Sunday, March 30, 2008

2 Corinthians 4:16 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. NASB

Ecclesiastes 12 NASB

1 Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;

2 While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain:

3 In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look out of the windows be darkened,

4 And the doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of musick shall be brought low;

5 Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets:

6 Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern.

7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Chance Encounter?

So, today I was working at the store....and I had one of those encounters with a customer, you know the kind of encounter that jolts you (actually it was fear, pure and simple). No one else was in the store for this whole encounter. Interesting.

This guy comes into the store, angry, I know he's angry and for whatever reason I know that it isn't one thing...he is angry at the world. Hey, so am I a lot of the time, so I can relate and I smile. He doesn't smile back. He spends a long time looking around and questioning me on the "idols" that the store sells....hey, I think a lot of things can be idols and certainly in the store as well, and I try to share my thoughts....uh uh...not going to happen. He then freaks on me, and uses a lot of language that I have heard before but not usually in the "christian bookstore venue", because we don't have the 1611 King James Authorized Version of the Bible. The Bible that according to this guy, God spoke into existence and apparently told him was the only translation of the Bible that the Holy Spirit spoke through and all the other translations were just ____, let's say not.

Yep, so I know by this guy's manner and language that he has had a tough go of it and that something is really not it what you like.... I spoke gently to him and prayed for the words to make him just a little less angry. He left the store having apologized for his colourful language and offensive manner. He smiled once, and I don't think I changed his mind about anything, and I wasn't trying to. I just asked God to give him Peace, even for a few minutes.....and I think my prayer was answered.

So many hurting, and mixed up souls out there. I know that a lot of them have a thread of spirituality running through them and somewhere, somehow it got askewed... the demons run rampant through lives of the vulnerable.

I remember breathing a sigh of relief as this man left the store, but also I thanked God for removing the fear and putting some words in my mouth to not avoid or offend this man or show fear to him, but to show him Love and in a very minor way I hope he saw Love that comes not from this scared soul, but from Christ who lived that scenario out right before my eyes. I continue to stand in my simple life that is insignificant in so many ways, but not through the eyes of the Living God.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Watermark - Light of the World

Opening up my understanding of traditional church....I hope.

A portion of the opening of Pagan Christianity by Frank Viola/George Barna.

"...But we are conditioned to read the Bible with the lens handed to us by the Christian tradition to which we belong. We are taught to obey our denomination (or movement) and never to challenge what it teaches.

(At this moment, all the rebellious hearts are applauding and are plotting to wield the above paragraphs to wreak havoc in their churches. If that is you, dear rebellious heart, you have missed our point by a considerable distance. We do not stand with you. Our advice: Either leave your church quietly; refusing to cause division, or be at peace with it. There is a vast gulf between rebellion and taking a stand for what is true.)"

I like that last bracketed paragraph for some reason. There is a peace about it.

"...Warning: If you are unwilling to have your Christianity seriously examined, do not read beyond this page. Give this book to Goodwill immediately! Spare yourself the trouble of having your Christian life turned upside down.

However, if you choose to "take the red pill" and be shown "how deep the rabbit hole goes" ... if you want to learn the true story of where your Christian practices came from... if you are willing to have the curtain pulled back on the contemporary church and its traditional presuppositions fiercely challenged... then you will find this work to be disturbing, enlightening, and possibly life changing.

Put another way, if you are a Christian in the institutional church who takes the New Testament seriously, what you are about to read may lead to a crisis of conscience. For you will be confronted by unmovable historical fact.

On the other hand, if you happen to be one of those people who gathers with other Christians outside the pale of institutional Christianity, you will discover afresh that not only is Scripture on your side - but history stands with you as well."

I am diving in.....sounds fascinating. I need some answers!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

What do you do with this?

This post from rhymes with kerouac hurts my heart. I wonder how many others left this world in much the same way or in a different way but without notice ..... what do we do with this.... I am overwhelmed.

From Daily Life in a Homeless Shelter .

One of our guys died on the weekend. I only found out about it today. There was no obituary in the paper and none in the local papers online. I don't know where his body is tonight.
He died, I'm told, of alcohol poisoning. He was truly homeless - that is, unsheltered - and came to our public meals program. In more than a year, I've never seen him sober. Not once. On one occasion I asked him point blank if he was going to let the booze kill him. He looked me in the eye and said, "Oh yeah, it is going to kill me". This statement was made without emotion except, perhaps, a grim determination. He was a man under sentence of death.
It took me most of today to figure out who he was. I never learned his name. A year from now I won't remember him at all. Right now I remember how he smiled when I said 'hello' to him each night before dinner. He would say hello back, and then the rest of the conversation would soon become unintelligible on his part. He simply wasn't capable of remaining coherent for more than a few sentences at a time. His hair was always matted and dirty, his clothes were filthy and he smelled bad. He often had cuts, scrapes, bruises or black eyes from having fallen - or been beaten - down. There's nothing more I know about him. Perhaps all I know is that I'm feeling like there's been a tear in the fabric of the universe tonight, that we've all experienced a loss, that the world is somehow a lesser place because he's gone.
A man came into the Mission to tell us of his passing, so I know he had at least one friend in the world, such as this world is. I'm writing this tonight because I want the universe to know that someone will mourn his passing. I want the universe to know that I know he was loved of God, and that I - to the best that I am able, will honour his life, will honour the image of God that was in him, and will lament that he is gone from our world.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Just a personal post here. (I know... I know..... they don't happen very often).

