Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Just one look...

Paul was on the road to Damascus, all it took was one look upon the Saviors face...and his whole world was changed.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Poor in Spirit

"Blessed are the Poor in Spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven." Another translation reads Blessed are those who know their need for God for they shall receive the Kingdom of Heaven.  Poor in Spirit = Recognizing your need for God.  How do we get to that point?  With so many things out there it can be hard to discover that need. 

When you ask most people what they need, they would say food, a car, a house, a job, etc.  Mostly are monetary things, they aren't bad at all, but I don't think it hits the depth at which we were meant to live and rely upon God.  What we need is connection with Jesus Christ, what we need is a freshness in our hearts and lives because of His touch.   Its amazing how things can change for me when God touches my heart or the root of what is going on.  Outside circumstances may not change, but my view towards them can.  We can't spend our time managing others or circumstances, etc that will leave us empty of freedom.  SIMPLE, can your life fall under the category of simple?  Its hard to look at it like that, Father let us see our need for you, and what a wonderful thing that is, because you desire to love us to overflowing. 

Monday, December 27, 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Where does this note find you?

I have eaten way too much cookies, etc.  Christmas isn't even here yet and I can feel the sugar pulsating in my body.  Right now my room is has presents all over, I almost broke my face (yes that is a term I can use) stepping on one of the boxes when I walked in my room the other day.   It is open confession time, yup its true, I am a Celine Dion fan.  Its true its true, before you choose to never speak to me again, hang on just a bit longer.

There are tons of Christmas songs out there, seriously how many times can we redo away in a manger, anywho I was listening to a Christmas CD the other day in which my favorite song "O Holy Night" was being sung by yes you guessed it, CD (that is Celine Dion for your normal folk).  It was as if the Lord put his hand on my worries, thoughts, concerns, fears and said  "shhh can you hear it? can you hear the beauty in the moment of when my Son was born into the world?"  There is a sweetness to the season of Christmas, it comes from a divine night that we celebrate, a divine life that would come to reconcile us to an Almighty God.  The Power of God in the sweet soft breath of a newborn child.  May the Lord breathe upon you and your family during this time. 

Monday, December 20, 2010

Love demonstrates Action

"But God demonstrates His own love for us in this, that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."  God shows very clear that He is about demonstrating who He is.  God is Love.  We so often get into the model of action motivates Love.  When it is put that way it can sound like a car is what makes gas go.  It makes no sense.  What fuels us as believers is not trying to do so we can be, it is recognizing who we are and that fuels what we do.  To put is simple, we are only faking it when we are trying to do something because we think that is what we should be doing.  At the heart of action is surrender, receiving, and recognizing.  Love demonstrates action, it is what propels us, it isn't a feeling but a fact that we live loved and we are affirmed by God and Him alone. 

Do you ever feel like a dry cracked sponge?  Yet you wonder why you can't perform the "duties" of the christian life?  We weren't meant to live that way, He is the vine we are the branches, we draw moment by moment from the very life of Christ within us.  A follower of Christ is concerned with only one thing, Listening to the Heart of their heavenly Father and responding.  The rest my friends is religion and will only add to your dry spell.   Let this Christmas be a time of hearing the heart of those Christmas Carols, of Gods Love demonstrating action, receive that message, respond to what that message compels you to do. 

Friday, December 17, 2010

Friday Boot Day

What a day to wear boots, snow on the ground, the crunch beneath my feet ahhh...where is my horse.  Either that or where is my coffee and a nice fire?  At my work I have this massive wreath in my cubicle, fake but a bit of Christmas cheer nonetheless.  So far in life what I have learned is that seasons do come and go, there is a reason for that, God allows each season because He knows we need them.  With that being said lets enjoy the season we are in, soak it up. 

Did you know that God can turn your desert into a green lush field?  Sometimes the very place we are at is our end point of redemption, we just don't see that God is renewing the "ground" right under us.  Keep your eyes open, that "Oasis" you see may not be an illusion. 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Closet Fears

I can remember feeling like something was going to grab my feet or hands when I was little while I was on my bed.  I must have looked like an Olympic high jumper in action.  I knew I had to jump at least 3 feet before the bed and at a steep angle to make sure I was in the clear.  It was then that I stayed in the middle of my bed, sometimes putting the covers over my head.

I figured if I would just lie still I would be ok, that if my covers were over my face I would be ok.  Now I have these random thoughts or fears that I will trip while I'm walking, mostly at work, but even in public.  Tripping at the most awkward time, etc. 

There are fears that we had when we were younger that plagued us and we would let on to others that no such thing existed and sometimes even make fun of younger siblings or friends who were open about their fears.  What is it in us that makes us want to make fun or attack someones fears?  This somehow can make us feel better about our own and divert our attention away from ourselves and what we face. 

