Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christian Growth

I believe that Christian growth is not change in the sense of becoming something you are not, but of growing into what and who you already are. A baby does not become more human as he reaches adulthood; a Christian does not become more Christian as his years increase. He was born a perfect Christian and is growing into what and who he is, increasingly becoming "established in the faith."

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Friday, December 19, 2014

What Does Ralph Do?

If you're wondering, "What does Ralph Harris actually do?" then here are some descriptions and links that will help to answer that question, and give you a bunch of resources. While I was a pastor for more than 25 years, I am now an:

- Author (,

- Speaker (,

- Writer (,

- YouTuber (

- Facebooker ( and

Help yourself to anything and everything you like from me.

God's Biggest Problem Is Me

The good guys at Surrendered Image have published my article, “God’s Biggest Problem Is Me.”  I think it would be helpful for you if that kind of thought ever enters and plagues your mind.  Go to:  You'll also find lots of great articles at the site from numerous authors.  Have a look.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

If I Could Only Change

What about “change”?  We talk a lot about it.  We often say things like, “I want to change,” and, “Gosh, if I could only change.”  God has been rather concerned about change for a long time too.  Change or “transformation” from one thing to another is a significant aspect of the gospel—the good news of God for us.

I recently posted the following:  “Truly transformed lives come by looking at and examining everything we can about the cross, resurrection and person of Jesus Christ, not from the attempt to emulate Him. He does the work from inside of us—He brings us out—proving that He is our hope.”

What I’m getting at is that, in Christ, believers have already become like Jesus (1 John 4:17). There is no studying Jesus SO THAT or in order that we might become like Him, because we already ARE like Him. We have already been made holy and blameless as He is (Colossians 1:22), we’ve already been made righteous as He is (2 Corinthians 5:21), we’ve already been justified (Romans 4:25), we’ve already been redeemed (1 Corinthians 1:30), and actually share now in His nature (2 Peter 1:4).  By looking into how that happened through Christ’s cross and resurrection, we live by faith in Jesus as an objective fact and as a place where we are, in Him, having been changed—triumphantly!  Successfully.  We’re in harmony with Him.  Reconciled.  Compatible.

Excluding things like omnipresence, omniscience, and omnipotence, to the extent that we believe we are not like Jesus but should be is the extent to which we do not believe the gospel and cannot live by faith that the change has been made, and are then frustrated in trying to make something happen that already has.  The healthy-sounding phrase, “I want to be more like Jesus,” is unhealthy if and as it implies that we are not now like Him but should be, even though God thinks He’s already made us like Jesus. Instead, we believe that we are unlike Him and separate from Him, with a lot of work to do, but can get close and maybe even sometimes look like Him if only we will behave like Him.  As important as behavior is, it doesn’t necessarily reveal who you are; what you believe about Jesus Christ reveals who you are.

No one can become like Jesus by copying Him—no one.  Only by believing and receiving Him can He make the change that means we don’t copy or act like Him in order to become like Him; we act like Him because we have been made and are like Him right now.  It’s our nature to act like Him.  All of the New Covenant behavioral commands rest upon this.  We’ve been changed into true and actual sons and daughters of God.  So, being convinced of this (which is certainly the majority of our labor with the church—helping each other believe that God made the change, it has been done), it’s then normal for us to behave like Him, putting on love and mercy.

A disciple, then, is not one who pursues or follows Jesus in order to become like Him.  After the cross, after the resurrection and after the New Covenant began, a disciple is one who has been changed by God, is now compatible with God, and who is now led by God from within. The work upon the disciple is done; it’s complete.  The work within the disciple—where the kingdom is—goes on.

If you’ve lost your vigor and vitality as a Christian, it’s not because you’re not following hard enough after Jesus, trying to copy His behavior and become like Him.  Rather it’s BECAUSE you’re trying to copy His behavior and become like Him, unaware you already are like Him.  Disbelief is frustrating and wearing you out.  You’ve traded knowing God, who produces a transformed life, for copying God, which produces a flesh-formed life, Adam-like life, fake life.  One is Spirit and one is flesh.  One fits you, and one does not. 

Transformed lives are not those that we create and make happen, but those that HAVE BEEN created by God, and which we discover and believe by looking at Jesus, His crucifixion and His resurrection, which affected us just as He intended—perfectly.  Done.  Finished.

(This is a transcript of yesterday's video, "If I Could Only Change," and is for those who might rather read than watch. To see the video, click, or scroll down this page.)

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

If I Could Only Change

“Change.”  We talk a lot about it and put great effort into it.  But what if we’ve missed something, what if God thinks one thing about “change” and we think something else?  Take 6.5 minutes to get rid of the fear that “I had better change, or else!”