I have noticed (especially as of late) that there is a direct correlation between how intimate and enthralled I am with Jesus and His Life in me (the excitement that His Word brings and the truly awesome Power and Sweetness of of His Presence in my life) and the extreme intensity of the lies of the evil one and the quick infiltration of those lies into my thought processes. It seems sometimes almost instantaneous and immediate.

What an exciting place to be ..... NOT......but I think that if this had been happening at the intensity it seems to be happening now, a couple of years ago, I probably would have run for the hills..... quickly and given up with a wail of "Where are You, God?". In a lot of ways this IS an exciting time because I can recognize (most of the time) immediately (most of the time) that the darts of anger, false thoughts, lies, insecurity, and all that wonderful stuff that is definitely not the Truth and not from God and not from the Christ that is leading this pathetic life that is mine....when left to my own a sign of spiritual enlightenment.....and that is my word for growth...because I really feel that it is all there within because of Christ who lives in and through me....I just have not embraced all that is there yet. Little pieces are shown to me....thanking God for that because it could be a little overwhelming and ill-received by my self if given all at once... He seems to give a little revelation of Himself just as we need it and as we come to a certain place.....

But back to these darts...and thoughts of the father of lies....once they enter and they are replaced quickly with the on Jesus and what He has said to me about me and the wondrous Love that He is ....and has for me....those thoughts can be gone.....Amazing! Now this is not a boasting post of my spirituality because if it were I guess I would not have so many occasions to have lies coming my way....but the point is ..... and believe me I am trying to bring this point out succinctly :).... Quickly come the attacks of the evil one....but just as quickly they can be fended off, erased, ignored and rebuked as I learn to completely trust my Jesus who is always for me.....never to bring these thoughts to absolutely thrilling to recognize that He is Almighty, Powerful, and yet there constantly, gently reminding, ..... no condemnation....none at all and the negative thoughts ..... they are not from Him......

And so I continue to live this Life and glean from it what I need to endure in this sin-cursed world. I will continue to wonder what the evil one would ever want with me.....I pose no threat to his dispicable work here on earth.....and yet I remember, it is not is Him in me who is far greater than anything I can do or imagine and I realize.....the battle rages fiercely around me and attacks are at every opportune moment that my focus is not staid on Jesus, my Life. I am so grateful that I never am alone. How can the world, devoid of His Life in them ..... survive? That is where the greatest sorrow for me, comes from when I really think on it. In His Hands, I leave that thought as well.

What joy this journey of enlightenment brings!

I Can Do Nothing

For today from "His Victorious Indwelling" edited by Nick Harrison, a daily devotional I continue to read and be encouraged by. God hath said, I will dwell in them and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
2 Corinthians 6:16

God's aim and purpose in the Gospel is not to make good people, a mere matter of conduct; but rather a people "peculiar" to Him - so peculiar to Himself that He can come and live in them and be Himself the regulator of their lives. This is really wonderful!

Stated boldly, stripped of superficialities, the Christian life is a reincarnation of Christ. He who walked the earth nineteen hundred years ago walks again in us: "I will dwell in them, and walk in them." He who once found flesh and blood expression for Himself in one body now claims a similar expression in any body - yours and mine - the bodies of all who will believe and receive the benefits of the Gospel.

The life thus depicted is too wonderful for words. It is staggering in its possibilities. To think of anyone missing it! "But," says some doubting Thomas, "it's wonderful, if it works, if one could live it."

Let us acknowledge that if it fails to work, the failure is ours, not His. As in the case of an automobile with the engine running at full speed and wheels standing still - plenty of power but no transmission - we have failed to transmit and transmute His power into our daily living.

Norman B. Harrison

Our very helplessness is our resource. We find that God Himself must come in because we can do nothing.

John Darby

Sunday, March 23, 2008

His Resurrection - Our Resurrection

2 Corinthians 4 NASB

1 Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we received mercy, we do not lose heart,

2 but we have renounced the things hidden because of shame, not walking in craftiness or adulterating the word of God, but by the manifestation of truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.

3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing,

4 in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

5 For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus' sake.

6 For God, who said, "Light shall shine out of darkness," is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves;

8 we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing;

9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;

10 always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.

