Monday, August 31, 2009

Just Remember Jesus Cares

A Gospel song I heard in the early eighties encourages me to this day. Here are some of the encouraging words of the song written and performed by the Ross Family from Monroe, N.C:

Just remember Jesus cares.
He cries when you cry.
And He lifts your case,
to the Father up on high.
Place your trust in Him today;
For He is the only Way.
And remember Jesus cares;
Just remember Jesus cares.

Mt. 9:36 (NKJV) -- Jesus was moved with compassion for them...

Romans 8:34 -- (NKJV) -- Christ... is at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.

1 Peter 5:-6-7 (NKJV) -- (6) Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, (7) casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.


Sunday, August 30, 2009

FAITH LIFT -- A Praying Lab

I offer this F-A-I-T-H LIFT acrostic as a prayer laboratory:

Pray believing that God lives and God loves. (Heb. 11:6 paraphrased) Unless we pray believing God is able to help us and God wants to help us, we pray in vain. Let us not forget that the most basic Biblical purpose of prayer is that we might Know God.

Pray as a true worshipper. "Oh come let us adore Him." Remember the words of Wise Men in Matthew 2:1 (MSG): "We are on pilgrimage to worship Him." Pray that your life will magnify, glorify, and satisfy God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit... One.

God is looking for those who will stand in the gap between Heaven and earth in intercessory prayer. To pray is to intercede, to invoke the name of Jesus not only for yourself but also for others. When you pray with others in mind, you prove that you love God, you love others, and you love yourself.

Pray the Word of God, so that God's will is always the focal point of your praying. The words of the Psalmist are powerful prayers for us to echo back to our God. In my life, it is impossible not to be encouraged when I pray God's Word back to Him. Read Luke 4:1-14 and listen to Jesus pray the Word of God to overcome temptation and to defeat the devil. God's Word is powerful!

Totally surrender to God in prayer. Nevertheless, not my will, but Thine be done. Your part in holiness is total surrender to God's desires. So, ask God to help you specifically and then trust God completely. Yes, trust God to help you according to His perspective on your life and His compassion for your life.

Finally, remember that prayer is both simple and profound, in that, if you are presently in the midst of a trust crisis, simply pray. If you are currently in the fog of a prayer crisis, profoundly trust.

An Invitation: If you'd like to participate in an audio prayer laboratory based on this simple but profound F-A-I-T-H acrostic, go to and click on "audio sermons". Then select the sermon for August 30, 2009 titled "Gethsemane Gathering -- FAITH". I pray it will be a blessing to you as it was to our local family of faith, hope, and love. May you experience as we did, a FAITH LIFT!


Saturday, August 29, 2009

Be Thou My Vision

This ancient hymn expresses my present desires.

Pray these deep words in unity with me to our Lord:

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight;
Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight;
Thou my soul’s Shelter, Thou my high Tower:
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.


Note: Words of this ancient hymn are at­trib­ut­ed to Dal­lan For­gaill, 8th Cen­tu­ry; trans­lat­ed from an­cient Ir­ish to Eng­lish by bio Ma­ry E. Byrne,1905, and versed by bio El­ea­nor H. Hull, 1912.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Our Wounded Healer Heals

* He heals the heartbroken and bandages their wounds.
Psalm 147:3 (MSG)
*...and by His wounds we are healed.
Isaiah 53:5 (NIV)
* Heal me, O LORD, and I will be healed...
Jeremiah 17:14 (NIV)
* ...and all who touched him were healed.
Matthew 14:36 (NIV)
* You anoint my head with oil (my Good Shepherd enters my pain).
Psalm 23:5 (NKJV)

Our Wounded Healer Heals -- if not immediately, surely ultimately.

*And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes;
there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.
There shall be no more pain,
for the former things...
have passed away.
Revelation 21:4 (NKJV)

"Let us ever love and trust Him, in His presence daily live."
Yes, "Let us surrender all" to Jesus, Our Wounded Healer.


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Just Three Words

" in hope..." -- Psalm 16:9 (NKJV)


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Praying With the Psalmist

The first 3 verses of Psalm 5 (NLT) echo passionately in the chambers of my soul. Please join me in praying with the Psalmist:

(1) O LORD, hear me as I pray;
pay attention to my groaning.
(2) Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God,
for I will never pray to anyone but you.
(3) Listen to my voice in the morning, LORD.
Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.


