Thursday, November 28, 2013



14. To Kill A Walking Bird

13. My Best Friend's Dressing

12. The Texas Coleslaw Massacre

11. Casserolablanca

10. The Fabulous Baster Boys

9. 12 Hungry Men

8. Silence of the Yams

7. For Love of The Game Hen

6. I Know What You Ate Last Winter

5. All the President's Menu

4. White Meat Can't Jump

3. When Harry Met Salad

2. The Story of U.S.

and the #1 Upcoming Thanksgiving-Themed Movie...

1. The Wing and I

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

20 Things To Say

By now you know that I like short and meaningful videos, whether my own or not. When you've got 3.5 minutes, check this out -- you'll be glad.  (Click on the link below.)

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

God Is A Trashman

Does a big behemoth of a trash truck thrill you? Around my house, we think they’re wonderful.

For several years whenever any of us, Ellen, Emma, Sarah or I, heard the low rumble of the approaching beast, we would shriek in various keys and styles, and run to the window to glimpse the lumbering removal system. What a spectacle. The big-as-a-house creature would sort of squat down and unfurl one of its alien-like arms. This appendage of deliverance would deftly reach out and grasp our cowering container of garbage, hoist it skyward, and forcefully shake it until it expended every last vestige of foulness.

We cheered.

Our comparatively diminutive container, which, resting in the street had previously looked happy enough, immediately appeared somehow grateful—like it had suddenly realized it was never supposed to be happy when stuffed full, and that its friend was the trash truck. As it rumbled away, we always waved goodbye. “Thank you, Mr. Trash Truck and Mr. Trash Man! Thank you for taking our trash! We love you! See you next week!”

The truth is, we still cheer Mr. Trash Man. Just last night I encouraged my youngest daughter to welcome His work.

For some time now my family and I have likened the Holy Spirit’s effort within us to that of the trash man. Pardon us if you’re offended by our comparison, but consider God’s directive: “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). We know by experience what I’ll bet you do, too. God isn’t particularly thrilled just because we set out our trashy anxieties, whether by the confession of sin or by the expression of our fears; He is interested in caring for us.

God’s care for me (and His care for you) doesn’t come only when I’m doing well and loving life, but when I’m doing poorly and full of garbage. Sin, failures and fears often whisper to us that we’ve got to stop them—Stop them right now!—but they never suggest we immediately offer ourselves to God who can do something about them. And sin, failures and fears never bring up Jesus’ ability concerning struggles and temptations, either. Maybe you’ve noticed. Yet He faced every struggle and temptation we’ve had and disposed of them. All of them. He is expert!

And where is this Jesus today? He is in you and me. And He is in my wife and daughters. Look, you’re not full of garbage—God lives in you! But sometimes you’ll feel like you are. Don’t believe it; it’s a lie directed at the glory of God in you, the evidence of what He has done for you.

That’s why one of our pet names for God is The Trash Man. When we know that one of us is beleaguered we might say something like, “I wonder what the Trash Man might do for you?” Immediately we know what’s meant: God is good and amazing in the middle of sin, failures and fears, struggle and temptation. He’s good with us, and He’s always about freedom and purity—He’s a sanitation expert! He knows how to make and keep the majesty of His Bride.

You’ll never ever be an offense to Him. He cares for you in anything and everything, no matter what. Talk with Him and call upon Him when the trash is threatening—when you feel like you’re an inside mess of contradiction: “Father, I’m feeling awful and ugly things inside, but I wonder if you might have something you’d like to do with me—the real me that you know even better than I do, since you live in me, the real me that you created. . .”

His care for you will be evident, and you’ll learn more quickly to welcome Mr. Trash Man.

(This is a transcript of yesterday's video, “God Is A Trashman,” and is for those who might rather read than watch. To see the video, click

Monday, November 25, 2013

God Is A Trashman

Do you ever feel like you’re full of trash?  Does it seem like good feelings and bad feelings collide inside of you, making an awful mess?  Take 6 minutes to see what God likes to do in you when things get messy.

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Worst Lies of Religion

Let’s talk about everybody’s favorite topic, “Religion” — the suggested rules of godliness.  At its worst, religion entraps people by suggesting and encouraging “one day.”

“One day you’ll be holy.”  “One day you’ll have it together.” “One day you’ll be closer to God.”  “One day He will bless you.”  “One day you will be fully surrendered and committed to God.”  “One day you will become what God wants you to be.”  Won’t that be great, one day?

Do you see the trap?  Religion, at its worst, suggests you’re not holy, which means Jesus didn’t make you that way after all.  You’re still dirty and sinful, even though He thinks you are not.  Might that affect your relationship with Him and your approach to Him, and maybe your prayer life? 

