Saturday, January 24, 2015

A Dadly Love

At this moment, my youngest daughter is waking up for the first time in New Zealand. She has endured weeks and even months of preparation, leading up to nearly 30 hours of travel to get into a God-given, otherwise crazy dream. And I love her madly. I love her dadly. I know that’s not a real word, but it is to me. It’s my word.

Emma draws authentic love out of me like bees draw nectar. It’s crazy. As flowers were designed to survive and thrive through what bees take from them and give to them, making something better than if they’d never met, so it is with me. Emma and me.

This is all about a love designed, and, for me, it’s the dadly kind of love. It’s mysterious. It’s wonderful. It’s painful. It’s healing. Frankly, I’ve become dependent upon daddy/daughter love, knowing that it all works by the design and orchestration of The Unseen Lover. He is the Mystery Lover behind it all, revealing what He is like toward us, kindly sharing the fullness of love—the height and depth, length and breadth of love with His loved creation. The objects of His love. That’s us.

This morning Emma awakes knowing she is loved, and that has been and will continue to be the prized knowing—the best knowing she has—and fruit of her days. She will meet people from all over the world today, drawn to a YWAM base (Youth With A Mission), who have also been captivated by Jesus’ love. And she will love them in ways and with a persistence and style they have never known. . .because it’s Emma’s love. That’s my daughter, and that’s my love. Love goes on far away.

I’ve got two “fortunatelies.” Fortunately number 1: I have two daughters. Ellen returns home today from college. . .and I promise not to overwhelm her with dadly love. Because love doesn’t. Sometimes, oftentimes, dadly love is just with. And that is so good. And that’s enough. I’ve learned that about God’s love—He is with me. He is with you in everything. And that’s the best of this life: with.

Fortunately number 2 (and this is a big one!): Kiwi Emma has unlimited wifi! Do you know what that means to me? Pictures. Texts. Short videos. Even Skype or Facetime. And do you know what that means? Happy daddy. It means that Dadly love goes on in New Zealand. It’s different, but it’s the same.

God loves me. God loves you. And I know He has dadly love too.

(This is a transcript of yesterday’s video, “A Dadly Love,” and is for those who might rather read than watch. To see the video, click, or simply scroll down this blog.)

Friday, January 23, 2015

A Dadly Love

This explains at least a little bit of how God gets love to and from people—specifically, my daughters and me.  It’s personal and poignant, as you would hope love would be. 

Monday, January 19, 2015

A Soon-Coming Healing?

Congratulations to my friend and hero, Andrew Farley, whose books and teachings of the gospel of grace have drawn the attention of Hank Hanegraaff (“The Bible Answer Man”).  It’s not that Hank has nothing good to say—he does—it’s that some of his beliefs have perpetuated a terrible limp amongst many believers.  I hope this means a soon-coming healing. 

See more at:

Get The Stink Off

While a good attitude, a solid support group and decent health care does help in times of trouble, it has always been knowing God’s love that makes noble conquerors out of otherwise scaredy-cats. The desire to know God’s love is the highest desire that He can give you because it is the desire for Himself. . .and that is where your satisfaction is found, that is where your ability—and beyond—is found. The desire for love satisfied will shape your days, frame your efforts and focus your hopes in the midst of uncertain, crazy and difficult times. As much as anything else, this is the work of God toward you. It’s what He’s doing today.  First.  And last.

If you’ve been thinking that you’ve got no time to “bathe” in His love for you, maybe you’ve accepted the lie that His love isn’t practical or productive—you’ve got too much work to do after all. That thinking stinks you up, and is the proof that you need a bath, however brief, because you’ve got to get that stink off—especially the kind of bath that gets rid of the inside stink. Do you know about that stink? I’m sure you do.

He makes all of the difference for you—really—and He knows exactly how you work. Plus, He’s been through everything imaginable and more, long before you arrived on the scene, so He has all of the experience and wisdom and comfort at the ready for you. He has all of the motivation you need, all of the strength and all of the perspective. That could be helpful in your day. Right?

