Friday, December 30, 2011

December 30, 2011

Today I began reading the book of Philippians.

A guy named Paul wrote it.

Some people call him Saint Paul.

I like to think of him as Paul my Man.

He is responsible for most of the New Testament.

Before he wrote it, before he became a Christian, do you know what he did?

Was he a lawyer?

Was he a traveling merchant?

Was he a barista?
Definitely not...but it would be fun if he made a mean latte on top of being the author of most of the New Testament.

Do you give up?

He went around the Roman Empire and killed Christians.


So, kind of public enemy number one if you were a follower of Christ.
I would have avoided him like the plague and there was no chance he was getting near my children.
Oh no.

But do you know what?

Jesus got a hold of him.  If you want you can read that fantastic story in the book of Acts (not written by Paul, but by a guy named Luke).

Yes, Jesus got a hold of him and he realized he needed forgiveness.

Kind of a "duh" moment if you're going around killing innocent people, but the funny thing is that while Paul was killing and jailing Christians he thought he was doing a good thing and that God was pleased with him.

Here is the good thing I read today.

"He (God) who began a good work in you carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." 

He certainly began a good work in Paul right?

Paul went from Christian hunter, to Christian finder and converter.
And then he wrote the New Testament.

And now he's in heaven with Jesus.

So it gives me hope that Jesus won't give up working on me.  If I could impact the world even a millionth of how Paul did, well, I think that would be a very great thing.

Maybe that's why I write...

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

December 27, 2011

I sat down to read the Bible today.

It's been a few days since I did that.

Do you know what jumped off the page?

What jumped off the page was this: if you have asked Jesus into your heart you are not just his child, not even just his loved child, but you are his dearly loved child.

I dearly love my children.  I agonize over doing the very best things for them.

Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I fail.

It follows reason that if God is perfect, AND he dearly loves us, that he must dearly love us perfectly.


That puts hard times into perspective.  God won't let anything happen to us that he can't do something good and loving with.

That means that bad stuff can be put to work for good.

"God works in all things for good for those who love him and are called according to his purpose."
That's in a book called Romans in the eighth chapter.

There's a lot of good in this world.
There's also a lot of bad in this world.

I'm glad that I am dearly loved perfectly so that the good and the bad can all have some sort of purpose.

The End

Sunday, December 25, 2011


December 25, 2011

It was Christmas today.

I ate a lot and opened presents.

It was fun.

But I did not think of that baby very much at all today.

Cute little baby in a manger.

Cute little baby snuggled into the hay.

That's weird isn't it?

Why did God let little baby Jesus be born in a barn, with all those stinky animals around?

I think that if God really is all powerful he could have arranged for some sort of crib with bumpers and a dust ruffle.

And maybe even a house to go with the bumpers and dust ruffle.

And a car seat for the bumpy donkey ride home.

But he didn't.

Do you know what I think?

I think God had Jesus born in a stable so that from the richest to the poorest of us he would seem, well, accessible.

Because if I met a person who was born in a barn I don't think I'd feel like I had to put on any sort of show.  I wouldn't pretend I'm better than I am or that I had it all together.  In fact, if someone told me they were born in a barn I think I might tell them some of the stuff I'm not so proud of.

I think God wants our idea of important people would be tweaked a  little.

The most important people aren't necessarily the famous people or the rich people.

I think God wants us to know that Jesus is pretty humble.

I like that about Jesus, it makes me want to talk to him and thank him for not being a show off.

Thanks for not being born in a big, giant palace.

Because that might be a little intimidating and I might be a little hesitant to talk to a palace Jesus.


Here is something else, my friend sent me a very good video from a very humble town in Alaska.

You should watch it, it will make you smile.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Have you ever heard the phrase, "Wait on the Lord."?

It's in Psalm 27 and is surrounded by this other phrase, "Be strong and take heart."

"Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart, and wait for the Lord."

I know what it means to wait.  I've waited in many lines.  I've waited for people.  I've waited in traffic.
I've waited in waiting rooms.  
And every day when I turn on my super slow computer...I wait for it.
Dumb old computer

I think it's weird to wait for God.  I don't see him as the kind of guy who's late that often.

I'm pretty sure that even if he was late, he could turn back time like Superman and not be late.

And besides all of this, I don't really like waiting all that much anyway.

But I don't really think he means we have to wait because he's running late because he couldn't find his car keys.

(Though that would be kind of funny if GOD lost his car keys...because when I loose mine I pray to God about finding them).

Okay, I'm pretty sure God has never lost his car keys.

I think he tells us to wait, because he is not in a rush...


His asking us to wait is more the wait til the wine ages waiting.
The kind of waiting that makes things better.



I think I know what it means to be strong.

I've had to be strong a few times.

