Friday, May 30, 2014


My walk this morning was so beautiful!  There are so many blossoms, and the fragrance was really perceptible.

When I got home and opened the door, I smelled the kitchen garbage with a hint of poopy diaper.  I had forgotten to throw out the trash last night.

I wonder, what aspects of my flesh are contaminating the fragrance of Christ in my life.

Heavenly Father, please give me humility to receive correction from you to know what stinky flesh things are hindering people from smelling the fragrance of Christ in my life.  I love you, and I ask in the name of Jesus.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Scripture is a backbone, not a box

JOHN 10:34-36 NIV

Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in your Law, 'I have said you are "gods" '  ?  If he called them 'gods,' to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be set aside—  what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, 'I am God's Son'?

The Pharisees had developed a religious system ("box") based on Scripture.  They trapped themselves in their box.

Jesus used Scripture as a backbone for structured righteousness with movement and freedom empowered by the Holy Spirit.

Heavenly Father, please bring me to live abundantly through the Word and your Spirit.  I want to worship you in spirit and in truth.  I love you, and I pray in the name of Jesus.

Monday, May 26, 2014

An invitation to dwell

I woke up this morning before anyone else in the house, so I quietly went downstairs and made myself a cup of coffee.  I sat down in the recliner to read the Bible with my coffee, and I heard some soft little footsteps upstairs.  I couldn't see who it was, so I said, "Good morning, son.  Come downstairs and sit with me."

As I spoke the words, I felt like my Heavenly Father was speaking the same words to me.  I think He invites us each morning to dwell with Him.  Part of that dwelling is colaboring in His work, which I think is what I have tended to focus on in my pursuit of righteousness.  But I am beginning to think that a critical part of life in Christ is simply dwelling with the Father, through the blood of Christ, in fellowship with the Holy Spirit.

Heavenly Father, thank you for the invitation to dwell with you.  I want to know you amd be found in you.  Lord, thank you for your kind love.  I love you, and I pray in the name of Jesus Christ.

Saturday, May 24, 2014


Thursday through Saturday, a very generous couple in our church sponsored a two and a half day spiritual retreat focused on the Holy Spirit.  It was a really powerful time.  I feel like I really reconnected with Brandi on a spiritual level, and I have been challenged to be more engaged in the mission of Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit.  I was also reminded of the calling to missions that the Lord has given us in sharing clean water and Living Water.  It was so wonderful to see many of our church leaders be encouraged and receive inner healing, especially Brandi.

Heavenly Father, thank you so much for this weekend and the time to focus on you.  Thank you for your kindness and patience, and thank you for the invitation to go deeper with you.  I love you, and I pray in the name of Jesus.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Polarizing statements

In John 6:51-58, I count seven times that Jesus states (explicitly or implicitly) that his flesh is food and should be eaten. Interestingly, He didn't say anything about it being a spiritual analogy or metaphor. This follows the feeding of the 5000.  Jesus knew that what He was saying was hard to accept unless they received it as a spiritual hyperbole.  I think the key verses are 53 and 63, which connect ζωή life and the work of the  πνεῦμα (Spirit) while disconnecting the flesh.

Heavenly Father, thank you for the spiritual reality of Christ and His work on the Cross.  Thank you for forgiving our sin and giving us the life of Christ.  Lord, may we be continually digesting you and growing more into you.  I love you, and i pray in the name of Jesus. 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


From wikipedia:

Communitas is a Latin noun commonly referring either to an unstructured community in which people are equal, or to the very spirit of community. ... Communitas is an intense community spirit that often refer, the feeling of great social equality, solidarity, and togetherness. 

From Acts 2:

42 They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

We had a going-away party for Mark and Rachel and Reed and Stephanie last night.  It was so encouraging to me to see the communitas among us.  I believe that our church leadership is being intentional about fostering communitas within our body, and I am excited to see this aspect of our church growing.  My experiences in Ecuador gave me a taste of what deep communitas is like, and I have come to believe that it is an important part of following the Way of Jesus.

From John 13:

35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."

Heavenly Father, thank you for our church body and the love that we have in you.  Lord, please help us grow in loving you and loving each other.  I pray that we will be genuine, devoted disciples of Christ.  I love you, and I pray in the name of Jesus.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Faithful witness

JOHN 3:31-36 NIV

The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all. He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony. Whoever has accepted it has certified that God is truthful. For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit. The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on them.

The responsibility of the witness is simply to faithfully tell what he has seen and heard.  We are not responsible for the way people respond, but we are obligated to share the truth.  Fortunately, the truth that we share is GOOD NEWS!

