care more than some think is wise; risk more than some think is safe;
dream more than some think is practical; expect more than some think is possible


cold. in the middle of summer?


Some of the things I have been studying in the Bible, with some help from outside resources as well, revealed an important truth to me today.

They said this, "...sin that is tolerated in the nation, or the home, or the individual, always drives the Holy Spirit of God away."

The context of this statement was in discussion of how the Lord drew his presence (the shekinah cloud) away from the Israel as the continued to partake in "vile images" and "detestable idols." And as the Lord left the temple, he followed shortly by removing his presence from the whole nation. Then Israel faced hardships unknown to you and me. There country was invaded, they were dispersed and taken into captivity.

What I realized as I read through all the material was that ... when I am habitually sinning - be it pride, lust, lying, selfishness, etc ... - I always assumed it was my heart growing cold, hard and numb toward God ... but dont get me wrong, in those times of life, my heart is indeed cold, hard and numb, but its not just simply that I sinned repeatedly and repeatedly ... its that b/c of the sin upon sin upon sin ... God is slowing removing His presence from me, and there is no other outcome but to become cold, hard and numb in spirit and heart toward God ... because the blessing of close communion, intimate fellowship and unbroken praise with and to God is no longer there ...

What remains? Well ... an empty, self-loathing, sinner appearing as though ragged from a long battle in tumultuous seas ... lifeless on the inside, cold on the outside shell of a man.

This is a truth I will remember. My continuing to be apathetic about sin issues will and does result in the removal of God's manifest and felt personal presence ... for He cannot remain where sin abides.



Can it really be as simple as it was today ... No, I don't mean life. It was all but easy today. What I am asking about is prayer, specifically answered prayers!!!

At 12pm I was reminded that I was "in-charge" of managing the sales at Ag Heritage Park farmer's market, from 2:30 - 6pm. In doing so, I needed the department's F250, to load it up and be at the park no later than 2:30. I started at 1:30 - just to be sure to give myself plenty of time, cause I have learned by now nothing is easy, especially if its a first. Once I had the truck, I had been told by one of the guys I work with to back down a narrow stretch of grass between 2 greenhouses to load up the bed. I would estimate about 2-2.5 feet on either side of the truck in the alley - as it were.

What I was unaware of was the up-hill greenhouse drains all the water used into this little stretch. I learned this after nearly getting stuck in deep, sticky mud twice ... but only on my third time did I actually get stuck!!! I got this massive F250 pickup stuck in mud no more than a foot (maybe less) away from the greenhouse on the down-hill side, the really soggy and muddy side.

Ends up that the greenhouse superintendent had to get a division of AU's Facility Divisions to get someone with real know-how to look at and assess the situation.

As I waited their arrival, the distant sky grew dark and threatening. Immediately I thought, "No not rain! No more water ... it will only make things worse!!!" And then my second thought was, "Lord, please hold off the rain 'til this truck is outta here!"

When the Research Opp's guys arrived - the guys to assess the situation - they informed those of us standing around that it would take a "small" piece of equipment to get the truck out.

As they pulled back again with tractor and chain to pull the truck out, I became ill and
anxious as I thought there to be no way to get that truck out without it hitting/smashing the greenhouse wall down. Then as before by God's grace I prayed, and very quickly, but very deliberately that the Lord NOT let the front end swing into the greenhouse as they towed it out.

Yet, the Lord is gracious. The truck slid straight out. It did not move toward the wall of the greenhouse, nor away ... just slid straight out and cleared everything.

And yes, the rain held off, and that is very good, cause just as we got things settled down again, the bottom dropped out for about 10 minutes and I am not sure what it would have done to the truck situation, but it couldn't have made it better.

So I ask, can it really be this simple? Yes it can be. Christ tells us to have faith like a child ... and let me tell you, I felt like a child watching helplessly as my tires spun and yet not moving, as I had to get the superintendent out there and all the rest, and I prayed hard and undoubtedly like a child as well, and the Lord honored those prayers and protected that situation with grace and showed me grace and new mercy, just as promised.

He is soo good and for that, I am thankful!


Parenting Fail

fail owned pwned pictures

I have to wonder if this was set up to look like a parenting fail!

If not, they should have their kid taken away!
see more Fail Blog


70 years old and never stonger

70 years old, wow!

This morning as I ate my breakfast, watching the TODAY show (since I only have 22 TV channels and cant get FoxNews anymore), they brought a guy on who works for TV Guide. They gave him about 5 minutes of national airtime to talk about television's 70th bday!

