Saturday, January 25, 2020


Our machinations and deliberations contrived to

keep us from the truth, from You.

We didn’t know the way, although we tried

to find our way to You.

What should have been clear

became smeared

with our own contrivances, motives

such that we couldn’t find yours.

Your way was so simple,

but we made it hard.

It was given us,

but we gave into making it our way

instead of yours.

The truth was always distorted

when it was once so plain.

If belief as a child is enough

than all this over-thinking and over-doing is tough

on a child’s heart.

Give me mine back.

Friday, January 24, 2020


Do you remember how you used to live?  Dead to life, buried by sin, wandering the course of the world's changing and perverse path.  The prince of the power of the air owned you, just as he controls all living in disobedience, as we all once did...such that we could all be called children of wrath.
BUT GOD, with the unfathomable richness of His love and mercy focused on us, united us with Jesus Christ and infused our lifeless souls with life - even though we were buried under mountains of sin - and saved us by grace.  He RAISED US UP with Him and seated us in the heavenly realms with Jesus the Messiah, the liberating King.  He did this so that for all eternity we will stand as a living testimony to the incredible riches of His grace and kindness that He freely gives to us by uniting us with Jesus, the Messiah, the one anointed for this purpose. 
For it is by God's grace that you have been saved, through faith.  It is God's gift, His offer to us that we didn't earn nor can ever earn by our own works.  In this new state, we are the product of His hand, created in the anointed one, Jesus, so as to accomplish the good works God arranged long ago.
Ephesians 2:1-10  (selections)

We were once buried in sin.  I remember those days, feeling suffocated and held down by the choices I made and the world system which held me underneath it.  The world's lies and false promises held me captive.  But now, Jesus calls me out and places me in "heavenly realms," which allows me the gifts of heaven - love for God and others, power to live a righteous life, new vision and purpose - for today.

Over and over I read about the generosity of God and the sacrifice of Jesus which enabled the delivery of these riches.  These origins of the faith - grace and sacrifice - I cannot forget.  My peace comes from His torture, my healing from His wounds.  A life of meaning comes from the design of God.  That is to be my testimony:  a presentation of the possibilities of life with God.

Does my testimony speak loudly enough for people to see God? Does anyone say, "I want what you have?" Do they really understand the price that was paid to make it so for all of us?  Or the cost of obedience to bear His mark?  

I do not understand why God let us choose our own (destructive) design, but I am grateful to follow His plan and path out from under the mountainous weight of sin.  I am trying to grasp the scope of my new view from a heavenly perspective, and this I know - the world looks different now.  It no longer entices and I have compassion for the continued lostness of those also buried under the lies and system of the prince of the power of the air.  

I am emboldened to let my life be a testimony, a call to truth, of the great desire of God to have his people back.  My life and actions can now be a message of God's generosity, kindness, grace and mercy - the truest of riches.

Monday, January 13, 2020


Ever since I first heard of your strong faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for God's people everywhere, I have not stopped thanking God for you.  I pray for you constantly, asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God.  

I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called -- his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.  I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God's power for us who believe him.
Ephesians 1:15-19b

There are so many rich words in this set of verses that seem to raise the level of our involvement with God to new heights:  spiritual wisdom, insight, flooded with light, confident hope, and, ultimately, the availability of God's power for us.  

That wisdom, which comes from God, is no ordinary wisdom by the world's standard.  It is broad and full of the knowledge of God's spiritual wisdom in a variety of matters, whether that is the accumulated wisdom of living with God, or learning or skill, or discernment of life and spiritual connectedness.  This wisdom provides the knowledge and practical application of God's intent for people.  Paul goes so far as to add revelation (here interpreted as "insight") to that expression of wisdom where timely truth can appear about the path we are on with others.

The intent of the gain of wisdom and insight serves the purpose of having the precise and correct knowledge of things ethical and divine.  When people can say, "I know it was God" or, my favorite, "I know that I know that I know," there is a peace and hope.  The translator of the New Living Translation, used here, calls it a "confident" hope because hope's definition has a positive, confident and joyful expectation of salvation, both present and future, based on the relationship with God.  It is not just knowledge, but the knowledge of God which brings hope.

As I consider the not-yet-fulfilled parts of my life, whether in relationships, my own maturity and growth, or heaven ultimately, it would be easy to be discouraged when I look at situations which don't always seem to change, but fully knowing God (and, His character,  His plan, His possibilities) changes my disappointment and discouragement into hope.  I must remember that God wants more for me than I want for myself.  In the seat of my emotions, in my heart, will shine the light of the future of what God intends.  When I am looking to Him,  the evidence is revealed and becomes clear and my "enlightenment" might actually shine light on the evidence right in front of me.  If I am looking for terror or delight, I will be sure to find it.

How does this happen? That incredible/surpassing greatness of God must be grasped.   The hyperbole (Gk: hyperballo) of the mass and weight, largeness and spaciousness, intensity, and splendid nature (Gk: megathos) of God's power which moves toward us and is for us must be grasped.  If we could grasp it, we might be stunned and knocked to our knees by it.  Would we dare understand it?  Why do we short-change ourselves on knowing this truly all-powerful and great God?

God, through Jesus Christ, wants believers to see the far-reaching effects of who He is and whose we are.  He wants us to believe it.  He wants us to look for it and connect to it.  He wants to secure our place in heaven and grant us His power and presence for today!  We can live the hyperbolic expectations of living as children of the King of heaven and earth!

Listen to the end of Paul's message:  This is THE SAME power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God's right hand in the heavens.  Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or ANYTHING ELSE - and not just in this world but in the world to come. Ephesians 1:19b-20.

Live by no other power. Be thankful for your involvement in the loving and generous character of our God!