11 For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.

12 So death works in us, but life in you.

13 But having the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, "I BELIEVED, THEREFORE I SPOKE," we also believe, therefore we also speak,

14 knowing that He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and will present us with you.

15 For all things are for your sakes, so that the grace which is spreading to more and more people may cause the giving of thanks to abound to the glory of God.

16 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.

17 For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison,

18 while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Languishing .....

Wow....Tozer just kind of laid it out there for me today....and I think not of buildings and wood as I am sure he did not. We need God's people who have died to themselves and are under the compulsion of Him (as Tozer says) ........
I preface this by stating.....I attended a huge Good Friday mega-production at a church in town last night.....sigh!

Then Paul answered, "What do you mean by weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus." - Acts 21:13

"The Church at this moment needs men, the right kind of men, bold men....

We languish for men who feel themselves expendable in the warfare of the soul, who cannot be frightened by threats of death because they have already died to the allurements of this world. Such men will be free from the compulsions that control weaker men. They will not be forced to do things by the squeeze of circumstances; their only compulsion will come from within--or from above.

This kind of freedom is necessary if we are to have prophets in our pulpits again instead of mascots. These free men will serve God and mankind from motives too high to be understood by the rank and file of religious retainers who today shuttle in and out of the sanctuary. They will make no decisions out of fear, take no course out of a desire to please, accept no service for financial considerations, perform no religious act out of mere custom; nor will they allow themselves to be influenced by the love of publicity or the desire for reputation."

The Signs of Spring - Easter Weekend

Well, two things happened yesterday to let me really know that Spring is finally here .... thank You Jesus for winter but enough already, you know? I saw my first robin...yes, many have spoken of this but until I see with my own eyes (and I have the picture to prove it) ....and I got the chance last night on my way to the other sure sign of Spring ....both my daughters returned to work at one of the best little "Ice Cream Shops" going. Yep, robins and ice cream ......Spring has arrived!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Tears for the Lamb - Today

Precious is the flow that made me white as snow....No other fount I know, nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Good Friday - For Love

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Galatians 2:20 NASB

"I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me."

Again from the great storyteller, Gene Edwards, in his interesting account of "The Day I Was Crucified" (as told by Jesus the Christ).

Chapter 33
"I lived before you ever existed," I said to Death as he squeezed me in his clutches. "Poor Death, there are things that took place before you existed of which you know nothing."

"It matters not, " Death vaunted.

"It matters all," I replied.

In that final moment I commanded those who were present from the unseen realm: "Step forth, World System. Come into my very being.

"You, World, shall die with me!

"Lucifer, principalities and powers, and all whom you head, come into me.

"Law, you have been fulfilled, now come into my bosom.

"Adam's race, all that was touched by the Fall, and creation itself, come into me and be one with me!

"Death, be my servant: Put to death all that is now one with me.

"Come, religion! That which strives to be good but is ever failing, come.

"Death, take religion, the old man, and the self nature and make them your prey.

"Die upon my Cross. Come, all of you, die in me! You have now encountered the most destructive power in creation - my Cross!

"Put me to death, I command you. Death, look at me: I am become the Fall.

"All that is created is crucified with me.

"Oh, but there is one left!

"Death, as you take the last breath from me, I have a surprise for you.

"Death, you are now mine!" I cried out triumphantly.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

From the Christian Storyteller

From "The Day I Was Crucified", by Gene Edwards

















Abandon the Me Ship

From "He Loves Me!" by Wayne Jacobsen

"When we accept ownership of our powerlessness and helplessness, when we acknowledge that we are paupers at the door of God's mercy, then God can make something beautiful out of us." Brennan Manning in "The Ragamuffin Gospel".

"....God has fulfilled in himself everything he would ever require of us. Abandoning our own attempts to establish our own worthiness is central to the power of the gospel. Learn that and a door stands before you that will lead you to the very heart of a loving Father. This is the way to know that he delights over you with joy and is able to transform you into the fullness of his glory.

He absolutely, completely loves you. Discovering how much will revolutionize your relationship to him and your life in this world."

Monday, March 17, 2008

Nothing But The Blood

No Greater Love - At The Cross

For all the prodigals

Lay it down - Jaci Valesquez

Lead me to the cross....

He Loves you!

My newest read....started last "He Loves Me", by Wayne Jacobsen, an uncategorized "christian living" book :).

Enjoyable and easy to read....harder to appropriate as usual and I am only on the 5th chapter and they are short chapters. I love what he writes.

Two highlights today.

He delightfully puts in a Brennan Manning (who I love, as you know) quote from "The Signature of Jesus".

"If we take all the goodness, wisdom, and compassion of the best mothers and fathers who have ever lived, they would only be a faint shadow of the love and mercy in the heart of the redeeming God."


