplifting others and nothing less is expected of those who take His name and identify themselves as Christians.
There is process to dying … it must be deliberate
This weekend there will be many sermons about the dying and resurrection that took place in the life of Jesus - something vitally important to both communicate and celebrate. For there is no resurrection or salvation apart from Jesus Christ. He stated of Himself in John 11:25 I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live’.
However, it is also important to remember what our role is in the process – which is to die. In my blog post 'Terms & Conditions' I note:
‘We have been called to a Living Hope but a dying life.’
God has wonderful things that He would like to raise us up into, but it begins with us laying down our ambitions and confessing as Christ did, ‘not My will but Thy will be done.’ Luke 22:42
You may be submitting to God for the first time - recognizing the sin and separation in your life and your need for a Savior. You may be a seasoned Christian who needs to re-submit one or several areas of your life to LORD. Whatever the case, understand this: There is no resurrection unless there first be a death
He cannot resurrect you ... if you will not die.
‘My old self has been crucified with Christ.
It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.
So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God,
who loved me and gave Himself for me.'
 Galatians 2:20 NLT

25 March 2013

Problem or Opportunity?

Is it a problem or an opportunity?

This is the question that came up as I talked to an acquaintance of mine last week. She was expressing frustration in the number of request for assistance that she was receiving from her peers. She currently supervises a group of employees and would, ultimately like to assume greater leadership responsibilities. She has a sincere desire to grow as a leader.

Therefore, as she shared some of the irritations from the constant interruptions, I seized the opportunity to share some observations with her. Our conversation began with this statement:

‘The LORD rarely gives me exactly what I ask for … ‘

I went on to state, ‘Instead He will typically present me with an opportunity. Yet often times, if I am not careful, I will only see the problem/challenge and not the opportunity.’

I went on to say, ‘You shared with me a couple of weeks ago that you desire greater leadership responsibilities. Well, part of the responsibilities of the role that you seek is being responsible for providing direction to you and your peers. So, you can either view their requests as an annoyance, or you can recognize it as God preparing you for the job you expressed you wanted.’

I did not share this to minimize her concerns. Rather, I wanted her to understand how easy it is for us to overlook what God is doing in our lives simply because He does not always answer the way that we thought He would.

  • There have been times I have prayed for finances and overtime became available.
  • Currently, I am studying Psychology with a focus on Christian counseling. And, lately, the most interesting people (primarily strangers) keep approaching me for advice.

Now I can either scoff at it – which, if I am honest, I have done on occasion


I can embrace it for the wonderful development opportunity it is

Therefore I say to you …


Some of the things that you may be viewing as undesirable are the very things that will usher you to your answer. If look close enough and dig deep enough, nestled snuggly in the core of most problems is the solution that you seek.

Our task is to continually seek out His perspective and let that influence our attitudes about our circumstances.

As you encounter situations, take some time to pray, asking the Holy Spirit for discernment on how to view the situation and how to respond. You might be surprised at what you start to notice.

Praying that you will have an abundantly blessed week ...

Until the time came to fulfill his dreams,
the Lord tested Joseph’s character.
Psalm 105:19

22 March 2013

His Name is Jesus .. Spirit Break Out

'Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.'
Luke 11:2 NKJV
Worship Central - Spirit Break Out

Heaven Came Down …

'For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.'
Isaiah 9:6

‘Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.’
Isaiah 53:4-6

“… know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, 
 whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ" Acts 2:36
Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.  Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,  that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth,  and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:5-11

'Then I saw a great white throne and Him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from His presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne …' Revelation 20:11-12

‘…I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple.’ Isaiah 6:1

I see the LORD … seated on the throne … high and lifted up

His name is Jesus

His Name Is Jesus



16 March 2013

Elementary? No, It’s Pre-School!

Elementary – it is a term used to describe a grade level at which someone learns and also the complexity of a task or issue. With respect to discussing a topic, when one says, ‘That is elementary’ – it is supposed that the topic being discussed is one of ease, that certain foundational principles are assumed or that it is so basic in its complexity that a child could grasp it.