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Upcoming Schedule

For those interested in where I will be speaking in the near future, and/or who would like to invite me to an event, here is my speaking schedule for the next several months.  You’re invited to each one.  Generally, I like to keep events to no more than 2 per month, so March and April are a bit open, and May is entirely open.  To invite me to an event, large or small, either private message me or go to my ministry web site at:

January 16 - Ft. Collins, CO., Re-Connect Ministries:  “Divorce”

February 8 – Saline Community Church, Michigan (

February 20-22 – Grace Life Fellowship, Baton Rouge, LA; Men's Retreat (

March 20-22 – Surrendered Image Conference, Three Hills, Alberta, Canada.  (

April 24-26 – Network 220, "Outrageous" Celebrating the Extravagant Love of God, Grace Life Community Church, Virginia. (

Sunday, December 14, 2014

No Man Is An Island

Here’s a song and video I’ve been enjoying very much.  There is beautifully expressed and deeply felt heart in it concerning our having been reconciled to God and, thereby, to each other.  See what you think.  (Lyrics below.)


I won't run, I will stay

I'm not leaving you

I know there's friction here

The struggle makes us new

I wish you never thought you had to go

Wish you never thought you had to leave

Together we can lift each other up

We can build a shelter for the weak

No man is an island, we can be found

No man is an island, let your guard down

You don't have to fight me, I am for you

We're not meant to live this life alone

I see fear in your eyes

There's no safety here

Oh, my friend, let me in

I will share your tears

I wish you never thought you had to go

I wish you never thought you had to leave

We can always lift each other up

We can build a shelter for the weak, come on

No man is an island, we can be found

No man is an island, let your guard down

Please don’t try to fight me, I am for you

We're not meant to live this life alone

Through trouble, rain, or fire

Let's reach out to something higher

Ain't no life outside each other

We are not alone

Through trouble, rain, or fire

Let's reach out to something higher

Eyes open to one another

We are not alone

No man is alone

Why you try to fight me

We don’t have to do it alone

We don’t have to do it alone

We don’t have to do it alone

Saturday, December 13, 2014

A Reminder

If God thinks you’re a true son of His, holy and righteous, clean and pure, but you think you’re something else, something less, might that cause stress in your relationship(s) and how you interact in your day to day? Imagine having an argument with God, and you’re trying to lower His estimate of yourself, while He’s trying to elevate your estimate of yourself. Who wins that argument? How long before you relent and accept His view of you? You’ll be glad when you do, because living by faith is not only normal, it’s powerful. You’re going to feel it.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

How To Help People Breathe

 Christian, you were raised with Christ.  I don’t know why we pray, “Oh, Lord, be with me now,” since not only is He with us, we’re with Him—forever and always.  We’re in Him, united with Him, and everyone in heaven knows it.  This is one reason why you and I need regular revivals, great awakenings to who we are and where we’re from.  Think of it as getting desperately needed oxygen, not because you’re so high up and there is no air, but because your earthly experience is so low down and the air is awful—and foreign. 

Our interaction with Christians often has a lot to do with giving them the air from home, the oxygen of heaven.  Picture a scuba diver many feet deep in the ocean of this world, and you’ve pretty much got the idea of a Christian’s experience in this lifetime.

There have been many times where, burdened by the things and situations of this world, I began feeling like I couldn’t breathe.  With the pressure getting to me, never have I felt better by simply working harder.  What always saved me and what saves me today is the air of my homeland—the gospel, the truth of God and me, which the Holy Spirit uses to sort of oxygenate my blood.  I’m revived because I’m breathing fresh air again, the air of heaven.  That’s my air.

That’s why I love the Bible—It’s pure oxygen, baby!—and why I’m always on the lookout for great Christian books and music that fill me with the pure air of heaven.  Get all you can—you can’t live without breathing.  (See my recommended book list at

These days are a foreign missionary experience in the depths of this world, where dangers abound and breathing is at times difficult.  But I look forward to the day when I’ll pop up on the surface of heaven, mask, tanks and wetsuit removed—not needed—and take my first big breath.  I know I’ll recognize the air.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

He Is Our Hope

Truly transformed lives come by looking at and examining everything we can about the cross, resurrection and person of Jesus Christ, not from the attempt to emulate Him. He does the work from inside of us—He brings us out—proving that He is our hope.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Barbados Trip

Yesterday (Sunday) was a full day, from preaching during Barbados Grace Fellowship's church gathering, to a couple of hours at the beach, to dinner with a couple I dearly love, Jeff and Nicole. Group meetings begin tonight!

Following my message, the church cranked up some music and began dancing with obvious joy.  It was blast!

I had dinner with a couple I absolutely love and admire, Jeff and Nicole Mager.  They're perpetually curious about God and what He is like, and their humor is off-the-charts fantastic.

Fortunately, we had time to sneak in a couple of hours at the beach, which, for this land-locked Coloradan, was awesome!  More meetings today and tonight.