Are You a Bridge Builder or a Jersey Barrier Within The Body?

Handling offense can be challenging. However, even more challenging how to handle to being labeled as offended publicly, being placed in a defensive position within a body of believers. But exactly what do you do when you have been unjustly labeled as offended, with the self identified offender never seeking proper reconciliation? Sometimes there isn’t much we can do to make things right except to make sure we seek the Lord and be obedient to His promptings. Being offended is something most people actually can recognize within themselves. Advice to the offended is simple, go to that person and speak with them. If needed, go a second time, with a witness (Matt 18:15-16). Most importantly before you do anything…Always take the issued before the Lord FIRST. Although, perhaps we are the offender, offending someone, knowing that we ought to passionately pursue peace with that person, seek them out, and build that bridge. Honestly we have ALL been on both sides of the fence.

Offense can be quite the slippery slope and without Godly guidance no matter if you are the offender or the offended, all will fail at bringing the Lord His due glory, if our heart and motives are not right before Him.

Do you have a pointy finger? Name calling rarely builds bridges, it tears them down. As a body we ought to be seeking any and every opportunity to build a bridge to our brother or sister that may not be within our “inner-circle”. Building bridges can only strengthen the body; resulting in glorifying God! To call someone offended publicly is not Godly, ever. Let their fruits speak for themselves, no need for interpretation from you or anyone else. This just encourages division within a group. This behavior whether intentional or not looks much like placing a jersey barrier, the concrete dividers on a freeway that are used to split traffic, right between this person and the jersey-barrierbody; especially if this comes from an “inner-circle” or pastoral position from within the church. I cannot tell you how many of God’s people I have seen become professional Jersey barrier installers all in the name of looking superior by being the first to point a finger. People naturally feel as if they have to be on one team or the other. This only has the potential of becoming a public spectacle that will damage’s a church body’s ability to witness to those opposed to church in the first place.

Are they really offended, or did they just disagree with you? Too many times a rift will grow over simple personality differences. The only way a person can recognize if what is going on is a personality clash or a communication issue is to build that bridge, extend a bit of you to them. I understand that this can be hard work, but the investment made will be returned in ways you will not expect! Some people love to discuss opposing views, while others cannot handle disagreement (interpreted as rejection); figure out the basis of the conflict then move on (Rom 14:1-23). Not everyone in the body is meant to be your new found BFF( best friend forever) and that’s okay! Just as long as there is an understanding and respect is built within this new bridge.

Are you qualified to see offense in them?  Do not label those offended that you do not have a personal or close professional relationship with. After all as discussed just previously it could be a case of lacking in understanding or insight into that persons personality. Let’s define these relationships. Personal relationship means you meet together on an unofficial basis; there is direct communication (not exclusive to text or IM’s. You know their history and family make up beyond knowledge of a testimony. You “break bread” with them regularly. Professionally, you would be in direct working relations; supervisor, employee, or co-worker on an equal level with the same job. If you are outside of these close relationships you are not qualified to call someone out as being anything. Instead, get to know them…start on that bridge!

If you recognize someone as offended, then as the offender what should you do? Use a Biblical model in love. Do not use text messaging, FB, or email as a means of communication. Heart is how-to-build-a-bridgerarely felt or properly communicated in this manner. It will greatly hamper any feeling of genuine reconciliation. Having ANY conversations about the matter with anyone other than with those directly involved WILL cause damage. If a “consensus” is needed, do so in a proper face-to-face with all parties present. Do not be one sided. Do not tell them how they feel (offended, bitter, angry, or hurt). They are perfectly capable and more qualified to interpret their own feelings. Doing so will only place a jersey barrier between you and them and bridge building will cease. While they just may be offended (or not), acknowledge your part or role. We are not to make a brother or sister stumble (Rom 14:21). Offense in the Greek means just that, “to stumble”. Be humble, be gracious, and most of all be hopeful for real reconciliation. This is a new opportunity to get to know a brother or sister better and for all parties to grow in the Lord. Blessing will be multiplied more than you know if we have the courage, patience, and strength to handle these matters God’s way, not our way.

