Monday, February 6, 2012


            The cloudless blue sky gleamed as I sat at the busy intersection waiting for the light to change.   A single line of white smoke trailed behind the tiny speck of a plane making its assent to the heavens.  This scene reminded me of the truth that the longer we can maintain a sustained resistance the greater and broader our perspective becomes.

            When you think about it it’s really incredible how much energy has to be exerted by a plane to become airborne.  On the other hand, I observed seagulls in the distance simply flopping around and then soaring several hundred feet into the air above me.  In the same manner, the longer those birds can maintain a sustained resistance the higher the can go.

            I use to travel quite often by plane in a previous job.  I can tell you once we were airborne my thoughts were no longer fixed on the city we just left.   This tangible increase in perspective allowed me to see my life challenges and problems from a more global point of view.   The higher we traveled the better my perspective.

            Perhaps that’s why God never stresses over any of our cares.  His point of view is astonishing.  Scripture tells us that He sees the end from the beginning.  How amazing is that?   Incredibly we are also told, God also knows the number of hairs on your head and mine.

            If we truly want to be Christ-like, we need to keep a better and higher perspective.  The question is will we be willing to the face resistance needed to rise and grow?   Scripture tells us Jesus endured the pain while despising the shame.  He bravely faced conflict and opposition refusing to cave under pressure.   God Himself invites all Christ-Followers to share in His sufferings.   Are you ready to grow higher?

            Dear Father, I ask today that you strengthen your people for the struggles and battles we will face in the future.   Remind us of the benefits of getting a higher broader perspective.  Continually show us that everything we need for any challenge in life is found in You and Your strength.  For it’s in the Strong and Mighty Name of Jesus that I ask this.  Amen.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Does Your Worship Disparage Jesus?

Mark 15:16-20, presents a terrible scene of soldiers disrobing Jesus and placing a purple robe on his shoulders and a crown of thorns on his head.  After taunting and spitting on him, the soldiers then fell to their knees and pretended to worship Jesus before leading him away to be crucified.   

Today we’d consider such treatment of an innocent man, aside from the fact that He was our Savior and King, appalling.  Non-Christians may not be able to physically crucify Jesus, yet they continue to demean, curse, degrade, and humiliate his reputation.   

As Christians we might bristle at such treatment of Christ, however don’t we too often fail to share our faith, make excuses for missing corporate worship, hoard money, overlook service opportunities, ignore his blessing and forget to thank and praise Him?    

Romans 14:11 states, “As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bend to me and every tongue will confess and give praise to God”(NLT.)   Our Heavenly Father doesn’t appreciate teasing when it comes to worship.  His son Jesus paid the ultimate price for our sins so that we could have a new and everlasting relationship with Him.  Jesus is worthy of ALL our Service, ALL our Worship, and ALL of Our Thanks & Praise!   

Dear Father, please forgive us when we fail to give you the thanks, honor and praise for the many amazing thing you have done and continue to do for us each day.  Help us to yield our minds, bodies, resources, and lips to your service and praise.   In the Mighty Name of Jesus we ask this.  Amen.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

                                   “Brought to Your Knees”

            In Psalm 59:11, we see King David frustrated over the enemies of God.  In verse 12, David tells us he’s irritated by their lying, curses, and pride.  He doesn’t pray that his enemies are killed but rather asks God to “stagger them with your power, and bring them to their knees,”(NLT). 

            As a kid, I can remember people describing pride as one being, “too big for your britches.”  Often we battle with truth by running away or refusing to listen.  Over and over again, I reject holiness by choosing defiance.  Why does humiliation have to precede meekness?  

            David says in Psalm 51:17: “The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit.  You will not reject a broken and repentant heart,”(NLT.)   Jesus, in the New Testament, becomes the only sufficient sacrifice for our offenses and wrongdoings.   It’s only His brokenness that He brings me to my knees and makes me whole.

            Prayer: “Heavenly Father, when my life crumbles into pieces, please bring me to my knees in submission to see your divine will.   In brokenness, as I give you all the pieces of my miserable circumstances, I know there are new enormous things you can recreate.   It’s with energetic patience that I wait for your plans to be accomplished in my life.   Amen.  

Monday, December 19, 2011

                                                         “GLORY ASLEEP IN THE HAY”

            Saturday morning, as our choir recorded a DVD and completed the dress rehearsal for the Christmas production this short, but profound phrase from the practice remained lodged in my brain.  

            Consider with me, the all-powerful all-knowing, God who was and is and is to come was sleeping, as a baby, in common, smelly, itchy hay!  If you really think about it, how can you wrap your mind around a scene like that?   I confess I can’t.   Yet, I’ve noticed some interesting things about this picture.

            First, Glory is asleep in an everyday stinking irritating circumstance of life.   Do you ever have any of those?   Our nephew, Joe recently had a baby girl, Isabella, who took a long time getting here.  I joked with Joe, why she would choose not to come out.  If you were Isabella, why would you decide to venture into this harsh, fowl-smelling, and cold-hearted world when she could just remain snug, warm, well-fed, and secure right where she was?  In Isabella’s case, labor had to be induced.   Of course, this begs the question – What induces your labor?

            Second, sleeping implies that, Jesus was at peace with His circumstance.  Peace is something that is often hard to pin down.   It’s easy to wish that all of our problems would simply disappear and then we would have peace.  Right?   How sad that, new problems often pop up before the old troublesome ones are resolved.   If, I’m not clinging to Christ and depending upon Him for direction, what hope do I have in weathering the many storms of life?