He puts in this gem of a quote from a sermon by Phillips Brooks (1835 - 1893), anybody know this guy....sounds like my kind of pastor!

"The great danger facing all of that some day we may wake up and find that we have been busy with husks and trappings of life and have really missed life itself. That is what one prays one's friends may be spared - satisfaction with a life that....has in it no tingle or thrill that comes from a friendship with the Father."

This book is a really great follow up to "The Shack" and it just gives you a true and real view through the Word of the amazing Love that is ours from the Father.

He continually reminds us how much we are loved and asks us if we know and if not than he lets us know how much.

Ephesians 3:17-19

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge - that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

And isn't that just something we all need to be reminded of, even when we think we know it....just to remember. He loves ..... and perfectly too. I embrace that.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

More Palm Sunday Pictures

My backyard wilderness.

These ducks from the last post are American? I don't know why they are in our Park here in Canada but they seem to like it here. :) Who wouldn't?

Palm Sunday

Pinafore Park

The geese.
Some of my personal reflections in pictures on this Palm Sunday as organized religiosity has so labelled it. It was a great morning....grey and overcast and not too cold. There is still tons of snow around but maybe some sun this afternoon will take care of some of it. I checked out the paths at the local Park this a.m. ... everything hushed except the odd duck calling me over their way...and a few birds...definitely not robins.... :) I did see some yellow coloured leaves in this part of the park but nothing poking through all that snow. Wishful thinking I guess and the paths were not great for walking.

The other pictures are from my back yard.....mine and 80 other people's but no one was out there....very quiet creek running out there and not much wildlife to be seen. Trees bare and cold looking. We do have a lot of nature behind this big old apartment building but it wasn't showing itself to me today.

Just some glimpses of pictures I have started taking. My reflections on this Life in Him, this morning as I wandered in His Creation.

Oh and a bonus picture of some waffles and daughter and her boyfriend treated all of us to this a.m. Very nice and very yummy....even without good old Canadian maple syrup. :)

A nice Palm Sunday to be sure.

The Flying V Formation

These are excerpts from the Jake Colsen Book "SO YOU DON'T WANT TO GO TO CHURCH ANYMORE" and my last comments on this uncategorized book that is not a church bashing book but a book that constantly points to Jesus and expresses what happens when our focus is staid on Him. (Neil, you say this all the is Truth)

"...Not all structure is wrong. Simple structures that facilitate sharing his life together can be incredibly positive. The problem comes when structures take on a life of their own and provide a substitute for our dependence on Jesus.

...But Jesus is putting together a church without spot or wrinkle. It includes everyone in this community and around the world who live in a growing relationship with him. .... Jesus saw the church as a reality, not an assignment for his followers to construct. She is growing, all around you. You just can't see it now because your focal point is far short of her beauty and immensity.

...Where Jesus is given first place, the church simply emerges in wonderful ways. He will place you in the body exactly as he desires. And as those relationships grow, you may find yourself surrounded by a group of people who want to walk in more intentional community together. That's an amazing thing when it happens, but still you have to keep your focus on him. Even groups that start out centered on him are easily and quickly tempted to organize themselves to death. When Jesus ceases to be the object of our pursuit, our touch with his body will fade into emptiness.

...It's a system we think we can work through our own initiative and effort, but that is also why it cannot produce the life you hunger for. That's only found in him.

...Real community is not something we fabricate by any means. It is a gift God gives.

...How could obligation ever produce real relationship? Obligations are only necessary when the experience is ineffective or lifeless. When people are living in the life of Jesus, they will treasure every opportunity to connect with other brothers and sisters who are also on this journey. It will not be something they have to do, but something they wouldn't ever want to live without.

...You think of gatherings as meetings to go to and trying to craft the perfect format that will guarantee results that no meeting can guarantee. But you don't see yet that Jesus is always gathering his flock to himself. People from all over the world are finding their hunger for him eclipsing their hunger for anything else and that every substitute they try only adds to their restlessness. As they keep their eye on him, not only do they grow closer to him with each passing day, but they will find themselves alongside others who are headed that way too. Geese fly together like that not because they are obligated to do so, but because it lightens their load and lifts them closer to their goal.

...That's all Jesus ever wanted - one flock drawn to him alone, and each helping lighten the load of others they find going the same direction as they are.

...That's the gathering. It's not when, where or how you meet, but that you are gathering your heart to him. If that's happening, you usually won't find yourself going it alone very long. You'll find others heading the same direction and by traveling together you'll be able to help one another along the way. That's why you can only hurt yourself when you look for people who want to meet a certain way or think like you do about everything. Every person who crosses your path, be they believer or unbeliever, in an institution or outside of it, is a potential partner in this journey. By loving each of them to the degree that they allow, you'll participate in his great gathering.