Pursue peace with everyone, and holiness—without it no one will see the Lord.
Hebrews 12:14

Being nice is a LIE


Pursue peace with everyone, and holiness — without it no one will see the Lord. Hebrews 12:14

This is not optional, it is a command. Most, okay maybe only really some will go to another person when they have been offended, hurt. But even less will take action if they were the offender. I know I am guilty. After all, it’s their problem if they are offended, especially if they are not even willing to talk about it or have rejected an honest apology. “After all they should take it to the cross [insert sarcastic tone]”. But our command is clear…WITHOUT IT NO ONE WILL SEE THE LORD. It’s not exclusive, there are no exceptions. No one, that means both parties are held back from holiness. Our pursuit for peace with one another needs be done so with passion and urgency.

NO ONE will see the Lord if we do not passionately and urgently seek peace with one another.

Make sure no one falls short of the grace of God and that no root of bitterness springs up, causing trouble and by it, defiling many. Hebrews 12:14-15

The root of bitterness is ugly and it runs deep; it spreads throughout families and infects entire groups. The root of bitterness is just the beginning to the division of the body of Christ. An issue between believers is an opening for that same bitter root to grow to their spouses, to their children, to friends, and so on. Bitterness grows unless ENTIRELY removed. Many times those that have been offended take this to heart. But how many of us hear this and say…”oh, so-n-so, really ought to be listening. They are so offended and hold on to stuff.” We have an attitude that it’s their problem and while that is partially true, it is the offenders issue too. We ought to be passionate about pursuing peace with EVERYONE. This is NOT just up to the offended but the offender too that must be just as passionate; not passing the responsibility off to the offended. “Well, I apologized and that should have been enough.” You are probably right. But this has nothing to do with being right, it has everything to do with pursuing peace.

How can one fall short of the grace of God? I think it has everything to do with being nice. Nowhere in the Bible does it say anything about being “nice”. Christian “niceness” is a gigantic LIE. You will find kindness, love, and mercy, but never does it say be “nice”. I believe being “nice” has robbed us of grace. By being “nice” we deny grace, and turn to works. Being “nice” rarely resolves bitterness, never promotes love, and is an injustice. You have taken the Lord off of the cross, and replaced him with yourself with “being nice” to one another. Need an example? A person decides they are upset after a church function, and makes a vague complaint using social media. The person making the complaint is now over it, thanks to a vague vent and a bunch of “likes”, but the once offender, sees the complaint later and is now lie very much the offendee. The offendee talks to everyone but the complainer. The offendee has made ripples in the pond of fellowship yet continues to be “nice” to the complainer. Everyone thinks because there is niceness all is well. Usually to be nice is just another way to lie. It is no different than crossing your fingers behind your back.  Be kind instead, truly wanting what is best. We are called to be gentle and correct in love. To be kind would have been to go to that person in love and let them know what happened. Be patient with one another. AW Tozer in The Pursuit of God said “Let us practice the fine art of making every work a priestly ministration. Let us believe that God is in ALL simple deeds and learn to find Him there [emphasis added].” I do not think we can find God in being “nice” because being “nice” is a lie.

Being nice is a gigantic LIE.

We love because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19

We will never accomplish the squashing of the root of bitterness unless we set ourselves FIRST aside for God. Only then can our lives, our deeds, and our word be spirit led. If we are not first led by the spirit, we must ask then who is leading? Second, we must set ourselves aside for others. We love others simply because He loves us AND them too. If you value them as He does, then eating a little crow then does not seem quite so distasteful, differences are not so dont-worry-i-got-your-back-woofirritating. We must strive for “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things charity.” Are we really giving our brothers liberty when we stand in judgment, that they are so “offended”, that we avoid any kind of approach? Are we really giving our sisters liberty when we make character assumptions and share those negative assumptions with others? In the body of Christ we ought to have each other’s backs. No question! But rather all the world sees is knives. By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another (John 13:35). It takes so much more than just being “nice”. God sees it, and so does the world.

Do you really “have their back” in all circumstances?

Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple complex, and broke bread from house to house. They ate their food with a joyful and humble attitude, praising God and having favor with all the people. And every day the Lord added to them those who were being saved. Acts 2:46-47

God is not asking you to make every member of the body your new found BFF. But if we want to grow in love, we must accept each other equally. There is no favoritism with God. There should be no division in the body (1 Cor 12:25).God see’s fit whom He wishes to add to the body (Matt 16:18). This body is His design (1 Cor 12:18). Yet how can you claim to know what the feet are doing if you never break bread with them? How do you suppose you would know the intent of the hands if you never break bread with them? The new comer gets greeted at the door, but does it end there? They are not truly added until they are breaking bread with in the body, are we including them? Is the mailing list updated periodically so no one is forgotten? Are new comers offered rides to bible studies? Or do we leave them to “fend for themselves”? When someone new invites you, are you too busy to find time because you have “plans” with the others? When someone comes to you with a prayer need, is there follow up? Prayer needs- Once expressed, are the clearest opportunity to act. Even if it is only a phone call, it is a green light to show love. After all it would just simply be “nice” to pray for them aloud during study showing concern but never giving it another thought once study has ended and life goes on. Prayer requests can sadly become biggest gap in the body. Someone is opening up, allowing you in, yet too many do not enter.
When you break bread with one another in your homes, who have you added, who’s offers have you declined?

So what now? I pray for a yielding body. Godly wisdom is not stiff-necked or stubborn when it comes to personal conflicts. A body submitted to godly wisdom is not afraid to yield or defer to another person’s view point as long as it does not violate essential truth, able to promote liberty. Pursue peace passionately, with urgency, and please quit just being “nice” to everyone.

If possible, on your part, live at peace with everyone. Romans 12:18

Happy Valentine’s Day to who?

There were those days, too many of them in fact.  The days were every married couple around me seemed so very connected.  I noticed the inside jokes or references.  I noticed glimpses of affection and courtesy.  I would envy the opportunities for connection:  Sitting together at church, worshiping and studying together, shopping together, dining together, ect.  These were not just tasks done at the same time, but and honest time of connectivity.  Either an opportunity for new ties, or old ties strengthened.  They are living life together.  I couldn’t help but begin to feel hopeless.  I saw everything that my marriage lacked, blinded to what my marriage had.

I have been studying and observing how offense has such an impact on our relationship with the Lord, and with others.  One of the most common, overlooked trap is comparison.  When we are busy comparing to others we are no longer focused.  In almost ALL cases of offense, wheither we are offended or happen to be the offender, we are not focused 100% on the Lord.  Yes, 100%.  Do you actually think He would actually require less?  If we keep our focus on Him, are no longer concerned with the affairs of others, what they may say, or what they have or have not done.  We look for Him in all aspects of our lives.

I should be focused on how He works in my own marriage.  I will never see the blessings if I am busy counting what is lacking by comparison to others.  I have a husband that would give us everything he has.  He is loyal, and he loves me unconditionally.  We have challenges that most other marriages do not have to contend with.  He is home only a few days a month.  Our only source of connectivity is the phone, almost 90% of the time.  Fatigue, bad service, and general communication failure happens daily.  Even more reason to remain focused on the Lord, who saw fit to bring us together.

That being said, wives — If you have your husband home every night, love him.  If you have the joy of serving the Lord with him, praise God.  If you have your husband there to pray when you pray, you are very blessed.  Always have his back, and speak highly of him.  So forgive me if I do not always seem so eager hear stories of all the wonderful things that your spouse is able to do.  But do know that I praise God that He is working in marriages around me.  He is working to take that sting away, a little at a time.  I can not afford to be pricked by a thorn of jealousy, for it is a huge stumbling block in my relationships with my friends that are happily married.  We are called to share in praises and blessings with in the body of Christ.  Jealousy, or the act of comparison gets in the way of being able to wholeheartedly take part.

There was a man all alone;
    he had neither son nor brother.
There was no end to his toil,
    yet his eyes were not content with his wealth.
“For whom am I toiling,” he asked,
    “and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?”
This too is meaningless—
    a miserable business!

Two are better than one,
    because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down,
    one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
    and has no one to help them up.

Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
    But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered,
    two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. Ecc 4:8-12


Which side of the FINGER POINTER are you on, today?

