Thursday, December 31, 2015

Letting Go... Leaning Forward...

This letting-go-leaning-forward passage will be the heart of my message on the first Sunday of 2016:

(Click on type below for full-frame.) 

"... and i wait." Psalm 5:3

Grateful 

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

"Knowing You'll Be There"

In our quiet time with The Lord this morning, my Mom, Lady Melba, and I had a tender season sitting at her table together. 

After coffee and some reading and reflection, Mom dove into her sacred CD collection and wanted me to hear track 3 of one album, titled "Knowing You'll Be There." Of course, it reminds her and her son that one day we'll see our Jesus face-to-face and her husband and my dad, Cap'n Billy, too. Here's the heavenly homesick song by The Gaither Vocal Band:


"... and i wait." Psalm 5:3 (GWT) 

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Words You May Need to Hear Today?

I sense someone reading my blog right now needs to hear and hold onto these words. So, please now receive these words of mine and agree with them wholeheartedly, for forever and today:

Even if people give up on you, you must not give up on Christ in you. 
(Refer to Colossians 1:27)

"... and i wait." Psalm 5:3 (GWT)

Grateful

Monday, December 28, 2015

"God, You're Faithful"

God, You're Faithful
This I know.
I seek Your face; 
And bow down low.

You offer favor
Beyond my dreams.
Sweet mercy comes
With Holy Beams.

When I call?
Yes, when I cry;
You hear at once
And do draw nigh.

"... and i wait." -- Psalm 5:3 (GWT)

Grateful 



Sunday, December 27, 2015

A Final Christmas Song Before 2015 is History

This is my final favorite Christmas song of the 2015 Christmas Season -- Darius Rucker singing "I Wonder What God Wants For Christmas." 


"... and i wait." Psalm 5:3 (GWT)

Grateful 

Saturday, December 26, 2015

"Kiss The Son"

Some do not know that The Old Testament tells us plainly in more than one verse that God has a Son. One reference is Psalm 1:11-12 (GWT):

"Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, or he will become angry and you will die on your way because his anger will burst into flames. Blessed is everyone who takes refuge in him (The Son)."

Will we Kiss the Son of God or diss him?

"... And i wait.." -- Psalm 5:3 

Grateful 

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas = Chased By True Love

Blessed Christmas 
to the depths of your soul.
May knowing God cares 
make your life whole. 

I hope your day 
is amazingly graced. 
I pray by true love
You will surely be chased. 

(Click on image for an in-your-face look at our Oreo Pup.) 


Give away your life... Knowing God cares. 

Grateful 


Thursday, December 24, 2015

Our Christmas Portrait From "Yesterday"

Today, as my grown daughter, Allison and I, were spending some time together at our home, this Christmas Portrait of our family taken 23 years ago when we were living in Colorado Springs was unveiled. 

Memories are tender; and whatever happened to yesterday? It picked up our little children and stole them away. Well, kind of. 

(Click on image for full-frame.) 


Give away your life... Trusting the Christ of Christmas Who is the same yesterday, today, and forever. 

Blessed Christmas Eve to you all! 

Grateful 

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Christmas is a Miracle

Do I believe in Christmas Miracles? Indeed, I do, however I see Christmas in and of itself a Miracle. Why?

We were in darkness; 
Jesus came to be our Light.
We got ourselves really lost;
So, He came to point us right.

His mission was to save us;
We were deep in dire straits;
He offers deep forgiveness;
Yes, He came with Holy traits.

His mercy is extended still;
He gives His Love to all.
Will we now love Him back;
Crown Him our All-In-All?

Christmas is His cry to us;
Will we become His friends?
Before this season comes and goes;
Let us bow and make amends. 

Give away your life... To The One Whose Birth makes Christmas a Miracle.

Grateful 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

"Buckle Up, Y'All."

This YouTube video made my day. Young gospel singing man, sings his way out of a ticket for not wearing his seat-belt.

Click here: Florida Man Sings His Way Out Of A Traffic Ticket! - YouTube

Give away your life... Singing through discouraging circumstances.

Grateful

Monday, December 21, 2015

Prescription for Renewed Strength

I offer you from God's never-failing Holy Word a tried and true prescription for renewing strength:

Isaiah 40:31a (GWT)

(Click below for Full-frame.)


