And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. (Rom 5:3-6)

Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me, O Lord GOD of hosts; let not those who seek you be brought to dishonor through me, O God of Israel. (Psalm 69:6)

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Take a Step Back

As I have blogged before, we need to take time to get away and get alone with God. Unfortunately the first exclamation people make is "I am too busy". I would agree. IF we are too busy to get alone with God then we are too busy. Idolatry has crept into our life and we need to come before God in repentance.

The last few days I was faced with just such temptation. Things came up, and opportunities presented themselves. But alas, I have been in awe of God and His blessing unto me for taking time in His sovereignty to say, I will take the time to pray and leave the rest up to Him. I completed my duties and packed up to go with 9 other ministers to spent a 24 hour retreat in prayer. Mind you, we did not pray for 24 hours, but we sought God.

Here are a few results...
I was able to make sense of a passage in Ecclesiastes that I knw God was speaking from but I could not apply it.

Focused prayer was completed.

Fellowship with other brothers united us in the Spirit, not competition.

Learning where I was wrong on several assumptions, I rejoice at being set right.

Brokenness before God leads to clarity of heart.

Then the kicker...
Today while meeting with my prayer partner back home, a man stopped by the church. he said he was overwhelmed with the fears he was facing and was drawn to stop in as see if he could pray. What happened next was only of God. After a short time of letting him pray by himself, my friend and I were moved to get out of our comfort zone and minister in grace to this man. he had many many questions. All these ewe had already discussed in our own prayer time and as a result of my being away with God the day before.

I could have stayed in the office Monday. I could have read books. My house had repairs to address and time is always of the essence. However, because God was the priority and allowed to fight battles for me, my heart had been filled that I could minister to one who was like a sheep without a shepherd.

What good does it do to do all the good things and have not compassionate love opun the hurting and needy?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The sin of fantasy

Idolatry comes in many forms. We often talk of making an idol of things, and people. But one concept I am exploring is the idea of personal fantasy as a form of idolatry. These fantasies all revolve around the self and are often quite secret. It may be a fantasy about sex, for isn’t that what the pornography industry is all about self fulfillment of the physical through mental stimulation? It could be the middle aged man in midlife crisis looking back to the misinterpreted days of high school. There is the fantasy of revenge, often planning what one would say or do if given the chance. Taken further, what about all those who are wrapped up in the past? Playing the would have ,could have, and should have game keeps them living in the past and not in the present. How can this possibly give glory to God?

Often it seems what holds us back from living out the fantasy are the repercussions of getting caught. I find this dangerous. Jesus said that if we look on a woman to lust it is adultery, to hate our brother is murder. (Matthew 6) We will give an account for every idle word, and I believe it also implies every thought. For out of the heart flows wickedness. (Matthew 15)

What is God’s view of fantasy idolatry, surly it is that we put this old man off and put on the new. We are to follow Romans 12 and be transformed by the renewing of our mind. To press on as Paul writes in Philippians.

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:1-3

Let us persevere.

Survey Results

Thanks to all who participated. Several days ago I began asking around the question "What are some of your favorite all time books?" The results were a mixed bag. All were interesting to me as they reflect the personalities of each person quite well. I have tried to leave them with little editing. Most are discernible between persons by the fonts used.


Two somewhat recent (and excellent) books I’ve read were Nancy Pearcey’s Total Truth and Mike Farris’ From Tyndale to Madison.
In the fiction department, I’ve always enjoyed just about anything by Dickens, but especially Bleak House, Little Dorrit, and Tale of Two Cities.
And last, but certainly not least, the Bible. ;-)
First of all, for me, that would be a very short list to pick from. Literally. Outside of The Bible and my school text books, I read very little. You read more books in a year than I have in my lifetime.

Here are a few that pop to mind:

The Bible.
Experiencing God.
His Needs - Her Needs
Men are Like Waffles, Women are Like Spaghetti
Five Love Languages
I presume you mean besides the Bible.