He spoke of TV in lofty terms, saying,
  • "TV changed the world in the 50's."
  • "Our habits were all built around waking up to shows like TODAY ... and going to bed with Johnny Carson."
  • "There was a sense of shared experiences in the early days of television..."
Now, I am not saying these statements are false, but I am submitting that maybe all those statements aren't necessarily good things.

My thoughts about TV have been shaped by a number of people in recent years including John Piper, Harry Walls and some personal relationships. And conclusively across the board TV is looked down upon, not as the coming-of-age moment in history, as some would have us believe.

My first glimpse into the truth behind TV was while reading Piper's Don't Waste Your Life several years ago. He states:

elevision is one of the greatest life-wasters of the modern age. ... The main problem with TV is not how much smut is available, though that is a problem. The greater problem is banality. A mind fed daily on TV diminishes. Your mind was made to know and love God. Its facility for this great calling is ruined by excessive TV. The content is so trivial and so shallow that the capacity of the mind to think worthy thoughts withers, and the capacity of the heart to feel deep emotions shrivels.

What is happening in America is that television is transforming all serious public business into junk. . . . [Instead of] serious, sequential, rational, and complex [thoughts,] it offers discourse in which everything is accessible, simplistic, concrete, and above all, entertaining. (excerpt from N. Postman).

Piper has a lot more to say about this topic, but you can READ it for yourself!

I have no quotes or anything from my parent's pastor, Harry Walls - who has been an incredible influence in my own life - but I know he feels just as ill about TV as Piper does.

Other people who have shared this similar thought include my current roommate. Even last night, we discussed how the tube can't even be turned on for a minute without seeing a half naked girl in a bikini or underwear ... its insane!!!

With the development of these feelings I have toward TV in recent years, I now understand why my parents wanted me out and about playing, instead of rotting my brain out with TV. I wish I had spent less time in front of the glowing screen than I have.
I am grateful now, b/c I realize like with any other sinful habit ... you perceive that the sin, in this case spending too much time watching television ... is going to provide satisfaction and enjoyment, when in reality we know it doesn't. Its just a lie we believe in, we think, "Oh this is a good way to relax" - which MAY be true, BUT as we allow our brain to relax after "long" days in front of the TV our perception of whats real and what matters most diminishes. Having realized this (and hating to spend so much for cable) my roommate and I cut back to 22 channels of TV. And to be honest, I could do without those.

There is so much, as Piper put it, smut on TV and the numbing of our minds, that I truly believe Satan uses it as a tool of destruction over God's children. Think about it! If he can detract us from the Bible, or prayer times with the Lord, and rather numb us to the reality of eternity, of souls lost or saved, of salvation and walking in holiness before the Lord ... isn't this a victory for him? Also, TV inspires a lifestyle of comfort and ease, and I can promise you, we are not called to easy breezy lives, to play and lightly frolic until we retire or die. Jesus' life on earth was not of such a pace. Lastly, and I will only mention this cause it is a soapbox for me, TV is adding to the epidemic that obesity is in our country! TV = FAT.

That's all. Now, out to the state park I go!


everyone is searching

I am finally back in Auburn. On my drive home, I was listening to Ben Lee, an artist my little brother introduced me to, an artist I like quite a bit.

He has this song called Surrender. If you are familiar, I am sure you like it. The song is light-hearted in sound, but I feel it has heavier meaning than the music lets on to ... Here are the lyrics:

Well I have felt an angel's kiss,
And I have seen the sweet sunset,
I thought maybe I was this,
I found out that I am that,

Let go! Give in! Give up! Surrender!
Let go! Give in! Give up! Surrender!
(on the repeat, a choir joins in, repeating his lead)

All the things I long to touch
And all the tastes that seem so sweet
They don't matter all that much
When I'm falling at your feet

Let go! Give in! Give up! Surrender!
Let go! Give in! Give up! Surrender!

Let go! Give in! Give up! Surrender!
Let go! Give in! Give up! Surrender!

Oh yeah! Come on!
No-one puts baby in the corner!

Well I can't promise I won't fall
And I can't say I'm never scared
I can't promise much at all
But when you call me I'll be there

Let go! Give in! Give up! Surrender!
Let go! Give in! Give up! Surrender!

Let go! Give in! Give up! Surrender!
Let go! Give in! Give up! Surrender!

Let go! Give in! Give up! Surrender!
Let go! Give in! Give up! Surrender!

Let go! Give in! Give up! Surrender!
Let go! Give in! Give up! Surrender!

There are several lines that catch my ear, other than the chorus, "They don't matter all that much, when I'm falling at your feet" ... and basically the whole last verse.

I don't actually think Ben Lee wrote this as a spiritual song at all. Yet as all men have a longing in their heart for a relationship with their Maker, the God of the Bible, I think this unknown desire is bound to come out .... and maybe, just maybe this is what Ben is doing here.

