Monday, May 29, 2017
As much as Tiger Woods clawed, fought, cheated and connived his way to “the top” of the golf, monetary and social world, he cannot now “fall from grace” because he never earned grace to begin with. Grace is always given; grace is never earned. Indeed, when someone falls a great distance, it can be said that he has not fallen away from grace, but fallen into grace all the more. (See Romans 5:20-12.)
And that’s how I’m praying for Tiger Woods. “Jesus, as ugly as these days are for Tiger Woods, would you impress upon him how perfect you are for Him? How kind, generous, forgiving and loving you are toward him? Would you wake him up to you? There’s nothing better for Tiger Woods than you, and I would love for this to be his time with you. Amen.”
Today, less that 0.5% are serving in the armed forces, and only a small percentage of the remaining 99.5% are sharing in their sacrifice—unless you count paying taxes. I don’t.
Further, I know that if I were to post a picture or a meme today thanking those who served and gave their lives in the service of our country, more than a few in my audience would be disappointed by my post. I might lose a few friends, who are anti-military, having made their thoughts known over the years. They might be quick to say that they’re not against those serving in the military; it’s just what the military does that they’re against—a distinction lost upon an actual soldier. (That’s like telling me that you’re not anti-pastors, you’re just anti-church.)
But I recognize a beauty in those who take up a cause for the benefit of others that costs them more than the minor discomfort of marching and holding a sign of protest. I see a struggling nobility in those whose families lost a father, mother, son or daughter in the service of my country. They know why they served, even if that service is not glorified by those served.
Well, today I am glorifying you. I cannot actually show appreciation to those who gave up their lives—which is what Memorial Day is about—but I’m standing up for them and for their families. I see you. What you’ve done, what you’re doing counts with me. Your rare nobility ranks high. Thank you.
Sunday, May 28, 2017
Friday, May 26, 2017
Plus, the one making the attempt will go through his days in a perpetual selfie mode. “Do I look good?” “Am I doing it right?” will be at the top of his self-righteous question list, the concern of most every moment. That thinking, that mind, will keep him in failure, as it has for all who have ever attempted it. (It’s Jewish, not Christian.) One thing is fortunate: he will break down. He will weary.
If you meet someone who has wearied of “Selfie Christianity” (“Do I look good?” “Am I doing it right?”), do not condemn him for being messy, inactive, uninvolved, disconnected or passionless. DO NOT.
The Spirit is seeing to it that the one born of Him is abandoning the false and futile focus, and is beginning to look to Jesus as His representative and life—if only a peek to begin with. You and I can assist him with that little look. His hope is actually beginning to grow because it has been exhausted in a false attempt, and must be reborn where it belongs—on Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit to produce the life that is His to produce.
His hope is that nothing is demanded of him! All is provided! He lives by faith that Someone Else has done it all! He was crucified with Jesus, and no longer lives—that’s actually true, he just doesn’t know it. (See Galatians 2:20.) The life he has been attempting—“Selfie Christianity”—is not life, but death! He has unintentionally been bringing a false self to life, if you will allow me that. That cannot work.
The way of life for him—his true hope—is to believe into Jesus, who gave himself for him, and who lives now on the inside.
How active, how involved, connected and passionate is Jesus? Plenty! And that’s what he will discover.
The mind set upon Him is life and peace—Romans 8 says so! But it’s His life and His peace, not your life made better so that your selfies look better. In other words, the mind set upon Jesus is going to find out what life is really like! That’s the hope.
The mind attracted and given to Jesus actually works, which is why you and I love the gospel of Jesus Christ so much—giving it and receiving it. Because Life is an inside production, and not an outside parade captured by endless selfies, you’ve got to get off of the Selfie Christianity mode, and get into Jesus and how He is with you.
I hope this helps. Pass it on, if you like.
(This is a transcript of the video, “Life Is Not A Selfie,” and is for those who might rather read than watch. To see the video, click https://youtu.be/AAe1g_25f_U, or simply scroll down this blog page.)
Thursday, May 25, 2017
Tuesday, May 23, 2017
I hope you have a good look around home today. You’ll like what you know. (The following will help.)
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal (2 Corinthians 4:17-18).
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:1-3).
Thursday, May 18, 2017
Living by faith in Jesus is how life works out. Life is within—what happens outside of that is what goes on elsewhere.
Saturday, May 13, 2017
Foreword: Andrew has a fantastic story to tell, and you and your family are going to love it.
As parents of two daughters, my wife and I searched during their early years for beautiful and captivating stories that we could read together, all the while confident that we would be stimulating their desire to know God, The King. Our joy was full as we talked about Him through the pages of the books we found and shared, and our daughters, now grown, look upon those stories as heart-forming treasures they will one day share with their own families.
Children of the King will be one of those books.
With a style conducive to reading aloud with family and friends, or in private contemplation, Andrew has put together an extraordinary allegorical tale that will intrigue and deepen the faith of all who read it. The many adventurous situations our imaginative characters encounter in the spectacular land of Amoria will make you laugh out loud, worry and tear-up in relief and gratitude, and maybe even induce you to verbalize the accents of Balderdash (the kindly gnome) and Wilbur (the minstrel)—it’s that kind of great. My daughters were delighted when I attempted the noises and sounds of our stories, and ask me to make them even today. This remarkable book begs for that kind of involvement.
If you’re intrigued and enamored by the King and enjoy helping others to the same, Andrew’s book is for you.
"...an inspiring allegory that will both entertain and encourage readers of all ages." Andrew Farley, bestselling author of "The Naked Gospel"
"...a timeless adventure that is crafted to touch the hearts and minds of readers at any age. A classic parable by all counts." Tracy Levinson, bestselling author of "Unashamed"
Thursday, May 11, 2017
There is still a lot of work to be done, including editing and publishers, etc., so I ask for your prayers. Thank you.
Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Nevertheless, I think: “I’ll be more disciplined.” “I’ll be more creative.” “I’ll be more caring.” “I’ll be more capable.” All of the “more's” that I’m going to be reveal that I’ve fallen under the judgment of being “less” than I think I am supposed to be—if I’m going to be any good, that is. And no one can stand that judgment. Except One.
When I remember that Christ in me is my life—Him—I begin to look inside, where His kingdom reigns in perfect capability. He is the “more” I want. Mercifully, I become more attracted to that kingdom—the one on the inside—than the one outside of me. Peace and hope flow and surge again, and how I am in my days becomes more His concern than mine. He is much better at “concern” and “how I am” than I am. Have you found that to be true for you, too?
It’s through this kind of messy stuff that what the apostle Paul wrote takes on worthy meaning: “Christ in me, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). As Paul wrote to the Galatian believers, “I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live but Christ lives in me” (Galatians 2:20). The life I live, I live not by talent, not by effort, not by managing myself and what goes on around me. The life I live in the body—what I do is—I work toward believing and knowing Him in me, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
He’s here. He’s on the inside. And that’s where more goes on than anywhere else, because real life happens not so much around us as it does within us.
(This is a transcript of the video, “Life Happens On The Inside,” and is for those who might rather read than watch. To see the video, click http://youtu.be/KxK3lwYcPjo, or scroll down this blog page.)
Got 3.5 minutes? Sometimes my attempts to be more than I am and to do better than I have been, become ugly and revealing . . . in a good way. What feels awful at first then turns to my good, and I discover life all over again. See if you don’t, too. “How Inside Reality Becomes More Attractive Than Outside Chaos” might be the subtitle for this video.
Tuesday, May 09, 2017
Sunday, May 07, 2017
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. Through faith in Christ, he was reborn a perfect Christian and is growing into what and who he is, increasingly becoming "established in the faith."