DISCLAIMER:  Please do not apply this as a personal message to any one person.  It is not.  I just  honestly believe it’s something we should be thinking about; something the Lord is working on in me.  I have spoken many many times on the cultural gap in churches.  Feel free to browse my blog 🙂

FINGER POINTING:  WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON?  No matter what, you WILL end up on a side:  Deliverer, receiver, or just plain stuck inImage the middle.

So like I just HAD to dig up this song….it’s from a Christian Punk Band (some of you will debate whether that is possible or not…that is not the “point”) … The date on the link says 2009 but this is from the early 90’s if not 89 or so.  My best friend at the time, her boyfriend (now husband) was the drummer.  I have grown not to be so harsh as I had once been…but despite such MONUMENTAL growth…some still see this within me…..and that’s okay 🙂

Finger Pointer, by Nobody Special (I apologize but the link only works on PC)

Sometimes we do not realize just how hampered our vision is by cultural differences.  Cultural differences hampers communication, both in delivery AND in reception, yet BOTH are equally responsible.  “Love in action” can be defined in very different ways from one person to another, from one generation to another, from one part of the country to another.  Maybe you are so busy judging the “pointer’s” delivery, you have not realized that there was a legitimate message to be received.  It’s almost like a double negative!!!  What do we get with a double negative?  🙂  While YES we are to deliver in love…but also respond/receive in love as well.  So let’s remember that when there is communication we have an opportunity to have it be ALL POSITIVE, no matter the delivery, no mater the how it’s received.  So let’s not hamper GROWTH!

Cultural differences hampers communication, both in delivery AND in reception; yet BOTH are equally responsible.

Only God can build that perfect bridge of communication between cultures….but will you let Him?  He has built bridges in my life to those that felt to be a millennial of years away from ever understanding and for that I am forever grateful.  Those my friend, are called miracles and they happen ALL THE TIME 🙂

Are we letting people be who they are, or who we think they should be?  Are we letting people take their places in the body based on gifting … or are we trying to make the body into what we think it ought to look like?  These are legitimate church growth questions we all should be asking….That I am asking myself.

Finger pointing generally starts with an expectation.  Some where or some how that expectation fails.  Failed expectation always leads to offense.  We must be on guard!  Flee from offense at every opportunity.  Maybe it’s time to reevaluate my (our) expectation of others.  After all this all has NOTHING to do with us.  It’s all about what HE wants to do!! In a way that HE wants to…  ❤

Finger pointing generally starts with OUR expectation of others, that fails.  Failed expectations always lead to offense.

Typically it’s failed expectations on BOTH parts.  The pointee:  “Oh but he did not come to me in love! That was just outright not nice!”…or The pointer:  “I’ve told them once, I’ve told them twice, no use in casting perals after swine…”  But we are to have NO EXPECTATIONS OF OTHERS.  Expectations often lead to accepting exceptions and there are no exceptions in the Word of God concerning love.

Love must be without hypocrisy.  Detest evil;cling to what is good. 10 Show family affection to one another with brotherly love. Outdo one another in showing honor.11 Do not lack diligence; be fervent in spirit;serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer. 13 Share with the saints in their needs;pursue hospitality.14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice;weep with those who weep. 16 Be in agreement with one another.Do not be proud;instead, associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own estimation. 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Try to do what is honorable in everyone’s eyes. 18 If possible, on your part, live at peace with everyone.  Romans 12:9-18 HCSB

One of my favorite passages:  Note it gives NO CONDITIONS or exceptions.  It does not say….”Outdo one another in showing honor…as long as he doesn’t cuss”…or ….”associate with the humble, as long as they don’t wear rock and roll T-shirts” … or even….”Share in the saints with their needs; pursue hospitality…..unless they live in the next town over”

Expectations often lead to accepting exceptions and there are no exceptions in the Word of God concerning love.

There are NO CONDITIONS on love, even if you a called to love a “finger pointer”, or maybe you have been over exercising your own finger, please remember to open your palm once in a while, reach out, and love those you have messages for, and to receive messages given.


Can you handle the TRUTH?

Too often we use excuses given the current climate in our society that you really never know what is really the truth anymore and what is a lie.  If this statement is made in a political context you just might be very correct.  However, how many of us are applying this apathy or indifference to knowing truth to the matters of the eternal.  Or is it that it’s just too confusing to know what is true so we put it off.  Or is it that we decide that there is just no way to really know, so we stand on a fence of “not denying” but never admitting either?