Religion motivates you to work and focus on becoming better, because Jesus didn’t make you complete, finished and perfect in Himself.  Sooo, you’ve got work to do, even though He thinks you don’t, because He did it all already. 

Religion promotes the possibility of drawing closer to God, which implies what?  That you’re not now.  Better figure out what’s standing between you and God, even though He thinks there’s nothing between the two of you that’s bad and that’s causing distance. 

Religion induces you to keep striving in faithfulness because there’s a blessing He will give you that He hasn’t yet—a blessing that depends upon your faithfulness, rather than upon HIS faithfulness.  So you’d better keep tithing, keep praying, keep witnessing, and keep being nice because the blessing train is coming (“It’s right around the bend!”), even though He thinks that He has already arrived in you.  If He is the train, then you’re the station.

Religion suggests that you are still against God somehow and stubbornly resistant—that’s how you are—but if you try hard enough, you will eventually become real friends and get along.  Won’t that be great?  And, living the “surrendered life,” you will finally be useful, even though He thinks you’re entirely compatible already.

Religion falsely encourages you that, while you are not now much of anything, one day you will finally give yourself a really good scrubbing and arrive.  You know, “God’s gift to you is life; your gift to God is what you make of it”, even though He thinks His work in you is plenty already.  He actually knew what He was doing.  He’s finished.

The six statements I made at the beginning of this (there are plenty more) suggest the lie that you don’t have everything that God thinks you do and that you’re not actually right now in Christ, who earned it all, who provides it all, and who maintains it all—right now and forever for you.  In fact, you are fantastically wealthy and secure because of Him, and believing it is how you live!   That’s the life of faith—believing that in Christ, you’re safe because He did it and you’ve got it all.   Religion that entraps encourages you to see yourself (and others, such as your kids) as outside of Christ, with a whole lot of stuff to do so that YOU can earn what He hasn’t, so that YOU can provide what He won’t or might not, and so YOU can maintain—keep things together!—what He cannot.  That is not the gospel.  That is anti-Christ.

Fortunately, we’ve already received “the promised eternal inheritance” (see Hebrews 9:15), and we’re becoming more and more convinced about how God is toward us and for us and in us, and we trust and glory in His ability, in Him, “. . . who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.  Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:30-31).  That’s the faith!  We believe in Him, that He is perfect and good, and that He is in us, and we’re secure because of it.

So let’s help each other with the truth—big, heaping platefuls, served regularly and at all hours!  That’s how we’re nourished and how we can resist the lies, no matter where they come from.

Because of Jesus, one day has arrived.

(This is a transcript of an earlier video, “The Worst Lies of Religion,” and is for those who might rather read than watch.  To see the video—and more like it—click

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Worst Lies of Religion

Got 6 minutes?  I don’t know how to say it any more clearly; these are the most injurious lies of religion.  Give 6 minutes to this video, because knowing the truth is your way to navigate around them. . .and to help others do the same. 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Between The Past & The Present

The clock tower here is not from “Back To The Future,” but back to my past.  Yesterday evening I was sitting in a Starbucks in San Marino, CA, which wasn’t here when I was here.  (The Starbucks.) 

My California trip is coming to a close, and I’m a jumbled mix of past and present.  My parents lived here for fifty years, and it was home base until they passed on in 2008.  I had a three-hour lunch yesterday with one of my oldest and dearest friends, to whom I would entrust everything I have.  Besides, he nearly killed me a half-dozen times as we grew up together on the same street, so we’ve almost “been there, done that.”  (I love you, Jim.)

Last night I visited with two of my favorite knuckleheads whom I’ve loved since the mid 70’s, when we were idiot fraternity brothers at USC.  We have nothing to hide from each other, and fairly marvel that we’re still walking together through life since college.  (I love you, Pete and Steve.) Today, before going to a football game, I’ll drink a microbrew and make a mess of myself with some BBQ, while ganging up at a reunion of 100 stellar and fellow frat rats.  (Go, USC!  Beat Stanford!)

And I will relax late tonight with a family I’ve known for nearly 40 years.  They are a marvelous mix of beauty and brilliance, idiocy and lunacy, calm and chaos, kindness and love.  We love!  Do you see a theme?  The longer I’ve lived the more I am convinced that being WITH people, people of all sorts and beliefs, is what matters.  Yes, theology is vital, and, thankfully, being loved and lived-in by Jesus works out and looks really good with other people.  To me, that’s good theology.  (I love you, Steve, Denise, Kelsea and Douglas!)

Tomorrow I return to the present, which means hugs and kisses galore from my wife and daughters in Colorado.  Oh, how I long for them as I write.  I love you, Sarah, Ellen and Emma.  Imma go see you tomorrow.

