Posts Tagged ‘Bible’

“When the victorious Israelite army was returning home after David had killed the Philistine, women from all the towns of Israel came out to meet King Saul. They sang and danced for joy with tambourines and cymbals.This was their song: “Saul has killed his thousand, and David his ten thousands!” This made Saul very angry. “What’s this?” he said. “They credit David with ten thousands and me with only thousands. Next they’ll be making him their king!” So from that time on Saul kept a jealous eye on David. The very next day a tormenting spirit from God overwhelmed Saul, and he began to rave in his house like a madman. David was playing the harp, as he did each day. But Saul had a spear in his hand, and he suddenly hurled it at David, intending to pin him to the wall. But David escaped him twice. Saul was then afraid of David, for the Lord was with David and had turned away from Saul.” (1 Samuel 18:6-12)

Yes kids, this is a sad cautionary tale about a man who had it all and lost everything because he didn’t know who he was.

We can learn a lot from this king with an identity crisis.

Life is so much better when you know who you are.

Insecurity derails anointing.

Knowing who (and whose) you are helps you celebrate who others are.

Saul refuses to celebrate David and what he brings to the kingdom.

Insecurity and jealousy pollute his mind and contaminate his soul.

He gets caught up in the math and misses the moment.

“They credit David with ten thousands and me with only thousands.”

Keeping score makes him crazy.

He got so caught up in numbers that it caused him to focus only on what others had.

He lost sight of what he had lost.

Comparison kills.

Insecurity causes you to lose sight of what matters.

You start counting the wrong things.

David played the harp, but, Saul was so caught up in jealousy that he missed the song.

What was designed to soothe, instead scraped at his soul.

Insecurity causes you to stop hearing the music.

Saul picks up a spear and flings it, thinking he can pin his problem against the wall.

But,his problem isn’t in front of him, it’s within him.

Insecurity causes you to start hurling spears.

Fortunately, David knew who (and whose) he was.

After hopping out of the way, he refuses to pick up the spear and throw it back.

Knowing who (and whose) you are gives you excellent soul reflexes.

Insecurity makes your soul sluggish.

Insecurity causes you to lose everything good.

It leaves you suspicious, afraid, unsure.

Get it settled in your gut…

Who are you…whose are you.

Security in that opens the door wide open.

The shared victories are celebrated.

The music is sweeter.

The Spirit is present.

Life is good.

i’m such a dorcas!

Posted: July 7, 2015 in fizzy faith
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In Acts 9:36-43 there is an incredible story of hope involving a woman with an unfortunate name.

Her name is Dorcas. (I wonder if she had a brother named Nerdly, sorry! I digress!)

She is proof that you can rise above a label and leave a legacy.

She lived in a little beach town called Joppa.

She was a really good lady who lived a really good life.

And then…she died.

Bummer.

She was known for her generosity. She had used her life making others better.

She helped out the left out and the left behind.

And then…she died.

Her friends had a problem with that.

They sent a message to the apostle, Peter: “you need to get here FAST!”

This is AFTER Dorcas has left the building, what do they expect Peter to do?

Peter shows up and enters a place of death and he is greeted with stories of life.

The F.O.D. (Friends Of Dorcas) start telling stories and that leads into an impromptu art show.

They show off the clothing that their friend had crafted for them.

Evidently Peter is intrigued.

He has heard the stories, he has seen the stuff.

He HAS to meet this lady!

He wouldn’t let a thing like death get in the way.

He makes everybody leave the room, he talks to God and then he talks to Dorcas…

“get up!”

And then…she does.

Then (I LOVE this part) He REINTRODUCES her to her friends.

Reintroduction is required because she is not the person that she once was.

She WAS dead, now she is NOT.

It’s actually a great picture of us.

God gives us the opportunity to be reintroduced.

No matter what we have been labeled,

He speaks life into our stories…

“get up!”

Suddenly we aren’t who we once were.

We are alive.

I want to be a Dorcas.

 

 

 

 

I’ve always been fascinated with airplanes and flight.

The ability to leave the earth behind captured my imagination.

