• What every man desires….

    “What every man desires is unfailing love” Proverbs 19:22

    Have you ever asked someone to describe how much God loves them? People struggle to answer that don’t they. I know I do! I instantly start thinking of all the reason why He shouldn’t or ought to stop. Somewhere deep down in my soul I realize that I really am not living up to my own standard. That’s when I realize that I am trying to “humanize” God.

    We have so domesticated God that when we think of His Love we can only related it to the way that humans can perceive love. But as this Psalm reminds us we long for and desire an “unfailing love.” Again Psalms speaks, “Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.” (Ps. 90:14).

    Only the “unfailing” stuff will truly satisfy our cravings. I think that is how I would describe how much God loves me. It satisfies me! Nothing, no one else has ever really satisfied the longing within my soul. No matter where I am at or what I need His love never fails to find me and to hold me and to bring me joy.

    Oh, yeah I can hear the thoughts coming back over the net…. “I’m not satisfied, or I know those who are not satisfied.” And you are right there are many Christians who should be satisfied and yet they still have this unidentified emptiness or need. They tried the Christian life and found it empty. Finding this satisfying love, this fullness of Christ was never meant to be a treasure hunt that only a few stumble upon.

    Satisfaction is the by-product of our relationship with the God who is “unfailing love.” I must repeat it again today. Love is not something that God does it is some one He is. Love is a noun not a verb.

    Paul makes is so clear, “….the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” (Romans 5:5). I want to be very clear, every man desires “unfailing love.” That love is poured out into our lives by the person of the Holy Spirit. To reject the person, the very working got the Spirit of God is to refuse the fullness, the satisfaction that comes from be love with His “unfailing love.”

    Yes, there is a dissatisfaction within the body of Christ, however, it is primarily due to the circle of believers who continue to resist the work of the One who can satisfy their desires.

    Receive the Holy Spirit. It will change Christmas for you!!!

  • “cyber-Monday” is that the best you got?

    “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you saved the best till now” John 2:10

    Jesus always seems to have something greater just up around the corner, waiting for you and me. I believe that He always has something greater just ahead. As we enter into the twelfth month of 2014 I am convinced that He has saved the “best” for last. What do you think?

    This is the time of year that we all turn to face the reality of Christmas. We are thrown from “Thanksgiving” into “black Friday” and then we rush back to work and start making these incomprehensible lists that we have to get done before we rush back to the biggest Holiday ever, right?

    Well, before you just jump  on to the whole “cyber-Monday” roller coaster I want you to think about what everyone really wants for Christmas! Are you ready? “Unfailing Love,” that’s right it is the gift that everyone really desires.

    “What man desires is unfailing love,” (Proverbs 19:22). Don’t miss this! Every human being longs for unfailing love. Lavish, focused, radical, a love that can be counted on, that’s the real gift that everyone wants. And it wasn’t on sale on “black Friday” and you won’t find it by googling for it on “cyber-Monday.”

    Love is giving yourself to others, knowing that the “best” is really the gift of yourself.

     

    So here we are in the last month of 2014 and we have a choice; we can either jump into cyber-Monday or a Christ centered celebration of how the Father sent us HIs Son, His “Unfailing Love.” God came to us, to be with us (the Advent, the Incarnation) that is what Christmas remembers and calls forth. The “best,” the “unfailing” stuff is the stuff of family, friends, people that you share life with.

    So slow down and drink it in … savor it! This is the best. To love each other the way He loves us!

    Merry Monday…. “it is the best”

  • What if?

    “What if,” we moved from “what is” to “what if?”

    Most people that I know are stuck in accessing reality. In fact they spend most of their time and energy making sure that everyone around them is dealing in reality. When the true is that the world was created by a being who over looked reality and created something out of nothing.

    It is the dreamers who will change the world not the realist. Right now we are in desperate need of dreamers. People who could overlook “what is” and ask “what if?”

    Our hope, our future lives in the imagination of those who are willing to dream God’s dreams for humanity…. God sized dreams! Dreams that create something out of nothing.

    Christianity is more than what we “know,” mentally; in it’s essence Christianity is about what we can perceive in our imaginations.

    The “What if” …. God became flesh and dwelt among us?

    The “What if” …. God sent His Spirit into our hearts?

    The “What if” …. God shared His Power with those who believe?

    “What if we created an atmosphere where human beings could grow into their fullest and highest potential in Christ.”

    “What if we were allowed to dream God-sized dreams?”

    “What if we dreamed about being, doing and having the best of God in our lives?”

    “What if we become the ‘change’ that we desire the world to be?”

    Instead of being distracted by “what is” let’s focus on “WHAT IF”?

    What if you decided to GROW!

    GROW IN GRACE

    GROW IN FAITH

    GROW IN HOPE

    GROW IN LOVE

    The question has never be if you were good or great!

    The real question is will you place yourself in the atmosphere where the seeds of greatness that are within will grow?

    Primarily God created and controls the universe by conversation!

    (He spoke into nothing and created everything)

    What if you joined the conversation …. ?

    What if you began to dream, imagine, call the future into the present?

    What if your dreams were to come true?

    Would your life be different?

  • Friendship will Save the World!

    John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.