...But the goal remains the same. It's him! It's always him - not a style of meeting or a preplanned program, not a safe salary, or a predictable future.

...He's not trying to make it difficult; he wants you to experience the very kingdom itself. This is his joy he draws you to, not some tiresome duty or empty promise."

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Happy 18th to my girls...

March 15th, 1990 until today.....I didn't think I was that old. God is good! They are great young women of faith. Growing gracefully in their walk with Jesus.

From my sweet little angels to not so happy present day beauties both inside and out.

Love you very much Katie and Stephanie. And what do 18 year old girls do on their 18th birthday? Shopping and dinner out with mom and friends and then out with friends, what else?

Friday, March 14, 2008

Unity - How Appropriate

From the devotion based on the teaching of Ray Steadman's called "The Cry for Unity".

There is one body and one Spirit just as you were called to one hope when you were called. (Ephesians 4:4).

This verse sets forth the nature of Christian unity. It is not a union to be produced, but a unity that already exists. These are not articles of theological agreement. No, these are areas of mutual experience. These are things that lay hold of us, not we who lay hold of them. All these are immediately experienced by all who are in Christ. Therefore, the way to create unity is simply to bring people to Christ, and the unity of the Spirit will be produced in them by the Spirit.

As we apply this great truth there are certain things that are evident: First, we cannot classify Christians by organizations. We cannot say that all those who belong to the Baptist church, for instance, are Christians, but all those who are Catholics are not. God's Spirit forever overleaps human boundaries. The unity of the Spirit will be found in people in many different groups. We will find Christians everywhere, and it becomes our responsibility to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace with Christians wherever we find them.

A second conclusion suggests that those who have entered into this unity of the Spirit cannot possibly join in an evangelistic endeavor with those who deny this fundamental unity. Why not? Because our actions are determined by our beliefs. These are such fundamental beliefs that they set the direction of our life. Where one person accepts these and has experienced them and someone else does not, you have two fundamentally separate directions. It is impossible for one person to ride two horses going in opposite directions—to attempt it puts a terrific strain upon the anatomy. This is why the Israelites were ordered not to yoke an ox and an ass together. Why not? Well, they go at two different speeds, they are two different heights, and they would simply chafe one another all the time. It would be cruelty to both to link them together. This is God's way of teaching us, symbolically, that there are fundamental differences of gait and direction—that two cannot walk together except they be agreed.

There comes a third practical application of this. The efforts of Christians are not to be directed toward creating unity but toward maintaining peace in the body. That is the way Paul puts it: "Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace" (v. 3). It is important that Christians not be quarreling, bickering, and struggling against one another. A church that is like that is a totally ineffective body in its community. It is important that when Christians meet together they recognize that they are called to understand one another, to forbear one another, to pray for one another, to forgive one another, to be kind, tenderhearted, not holding grudges, not being unforgiving, bitter, resentful, and hateful toward each other. This is where the Spirit aims when He comes into our midst, at the healing of long-standing grudges, deep-seated resentments, and bitter hostilities that are harbored against one another. We must fulfill what the apostle tells us to do, to maintain the unity of the Spirit.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Angels Watching Amazed and Startled

Ephesians 3:8-10 NASB

8 To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ,

9 and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things;

10 so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.

Devotional based on Ray Stedman's teaching on "Secret Riches".

The Apostle says that his ministry had the effect of demonstrating a unique wisdom. This is to go on now, while the church is being formed. It is a revelation in which these "rulers and authorities" are learning something by observing the church. This is one of the instances in which Scripture clearly states that we are surrounded by an invisible spiritual kingdom made up both of demons and angels. In Ephesians 6 Paul says, "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms" (v. 12). But we also learn from other passages that angels are watching us. It is as if we are on stage in a great theater, with the angels gathered around in many rows. Angels are watching and learning.

The revelation of the mystery is essentially the revelation of the love of God—in ways that make the angels amazed and startled as they learn the tremendous secrets of God's love. This is why Peter says in his first letter that our salvation is so tremendous that the angels longed to look into these things.

The word translated manifold here is literally the "many-colored wisdom of God." Why did the apostle choose this poetic adjective? It is because life consists of many colors. We all have blue days. And red hours of anger and passion. And golden moments of glory. And dark, somber valleys through which we must pass. And lush, green pastures into which we are sometimes led. God's love is manifest in all of these hues of life. So when you go through a blue time, it is God's love that you are learning. When you go through a dark and pressured time, the love of God is being manifested there. You may not see it, but God knows how to make it clear. And even the joyful times are manifestations of the many-colored wisdom of God.