Possibly he is calling out to the God he doesn't know and is admitting his longing, declaring his own depravity ... maybe? Or maybe not at all.

But, my point stands, all men (& women) are looking for true, eternal satisfaction, and I truly think everyone who does not know God the Father, through salvation by faith in Jesus Christ, is searching, longing, reaching blindly for God the Father, whether they know it or not.

I pray that you know you are searching, if you don't know Jesus as your Savior.



i love the beach. i am in florida now, and have been since sunday night, and will be 'til saturday morning. and its heavenly!

God made they beach to remind us of Him ... "more than the number of grains on the beach" ... who makes the water to come this far and stop, knowing its bounds ... waves of grace and mercy ... as avast as the ocean is so is His love toward us ... the gloriousness of the size of the ocean, the number of sand grains to help me to recall the infinitely greater vastness of his love, displayed ultimately in the cross of tortured upon which Jesus Christ died upon, its gloriousness reveals God's holiness ...

i love the beach and thank god for it ...


A Perspective Shifted

I have begun reading the first account of a Christian man's testimony in the book, Tortured for Christ ... He is a Romanian man who grew up during WWI, and was a "church leader" during WWII while the Communist party in Russia overtook and enslaved all Romanians. I say "church leader" because of the positions he held that provided to be looked upon with favor from communist authorities ... while Lord was using him in these positions to secretly minister to and evangelize among Russia soldiers (who were completely brainwashed by their communist superiors) as well as the enslaved Romanian people.

I am only a quarter of the way through this man's testimony ... and I am already laid low and staggering at the lack of passion, fervor, and zeal among the free Church in America. We are a lazy example of Christ to a lost and dying world, to lost and dying souls, bound for hell!!! (And believe you me, I am including myself in that statement, so very unfortunately.)

Not to excuse our cold-hearted, nearly dead zeal for evangelizing the lost and dying, hurting and lonely to the glory of God the Father in the name of Jesus Christ, but history does declare that persecution awakens the Church, ignites a flame of fierceness for the proclamation of Christ crucified and risen as Lord of all, as well as a boldness and unrelenting determination to see the lost saved.

Maybe what we need here in the great US-of-A, is a wave of persecution to redirect our hearts, affections, and glories unto Christ Jesus, rather than soft, warm and cuddly sermons of God's intentions to bless us ... because THAT IS NOT, HAS NEVER BEEN NOR EVER WILL BE, HIS INTENTION ... GOD'S GREATEST GOAL IS HIS GLORY!!!

I pray for myself and our American Christian church that we will be awakened to the great deal of apathy and deception amongst us. I say deception because we have believed false gospels, gospel-lite (taking something away from the sufficiency of Christ's work), or gospel-plus messages (those that say you must believe in Christ and do x, y, z for salvation), and because we have robbed God of his due glory by believing that everything is about us, rather than He.

Oh, to boast in Christ Jesus, and in Him alone; to have all my affections and love captured in His radiance and glory!!!

Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord


Flip Fail



PRIDE ... its a sneaky bastard! (my thoughts)

PRIDE ... it a son of a bitch! (my friend's thoughts, and I agree!)

The conversation I had with my friend today began with a comment I made about a prayer I prayed. I have been reading in 1 Corinthians 1 & 2 for the last week or so ... and the biggest billboard type thing I am chewing the cud on is, let him who boasts, boast in the Lord ... this is obviously a good thing to do!

However, when I praying over this - that it be something inherent within my being to boast only in the Lord - I realized I was praying that initially in pride. I prayed in pride asking God that I only boast in him ... but what I meant was, "God make me to boast only in you ... so that those who view me as a godly example will further uphold the grandiose view of me that they have, that I am a super christian with all my priorities correct and in line as they should be. Help me to boast only in you so that others might glorify me!!!" - that is what I meant!

That is why I stated above that pride is one sneaky little bastard. It is so deceptive and conniving ... I hate it. And the Enemy uses pride &/or the guilt there associated to condemn me. Even writing this, I feel condemned for writing about how much I hate pride ... as though my hatred for pride is something in and of itself to be prideful about ... AND THATS SIMPLY ABSURD!!!

But also pride in somethings is good, to a certain degree. We should take pride in our work, to do it our best to the Lord's honor, we need to take pride in and care of all our oh so numerous material blessings being good stewards of what has so graciously been given us by the hand of God, but even these forms of pride become stumbling blocks to us, when that pride becomes misplaced and seeks MY glory, for it to be all about ME, MYSELF, and I!!! Rather than on God.

I hope to maybe edit this post with some more legitimate thoughts later. Yet, for the time being, ponder the previous two thoughts.


