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


a grace reminder

i had a phone call with two of my best friends tonight ... and if not for all of us, I know for me ... I was reminded of several things:

1) life sucks. Jesus promised it would - consider James 1 and all the suffering Christ endured, Paul endured, and hard lives so many other great saints endured along the years ... the life for a Christian, straight up sucks ... that does NOT mean it is not worth every moment ... the hope of eternity far out weighs it all

2) life is not about me. It is all about God. His word tells us that, and our own self pity tells us that. I would like to meet the person who enjoys always feeling sorry for himself, and always being down b/c things are going his way. That person is not happy ... he is miserable, by choice - not b/c things are actually SO BAD!

3) if our affections are not totally wrapped up in Jesus, in pursuing Him with every last ounce of energy and every last breath we take ... then we will never be satisfied with any part of this life. if I seek to satisfy my longing and affections with hopes of this or that - and the this or that is not Christ - I am done for!!!

Delight yourself in Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart! (Ps 37:4).


Do you know ROMANS 8:1 ...Cause You Need To!

I want to address a very prolific issue among Christians - and not just Christian men, although it may (or may not?) be more prolific among Christian men, that is the issue of pornography!

This may be a lengthy process, but it is worthy of great consideration & discussion ... but before diving into this subject ... I would like it to be known, my goal is to exhort and encourage action
among those enslaved and bound up in this most mirey of mires and rather deny passivity, encourage openness and honesty, to deny the shame and the continued pattern of overlook/neglect that we, the Church, have so readily adopted.

I desire to address this due several reasons. First and foremost for Christ's sake, secondly for the sake of those enslaved to this bondage, and thirdly for exhorting the Church to embrace its call to
lovingly & without an hint of condemnation (Rom 8:1) address and confront those enslaved!!!

To begin, I will base everything on scripture, and yes, we all know the ones I am about to list ...

  • For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander (Matt 15:19)
  • Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy (Rom 13:13).
  • It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans ... (1 Cor 5:1)
  • The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. ... Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. (1 Cor 6:13b & 18)
  • We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day (1 Cor 10:8)
  • Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality ... (Gal 5:19)
  • But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints (Eph 5:3)
  • Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry (Col 3:5)
  • For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality ... (1 Thes 4:3)
And , as we know this is but a handful of verses addressing the topic of sexual immorality. The list indeed goes on and on. Now, let's observe several noteworthy points:
  1. All things evil and vile are of man's own evil and sinful nature ... this includes misplaced sexual desires
  2. We are quick to judge (and unfortunately condemn) those of the chruch of Jesus who get drunk, perhaps because it is visible ... but is that better than simply over looking it ... ? I think so. Obviously its not right to judge, but if we could go to that brother or sister in love and correct them, pointing them toward Christ! How different things would be ... unfortunately ... we don't like to even recognize when the "p" word is mentioned among Christian communities ... if the pastor mentions sex (outside of marriage) or porn or other forms of sexual immorality ... you can see as the whole church squirms ... I would bet that most squirm b/c it feels as if he is speaking directly about that individual ... like he were saying, "Congregation, did you know that ole Johnny loves to scavenge the internet for pornography" ... then of course, Johnny might not only be squirming, but running, fleeing the church ... but you get might point ...Let us start acknowledging it, confessing to one another, to our pastors, and reveal the darkness within and let JESUS come in and wash us clean with that sweet and costly blood!!! ... Isaiah 1:18 is so sweet, "Come now, and let us reason together," says the LORD. "Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool." ...
  3. Paul, in 1 Cor 5:1, is astounded at the indictment put against the church members in Corinth ... I can see him pulling on his hair and gasping at the very fact that he is writing what he did ... asking with blunt disbelief ..."It is actually reported ... Really? Corinthian brothers and sister, really? Tell me its not true? ... I am sure it was a reaction of disbelief and horrifying sadness ...Immorality within the body of Christ , really?
  4. Indulging in any form of sexual immorality is sinning against oneself ... but so much more against our righteous and eternally worthy God, as our bodies are His temples
  5. God HATES it, and because of immorality slew 23,000 in a day ... perhaps in an instant ... He declares in Isaiah 40:25-31, 42:6-8, 44:6-8 ... and so many other places, He is declaring, "Glory only belongs to me, I will not let you rob me of my own glory!" ... If God's ultimate purpose is His glory (and it is) ... how much must He hate pornography, a sin so graphic and vile as to worship the creature so blatantly (Rom 1).
  6. Purity - not immorality - is God's will for those whom He has saved. Purity! He tells us, "Be holy as I am holy!" - thats huge!!!
Ok, so there is a little motive behind despising this atrocious mockery of God's institution of marriage ... which, by the way is to portray His love and redemption and relationship with us ... that is what marriage is.