I look back at being afraid of the dark and what may be in the closet or under the bed and it is just a memory, but to others it is "reality".  My father once told me "Pain is Pain, it doesn't matter how big or how small".  I think the same goes for fear, I would say Fear is Fear, no matter how big or small.  It is the seed that is just as big as the tree, it just is easier per say to get rid of the seed.  All that being said, Scripture points to the place of not fearing anything.  My ideas of coping with fear have probably looked alot like the child I once was with my covers over my head. 

Joshua 1:9- Be Strong and Courageous, do not be afraid or discouraged for the Lord your God will be with you where ever you go.

God knows we will face fear, things that could discourage us, but He asks us to remember a very crucial thing.  He is with us.  We are going to be ok, no matter what you face today in your life, His word for you is clear and unchanging, "I will never leave you or forsake you"  "Trust in me with all of your heart".  Complete trust is what he asks for, what is given in return is Jesus himself. 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


A devotional from Max Lucado-

"Changed by His Majesty"
“We were…eyewitnesses of His majesty.” 2 Peter 1:16, NKJV

Have you seen Jesus? Those who first did were never the same.

“My Lord and my God!” cried Thomas.

“I have seen the Lord,” exclaimed Mary Magdalene.

“We have seen His glory!” declared John.

But Peter said it best. “We were eyewitnesses of His majesty.” 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Well Hello Wednesday

This morning it is 24 degrees where I live, cold to some, a tropical breeze to others.  Me however, yes, it is a bit chilly, wind cutting through your close, O what fun.  When I arrived at work I went about my routine, getting my french vanilla coffee, proceeding to my desk to get the computer fired up and ready for the day.  That's when it hit, an email saying "bagels and pastries in the kitchen", before I knew it I had a chocolate croissant in my mouth, doh!  I figure most sweets are afraid of me in the world, they have heard of my reputation, I will devour them, its not a case of if but when. 

To completely change topic I was reading this morning and it struck me, the name of Jesus.  Meaning "The Lord Saves".  Anytime we say His name we are proclaiming that the Lord saves.  He does He does He does!  Wherever you are at in your life right now, hear this words, "The Lord saves _______" Put your name in the blank.  If you have given your life to Christ and trusted Him as your saviour your name belongs in that blank.  What you have been saved from is one huge deal, what you have been brought into is a double whammy!  Father give us eyes to see our place in you, to know that our identity is settled and we are your children and you are working on our behalf.  I have a feeling that the Lord may surprise you today, be open to how he may show up.  We live loved, lets live.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Not alone

"A sign shall be given, a virgin will conceive

A human baby bearing undiminished deity

The glory of the nations a light for all to see

That hope for all who will embrace His warm reality

Immanuel our God is with us

And if God is with us who could stand against us

Our God is with us


For all those who live in the shadow of death

A glorious light has dawned

For all those who stumble in the darkness

Behold your light has come

Immanuel our God is with us

And if God is with us who could stand against us

Our God is with us


So what will be Your answer? Will You hear the call?

Of Him who did not spare His son but gave Him for us all

On earth there is no power there is no depth or height

That could ever separate us from the love of God in Christ

Immanuel our God is with us

And if God is with us who could stand against us

Our God is with us


Immanuel our God is with us

And if God is with us who could stand against us

Our God is with us

Immanuel" - Michael Card

Friday, December 3, 2010


There are things in life that I thought I would not experience, for example, living in Texas, for all you Texans just settle down, I know TEXAS is life to you.  I lived there for several years and found out its not too shabby, now its no Montana or Colorado, but its nice.  Another thing is what I wear, specifically shoes,   Thats right.....I am rugged....woof.   "That's the story"

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Great Googaly its December!

So I had my first cup of egg nog last night, ahhhh...that is a sign that Christmas is near.  I dont know what it is about egg nog that makes it all just come back to me, but whamo, shabamo it does.  What's your moment that brings Christmas back to you?  There begins to be this anticipation for something large to come, for a special time of closeness, warmth and wholeness.  For many this season brings the opposite, many it speaks to them of what they didn't or can't have.   Be it posessions, friends, a job, etc. 

I'm reminded of when Jesus speaks to the woman at the well and He tells her that if she knew who it was who was asking her the question everything would change.  This is a great opportunity for us as believers this season, a hug, a smile, a gift, a moment to say "Jesus truly loves you" While the world screams to people what they can't have or dont have, Jesus came to offer LIFE. 

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

My Bad Dawg....

No I dont have a dog, and if I did he wouldn't be bad, I recently read an article of about a NFL football player who blamed his dropped pass on God.  The pressure was on in overtime and he drops the pass.  When I read this I respond in way of saying, are you kidding? God made you drop that pass?  Responsibility.  Sometimes we can stay in our "safe zone" when we dont take responsibility for things, by pushing the blame away, it doesn't land upon us.  This is by no means a doom and gloom thought for today but instead one of honesty.

