Saturday, September 28, 2013

let the word perform

for this reason we also constantly thank god that when you received the word of god which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of god, which also performs its work in you who believe. 
1 thess. 2:13

believing in the word of god is an agent of supernatural power in my life. it grants me allegiance to the true god. i admit that i often hear these words of god and cut short the idea that belief in these words can be power and maybe even power i need, to correct faulty thinking.

god's word is faith giving
god's word is life changing
god's word is eye opening
god's word is mind altering
god's word is living and breathing
god's word is constant

god's word is speaking today, right now...lets be listening

Saturday, September 21, 2013

contemplation produces devotion

as i engage myself in god's presence and sing god's praises scripture becomes truth. there is transformation that takes place when god inhabits my praises; it is in him that we are able to move, live, have our being. an awakened and conscious heart deepens upon our engagement in praise, worship, and daily adoration. acknowledging god's place subsequently we find healing in areas of our life we didn't even realize we needed healing.

our praise invites an understanding of god's greater character, looking at it next to ours
our praise invites a righteous and holy fear of a god truly set apart from any other
our praise invites a profound trust, or you might refer to it as faith; an assurance

only true love can be a reality when trust has been established. skepticism of god cripples and melts like wax upon a genuine meeting of him, the only one that can truly be trusted. i can't find any other path to the knowledge of god outside of worship unto him through his son, jesus christ. if he is the only completely faithful person, wouldn't you want to know him?

romans 1 tells us that people begin to make outlandish and ridiculous claims about who god really is because their praise, honor, and worship of him ceases.

an empty love is one without trust. if i confess love for my wife but cannot trust her it is not is infatuation.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

lover of revenge

it has always been a frustration for me when deceit and rebellion are able to get away without a charge. around the globe, rebellion, even as i type this, is celebrated. uprisings are forming in the remote parts of the world and it seems that at any time chaos can explode like a virus on an vulnerable host. this is not an argument for the happenings within the middle east, nor any current event. these events do, however, help shape a thought that is the context in psalm 5.

i went to a private school growing up, founded on biblical principles and intentional in shaping not just character but spiritual life as well. education was a priority, and the spiritual state of the heart was very important in how the leadership viewed students and ran the school.

i ran with the crowd that seemed to live life right on the edge of knowing the goodness of the lord and yet struggling with temptation of living life how we felt was good and right. what this meant was i witnessed and partook of things that went directly opposed to the life i knew was righteous and godly. i will never forget many of the nights that i said yes to activity that i knew grieved the spirit and god's plan for my life. i grew discontent however; praise the lord my heart never became complacent.

there were so many issues i had with the lifestyle i was leading. in school i was intentional in how i wanted to be viewed...a good kid, yet outside of school i lived a different story. this is very similar to how as grown-ups we live our lives in and out of sunday morning. i grew even more frustrated as i grieved the holy spirit.

my frustration was directed at the blatant deceit and corruption that was not receiving discipline. i knew too much that was going on, and i knew exactly how i was meant to live my life, and i hated that rebellion was escaping judgment. to make matters worse, i never felt as though there was an acknowledgement about how i ended up refusing, in may cases, the rebellious lifestyle. there was no elevation, promotion, or attention brought to me as an example of godliness and righteousness when i chose the good and righteous standards. this became a frustrating seed in my life that i still struggle with to this day. i will always hate the fact that sin has a season of flourishing.

god help me to stand strong on your word and your promises.

in psalm 5, we find that as a servant of the king (saul) there is many deceptions going on that frustrate david. lies, bloodshed, corruption, and evil are abound and david has no power to correct this trend. in this moment, likewise, we often find ourselves face to face with an opportunity, as i did, and still do many times to react to committed wrongdoings. we can be bitter, envious, take matters into our own hands, or we can do, as god by his spirit urges us to him. not easy, and not always fun. get on your knees, pray for the solution to unfold and even more importantly pray that you gain eyes to see and ears to hear and witness this unfolding.

what does david do here in psalm 5?

god hear me (vs 1-6) - daily begin with an urgent confession of your need for god's ears to hear you. c.s. lewis said it best, "i pray because the need flows out of me all the time, waking and sleeping. it doesn't change god, it changes me."

ask for direction (vs 7-8) - prayer is a discussion; a dialogue with your maker. when you pray, listen for god's response. god will respond, give him a moment to do so, quiet your soul.

ask for protection (9-10) - our culture is fast to respond and react in vengeance. our opinions are shaped quicker than the evidence unfolds. i wanted to take revenge, you will too. even if it is a passive aggressive approach, it still is us taking matters into our own hands. pray for protection against using your hands to do your own will.

ask and look for the blessing (11-12) - there is favor for those who practice righteousness, there is a shield that protects, look for it. ask the lord for eyes to see and ears to ear the blessings he brings upon your life. the temptation is to only find acknowledgement as a blessing, "you are so righteous," or, "look how good and perfect that guy/girl is." this won't always be the case, let the praise come as it does, but i know god has intentions for better gifts than our earthly leaders and fathers could ever think to offer...look for his gifts and rewards, his blessings are going to last.

be blessed to know that vengeance is the lords and he does not neglect, nor forget.