And as the angels watch us, they see us learn to trust God, to turn from our fears and to renew ourselves with divine strength, to draw upon God's great and mighty promises in the hour of pressure and danger. As they see this, their praise begins to ring out in amazement and wonder at a God—who is also able to find a way by which He can lavish His love upon the very ones who deserve His wrath. This makes the angels praise God. They glory, as Charles Wesley captured it in that great hymn that I love to sing: "'Tis mystery all, the Immortal died." Imagine that—the Immortal died! You never can completely solve the mystery of God's amazing love, manifested in the many-colored wisdom that leads us into the circumstances of our life. But it is this that edifies the angels and teaches the demons of the nature of the greatness of the God we serve.

How Cool Is That!

Picture by

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Another book.....

Following are two passages from the first two chapters of a book I have just started reading. "So you don't want to go to church anymore - an unexpected journey", is a book by Jake Colsen which is a pseudonym for the combined work of friends, Wayne Jacobsen and Dave Coleman. So far....I am liking it.

"This is no distant God who sent his Son with a list of rules to follow or rituals to practice. His mission was to invite us into his love - into a relationship with his Father that he described as friendship. But what do we do? We are so quickly captured by a work-driven religious culture that thrives on guilt, conformity and manipulation that it devours the very love it seeks to sustain." (pg. 34)

"Won't it be a joy again to wake up confident about being loved by God every day, without having to earn it by any act of righteousness on your part? That is the secret to first love. Don't try to earn it. Know that you are accepted and loved, not for what you can do for God, or somehow hoping that you will be worthy of his acceptance, but because his greatest desire is to have you as one of his children. Jesus came to remove any obstacle that would prevent that from happening." (pg. 36)

The Shack

From Paul Young today.... at

Hope you saw blessed my socks off.

"When the crap comes to the surface you are closer to being healed than at any other time...."

Verses Revealed Today

2 Corinthians 5: 18,19 NASB

18 Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation,

19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

Saturday, March 08, 2008


Ephesians 2:14(a) Amplified

For He is (Himself) our peace (our bond of unity and harmony).

From the thoughts of Ray Stedman and his book, "The Prince of Peace".

"..... this is the promise of God to Christians: He is our peace. And once their attitude is changed, once their heart is settled, once they have put the matter into the hands of the Lord and they see that He is active in it, that He has a solution, and their own heart is therefore at peace, then they can begin to understand what is happening and can apply some intelligent remedies to the situation that will work out the problem. There is profound psychological insight in the fact that the apostle begins with the declaration that Christ is our peace. He alone can accomplish it."

Friday, March 07, 2008

Chuck Girard

Thought I would get in on the 70's revival of some of the best music ever.....and we thought we were feeling old? Still a great message....."Preacher isn't talking 'bout religion no more...he just want to praise the Lord!"

Check it out!

For those who don't know about the book "The Shack", you obviously don't read my blog..... :) I still consider this one of my favourite books and am reading it again and again and giving it to those who cross my path and don't quite understand or realize the Greatness of God and His Great and Wondrous Love for us. The Trinity is recognized as Separate and One in this "fictional" novel and the portrayal of our Loving Father, Faithful Friend and Consummate Comforter is just outstanding. If you didn't get the message....I loved this book. Now my on-line pastor :) is featuring the following. Check it out if you aren't busy ..... I will be and I wish I could be there but...Baton Rouge is a little too far for the commute, at least this Sunday!

Sent to me from my brother in Christ - Dave Lesniak, (an unassuming powerhouse for the furthering of the message of Truth and Freedom in Christ.

Pastor Frank Friedmann wants to invite all of you to a free, LIVE conference this coming, Sunday morning and evening which will be broadcast on Movement of Grace New Covenant Web TV.

William P. Young, Author of, of the book, The Shack will be speaking at Grace Life Fellowship.

Specific times: 9:30 AM / CENTRAL; 11:15 AM / CENTRAL & 6 PM / CENTRAL {Question & Answer Session}

To be a part of this, simply go to the website for, Movement of Grace New Covenant Web TV > & click, on "VIEW LIVE".

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Me - A Masterpiece

Again from "The Power of His Presence" devotions based on the teachings of Ray Stedman.

For we are Gods workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10).

Notice how carefully he puts "works" in the right place. You don't obtain anything from God by working for it. You never deserve anything but judgment at His hand. If He gave us what we deserve, we would all end up in hell. No, we receive His grace, His mercy, His love. But these result in good works. That is the point. They are designed to produce good works. It is a marvelous manifestation of God's ability.

The word workmanship is really the word poem. "We are his poem." Perhaps it would be better rendered, "We are his masterpiece." God is working out in our lives a tremendous exhibition of His wisdom, His power, His love, His life, His character, His peace, and His joy. He is teaching us, training us, bringing us along, applying the paint in exactly the right places, producing a marvelous masterpiece to be put on display. This is to result in good works: kindness, love, mercy, compassion, help to one another, meeting one another's needs.