In order for us to experience everything God has for us there comes a point to where we own up to our own actions, thoughts, etc.  Christ's grace is more than enough for us, but really to understand His grace and forgiveness fully, we have to come to grips with our own decisions apart from Him.  That is what makes His Grace, Forgiveness, Peace and Love so amazing! 

So what....we can make poor decisions, does that define our worth?  No, it should cause us concern but not undermine who we are.  We are ID'd as Christ's own, His children, bought with a price.  We need to only respond out of that identity to walk out true LIFE.  Next time the pressure is on, you are in the "endzone" to win it, remember, God is most concerned about His relationship with you than you looking great in front of screaming fans.  How empty and dull it actually is when we settle for what the world thinks of us based off what we can do, versus what God says about us based on whose we are.  "In Him we Live and move and have our being". 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


No the title is not about a new version of UFC or old skool WWF.  Have you ever worn shoes that make your heal raw?  Or you have work hard and your hands get raw, etc and so forth.  That is no fun, it really affects your day to day life. 

In a different way RAW or (Ready And Willing) can be seen in our walks with Christ.  Sometimes we just feel completely sore and raw.  We think the pain is bad and that God is upset with us and so we repent, and walk in condemnation for feeling the way we do.  If RAW means ready and willing then maybe Gods purpose is really to allow us to become Ready And Willing.

What are things that you think of when you read that?  Be ready to give it all?  Sell everything you have?  Be willing to be a martyr?  Do we stop and wonder how martyrs of the past or people who gave up material possessions did it?  Or why?  Is it because you are a "real" christian if you live poor? Or that you need to look for a way to die for Jesus?

I have been thinking about this lately, I believe what the most important thing that Jesus Christ is after is not your sacrifice, but rather your obedience.  Now hold your thoughts here, I'm not talking about tithing, witnessing, etc.  I believe those things are very important, but the importance I am talking about here is to be obedient in the area of receiving from God.  I believe why anyone who laid down their lives or lived in the slums for Christ is not because they went to do it to be a good Christian but rather they had received something so amazing from Christ that they were compelled.  Compelled by His love in them, circumstances will happen, it is up to us to just respond to what God asks of us.  Let Him worry about the details.

To make it short and sweet, God loves you, it is not selfish nor is it wrong to make it your first priority to receive His love and grace.  Why else would we be able to walk in obedience?  We obey because He loves us, not the other way around.   Lets be Ready and Willing. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Screaming so quietly

What is normal?  To each person "normal" could be what they live in or grew up in.  There is a different standard if you will on which each person measures what it is to walk in what is normal.  To me normal is getting up, getting ready for work and driving, the same route, expecting the same things of work as the week before.  The list can go on and on.  Have you ever had that notion that what is normal may not be true?  If I am color blind, (which I'm not and I'm not poking fun at anyone who is) but that doesn't change that the color is actually there, regardless of my perception.  We have things that are screaming so quietly at us, telling us what is normal, it pushes us, pulls us. 

Could it be that what is meant to be normal, is actually experiencing and knowing God?  Our feelings can lead us around like a dog chasing a squirrel that he just can't catch.  Focus on what you know, not what you don't know, for some reason we have come to the conclusion that we can think things out and make them reality.  What if reality is looking at us right in the face and God is saying, "Let me remove the stray thoughts and distractions from your mind, and listen".    May God define our normal today. 

Friday, November 19, 2010

Everyone else...bad drivers

Ever heard someone say, man people here in (insert state or city) have no clue how to drive?  It truly is amazing how we hear that everywhere and we can say that with such confidence.  Today while driving around for work a guy was tailgating me, he kept "throwing his hands up in the air", I mean this guy was a great mime!  Only I don't think I would allow him around children, he didn't seem very nice.  After a few seconds of him doing this I wondered to myself, uh...what's you're deal dude?  I'm just driving here, take a chill pill. 

It became a battle of wits (my imagination vs what he was displaying).  Oh for all of you to be a fly on the wall of my brain....OK maybe not a good image.  My point being is this, how quickly I took on someone Else's deal or problem.  In life we will be going about our days and someone else will come along and "waive their hands in the air", tell you to "get out of the way".  We take it personal, if you are like me, our response is "What!!! do you know who you are talking to?" 

When we think we are in charge of making life happen for ourselves, making the world spin, we can freak out on just about anyone or anything.  We quickly realize we can barely do anything by ourselves, we weren't meant to.  We weren't meant to.  "In Him we live and move and have our being"- Acts 17:28.   Next time we see "the worst driver in the US" before us or behind us, may it remind us, that we live and move and have our being in Christ.  I pray that the man behind me today in traffic comes to know the Life of Christ, was I mad? um yes...but that doesn't mean that He is less worthy of the Love of God.   What a day.  Tonight I see my best friend.  Have a good Friday my friends.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Meeting up

Coffee.....bagel.....slowly...eating...mmmmm.  A nice tasty bagel, coffee and slumping down in your cubicle at work.  Today unlike yesterday is sunny outside, tons of leaves falling.  Its pretty cool where I live because the leaves almost cover your entire car when you come out of the house in the morning.  A few months back I had put a post on my facebook, (which I no longer have) and it talked about what we have gotten used to as Christians. 

