• A life-giving spirit!

    “Your hands have made me and fashioned me…” Psalms 119:73

    Human beings are “hand made”, crafted into being by the very hands of God. Once He finished He leaned in close and breathed His “life” into us and we became a “living being.” Fashion by and filled with the great artist Himself. God literally puts Himself into His greatest art. Man, the ultimate work of this amazing artist God, was “filled with the very life of the artist.”

    Man was intended to be the most alive thing that He had ever created. Man was created to walk with God and among all of creation as the manifestation of His Life. God created man to be united to; man was created to live never separated from God.  Evil destroys art! Evil separated the art from the Artist and the art died!

    Hand made things must be used in specific ways in order to realized the value of their creation. To be reconciled to the artist. To be refilled with His life is the very longing of this thing called “man.” To be held and appreciated! To be filled to the fullest with the life that brings the art itself into it’s own intended glory is the very longing of the art.

    “The first man Adam became a living being. The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.” (1 Corinthians 15:45).

    After the resurrected Son of God ascended to the throne, the Creator Father poured out His Spirit upon all who would receive. Once again His art would be filled with His life. The greatest art of God was made “alive again.” After death and resurrection not only is man a living being, but he is a “life-giving spirit.”

    Nothing can stop God from completing His creation. God created man to be the conveyers of His life. You and I, everyone who follows the Christ, everyone who has been fashioned in the image of God, are commissioned to give life to all we meet.

    We are called to be the most alive thing that our friends, family and neighbors have ever see. Go give life to others. You no longer are looking to be consumers but rather dispensers of The Life of Another.

  • FRIENDS (deeper than Facebook)

    When I am encounter something beautiful, my heart reaches for a friend. The joy that I experience demands that I share it with another. Thus, the thought of my friend begins the very moment that my soul is struck with the sense of beauty. In order to experience the fullness of the encounter it must to be shared with a friend.

    I began to notice this phenomenon several years ago. Every moment of life is enlarged by friends. Friends are those people with whom we desire to share those defining moments  in life. Moments of beauty and moments of suffering are all experienced or endured with the aid of friends. They are the ones we reach for when we are struggling the most or when we are being amazed. Life can only be truly realized as it is shared with others.

    Most of us have friendships, yet we also tend to take the phenomenon of friendship for granted. We commonly enjoy them without reflecting much on them. Yet when there is a separation we feel the absence quite strongly. When a friendship dissolves we feel the pain deeply. Friends are the most valuable resource in having and enjoying life to the fullest. Yet, there is very little written about friendship.

    A friend is one with whom the reality of shared experience becomes ongoing and continuous. He is one to whom we turn naturally and unselfconsciously when we are struck by the most meaningful moments of life. A friend is one we share heightened experiences of perception, insight, and feelings; but also the mundane details of our days.

    The qualities of our individual experience are expanded, enhanced, enriched and recast in the context of our conversation with him. The enjoyment of each other’s company become personal tradition, and trust fully flowers in the embrace of the relationship. Opening our selves to one another, we come to share a common realm that is unique to us and greater than the sum of our individualities.

    These observations have come over a lifetime of friendship. Casual, lost, and deep friends have revealed most of what I know about myself and life. These friendships have molded and shaped; enlarged and enhanced and empowered every season of my life.

    Life is lived in the “air” of friendship. Friendship is the breath of life.

  • No more “want”… can you see it?

    “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.” Psalm 23:1

    Can we envision being free of want? Can we imagine a life where we are only aware of the overwhelming provision of the Good Shepherd. A life where we live in the trust of the One who cares and tends for our every need. What if we lived in a world where artificial desires were not generated by advertisers bent on placing a yoke of debt around our necks.

    We were created to live under the care of another who provides every provision that we have. We were made to live in the garden that was prepared for us before we were created. A place prepared for you. A mansion in His Presence.

    Can we imagine being free of all want? Our search for security, safety, and contentment is endless and exhausting.  We rely on human resources to meet our needs rather than upon the divine care of our Shepherd, thus peace eludes us.

    We live mentally and emotional exhausted because of the futility of our reliance upon human ingenuity. The world has accepted this norm and unfortunately the church has largely adapted to it’s host culture. It appears that there is a complete lack of understanding of the theology of the Shepherd.

    We must recapture the vision of living under the “shadow of the Almighty.” We must begin again to imagine a state where there is no lack, no “wanting.” Let’s imagine a life that is free of the fear of worry, anxiety and lack.

    I see too many people who are ashamed of unrealized desires. Their sense of failure is the underlying issue that plagues their emotional and physical health. They need a Shepherd.

    “He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads be beside still waters; he restores my soul.”

    Humanity has lost it’s soul. Christianity has lost it’s soul. Christianity has allowed itself to be reduced to an “after life” reward. Christians must rediscover the fullness of living with the Shepherd. The Shepherd guides and cares for us. We are not merely traveling to the Shepherd the Shepherd is traveling with us. We must life a “with Shepherd” life.

    Let’s imagine, for a moment, a life where we have a Shepherd. A life where our needs and our desires are meet by the unconditional Love of the Shepherd himself. We must begin again to envision a whole new way of being and living. Green pastures, calm waters are where we will flourish. Yes, the after life is the provision for life after death, but the Shepherd has provision for today. He knows how to fulfill our needs right now!