Give away your life... Anticipating renewed strength.

Grateful 

Sunday, December 20, 2015

'Wait Calmly..."

Psalm 62:1-8 GWT 

For the choir director; according to Jeduthun; a psalm by David.

My soul waits calmly for God alone.
    My salvation comes from him.
He alone is my rock and my savior—my stronghold.
    I cannot be severely shaken.
How long will all of you attack a person?
How long will you try to murder him,
    as though he were a leaning wall or a sagging fence?
        
        They are happy to lie.
        They bless with their mouths,
            but in their hearts they curse. Selah
Wait calmly for God alone, my soul,
    because my hope comes from him.
He alone is my rock and my savior—my stronghold.
    I cannot be shaken.
My salvation and my glory depend on God.
    God is the rock of my strength, my refuge.
Trust him at all times, you people.
Pour out your hearts in his presence.
    God is our refuge. Selah

Give away your life... Waiting for God. 

Grateful 








Saturday, December 19, 2015

Awestruck at Bethlehem Village

Tonight, our Life Group visited for a second year the Bethlehem Village Nativity at Hebron Baptist Church on Afton Mountain, Virginia. The simplistic presentation is an act of worship by these down-to-earth precious people and it is indeed a priceless experience for everyone who enters.

Standing here at the Live Nativity with Christmas Carols filling the atmosphere leaves this one believer awestruck. 

(Click image below for full frame photo.) 


Give your life away... To The Bethlehem Boy Who offers Unending Joy.

Grateful 

Friday, December 18, 2015

Wherever Jesus Is...

These words by Henri Nouwen are very deep...

"Jesus came in the fullness of time. He will come again in the fullness of time. Wherever Jesus, the Christ, is... the time is brought to its fullness.

We often experience our time as empty. We hope that tomorrow, next week, next month or next year the real things will happen. But sometimes we experience the fullness of time. That is when it seems that time stands still, that past, present, and future become one; that everything is present where we are; and that God, we, and all that is have come together in total unity. This is the experience of God's time. "

When the completion of the time came [that is: in the fullness of time], God sent his Son, born of a woman" (Galatians 4:4), and in the fullness of time God will "bring everything together under Christ, as head, everything in the heavens and everything on earth" (Ephesians 1:10). It is in the fullness of time that we meet God."

Give away your life... Fulfilled in your time by Jesus.

Grateful

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Praying Psalm 5:1-3 Touches Me Deeply With Hope

Click below for full-frame of passage from God's Word Translation:


Give away your life... Waiting in Hope for The Lord. 

Grateful 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Mary Knew!

The young Virgin, Mary, of Nazareth, believed what the Angel Gabriel came to say to her on behalf of Almighty God. As a result, she immediately became pregnant with Good News in her times of bad views. Yes, Mary believed and became a carrier of Possibility in her seemingly impossible days. And guess what? We are still reaping the rewards of Mary's childlike faith because The ChristChild came to save us through her. Did Mary know? Mary knew! 

Give away your life... Believing God and blessing others.


Grateful 


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

www.FrontPorchTalks.com

Today, I remind you of the podcast my son, Grayson, and his dad co-host. It is www.frontporchtalks.com and new downloads happen multiple times each week. 

If you have time, I believe your heart will be encouraged by listening to a session from time-to-time. 

Give away your life... Leaning into relationship with Jesus. 

Grateful  

Sunday, December 13, 2015

The Source of Real Joy (Holy Spirit Joy)

When The Angel Gabriel prophesied to Zechariah about the birth of John the Baptist, the specific words of Luke 1:15 (GWT) says to me, "if we have The Holy Spirit, we don't need other spirits like wine, liquor, or any other alcoholic drink to create an artificial joy in our lives."



Give away your life... Finding Real Joy through The Holy Spirit, The Source of Real!

Grateful 
  

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Mr. Orville -- 8 Medals for Heroism

I casually spoke with "him" near the old-timey candy section in the local Cracker Barrel Restaurant and General Store. We were waiting to be seated for lunch. I was with my wife and friends. He was with his caretaker. 

Once he was seated, I introduced myself and he returned the gesture. "I'm Orville" he said, "and I'm 96-years-old." 