For example we have gotten used to the idea that we are alone in our lives, sure we go to church, pray, read the bible, but there seems to be that nagging feeling that we just aren't up to snuff.  That really God is waiting for us to just get it, then we can finally know Him.  One of the areas I think we have gotten used to that is highly dangerous is the thought that if we don't keep up our end of the "bargain" with God we are on the "bad" list.  Why?  Romans states that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.  Is Gods faithfulness contingent upon His character or ours?  I am definitely not saying that we aren't to walk in obedience, etc.  What I am saying is that there is a connection to God that cannot be broken.  I wake up and spend my time praying, and seeking God, but really....I wake up and He is seeking me.  All the time He is seeking my heart, my affections, my hurts, hopes and dreams.  To put our desires our hopes in the dumpster is to throw away part of how God has made us.  Read this sentence slowly, "God loves you right now, right where you are at, He isn't waiting for you to be better, He loves you, He has plans for you, He is conforming you into the likeness of His Son, He delights in you.  Scripture says He will rejoice over you with singing and quiet you with His love. 

Could God the creator of all things?  Be the one seeking us out?  Could He be wanting a deep relationship with us?  Could that be His main focus?  Too good to be true?  What have we gotten used to?  Who wants to meet up with who.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

In times of.....

Today has been a rainy rainy day, good thing I've been inside but when I think about it, I'm not so sure.  Today was a sweater day at work for me, "very smart Russ, wear a sweater on a day you are inside in the heat".  Its interesting how our environment can determine our view of success in situations.  Had I been out in the cold "Brilliant Russ!  Just Brilliant!"  One thing is true, our environment, our world, our situations dont change the Truth of God.  There is a Truth that goes beyond, feelings, fears, hopes and dreams.  That Truth is also The only way to God and true LIFE.  Jesus. 

When we are following Christ, success isn't defined by the results, but by our obedience to His moment by moment whisper.  His yolk is easy and His burden is all times.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Come on in

Its seems to be easy when we have guests coming over to answer the door.  We know they are coming and have made the preparation, made our house look good, thrown all the "stuff" in the closet or bathroom or where ever we think they wont go.  In a devotional I received this morning it talked about Jesus standing at the door of our hearts and knocking.  We can answer the door, feeling good about him coming in, but maybe to just a certain point.

He goes gently over to the door that has the "stuff" behind it.  We quickly bring up how nice our living room looks, he responds "yes I know, I healed you there remember?"  His very turf or area that he has brought his healing hand to we sometimes will take credit for or forget that He was the one to heal us.  Are we willing to open that closet door?  Can we trust Jesus to handle our deepest hurts and fears?  I know that I am very quick to want to divert him to different rooms, but really unless I allow him into those areas, I'm not allowing Him to be ALL that He wants to be to me.  It can be scary, stir up pain, but there is a reason and a purpose behind his question, and His question is "Will you let me heal you?"

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Superstition vs. Christianity

We hear the song superstition by Stevie Wonder and we sing along to the beat but as christians we laugh at the idea of superstition.  I wonder if it hasn't crept into our thinking as believers.  For example, if you have ever had the following phrase go through your head, "if I do this, then that will happen".  What I am talking about is different than cause and effect, for example, if I hit my head against a wall it will hurt.  That isn't superstition.  But when we begin to project into the future if I "feel" this way or "dont feel" this way, that can be our road to what we believe is true.

We can act like we are in control of the outcome of our lives but are we really?  I believe we do have a free will, but within that, who ultimately holds the script to my life?  I can look at a decision and say "I hope I dont choose the wrong path, because if I do, my life will be over so to speak."  My friends, this is not biblical, the only decision that Jesus says to make sure you make the right one is to make Him Lord of your life.  Whether or not you choose to eat pizza or cheerios may not have the same weight. 

My point is this, sometimes we get paralyzed by fear because of not wanting to make the wrong choice, I would ask you this, do you think there could be sometimes in life that either decision you have to make is fine and the Lord is waiting on either side?  Really could God be that big?  Could he be so on top of things that you dont have to be in control or worry?  If he is a redeeming God, which He is, He has the market cornered on it, redemption occurs daily, moment by moment, not giving us the freedom to do whatever we want, but to be freed up to make a mistake or succeed in our lives.  He is faithful to complete the work he has begun in each of us.  Notice how I ended that sentence with a period, HE is faithful, its not our faithfulness.  Let your mind and heart rest today, ask Him to see where superstition may have crept into your heart and beliefs, as Max Lucado writes:  

"Hope is not what you expect; it’s what you would never dream....Hope is not a granted wish or a favor performed; no, it’s far greater than that.  It’s a zany, unpredictable dependence on a God who loves to surprise us out of our socks and be there in the flesh to see our reaction."