Do you have any idea how many good works God has prepared for you? They are waiting for you to enter into as you walk in faith and trust and dependence upon Christ. The situations are there, ready and waiting for you to step into. This is what God has called you to. As you do so, you become a vivid display of the greatness and the glory of God.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

A Shorter Post.....

From This Day's Thought

In business and in life imaginary difficulties are harder to overcome than real ones.


A Reminder - Already Done

This is quite a long post - No apologies - As I read it I am thrilled by the Truth that is included....may we all embrace it.

From Ray Stedman's "The Power of His Presence" devotional for today.

Ephesians 2:4-6 NASB

4) But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,

5) even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),

6)and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,

The most important truth in all of Christianity is stated right here: We are made alive together with Christ. Notice that Paul says "with Christ" three times: We are "made alive with Christ." We are "raised up with Christ." We are made to sit with Him. He has come to live in us, and He has joined himself to us, and we are one person with Him. That is the most important fact upon which to build all the rest of Christian faith and experience--this great, tremendous statement that we are made alive with Jesus Christ.

Do you remember how the Lord himself taught that? He said, "I am the vine; you are the branches" (John 15:5a). Can you tell where the branch ends and the vine starts? No. They are one plant, sharing one life together. So from here on our identity is no longer "in Adam" but it is "in Christ." We are no longer just ordinary human beings. We are new creations, begun again, linked with the life of Jesus Christ.

Later in this letter Paul likens the church to a body, of which Christ is the head. Have you examined your body lately? Have you noticed that your fingers don't come off if you merely twist them a half-turn and pull? They are tied to the body, and they share the life of the body. They are not attached by any mechanical process, but rather they are an organic part. These figures are all given to us to show us the intimate way we are united to Jesus Christ, to tell us that He is our life.

So never think of yourself in any other way, because the whole work of the enemy is to get you to disbelieve that and to go back to thinking that you are just an ordinary individual, struggling on through life, trying to make it the best way you can, needing to mobilize all your human resources to try to get ahead of the other fellow and to achieve as much of the fulfillment of life as you can. Any time you believe that, you go right back to acting as you once did--back to the misery, back to the heartaches. You can escape that only when you come back again to this central truth--we are alive in Jesus Christ!

There is one final thing to notice here. These verbs are all in the past tense. This is something that has happened, not something that is going to happen. It has already occurred when you believed in Jesus Christ. You don't have to work toward it. It is not something that great saints achieve after years of effort. It is something that is already true, and every Christian has this experience. We were made alive in Jesus Christ. We cannot be the same again. Even if we try, we won't be able to. This is why I sometimes say to people who get discouraged with their Christian life, "Well, quit then, go back, try not to be a Christian. See what will happen." They can't do it, and they know they can't, because they are new creatures, made alive in Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

1 Corinthians 13 - Amplified

1 If I [can] speak in the tongues of men and [even] of angels, but have not love (that reasoning, intentional, spiritual devotion such as is inspired by God's love for and in us), I am only a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

2 And if I have prophetic powers the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose), and understand all the secret truths and mysteries and possess all knowledge, and if I have [sufficient] faith so that I can remove mountains, but have not love (God's love in me) I am nothing (a useless nobody).

3 Even if I dole out all that I have [to the poor in providing] food, and if I surrender my body to be burned or in order that I may glory, but have not love (God's love in me), I gain nothing.

4 Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.

5 It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God's love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].

6 It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.

7 Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].

8 Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end]. As for prophecy the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose), it will be fulfilled and pass away; as for tongues, they will be destroyed and cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away [it will lose its value and be superseded by truth].

9 For our knowledge is fragmentary (incomplete and imperfect), and our prophecy (our teaching) is fragmentary (incomplete and imperfect).

10 But when the complete and perfect (total) comes, the incomplete and imperfect will vanish away (become antiquated, void, and superseded).

11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; now that I have become a man, I am done with childish ways and have put them aside.

12 For now we are looking in a mirror that gives only a dim (blurred) reflection [of reality as in a riddle or enigma], but then [when perfection comes] we shall see in reality and face to face! Now I know in part (imperfectly), but then I shall know and understand fully and clearly, even in the same manner as I have been fully and clearly known and understood by God].

13 And so faith, hope, love abide [faith--conviction and belief respecting man's relation to God and divine things; hope--joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation; love--true affection for God and man, growing out of God's love for and in us], these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Remembering Jeff Healey

Just a tribute post to Jeff Healey...who jokingly said he was related to most of London, Ontario area folks....I was one of many. This man's story weaves through some of the faithful saints that have been so very dear to my spiritual journey. It was so awesome to see how God spun the threads of this man's life into my own. I did not know him hardly at all but by name. Others knew him much, much more. He was known to have a spirituality about him. I know his eyes have been opened by the One and Holy God. May his family find comfort at this time of great sadness.

