Saturday, June 30, 2012

Forced Love

I didn't get married until I was 35, so I have plenty of empathy for the relationship adventures of single adults.  In their honor, I present this deep and profound comic.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Just The Way You Are

Does God like you, just the way you are?

It all depends upon what your view of yourself is. God thinks you are spirit. Many Christians think you are human. If you’re human, then there’s a lot about you that God wants to change. If you’re spirit, then God has already changed you. What’s needed now is for you to believe Him.

After God changes you from old to new, from a son of the earth to a son of God, He is absolutely delighted with you—the change is complete. He has seen to it. He doesn’t want you getting confused about the change He has made when your behavior fails to match up with the change He has made. He doesn’t want you focusing upon your behavior in order to change, but He assists you to believe in the change He has made. This requires a healthy focus upon the truth. He doesn’t want you to change—please don’t! Stay the way you are. Stay the way HE thinks you are—a spot-on, perfect son or daughter of His. Get comfortable with that.  I know—it may take a while.  But convincing you is one of the things God does for you. And He’s pretty good at it.

This is why I maintain that God is fairly crazy about you. He wants to show you what He sees. He and all of heaven are dazzled. And as you see and know what He sees and knows, you’ll be growing—growing in faith that He likes you just the way you are.

Family Reunion

While a friend house and dog sits for us, my family and I are with my entire family (17 of us!) on our annual reunion.  Unfortunately, I left my camera’s USB cable behind, so I can’t post pictures from it.  Here’s one that my daughter captured from the preview area of my camera. It’s crude, but it will have to do for now.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Living By The True View

Perhaps the greatest cause of church abuse today is misidentification.  Everybody suffers when we don’t see who’s who.  If the eyes of our heart do not hold people as God has made them thru the cross and resurrection, then the eyes in our head will surely lead us poorly.  We will live blindly.  We will live deceived.  How, then, can we live and act toward one another in keeping with who we are?  I know of no other place where this is more tragic than when the church gathers together. 

But what if we chose what we know, the true view?  What if we chose reality, even though it is invisible to our earthly eyes?  (See 2 Corinthians 4:18.)   Then we would live in the Truth, we would live accurately, we’d be walking by and with the Spirit, and the Kingdom now in us would be stunningly evident to us—and to all.   

That wouldn’t be too bad, would it?

Colorado Fires

We live at the feet of the Colorado Rockies, near Boulder, and the fires near us are in the mountains. We can see and smell smoke, but the fires are no threat to us at this point. We do have friends who have lost their homes, and others who are now evacuating. I appreciate your concern and prayers.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Marriage By Christ

If we shortcut living by the Spirit, we’ll not get where we want to go. 

Rather than trust and rely upon the Spirit and His perfect production of life and love and grace for marriage, we’ve been tricked into accepting standards of expected marital behavior and the fleshly posturing necessary to achieve them.  When we tell Christians how they should behave according to an agreed upon standard, we’ve set them up for failure; we might as well have told them to obey the Law as a means of enjoying the Christian life.

Life by standards, especially married life, makes vigilant Pharisees of us.  Not only must I scrutinize my every move, but also I will naturally be hawkish about my wife.  That does not make for a trusting and loving relationship.  Performance based vigilance means judgmental brains and stimulated flesh, which means undiscovered hearts and lethargic spirits.  The cost?  We will miss the awe that comes from discovering Christ in us, perfect for every situation and need and relationship.  He does the work in us; we get the experience.

Imagine Jesus loving your husband or wife.  Would He be good at it?  Would He have the feelings for it?  Or would He have to act like He did?  You know the answers.

Last question:  Where is Jesus?  I bet you know.  Think of the work He could do from where He is.  Have a few chats with the One who lives in you.  Listen for the One who will never burden you with what He is particularly good at doing for Himself.  He will produce in you what He is like.  Remember that thing about His yoke being easy, His burden light?   


Wednesday, June 20, 2012


To the fleshly mind, looking away from sin is counterintuitive, even irresponsible.  It wants to do something about it, and that’s the problem—it can’t!  But the mind set on the Spirit IS life and peace.  The mind “looking” at Jesus reaps His very life.  Translation:  Have a good gawk at God!  And watch what happens.  That’s the miracle of “Christ in you.” (See Romans 8:6,7, 12-14; Colossians 3:1-4.)

We're of the God-Gawker Clan.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Being Needy

I have long been aware of a fleshly stubbornness in me which is against being in need of rescue, the very thing my Shepherd loves to do. But being needy is often the clearest evidence that I am fit for Him, and not for flesh-based effort.  Years ago God started me out with faith in Him—that He is amazing with me—and years later not much has changed.

Monday, June 18, 2012


The Holy Spirit doesn't need any help from you trying to figure out the flesh.  The struggle you feel within is His fight with the flesh, not yours.  All the Spirit wants is your attention on Him—that’s it.  He’ll take care of the rest.

Should He want to convey something to you about it, you know it will be comforting and wonderful because He knows you really well and is very good at reviving the real you, even after a fleshly moment covered you over or beat you up.  And I think there’s something in the Bible about the Spirit being rather good at counseling and comforting.  Right?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Great Christian Pot

Think about what Paul told the Corinthians: 

"For God, who said, 'Let light shine out of darkness,' made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.  But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us" (2 Cor 4:6-7).