Gods not waiting for us to get our act together to give us hope, we dont trust our ability to make ourselves ready for God to move, we trust His spirit in us. 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Final Word

Ever been around children who seem to be at the same level as their parents on "authority"?  Have you been the parent or child?  This back and forth on the final word.  I believe there is something deeper within us that wants to be heard moreso understood.  We haven't quite learned the way to communicate it though.  For one person it is shutting down and running away, for another, yelling. 

Let me pose a question, were we as mankind meant to have the final word?  Yes there are decisions to be made, places to go, jobs to be done, etc.  Let me put it a different context, "In the beginning was the word, and word was with God, and the Word was God."  In a loud voice Jesus cried out on the cross "It Is Finished".  If something is finished, it is done, complete, not lacking, etc.  What we as humanity cry out for, Christ has already done, he has heard our cry even before it left our lips.  "He humbled himself taking on the very nature of a servant and became obedient to death, even death on a cross".  Christ came into the middle of our heart wrenching dilemna of "does anyone, anybody hear me or see me?"  His answer is Yes, It is finished, I have the last word.   Jesus is the way the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father except through Him.  He has the last word.  God ran to you.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Setting it straight just right

What about things being not straight drive you crazy?  Is it the picture on the wall?  The painted trim in your house?  Maybe the way your husband/wife drives?  There is within us this desire to set "it" straight.  In some form or another we all experience this, alot of interesting habits develop from this.

Habit 1. You get in your car, you tweak all the mirrors "just right" (that being said you maybe move them 1/8 of an inch)

Habit 2. For the ladies it may be that one pesky curl in your hair that sits "just right". (While us men sit there befuddled not seeing any change and not seeing any reason for the big deal, anywho)

Habit 3. For the Men it may be setting it straight is getting out in the wild.  Be it flyfishing, hunting, camping, etc.  Something about just getting out there can set things right. 

Some Habits may appear light hearted others more engrained and serious.  The fact is we all have a desire/need for things to be right.  One problem, we weren't born right.   Scripture says that "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."  How frustrating that would be if that were the end, that we have this desire for things to be right, for our spirit to know that we are ok, not just ok, but created for something or even someone amazing but there didnt exist a cure.

There exists a Just, Perfect, Unblemished, Pure, Cure.  That sets "it" straight, that as scripture records, "restores the years the locusts have stolen", that "heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds" that brings "freedom for the captives".   Our security is found not in what we dont know, but what we know, or more importantly who we know.  Jesus Christ.  What do you know of Christ?  What do you know of His Character?  Put feelings and emotion aside for a moment, what do you know of Christ.  The truth is this, He has set "it" straight just right.  To live off what we know of God instead of what we dont know of life is truth.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


"In a flawless operation that unfolded before a hopeful, transfixed world, 33 miners who were trapped for more than two months deep beneath the Chilean earth were raised one by one Wednesday through a smooth-walled shaft of rock."- this is first line today in the headlines.  I have been captivated by this story.

Yesterday I watched live as they pulled out the 20th miner from 2,000 feet beneath the earth to safety.  One of the miner was quoted to say to the effect of what an amazing thing it is to breathe the air and see the stars.  When one of the miners came out a rescuer said this to him ""Welcome to life".   Welcome to LIFE, I cannot help but think about my rescue that occured some 2000 years ago.  Trapped beneath the weight of sin, seperated from God, each man and woman and child was what seemed to be hopeless and without aid. 

This plan was planned since the beginning, with great care, perfection and precision.  Just as the rescuers sent the pod down to the miners in the earth, our great God sent His son to the earth, not only to it, but in it.  Jesus knows what its like to be buried under the weight of sin, he bore the weight and said...."Welcome to LIFE".   My friends, brothers and sisters, Welcome to LIFE.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Steps of Faith

What does a step of faith look like?  Is it our job to determine its merit?  Or is it just to step, and that is what defines is "success" or not, not the result of our obedience, but the act of it.  Remember this scene from indiana jones?  Its not our job to find something to stand on, but to hear the voice of the Lord saying, "step forward and trust me". 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Fall is here

Leaves are changing, what a great time of beauty, the forest and trees and vibrant in color. For many of us, what we see outside doesn't match what we see or "feel" inside. Today as I got in my car to drive to work I stopped and just looked at creation all around me. It was a peaceful moment, seasons bring change, it reminds me of different ups and downs in my life.

For some this can be a season of great joy because it has to do with an event that brings great joy, for others this can be the start of a season that reminds you of loneliness, pain and heartache. I think about the woman at the well in scripture, each day was a "season" for her, she walked by herself to a far off well to get water. Each day reminding her off who she thought she was, how people viewed her, etc. For her, it could have been fall or spring, etc but it was a season of being alone. Here is where Jesus meets her, He meets her on her turf. He replaces her old day to day experience with a new one, not just any experience, but one of LIFE. Remember what he offers her?