    John 15:14 You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.

    John 15:15 No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.

    Given His emphasis on loving enemies you might have come to the conclusion that the highest act of sacrifice would have been for those who don’t deserve it. But, here Jesus clearly states that the giving of one’s life for friends is the greatest expression of love.

    Giving one’s life for a stranger might be heroic, but does not come up from the heart of love as it does or would for a friend. Giving one’s life for a friend reveals, as well as incarnates, the very essence of love in a way that could not be for a stranger or an enemy.

    I think we must remember the conditions for being Jesus’ friend; “obedience to His commandments.” To be His friend, one must be open to Christ’s self-revelation and identify with him, with the One who has offered himself for all who believe. To put it another way, the structure of friendship in the Kingdom is: “one opens himself to another and receives his self-offering, embracing who he is and following his commandments.”

    During the last supper, Jesus finally discloses himself fully and completely; and they respond to His discourse, “See, now you are speaking plainly, and using no figure of speech! Now we are sure that you know all things, and have no need that anyone should question you.” (John 16:29-30).

    They have grown from hearers, learners, and followers …. to friends. They have entered into the mystery, a mystery that Jesus prays for them and for all future believers: “…that they all may be one, as you Father, are in me, and I in you; that they also may be one in us….that they may be one just as we are one…I in them and you in me; that they may be made perfect in one” (John 17:21ab, 22b, 23a).

    This friendship is the basis of the mystery of the communion of the disciples with Christ, and of the spiritual union between the Creator and the creature that will come into fullness in eternity in the fully manifested Kingdom of God. Friendship in it’s fullest sense is the union of the friends. The two being one together.

    Now lets look at the entire passage:

    John 17:20 ¶ “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; John 17:21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. John 17:22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: John 17:23 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.

    True friendship will open the eyes of the world so that they can know the God of Love. Friendship opens the eyes of the world so they can have faith and know the Love of the Father. Friendship opens the eyes and the heart to receive the God who is Love. The Love that is life!

    Friendship has and does save the world.

  • Reflecting on Rome!!!

    What did you do in Rome? Where did you go? What did you see?

    “I was in Rome to visit with Pope Francis.”

    “Really!” “Why?”

    The simple answer is “he is a friend of a friend.” My friend Tony Palmer was a friend of Pope Francis and friends always want their friends to know each other. Before Bishop Tony’s death, he had arranged for several of his friends to meet with Pope Francis. Bishop Tony and Pope Francis shared a dream together. They dreamed that the prayer that Jesus prayed in John 17, would become a reality in our lives.

    “Our world needs unity; this is an age in which we all need unity. Not just unity for the sake of the social economy, but a unity that answers the very prayer of Jesus.” (Pope Francis)

    “…that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.” (John 17:21 NKJV).

    So I have been with Pope Francis because I am a friend of a friend who believes that Jesus prayed for and desires for us to live in unity with Him and with each other, so that unbelievers might come to know Him.

    Jesus told us, “A new commandment I give to you, that you also may love one another. By this all will  know that you are my Disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)

    Unity is the manifestation of our love for each other. “For the love of Christ compels us…” (2 Corn. 5:14) to walk in unity and friendship with one another. Jesus said, “…I have called you friends” (John 15:15). “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13). If He gave His life so we could be friends it is time, past time that we reach out to one another and be friends.

    So why did I come to visit with Pope Francis? (who by the way wanted to be addressed as Father Francis) Because he is my friend! And friends visit with each other. They share their weakness’s and their strength’s. They share their dreams, their hopes and their hearts with each other. Friends pray for each other.

    Father Francis says, “Whenever we Christians are enclosed in our groups, our movements, our parishes, in our little world we remain closed, and the same thing happens to us that happens to anything closed. When a room is closed it begins  to get dank. If a person is closed up in that room he or she becomes ill. Whenever Christians are enclosed in their groups, parishes and movements, they take ill.”

    It is time for Christians to be healed. Healed of the wounded and broken relationship between brothers and sisters. This healing requires our cooperation.

    My friend Tony used to say, “division is diabolical, diversity is divine.” The Church is diverse but she is also called to the “unity of the Spirit in the bond of Peace” (Eph. 4:3)

    Father Francis is “a friend of a friend” who has become my friend. He encouraged us to share the Life of Jesus with everyone! He says, “Life grows by being given away, and it weakens in isolation and comfort. Indeed, those who enjoy life most are those who leave security on the shore and become excited by the mission of communicating life to others. When the Church summons Christians to take up the task of evangelization, she is simply pointing to the source of authentic personal fulfillment.”

    We are all called “to do the work of an evangelist” (2 Tim. 4:5). In order for Evangelism to have it’s greatest success it needs for the church to live in unity. “… then the world will know you are my disciples” (John 13:350, and “…. that the world may believe that You sent Me” (John 17:21).

    It was my privilege to have met Father Francis…. to share the dream of unity, to pray for unity, and to look for ways of living in unity.

    Jesus prayed that prayer and I believe that it will be answered as we contemplate and cooperate with the Holy Spirit.

    Thank you Tony! Your life, your dream, your ministry has not been forgotten and it will never end.

    The Miracle of Unity …. has not only begun, but it is growing!