Friday, July 10, 2009

After Kicking The Tires ...

After "kicking the tires" of the claims I mentioned a few days ago, what do you think?

1. I am deeply loved of God.
2. I am fully pleasing to God.
3. I am totally accepted by God.

Do you buy into that? Are you skeptical about God's love for you? Do you feel like a failure? Is there a deep and abiding sense within you that you are constantly letting God down and, thus, He is holding you at arms length?


The Apostle Paul was a man who made it his passion and calling to kill as many Christian's as possible. Oh, he believed in God. He just didn't buy the "Jesus stuff." He actually thought "Christians" were working contrary to the God of the Old Testament. And so he took it upon himself to stop those propagating this nonsense. And then God interrupted Paul. He stepped in one day, knocked Paul off of his horse as he was on his way to kill more Christ-followers, He blinded him and sent him on into the city to chill a while. And then God gave him the incredible privilege of spreading the gospel of Jesus to the Gentiles (all of the "non-Jews.) God chose Paul against all common sense and all odds.

Later on Paul penned the following words...

"I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." (Ephesians 3: 16 - 21)

"Love that surpasses knowledge." Hmm. And yet Paul said he wants us to be able to comprehend how wide, long, high and deep God's love is. Paul understood because he was guilty of murdering God's kids and God loves him anyway. If God loves Paul so completely ... do you really think He doesn't love you?

Paul said he prays that God will strengthen us out of His (God's) glorious riches with power through His Spirit in our inner being. He wants us to be strong and He wants to use is to do good in this world. God has a vast army of angels. God has believers that have stood the test of time. God has been known to speak through a donkey (Numbers 22: 21 - 31.) So if God can use anybody and anything He chooses and He has so much to choose from ... why would He use you? The answer is simple. He is pleased with you. No, you are not pleasing to God because you are so good or have never failed Him. Give me a break. We all know better than that. You are pleasing to God because (and IF) you have trusted His Son as your Savior. You see, it actually was God's will to crush His Son and set you free. Incomprehensible, but true. (Isaiah 53: 10) Your mess ups are all on Jesus. Your "junk" was transferred from your account to the account of Jesus Christ. God purchased you back from sin with the blood of His Son. And since He owns you He can feel any way He wants to about you. And He chooses to be pleased with you. Believe it or not. I Peter 2: 9 - 10 says it rather well. "But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy." Rather than arguing with God you might consider looking upward and saying "Thank You."

Paul said that God is able to do immeasurably more in us that we could ever imagine to ask Him to do because of His power at work within us. God's power ... at work ... in ... you. You. He accepts you as worthy. I have no idea why. I only know that His Word says He does.

Loved by God. Pleasing to God. Accepted by God. It's true.

Kick the tires as hard as you want. You can't break them. They are paid for. And so are you.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

It's True...

Some years ago a guy named Robert McGee wrote a book called "Search For Significance." It was quite ground breaking. They turned it into an entire study. (Don't they always? And who ARE "they" anyway?) The whole thing was good but God reminded me today of three facts taught in "Search" that will change your life if you buy into them. And if you don't? Well, you life will turn into a spiritual train wreck.

So it would be not so nice of me to withhold them from you. Here they are. Simple but life giving.

1. I am deeply loved of God.
2. I am fully pleasing to God.
3. I am totally accepted by God.

Give that some thought. Kick the tires on it for a while. Do you buy it?

Tomorrow ... we'll talk.

Sunday, July 05, 2009


Writing is more than a pass time or a hobby. It's like life to me. When I write it often takes on human form in my head. I'm not sure how that works.

But it's like this.

When I was a youth pastor I took something like 50 week long trips with teens. That's nearly a year on the road. There were mission trips, Centrifuge trips, choir trips, all sorts of trips. And every one of them, in my brain, took on a life of their own. For some reason, to me, those trips were not static events that simply took place in life. They actually feel like living breathing things that are out there someplace. Lives were changed. Eternity was changed. Only God Himself knows how deeply and how far reaching those changes are. But to me, the trips themselves took on life.

And that's what writing is. To me.

I've been about this blogging thing since my son-in-law, Joe, introduced me to the concept way back around 2002. This is like nearly the 600th post. (Thanks, Joe!) I just love to write. And it too takes on life. You are reading this blog and that means that in some weird way my writing reaches beyond myself and touches someone else. You. And approximately 70 other souls per day. Thanks for dropping by.

Rarely, but every now and then, I seem to lose the ability to formulate anything inspiring in my brain. All things that matter go on sabbatical. Even humor goes AWOL. This is one of those times. I've been trying to figure out why. I think it's a bunch of things that all clumped together. The thrill (sic) of moving 4 times in 20 months tends to dilute the humor in life. It's nice not to be living out of Tupperware anymore but my garage is full of unopened boxes. So it's a trade off. Even more seriously, the deaths of 3 close friends this year as rather taken the wind out of my sails. I find myself thinking about the brevity of life a lot lately. Not the fear of death. Not even the fear of the process of dying. My thoughts just seem to gravitate to the reality that all of this ... THIS ... can end without even a moments notice. I don't like that thought. It isn't so much my own departure from this earthly soil that has my attention but ... yours. People that I know and love. I didn't get an opportunity to say good-bye to any of my 3 friends and they were just ... gone. That stinks. And I wonder when it ends. Then I realize that it doesn't. I've been contemplating going to visit my parents graves sometimes soon. I have not been there since my mom died in 2004. Five years. And it's a six hour drive. I keep putting it off because, quite honestly, I don't want to go. It doesn't seem prudent at the moment. So I wait.

Anyway, I say all of that just to say this. I am currently a really terrible blogger. Sorry about that. Thanks for sticking with me and checking back here every now and then. I'll get my act together soon. Maybe even tomorrow. But in the meantime I just really stink at writing.

As a friend of mine use to say ... sucks to be me. :)