Sunday, August 25, 2013


(Video courtesy of Kurt Van Tassel, via Facebook.)

A word picture came to mind this morning while Pastor prayed; that of a book, the Word of God, pouring it’s Living Water into our lives. I could imagine the River of Life pouring through an open Bible into my life. That River can’t pour out to overflowing into my life unless I open the Book and apply it to my life. Images of an overflowing creek or river immediately correspond to video footage of the flooding that had washed through our community lately, causing severe damage with their sensational force.


Nature’s riverbeds wind where they may; their paths created by the curve of the land; destruction caused by flooding is without discretion or choosing, plowing through everything in it’s way. The abundance of the River of Life flows through our hearts, destroying only that which hinders our oneness with God; those things that draw us away from Him or distract us from His plans for our lives.


Once again I’m pulled into the knowledge of the worth of God’s Word in my life, a life not left to chance; a life with God-given purpose and value. Without God’s Word to teach us of our worth, we are easily fooled into believing the lie that we’re not wanted, needed or valued; only used and abused and quickly forgotten.


Since God’s Word is readily available to us (here in America) we have no excuse for not feeding from it daily. Yet, often, we starve ourselves spiritually, while going to extremes to over-consume empty calories in attempt to satisfy the longings of our soul (our mind, will and emotions).


If it appears that I beat this “dead-horse” to dust, I’m preaching more to myself than to any reader that stumbles across this blog. Considering God’s Word “optional” in my life is to admit to complete ignorance in regard to life itself. Only laziness, disregard for His Word and lack of faith IN His Word can explain my lack of gleaning from it daily. God forgive me!

(Photo courtesy of

Revelation 22:1-5  Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever. (NIV)
Isaiah 59:19  When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him. (KJV)

Sunday, August 11, 2013


(photo courtesy of
There’s so much to say on this topic, so this post is a little longer than most, and I’ll still want to say more.

The word purge comes to mind often. I’m not so much questioning why, but what it means to Christians. As you can see, there are several definitions. As you read through them, what spiritual applications come to mind? Even the definitions that pertain to bowels gain significance to me, as there are instances in the Bible (at least the KJV) where the word bowel could be translated “heart”. There are plenty of “points to ponder” here.

[purj]  Show IPA verb, purged, purg·ing, noun
verb (used with object) rid of whatever is impure or undesirable; cleanse; purify. rid, clear, or free (usually followed by of or from): to purge a political party of disloyal members. clear of imputed guilt or ritual uncleanliness. clear away or wipe out legally (an offense, accusation, etc.) by atonement or other suitableaction. remove by cleansing or purifying (often followed by away, off,  or out). clear or empty (the bowels) by causing evacuation. cause evacuation of the bowels of (a person). put to death or otherwise eliminate (undesirable or unwanted members) 
from a political organization, government, nation, etc.

We’ve all heard the phrase “binge and purge”, generally referring to those who suffer from bulimia. They’ll binge eat, then purge what they’ve eaten so as not to gain weight. So follow my lines of logic here.

Could it be that sin is to the Christian, what food is to the bulimic? Do we, as Christians sometimes find ourselves binging on behaviors we know our Lord doesn’t approve of? Then do we ask God to forgive us, or purge us of our sin, knowing that His Word says He will.

As hurtful as it is for the bulimic to destroy her body by binging and purging, it hurts us even more to binge on sinful behaviors, only to flippantly turn around and ask God’s forgiveness. The pathway to freedom becomes scarred and our hearts become hardened. Each time we knowingly displease God, we may find it easier to do it next time.

Simple example: We miss church this week. No, we’re not sick and nothing unexpected has come up, we just don’t feel like going. How much easier might it be to miss next week, too?
God instructs us to not forsake the assembling of ourselves together for good reason. When we assemble together, in His Name, we are strengthened, and perhaps, convicted; we’re taught, we’re encouraged, we draw closer to God together, as the church; the body of Christ.
The enemy of our souls knows that there’s strength in numbers and firmly believes in the old adage: divide and conquer. As he separates off the weak, or unlearned or sickly amongst us, they’re easier prey.
No, God’s not going to “send you to hell” for missing church – but He instructs us to assemble together knowing it will do us good and bring Him glory. And, note, He doesn’t tell us to simply show up. When you buy that shiny new bike for your grandchild, it has to be assembled. All the pieces lying there on the floor unassembled don’t do the child any good at all.