I believe the reality of it is that deep within us, we know that if we found truth it would forever change us.  Everything that we exist for would have to change.  This is what people can not handle.  You can not handle to the truth so you stand on a fence.  But don’t you see? Atop of the fence is absolutely the worst place to be!  Ever heard of humpty dumpty?  Got the picture?Ault_Humpty_Dumpty

So what I am saying is we MUST be seekers.  We must know what we believe and why.  If not just for ourselves but for our children.  We are setting examples for the next generation.  Will they be truth seekers, or lemmings?  Believing what they are told without question, because that is all they know to to?

The truth is here.  The truth has been proven.  Truth has stood the test of time despite attack after attack.  The truth is proven every day as each day ends.  So why are we so afraid of the change that Truth brings?  I believe because of the rolling eyes of “friends”, behind the back comments from co-workers, the labels, and letting go of some of our pleasures.  So what is this Truth that causes so much trouble?  Jesus.  Word of God.

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (JOHN 14:6)

So what I have learned is we worry about the rolling of eyes from “friends”…when people are kidnapped, beaten, tortured in unspeakable ways for speaking the Truth, for speaking His name, professing the power of His spilled blood on the cross.

I have given them Your word.  The world hatedthem because they are not of the world, as I am not of the world. (JOHN 17:40)

If it’s habits we are not wanting to change, then we are sadly missing on just what Truth has to offer.  In that case all I say is DON’T EVER STOP SEEKING, it will become clear.

You will call to Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. (JEREMIAH 29:12-13)

But make no mistake, there will come a time to chose.  The fence WILL come down and you with it, and you will need to answer as to how you choose.

I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were cold or hot. So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I am going to vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, ‘I’m rich; I have become wealthy and need nothing,’ and you don’t know that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked… (REVELATION 3:15-17)


So can you handle the truth?  You can not afford not to.

Who are you giving YOUR kids to? Literally?

A recent visit to So. California, included a trip to pick up my nephew from his elementary school.  This is what I found, locked gates, locked classrooms equipped with peep holes.  I found this to be quite disturbing.  I asked my sister about these gates.  She begin to tell me about Sandy Hook, and how it impacted them and as a result them found the following security measures necessary.  Parents are no longer allowed to walk their children to class.  Parents are NOT allowed on campus, if a need arises they must sign in at the office and be escorted to and from the classroom and ultimately off grounds.

ImageI immediately looking at the gates, and fencing around the grounds realized this was no security to keep these kids safe against an insane person with a gun…it was only keeping parents out.  The fences, simply chain link.  The gates, more then enough room to go over the top, even a trash can easily placed for assistance to make the leap for a fast escape for an insane person.  This school simply succeeded in locking parents out, not mad men with guns.  Obviously the parents have accepted this lie.


Secondly and I feel more importantly, I had to ask:  What kind of message does this send our children?  That the school is ABOVE parental influence?  That the school is ABOVE parental authority?  Parental influence and authority is demeaned by these actions, purposely by common core.  After all it is the current consensus that our children are not our own but belong to the state?  Don’t agree?  Well then why are our school being allowed to take such actions?  I am appalled at the very idea would be allowed.  However it is the norm in metropolitan areas.  If this is not your experience, it is coming soon to your area!

PARENTS!! You do have a voice, I beg USE IT!  You do have options and choices, USE THEM!  You have full authority to say NO!  If parents do not stand up for their constitutional rights NOW, we fail to teach by example to our children, our most precious asset, that LIBERTY is worth fighting for.


All In The Name of Justice….or is it?

It is so easy to caught up and held up in the whole what is right and what is wrong.  I find myself there much too often.  After all we do have laws!  So how is it that someone can break the law and get away with it without someone crying for justice?  Especially if you yourself had rightfully (morally) and maybe even legally wronged?