Noticing he was wearing a military veteran's cap, "I thanked him for his service and asked if I could please buy lunch for him and his caretaker, Jennifer?" He said, "Thank You." As he cried tenderly, I echoed "Thank you" to him. 

Humbly he told me he was the recipient of 8 medals for heroism in World War 2 and he also raised the American flag at Okinawa. "Wow" I said, then added "You are a true hero, indeed, Mr.Orville."

I went on to tell him I was so glad he had Jesus and Jennifer to take care of him. He agreed and said " Thanks for saying that." 

I snapped a quick picture of us together. Click photo below for full-frame. 


Give away your life... Staying humble and tender as you age. 

Grateful 


Friday, December 11, 2015

Give.

Give.

Give away your life...

Grateful 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

"I Have Asked One Thing From The Lord..."

I have decided that for 2016, my main book for daily devotional reading is going to be The Holy Bible. Of course, it's already the main book of my life, but I sense that The Lord is calling me to His Word almost exclusively for the coming new year. I invite you to consider joining me in this endeavor.

Now, I am not saying it is the only book I will read from in 2016, but I do sense that all other writings will be running a more distant second to God's Word than in past years. In fact, I think I've already started to make the transition though it's still December of 2015.

This morning these ancient words from Psalm 27:3-4 (GWT),  reflect so real the prayers at the depths of my own devotion:

(3) Even though an army sets up camp against me, my heart will not be afraid. Even though a war breaks out against me, I still have confidence in The Lord. (4) I have asked one thing from The Lord. This I will seek: to remain in The Lord's house all the days of my life in order to gaze at The Lord's beauty and to search an answer in His temple.

Give away your life... Leaning into The Holy Word of The Lord.

Grateful  

    


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Let's Pray..."The Serenity Prayer"

(Click below for full-frame.)


Give away your life... Surrendered for Serenity.

Grateful 

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Praying Psalm 26:8

Praying through the Old Testament Psalms is a powerful devotion. Today, these words written by the Psalmist hint at the prayer in the depths of my being.

"O Lord, I love the house where You live, the place where Your glory dwells."
-- Psalm 26:8 GWT

Give away your life... Treasuring the Presence of Holy God. 

Grateful 

Monday, December 7, 2015

"In the Valley Below.."

Spiritual self-centeredness craves only moments on the mountaintop, yet we must come down to the valley below to be witnesses unto Jesus.

Give away your life... In the valley below for The Lord above.

Grateful 

Sunday, December 6, 2015

A Royal Welcome

This Christmas song is making the old story new again to me. 


Give away your life... Welcoming King Jesus. 

Grateful 

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Guess Who Sat on Front Row As I Preached About Christmas?

Tonight, at the fishing village of my Mom's childhood, Davis, N.C., two very famous people came to hear me preach about Christmas. 

(For full-frame photo of me, Saint Nick and Mrs. Claus, click image below.)


Give away your life... In The Spirit of Christmas.

Grateful 

Friday, December 4, 2015

"Christmas Memories" -- Clint Nelson

At a Christmas concert as Clint Nelson was singing a heart-warming song titled "Christmas Memories", this thought came to my mind as tears came to my eyes:

"Yesterday's memories really do matter alot, but matters of today and making reservations for forever surely do matter most." 


Give away your life... Past, Present, and Future to Holy God. 

Grateful 

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Prayer for Courage

Last night I heard a young, female, acapella choir -- "Into Hymn" -- beautifully sing their rendition of this modern prayer for courage. Powerful. 


Give away your life... Praying to be BRAVE!

Grateful 


Wednesday, December 2, 2015

"If i Could? i Would."

"Lord, if i could...
...rewrite history?
i'd leave out the part...
Where i broke Your heart!
If i could?
i would."

(Lyrics above from DVD "The Story")

Give away your life... Loving Jesus Passionately for the rest of your days.

Grateful 

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Real Reason I Rejoice...

I love Christmastime. Here's the real reason I rejoice during this blessed Advent season:

(Click type below for full-frame verse.)


Give away your life... To The Savior. 