Friday, September 6, 2013

alaska in august

i have the privilege of being married to an alaskan. well, technically she was born in montana, but she lived her life in the biggest state in the union. i'm from the biggest state "in the lower 48," as they say, so with this marriage we hold a heritage of BIG desires. i love going to alaska and visiting my family there. they are some of the most generous people i have ever known. liz's parents are truly like my very own. they know me and what i like and every time i visit they never disappoint to shower me with many blessings.

i try and go fishing every time i visit. they also have a hand full of thrift stores that i seem to find at least one or two t-shirts every time i go. this year we were able to take a camping trip into the remote town of  liz's upbringing. liz and i stayed in tents with finn while dutch and titus got to sleep with grammy and papa in the camper they own. we had such a blast hiking around and taking the 4-wheelers into the mountains. titus loves destruction so riding the polaris ranger plowing through fields and mowing down small trees brought a big grin to his face. i think finn is a little too young still to camp, judging by the inability to walk around and sleep soundly without mommy present.

in addition to the blessings this family gives, they have a large family with kids around titus and dutch's age. this proved to be such a treat for dutch who actually has never had a sleep over at someone's house but showed us it is possible as he slept twice at his cousins house. we ventured into the alaska state fair and enjoyed the fair-like atmosphere from a culture not to far removed from my own, being a texas boy and all.

liz has two brothers and one sister who are always ready to fill in the gap of time lost with us. every time we go they pick right back up where we left it as though we live there. liz's mom never ceases to ask me what i want to eat while i am there. i know i can get the best salmon, crab, and some other wonderful gamey meat for meals.

although alaska is wonderful year around my favorite season is the summer time because of the long days and the lush green scenery. much like belgium, it stays cool and has that fresh rain smell.

we had a wonderful moment of hiking in a famous mountain pass called hatchers pass. because bears aren't up in the mountains for the winter yet there was much discussion about precautionary measures. this meant...i get to where a gun! even though i am a texas boy guns were never my thing. not that i am gun-rights enthusiast i still just never got into them. so when i am wearing a holster up against my chest i feel fierce and manly. thankfully i never needed to use.

i still haven't been able to cross off the list the two most desirable things to see, the northern lights and a bear...obviously from a distance.

if you ever get a chance to go to akaska for whatever reason...take it.

titus got some swords at the fair

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

alerts to threats

this was something handed to me via email from my mother in law. i thought it was quite humorous. if you know anything about john cleese, this is his brand of humor which i find funny, especially as it pertains to belgians and their summer holiday schedules.




The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent events in Syria and have therefore raised their security level from "Miffed" to "Peeved." Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again to "Irritated" or even "A Bit Cross." The English have not been "A Bit Cross" since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies nearly ran out. Terrorists have been re-categorized from "Tiresome" to "A Bloody Nuisance." The last time the British issued a "Bloody Nuisance" warning level was in 1588, when threatened by the Spanish Armada.

The Scots have raised their threat level from "Pissed Off" to "Let's get the Bastards." They don't have any other levels. This is the reason they have been used on the front line of the British army for the last 300 years.

The French government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level from "Run" to "Hide." The only two higher levels in France are "Collaborate" and "Surrender." The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed France's white flag factory, effectively paralyzing the country's military capability.

Italy has increased the alert level from "Shout Loudly and Excitedly" to "Elaborate Military Posturing." Two more levels remain: "Ineffective Combat Operations" and "Change Sides."

The Germans have increased their alert state from "Disdainful Arrogance" to "Dress in Uniform and Sing Marching Songs." They also have two higher levels: "Invade a Neighbour" and "Lose."

Belgians, on the other hand, are all on holiday as usual; the only threat they are worried about is NATO pulling out of Brussels.

The Spanish are all excited to see their new submarines ready to deploy. These beautifully designed subs have glass bottoms so the new Spanish navy can get a really good look at the old Spanish navy.

Australia, meanwhile, has raised its security level from "No worries" to "She'll be right, Mate." Two more escalation levels remain: "Crikey! I think we'll need to cancel the Barbie this weekend!" and "The Barbie is cancelled." So far no situation has ever warranted use of the last final escalation level.

John Cleese ,
British writer, actor and tall person

And as a final thought - Greece is collapsing, the Iranians are getting aggressive, and Rome is in disarray. Welcome back to 430 BC.

Life is too short..