I have personally fell in this trap with my boys father owing child support.  He owes over $100K in child support.  There has been no enforcement despite the laws that allow them to do so.  His family enables his crimes against us with full knowledge that the oldest is totally disabled and will never be self sustaining.  It is legally and morally WRONG.  We never asked for this.  A dear family member of mine, blind sided by divorce.  He comes home and is told in a nut shell “I have been wanting to leave lady_justice_by_sadthree-d35nicpfor over a year, sign this and I won’t keep MY kids from you.  You are to move out and leave everything…”  He never saw it coming.  It is straight up morally WRONG.  He never asked for this.  My mother living on SS had her car breakdown.  Not wanting to tow it out of town takes it to the mechanic nearest by.  He quotes her, promises to fix it.  She being on a fixed income trickles payments to him.  9 months later, $900 lost, he is gone (evicted out of his shop), car is in pieces, not even any new parts purchased.  He is not worth suing.  She is out a car and $900 that is nearly impossible to replace.  It is legally and morally WRONG.  She never asked for this.

It is IMPOSSIBLE to live in this world and not have the opportunity to be offended.  It is not a matter of if it will happen but when and how often.  Our response determines our future.  So how do we respond?  If you anything like me where thinking for the most part is very black and white, where wrong is wrong and right is right, then you will become ensnared as a “justice seeker”.  Or others have seen have fallen trap to pride.  Ever heard the wounded say “…I’m okay” or “…I will be fine”.  They deny that just how deeply they have been wounded and ultimately never deal with it, that pain roots into bitterness, anger/rage even, and resentment.  All of which can lead to an even worse condition of hardheartedness, insensitivity, ultimately hindering you from hearing God’s voice.  This condition will set you up to be lead into total deception.  Just because you were mistreated does not put you in the right to hold onto the offense.  Two wrongs never equal a right.  An offense not dealt with properly simply leads us away from the heart of God, and ultimately we produce the fruits of sin.

So if we acknowledge this, then it feels as if we are unable to do anything in response to the offense.  I have many times turned to God and asked, “Don’t you have my back?”  “Do you not see?”  “How can they just get away with this?” God almost seems to turn a blind eye.  We feel ignored or abandoned (here is the start of the deception!).  Straight up:  Present, immediate justice is not God’s agenda.  As my pastor told me regarding this subject:

How can you love your enemies if you want them to fry. 

YIKES.  Okay I get it, this is not new….the whole we must love our enemies command gets me more often then I would like to admit (could that be a dose of  pride?).

24 The Lord’s slave must not quarrel, but must be gentle to everyone, able to teach,and patient, 25 instructing his opponents with gentleness. Perhaps God will grant them repentance leading them to the knowledge of the truth. 26 Then they may come to their senses and escape the Devil’s trap, having been captured by him to do his will.  2Tim 2:24-26 HCSB

“…gentle to EVERYONE….”  It does not say to those whom are nice to us.  His will is ultimately to bring them into repentance and knowledge of Him and His Word to EVERYONE.  That won’t happen if their feet are held over coals.

Remember the Lord uses ALL things to work towards the good for those that love Him (Rm 8:28).  Many times the worst of the worst offenses refine us.  Let me explain:  The refining process (when speaking of gold) causes the impurities to come to the top or surface if you will.  They can then be removed (dealt with).  An issue with forgiveness, anger, faith, or any other sin can not be dealt with if not brought to the surface.  You will come out on top if you handle it God’s way.  It is no mistake that the root of the word offense is the Greek skan-dal-id’-zo:  to entice to sin to put a stumbling block or impediment in the way, upon which another may trip and fall, become ensnared or tangled, metaph. to offend.  In other words for one to offend you, you are being caused to sin.  Do not fall into this trap!

No where does God promise immediate judgement for wrongs.  He does not play games of tit-for-tat.  However, God does promise ultimate justice upon His return.

It is a clear evidence of God’s righteous judgment that you will be counted worthy of God’s kingdom, for which you also are suffering, since it is righteous for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you and to reward with rest you who are afflicted, along with us. This will take place at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with His powerful angels, taking vengeance with flaming fire on those who don’t know God and on those who don’t obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 2Thes 1:5-8 HCSB

He will have vengeance on those who do not obey, and those who refuse to know Him.  But He honestly wishes for ALL to be save, for ALL to come to know him.  To be in alignment with the Lord means we must demonstrate HIS love.  We can not do that and be “justice seekers”.