Another example: Offensive language has become the norm and acceptable most everywhere. It’s a common symptom of a lazy mind, but yet, because everyone else does it, some of us chime in, too. We know full well God hears our words before they leave our lips. The more we use the lazy, offensive words, the more easily they pour out of our mouth. So, we binge on them.

One more? Secular music fills the air. Do I listen to it? Yes. But, I have to be careful to guard what I’m listening to and taking into my spirit. Are the lyrics negative and self-defeating? We have enough of those tape recordings playing in our heads; we don’t need the help of a catchy tune that keeps us rehearsing those words all day long and into our dreams. “Poor lonesome me…” and “Blue~~~~” drawn out with a yodeling sound, and countless other country songs come to mind, as well as some of the words to the easy listening sounds of The Carpenters. Or the harsh words, “Momma, just killed a man, put a gun against his head, pull my trigger now he’s dead…” Across all genres of music, we’ll find words we know we don’t agree with and really don’t want being stored in our minds. Even some Christian songs provide verses that don’t line up with God’s Word.
But, the more we turn our radio dial to secular stations, the more often we’re listening to music without paying attention to what we’re taking in. I remember a phrase from the 80s “garbage in – garbage out”. It’s no wonder we find ourselves using “lazy” words sometimes.

Will God forgive that binging? Of course. 1 John 1:9 tells us that He is faithful to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us of all unrighteousness. But when we ask for that forgiveness, He’s looking at the condition of our heart. Ever make that promise to God: Please, God, just get me through this vomiting, or this hangover (as we hover over the ol’ porcelain god) and I’ll never drink again; knowing full well you’d drink again?

God sees our hearts, even when we hide from them.

No wonder the word “purge” comes to mind so often…

Sunday, August 4, 2013

When You Hear, "There's Nothing You Can Do..."

(photo courtesy of
When you hear the news, “There’s nothing you can do.....”

We all go through all sorts of trying times whether our days are many or few. We’ve all suffered heartbreak of some kind or another. But, it can be overwhelming to hear the news that – “there’s nothing you can do...”

To some extent, we all want to feel a degree of control over the situations that arise in our lives. Sometimes we can remain very much in control and face a hard situation head on, then look back and marvel at how we made it through. Other times we completely fall apart and rely on others to carry us through, or we crawl through, kicking and crying. The times we rely on others are sometimes a blur, and when the one(s) we’re depending on break or bare their weak side, we find ourselves helping them deal with the ache in their heart, too.

No one ever said life was going to be easy, as a matter of fact, Jesus Himself said that in this world we will have tribulations, but to be of good cheer, because He has overcome the world. (John 16:33)

A quoted scripture can seem to increase your load. We can hear it as a resounding chime, bouncing echoes of our weakness around in our head, telling us we’re not supposed to be stressing or worrying or crying, because God’s got it all in control – when it doesn’t feel like anyone at all even knows what control in our situation would look like. When the peace doesn’t come, we may get angry and blame God for letting us down, or resent Him for “making” us go through this heartache in the first place.

When I heard those words trumpeted into my inner-most being, the proclaimed and declared-out-loud the news that there’s nothing I can do, that there’s nothing anyone can do...I went limp. At that moment I felt as though all the air in the room was vacuumed away, leaving my heart racing. The instant before that profoundly truthful news, I felt frustrated by my own perceived helplessness. And now? Now, it was confirmed. There is absolutely nothing I can do. In this instance of revelation, I had to surrender to the fact that control was no longer in my court, that, in fact, it was never within my grasp to control this situation at all, and that I would never be capable of changing that reality.

There is nothing I can do; there is nothing you can do – but give ourselves completely over to the love that brought us into existence in the first place.

If you know me at all, it’s not often I’m found speechless, though it’s easy to bring a tear to my eyes. The floodgates opened and I was shaking, without no words in my mouth.

Sitting in my sin, the most fatal of all conditions, desperate and seeking a way of escape, God announced to my heart, “There is nothing you can do….”

“For by grace are ye saved, through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.” ~ Ephesians 2:8-9 (KJV)

What greater cause for rejoicing can there possibly be?