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Power & Pain of Authenticity

If I’m going to be authentic with people—who I am with nothing added—I will likely feel a fleshly urge to add some pizzazz or extra personality or something really good to say in order to enhance the result. Refraining from that urge can seem like I’m ignoring an opportunity that really ought to be filled. I was once very good at filling voids with jokes, sarcasm, nervous laughter, or witticisms. But choosing now to be authentic means I’m resting and trusting in Christ and choosing life by the Spirit. And that’s different.

When we’re born again, we are no longer of the flesh nor are we in the flesh, and life is by the Spirit. That means our primary awareness becomes God—with us and in us—and not our previous fascination with how to be or what to do in our days. Life navigation used to be outward oriented; now it is inward. Our greatest prize and joy becomes knowing God—even when we’re with people—and trusting Him to produce in us and through us what He wants and would be to the people and situations that we find ourselves in.  That’s fun.  It’s invigorating, and allows for Christianity—life in Christ—to be the life it’s supposed to be.

Really, most of us are used to dressing up our behaviors and interactions with people. Do you know what I mean?  The flesh sends us the message that we should enhance everything—you know, turn on the charm—which will give us better odds of getting what we want. And it might, actually, so that can become our goal in life.  Right?  Control yourself = Get what you want. In fact, if you do not enhance your interactions with people in the ways that others do and expect, they might view you as different or odd. “She’s not with the program.”  But you’ll know better because you’ll be knowing Jesus.  You’ll be led by the Spirit, and that’s where the excitement is, that’s where life is.  This doesn’t mean that you can’t just be yourself.  On the contrary, this is how your authentic self is found—on the inside with God and in union with Him.  This is one way that you find both — through authenticity.

(This is a transcript of yesterday’s video, “The Power & Pain of Authenticity,” and is for those who might rather read than watch.  To see the video, click

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Power & Pain of Authenticity

Have you got 3.5 minutes for Authenticity? Take a quick look at why our relationships often go screwy, and why, after knowing someone for quite some time, they turn out to be far different than we thought. They were inauthentic and you got faked out. But there is a way forward — here’s how.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Acceptable Through Christ

Here’s a quote from a popular and current teacher in the church, who shall go nameless because I wish to focus upon the truth, rather than upon the one who speaks error.  After all he could change his mind, and—who knows—I might be wrong.  Here’s what he said: 

“Worshiping God is the most serious thing you can ever do. The most serious crimes against God occur in corrupt worship.” 

I believe this man sees us as separate from Christ—as having not been brought into Him through the cross and resurrection, and so we have to perfect ourselves, our offerings and our worship, or we will pay the price for our “crimes” against God.  In my view, this man does not see people through the new covenant made with Christ, but through the former covenant made and dependent upon individual obedience.  That is a terrible error, because he doesn’t see our worship as being made acceptable since it is through Christ (1 Peter 2:4-5), who has become for us our perfect righteousness, holiness and redemption (1 Corinthians 1:30).

Jesus Christ is perfect, and we offer ourselves and our worship through Him because that’s where we are.  And that’s just right.

Where The Beauty Starts

Okay, I admit it: I'm a sucker for people-loving-people stories. Not the romantic, roses and exotic vacation stories (those have their place), but people working for the best for others. Not because the government mandates it (Ahem!), but because they want to. That's where the beauty starts.

Friday, November 08, 2013

What The Holy Spirit Is Doing With You

Let’s talk about “ministry,” a fairly archaic word.  If anyone calls me a minister—“Let’s welcome Minister Harris”—I cringe, at least inwardly.  But it’s an important word, nevertheless.  Its essential meaning is “service” or “assistance.”  To illustrate consider the following statement: 

“The ministry of the law, which rightly condemns me, brings out my failures, but the ministry of the Spirit brings out His success.”

The good work of the law—the assistance it gives—has always been to condemn and bring death.  On the other hand, the work or service of the Holy Spirit is always to rightly convince believers of our complete and eternal righteousness in Christ.  One good work (that former work) brought imprisonment.  The old covenant believers were never free nor far from their sin, but through endless, repetitive and gory sacrifices, they were ever reminded of it.  Please read Hebrews 10, and you’ll find it there.  But just imagine an innocent animal being sacrificed every year for the sins of the people—you and the guy next to you—and you would know that sin was not finished and put away—you were not free of it.  “Hey, Moishe, what are doing at this time next year?”  “Same as you, Ibrahim.  Got it on the calendar—don’t worry.  See you next year.”  Every year this is what happened.

But this good work—this New Covenant ministry—convinces us (or convicts us, if you like) that we have been made free from our sin through one final sacrifice and have been given the righteousness of Another, our Savior Jesus Christ.  Now that’s a ministry!  And that’s the ministry we’re all involved in.