Prison meal a day: $.81 A prisoner’s value: Priceless

Today I was just humming along to the radio as I started a very busy day.  The days events ran thru my brain like a loco-motive (emphasis on loco).  Yet like a scratch on a chalk board my attention was drawn by two DJ’s having a conversation about a guy on death row suing the State of Idaho Corrections Department.  The jest of the suit is that recently the Department of Corrections has stopped serving 3 meals on weekends.  The incarcerated get 2.  The complainant has raised concerns over health and how he is losing weight.  But that was not my concern, nor do I have an opinion one way or another over 2 meals or 3 meals.  I know families that would love to enjoy the security of knowing they have a single balanced meal a day.  What got my goat was how they referred to this man on death row.  They had such contempt for him.  In their discussion they devalued him in such a way that they were actually proud of his dismay.

I have been deeply involved in prison/jail ministry so maybe that is why I see this as a non-issue.  But when should a persons value EVER be an issue?  Whether it be the prisoner that committed the most heinous crimes, or its the homeless man who fights daily with his demons of addiction, or even more close to home, the neighbor who neglects her kids.  We ought to see others with the vision that the Lord has for them, with the same heart.  I am NOT saying that there should not be consequences for crimes committed.  I am not saying that we need to be ignorant as to the character and the inability for these people to be contributing citizens to any community outside the confines of prison.  What I am saying is that we must still value them…we must still value their place here on earth, we must value the fact that they were created.  Most of all we must value that Christ died for them the same as He died for us.  Above that we must recognize that he would still die for them despite their crimes, no matter how horrific.

For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift— not from works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.  (Eph 2:8-10 HCSB)

“FOR WE ARE HIS CREATION…”  Straight up, you insult anyone’s value, you insult the creator, God Himself.

16 From now on, then, we do not knowanyone in a purely human way.  Even if we have known Christ in a purely human way, yet now we no longer know Him in this way. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come. 18 Everything is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation. (2Cor 5:17-18 HCSB)

WE TRULY KNOW NOTHING.  Only God is the judge, because only He knows a man’s heart.  We must acknowledge and value ANYONE’S coming to Christ — Irregardless of their past.

Ultimately, we must NEVER question a person’s value to God.

14 For Christ’s love compels us, since we have reached this conclusion: If One died for all, then all died. 15 And He died for all so that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for the One who died for them and was raised.16 From now on, then, we do not know anyone in a purely human way. Even if we have known Christ in a purely human way, yet now we no longer knowHim in this way.(2 Cor 5:14-16 HCSB)

No one is a throw away.  No one ought be considered as disposable.  We must never take joy in ANYONE’S suffering or ultimately their death.


Probable Vs. Godable

It has been little over a month since I have written.  I have some how been misled with the assumption that I what I write needs to be at a certain standard of “worthiness” to share.  That standard was my own and once again my own standard have been proven to be less then acceptable.

I have been captivated by a very familiar piece of scripture.  One that is so familiar that it is practically memorized.  We hear this very familiar passage read almost every Easter, from the Book of John:

20 On the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark. She saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she ran to Simon Peter and to the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put Him!”

At that, Peter and the other disciple went out, heading for the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and got to the tomb first. Stooping down, he saw the linen cloths lying there, yet he did not go in. Then, following him, Simon Peter came also. He entered the tomb and saw the linen cloths lying there. The wrapping that had been on His head was not lying with the linen cloths but was folded up in a separate place by itself. The other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, then entered the tomb, saw, and believed. For they still did not understand the Scripture that He must rise from the dead. 10 Then the disciples went home again.

11 But Mary stood outside facing the tomb, crying. As she was crying, she stooped to look into the tomb. 12 She saw two angels in white sitting there, one at the head and one at the feet, where Jesus’ body had been lying. 13 They said to her, “Woman, why are you crying?”

“Because they’ve taken away my Lord,” she told them, “and I don’t know where they’ve put Him.” 14 Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, though she did not know it was Jesus.

15 “Woman,” Jesus said to her, “why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”

Supposing He was the gardener, she replied, “Sir, if you’ve removed Him, tell me where you’ve put Him, and I will take Him away.”

