Monthly Archives: October 2012

Impossible Earnings

After church this afternoon, we headed over to the quad at the Claremont Colleges to engage the community. While walking around we noticed a guy on his knees, burying his face in the grass every minute or so but we figured he was praying so we kept kept walking as not to interrupt what he was doing. After talking to a few other people, we made our way back over towards he and his family.

The man was extremely polite, eager to share with us about his upbringing, his profession, and his faith. There was no heated discussion, no debate over view points, not even push-back from me when he blatantly discounted my Jesus as a mere man. He went on to talk more about the dedication he has to his faith.

He memorizes his entire religious book. He prays at least five times a day, saying exactly what he is told to and in the same direction he is always supposed to point (yes, direction). He gives of his time and money to those that need it more. He respects others. He worships his god. Then I asked him.

“What happens after you die?” 

“Hopefully I have done enough to earn a good standing with God” he says.

Done enough? Good standing?

How about no chance!

I responded “The Bible says that none is righteous, not one. We all sin and fall short.”

“I serve a merciful and just God” he says.

No matter how hard we try, not matter how much we do (or don’t do), we will never earn one sliver of good standing with God. The same God that has mercy on all must also be just with all. Justice means we all pay for our sins. Thankfully mercy came in the way of Jesus.

Without spinning circles with this man, I shared one sentence.

“Through Jesus, you can be sure of your standing with God”

With that, I thanked him for his time, greeted his wife and kids and went on my way. You see, there was nothing I could say in that moment to get him to feel what I feel.


What breaks my heart is he will go about his life doing everything he can to earn the impossible.

I only pray God changes what my conversation never could.

Thankful at the Bottom

Today was a great day. 

Normally, I come home from a Christian conference trying to get my wife to feel all the excitement I felt from the day’s speakers, worship and more. It never really works the way I envision it. First, because you just can’t communicate the spirit of God moving unless you are present. Second, I get really into things (she may say overboard) and people just don’t feel it like I do.

But this day was different because I got to experience it with her.

In this most recent season of life we gave struggled and fought to keep our financial well being above water. It hasn’t been easy and we (particularly I as the husband) haven’t done a good job keeping us breathing. But today was an example of why I can thank God for being in this season. In my old job, I wouldn’t have had priceless days like today with my wife. The only reason I treasured time before was if it allowed me to put together another business deal.


God has removed much of that from me so I could focus on the calling He has chosen for me.


I would lay down every last dollar and possession I had to spend all my days with my wife. She makes me feel like nobody else can. Her smile lights up my life like nothing else can. It’s not that I want to be in this season of struggle, but if this is what it takes to be the husband and father God called me to be then I am all in.

Caught Up

Theology, Themes, Genres, Chaisms, Parallels, Author, Audience, Context

I have spent the last couple of days in lectures, learning to become a better preacher and teacher of God’s word (I have a long way to go). And this session has been part of a three month journey covering additional areas of biblical study and ministry. It will span five more months.

Two things have become very apparent.

  1. Image being extremely thirsty. You are looking everywhere for water and your only alternative is the fire hydrant on the street. As you go to get a drink, someone cracks it wide open. How much would even get in your mouth? That’s how much information we have been taking in. It is a blessing beyond all belief and the content is life-changing, but getting it all in my little brain has been a challenge to say the least!
  2. I can get so caught up in all the teaching, all the information and all the preparation that I lose sight. I can begin preparing my next sermon with my notes on the right outline, right content and right delivery but forget.

Without the Holy Spirit leading and guiding my preparation, it won’t affect a single person. With the Holy Spirit opening my mind to the Word of God, it will never make any sense to me, nevertheless to the people I am attempting to teach.

But this doesn’t just pertain to me studying in this program. It goes for all of us at work, at home, and in every other area of our lives. Without the power of the Holy Spirit we will end up doing the same things in the the same ways the rest of the world does them.


The answer is…….THERE IS NO POINT!

We have been created to image and glorify God. The only way that can be accomplished will be by asking God to send the Spirit down on us. Maybe by this point you are wondering when you should ask that question.

  1. Before you start your day
  2. Before you get to work
  3. Before you walk into your bosses office for a “talk”
  4. Before you head out to a business meeting
  5. Before you make a phone call
  6. Before you discipline your children
  7. Before you disagree with your spouse
  8. Before you eat
  9. Before you go to sleep

You see a pattern here?


“God I pray now that as I send this blog post out, I pray that these words are your words laid on my heart for your people. I pray that this blog blesses someone in a new way. I pray that you would be made known to someone new. Father I pray that my life would always be a testimony of the love and grace you have given to me through the cross of Jesus Christ.”