    We cannot survive without understanding that we were created to live life “with-God.” We are made to be lead by and sustained by His Presence, nothing else will suffice.

    He has prepared “a table in the presence of our enemies.” We can feast in them midst of a world that is in turmoil and conflict. Our Shepherd nows how to care for us in the midst of a world that is living in chaos.

    I want to challenge each of you to begin to imagine a “life without want.” A life that is cared for by the Great Shepherd.

  • UNITY….

    Psa. 133:1 ¶ Behold, how good and how pleasant it is

    For brethren to dwell together in unity! 

    Psa. 133:2 It is like the precious oil upon the head,

    Running down on the beard,

    The beard of Aaron,

    Running down on the edge of his garments. 

    Psa. 133:3 It is like the dew of Hermon,

    Descending upon the mountains of Zion;

    For there the LORD commanded the blessing—

    Life forevermore. 

    Unity! A simple look through the dictionary and the word unity becomes a very important word. It means, ‘a state of being one; oneness, or a whole or totality as combining all parts into one, or the state or fact of being united or combined into one, as of the parts of a whole.’

    I think the world in which we live could use a little more “good and pleasant.” In the midst of a society that is bombing itself to pieces (both in the middle east and Missouri) maybe unity has come of age. It seems to me that we need some “anointing oil,” some fresh “dew” and a “blessing.” All three of these metaphors describe the results of unity. Unity with God and each other releases the very Presence of God into our lives.

    Only God’s Presence, only His “precious oil” can heal the wounds that have been sustained. Only His “Blessing” can restore all men to their rightful place as children of God.

    Yes, we pray don’t we?  Every flavor, every denomination, every church is praying! But prayer alone will never resolve the issues of this generation.

    Unity! David understood that conquering your enemy was not the end of the assignment, perhaps not even the goal. You can subdue your enemy and own the city, but if you don’t have “unity with brethren” there is an absence of “good and pleasant” or “healing oil” and “blessing.” And quite frankly “Life forevermore.”

    As Jesus was preparing to face the cross He prayed an amazing prayer. A prayer that for many generations has been over looked.

    22And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. John 17:22–23 (NKJV)

    It is obvious that the heart of Christ is to see the church united as one body of believers. Perhaps the greatest thing that the church could to in the midst of a world that is in trouble is to love each other. In lieu of being divided over differences perhaps we should be united over the very essentials of our faith.

    It is my heart felt conviction that the churches duty in this generation is to come together. Not in an institutional way but in a spiritual way. We can all agree that we are “saved by grace through faith alone.” We can all agree that it is His Spirit that now lives within us. We are “one body”!

    The lack of unity in the body of Christ must become a priority. Not a unity based on dogma or doctrine or denomination, but a unity of faith and mission. A unity that is the results of the “great commandment” (which I fear we are not so great at).

    If we love the Lord with ALL our heart, soul, mind and strength … and our neighbor as ourselves, then the issues that separate us would be overcome by the “unconditional Love” of God.

    According to Scripture, “Love never fails….” perhaps we simply fail to love.

    Lord I want to be a part of the answer of your prayer in my generation. So that Your Glory, your “precious oil” will result in the “blessing of God” being poured out on all people.  Amen.

  • I STAND IN AWE…

    “…my heart stands in awe of Your word.  I rejoice at Your word As one who finds great treasure.” (Psalm 119:161b & 162 nkj)

    The Psalmist says that His Word is better than a “great treasure.” Do we really live in awe-struck wonder of the Word of God? We all rejoice when we receive a great gift, but do we “rejoice” in His Word. Does His word create joy in our lives as if we had already received a huge inheritance?

    Recently I have been reminded to “read the Red.” The recorded words of Jesus are the, in my estimation the most powerful contained in the Scripture.

    “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.” (Luke 4:4) Jesus, ‘the Word made flesh,’ the God-man, says I only live by My Word. His word is Life. It is our life. The life of God is in His Word. In His promise is every thing we need to live. His word is the greatest treasure.

    Just think about a few of these red words. “Peace, be still.” (Mark 4:39) In the midst of chaos He speaks and all things are calm. Creation listens to the Voice of the One who created all things. What I need, what you need is to have His voice calm every area of our lives.

    God created billions of galaxies with four words, “Let there be light….” The same voice that spoke order into chaos at the beginning of creation, stood in the midst of creation and spoke “Peace.” He is the same God and He is still speaking order and peace into your chaotic life today.

    We must understand that God uses His voice for more than conversation. His words are filled with power. When He said, “Let there be light…” That light began traveling at 186,000 miles (MILES) per second (according to science). And get this, it still is traveling or moving at 186,000 mps. Or, to put it another way His Light is defeating darkness really, really fast. His voice challenged darkness and light is still winning. His word is light!

    Everything that you can seen came from the voice of God. “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made…. For He spoke and it came to be.” (Ps. 33:6,9). Maybe you didn’t hear it, but you can see it, just look around. The Psalmist said, “…my heart stands is awe of Your word.” To behold creation is to hear God. To stand as a creature in this creation is to see what God has already spoken.

    To worship His word, to agree with His word, to cooperate with His word is to live in the reality of a treasure that is better than anything else you could ever discover.

    Today, “My Heart stands in awe of His Word.”