Sunday, September 30, 2007

Find A Few of His Friends

Hopefully you will find a few folks who walk with God to also walk with you through the seasons of your life. But honesty – and Scripture – forces me to admit they are a rare breed. Few there are who find it. All the more reason for you to make the number less scarce, by becoming someone who walks with God and teaches others how.

Look to those who have walked with God down through the ages. Certainly that is why the Bible is given to us. If God had intended it to be a textbook of doctrine, well then, he would have written it like one. But its not; it’s overwhelmingly a book of stories – tales of men and women who walked with God. Approach the Scriptures not so much as a manual of Christian principles but as the testimony of God’s friends on what it means to walk with him through a thousand different episodes. When you are at war, when you are in love, when you have sinned, when you have been given a great gift – this is how you walk with God. Do you see what a different mindset this is? Its really quite exciting.

And there are those who have walked with God since the canon of Scripture closed. Here is an Athanasius, a Bonaventure, a Julian of Norwich, a Brother Lawrence, a Tozer – here is how they walked with God. When it comes to time and place, temperament and situation, they could not be more different. Julian lived in a cloister; Tozer lived in Chicago. Athanasius fled to the desert; Lawrence worked in the kitchen. But there is a flavor, a tang, an authenticity to their writings which underlies whatever it is they are trying at the moment to say. Here is someone who knew God, really knew him. This is what its like to walk with God, and that is what its like as well. (Waking The Dead)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Confronting the Enemy

God has been teaching me some things lately that I wanted to share with you. I hope it blesses you too. As I was listening to a Pastor on Monday, I heard about Joshua and the children of Israel in a way I had never seen. The 40 years in the finally clicked! I finally got it! Here is what he had to say........

All day it has been churning and churning over and over in my spirit about “I have to do this, I have to press through, and I can’t go around this mountain one more time.” The battle is the Lords and not mine, but He expects me to show up for it! The time is now.

The Sword is a symbol for 2007 according to the Hebrew Calendar. God has clashed the swords; He is ready to go to battle on your behalf! Clashing with every enemy in your life. Because you did not give up, because you did walk away, God is saying He is ready to take the battle for you and defeat your enemies. You are being sharpened for the greatest season you have ever seen in your life. He is sharpening you. Because you did not give up (2 Chronicles 20) He is taking up the battle on your behalf and He will defeat your enemies! The enemy has been camping on your inheritance. Joshua 5:13, Joshua was near Jericho, when they stopped wandering because of fear, when they finally came near to confront their enemies, God was waiting there to defeat their enemies! God had already promised him victory. God has been standing at the edge of Jericho for 40 years waiting for Israel to confront their enemies. They kept going around that mountain over and over again because they were afraid to confront their enemies.

God has been waiting on us, to arrive here in our faith so He could go to work on our behalf. Obedience will cause Him to take over the battle on our behalf so the sword could go to work for us. So we can walk into the promise, His promise.

Hebrews 3:16 this prophetic moment, the sword of the Lord is drawn, the sword of the Lord is ready, you have to come and face the enemy. We have all had rough times, identify your problem in the kingdom of God and walk in the face of your problem, and the sword of the Lord will come out and go to war on your behalf! This is your year; this is your moment that God has created! God has been waiting on you with a drawn sword. The place of rest is not running from your enemy or challenge, your promised land is when you confront the enemies of your life. Hebrews 4:1-2, This is YOUR YEAR to confront your enemies, to step out of mediocrity, to challenge that which has been challenging you, to go further than you have ever been before. Confront the generational curses. Deal with the issues. God says face the enemy. 2 Kings 4:5 When I step up and confront my enemy there is going to be a flood gate open and God will step up and overpower the enemy! The rest of the nation wanted to turned back because of the enemies, but Joshua said let’s go in. Joshua had to outlive the generation of unbelievers so he could go into the Promised Land! Even though he was 80 he was as strong as he was when he first saw the land! Ezekiel prophesied to those dry bones! He confronted his enemy! When you declare the word of almighty God, the sword of the Lord is brought out! It is time to confront your enemies! Now is the time! Speak the word! Those enemies that Peter ran from, he went back and began to declare the word of the Lord and 3000 came into the kingdom of God! Peter had to go back and confront those enemies he ran from before. He has put the arrows of victory in your hand. Don’t just strike the ground 3 times. Do it until all enemies are defeated! Confront the enemy of fear, the enemy of unbelief, the enemy of distrust. God is waiting to draw His sword and defeat those enemies for you. The battle truly is His and not ours, but we have to show up! We have to confront the enemy and know that God will do what He has said He will do. You can trust Him, you can take Him at His word. You can believe Him. You don't have to fear anymore. You don't have to go around that mountain one more time.