Monday, August 24, 2009

A Question from Jesus, the Son of Man

In Luke 18:8, we read a question from Jesus, the Son of Man:

"...when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?"

Lord, I want You to find faith on the earth, especially in me.
And I pray three words from Revelation 22:20 -- Come, Lord Jesus. Amen.


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Know God?

Let us not ignore knowing God and/or being known by God, because only God-intimacy can prevent God-ignorance (God ignoring us). Let us pay close attention to the words of Jesus in Matthew 7:21-23:

(21) "Not all people who sound religious are really godly. They may refer to me as ‘Lord,’ but they still won’t enter the Kingdom of Heaven. The decisive issue is whether they obey my Father in heaven. (22) On judgment day many will tell me, ‘Lord, Lord, we prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ (23) But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Go away; the things you did were unauthorized." (New Living Translation)

If we don't know God intimately, do we really know God at all? No. We only know about God. To know God and to be known by God is the awe-filled pinnacle of soul satisfaction.

And, let's remember always that it is by love alone that we learn Who God is. Afterall, 1 John 1:8 says: Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. (NIV)


P.S. Happy 29th Wedding Anniversary to my wife, Kim. I love you and I will love you always and forever, yes, beyond many years.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Christ-Awareness Within Me...

The prayer below powerfully dominates my life these days.

I invite you to pray it along with me:

My God, please produce non-stop Christ-awareness within me.

In every circumstance, I want to live surrendered to Your holy responding, rather than settling for my human reacting.

Let my life be characterized by living in Your undeniable presence, not leaning on my unreliable performance.

I know if I saturate in Your Eternal Life, You will situate my earthly life. Lord, let Your Life be the fragrance of my existence.

As I stand in awe of You, my God, please stand in all of me -- me in Your presence and Your presence in me.

So I repeat...
My God, please produce non-stop Christ-awareness within me.
So be it for Your glory. Amen.


Friday, August 21, 2009

Does My Life Sing & Shout "Hallelujah?"

People who are much smarter than me tell me that there is one well-known word of praise to our Holy God that transcends all cultures and languages -- the word "Hallelujah!"

"Hallelujah" is the Hebrew word for "Praise", "Praise Ye," leading to "Praise Ye the Lord". My earliest recollections of experiencing God as a young child include singing (with great passionionate motions) this familiar praise chorus:

"Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelujah! Praise Ye the Lord."

The personal question on my mind as a grown man is this:
Does my life sing and shout "Hallelujah" to my Holy God?

I wrote a praise song a few years ago. If you mix all the words together they sing and shout a loud "Hallelujah" to our Holy God.

Here's the chorus portion of the praise song if you want to sing and shout "Hallelujah" along with me and if you play guitar, or play at the guitar like I do, simply choose the chords of G, Em, Am, and D and the tune will likely work itself out as you strum and sing with a childlike heart of wonder-filled worship:

Let us give our praise... to our King of Kings;
Let us give all praise... yes, give Him everything.
Let us give our praise... to our King of Kings;
He is worthy of....... all our worshipping!


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Our LOVE is proven by our WILL!

I once heard a well-known and respected radio preacher say this sobering sentence (and I paraphrase): The reason we don't obey God is sadly because we love sin more than we love Him.

In John 14:15, Jesus said: "If you LOVE me, you WILL obey what I command."

I believe that if we passionately LOVE Jesus we WILL obey Him out of unconscious devotion, not out of conscious carefulness. (His Spirit within us makes this our reality. Read 1 John 4:4.)

Unless we love Jesus, we will obey the commands of God for all the wrong reasons -- out of religious requirements (fear/I have to) rather than relational responses (love/I want to).

1 John 4:18: There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

When we as "the saints of God/those who are exclusively God's" say, "I fear God," it really means "I know God," and/or "I love God."

That's why I tell my loved ones: Please Love Jesus Passionately! Indeed, to know Him wonderfully is to LOVE Him WILLingly.


Monday, August 17, 2009

Someday? No More Pain!

A beautiful promise from God that will someday be our reality is found in Revelation 21:4:

There will be no more... pain.

Today, all of us are likely experiencing some kind of pain... but someday? No more pain!

If you are suffering any pain whatsoever today, join me in thinking about that painless someday. Yes, let's be encouraged as we believe the promises of God.


