"I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands." - Psalm 143:5

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Theme Music


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I love it when God moves in the routine moments of our lives. What seems spontaneous and unplanned to us is neither, but rather a staged event to express His love and focus. In my case, these moments are usually filled with humor. At a recent eye doctor appointment I really had my eyes opened... and it had nothing to do with the actual exam. Eye doctors seem to have a room for every test/procedure they run you through. You sit in one room, get tested and then they move to another. Charts, lens flipping, pictures, drops, and each one done in another room... you do a lot of traveling at an eye doctor's office. All this traveling, opened the door for God to reveal something musical to my heart.

It happened this way...

Eye doctor tech lady (as she was leading me from exam room to exam room): You sure do hum a lot.

Me: I have theme music

Eye doctor tech lady: (Laughing) Why do you need theme music?

Me: Doesn't everybody?

As we leave yet another room...we're both humming!
(Theme music is catchy!)

I wonder...isn't that how the Gospel, sung through my heart,
is supposed to be?

Isn’t the reverb of the Gospel message from my heart meant to be an unrehearsed, but purposeful, audible cue that something wonderful is happening inside of me?

Jesus downloads the theme music of heaven into human hearts, the vessels designed to carry the song of Salvation. The tone, the tune, and the tempo of the music, all dialed into the frequency of His love. God chooses our voice, the sound our life makes, to play His theme music through… that, amazes me.

I want my theme music, the song of the Gospel to be a catchy, can't get it out of your head tune that draws others to the Messiah.

What about you? Do you hear the theme music?

“He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the LORD.” Psalm 40:3

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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Street Justice


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My heart is torn and perplexed with difficult thoughts today. I wonder what would happen if George Zimmerman or Trayvon Martin's family decided to pay my small town church this coming Sunday. How could I minister to their hurts, fears and sorrow... to their sense of loss? Then a harder question comes to mind...

What if they both showed up?

God's view of justice (I believe) is connected to reconciliation and forgiveness. This is what He offers us... if we have accepted that offer, then we must have the same viewpoint of the Father.

We can’t fix injustice with a Twitter barrage, a Facebook/blog/column post or even a sermon. All the Protests, demonstrations, and public rants combined may focus attention or even help force political/governmental change… but it can’t reconstruct injustice. Social outrage can point out causes out and name culprits, but it’s powerless to evoke legitimate change.

Only a heart change can do that.

Many in this country today are looking for street justice… I say, lets give it to them. Let’s take the Gospel message to the street, to our neighborhoods schools and workplaces. Let’s bring the heart of the Messiah Jesus into our communities and all the places our life touches. Through Christ change is possible, powerful transformation is His Good News that brings justice into reality.

“He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8.

Until our hearts are totally consumed with love for God, we remain ineffective in producing what He has told us is good. To do, love and walk according to His heart depends on Him filling me with Himself… that takes my daily surrender. My goal is not fixing anything or anyone… it’s to please Him

So what do I, a 57 year-old, white dude, take to the street?

Not an agenda, not a political stance, not a sermon… only a heart that follows Him.


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Cowboy Up



At 10lbs, 13ozs he came into this world like a broncin' buck and he’s been living large ever since.

For most of his growing up life, he was the strong, silent type… more comfortable with the shadows than the spotlight. When he did speak, one of his favorite phrases was; “Go away, shut-up!” When he was asked for his opinion he would reply; “I don’t have to say anything.” Yep, there’s a bunch of cowboy swagger in my son Michael, and that’s a good thing. Although that swagger sometimes means that he’s stubborn like his dad, his heart is also big and teachable.

Now days, this young man is often in front, leading in his own way. No noise (well, not about himself, but I can assure you, he makes noise) no fanfare, just trying doing the right thing. This quality often shows itself where Michael works. My son works as a lifeguard at two different pools, one at the CIA (Culinary Institute of America) and the other is our local town recreation center.

A few weeks ago at the rec center, a cowboy up moment took place. Michael was watching a group of little kids jumping in the deep end of the pool to the waiting arms of their moms, all except one that is. She was more than a little scared and although encourage by friends and moms alike… she was having none of it. Michael’s shift in the lifeguard chair was over and he made one of those silent decisions. He dove in the pool and swam up to the group of kids; he held his arms up and told the little girl to jump in, saying…

“Don’t worry, I’ll catch you.”

I’m not sure why, maybe it was the image of a strong older brother type, but after a small hesitation… she jumped in!

Michael caught her and returned her to the side of the pool… now she was hooked. From that point on, she needed no further coaxing… she was free to join her friends in the simple pleasure of jumping into water. One less fear for that little girl to confront, and a lesson for the cowboy (lifeguard) as well.

For God didn’t give us the spirit of a sissy, but a spirit of strength, of love, and of self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7

(From the Simplified Cowboy Version-Paul's Letter to the Romans (Volume 2) The SCV is NOT a bible. It is a Bible paraphrase. Think of it as The Message (for cowboy and cowgirls).

This past Sunday, Michael jumped into the deep end of our church service and helped lead worship. This was a huge leap for him and it took the same amount of faith and spirit that little girl displayed at the edge of the pool. Sometimes you just have to jump into the deep end.

You gotta cowboy up, dust yourself off
Get back in the saddle give it one more try
Sweat and blood it takes all you got
Cause the road to heaven is a hell of a ride
The tough get goin when the goin gets rough
Cause they know they gotta cowboy up
Chris Ledoux - Cowboy Up

He takes another step down the trail this fall when he begins his college adventure. There is excitement and the usual uncertainty that comes with a new trail to discover. I believe Michael will succeed because his trail boss is going with him on this ride.

To all who have chosen to saddle up with him, to those who believed in who they ride for, he gave ‘em the right to become cowboys of God. John 1:12

Love you Michael, so very proud of you. Remember, when you’re leading a herd, take a look behind you to make sure they’re still there!
- Dad


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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Joy is a Journey


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Often in life, we face opportunities with dread and we worry about our performance and the way we will be judged on that performance. We danced around our abilities, make excuses for talents we don’t process and generally try to set the bar low so we can succeed. We are so afraid to look bad, and so fearful that others may think we have no business trying to stretch, that we miss out on the joy of trying.

That is not the way we were created

“His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. And this gave him great pleasure.” Ephesians 1:5 NLT

God’s adoption of us is a rescue of every creative part of our soul. It liberates the stagnant, lifeless core of our heart and frees it to not only experience life, but to express it as well. It’s not about the gifts or talents (or the lack of), it’s about love… we share life because we love Him.

That’s the journey of joy

This past Sunday, the youth ran our church service, from worship to closing, and it was beautiful. Although many that served yesterday are actively involved normally, this was an opportunity for them to listen to God in a whole new way. For my daughter Sarah, this was a step of faith, the Father gave her a word to share and she had to trust that she wasn’t going to “ruin church” by being obedient. Here is the recording of that word, I hope you’ll listen (it’s only about 5 mins.) and be blessed. I know it blessed my heart to see her step up and be used by Father God in such a new and powerfully encouraging way.

We were filled with laughter, and we sang for joy. And the other nations said, "What amazing things the LORD has done for them." Psalm 126:2