Category Archives: TRUTH

IF IT’S GOOD FOR PAUL AND SILAS, IS IT GOOD ENOUGH FOR ME? 110615

Two young girls having conversation in the park

You’ve heard that old song, “If it’s good for Paul and Silas, it’s good enough for me.”  There’s lot of stuff from “the good ole days” that IS good enough for me.  I mean not from ‘their’ era, but from the days of my youth.  Good ole Gospel singing.  Billy Graham preaching.  Maybe even a tent revival with preachers speaking the truth of God, and the people truly rising to the occasion and meeting the Spirit with their hearts.  It’s been a long time since I experienced the movement of the Spirit like that.

But as it applies to ‘making disciples’, what I experienced when I was young fell short of what I now perceive as God’s will for our lives as disciples of Jesus.  Even now-a-days I find much of the teaching in churches about discipleship is pretty dry and academic.  I hear about programs for college kids where they spend the summers working at jobs and spending all their ‘free’ time walking the beaches talking to people about Jesus.  High intensity training in making disciples. In six to eight weeks each kid gets to talk to several hundred (200-300) people.  People are getting saved, making a commitment to Jesus.  Their lives are being transformed;  the kids (the evangelists) as much as their contacts.  No matter what they do for God in the future, it changes their whole perspective on what it means to “follow” Jesus.  Continue reading

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SHEEP, WOLVES, SNAKES AND DOVES.102015

SHEEP CLOSE UP.102015Matthew 10:16 “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as snakes and harmless [innocent and gentle] as doves.”  In this passage, Jesus is talking to his twelve disciples.  He tells them they will suffer persecution, but the reason they’re going is to be a testimony [for Jesus], particularly in the councils and the synagogues, before governors and kings.  Some versions say “to be a testimony against them.”  This is the beginning of the apostles “going out to preach the Gospel.” (At first it’s only to the people of Israel; but later, unto all the world.) Grey Wolf Pack at PlaySome people think this was just for the apostles, or just for the Christians in the First Century.  But I always think this passage is applicable to us, the Christians who are alive on the earth today.  It is especially evident when you think of all the Christians in Asia and elsewhere, who are under persecution from Muslim, Communist and other totalitarian regimes.  We really are like sheep among wolves; and we really must be as clever as snakes, and as gentle as doves, just in order to survive and continue to be witnesses for our Lord Jesus. Continue reading

SILLY GAMES, GOD and MY EGO.070815

Father playing chess with sonNowadays, if you want to spend time with your kids, many dads play video games.  It’s fun, even if the kids beat you.  Not so long ago, before the days of I-phones, on a rainy or snowy day, dads and kids would play table games.  Checkers, chess, cards, spoons, dominoes, maybe even Monopoly.  We used to play Scrabble.  In good weather, when it wasn’t too hot or cold, we’d get outside and play horseshoes, or a pick-up game of baseball or touch football. Oh, and ping-pong.  We used to stand in the garage and play ping-pong til the wee hours. All fun, light-hearted entertainment.  I don’t know about you, but some of the best times of my life, both as a kid and as a dad, were spent playing silly games with my dad or my kids.

Two observations: 1 The games weren’t just silly, often they were serious; and 2 There was a lot more going on there than fun, light-hearted entertainment. Continue reading

THE GOD PRINCIPLE.060415

Boy celebrating mother's day. little child lad giving flowers yellow tulips to his mom mother studio shot on blue

In Psalm 18:25-27, David says, “With the merciful You will show Yourself merciful; with a blameless man You will show Yourself blameless; with the pure You will show Yourself pure; and with the devious You will show Yourself shrewd.  For You will save the humble people, but will bring down haughty looks.”  In Matthew 5:3-12, in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says, “Blessed (happy) are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.  Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.  Blessed are the meek (the humble) for they shall inherit the earth.” Continue reading

THE UNDERLYING TRUTH.053115

change your life phrase handwritten on school blackboard

My friend Red Smith, serving a 25 year sentence, sent me a letter one day, and it began with this line, “I thank God every day that he delivered me from myself.”  That’s all I remember, but it’s enough. That leads me down several paths, but the one for today is what is really going on in God’s plan to deliver us from ourselves and all the other evil that is lurking out there.

The truth is this: that God sent his Son to save us: and the way He chose to save us is by changing us from the inside out.  He saves by delivering us from the evil that is in our heart.  The war between the flesh and the Spirit, between Satan and God, between God’s will and my will, is one that is going on in my heart.  When God sends His Spirit to move in our lives, He doesn’t change our circumstances to affect our world, He changes our hearts so we see things differently.  When we are changed inside, that changes what happens to us on the outside.  Oh, God uses all kinds of things in the world to get my our attention, but his main purpose is to have us surrender our hearts to Him so that we can begin to see His eternal design for our lives.  A good example is the Prodigal Son, it says, “When he came to himself, he said, ‘I will return to my father.’ ”  It was because his heart was changed.change the world phrase handwritten on blackboard with heart symbol instead of O

 

GOD IS MOVIN’. 052215:

Tre muliTwo brothers and I had a discussion in our office building this morning.  We do this once a week usually; to talk about what God is doing in our lives.  This time we were talking about the standard we use to decide what is right and wrong in making decisions in our lives.  We were talking about whether it’s right (OK) to use torture to get our enemies to tell us what they know about their plans and operations.  One brother said it is definitely OK to sacrifice one guy’s comfort (or even his life) to save the lives of a bunch of others, especially if those people are ‘our’ people.  He said it was reasonable, even admirable to act in that fashion. Continue reading

CHOICES. 050815

Fork roads horizon with grass and blue sky

The introductory talk in the Kairos program for the brothers in white in the prison is called ‘Choices’.  The person chosen to make this talk (in fact all talks in Kairos) is given certain points to make during the talk, but there are two basic guidelines for every talk.  1] Write it and give it in your own words, and 2] give a personal testimony that relates to the subject matter.  While in Kairos we are primarily concerned with talking to the participants about God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, in the ‘Choices’ talk, we are specifically directed NOT to say anything about God or religion or the Bible in this talk.  We just want to get them to think, to think about themselves and their past, to think about how their past choices have affected their lives.  It’s like parents raising their children.  In order for the child to grow up to be a responsible, productive citizen, on a natural level, they need to understand the principle of cause and effect.  “If you do this, this will happen; if you do that, that will happen.”  If we do good things, good things will result.  If we do bad things, bad things will result.  Continue reading