Grateful 

Monday, November 30, 2015

"BLESSINGS" / Csilla Muscan

My friends, David and Csilla Muscan, helped our local church to transition from the Thanksgiving Season to the Christmas Season this past First Sunday of Advent with many inspiring songs. David played the pan flute amazingly and Csilla's voice is her instrument of worship unto The Lord, no doubt. Here's one song she sang. It will bless you,

Click here: Blessings - cover by Csilla (MUSIC VIDEO) - YouTube

Give away your life... Believing Every Season is full of Blessings for the true believer in Jesus.

Grateful

Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Jesus Lamp -- Light Your World

Especially as the Season of Light is here -- The Christmas Advent time of the year -- this image of "The Jesus Lamp" from Nazareth Village, The Holy Land, greatly inspires my heart and reminds me of the last three words of our local church's mission statement: "Light Your World!"

(Click image below for full-frame.) 


Give away your life... Light Your World!

Grateful

Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Gift of Encouragement

When asked what I believe my primary spiritual gift is, I almost always answer: "That would most probably be the gift of encouragement." I have easily come to this vulnerable conclusion because I often deal quite personally with seasons of discouragement.

Makes sense, don't you think, that the gift I most often give to others is the gift I also most often hope others will give back to me?

In my estimation, next to the ever-abiding Presence of The Holy Spirit within us, the gifts of encouragement we offer to one another undeniably help to fuel our eternal souls to persevere to the end.

Give away your life... If you want to get Life in return. 

Grateful 


Friday, November 27, 2015

Count on The Good Shepherd for Everything

"The Lord is my Shepherd..." 
Psalm 23:1b 

When The Lord is our shepherd, we can count on Him for everything we need. 

In The 23rd Psalm, David, the Bethlehem-shepherd-turned-Jerusalem's-King assumes the role of a sheep. Why? Simply because a sheep exists in total dependence of a trustworthy shepherd's watch-care. 

Calling ourselves "sheep" demands humility. Trusting The Lord to care for us completely means living in absolute reliance on Him. 

Let us pray:

Lord, be our Good Shepherd. Your insights and power are so much greater than ours. We trust You alone to provide everything we need and even beyond. We don't even have to fear death, because you will not abandon us. Our lives overflow with bold blessings, because You, The Lamb of God, have laid down Your life to save Your sheep. You live again now and forevermore to be our Guarantee of Eternal Life and to be for all-time The Great Shepherd of our hearts. We adore You, Jesus. Amen.

Give away your life... Praying boldly the prayer language of a sheep: "Baa. Baa."


Grateful  

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Jesus said, "Thank You..."

Words of Jesus for this Thanksgiving Day:

(Click text below for full-frame view.)

 
Give away your life... Thankful that God's ears are not deaf -- knowing He hears. 

Grateful, INDEED! 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Gratitude -- A Song & A Prayer for Thanksgiving Day & Everyday

I pray you will have a Blessed Thanksgiving Season. 

This song of "Gratitude" sung by Nicole Nordeman is the prayer at the depths of my being on Thanksgiving Day and everyday. 


Give away your life... Leaning into Holy God with Whole-Hearted Gratitude.

Grateful 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Great Gratefulness

With Thanksgiving coming, the soundtrack of my mind is this hallowed hymn:


Give away your life... Giving to God the Great Gratefulness He deserves. 

Grateful 

Monday, November 23, 2015

Aging Hopefully

These words written by Henri Nouwen encourage me to be filled with hope especially as I age:

(Click type below for Full-frame.)

Give away your life... Aging Hopefully.

Grateful


Sunday, November 22, 2015

Thankful for The Cross

As this week of Thanksgiving begins, I must begin by giving thanks for The Cross of Christ. By it, there is in this lifetime:

(1) Regeneration -- the washing away of our sins (The Acts/Deeds of our Rebellion)

And...

(2) Sanctification -- the cleansing absolutely of all Sin (The Attitude/Disposition of our Rebellion).

And, even more...

(3) Glorification in the Life yet to come.)


Give away your life... At and on the Cross.
Grateful 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Hope for Guatemala -- Friday Afterglow

It's Saturday morning and we were up at 5 a.m. After our 4-hour bus ride over and through the breath-taking Guatemalan mountains we have arrived at the airport. 

As I sit in the gate, it's 11:15 a.m. Central Time and Delta flight #906 is scheduled to leave for Atlanta, then onto Baltimore arriving about midnight Eastern Time.