He is FOR you. Remember?

(This is a transcript of yesterday’s video, “Get The Stink Off,” and is for those who might rather read than watch. To see the video and to perhaps subscribe, click Or scroll down this page.)

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Get The Stink Off

Got 2 minutes?  Here's a reviving splash to clarify and encourage you today. You're going to need it because stuff's coming at you, right?

Thursday, January 15, 2015

God Is For You

To be clear, sin is no longer the defining aspect of our relationship with God—Christ is! Grace is! God did away with sin, yours and mine, by the sacrifice of His son. We have been brought into union with Him and nothing, NOTHING can separate us from Him ever again. He has already given us every good gift and perfect fullness in Christ. What’s left out of 'every' and 'fullness'? I can’t think of anything. God has made His home in you and in me, and He will never, NEVER withdraw Himself or forsake us. He has made us righteous royalty in His family—No kidding!—and even if our radiant robes should drag in the mud of this world, like the father of the prodigal, He will never lawyer-up and prosecute us for waywardness or distant country visitations.

Our Father tore up the records and every regulation. No debt remains. We cannot pay Him back, neither does He want it. That would be insulting to Him and the staggering display of His love and grace, which He still likes displaying. It’s His thing! Have you noticed? It’s the new covenant. (And, like the prodigal's dad, our Father asks no questions.) At the risk of adding to the story, the prodigal’s father threw a parade in front of the neighbors as if to say, “He’s MY son! He is for me, and I’ll give him all that I want no matter how scandalous it seems to you!” 

Friday, January 09, 2015

Freedom Versus Islam

I am posting this picture because if a few murderous Muslims are so very bothered by a few drawings of their false prophet, Mohammed, then I want to push back against their plan to intimidate people into submission by posting a representative drawing of the mass murderer himself. This picture is the television show South Park’s take on the dead leader.

If you think I might be a little insensitive, then maybe this will bring clarity: I love and respect people everywhere, but I deeply disdain and am revolted by the slave-making, female-torturing, poverty-engendering, hatred-inducing teachings of this twisted theological plague that makes monsters of the people I otherwise love. Having spent an educational and eye-opening eight months amongst the people of Saudi Arabia, I know what I’m talking about.

This is as much of a growing plague as I have ever witnessed. If we continue to cast Islam in the role of victim, offering our condolences and the benefit of looking away as Sharia spreads its strangling and de-humanizing grip, then we will deserve the consequences. They will be severe, and they will be for all of us.

I say, let’s have the conflict now. Let’s force the debate peacefully before it costs us our lives and the freedom we enjoy. The power of slave-making Islam is that it leverages my silence and acquiescence for pretended peaceful coexistence, which is only a beachhead for the fascist army behind it. They’re coming. Witness Europe. Let’s help the so-called moderate Muslims stand up to the so-called radicals by standing up first.

I’d like to see depictions of Mohammed become commonplace, our simple and powerful way of throwing off the cowering and covering they’re forcing upon us—a hallmark of Islam. We will be saying, “We do not agree with you and we will not quietly allow you to remain in slavery yourselves, let alone to makes slaves of others.”

Over and over again, history shouts from the grave to us that societal freedom is not free. Maybe this and the current events now demanding our attention will serve us well.

(For depictions of the Muslim icon, use what I've included here, Google/Yahoo him, or go to

Friday, January 02, 2015

My New Year's Triple-Dog Dare

Here’s a triple-dog dare you. 

Perhaps you’ve seen the Christmas-time classic movie, “A Christmas Story.”  It’s one of my family’s favorites.  While there are lots of great moments in the story, one scene drew a particularly large crowd.  Best friends Ralphie, Flick and Schwartz were walking to school one frigid and snowy morning when an old discussion resumed:  Will a tongue pressed on a frozen metal pole stick or not?  Schwartz said it would, and Flick said, “No way!”  With a crowd drawing round the flagpole moments before school, Schwartz loudly dared Flick to “Go ahead and do it,” if he was so brave.  Flick, not altogether sure of his tongue-stick theory, stalled as long as he could until Schwartz called him out with a sequence of powerful verbal motivators:  “I double-dog dare you,” and the ultimate, “I triple-dog dare you!”