16 Jesus said, “Mary.”

Turning around, she said to Him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!”—which means “Teacher.”

17 “Don’t cling to Me,” Jesus told her, “for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to My brothers and tell them that I am ascending to My Father and your Father—to My God and your God.”

18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them whatHe had said to her.

Upon Mary’s approach her immediate response was “They have taken the Lord…” (V2).  This was then most logical and most probable assumption she could make, especially given the climactic atmosphere created by His death.  Two of the  disciples upon hearing Mary raced but upon reaching the empty tomb, but the unnamed disciple (Most believe that it was John) that entered the tomb “believed” (V8).  Then those two went home.  Why would they just leave?  Because there was no Jesus to look for!  THEY BELIEVED.

Mary stayed.  She was convinced that she must find his body and she was very distraught.   She was so distraught she was completely unaware as to what was at work around her.  She saw angels (who were probably perplexed at her dismay) and they just HAD to ask, “Why are you crying?” (V13).  Still unaware she goes on about the missing body and having to find it.  So much so that she was unable to recognize Jesus HIMSELF (V15) when he asked just who it was that she was looking for.  I believe that Jesus was indistinguishable from the ordinary person at this point of His resurrection.  After all wouldn’t Mary expect a battered, broken, bloody body?  But this is NOT WHAT SHE WAS EXPECTING.  It was not until he said her name (I suspect He shouted it to snap her into attention) that it struck her that this was Jesus.  But even after that she still “clung” to Him as if He was still the human Jesus.  She need to let go.  She need to move from the most probable to the God-able.  Her being unable to move from what was most probable and logical to what was in reality God-able revealed that she had not relied upon what He had taught her before His death.  He then explained that later He was to ascend to My God, your God.

You see Mary immediately jumped into the most probable explanation and expectation to explain the empty tomb.  I honestly can not blame her.  I do this every day.  I logically assess a situation, figure the most likely outcome and respond accordingly.  If you are going to be a disciple this is all backwards.  We are so inadequate to assess anything let alone have the knowledge to know what to expect.  We must be blind to the world in order to see not the most probable but the God-able.  It’s not about living with your head in the clouds.  It’s not about rejecting reality.  It’s about being SECURE and WALKING in the spirit…moving forward for the glory of God, for the work of His Kingdom DESPITE the odds.  This my friend is a topsy turvy truth of the Kingdom of God.


Are You Awake?


Are you awake or just hitting the snooze button???

If there is one thing on my heart tonight it is this — URGENCY!  We must have a purpose filled urgency to be aware of what is going on in our country.

Some will say that there is nothing we can do, that it is a waste of time to “fret”.  Some will even preach that we are being fearful and therefore not standing on the Lords promises or blessings.

I will not, I can not keep quite.  My love ones must know that time is short.  My children must be equipped to stand strong for the faith they have.  For it is going to be our children and grandchildren that are going to have to see the very worst.

Scripture speaks for itself:

  • Be awake!
  • Suit up in the armor!
  • Encourage each other!  ~~ This does not mean tell people that “it’s not that bad”.
  • Those that are working so hard to further the Word of God, to advance the Gospel and the news of His return we must support.
  • Warn, warn, warn…to warn is to love.  Do so patiently.
  • Understand prophecy, respect it.  God will not take lightly the mocking of his prophets.
  • Justice belongs to the Lord, not us.  We only do good.  The rest is up to Him.
  • Rejoice! Pray, pray, and pray more in ALL things.
  • Be blameless and ready for His return — How can we do that if we are not watchful?
  • ALL believers need to find unification…there is no time or need for petty differences.

The last statement to have this letter read to ALL brothers and sisters…Pretty sure that makes this passage of the utmost urgency.  Do not take the return of our Lord lightly.

1 Thessalonians 5


Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.


But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 10 He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.


12 Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. 13 Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. 14 And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.


16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.


19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not treat prophecies with contempt 21 but test them all; hold on to what is good, 22 reject every kind of evil.


23 May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.


25 Brothers and sisters, pray for us. 26 Greet all God’s people with a holy kiss. 27 I charge you before the Lord to have this letter read to all the brothers and sisters.

28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.