Wednesday, July 20, 2011


A pressure cooker (not a crock pot) is a relatively old technology that allows certain foods to cook in less time than required by conventional methods. A pressure cooker is placed over heat and the content within the pressure cooker, cooks. The higher pressure created by the technology of the pressure cooker drastically reduces cooking time and the steam created serves to tenderize the ingredients. The image of a pressure cooker conjures up a life analogy for me. Using the simple description of a pressure cooker, people like to ‘speed things up’ (especially distasteful things) by using unconventional methods (short cuts?). The pressure cooker (your and my life), is exposed to heat (challenges, choices, decisions) and the content of our lives can get ‘cooked’. Pressure cooking does in fact “drastically reduce the cooking time and can tenderize the ingredients” (our lives).

Many technologies utilize the concept of pressure to help delivering their product. “Pressure sensors” (trusted friends) in a variety of industries are used to indicate when there is an unsafe boiling point (listen to them!); in the automotive arena the tires on our cars have ‘pressure caps’ (boundaries) that prevent a loss of air (if not ‘capped’ can result in decreased MPG); the construction industry uses ‘pressure treated wood’ (experience) to insure a greater longevity to wood that is exposed to the elements; the health industry uses ‘pressure bandages’ (healing agents, counselors) to control bleeding, minimize swelling, provide support for a broken limb and absorb fluids.

Four thoughts:

1. Pressure cooker seasons of life happen--Stop whining.

2. The 'Chief Cook' has used lesser heat in your life but you ignored the heat--Trust God.

3. If you cooperate with God you will reduce your 'cooking time'--Be Thankful.

4. The result of a pressurized season is a tenderized life--Be ready to encourage those 'being cooked'.

Monday, July 18, 2011


“How would you like to go out for dinner” means, “Are we having that, again?”

“In a minute” means, A preposterous exaggeration.

“What’s wrong?” means, “Why are you making such a big deal about this?”

“It’s a guy thing” means, “I have absolutely no idea why I am doing what I am doing”.

“You’ve been working too hard, come over here and relax” means, “Turn off the vacuum until the next commercial break”.

“I can’t find…” means, “Where did you put my ……?!”

“I heard you the first time” means, “I have no idea what you just said.”

“It would take too long to explain” means, “I hope I come up with a good reason why I did what I just did.

“Let me check my schedule” means, “I hope something else better surfaces”.

It’s not you, it’s me.” Actually means, “It’s you!”

“You look great” means, “If we don’t leave now we will be late”.

“I’ve got something to tell you” means, “I’ve done something really stupid, brace yourself”.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Some people may say, “I don’t know the first thing about”…and that may include their walk with God. If someone is trying to put a slide rule, calculator or calendar to the activities and ways of God they will be very frustrated. We do know, according to Paul that, “…from the beginning of time God made himself known…” ( Romans 1.19,20). The scientist may say, “This cannot be proved”. The atheist is heard saying, “There is no God”, the frustrated person simply says, "Oh God!" and, the materialist’s lifestyle today demonstrates, “I have my own God”. Bottom line, the ‘first thing’ is God.

A second idea about 'the first thing' (God!) deals with“creativity or, change”. God saw that the world was dark so he lighted it. God saw the world was empty and God filled it and; God heard the silence and so he, spoke into it. One translation of the English word, “create” is, “to fatten” or “to fill”. Question: Are the things you involve yourself marked with creativity or, in some way, ‘fill the empty places’ where there is noticeable need?

A third idea very much related to God’s “creativity” has to do with“relationship”. Scripture teaches that “God walked with Adam and Eve" (Gen. 3.8), "looked for Adam and Eve" (Gen. 3.9), "God spoke with Adam and Eve" (3.9) and, made both temporal and eternal provision for them (Gen. 3.21). This entire “relational sequencing” is described in John 1.1,14, "In the beginning was the word (God SPEAKS) ... and the word became flesh (God INHABITS) and dwelt among us (God COMMITS) and we beheld His glory (God is DISCERNABLE), glory as of the only begotten from the Father (God is RELATIONAL), full of grace and truth (God is GRACIOUS)."

A fourth idea we know about the “first thing” is that God wants humanity to experience “meaning or significance”. If Adam and Eve had not been given a “purpose statement” (“Go and order the land”, Gen. 1.28) they would have certainly asked one day, “What are we here for?” These four ideas,
God--creativity--relationship--meaning are like the four points of a compass that direct our lives.