My brain is yet basking in the afterglow of this journey. The only destination that came close to preparing me for life in Guatemala was my trip to Haiti in December a few years ago. About 70% of the Guatemalans live in some level of poverty. To understand life here, one must understand that. 

Let me now give you thoughts and share images in Friday's afterglow. 

We started the morning at the children's wing of St. Luke's Hospital located with the Hope of Life village. Here babies who have been literally rescued from a premature death are being nurtured to wholeness again. Unbelievable. When I walked in the room, all but one baby was being held and loved on. So, I grabbed little Ana up and here we are:


Next, I got to watch some on our team spend much of the morning with the kids they sponsor through World Help. It was a very tender moment to see the interaction. Jesus-compassion filled the atmosphere. 

After lunch we went to visit families who literally live in a dump. They make their living actually going through the garbage in an attempt to recycle glass, plastic and metal to meet their basic needs. And of course ends still don't meet. So, we were there with Hope Alive to provide food and drink for all generations. They are fed three times a week by groups like ours who volunteer through Hope of Life. Watching the children was especially heart-wrenching. I am not ready to post pictures of the little ones yet. It's too real to me. I will, however, post a photo of a grandmother named Pastore. She sat peacefully in the buzzard-filled and smoke-filled dump. My heart broke when I saw her, too, but the countenance on her face curiously drew me in. When asked, "How are you today?" she replied, "I AM HAPPY!" I squatted beside her and asked about the reason for her happiness. She touched her chest and said, "Jesus lives inside me." Looking at her beautiful, filthy feet, I proclaimed the DNA of my blog: "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news." Pastore indeed gave us good news in a dump. Pictures below:



After leaving the dump, we journeyed to our adopted village to dedicate the first-ever church there. I was asked to lead the ribbon-cutting ceremony and to preach at the first service. I asked two villagers to come and join us and to actually cut the ribbon -- Marta, an old Jesus-glowing, prayer warrior-granny and Freddie, a single dad who drives an 18-wheeler, who let us know he was saved in a Nazarene church. See images of the celebration below. Off-the-charts! 




Last evening the Hope of Life orphaned teens who live at The Village of Transformation thanked us for coming by serving us and entertaining us at a full-blown fiesta. Humbling and Holy Ground. 

Give away your life... God will give you LIFE for now and for forever. 

Note: Click on photos for full-frame view. 

Grateful 




Friday, November 20, 2015

Hope for Guatemala 2015 -- Friday at Ingrid's House

If you read my blog yesterday about Ingrid, we went back today with all her meds and many others supplies, etc. from Hope of Life Ministries. Her husband sent a message that he wanted our whole group to come by their home because Ingrid wanted a group photo with all of us around her bed. God is truly at work. Keep praying. I told her many are praying for her to be back on her feet. She cried.

I will post again tomorrow about our other Friday experiences. In short, we dedicated the new village church with a packed house. We also visited the families who live at the dump. Words are not enough. But God is more than enough. 

(Click below for full view of group photo.) 


Give away your life... Embracing Hope not only for yourself but for others, too.

Grateful 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

"Holy, Holy, Holy" in the Village -- Guatemala 2015

I could spend much time writing about the multiplied blessings I encountered today, however, because one highlight was so "Holy, Holy, Holy" ... I will only share it. 

Her name is Ingrid -- a young beautiful wife and mother in the village we have adopted. Our group learned after their last trip that Ingrid needed lifesaving surgery. The money was raised before our arrival and she had the surgery a few days ago. She is at home on her sick bed. 

As we climbed the steps and entered the humble, second-floor home, I suddenly remembered my recent trip to Capernaum in The Holy Land, and the New Testament story that happened there -- yes, the story of Jesus healing and saving the paralyzed man.

We were invited into Ingrid's home. There laid Ingrid, her husband and small kids all around. Though sick, she was still beautiful. After Heidi, Claudia, and Angela talked with her for a while, we learned she may still be in a fragile place with her health, in part, because she needs follow-up medicine she can't afford. She didn't even have pain meds. We gave her ibprophen, and promised to do all we can to get the other prescriptions needed by tomorrow. 

