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 Deceitful Heart

I am amazed by how troublesome our hearts prove to be. They can be sources of complete corruption & the darkest of evil. Consider the ever quoted Jeremiah 17:9, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick who can understand it?" Furthermore Jesus speaks saying, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, & they defile a person” (Mark 7:20-23). I've experienced this in my own life, in my own heart and traversed some pretty dark places myself due to my own folly. I'll resound in praise with Paul when he says, "For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind & making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin" (Rom 7:22-25).

But recently, Mere & I, met some new friends who are incredibly deceived & blinded from ear itching lies. Its sad, frustrating, & absolutely astonishing to learn, to increasingly understand  what it is they have come to believe. It is an absolute fraud! - Let me say, I'm going to stay vague about who & what I am exactly referring to, just so you know. - Its blasphemous & upsetting, it violates my love & pride in God, urges me to boast all the more fully to them & all about how great my Jesus is! He is hands down the best, you can bank your entire existence on that!!! He'll always prove faithful and good, and greater than you could ever imagine.

My God - the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit - is the only ONE. There is none before or after Him, as is stated so plainly, "Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me. I, I am the Lord, and besides me there is no savior" (Isa 43:10-11, see also 41:4, 44:6, & 48:12; see Rev 22:13). And when someone - or a group or organization - proclaims that which is false, its must be met with truth in love.

If you happen upon this, pray that Mere and I will move forward in our new friendships with these folks in love and in bold truth, spoken with mercy and grace. Pray the Spirit will open their hearts and ears to hear and perceive all spiritual truth, that Christ is King and Savior their only and ultimate need. Pray we would be inspired by the Spirit when in conversation!


things God does

There are things God does that are expected - not deserved - but perhaps expected, because I know His nature, how He is ... indeed I know Him b/c He has made me to know Him!

Then there are things God does that are so unexpected that it takes me by surprise like a slap in the face would ... a really great & welcome slap in the face. Perhaps these unexpected happenings increase as believers grow up in Christ, or perhaps they increase! I don't know, nonetheless He surprises me ... & on days like Tuesday, a lot!

I'll begin with Mere's day on Monday. She was stopped by another teacher at her school who commented upon the "sweet spirit" with which Mere carries herself. Mere' s response was to note it was the Holy Spirit in her, and the conversation went on from there as Mere met another believer at her school! What a great answer to prayer, especially after our conversation just before school that morning. He is so good, knowing that encounter was the encouragement Meredith needed.

Now, for my day from Tuesday. It began as I was trying to figure out some changes to my insurance coverage.  I require a degree of extra medical care with all my "health issues," which are actually blessings from the Lord. Right now at work, I have the chance to adjust my coverage so I am taking advantage of this so that I can possibly transfer my lung transplant care to Duke University. On my current plan, Duke is not only out-of-network but not even covered by my plan. Boo! So, I was planning on changing to have out-of-network coverage. It'd be more expensive per month and per visit to see them but worth it since they are top in the nation for lung transplant care!

However, as it turns out, I can switch my insurance coverage to a different provided through the plans offered by my employer, without having to upgrade my plan (ie: increase my premiums)!!! I am - already have - switched my coverage to a different company for the basic coverage and now Duke is in-network and I am will not be paying an unnecessary premium increase for it!!!

All this is to say ... I had asked several people to join in praying with me that the Lord would work it out for my insurance changes to be effective ... and little did I know that He'd blow my mind and show how gracious He is to honor a little faith! Not only was it effective, but I will not be spending any more money than I have been!!! This is huge!!! I mean, we are not loaded or anything, so saving $360 a year is great news!!!

I have to consider, this is a taste of life in the Lord's kingdom, where the unexpected should become the expected, not because I deserve these blessings, but because we serve a God who is big and good! He is the God who said, "Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men." (1 Cor 20-25). Things is the kingdom might just be a little backwards from how we tend to think they should be!

So in all this, let me in accord with Paul state, "Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord!” He is good and He is worthy!