A concluding question, “Can these four ideas be measured? Can a person really know if what they say are priorities, are REAL priorities?” I emphatically say, “YES!” On day seven of the Genesis account we learn, God rested. God stopped working, not because God was tired but because His creative works were complete. A person can know if they live life guided by these four ideas IF…One, our work will be blessed by God (God declared, 'good', everything that was created) and two, we experience authentic rest (shalom, well being). Rest, freedom from striving, is a second sign or evidence that what we have put our hands, and minds and hearts to is honoring to God.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


One of the most popular expressions in contemporary culture that is heard when someone no longer wants to discuss a subject is, “Whatever!” In todays culture “Whatever” means, “I’m done with this conversation.” “Whatever” does not mean, “Whatever you say” or, “I’ll do what you are recommending.” “Whatever” is often used as a distancing maneuver to get people ‘off your back.’ The biblical writer, Paul, used the word “whatever” numerous times. However, Paul’s use of this word was very different from our day. On one of these occasions Paul was encouraging the Philippians to be full of joy, be free of worry, experience God’s peace and live with renewed thinking. Then, Paul gave his secret to avoiding a “whatever mentality.”

PAUL SAYS THE SECRET TO being free from a ‘whatever attitude’ is in your thoughtlife. Paul wrote, “…whatever is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely and admirable…think on these things…put into practice all that you have learned..” (4. 8,9). Again, being free of a ‘whatever mentality’ begins in our thoughtlife. If you are wanting to have a fresh way of looking at difficult issues be reminded, "My thoughts are completely different from yours," says the Lord. "And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine and… my thoughts higher than your thoughts." (Is. 55.8)

Saturday, January 1, 2011


After forty years of wandering Israel was about to receive all that they had been prophetically promised. Nearly an entire generation had passed away; perhaps millions of people died never being able to see or experience what their hearts had longed for. If you are hoping and praying to enter into 'a promised land' experience in 2011, the following words may be of help to you.

In Joshua 3 Israel is given two instructions before moving ahead with the vision God had given to them for their future. One instruction came from their earthly leaders and included a prophetic promise. The other instruction came from God and included a heavenly confirmation from God. Wherever there is an authentic prophetic promise given my men, there will always be a confirming substantiation of that same promise given by God. The first instruction to Israel(Josh. 3.5) from their leaders was to 'consecrate' themselves. The word consecrate means to vow or to set aside. But more so, to consecrate oneself is to understand that the new undertaking has a special purpose to it. The instruction to "consecrate yourselves" was given because the place to where the people would be going was a place that they had never been before. The second instruction, from God, was 'to stand still...and listen to the word of the Lord'(Josh 3.7-9). Again, there is no better time of the year for "standing still and listening", than the beginning of a new year.

Following Moses and leading the people into the Promised Land would be no small task for anyone. Joshua, Moses' successor, had seen and heard all that Moses had been through. Because Joshua had seen and heard so much for these many years he must of asked himself, "Do I trust God to help me?” Joshua perhaps also asked, "Will God shield me any better from the stiff-necked attitudes of this pilgrim people than He did Moses? Will the people treat me any better than they did Moses?" These would all be natural and logical questions to ask. Even on our best days, it is easy for anyone to ask such questions.

Final thoughts for your new year. First, whatever is before you, ask God to show you how He wants to use you in moving forward in 2011. Two, get past your past (Joshua had to get past the huge shadow of Moses)--in some very real ways, let 2010 go! Three, believe what God has said about you and your future role and act as though you believe it! And four, live with the expectation that all that God has promised will come to pass.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but desire fulfilled is a tree of life" (Prov. 13.12) has become another life verse for me. One biblical word for hope (used in Prov. 13.12) originally meant ‘backside’, as in, the backside of the moon or the other side of a coin. When you look at a coin in your hand or the moon in the night sky, you know another side exists, even though you cannot see it.

Hope is often equated with things that we cannot see, like the future. REALITY: There are times when God allows us to see only part of a picture. Paul wrote of this reality, “I only see through a glass dimly but one day, I will see clearly”. REALITY: There are other times when we say we have been given a promise from God yet, the promise is long in coming. Several people in scripture knew of this reality. David, the shepherd boy, had to wait to become king. Abraham had to wait for his promised son, Isaac. Hannah was barren for many years before the birth of her son, Samuel. Moses was in a 40 year preparation time before he would become Israel’s deliverer. The children of Israel lived in 400 years of silence before the silence was broken by the coming of the foretold Messiah. Jesus, seemingly, had a thirty year ‘waiting’ time before his official ministry began.