My prayer today is that each of us would see the Lord bringing LIFE into areas of us that we are "alone". I believe that God's faithfulness is shown in its splendor when we are facing the eye of the storm and we hear a voice call out "Peace be still". Allow Him to lead you through those times, its in those times He whispers...."I AM".

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Method vs. Relationship

So...method we have lots of it around us. Processes, things set in place to ensure success and a certain outcome. What happens when we don't have a method? Panic? Anxiety? Stress? What about peace?

In talking about life, most if not all what we experience is on a relational level. Constantly interacting with people singular or plural. We have our methods at work, home, driving, eating, etc. When it comes to relationships, we all look for a method, the "how to" books seem to be enough to choke a camel. Don't get me wrong there is great wisdom and knowledge to gain from alot of books. But when we rely upon someone Else's experience to be true for us, we can be setting ourselves up for a possible let down, etc.

Specifically in what it means to walk with Christ. Now understand, there are biblical principles in which we live by, God's everlasting unchanging truth. You can't get around that, but understand, that is not method. Each thing we read in the word of God is alive and active, its personal to each account. I recently had a friend say, "I'm glad Jesus never healed someone the same way twice, because we would have denominations like "the church of healing mud on your eyes", etc. When we are talking about what God has done in our life, it can be easy to share method with people on how you "gained" victory. When scripture says "His divine power has given us everything, for life and godliness" I believe this speaks of the power of God that is alive, and active. We can't say in order to be a good christian you must "1, 2, 3". What that does it take the personal leadership of Christ out of our lives. Dependence upon Christ and His word and His spirit are key. Not dependence on "God did this for that person that way because they did this". We are only to be observant of others fruit, not their motive, can we really judge that? If God leads me to do one thing, it can be in freedom but another person can try to achieve a result based off what they see in me by "method" and they will walk right into a wall.

Sometimes its easier to go off other peoples revelation and manna, than seek and receive our own.

Friday, October 1, 2010


Ahhh yes, for those who know me I am a non scary obsessed shane and shane fan. What draws me to their music is the depth from which they sing and write from. I dont want to draw on, so check out this link. Take a moment and breathe.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

All I need is you

"Left my fear by the side of the road, hear you speak and won't let go, drawn to the voice of my savior once again". The chorus cries out "All I need is You, All I need is you Lord, is you Lord". In Christ we have received every we need for life and godliness.- Paraphrase 2 Peter 1:3.

To allow Christ to fill our needs, what a thought. We have been created anew in Christ through his sacrifice. Just as it is natural for our bodies to breathe oxygen, it is now a natural thing for us to desire God to fill us and be our source.

There is a calming when we find ourselves in the presence of God, " child...shhhhh, it's okay, I'm here". Another part of the song says "you hold the universe, you hold everyone on earth." The one who holds the universe, holds us, and says. "My peace I give unto you, I will never leave you, you are the apple of my eye, I delight in you". The Lord is above our ways and thoughts, just as a child runs to there father when they are in need, so must we. Its who we are.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Healing, physical, emotional, spiritual, mental? At what point do we or I justify for it to be ok for me to not express pain? The thought of "if I am a good christian I would feel this way". Many of us may know God by some of his traits, Awesome Lord, King of Kings, Savior, mighty God. All of which are huge! He also wants to throw into that mix that He is a King of Kings who heals and restors, He is a Savior who heals, He is concerned with your heart, hurts and pain.

I find myself wrestling with not feeling that I can go to the only safe place I know. Jesus says, "Come to me ALL who are weary and heavy burdened and I will give you REST." Notice I highlighted two words. A walk with Christ is not how great we behave or sacrifice, it is how we respond to his love and out of obedience to what he calls us to. There is no, none, nada condemnation in Christ. Fear is not a motivation, He unending Love that pardons, heals, and restores is the motivation. What does God think about you? The world. - John 3:16

Friday, September 24, 2010

Prayer of St Francis

"Lord make me an instrument of your peace,
where there is hatred let me sow love,
Where there is injury, pardon,
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is dispair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
And when there is sadness, joy.

O divine Master grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, but to console
to be understood as to understand.
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned.
And its in dying that we are born into eternal life, Amen.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Our footing

Yesterday brought an unexpected event, while walking down the stairs at my sisters I quickly realized my footing was not "sure". Wearing dress socks and walking down carpeted stairs in the dark was a recipe for disaster.

I managed to cover almost every square inch of each stair with some part of my body as I came sliding, bopping, bouncing down. My response?.... ouch.

Having sure footing was crucial, especially when navigating in the dark. For us as believers having the understanding of sure footing is crucial. As the song goes, "On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand."

Here is the great part of the idea of footing with Christ, HE enables us to have the footing we so desperately need. I can't put on my boots to climb the stairs of life by myself, if I try, I end up at the bottom of the stairs, ouch. Stay with me here but we have been given heavenly gear, armor, call it what you will. God doesn't call us anywhere that he doesn't equip us.