The times when I had to be strong I leaned on God very heavily.

He makes me strong.

Because in the time I had to be strong I just felt like running around weeping like a lunatic.  Luckily God gave me enough sense to know THAT wouldn't help anything.


Take heart.

I'll be honest here and tell you that when I first thought about what that means the very strange image of an Aztec taking a still beating human heart out of a sacrificial victim came to mind.


That really is taking heart.

But I am positive that God didn't mean THAT (you crazy ancient Aztecs).

What I think is that God wants us to take courage.
Take heart that if we wait for him to move we will not be disappointed, nor will he leave us waiting forever.

I am very bad at this.

I like to get things done and get them done now.

And every once in a while I get suspicious of God.

Okay, I get suspicious of God all the time and wonder if he just wants everyone to be nice and sweet and bored their whole lives.

But then I think, no, he doesn't.

God is too wild to be boring and he love us too much to leave us hanging.

The thing is he wants us to wait so that we can see what he's doing and get in on the action and depend on him.

Because in this crazy world we need to need him.

Wait.  Be strong.  Take heart.  The Lord is on the move.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


This Christmas is going to be different this year I think.
I don't know why I suppose that, but somehow God has pulled the distractions of shopping, and baking, and dress shoes and hair cuts out of my life.

How did he do this?

He put Oz and I in a position to be least for the time being.

Here's the weird thing, being broke while it have it's very anxiety ridden side (when I forget that God really does love me and wants to take care of me) has some decidedly amazing advantages.

What's good about being broke you ask?

Well, the biggest good thing is to watch how God provides for your needs...mostly through people who love you.

I have cried tears of joy more often this year than I can remember because God has put some really generous people in this world and Oz and I are lucky enough to know them.


Here is something else.

Very often, the world looks pretty bleak.
At this very moment there is high unemployment, terrible news of parents hurting their children, there is still theft and murder and rape and people starving in the world and so many unmentionable things that it pains my mind and heart to think about them.

There are wars in many countries.

But the world has looked very bleak before.

In 1809 Napoleon was marching across Europe and the world was focused on what terror would come next from his hand.

It was a frightening time.

But do you know what?

In 1809 in a tiny, log cabin in the still very new country of the United States of America there was a little baby born.

A baby that no one thought would be of much significance.

Do you know what his name was?

It was Abraham Lincoln.

And that guy changed the world in a very good and very big way.

So who knows who is being born right now...maybe a small village in South Africa, or in the run down streets in Moscow...maybe someone who is destined to be great is being born.

I love thinking about that.

But do you know what I love thinking about even more?

During the reign of Caesar Augustus while the Roman Empire ruled the known world, there was another really amazing thing happening.

In a small that you would not stop in if you were passing through 2000 years ago, there was another baby being born.

His parents were broke too and they were nobodies and the mom was no more than 15 AND she was pregnant AND unmarried and only a couple of people knew who the father was...cause it wasn't the stand in father that was with her.

AND the people who knew who the father was weren't sure they really believed the whole story.

The little baby born was Jesus.

And his name means God With Us.

And what was God thinking plopping down in the middle of nowhere in a very scandalous situation?

He was thinking that he would step into this very broken world and he change it forever.

And he did.

Because he didn't just come to be with us and teach us how to be good.

Because I've tried that thing...and it did not go well.

He came to rescue us from all our sin..
all the bad things we do....
He came to rescue us from having a meaningless life.

He came to die to pay the price of our sin.

Yep, sin has a price.  God says that it's price is that you can't be with him ever.

Sin means separation from God and everything good.

But when Jesus grew up to be a man, he knew it was God's plan for him to pay the price for us so that we wouldn't have to pay it ourselves.

God really loves us a lot.

That is really good news.

He stands at the door of your heart and knocks.
If you want, you can invite him in.

He is a gentleman and won't break down the door.

If you invite him in he will forgive you for everything you have done, are doing, and will do.

Here is something I read this morning that is good to know about God.

Paul (who was a VERY bad man who God decided he would like to put to work for good) wrote this:

"I pray that you may be rooted and established in love, may have power together with all the Lord's holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ."

That great thing is found in the book of Ephesians chapter 3

Merry Christmas.

I wonder who is being born today?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Nobody Said it was Going to be Easy

My father always used to say, "Nobody said it was going to be easy."

I can assure you that this is true.

Life is sometimes very difficult and painful.

If I didn't know God was good I would think,"God, why do you let things remain so horrible?"

But the truth is that I know most of the pain in this world is from people making decisions that have real consequences.

God loves us enough to let our decisions be real decisions that really effect things.

Thanks....I'm glad you didn't make our decisions of no significance.

But my heart will be pained by the pain around me and the pain in my own life.