Why does God, at times, seem to be so S-L-O-W? I do not know. However, I am strengthened by words found in Habakkuk 2.3, “...revelation has an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay. I am also encouraged by the promise, ”Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep His promise(Heb. 10.23). Proverbs 13 gives other practical instruction during ‘waiting times’. While waiting we are to: (1) listen with our ears to instruction (v.1)be teachable, (2) guard our mouths—be silent (v.3), (3) starve laziness (v.4)be disciplined, (4) develop a hatred for that which is false (v.5)-be lovers of truth, (5) allow righteousness within us to increase (v.9)-be Godly and, (6) steward wisely the money that we have been entrusted with-be financially smart.

I have more to say about,“a hope deferred” and “a longing fulfilled” but I close with this invitation. Look at the picture on this posting. Take note of the root system from which, the life of the tree exists. QUESTION: What are you deeply rooted in, that is, what is the source or tap root by which everything in your life flows from?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


'Twas the night before finals and all through the college, the students were praying for last minute knowledge. On cliff notes and friend's notes and last year's exams-- Help them O God, as only you can. So know college students, the brightest and best,"Happy finals to all, and to all, a good test".

The first morning of finals some students looked shoddy--they stayed up all night, forgetting to study. With visions of grandeur and "A's" on the brain not coming to class has made them insane. So I called, 'On caffeine, on Mocha'... and God knows what else, I fear some students left brains on the shelf. When from out of their slumber comes such a clatter, with sleep in their eyes, they ask,"What's the matter?!" Up out of bed and quick as a flash only to find, their computers have crashed.

It's the last day of finals and all through the dorms
not a student is moving, which is always the norm.
Professors are grading with haste and dispatch
Students are leaving, some hope to be back.

It's the day after finals for professors and scholars,
no classes, no grading and nothing to bother.
No emails, no meetings and no calls to return ~
But reminders to all,
'Don't forget what you've learned'.

And now with this said and
no more to write.
I wish to all, and to all
'a good night'.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


EVERYONE HAS 31 DAYS LEFT OF 2010. If 2010 was a year of “new ordering” (10 signifies a new order of things to come), then you have 31 days to complete this ordering. If this past year has had little to nothing new for you, you still have…can live in and pray for, God to put new things into place for you. You may ask, “How can I ‘see’ this new thing?” In my last post I wrote that the number “11”, in addition to meaning internal conflict, rebellion and disorder can mean discernment and revelation. I pray for new eyes to see that which has been hidden from you. I offer you these words of action and direction ~

Enjoy the work I have given you to do. Know that your work and your call are not in vain; I will reward you
(Isaiah 49:4). Rest in Me, and cease striving (Ecclesiastes 4:6). Learn My wisdom; do not dwell on former things (Isaiah 43:18). I have new things for you now (Isaiah 42:9; 48:6). I will show you how to proceed at the proper time (Ecclesiastes 8:5). I hold you, along with your past, present and future, in My hand (Ecclesiastes 9:1). Dwell in My joy, and be confident in My approval of you (Ecclesiastes 9:7). Be mighty, in word and deed (Ecclesiastes 9:10). You do not know everything your future holds; only I do (Ecclesiastes 10:14).

I tell you little one, You shall reap in due time (Galatians 6:9), for your labor is not in vain in Me. My words shall not return to Me empty, but will accomplish My purpose" (Isaiah 55:11).

Sunday, November 28, 2010


I wrote in my first blog of 2010, “the number ten is one of four “perfect numbers” (3,7,10,12). The number ten is the start of a new order of numbers in double digits as compared to the previous single digit numbers…people who study numbers tell us the mere presence of “ten” signifies that the previous representation of numbers that went before is now complete, they served their purpose, take note.

I have been studying the number, “11”, as in 2011. In my research I discovered the number 11 is associated with judgment and disorder. There are eleven judgments upon the Egyptians. There were eleven disciples after, Judas betrayed Jesus. Augustine, writing in the mid 300s, stated that "the number eleven is the blazon of sin". One might say that eleven is symbolic of internal conflict, rebellion and disorder. In a contemporary context you may have heard it said, “They waited to the 'eleventh hour'" meaning, because the clock runs to twelve, the “eleventh hour” is the last hour to get things done. Therefore, the eleventh hour suggests urgency. A more positive understanding of “11” (I will speak to this next post) says that this number can also signify discernment and revelation.

