Tuesday, May 31, 2016

God's Glory Revealed In You

Got 6 minutes?  Mankind is fit perfectly for the life of God Himself—nothing else will satisfy, nothing else will work.  That is the essence of Christianity.  Here’s a great way to find Him alive and effective in you.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Enjoy Your Treasure

Is there a place or two that when you visit, you come alive? Maybe it’s a distance away, like a vibrant meadow or a mountain view or a breeze that brings the scent of the ocean to you. Or perhaps it’s nearby, like a certain chair in the early morning or a walk through the neighborhood.

One of mine is an emerald pool on a secret river in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Since the late 60’s, I have been wading through its long, slow waters and scanning the currents and sinister snags as I hunt what lies within it. The very moment I enter the water I find myself sighing deeply in welcome and relief. It’s as if the Divine Masseuse has begun gently massaging away the cares and deep anxieties that have knotted me up and made me rigid and mechanical.

I don’t like Ralph The Rigid and Mechanical. He’s a fake, a put on. Somehow I can be held captive by him, a sort of hostage from myself. But not in the river. I get myself back.

There is a better way that brings me back to life, and I don’t have far to go to find it.

Years ago God worked in such a way that I discovered Him to be the greatest treasure. Not simply because of His value, supreme as it is, but because of what happened to me when treasuring Him. I wasn’t simply dazzled by what I found, like a pirate might be after lifting the lid on a treasure chest. Instead, the radiance filled me and affected me on the inside, and I became the best Ralph imaginable. I discovered that God knows the real Ralph, the one He fashioned, and He loves revealing that treasure—even if it has been buried. I was filled with the Spirit—God Himself—and my Treasure treasured me. I was forever changed and hooked on Treasure.

After that no commands to obey or give or pray or read or sacrifice were really necessary, having been made superfluous by the one: Enjoy your treasure. It happened again this morning when, resisting the impulses to read the newspaper or to get on the internet and find out what’s happening in the world, I turned my thoughts to Him. “Father, I sure like you and need you today. What are you thinking about? What’s on your mind?”

It didn’t take long before the stone over my heart moved and there He was: Treasure. As a result, Ralph The Rigid and Mechanical vanished, driven away after a simple gaze, and the real Ralph appeared.

Matthew 13:44 "The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.”

No one had to tell the man what to do about the treasure—he genuinely treasured it, and that led him to do what he did. It’s the same with us, I think.

The next time you’ve lost your way, resist the urge to drive faster in order to get where you’re going. You won’t get there. Instead, take a minute or two and get off the common avenue, the activity that allows treasure to remain unnoticed, unvalued, and return to your treasure. Have a look again. He will treasure you back to yourself.

(This is a transcript of yesterday’s video, “Enjoy Your Treasure,” and is for those who might rather read than watch. To see the video, click https://youtu.be/hATdDlTcJp8, or scroll down this blog page.)

Friday, May 27, 2016

Enjoy Your Treasure

The next time you’ve lost your way, here are 4 minutes that will show you that help is easier and closer than you might think. 


What plagues and hurts Christians a lot? Believing that we fit in this world’s current of ungrace, and swimming as if our lives will be measured by ever improving personal bests.

Monday, May 16, 2016

He Is What You Want

Jesus is well acquainted with failure and sin and faithlessness and betrayal and ugliness of all sorts. He took all of ours at the cross, as though He had made the mess Himself. He knows all about it and is really good with those of us who fall into it. No matter how you are today, no matter how bad your experience, He is what you want. He is the solution. He is the way forward. He may not answer all of your questions, but He will give you life. He will revive you and you will feel better. And that counts.

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Thoroughly Blessed

If you believe that God is waiting to bless you based upon your obedience, you will be caught up in a self-righteousness crusade. You will try to hear just right, speak just right, move just right, behave just right, and give just right. You will have your self-righteousness at the controls of blessing. That is a terrible false burden because any vestige of a quid-pro-quo relationship with God—if you do it right, He’ll do it right—has forever been removed by the free gift of Jesus’ righteousness, making you exactly right in Him and having all things already. Because you believe Jesus, He has become everything for you, and in Him, you are well and thoroughly blessed. Think that through. We don’t live by or for the benefits of our righteousness; we live in His.

Speaking In Pennsylvania

Tomorrow morning I’m off to Pennsylvania to speak at “The Dan Stone Retreat,” which is being held at the Salvation Army Ladore Camp, in Waymart.  Not only am I excited to speak with this group of encouraging and loving people whom I met last year (this is the 20th year of the retreat), but I might get to sneak in some fly fishing.  Wouldn’t that be good?  ("Thank you" to those supporting me, which enables these trips. If you'd like to help, no gift is too small. http://lifecourse.org/Giving.html.)

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

All Blessings

God is not waiting for you to obey Him so He can bless you. The perfect obedience of Jesus took care of all that already. Remember: it's not what you see that reveals what you have, it's where you are—in Him—that proves it. Live from there, because that's a pretty good place to be, don't you think? (Ephesians 1:3-10.)

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Claude, the Coffee Angel

I admit to feeling grossly inferior at times to the coffee artisans who make beautiful latte art. Perhaps you’ve see white flowers, asteroid bursts, a bouquet crowned by a heart, and more admiring your lips as you raise your coffee concoction to drink. But I offer today’s miracle of the mug as proof of my, um, honorabilityness, which sprang from my own espresso creation: Claude, my Coffee Angel. If, per chance, you cannot see him, wings uplifted and singing his way from right to left, then you are doomed—doomed, I say, to endless and fruitless searching for the crema and latte art anointing as you wander your allotted days. For those who do, indeed, recognize Claude’s heavenly, ephemeral visage, you are blessed. Rejoice…or something.

(I hope you enjoy your Monday morning coffee!)