            Finally, I come to see that “Glory Asleep in the Hay,” is just one snapshot in the journey of Christ’s life.  Perhaps, even as a tiny child, Glory knew who He was.   I have no hope in finding peace to cope with those people and circumstances that get on my last nerve, unless I’m willing to abandon my justifiable resentments, anger, and pride.   So, I make a choice to be cared for and to cling to this little infant and His supreme message of love, as my only hope for peace this Christmas.   As each of you move into this final week of preparations, I pray you will find peace and “Glory Asleep in the Hay.”

Monday, December 12, 2011

At His Feet:
            The sun can have unusual effects upon landscapers, because we spend so much of our time exposed to it.   One such fall-out for me occurred in my mid-forties when, I had to have cataracts removed from both my eyes.   I’ll never forget the day I left the crowded surgeon’s office (filled with elderly people) each of us wearing those stupid nerdy glasses that looked worse than the kind they hand out in 3-D movies.   Yet, when my eyes adjusted, it was as if the whole world had been driven through a car wash.   The ordinary plants, trees, and flowers, I had worked with each day had become dull in comparison to the brilliant shimmering ones that now flashed before my new eyes.    

             I wonder if that might be how the immoral woman in Luke 7 might of felt, when she realized what Jesus had done for her.   The Pharisees, seated around the table, wanted Him to condemn her as a sinner.   Instead, Jesus used the humble act of the immoral woman anointing His feet with expense perfume, weeping, and then drying His feet with her hair as a lesson in true worship. 

            Perhaps, many of us, long time Christians, forget that we were not born into Christianity.   Yes, we might have been following Jesus for quite a while, but I wonder if our image and appreciation of Him has diminished or become cloudy.   It’s too easy for us veteran Christians become caught up in tedious practices of our faith and neglect the person of Christ himself.  He is our Savior and Redeemer!   We may not have been what the old folks once called “an especially wicked sinner,” yet just one of our careless sins would have been enough to send Jesus to the cross. 

            I challenge you to catch a glimpse of the huge debt of sin Christ purchased to restore fellowship for us with the Father.   Break out of the monotonous dry modes of personal worship you have used in the past and offer our Savior fresh extravagant worship that costs you something.  See Him for who and ALL that He is!  

Saturday, December 3, 2011

                                                                                                   Snake Crushing:

            I don’t give much thought to the snakes they call black racers, so long as I’m riding on my mower or else have an edger or weed-wacker in-hand.  It’s those brown ones, with the yellow stripes, which glide on the water.   Look out!   (Not to mention, those other ones who shake and rattle their tails.)   

            Although the Bible compares Satan to a snake, the book of Romans assures us that the God of peace will soon crush him under our feet.   Are you ready for that day?  Do you ever tire of the devil’s annoying attempts to get in the way of your relationship with God?  In Hebrew 2:14-15, we find because of Jesus’ sinless life He became our perfect sacrificial offering to God the Father, allowing us to experience a warm continuous relationship with Him.   Even though Satan had power over death, don’t forget Jesus’ death and resurrection left Satan powerless.   

            I John 3:8, reminds us that Jesus purpose for coming to the earth was to destroy the works of Satan.  It’s almost amusing to see the devil’s continued attempts to thwart Jesus ministry.   Our Savior never recoiled.   Instead, he either resisted or simply dismissed Satan.   

            Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that Satan isn’t cleaver, powerful or influential.  He’s brilliant, yet he’s no match for his Creator.   In James 4:7 we’re told to just “submit to God, resist the devil and he will flee,”(NIV).    Every Christian has the power to keep the enemy of our souls under our feet.

            “Our Father, today we thank you Jesus.   Now through the power of your Holy Spirit, working in us, may we be strengthened and propelled to live God honoring lives.   In the Mighty Name of Jesus we pray.   Amen.”

Thursday, November 17, 2011


            Recently the Lord has been showing me importance of fences in my life.  Fences are just boundary markers allowing for physical enclosure of your property.   Even a simple hedge between two houses can provide a sense of yard inclusion. 

            As a Landscaper, fences, while necessary, are not always my friend.   They involve extra work because grass and weeds grow up next to and in-between fence slots.  I could use grass killing products, such as Round-up; yet to maintain a well manicured appearance, trim-line weed-eating is the method of choice.     

            Fences serve two purposes.   One, it establishes a barrier to block out what we don’t want to experience and second the fence allows us to and contain and maintain those things we need to be paying attention to.   Spiritually speaking, there are all sorts of things Satan throws in our paths to distract and frustrate us.   While, I may never be able to successfully block out every annoying arrow he hurls my way, by taking the time to erect spiritual fences, we can keep alert and avoid getting sidetrack.   

            Have you ever watched the process of building a fence piece by piece?  I admit I don’t have the eye or patience for it.   A plumb line is used at every step of the way and you’re measuring constantly to make sure it looks straight as an arrow.  

            Although fences will always be expensive and difficult to construct, we continue to enjoy the solitude and seclusion they provide.  (Fences also help contain our dogs and keep us from having to look at the foot high grass in the neighbor’s back yard.  These are just a couple of added benefits.) 

            Prayer:   “Holy Spirit please reveal specific hedges, barriers or boundary markers that can help me stay focused today and steer clear of all that would deter me from glorifying You with my life.   Amen.”