I asked Ingrid if we could pray and anoint her. She tenderly agreed. We prayed, asking God to touch her body. It was holy ground. Her young son who had been loudly whining since we arrived slowly but surely fell asleep at the head of his young mom's sick bed as I prayed. Such peace fell in the room. 

As we consoled her after the prayer, she said with such fervency: "I want to receive Jesus." Heaven came down and glory filled my/our soul(s). Without hesitation, I took Ingrid by the hand again and prayed the sinner's prayed. As I was praying and pausing in English, the translator was echoing in Spanish as I paused and Ingrid was reechoing his echo in Spanish as he paused. 

"Holy, Holy, Holy, indeed!" What a glorious day in Guatemala.

(Click image below to view full-frame, the precious recreated Ingrid. See her son peacefully sleeping behind her.) 


Keep praying for Ingrid'a healing. I told her: "Don't worry. Worship!" We will return tomorrow. 

Before leaving today, Ingrid's husband, Harrison, was tender. He wants to think about it before receiving Christ. But he allowed me to pray blessings over him and his life. 

Give away your life... For Jesus' sake to whomever you encounter in your journey. 

Grateful 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

To Guatemala with Hope... 2015.

My Wednesday itinerary...

* Alarm sounds 1:15 a.m. in Harrisonburg, VA. USA

* 2:15 a.m. enroute to Baltimore-Washington International Airport. 

* Arrival 5:15 a.m. for supposed 7 a.m. Departure. 

* Actual departure? 8:30 a.m.

* Landed at 10 a.m. Atlanta. Off plane in Concourse E at 10:25 a.m. 

* Sprinting through world's busiest Airport in world towards Concourse F for 10:45 a.m. departure. Run down escalators carrying cases. Catch airport train. Run up two more sets of Escalators. Arrive in a pile at Gate F-10 just before plane jetway closes. 

* Grateful to be boarded, though winded. Worth it.  

* My "taxi" ride at Guatemala texts thinking I missed my plane to Guatemala just before we take-off from Atlanta. I advise otherwise. Whew. 

* Wonderful 3-hours to Guatemala City. (More on that Sunday when I preach.)

* Land in Guatemala. Breeze through immigration and customs. My ride shows up just as I am ready to exit the airport. Favor. 

* Eddy R., Otto and Antonio and I make the 3 3/4 hour drive in a Chevy Suburban to Hope of Life in mountains in just 2 3/4 hours. A few times I thought I might meet Jesus face-to-face before arriving. (I've ridden on the autobahn in Germany numerous times. The Germans have nothing on Guatemalans when it comes to fast, scary, and breath-taking road driving. One major difference, too -- The Germans have workable seat-belts. Invigorating, indeed!)

* Ate fresh unique fruit called "leeches".

* Had a lovely supper with the team in the open air dining room -- chicken, peas, potatoes. 

* Listened to heart-wrenching and heart-warming stories from Bobby, Gene, and Heidi, then Karen closed in prayer. 

* Shared some tears and laughs. 

* 9 p.m. here now, but for me 10 p.m. 

* Showered and listening at this time to worship music through my Bose headphones. "Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus..."

* Praying I won't snore as loud as I've been accused of. The room is nice and cool but the walls are a little thin. :) 

* Big days ahead. Anticipating. Thanks for the invite, Heidi. And thanks for the airline ticket, World Help. 

Give away your life... Traveling to all the towns and villages to hear and to share Good News. 

Grateful 



  

 
 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Unclouded Day -- 1 Year My Dad's Been There

This song is in my thoughts on this one-year anniversary of my Dad's (Cap'n Billy's) passing through the earthy clouds and entering Heaven's clarity: 

(Click frames below for full-view.)


As we left our Tuesday morning prayer time today where 32 men came to seek God together, the sun was breaking through the clouds on the horizon. Seems the likeness of the face of Jesus was shining through.


Give away your life... Today, anticipating bright tomorrows. 

Grateful 
 

Monday, November 16, 2015

"Make Me Who I Need to Be" / Prayer Poem

Lord, I know You care so deep
For Your world that seems asleep.
And I know Your Love for me
Can make me who I need to be.

Some seasons of our lives down here
Are difficult, You see each tear.
Some days are long, strength gives way
Please be our God Who helps us pray.