We were all condemned to eternal death in Hell because of our sin, but Jesus Christ came and lived a perfect life, died a sinless death, and came back to life; and now He invites us to share in His life through faith!

Heavenly Father, thank you for your amazing love, mercy, and grace.  Lord, please help me be a faithful witness of Christ.  I love you, and I pray in the name of Jesus Christ.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Diffusion of maturity

I was thinking the other day about how viscosity is the diffusivity of momentum, and then I was thinking about the importance of small group Bible studies having a mixture of maturities for the diffusion of maturity from high to low.  The critical difference is that maturity is NOT conservative; maturity is abundant  (John 10:10, James 1:5). That is, as the more mature disciple fellowships with the less mature disciple, the Lord increases the maturity of BOTH disicples! 

I need to be more strategic about facilitating disciples' fellowship.  Maybe instead of forcing it, I need to listen to the Spirit more.

Heavenly Father, please give me wisdom in how to help other disciples have effective fellowship to accelerate our maturity.  I love you, and I pray in the name of Jesus Christ.

God's NOT dead

Luke 24:4-7 ESV

While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, "Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise."

The most cataclysmic chain of events in history: the Creator became creation, the Creator allowed the creation to kill Him, AND HE WAS RESURRECTED TO LIFE.  I wish I could comprehend the significance.

Brandi and I went to see the movie "God's Not Dead" on Saturday.  It was very encouraging to me about being bold in sharing the truth of Jesus Christ.

Heavenly Father, sometimes I feel like those apostles on Easter morning, wondering "what does all of this really mean?"  I want to live in full confidence of the reality of the resurrection of Christ.  I love you, and i pray in the name of Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

God is dead

LUK 23:46 ESV

Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!" And having said this he breathed his last.

I can't imaging watching Jesus die.  The concept of the creator in creation form is crazy enough, but the creation killing the creator? That is bizarre!

Hebrews 10:10, 14 ESV
And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.  ... For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.

2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

I dont know which is crazier, that Christ would become sin or that we would become the righteousness of God.  Not only are we justified, and even sanctified, but we will be glorified.  Simply incredible.

Heavenly Father, thank you for spending your son to paying he debt of my sin.  Thank you for your grace in giving me eternal life instead of eternal death.  Thank you for purchasing my freedom.  Lord Jesus, thank you for sanctioning me and perfecting me.  Holy Spirit, please empower me to live the divine life today.  May your righteousness be displayed through me.  I love you, and I pray in the name of Jesus.

Sunday, May 4, 2014


This morning, we participated in a baby dedication with Paseo.  I really appreciated Greg reading this passage in Deuteronomy 6:

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

Greg pointed out that one of the most significant aspects of parenting is leading your children to be independent Christ-followers.  Greg challenged the parents to raise their children in a Christ-centered environment, and he challenged Paseo to be a Christ-centered environment.

Heavenly Father, we know that Rhett is a gift from you and that he is really yours, not ours.  Please help us be good stewards with our boys to lead them to be faithful Christ-followers.  Lord, we love you, and we want to help others experience your love, especially our children.  I pray in the name of Jesus Christ.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Innocent death

Luke 23:1-26

I find it ironic that Jesus would not accept the title and position of King of the Jews when the crowd intended to make Him king by force, but Jesus confirmed the reality of His kingship only moments before He was sentenced to death.

It is becoming more impressive to me that Jesus was sentenced to death as an innocent man.  Jesus is, indeed, our innocent lamb, killed for our sin.

20-23 Pilate addressed them once more, desiring to release Jesus, but they kept shouting, "Crucify, crucify him!" A third time he said to them, "Why, what evil has he done? I have found in him no guilt deserving death. I will therefore punish and release him." But they were urgent, demanding with loud cries that he should be crucified. And their voices prevailed.

It seems to me that since God ordained that Jesus was killed by the Gentile method of crucifixion (instead of the Jewish method of stoning), God is communicating that Jesus's death extends to all people (not only Jews).

I think if I thought of my sin as a quadrillion dollar debt that would be impossible for me to pay, and I if I thought of His forgiveness as a quadrillion dollar forgiveness, then I think I would wake up every morning with a sense of relief from the stress of having to work to pay off that debt.  I think I would naturally be quite joyful that my life was redeemed from suffering and punishment to freedom and abundance.

Heavenly Father, please forgive me for my sin.  Thank you for the death of Christ, which paid the penalty for all of my sin.  May I never take for granted the sacrificial death of Christ.  I love you, and I want to live a devoted life of following you. Please give me boldness to share the Good News of Jesus out of an overflow of joyful gladness from my forgiveness. I pray in the name of Jesus Christ.