Just try thinking of God lurking in a pot, and you’ve got the picture.  Should the pot attempt to be strong and capable, summon its mineral resources, and put on a show?  No.  It should take every opportunity to fall over.  It doesn’t have a mouth so it can’t invite anyone to take a peek inside.  It doesn’t have talent, so it can’t dazzle anyone enough to prove what’s there, and it certainly can’t defend itself against a hammer: “Boy!  We’ve given you a dozen whacks and you haven’t cracked.  God must live in there!”  It’s not that we actually are jars of clay, but figuratively speaking, we have one within us.  Now that God lives there, every knock and smack on us is an invitation—not to parade the pot, but to crack or tip over, letting out the treasure.  The whack on the pot will happen again and again (like it or not) because God loves to work through you and me.  We get delight (God is in me!) and others get the life of God.

"We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you" (2 Cor 4:8-12).

Doesn’t this shed light on why things happen the way they do?  He’s moving us from one resource to another.  As He exhausts our natural, fleshly resources so we can live by faith, He is carrying on the sanctification of His sons and daughters.  God is orchestrating for your life and His life to meet!  When we know what He is doing, we can look through the temporary and visible circumstances and live by faith, finding the grace and energy of Christ in us.  We're set up for it.

How incredible is that?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Dogs & Cats

The difference between dogs and cats. (Don't hate me.)

To The Philippines!

A Filipino friend has just told me that my book is available at a bookstore in the Philippines!  He wrote:  “Please encourage your friends here to buy their copy. Thank you for writing this book!”  For PHP 396, you can get a copy of “God’s Astounding Opinion of You” at OMF Lit Bookshop.  Their web address is: 

Would you share this with your friends?

Monday, June 11, 2012

To Reign In Life

For the Christian, “reigning in life” is not the avoidance of sin or even the doing of good deeds.  To “reign in life” means to have a time in power, to have a period of influence.  To do that means my befitting role is the receiving of grace (God’s life) and righteousness (God’s character).  At the core, I am a receiver, not an initiator.  He is the worker, and I the building.  He is the power, and I the display.  One is busy, the other is not. 

What freedom that is.  And that’s the way of grace.

Romans 5:17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.

Saturday, June 09, 2012


In a day when slogans and "sloganeering" are all the rage, you've got to be aware that not all of them work all of the time.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Crazy Crossovers

Question:  I just heard a very famous preacher say that you can't lose your salvation but you can choose to walk away from it. He was using Hebrews 6. What are your thoughts? Can you choose to walk out of God's hand?

I have never thought that Hebrews 6 is specifically about salvation.  I believe it is about repentance, which is a re-thinking that results from a recognition of the truth.  (Frankly, I have little repentances or “awakenings” pretty regularly.)  Evidently, there are some believers who go rather crazy concerning what they once believed and shared in—the riches of their inheritance in Christ.  If they go “crazy,” or are having a “crazy episode” that continues to their passing on, I believe they are still secure and rich in Christ (He did the securing and gift-giving anyway) and, therefore, have nothing to lose.  Sure, they’re crazy as they cross over from death to life. . .but after that they’re not.  What an awakening that will be. 

After I’ve crossed over myself, I’ll want to check out some “heavenly crossing” videos in heaven’s video vault(!) of crazy people I’ve known on this earth.  Wouldn’t that be great?  Imagine it:  crazy, hardened, earth-trapped skeptic the moment before death, and then instantly enlightened, stunned and radiant, heavenly member the next.  “Whoa!  My God!” they might say.  

I think I could watch a lot of those.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Crazy Grace

Grace is irrational to the thinker.  It is unfair to the judge.  Grace is foolishness to the achiever.  It is a waste to the selfish.  Grace is a mistake to the disciplinarian.  It is a shame to the religionist.

But it is a stream of water to the thirsty.  It's freedom to the imprisoned.  It is life to the dead.  Grace is rest to the tired.  It is another chance to the failed.  It is hope to the despondent.  It is a way out for the lost and a way in for those who can see the Door.

- Steve McVey

Monday, June 04, 2012


What people want is Jesus. What people will accept is far less.

Fortunately, it’s His pleasure to work so they have what they want—it’s His favorite thing. No matter what, that’s His work with you today.

Tomorrow’s forecast is for more of the same.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

A Costly False Treasure

Sometimes "leaders" have worked very hard and invested themselves deeply into templates for what they must do and teach. "This is what I will do because this is what works," they might say. It mostly becomes a false treasure. When people ask questions or cast doubt on something within that template, the leader feels as though his life is threatened—and, sadly, acts accordingly. It’s a tragedy born by false treasure.

To the extent that we believe we have a kingdom to build and a treasure to defend is the degree to which we will fight with people—even our own—no matter how ugly and costly. If we believe the kingdom is His and the treasure secure, we will know rest and confidence in Him. Whichever way we see it, people will know soon enough.

And, I say, run from the former and enjoy the latter.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

The Voice That Matters

I shudder to think what would happen in my head if this picture didn't have Pooh in it, but Rodney Dangerfield, the Church Lady, Mr. Bill, or, horror of horrors, Peewee Herman.