The losses of our hearts take toll;
At times to breathe? Our daily goal.
Come to us with Your Great Power
Deliver us, in sin's dark hour.

Give us compassion from on high;
To care for others as we sigh.
Search us in the inmost parts
Guarantee us all, pure hearts.

Give away your life... in vulnerable prayer to our Loving God.

(Click image for full-frame view clay jars in Jerusalem window.)



Grateful
  


Sunday, November 15, 2015

"Don't Let Me Make a Mess of Things..."

Psalm 119:31-38 (TLB) is a personal prayer of mine:


31 I cling to your commands and follow them as closely as I can. Lord, don’t let me make a mess of things. 32 If you will only help me to want your will, then I will follow your laws even more closely.

33-34 Just tell me what to do and I will do it, Lord. As long as I live I’ll wholeheartedly obey. 35 Make me walk along the right paths, for I know how delightful they really are.
36 Help me to prefer obedience to making money! 37 Turn me away from wanting any other plan than yours.[a] Revive my heart toward you. 38 Reassure me that your promises are for me, for I trust and revere you. 

Psalm 119:31-38Living Bible (TLB)

Give away your life... Obeying Holy God.
Grateful

Saturday, November 14, 2015

"Beginning to End"

Leafing through the pages of my old Bibles today, I made some very interesting discoveries. One was a poem I wrote in 1998, entitled "Beginning to End."

I don't pretend to comprehend
Why Jesus gave His all;
To rescue me for Eternity 
From my sinful fall. 

But this I know, I'll love Him so
And true to Him I'll be;
Until His face my eyes embrace
When He comes back for me.

(I also found a photo of my wife and I taken about the same time the poem was written. Click below to see me without gray/white hair.)


Give away your life... Until the earthly end gives way to the eternal beginning.

Grateful 

Friday, November 13, 2015

"Stronger For It" (YOU CAN TRUST GOD!)

This song by my friend -- musician/songwriter and preacher, Kim McLean is so powerful in my life. The first time I heard her sing it, it seemed the Lord gave me a message to share with my family and others: "YOU CAN TRUST GOD!"

May it's lyrics add strength to your faith in all of your days and nights as well.

Click here: Stronger For It - YouTube

Give away your life... You Can Trust God!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

My Prayer in a Song

My prayer is in this song today and everyday of my life.


Give away your life... To The Mind of Christ. 

Grateful 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

God's Love

My friend, Pastor O'Shell, wrote these words to close his recent writing on God's Love:

(Click image below for full-frame.)


Give away your life... Being Loved by God. 

Grateful 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

"You're Welcome Here... Jesus."

This song by Bob Bennett comes close to expressing some of the deep places in my own heart, mind, soul and strength,

Click here: You're Welcome Here - Bob Bennett (HQ) - YouTube

Give away your life... Welcoming Jesus.

Grateful

Monday, November 9, 2015

Apologies, Etc.

Please accept my apologies for not loading my blog every day this last week. My schedule has been somewhat loaded with wonderful things while my back has been a little out of whack resulting in me needing more rest. 

Anyway, today, I do see some daylight in my calendar and while yesterday was one of the most overwhelming I've endured with physical back pain, right this very moment I'm feeling better than I have the past two weeks. Thank You, Jesus. 

I preached yesterday at Mt. Zion Wesleyan Church in North Carolina. The first service I preached from the words of Jesus: "Who do you say that I am?" In the second service I preached: "The Wonderfulness of our Weaknesses." The Apostle Paul learned that God's power is made perfect in our human sufferings. So, I believe God's working on me and I anticipate His strength to very soon prove my weakness as a suitable platform for His Glory to be displayed. 

Finally, I pray today that The Awesome Wonder-working God of all things beautiful will surely make Himself gloriously real to you on your journey.  

Give away your life... Allowing God's Grace to give you everything you need for life everlasting. 

Grateful 

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Project Galilee 2015 -- Lady Melba

My Mom ministered alongside me last evening at 4th Annual Project Galilee 2015 Gathering in Beaufort, N.C. The crowd got to hear her testimony. Wish'd you all were here. 

Today, she prayed a mother's blessing over us all at the benediction. Precious.