There is no more calling up Moishe and arranging to meet up at the sacrificial altar on Sunday.  “Want to get lunch at Cracker Barrel after we get free of our sins, Moishe?”  There is now no more sacrifice for sin, because the ONE SACRIFICE ended it!  Please don’t denigrate Jesus’ sacrifice by believing you’ve got to add your particular sacrifice into the mix in order to get free of your sin.  That’s a deadly sacrifice.  If you’ve received Jesus, you’re alive and free!  “Wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (2 Corinthians 3:17).  In Him “we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:14).

Listen to what the apostle Paul wrote, rather well acquainted himself with the two agreements, the two ministries, God made for believers:

2 Corinthians 3:6-11 He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.  7 Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, transitory though it was, 8 will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious? 9 If the ministry that brought condemnation was glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness! 10 For what was glorious has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing glory. 11 And if what was transitory came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts! 

So, what are you feeling right now?  Stop and think.  Stop.  Think.  According to the scriptures, the Holy Spirit is right now working to convince you of what Jesus has given you and made you to be—righteous!  Well off with God.  Perfect.  The biblical phrase “to convict” means to “convince utterly.”  What a good thing that is!  “Moishe!  In Christ there’s an end to sacrifice and there’s freedom from sin!  Oh, my God!  Can you believe it?”

And the answer is:  “Yes!”  That’s the ministry of the Spirit, and that’s what He will be doing with you today.  And tomorrow.  And the day after that.  Serving freedom and life in Christ is what’s on His everyday menu.  How cool is that?

(This is a transcript of yesterday’s video, “What The Holy Spirit Is Doing With You,” and is for those who might rather read than watch.  To see the video, click

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Sacramento Event Cancelled

My roller coaster life continues to dazzle me with ever-changing dips, loops and bends.  You know that speaking gig I had near Sacramento?  It seems the hosts have a roller coaster life too, and have to cancel the event.  I’m going to spend time with just them this weekend, and we’ll share what life is like particularly in the dips—screaming is acceptable.  (Sorry for inconveniencing you.)

What The Spirit Is Doing With You

Have you wondered what The Holy Spirit’s main thing is in your day-to-day life?  What’s on His menu?  What’s He serving up?  Take 5.5 minutes and see what you think.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Hey, Sacramento!

For everyone in the Sacramento, California, area, I will be speaking at Free Ride, Inc., this Saturday, November 9, at 7:00pm. I'd love to meet you, and that will be easy if you come for the free BBQ that begins at 5:00.  

For more information, call (916) 259-1904. Free Ride is located at: 4041 Alvis Ct. #B, Rocklin, CA, 95677.

Even Political Commentators

I confess — I am a pretty regular news-watcher. Because I value getting both sides of the story, I have become familiar with conservative and liberal commentators. The following article written by self-avowed liberal, sometimes-atheist, Kirsten Powers, grabbed my attention. Click on the link if you are interested.

“’It's true. It's completely true.’ The world looked entirely different, like a veil had been lifted off it. I had not an iota of doubt. I was filled with indescribable joy.”

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Jesus' Roller Coaster

Some of us have fairly crazy lives—you know who you are—so have you ever wondered if maybe you are Jesus’ roller coaster, His daily thrill ride?  Would that be so bad?  It explains a lot to me. 

Think about it.  If Jesus is, indeed, where He thinks He is—in you, in me—and our days are full of crazy ups and downs, ins and outs, rough corners over there and over here, and lots of “Aaaaaahhh!” worthy moments, then don’t you think that He might have planned it that way?  Isn’t it possible that He planned to experience everything just as you do, inside of you, in the same way? 

You know:  morning drudgery, coffee, BACON, pastry, fruit, blender (protein powder?), work, lunch, work, weirdos and whackos that you have to deal with, frustration, grief, excitement, sickness, expectation, disappointment, satisfaction, fear, dinner (wine?), Monday night football, Downton Abbey re-runs, The Walking Dead, Netflix, or maybe a good book, fatigue, wonder (“Am I okay today, Jesus?  Are you with me?”), and then sleep.

Yes.  All of it.  You are okay.  He is with you and He is in you.  Through it all.  No matter what.  And, one day, the two of you will enjoy talking face-to-face all about the crazy thrill-ride you were for Him.  That will be an incredible day for Him and for you—roller coaster breath.

Until then, He’s riding in you. 

(This is a transcript of yesterday’s video, “Jesus’ Roller Coaster,” and is for those who might rather read than watch.  To see the video, click

Monday, November 04, 2013

Jesus' Roller Coaster

Is your life filled with ups and downs, crazy events and emotional peaks and valleys?  Give 3 minutes to this fun little video and see if you don’t feel better about the whole thing.