Much to the chagrin of my very practical Dad, I spent a lot of time growing up with my head in the clouds. I always wanted to get on a plane and crack the clouds. But, sadly it took me a while to get my feet off the ground.

In elementary school a lot of my friends got to fly. They would come back to school and tell us how great it was…there were peanuts and window seats and turbulence and blue water in the bathroom. They had been transported to magical places like Cleveland and Omaha.

BUT, the single coolest thing was when they visited the cockpit.

They got to meet the PILOT!!! Who, it seems, was always a tall, handsome man named Captain Dan who smoked a pipe. He saluted them and welcomed them in a deep, manly voice. They saw the instruments, dials and controls.

BUT, the crowning cockpit moment was when Captain Dan gave them some super cool plastic wings!

THEY GOT WINGS!!! I couldn’t stand it!

They were part of a club that I wasn’t! The club of people with wings!

They wore those wings to school with an authoritative swagger.

The wings made a powerful statement. They said “I have left the ground, I have flown and I have the wings to prove it!”

MAN!!! I ALWAYS wanted those wings.

The problem was that the first time I ever flew I was 18. It would have been a little awkward to go into the cockpit looking for wings.

But, MAN! I wanted some wings!

Because I knew something… Wings are wonderful things.

They take us places.

There was a time when people lived their entire lives with their feet firmly planted on the ground. Then on December 17, 1903, two brothers from Ohio, with no formal engineering training, neither even had a High School diploma, defied gravity in a crazy looking flying machine over the dunes of the North Carolina outer banks.

They discovered Wings! They took off. They left the world behind.

We were born to fly. We were meant to go to unimaginable places and defy gravity.

You were born to be a charter member of the club of people with wings.

The Engineer of eternity wired us to fly and HE gives us wings.

Isaiah 40:31 says: “those who trust in the Lord will find new strength, they will soar high on wings like eagles.”

Here are our flight instructions: Trust God and get wings.

Trusting isn’t always easy, but evidently it’s necessary flight training.

Want wings? Trust God, wait on Him, listen to Him.

We need to learn to trust in God because He is our air traffic controller.

He sees things that we don’t. He creates conditions. He knows the exact right time to take off.

He gives us wings. Those wings give us the unnatural ability to defy gravity. The ability to soar above situations.

Airplane wings are strong. They hold the entire weight of the plane PLUS the stress put on them by turbulence and control forces. BUT airplane wings will eventually fail if over stressed.

The Wings that God gives us will never fail. They are spiritual and not bound by the laws of physics.

God gives us wings.

They give us the unnatural ability to soar over anything.

We have the supernatural ability to withstand any turbulence in life. That’s good because there will be turbulence, the winds will howl. Things are gonna get bumpy.

Please fasten your seatbelts and return your tray table to its full upright position… And trust your wings! They will take you places. Wings take you places that you can’t get to on foot or by car. God gives you supernatural wings that take you to unimaginable places and help you do things that you could never do in your own strength.

God gives us wings.

He is the air traffic controller AND the pilot. He gives us wings and he gives us our own unique flight pattern.

We don’t work to get our wings, we trust.

In elementary school, the only thing my flying friends had to do to get their wings from Captain Dan was walk on board! They just got to know the pilot. He gave them wings.

It’s the same with us. You can’t grow wings. They can only be given to you.

Get to know the pilot. He has a custom made set of wings for you. Wings take you places.

You were born to fly. You were designed to defy gravity. God will give you wings. You will soar above.

Don’t let anybody or anything clip your wings. We do that. We listen to the critics, to the ones who have never left the ground themselves.

The Wright brothers had a lot of people telling them that they would never fly. They didn’t allow the haters to clip their wings. They did what had never been done. You get to do the same thing.

Don’t get grounded by fear, doubt or insecurity. Don’t get grounded by comparing your flight plan to someone else’s. You were born to go to starry, faraway places…places that can only be reached if you have wings!

Wings are wonderful things!

BIG thanks to my pilot friend, Rich Wenzel, who gave me some great insight into leaving the ground behind.