Let me finish by telling you of a story God reminded me of when I heard this message. When I was in Africa, the missionaries told a story about the lions. How that when the male lion, the head of the pride, gets too old to run and hunt with the pride, they have him go and sit at one end of the plain or field where they want to hunt. And the rest of the pride goes to the opposite end of the plain or field to wait. When the old lion begins to roar, the prey, the animals start running "away" from the roar of the lion. They run right into the hands of the pride and are killed. This is exactly what God is saying in this message.......Run towards the roar of the lion not away. "1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour."

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Goodbye to Friends.....for now

Ryan & Andrea Surprise Party

Tonight we had a surprise going away party for Ryan and Andrea Holmes. They are moving to Roanoke, VA and I am going to miss them. They are good friends. The good news is we are already planning a trip to go snow skiing in Jan/Feb timeframe with them so that is a life goal I will get to check off. I have wanted to do that for so many years and now I am going to get to! We had a good turn out. We love you guys and will miss seeing you on a regular basis, but we will be seeing you!

Monday, September 10, 2007

What is Important?

“Don’t be afraid of embracing the disappointment you feel, old or new. Don’t be scared of the unreasonable joy either. They’re the highway markers home.”

We snort with disdain at such quaint sentiments, and our choice made, strike off down the straight highway of discipline and duty. All goes well for a while, sometimes for years, until we begin to realize that we’re really not feeling much anymore. We find ourselves struggling to weep with those who weep or even rejoice with those who rejoice. Mostly we don’t bother looking people in the eye. They may want to engage us and nothing much inside feels very engaged. Our passions begin to show up in inappropriate fantasies and longings interspersed with depression, anxieties, and anger we thought we had left behind. With a start, we realize our heart has stolen away in the baggage. It is taking the journey with us but under protest.

We redouble our efforts at discipline to get it to knuckle under but it refuses. Some of us finally kill it well enough that it no longer speaks as long as we’re occupied. Any quasiredemptive busyness will do. We look as if we’re still believing. Others of us decide the deadness is too high a price to pay and agree to let our heart have a secret life on the side. We even try to be passionate about our faith but the fiery embers that once sustained it have turned to cool gray ash, the evidence that life was indeed once present.

We find ourselves at the same place of heart resignation we left so many years ago before we were Christians. We arrive at the Vanity Fair that John Bunyan describes in The Pilgrim’s Progress. It is a familiar city populated with many of the companions we had hoped to leave behind: deadness of spirit, lack of loving-kindness, lust, pride, anger, and others. Nonetheless, having been out on the Christian journey for a number of years by now, we assume that this is as close to the Celestial City as we’re ever going to get. We set up housekeeping and entertain ourselves as well as possible at the booths in the Fair that sell a variety of soul curiosities, games, and anesthetics.

The curiosities sold at the fair are endless in their diversity, many of them good in and of themselves: Bible study, community service, religious seminars, hobbies we try to convince ourselves are eternally transcendent (e.g., “Wow, I can’t wait to ski deep powder!”), service to our church, going out to dinner. But we find ourselves doing them more and more to quiet the heart voice that tells us we have given up what is most important to us. (The Sacred Romance , 129, 130)

Saturday, September 08, 2007


This where I want to live....all the time. Not striving, not distracted, but offering the beauty that God placed in me to others, everyone I meet, every where I go so that they see Jesus, because He is Beauty.

“Beauty overwhelms us, enchants us, fascinates us, and calls us.”
(Fr. Andrew Greeley)

For a woman to unveil her beauty means she is offering her heart.

Not primarily her works or her usefulness (think Martha in the kitchen). Offering her presence. At family gatherings my mother hid in the kitchen. She cooked and baked and prepared and served and cleaned and for the life of us, we couldn’t get her out of there. We wanted her to share her life with us, her thoughts, her ideas, not just her effort. She wouldn’t come. And we were less because of it.

The gift of presence is a rare and beautiful gift. To come unguarded, undistracted, and be fully present and fully engaged with the one whom we are with. Have you noticed in reading the Gospels that people enjoyed being around Jesus? They wanted to be near him – to share a meal, take a walk, have a lingering conversation. It was the gift of his presence. When you were with him, you felt he was offering you his heart. When we offer our unguarded presence, we live like Jesus. And we invite others to do the same. (Captivating, 138)

Sunday, September 02, 2007


Ryan & Andrea Dinner

Tonight we got together for Ryan and Andrea. They are moving away to Roanoke, VA because of Andrea's new job. Everyone had a great time! Dinner at Dos Margaritas, then to Jason & Maci's for Ice Cream and "Guitar Hero". The kids had a great time too! I think we wore out the dogs though. Check out the pics. Love you guys!