I am not saying 2011 will be a year of conflict or disorder although I suppose one could make a case for this. I am saying that the year 2010 has been a “newly ordered year” for me. Particularly as 2010 is ending I have seen an increase of miracles around me; the Lord has given me a window of opportunity to pray for and see healing in the lives of many people. If next year does bring upheaval or calamity, all the more reason to finish this year strong and be full of faith that will address coming turmoil. I will be writing more on this theme of ending and beginning--be looking for it. And yes, I am back to writing, for those who have both wondered and asked!

Sunday, August 8, 2010


Before someone gets MORE faith or, what I would call a ‘faith upgrade’, one must be certain of a few foundational things about faith. The opening verses of Hebrews 11 tells us faith: ignites belief for/in things not seen (v.1); helps us speak boldly (v.2), allows us to give sacrificially (v.4), will one day bring us into God’s presence (v.5), pleases God (v.6) and, diligent seekers of a ‘faith upgrade’ will be rewarded by God(v.6). A person seeking a ’faith upgrade’ must also remember a prophetic warning that Jesus gave, those seeking to live and lead a life of great faith at times, may not be accepted in their own hometown (Matt. 13.57) and deserted by thought-to-be friends (Jn. 6.66)

The gift of faith (a belief for things not naturally seen or attained) activates miracle working power. If someone is given increased faith to pray for a certain need and, the faith based prayer results in a clear provision from God, the result is a 'faith upgrade' for the one praying and provision for the person who was in need. An unwillingness to step out in faith will certainly delay a ‘faith upgrade’. If someone has faith but does not act on it they have forgotten what James admonishes, ‘faith without action is worthless’ (Js. 2.20). Jesus says,Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea’, and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says (Mk. 11. 12f.). Miracle working faith begins in the mind but it is released (in obedience) with the tongue (Pr. 18.21). In addition to an unwillingness to act or speak, faith development is also stifled by a suspicious, negative or haughty attitude. If we allow ourselves to be besieged with a negative or suspicious attitude faith will get choked out. These two behaviors, unwillingness to act or speak out and chronic suspiciousness hinder the blessings of God in our lives.

If disobedience or negativity hinder the release of faith what stimulates faith? Humility is the first step in getting a ‘faith upgrade’. A humble person recognizes lack in their life and will ask for help or seek out a person with known success or favor. A continuous humble seeking after God can release a ‘faith upgrade’ (Matt. 7.7). We do well to remember James’ words, ‘we have not either because we do not ask or, we ask with wrong motives’ (4.2). So…why should YOU not have faith upgrade? Today reflect on the following passage from scripture to get your 'faith upgrade' under way, “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and forgive their sin and heal their land(2 Chron. 7:14).

Thursday, August 5, 2010


I was driving home after being with some very selfish people when I heard the song, “Get Over It”, by the Eagles-- ‘like goen to confession every time you speak…it’s your ball and chain; you wallow in your pain; you wave it like a flag and wear it like a crown; you got your mind in the gutter again and bring everybody down…this has gotta stop sometime-get over it!” The song described all that I had been hearing (ugh!).

Jesus taught that life would not always be easy, "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world" (Jn. 16.33). The nature of God is largely, peaceful. God is also patient and kind and does not keep a record of our wrongs. When we are in conflict and our buttons are getting pushed, this is the opportunity to demonstrate the deepest aspects of the character of God to others. A bad attitude is highly contagious and because of this, is easily “caught” (like a bad cold). If a person hangs around others who have a bad attitude the chances are likely that.....

Now, for those who may be in leadership positions or those who seek to be ‘light in the darkness’ read the following very carefully, because you did not serve the Lord your God with joy in your heart and out of the abundance of all that He has blessed you with, you will serve the enemies whom the Lord shall send against you. You will live with hunger and thirst, in nakedness and in want of all things; and He will put a yoke of iron upon your neck until He has destroyed you. The Lord will bring a nation against you from afar, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flies, a nation whose language you shall not understand (Deuteronomy 28. 47, 49). Even while trying to finish this writing my own character was challenged. I do not like to be interrupted. I like things to go smoothly but realty is, I need to get over, MYSELF! Please tell me that I am not alone. Take time today to think about your attitudes…..

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


We are all born with full blown butt-naked trust. Look at a small child who throws themselves at their parent—the child fully expects to be caught by the outstretched arms of daddy or mommy. Fear or, lack of trust, is something that we all learn after we have been ‘dropped’ (more than once). Every person I have ever counseled with has admitted something that they were afraid of.