Along that vein, I had an interesting discussion with a friend yesterday. She was expressing frustration with the lack of assistance she was receiving from her husband with raising their child and helping around the house. She stated how she ‘nags’ (even though she know she shouldn’t) in hopes that her concerns will be heard and that it will help change the actions/ in-action of her husband.  I simply encouraged her in what I am certain that she already knows (but struggles to execute consistently):
·         Do not nag
·         Pray about it
·         Reject negativity by all means
·         Create a positive environment with your words/actions
·         Do not modify your behavior because of someone else’s

Basic Coaching 101
In moments like this, however, most people do not want to hear what is needed, they want to hear what they want to hear. I have long made the observation, ‘You shall know the truth and … it will make you mad … long before it sets you free.’ Even still, I kept encouraging her to do all things unto the LORD, to take the issues to Him in prayer and to let the Holy Spirit do His work. Most of us have trouble overcoming the problem behaviors and attitudes in our own lives. Yet we insist upon doing the Holy Spirit's job. Rest assured, the same way He rapidly addresses us when we do wrong, He is well-able to do with others, if we would only get out of the way. Yet, as I continued to explain to her the futility in constantly nagging and the fact that you cannot change another person, she countered with this comment of frustration: ‘My daughter comes to me for everything, she won’t even go to him …’

Here was an ‘aha!’ moment … one that helped drive home the point

Her daughter, who is not even 3-years old yet and is in pre-school, is using wisdom greater than most adults. So I asked my friend, ‘Why does she come to you?’ Her response, ‘Because I actually help her.’ And I told her, ‘That is exactly my point! Because you have demonstrated a faithfulness in responding to your daughter’s needs, she knows that she can trust you – to listen, to interact and to address whatever the need may be.’

Yet as adults, we do the exact opposite.

We nag to someone who will not listen and tell ourselves, ‘I’ll keep talking/nagging and one day they will listen.’ We express our needs by pouring out our heart to someone who refuses to respond and subconciously tell ourselves, ‘Yes! I’ll keep doing that … even though it leaves me frustrated and empty.’

So I asked her, ‘Why do you keep going to an empty well? Why aren’t you taking a cue from your daughter? She comes to you because you can be trusted to respond.' At her young age, she has figured out that you go where the need gets met.' So I went on to say, 'By your own admission, all your talking is falling on deaf ears. So, why do you keep taking your problems to someone who clearly is not attentive - all while you have a big God who is ready, willing and able to address your need?' We can find everything we need in Christ, yet we keep running to other inferior and unsatisfying sources. We all have done it at some point in our lives, in some manner.

NOW – let me pause here and correct something before it has a chance to go wrong. I am not saying that you should not communicate with your spouse. Communication is important to a healthy marriage – and effective communication is essential. Yet that communication should begin with bringing it to the One who can actually do something about it – it should begin with prayer. We should take our issues to our Heavenly Father, to the Parent who will do something. He will not fail.

If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!’ Matthew 7:11

God has promised that when we call, He will hear (Jer. 33:3). When we ask, He will respond (Is.65:24). When we bring Him our need, He will supply what is needed(I Peter 5:7). Our task then is to turn to Him with every need.  Take the problem to the One who has the solution.

NO – It's actually pre-school!

The Lord will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.’ Isaiah 58:11

12 March 2013

border breaking praise ...

“Enlarge the place of your tent, and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out; do not hold back; lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes.” Isaiah 54:2 ESV

Enlarge the place of your tent …

Most often, when I have heard this verse mentioned it has been in the context of taking new territory.

However, as I sit here tonight, praising and praying and rejoicing …
A very different light shone upon this verse.

‘Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in your midst?’ I Corinthians 3:16 NIV


Chapter 54:1 of Isaiah begins by telling the barren woman to SING!!!

Chapter 54:3 of Isaiah promises this –
‘You shall expand to the right and to the left, and your descendants will inherit the nations, and made the desolate cities inhabited.’

It was with a shout of PRAISE and VICTORY that the walls of Jericho fell and Israel transcended boundaries and expanded their territory.

Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed;
Neither be disgraced, for you will not be put to shame" Isaiah 54:4

Even if your voice sounds like mine … there is a place in worship where He even helps that.

'Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.' Psalm 24:9 KJV

He inhabits the praises of His people!

Enlarge the place of your tent,
The place of dwelling for the LORD GOD ALMIGHTY
We are that TENT –
With arms outstretched –
Let His praises resonate in every vocal chord ... 
Strengthening our faith –
A faith which drives deep just like a stake –
Rooting us in and anchoring us to JESUS    


11 March 2013

Spring Break 2013: rest to run

‘I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint’
Jeremiah 31:25
Spring Break!!!!

Made it through the first session of classes …

Never thought I would be so excited (at my age) to see spring break arrive.

Yes – it is only one week.

But - there are no papers due tonight ... no reading assignments ... no test to take. And I am feeling better physically now that I'm on antibiotics (getting over sinusitis and a terrible ear infection)
What a joy it is to be able to relax –

To cook for my family, listen to some praise and worship music, write ... and rest.
'... He gives His beloved rest.'
Psalm 127:2

Now, I am certain these days will go faster than I desire but I intend to make the most out of every one. And, for some reason, I can't help feeling like this rest is to ready me for next run.

Expecting great things this week ….
Hillsong United ... Oceans