BIG buts

There are a lot of BUTs in the bible.

It seems that God likes BIG BUTs and He cannot lie.

BUT is a word that changes everything.

Some words are wimpy…words like blah or lame.

Some words just sound gross…words like moist or mucus.

But, BUT (see what I did there?) is a strong word.

It changes everything.

We were going one direction BUT we turned around.

Jesus said the word BUT a lot.

He used it to change things.

Over and over He used the word to change the rules…

“You have heard it said…WAAAH…WAAAH…WAAAH.

BUT, I tell you…BOOM!”

Jesus lowered the BOOM with the BUT!

You will find a lot of His BUTs in one place, the book of Matthew in the New Testament of the Bible.

I can picture the Disciples listening to Jesus talk.

Suddenly they would start to snicker and snort like a group of dudes can sometimes do…

“He said BUT!!”

Matthew wrote it down.

Here are some BIG BUTs…

Matthew 5:43-44:  “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. BUT I say, love your enemies!  Pray for those who persecute you!”

BOOM! There goes the BUT! Love your enemies! Pray for the bullies. That is a serious game (and heart) changer. It’s so much easier to love the people that you like, BUT we are told to sing love songs for our enemies.

Matthew 6:31-33: “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, BUT your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.”

BOOM! There goes the BUT! It’s so easy to get caught up in worry about stuff. BUT, because we are His kids, God has promised to take care of us. We might not always understand how He is taking care of us, BUT we can always trust that He will. He is our sustainer and the scripter of our seasons.

Matthew 10:32-33: “Everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. BUT everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in heaven.”

BOOM! There goes the BUT! Make noise about who Jesus is on earth and He will make noise about who you are in Heaven…pretty simple.

Matthew 16:25: “If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. BUT if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.”

BOOM! There goes the BUT! The Kingdom is all upside down, actually its right-side up, and everything else is upside down. The way to find is to lose!

Matthew 20:25-26: “BUT Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. BUT among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant.”

BOOM! There goes the BUT! Crazy leadership advice!! Totally contrary to what most leadership books say. You want to be great, lose yourself. Serve. Life is like a limbo game. How low can you go?

How about this one…

You have heard this isn’t good…

BUT, GOD says I AM GOOD…SO VERY GOOD.

People say one thing, BUT God gets the final word.

You are __________. Fill in the blank…poor, sick, lost, broken, ugly, fat, skinny, stupid, unskilled, not enough, etc.

BUT, God says you are MINE…that makes you enough.

The BUTs fill in the blanks in our lives!

BUTs change everything!

When you are at the bottom of your life…run to the BUT.

Whatever you are going through, please realize that one carefully placed BUT from God can change your situation.

You thought you were unloved, BUT…

You thought you were alone, BUT…

You thought you were hopeless, BUT…

You thought you were damaged beyond repair, BUT…

You thought you were done, BUT…

A big BUT changes everything.

Don’t give up, God is covering your but.

Get a but load of God.

 Here’s a bonus BUT from the Old Testament, that will never be put on an inspirational coffee cup:

Psalm 103:14 says “we are BUT dust”.

Think about that.

There is a not so subtle difference between ninjas and newscasters.

Ninjas are all about doing their job in secret.

Newscasters broadcast everything.

Ninjas are all about the mission.

They don’t care who gets the credit.

Newscasters are all about the byline.

We have a mission. it’s a simple mission.

be loved and love.

know and make known.

do good. be kind. serve. leave a mark.

along with the mission we have a choice.

ninja or newscaster…who will you be?

newscaster…

When you announce to every one what YOU are doing, you are choosing to receive your reward in the here and now.

“I gave…I served…I blessed…I helped”

kudos to you. you are a wonderful person. we recognize your service.

BUT, God tells us when you do something for me…make it about me…nobody has to know….because I know and that is what matters.

the Bible even says don’t let your right hand know what your left hand is doing.

that is pretty ninja!

Don’t turn your acts of serve into a checklist or a pat on the back.

When you announce what you have done it ceases to be serve and becomes self.