Jeff Healey Dies at the Age of 41
(BUM) Canadian guitarist Jeff Healey died yesterday of cancer.
The jazz and blues rock musician lost his battle with cancer at the age of 41. Healey died from lung cancer in a Toronto hospital, surrounded by his family.
Healey was best known for his unique way of playing the guitar. Blind since the age of 1, the guitarist had taught himself to play the instrument on his lap. The artist lost his vision from a form of cancer called retinoblastoma.
In 1990, the Jeff Healey Band earned the title of Canadian Entertainer of the Year at the Juno Awards.

A Son Reflector or a Me Reflector?

From Max Lucado

We're not the center of the universe. What would happen if we accepted our place as Son reflectors?

“God raised him [Christ] from death and set him on a throne in deep heaven, in charge of running the universe, everything from galaxies to governments, no name and no power exempt from his rule. And not just for the time being but forever. He is in charge of it all, has the final word on everything. At the center of all this, Christ rules the church” (Ephesians 1:20–22 MSG).

Blame Copernicus. Until Copernicus came along in 1543, we earthlings enjoyed center stage. Fathers could place an arm around their children, point to the night sky, and proclaim, “The universe revolves around us.”

When God looks at the center of the universe, he doesn’t look at you. When heaven’s stagehands direct the spotlight toward the star of the show, I need no sunglasses. No light falls on me. Lesser orbs, that’s us. Appreciated. Valued. Loved dearly. But central? Essential? Pivotal? Nope. Sorry. Contrary to the Ptolemy within us, the world does not revolve around us. Our comfort is not God’s priority. If it is, something’s gone awry. If we are the marquee event,how do we explain flat-earth challenges like death, disease, slumping economies, or rumbling earthquakes? If God exists to please us, then shouldn’t we always be pleased?

Sweet Jesus

Worship a little with Hillsong's Darlene Zschech

For those of us that forget

Jesus, Lover of my soul

Have you heard the lute played or just heard about it?

From Tozer Today

And they said to one another, "Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?"
Luke 24:32

"It is one thing," said Henry Suso, "to hear for oneself a sweet lute, sweetly played, and quite another thing merely to hear about it."

And it is one thing, we may add, to hear truth inwardly for one's very self, and quite another thing merely to hear about it....

We are turning out from the Bible schools of this country year after year young men and women who know the theory of the Spirit-filled life but do not enjoy the experience. These go out into the churches to create in turn a generation of Christians who have never felt the power of the Spirit and who know nothing personally about the inner fire. The next generation will drop even the theory. That is actually the course some groups have taken over the past years.

One word from the lips of the man who has actually heard the lute play will have more effect than a score of sermons by the man who has only heard that it was played. Acquaintance is always better than hearsay.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Jesus - The One Thing

More on "The Last Addiction" by Sharon A. Hersh

"Their land is full of idols" (Isaiah 2:8) NIV.

"After all that's what addiction really is - it is worship. No matter how sophisticated or crude, any given addiction is a person, place, substance, activity, or ideology that becomes central to a human being's mind, body, soul, and spirit. Whether it is alcohol or religious activity, addiction is at work when something or someone begins to affect the style and nature of all aspects of a person's life and interacts with all of his or her activities. The etymology of the word gives insight into its idolatrous nature. Addiction is from the Latin word addictus, which means "to surrender to the gods."

"....Addiction goes deeper than obsession and compulsion. It is worship. It is giving my heart and soul over to something that I believe will ease my pain and provide an outlet for my fury at being out of control in a world that hurts me, scares me, or leaves me alone."

The author hedges a little at the beginning of the book.....
My thoughts....perfect only in Him....

One key to this author's relationship....with God, with others and self. I love how she capitalizes Love.....Love is? - or more accurately God is?..... Yes, Love.
Finding substitutes for the One True Thing in relationships of any kind (with others or things, substances etc.) and expecting everything from that relationship is only looking for disappointment and betrayal. Selling ourselves to something less than Himself (not just talk, talk, talking about it, makes for a long trip to nowhere. When Love, (Jesus) becomes the one Reward of our hearts and lives becoming our Life, is it not allowing Him to give Himself, to all aspects of our Life, of our relationships. Does that mean we never fall....hmmmm, not based on my experience....but I do know one thing and this was noted in this book as well Julian of Norwich wrote about her own experience of opening herself up to Love..... "If there be anyone on earth, who is continually protected from falling, I do not know, for it was not revealed to me. But this was revealed, that in falling and in rising we are always preciously protected in one love." That to me is the essence.....the One Thing.... the One Love, One in Him.

I tell so many lies and hear so many lies about addictions.....we all do ....don't go excluding yourself.....anything that takes the place of Christ in our an addiction.....Christ is the One Thing and He is (or if He isn't?), He can be your Life. Does that make us perfect? You bet it does! But only in and of ourselves....which continually gets in the way....imperfection at its best.