Challenges have a way of motivating some of us, especially if it’s toward a good result.  I would like to triple-dog dare you into a bit of what might seem at first to be foolishness—but it’s the unforgettable, apostle Paul type of foolishness.

Many of us are frustrated amongst a church that does not recognize itself.  Most would agree that the percentage of Christians who believe they have truly become actual new creations, holy, blameless, faultless and righteous is very low.  And that’s tragic.  How can anyone truly enjoy the perfect intimacy God has achieved for us with Himself when we’ve got a serious disagreement going on about our union?  Further, how can we benefit from trusting friendship within the church when we are unrecognizable to each other?  The devil and this world have effectively disguised the sons and daughters of God, even to themselves.  The cover-up, which cannot prevent our longing for the benefit of true fellowship, nevertheless frustrates the possibility of it.  Sadly, we’ve been trained to settle for the outward appearance, even though we’ve been commanded against it.

“So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.” (2 Cor 5:16-19 Italics mine.)

Surrendering to worldly identities terribly injures us all.  It’s not normal.  It doesn’t work for us.  We are obscured and reduced to life by masquerade—of pretending we are not what we in fact are.  Imagine a day in which you throw off your astounding Christian identity and masquerade as a pig in a pen because the slaughterhouse is after cattle.  Actually, you’re neither one, but that’s what it’s like when a noble Christian accepts the lowly images of this world—pork or beef.  It’s a never-ending game that disguises us and keeps us playing dress up.  It’s demonic and it’s hurting us.

A better fit for us, a normal, Spirit-led and life producing fit, is to boast in the Lord.  He has made us to be just like Himself in righteousness—pure.  Just like Him in holiness—perfect.  In redemption—complete.  (See 1 Corinthians 1:30-31.)  Wherever you are, you are at all times recognized in the heavens as having become magnificent—very much like your Father.  Those in the heavens see what we must know.  Otherwise, we walk covered-over and crippled.

Here’s my New Year’s challenge, my triple-dog dare you:  Identify yourself to those who do not see you.

If you were to say, “I am a righteous man,” in the hearing of a few friends, would you be accurate?  You would.  Would they be surprised?  Probably.  Would you be arrogant?  Not at all, since you had nothing to do with what God has done to you through Christ.  Your boast is accurate and we need it.  It’s healthy to say it, and it’s healthy to hear it.  Or how about saying when with some friends, “It’s amazing that I am a perfect daughter of God.”  Oh, you’ll get “looks,” for sure, but you will be drawing back the worldly disguise that keeps you and your friends in a lie.  Get out of that lie.  Or what would happen if you asked a similar group, “Which of us here is the most holy?”  That ought to bring about some eye-opening conversation, don’t you think?

And don’t we need it?

It may be uncomfortable at times because we are not used to identifying each other as we are in Christ, but rather, as we appear in this world.  We’ve accepted and grown used to this world’s disguise . . . and to this world’s torture.  Living in agreement with God sometimes means discomfort, I know.  While that has always been daring, it’s also invigorating, especially on the inside, where God lives happily.  You will be assisting yourself and others to the truth that makes free—and that is enormously powerful and unforgettable.

Begin telling people, at least occasionally, who you are.  This may well cause something of a revolution amongst your friends, and they will likely ask how you got that way.  Would that be so bad?  That’s when the Spirit has a field day—with you and with those all around.  What a great thing that is.

Go for it.  I triple-dog dare you.

(This is a transcript of yesterday’s video, “My New Year’s Triple-Dog Dare,” and is for those who might rather read than watch.  To see the video, click, or simply scroll to the video below.)

Thursday, January 01, 2015

My New Year's Triple-Dog Dare

If you’ve been growing weary over how much pressure you feel to be fake or to fit in, here’s a challenge toward freedom—for yourself and for those around you.  It has the potential to make 2015 an amazing year.