There are times that we dont know which way is up or down, but we do know who created up and down. I once heard this quote and it has stuck with me. We dont need greater faith, but rather a greater understanding of who we put our faith in. To conclude, we fall, we get back up, God teaches us, always always always teaches us, it is always for our good when He teaches us.

Maybe, just maybe, God still has a suprise or two up his sleeve, He's not finished with me yet.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

What's the Point?

The point, what is it? Why do we or I strive each day. What are we striving for? Do we believe God will come through for us? Our brokenness is no mystery to God, He is fully aware of what we have and will go through, but the question is, what is the point? The point is this.... "He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds." The point is to experience Him.

Some point we believe the lie that life is about just going through the motions. The only thing that truly moves us is the life of Christ. "Heal my heart and make me clean, open up my eyes to the things unseen, show me how to love like you have loved me".

What the world needs, is the Redemptive Story communicated to them. The Gospel my friends. Let us experience that daily. The Gospel.

Monday, September 20, 2010


Do you ever feel stuck? Stuck in your habits, thoughts, way of life? We can get caught into the net of normalcy. When stress, anxiety, frustrations, lifes events come knocking on our door, what is our answer?

We can throw a habit of ours at it, maybe a thought, and even a way of life. I am convinced that we experience stress, anxiety and frustrations because of what we throw back at lifes dilemas. I have been listening to a song lately by Chris Sligh, "Only you can save". Jesus is supernatural, his love and direction are unending. When it comes down to it, our only true and real response is to fall into the arms of the Lord.

My blog is called spiritual journey, when I really reflect upon that, there is only one destination, it is not to a far away place, some far away land, but rather, into the arms of a loving powerful Savior and Father. My journey starts, continues and ends with me being carried by a God who will never leave nor forsake me. Allow Christ access to your life, all of it, because what we think is our own life, is nothing at all. Only true life flows from Christ, and that my friends is what he brings with Him everywhere he goes.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Whats next?

The question of Whats next can be a familiar one. The idea that we are living for something that is yet to come is very prevelant in our society. What about when we stumble and fall? Do we look to what is to come of that? What we would say is yes, there is a consequence for each thing we do, while I agree with that, I think we miss the point if we just see it as consequence.

When a father disciplines his son, it is out of love and for growth for him. As believers in Jesus Christ we are not given a license to sin by any means, but rather the freedom to obey out of our love response to Christ. Jesus never ever ever, condems us, rather we receive from him correction, discipline, love, hope, healing, restoration. The next time you stumble and fall, remember that God has something in it for you, you can learn from it, grow from it, not walk in defeat.

As you watch this video, remember "For God so loved the world (all mankind) that he gave his one and only son.... We needed someone to run to us, to fix us, to walk with us.

Monday, September 13, 2010


Godliness with Contentment is great gain. There is a burning desire within each of us to be content, to be enough, to have enough. I recently heard it said that we long for something more because this isn't inteded to be our end result here on earth, while I agree with that, I believe there is that Hunger that can only be satisfied by God and what He provides, and that can happen here on earth.

The Lord is in the business of Restoring and healing. That my friends is the Kingdom, we do have an amazing future to look forward to, but too many of us have bought into the lie that the desire to be known and to know are really not worth seeking out because we will be let down. Paul had learned to be content in all things, because His true hearts desires were met, all through Jesus Christ.

Have you ever experienced an event or relationship that was so amazing that everything else pailed in comparison? God Loves you because He loves you, because he loves you, because he loves you, because he loves you. When we say I'm not worth love, we haven't understood the loud and proud statement God made to us through Christ, "you are worth dying and living for". Is this a settled issue in your heart? It can only be settled by He that calms the raging sea. Today ask your father to begin to settle this in you.

Friday, September 10, 2010

No turning back

The world behind me, the cross before me. - What an amazing verse, the cross covers us, it is our focus, beyond the cross is our continued eternal life with Christ. To many of us stop at the cross, we dont see the call of Christ beyond it. Christ didn't stay at the cross, He rose again to new life!

He has come to give us life abundantly, listen, he has given you needs and desires, dont push them down, but allow him to fill those. When we deny our God given needs we deny our need for God. Walk in peace today my friends, He loves you and wants to walk with you.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


The other day I had a thought, as I thought about that thought it really made me think :). Anyways I was thinking about how we compare ourselves to everything around us. To the people, what they look like, what they have or dont have. Then we move on to even surroundings, we compare ourselves to the surroundings, "do I fit in here?" "Is this a spot for me?" Why is the standard always something else?