In preparing this post I found a quote I so relate to, “Many of us crucify ourselves between two thieves - regret for the past and fear of the future.” (Fulton Oursler). I find this metaphor of fear being a thief, to be very accurate. Personally, I have pretty well put to death the ‘first thief'--I spend little time looking back, second guessing myself or living with regret. As far as the ‘second thief’ (‘fear of the future’) goes, this thief still whispers to me and, loudly. I hear the ‘thief of my future’ because I have trust issues from time to time. I have trust issues because I have been burned. I have learned that believing, investing and risking is costly. In short, loving someone or believing in something can result in great pain. Yet, I have also learned that not loving, trusting or risking will cost me even more. The bible says, "God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice, or cringing or fawning-- God has given us a spirit of power and of love [along with] a calm and well-balanced mind [as well as] discipline and self-control (2Tim. 1:7)

Paul tells us that [an ungodly] fear is a negative spirit. Paul is not talking about a fear that serves a productive purpose. To overcome the 'spirit of fear' that Paul is referencing will involve a calm and well balanced mind and, self control. Is it any wonder that Paul says, ‘take every thought captive’? Is it any wonder Jesus warns of thieves that will come to "steal, and to kill, and to destroy"
(John 10:10). The assignment from the spirit of fear is to infiltrate and immobilize us from Kingdom activity. To close, I remind you that many of our most troublesome thieves, “are not of flesh-and-blood…” but rather, thieves on assignment from an “unseen world”(Eph. 6:12) and that, some of the things that we seem to be most afraid of, things we believe to be at striking distance, may be only figments of our ridiculous imaginations.

Friday, July 30, 2010


God loves surprising people. Here is a partial list of God’s surprises: The gift of woman surprised Adam. A new world surprised Noah. The incarnation was a surprise to Mary. The resurrection was a surprise to the disciples. Conversion was a surprise to Saul (he thought he was converted!). The gift of the Holy Spirit surprised the early believers, suddenly. The church was a surprise to the world. And in the end, we, with unveiled faces, will be gloriously surprised with a new heaven, Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him…” (Revelation 1:7). With this very partial catalogue of heavenly surprises God seems to be saying, “Get ready to be surprised! I am a God of surprises”.

If any of us could predict a surprise, it would not be a surprise. The God of all creation is an ever-working God whose power is limitless and unconquerable. God's sovereign working is not an excuse for us to sit back and drift with whatever tide comes our way. No, a thousand times no. Even though the undertows of fear and discouragement may bring us down the power of Christ, living in us, will pull us out of the storms of life. Life’s uncertainties must not be allowed to magnify our problems or diminish the power of our great God.

The prophet Isaiah said, “Forget the former things, nothing compares to the new thing I am about to do. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland"(Is. 43. 18,19). Does the Lord himself not tell us that his Father in heaven will move and gift us from heaven, if we would only ask? (Luke 11:13). And in another setting Jesus said, “My Father is always working, and so am I.” (Jn. 5.17). And lest we forget the words of Paul, “being confident of this, that he that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus (Phil 1.6).

Contemporary writer Henry Blackaby states, God is always at work around us and that, God invites us to join Him in His great work. The challenge comes, says Blackaby, is that our ‘joining up’ with God will cause in us a crises of faith. Why? Because ‘the surprise’ is something that we have not been a part of before. As daunting as God’s invitational surprise may be we must remember that Jesus is a powerful stronghold and a strong tower. You absolutely cannot be defeated from an enemy that has already been rendered powerless through the cross of Jesus Christ. Get ready to be surprised!

Friday, July 23, 2010


IF you ever catch yourself thinking about your future (whether worrying or wondering) you have got to: (1) be CONFIDENT that he who began a good work in you will carry that work to completion (Phil. 4:6-7), (2) TRUST in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding (Prov. 3. 5, 6), (3) KNOW God is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure (Phil. 2.13), (4) SEEK the LORD and His strength, continually (1 Chron. 16.11) and remember, (5) "No eye has seen or ear heard or mind conceived all that God has prepared for those who love him" (1 Cor. 2.9). Today I am thinking about my future. I have a lot on my mind and heart. I am comforted to know that God will reveal His plans to me through His word that is described as a light to my path (Ps. 119.105), by wise counsel that He will also place in my path (Prov. 15.22) and through emotionally disciplined prayer, Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Phil 4.6,7). It is not uncommon during a season of reflection, decision making or uncertainty that we become emotionally derailed. Worry is proportional to our sense of security. When life is going as planned and we feel safe in our life routines, then worries subside. Yet, worry can increase when we feel threatened or insecure. Final encouragement to you: “ If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach (Js. 1.5) and, God will guide the one who is humble and will also show them what is right (Ps. 25.9).