Be ninja!

there is something cool and mysterious about ninja love.

it is all about making other people famous.

be ninja!

Identity amnesia

Posted: March 14, 2015 in fizzy faith
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Sometimes I get Identity amnesia.
The littlest doubt or critique can set it off.
My psyche is slippery.
It’s like a cheesy old movie where the hero gets bumped on the head and forgets who he is.
My self image can get bumped and thumped.
I forget who I am.
Identity amnesia.
I’m a bird in an opened cage held captive by my inability to see my wings.
Truth is traded for lies.
I read the wrong name tags.
I lose my self.
In pursuit of better i forget that I’m enough.
I have to daily remind myself who I am.
I have to revisit the place where I was given a new name.
Where I learned that I matter.
I run to my Maker, my Father, the Name Giver.
My Maker never says you aren’t enough.
My Heavenly Father never says why can’t you be like your brother?
Instead He whispers to my soul let me tell you who YOU are.
I read the words that are fearfully and wonderfully engraved on my heart.
Sometimes it’s fuzzy and it requires a baptism in holy fire so that the layers of insecurity, cynicism and apathy are burned away.
Then I can see the words again…
Child
Beloved
Forgiven
Accepted
Loved
Enough
I need to pause long enough everyday to remember WHO I am and WHOSE I am.

My prayer: Father, Let me BE the one that you BElove and BEhold.

Back when my wife, Diana, and I were engaged, I found a picture of Her and a prom date. Diana looked beautiful. She had perfectly coiffed big ’80s hair. She was smiling. Her date was wearing a rented pastel tux and he looked a little nervous. His name was James. The only thing that I really knew about him was that he had really good taste in girls. I was a little bothered…okay…jealous, so I thought I would try to change the romantic picture…literally. This was before photoshop, so I grabbed some scissors and scotch tape. I cut out a picture of my smiling face and taped it on top of his. Suddenly, I was the guy in the picture! But, it just didn’t look right. For one thing, it wasn’t proportionate. My face was too big and he wasn’t built like me. I showed it to Diana. I was sure that she would be impressed by my act of creative love, and I could tell that she was by the way she rolled her eyes. To be fair, the redone photo was an unsettling image. My freakishly large head looked unnatural. That’s what happens when you try to rewrite history, you end up with a freakish misrepresentation. The thing was that you could peel my picture off and James was still there. Despite my efforts, He was still a part of the story. Rather than try to rewrite a part of Diana’s story, I should have rejoiced that I was the man who got to stand by her for the rest of the story.

We live in a photoshop world. If we don’t like something, we simply crop it out of the picture.
We are constantly trying to crop all the unpleasantness out of our stories.
We try to airbrush away all our blemishes.
We want to protect our image. We don’t want to offend.

But, it doesn’t seem like God is concerned with protecting His image.
The Bible is most uncropped book ever, it is brutally honest.
There are stories of liars, murderers, prostitutes, adulterers and screw ups. And those are the GOOD guys! It’s there, in all its ungutted and unfiltered glory.
The Bible isn’t really family friendly and the disturbing thing is that God didn’t try to fix that!
It’s pages are filled with more rule breakers than record breakers. Despite what we were told in Sunday school, the biblical patriarchs weren’t shiny, perfect, airbrushed flannel gram role models.
The Bible is the story of some broken people who didn’t stay broken…they are models of redemption.
Can you picture a nervous editor looking over the original transcript and saying to God: “let’s rethink this section, it might offend people…I’m not sure if the bible will go over well in the Bible Belt!”
“Let’s edit…let’s crop out the ugly.”
But, God doesn’t seem to be concerned with public relations, He is more interested in authentic relationship.
The Bible is raw and honest….
Combine the real with the redemptive and hope is born.
God doesn’t Photoshop, instead He gives us a brand new photo op.
We don’t get a rewrite of the past, BUT, We do get a brand new chapter today.
It seems like the bible is all about honest hope.
God says be honest about your yesterday and see what I can do with your tomorrow.
You can’t crop what has already happened, but you can create what is yet to be.
Live honest with hope.