Here are some:

Till we have faces, C. S. Lewis
That Hideous Strength, C. S. Lewis
Riders of the Purple Sage, Zane Gray
A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
Genesis and the Mystery Confucius couldn't solve, Ethel Nelson
“Finishing Strong” – Steve Farrar
Here’s some of the Christian Books I have really liked
The Purpose Driven Life, Six Hours One Friday, My Utmost For His Highest, Becoming A Contagious Christian, The Case For Christ, Experiencing God, The Five Love Languages, Blue Like Jazz, God Works The Night Shift, Living Free In Christ, Sold Out, Twelve Ordinary Men, In His Steps
Although I don’t really have much time for any other kind of reading, some books that I vividly remember from days gone by were A TALE OF TWO CITIES, THE SHINING, AND THEN THERE WERE NONE, THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA, TOM SAWYER, LORD OF THE FLIES, 1984, THE GREAT GATSBY
Old testament evangelistic sermons by Lloyd-jones; divine conspiracy by Dallas Willard; the Jesus way by Eugene Peterson (all five volumes in this "conversations" series are excellent)
1) Experiencing Father' Embrace by Jack Frost

2) From Spiritual Slavery To Spiritual Sonship by Jack Frost
Lord of the Rings trilogy
Man's Search for meaning by viktor frankl is one of them.

Here’s my Top 5 of all time (not counting the Bible, which is number 1 obviously…)
1. A Tale of Three Kings by Dave Edwards
2. Wild At Heart, by John Eldredge
3. The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges
4. Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Terry Tripp
5. Ordering Your Private World by Gordon MacDonald
Pilgrim’s Progress, Bunyan (I read this annually)
The Sovereignty of God, Pink
Mere Christianity, Lewis
Sharpening the Focus of the Church, Getz
Decision Making and the Will of God, Friesen
Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God, Packer
Curious George Rides a Bike, Rey
No Place for Truth, Wells
Disciplines of a Godly Man, Hughes
Manual of Theology & Manual of Church Order, Dagg
Ashamed of the Gospel, MacArthur
Tell the Truth, Metzger
Let the Nations be Glad, Piper
The Prayer Factor, Tippit
Spiritual Leadership, Blackaby
Biblical Eldership, Strauch
Peacemaker, Sande
Idols of the Heart, Fitzpatrick
Deliberate Church, Dever
Treasure Principle, Alcorn
Anything by Dabney, Spurgeon or Edwards
Where the Red Ferns Grows
Anne of Green Gables
Pride and Predjudice
Sense and Sensibility
Lord of the Rings series
Don't Make Me Count to Three
Keeping Our Children's Hearts
Narnia series
CS Lewis's Space Triology
NOT FAIR! I've read so many books and so many of them are good. How to pick the BEST???

By the Great Horned Spoon (Fleischman)
Hunt for Red October (Tom Clancy)
The Firm (John Grisham)
Naya Nuki (Thomasma)
Debt of Honor (Tom Clancy)
The Phantom Tollbooth
The Hobbit (Tolkein)
The Copper Scroll (Rosenberg)
I could list many more, but I'll stop here.
Forgot one: Skipping Christmas (Grisham)
Oh, and Austenland (Hale)
And...oh, never mind. LOLOL
Who You Are When No Ones Looking by Bill Hybels
Man to Man by Chuck Swindoll
Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
The Only Road North by Erik Mirandette
Prayer by Yancey

Those are ones that quickly come to mind. The Only Road North is a GREAT read for anybody who likes's a true story.

This Present Darkness
Atlas Shrugged
Great Expectations

Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss, A Chance to Die by Elizabeth Elliot.... Of course the Bible. :)

Favorite book I read recently ;
George MacDonald ; “Ministers Restoration”
how soon you need them--trying to fnd titles
1-practicing the presence of god-brother lawrence
2-jesus calling--a daily devotional by sahra young

On Prayer by Andrew Murray, Experiencing God: Knowing and Doing God's Will by Henry Blackaby, Humility by Andrew Murray

Friday, September 11, 2009

Coram Deo

This has been an interesting week. Rarely do we hear the Latin term Coram Deo. But it means Before the Face of God. Interestingly it kept coming up on Wednesday in my readings. As I meditated upon the idea of everything we do being right in front of God I became aware of a germination of overlooked things.
The Magnitude of our sin.
The awesomeness of who God is.
The joy of Romans 8.

Stay with me these next few days, as I was looking at a search for holiness, I find what I am really desirous of is Coram Deo.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Phenominal Photography


I am a big fan of great photography. And today I was astounded by the photography of Michael Belk.

You will need to check out his site at
I don't have the words.