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Our Definition of Success: To See God!

Jesus said in Matthew 5:8 -- Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God!

Also, Jesus prayed for our protection and His projection in us and through us. Listen as God the Son prayed a four-part declaration to God the Father concerning His fully, devoted friends (disciples):

1. ...they are Yours... (John 17:9b)
Do we belong exclusively to God? Do we belong to Him or to sin?

2. ...all I have is Yours... (John 17:10a)
Does all we have belong to God, too? Our hearts, our dreams?

3. ...and all You have is Mine... (John 17:10b)
Do we know we're joint-heirs with Jesus? Talk about success!

4. ...and glory has to come to Me through them... (John 17:10c)
Are we the glory of "Jesus in our time?" Do we manifest Him?

Let's Pray: Our Holy God, let our definition of success (as Your fully, devoted friends) be to see God and for others to see God in us and through us... Yes, our Holy God, we only exist so that You, Holy God the Father, might reveal the glory of Holy God the Son, in us and through us by the presence of God the Holy Spirit. Yes, You are God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit... ONE... in us and through us. We want to be "Jesus in our time." Amen, Amen, Amen!

The songwriter defined what our definition of success really is: "Holiness is what we long for. Holiness is what we need."

Hebrews 12:14 ends with these words: "...without holiness no one will see the Lord..." And this is true, "...without holiness no one will see the Lord in us, either."

Let us be an answer to the prayer of Jesus, Unity, lest we embrace the snare of the devil, division. Let us declare with our Holy God that we are "ONE IN THE SPIRIT... HIS!"


Friday, August 14, 2009

We Know We Need You, Lord!

We know we need You, Lord!

Yes, Jesus, You let us know just how much we really need You with these words:

"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." -- John 15:5 (NIV)

Lord, You alone are Life for us. We need You, Jesus. Truly without You we can do nothing that really matters, however, we know and believe that we can do all things through You as You flow through us as our strength, our Life, our ALL!

Be our Everything or we will be nothing...

Do not leave us on our own. Come to us and flow through us. Oh, Sweet Spirit of the Living God, be our sap, be our Life-flow, yes, for forever and today that we might bear fruit for Your glory, fruit that will last. Amen.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

GOD-CAN Faith!

Hebrews 11:6 from The New Living Translation of the Holy Bible says:

So, you see, it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that there is a God and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.

Lord, I want GOD-CAN Faith -- a faith that believes that You Live and You Love, You exist and You care. In Jesus' name. Amen.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Make Us One... In Unity!

Yes, John 17 is the most precious passage of Scripture to me. There's a prayer song that has lyrics that I love based on John 17:

Make us one heart... make us one mind... make us one...
Let YOUR will be done!

ALL JOY... In Unity... Let us become HIS will!

Friday, August 7, 2009

My Book... Relational Leadership...

Some of you are aware that I wrote a manuscript on "Relational Leadership" a while back. Well, on Thursday, August 6, 2009 (my parents' 49th wedding anniversary) the first printing of the book landed at my front door from Beacon Hill Press (Kansas City). I am very humbled.

As I had hoped, it's paperback, about 125 pages, and cost less than $12, it's only $11.99 :-); so almost anyone can afford a copy. If you're interested, the book can be purchased from Nazarene Publishing House. Here is the contact information: Click here: -- Relational Leadership: What I learned from a Fisherman About Leading a Church or call 1.800.877.0700.

If you live in Harrisonburg, VA. copies of the book should be available in the days ahead at the local church.


Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Maybe you're curious why I always sign-off with these two words, "ALL JOY!" It comes straight from The New Testament, yes, two passages:

Romans 15:13 (NKJV) -- (13) Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

James 1:2-4 (NKJV) -- (2) My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, (3) knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. (4) But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

ALL JOY... indeed!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Ownership? Are You His?

I often ask myself these questions:

Who do you belong to? Whose are you?
1. Are you yours? ...or... 2. Are you His?

Then I refer to God's Word for the right answers. One right answer is found in 1 Corinthians 6:19b-20a (NLT): You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price.

And Isaiah 45:9 (NIV) asks a real ownership question: "Does the clay say to the potter, 'What are you making?'" To which I pray from my surrendered heart: Lord, have Your way with Your clay... forever and a day... and today. Amen.

My Desire: Lord, I long to be exclusively YOURS!