But far above all motivating factors - both within the individual enslaved, the individual who may be able to confront in genuine concern and love (maybe he once was enslaved himself) the enslaved brother, and for God's Bride world-wide .... we must (even in all areas of sin, not just sexual immorality) we must be motivated first and foremost, by the great glory of God ... for if this not be our motivation, we will never conquer this strongest of sinful strongholds with the Christian world ... We must, alone, be motivated by God's eternal and infinite affinity for His own glory ... which just so happens to be our good as well ... now that is LOVE.

(No matter what sin issue you are battling)!!!

Grace and Peace


as He spoke He endured

Yesterday, I was reading the tale of the woman caught in the very act of adultery. And I read and answered some questions regarding the text, it hit me ... you know, like the Word of God does at times ... when you know the "story" back and forth, forth and back ... and then some new revelation hits you!?

Well, that's what occurred yesterday. I don't know why, actually there was no special setting ... and really, I should have been distracted because I didn't have my ear-buds and I was at
O'Henry's Coffee Shop in Homewood. I recommend this shop to all!

Anyway, As I was reading and considering the tale of this woman (old, young, I don't know) ... but what I do know, is that she got around. That's not to condemn her, this is just the reality. She was an adulteress (aren't you and I too?).

And as I read, and Jesus spoke,
Jesus stood up and said to her, Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you? She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.” ... And do you know what happened as soon as he said those words ... he condemned Himself to bare her sin upon him ... He spoke forgiveness and mercy through grace over this whore (as the Pharisees would have condemned her) and as he did, He invited the wrath of the Father upon Him, freely and willingly at His own expense and humiliation and separation from the Father .... He took her sin upon his very shoulders at the moment He spoke, "Neither do I condemn you..."!!!

This is amazing! This is grace upon grace, this is the silent Lamb of God walking straight into the slaughter without speaking a word, as a sheep seeing its shearer! I wonder if at the moment Jesus spoke those words, if Isaiah 53 crossed his mind? I wonder if the pang of death upon a cross, if the torment of knowing God would not be able to look at Him as He took on sin sent a dagger through the very heart of the God-Man? Through the very heart of God?

And I guess what I see now, is at every last single moment when Christ forgave, when He healed based on a persons' faith, when He spoke life and salvation ... that He accepted for Himself the wrath of God Almighty, for which my soul in Hell for eternity could never pay ... but certainly Jesus knew He would satiate in three hours on that most treacherous of crosses!!!

I now see a new facet, a new degree of love for Jesus and from Jesus. I have always heard that He pushed onward to Jerusalem even in light of what He knew was to come ... but even when He wasn't literally marching to the cross, He had to have known what was coming, and that at every moment He forgave, He also died a little more ... that is LOVE. That is GRACE. He is my SALVATION!!


After a Long time

It is my joy to say I am back again!

After a long time, I am back to continue my blog ... my life has just been unbelievably busy lately, inhibiting me from taking time to have thoughts worth writing about ... thats not to say I haven't wanted to, I just haven't found the time to draw out real thought processes about what I have wanted to blog over ... but now, I am back, and I hope to post multiple times a week ... not that anyone will read it anyway ... but if you do, thanks.