If I may recommend ...

... shall lunch be the meal that gets ignored, turning out to be a tasteless bore.


A plain Jane sandwich? Nope, not for me, not anymore, for I have a sandwich so full of flavor, it'll make you wanna slap yo' momma!!!

I call my creation the Mouthwatering Turkey Guru Sandwich!!!

  • 2 slices of bread (preferably not plain bread ... but a whole wheat, multi-grain, bread with nuts, grains, and oats all mixed in!)
  • BBQ sauce (lather up both pieces of bread)
  • Slice sharp (or mild) cheddar cheese
  • Thin -sliced mesquite turkey (I buy the packaged stuff, cause I don't have a lot of money) - lots of it
  • 1 large handful of baby spinach leaves
  • Several portabello mushroom slices

Stack in this order:
On one slice - BBQ sauce, spinach & mushrooms
On 2nd slice - BBQ sauce, cheddar cheese, & load on the turkey

Then with the two sides on the sandwich lying there, slide them on into a toaster oven and toast ... and result is... a delectable delight of distinctively divine deliciousness!!!


Sucker Punch ...

Freely given, unmerited favor and love of God (Part 1)

I have been learning a lot about GRACE in recent weeks.

Previously, I falsely believed I knew and understood grace pretty well. Then the shroud of ego collapsed, revealing the truth of the matter at hand ... namely that I will not in this age, & maybe ever understand the infinitely massive mountain that is God's grace toward sinners, like me.

The new insight into the greatness of God in his grace toward me has been ignited by a sermon series from my pastor, Brother Al. The series is called, "Rediscove
ring Grace," and yesterday was the 3rd sermon and amazing! I don't know if it was the culmination of the series, but I could have sat there listening forever! Furthermore, I am also in the beginning of a study about repentance, which is matched amazingly well to the teachings of grace I have been under recently, so paired that there is day-to-day overlap between the two.

t began with seeing who I really am. Who am I? I am just as my title says, a bastard child of God, having turned away, guilty of being a lying, thieving, idolatrous & lustful adulterer in God's sight (1 Cor 6:9-11). And those as such, will not inherit God's kingdom! That means they (I) will inherit eternal damnation! YET, "such were some of you" ... do you see the 'WERE' ... I was that!!!

This means that something must have happen ... because I was that, but apparently am no longer that dirty and defiled lying, thieving, idolatrous & lustful adulterer!!!
Yes, I am no longer that in Christ ...

I am washed, sanctified and justified!!! I am washed in the blood of Christ! I am justified, declared innocent by the Father! And in the power of the Holy Spirit I am being sanctified!!!

Could this mean I was freely given the absolute unmerited favor & love of God??? I think so ... that's
GRACE! It is only by God's great, amazing, and unfaltering grace that I am washed in Jesus' blood, and thus justified and sanctified!!! Grace is the only means to salvation in the Name, & the only Name - JESUS CHRIST, and salvation is being washed in Christ, and the subsequent justification at the moment of first believing and the on going sanctification that follows!!!

Oh praise to the Lord, in the radiance & image of Jesus Christ!!!

I would like to have several more post on this topic ... so check back.


You know that segment they sometimes do on SNL Weekend Update, "REALLY???" Where rhetorical questions are asked and answered by screaming, "REALLY?" Well, that’s how I feel right about now.

The following are some interesting headlines as of lately:

  • Swine Flu Outbreak: Health officials: Swine flu may be at pandemic level soon, but not as severe a strain as feared (Yahoo News)
  • World Health Organization Raises Swine Flu Alert Level (NY Times)
  • CDC Readies Swine Flu Vaccine (NY Times)
  • Flu Panic Drives ER Visits (FoxNews)
  • Swine flu deaths ebb but virus still spreads (MSNBC)

So, you obviously realize this is all about Influezna A (H1N1) Swine Death Sentence Flu, or what I have come to determine as the largest, over reaction ... well, to be safe, I will stick to claiming ever!! (Emphasis added by me).

Consider these sobering facts:

  • Each year nearly 36,000 people die from Influenza A or B
  • Each year 250,000 - 500,000 people die world wide from the flu

Lastly, I just would to take a short moment to consider the true pandemic of 1918, right after the Great War:

"The influenza pandemic of 1918-1919 killed more people than the Great War, known today as World War I (WWI), at somewhere between 20 and 40 million people. It has been cited as the most devastating epidemic in recorded world history. More people died of influenza in a single year than in four-years of the Black Death Bubonic Plague from 1347 to 1351. Known as "Spanish Flu" or "La Grippe" the influenza of 1918-1919 was a global disaster." (