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April 22, 2019

And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit - Ephesians 1:13 Home is ultimately not about a place to live but about the people with whom you are most fully alive. Home is about love, relationship, community, and belonging, and we are all searching for home. - Erwin McManus It was for my 50th birthday and I had never been in a tattoo shop before. For a few years prior to my walking through that shop door, I had an image that had been moving through my heart that IF I ever got a tattoo, it would be this … It all started with Lions. I’ve always loved them. When I stepped into C.S. Lewis’s Narnia, I was thrilled that Aslan, the Christ character, was a

April 15, 2019

I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. - Luke 10:19 Authority exercised with humility, and obedience accepted with delight are the very lines along which our spirits live. - C.S. Lewis Our original "job description", the one handed to us by God in the garden, was to reign and rule over creation. We didn’t “do" the creating ... that was done by the Trinity. We were handed the keys though and put in charge. That was God’s original intent, that we reign and rule with His authority. But it didn’t take long before we handed the keys over to Satan in The Fall. Just before Christ went to the cross, Jesus called Satan "the prince of this dark world", a position in which this fallen angel reigns and rules and

April 08, 2019

And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus. - Ephesians 2:6 We can never get a re-creation of community and heal our society without giving our citizens a sense of belonging. - Patch Adams Growing up, I had the blessing of big family, lots of aunts and uncles and cousins on both sides. Both my grandparents lived in the same town, my parents were high-school sweet hearts, so a visit for holidays was always a large gathering and the making of wonderful memories. Meals were banquets, and of course, "family style." There was always a seat at the table, and an environment for me to be me; to play, listen to stories, be asked questions, enjoy, and be enjoyed. I knew I belonged;my seat at the table came with all the privileges of being in my

December 31, 2018

It has been a full nine months since I started my fourth type of chemotherapy drug. My last bone marrow biopsy was in December of last year and revealed nearly 50% of the marrow was leukemia ridden, which is not a good long-term prognosis, thus leading my team of oncologists to see how much leukemia remained in my blood and bone marrow with this recently approved new treatment. So a few weeks ago I had a battery of tests done including drawing blood from my arm, a CT scan to measure the size of my lymph nodes (a typical place leukemia likes to concentrate), and then a bone marrow biopsy, where they take a wine corkscrew looking gizmo and twist it into my back/hip area and into the bone and then untwist it back out to capture a portion of the marrow to study under powerful microscopes

December 17, 2018

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. Ephesians 6:13-15 Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened. Billy Graham I have played a lot of games in my life. Literally a lot of games: basketball, baseball, football, and more ... mostly when I was young and dads were the coaches. The older I got, the stakes got higher and so did the intensity of practice and the games. Dads were replaced with “Coaches”, scores mattered, and fewer

December 03, 2018

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:10-18 What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. Ralph Waldo Emerson When I was a boy we had “hand me downs” ... clothes that were passed down from one brother to another. As I got older, the hand me downs got better: a shotgun, a car, an identity. Growing up, my parents provided many things for their boys. But they did more than provide ... they bestowed. They gave us an identity to

November 09, 2018

Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. - Galatians 5:25 Consider what man is. He is a creature that desires happiness, and cannot but desire it. The desire of happiness is woven into his nature, and cannot be eradicated. It is as natural for him to desire as it is to breathe. - Thomas Boston (Scottish pastor, 1700) It is always good to know what something is made for. We were made for God. For intimacy, oneness, and connectedness to God. The trick is to align our hearts with His … to walk with God into the Great Love Story and into the fierce battles. For that is where we are, the context of our story: Love and War. The Trinity made us to be in relationship with them. To know and be known, to share Life with them and have our Life in them. This promised “Life to

November 02, 2018

But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. - John 16:13 What Guides You? When I examine my heart with the question, more times than not, it seems like some inner system, a well of me. Thoughts, reactions, ideas, responses, and more are drawn with very little effort … they just come up from the well of me. How did they get in there? What put them there? Are they good? The last question is easier: no, not all are good. Another question: What are the odds I have interpreted my life accurately? If what guides me is a collection of conclusions, and for some (or even much) of my life I have concluded and interpreted inaccurately, then there are some

October 29, 2018

When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible. - Harry Burns, When Harry Met Sally And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit. - Ephesians 1:13 It is good to be included; to be invited into something special, to be given an invitation that you carry with you into the party - it's proof that you are indeed welcome. There was a time when invitations were sealed with wax, not to be opened except by the one for whom the letter was intended. These invitations and documents were marked by the seal of the one who sent them, and so it is with God. We step into the Kingdom of

October 22, 2018

"And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever" - John 14:16 “The Spirit is the first power we practically experience, but the last power we come to understand.” - Oswald Chambers Advocate means: someone who will back, promote and champion you … the act or process of supporting a cause or proposal. In Christianity, that cause or proposal is us. Among the many things the Holy Spirit is, He is our advocate … for us becoming us. Think of a coach or a trainer who is with you to help you become more, become better, become what is within you to be, to do, to offer. That coach is with you full-time, and at all times working good into you and through you, while working out the things that are not good. The question is, would we align ourselves