Saturday, August 27, 2005

Hurricane Katrina

My friends,
I was planning on putting up a new blog entry today, but Hurricane Katrina has put my plans on hold. We are battening down the hatches and securing our property. We are, at this projection, about 45 miles east of the storm center. We covet your prayers of protection during the storm. And we will be back in touch as soon as we are able.

Many blessings,

Tuesday, August 16, 2005


Hello, gentle readers…

I was recently chastised by another blog writer for my focus on the love of God. It is his contention that sin and judgment are the cornerstone of Christianity. I beg to differ. It is God’s love that compels us to follow Him. And it is that love which we bring to a downtrodden world. To love God is to love others.

I John 4:21 “And he has given us this command: Whosoever loves God must also love his brother.”

Whosoever loves God must also love his brother (or sister). The language here is very firm. The Apostle is trying to show the followers of Jesus that love is supreme. One could not, nor cannot abide divisions and a judgmental spirit in the Body.

Look at the verses in context. I John 4:16-17 “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him." I John 4:19-20 “We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, ‘I love God, yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.”

You may respond that you DO love your brother and you DO love God. I would challenge you to reexamine that. When God put that mirror of the Spirit up to my heart, I certainly had to do so.

That challenge to my heart caused me to reevaluate how I treated others. I found myself shying away from the homeless. They’re unkempt, often mentally ill, and a challenge to my senses and selflessness. I have had to admit to avoiding some young people because they express themselves in ways I find disconcerting. For example, my partner and I often hang out at the bookstore. There are gangs of young people dressed in goth gear. Quite honestly, they scare me. How silly is that? I avoid talking to them because of that fear and judgment in my heart. Do I love God? Do I trust God? Or not?

Those are just two of the groups that the Lord pointed out. Trust me, there were others. But I share these with you so that you will look inside your own heart; the dark corners where you hide things from your own self. We all have those places.

The Apostle says that if we show no love toward another, we show we do not know God. It’s that simple. Now when I walk by that person who is homeless, I am responsible for sharing the love of God. How? Give a word of encouragement. Buy a hamburger. Give a bible! Show love…the love of God to all men and women.

One cannot continue to quote the often misused phrase (and in my opinion a very unchristlike one), “Love the sinner, hate the sin.” It doesn’t work that way. You say that God hates sin, therefore this is valid. I say it is not. The emphasis is on the wrong thing. God didn’t hate SIN so much that He sent His Son. God LOVED His creation so much that He sent His Son! Big difference.

I would challenge you today to ask God to show you where you are failing in this area. To whom do you fail to show the love of God in your every day lives? I can promise you it will be an eye-opener…and it will prick your spirit and your conscience.

May you fully understand the love and grace of God this day. And may you share it with someone else with compassion.


Monday, August 01, 2005


Hello, gentle readers...

I have placed a link to an article on The Epistle, ( a webzine which I frequently read. It was written by Edrick and I know you will be as touched by it as I was.

Along that theme, I have been considering the idea of curses. In James, the writer talks about how blessings and cursings shouldn't come from the same tongue. In other words, how can we bless God at one moment and curse his creation at another? The writer in James 3 gives a number of examples; fresh and brackish water from the same stream, a fig tree bearing olives, or a grapevine bearing figs. We have been taught that one reaps what one sows. Galatians 6:7 says this plainly.

We cannot bless God and then curse his creation.

Let's look at James 3 together. "(5) Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts...(6) The tongue is also a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell...(8) but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison..(9) With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men who have been made in God's likeness. (10) Out of the same mouth comes praise and cursing. My brothers this should not be."

Why does the writer use the phrase, "set on fire?" It is there to emphasize the incredible power we have simply by speaking, to bring destruction to our lives and the lives of those around us. Consider Ephesians 1:19 where the writer says that we have the same power living in us that raised Jesus from the dead! And not only is there the power that raised Jesus from the dead, but the same power that lifted Jesus up to his place of authority and dominion over all creation! It would stand to reason then, if we have that power living within us, the words we speak will also have great power.

Consider this: You're driving along and you have a christian CD on or the local christian radio station. You are praising God and singing with the tunes. It's a good day, right? Now a driver pulls in front of you causing you to slam on your brakes. You screech to a halt just before you plow into him. What are you saying and thinking now? Are you still praising God? Or are you cursing the driver who almost caused you to wreck your vehicle?

Out of the same mouth come blessings and cursings. God says that's not the way it's supposed to be. Have you done it? I have. Immediately I am convicted of it, too. Thankfully, there is the sacrifice of Jesus and the grace of God to bring immediate forgiveness and healing from my shame. But we all do it...praise God and then curse His creation. (Ephesians 1:19)

I would challenge you today to keep a watch on what you say. Are you cursing God's creation or are you blessing both God and His creation? It's a moment by moment vigil to keep ourselves obedient. Every morning let's begin our day with a prayer that we will glorify God and edify our earthly brothers and sisters with what we say...and not curse them by our negative, hurtful, harmful comments.

May God richly bless you this day!