Jesus said I am the way the truth and the life, no man comes to father but through me. There is so much in this verse that we could dig into, but look at 3 words. Way, Truth, Life. When we compare our life with His Way, Truth and Life, we should see the only comparable solution to what we are looking for. We weren't made to compare ourselves even to each other, only to Christ, and the way we compare, or should I say relate to Christ is as His Children, so we can be adults with the world. Money, prestige, power, social status all compared to knowing Christ is as paul said rubbish. Let us be free to walk in who Christ has called us to be. To know we are loved and to let the world feel the awesome weight of that Love. Don't walk in fear.

Friday, August 6, 2010


When I normally think of prayer I dont think of listening as much as I think of speaking. But if prayer is just me talking to God, or asking asking asking, where does that leave me? As if God were a vending machine that I go to? Yesterday one of my best friends reminded me that God only knows what we need, He only knows and He desires to give us that.

What we need isn't always what we want, but we assume thats a bad thing. When I was a kid I wanted to eat dog food, why? I have no clue, I thought it was what I wanted, I think too many times we are looking to get dog food, instead of God food. ;) The Lord is our Shepherd we shall not be in want. Allow God to challenge your thoughts of who He is today, eternal life is now. Abundant life is now, when you woke up this morning, God loved you, when you got to work, God loved you. As you read this God loves you. Christ is in you, the HOPE of glory. Let us keep our eyes on His face, His hand will guide us. For us to be willing to let go of our desires doesn't mean that God will squash them, its being willing, that is the key. Willing and wanting are two different things. Remember, we shall not be in want.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


Well this tags onto my last post, fighting. I had mentioned areas that we sometimes aren't open to recieving from God. Another way to put it is how have we learned to fight off love? But maybe we dont see it as love, we have learned to cope, to keep "safe".

True freedom in Christ is allowing Him full access into your life, a HUGE part of that is allowing His love to saturate you. Sometimes we have hurt so bad in the past by someone or something, that we set out our guard dogs, no one would dare come to that area of our lives, and we learn to live life in self protect mode. A good friend of mine told me recently, or asked me this question, "Are you willing to put down your shield and allow God to be your shield?" Sometimes we fight the very thing or in this case the very hand that can and wants to heal and restore us. No more, oh thats just my personality or the way I am. He came to make all things new. In Him we live move and have our being.

Think about what you "feel" that will always be an issue, guess what? Its not your job to fix you, rest in the Grace of God. He can and will come through for you, beyond what you could ever imagine. Live Life my friends.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

In the Morning

Today is one of those days that coffee is one of your best friends. :) But the real important thing today is what is stirring in me. The idea, or more so the fact, that I was made to be loved and to love. In that order, I recently heard a sermon with the main point saying, let us come to God as Children so we can come to each other as adults. Humans are meant to fill that deep void, God is.

But lets think about that for a moment, God created you because He loves you, and He daily wants to express His love to you and through you to a world that needs it desperately. Here is the deal, we can't stir up a supernatural love, we can't make things happen in that arena, Ask the Lord today, "is there any area of my life Lord where I dont know how to receive from you?" You may be blown away at the response you get. Live loved my friends.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Hold me Jesus

Do you remember the song by Rich Mullins "Hold me Jesus"?

"Well sometimes my life just don't make sense at all
When the mountains look so big
And my faith just seems so small

So hold me Jesus 'cause I'm shaking like a leaf
You have been King of my glory
Won't You be my Prince of Peace

And I wake up in the night and feel the dark
It's so hot inside my soul
I swear there must be blisters on my heart

So hold me Jesus 'cause I'm shaking like a leaf
You have been King of my glory
Won't You be my Prince of Peace

Surrender don't come natural to me
I'd rather fight You for something I don't really want
Than to take what You give that I need
And I've beat my head against so many walls
Now I'm falling down I'm falling on my knees

And this Salvation Army band is playing this hymn
And Your grace rings out so deep
It makes my resistance seem so thin

I'm singing hold me Jesus 'cause I'm shaking like a leaf
You have been King of my glory
Won't You be my Prince of Peace
You have been King of my glory"

I find myself shaking in life, maybe not on the outside but the inside, surrender to Christ is crucial in our lives, but when we really understand that we are surrendering to a God who loves us and has the gentlest touch, our perspective changes. Gods love is what changes our lives. It goes beyond reason or comprehension, that is why it is so amazing, it is from that moment that we desire and have the God given power to walk out life as He calls us to.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A new way


What do you think God thinks of you? Why do you think it? These are the questions that we all wrestle with each day whether we realize it or not. We can get into managing our lives, that we really tell God where he can go and where he can't. What if we aren't suppose to manage our lives? What if Christianity is not sin-management or even behavior-management.

What if our life was truly dependent moment by moment on the very life of Christ. We dont stir things up in ourselves, if that were the case, where does that put Christ. My friends, to be completely dependent on God means everything. Obedience is key, but only after His leading, we have created a culture of christian self reliance that is robbing us and the world of the life of Christ. He Loves you, what if your job is to be outrageously loved by God, then the fruit of the that is shown to the world. When did Christianity become about us doing?