5th Annual Project Galilee Gathering scheduled for November 3-5 of 2016. Hold the date. 

Between now and the end of this year, our teaching sessions will be slowly uploaded at our frontporchtalks.com podcast. Our theme this year was "Lostness & Redemption."

Give away your life... To The Savior. 

(Click on image below to view photo of my Mom, Lady Melba, ministering alongside me.) 


Grateful 

Thursday, November 5, 2015

"Release All Comparison..."

Jesus says in John 14, "In my Father's house there are many places to live." Therefore, each of us as children of God have our own unique dwelling places in the Father's presence. Let us release all comparison, all rivalry, all competition as God's unique children and simply surrender to our Father's love for each of us." 
-- Nouwen with Willis remix 

Give away your life... Being Loved uniquely by The Father. 

Grateful 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

www.ProjectGalilee.org 2015 Gathering

Click image below to read verse that inspires our yearly seaside gathering to strengthen the interior lives of Jesus-believing leaders... 


www.ProjectGalilee.org

Grateful 


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Ever Be (Praise The Lord)

Started and ended my day with this song of praise for my Lord:


Give away your life... Praising Holy God.

Grateful 

Monday, November 2, 2015

The Gospel Effect

"You can tell the Gospel is having its effect upon you when you are becoming a more compassionate, loving, patient, tender-hearted person and you are reflecting these qualities to people around you.
-- Stedman

Give away your life... For the sake of The One Who gave us the Gospel -- Jesus.

* Gospel = Good News 

Grateful 

Saturday, October 31, 2015

"Dreams Do Come True" -- Csilla Muscan

My talented friend from Budapest, Hungary, yes, singer-songwriter, Csilla, blessed our local church last Sunday by leading us in worship as she simultaneously debuted her new inspiring CD titled "Dreams Do Come True". 

Watch and listen at the link below and order your own copy at www.CsillaMusic.com today.
This CD will make unique Christmas gifts for your family and friends as well. 


Give away your life... Living God's Dream for your life. 

Grateful 

Friday, October 30, 2015

Citizens of Heaven

This verse warms my heart as I journey through this cold world:


And this old Southern Gospel song reminds me of my new home:


Give away your life... Gaining Heaven.

Grateful 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

"My Back's Out, But My Heart's In!"

Well, my back's been out a couple of days. Sitting seems to make me stiff creating pain and the likeness of an old man when I try to walk. I'm not whining or seeking anyone's sympathy or medical guidance. I've gotta deal with my situation and make medical decisions myself. For now, Aleve is assisting me. I will take your prayers. 

What I would like to say is this: "I know God is in it all." Laying mostly on my back starring at the ceiling has heightened my worship of God. Of course, I've been laying low yesterday and again today in hopes of spending a full-day working at the local church tomorrow. But until then, I have come to realize that I have worship for my God, in my heart, in an undeniable way.

So, on the witness stand of your life, I testify: "My back may be out but my heart is in -- yes, in worship."

This song is guiding my adoration of The Almighty today:


Give away your life... Worshipping God from your heart. 

Grateful 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Our Hope...

"Our Hope is in the Living God!" 
1 Timothy 4:10b NLT


Give away your life... Hoping in God!

Grateful 

... To/On/For Jesus!

I recently officiated a memorial service for a Christian gentleman named David. The song we used at the close of his service is still on my mind, today. As a matter of fact, this song is often on my mind. I pray it will help you this day.


Give away your life... To Jesus.

Grateful 

Sunday, October 25, 2015

"As I Grow Ever Older..."

As I grow ever older
Some things are so plain to see;
Loving God is my deepest passion,
Considering how much He loves me.

I want my life to bless Him,
No reproach to His Name I desire;
His faithfulness to me is so sure,
Of His Presence I will never tire. 

Give away your life... Glorifying God. 

Grateful 

Saturday, October 24, 2015

"I Am The Resurrection And The Life!"

I recently stood in The Village of Bethany just east of Jerusalem's Mount of Olives where John, chapter 11, took place.

These powerful words spoken between Jesus and Martha just before Jesus raised her brother, Lazarus, from the dead, are still on my mind:

(Click text below for full-frame view of the words from John 11.)


Give away your life... Trusting The One Who is The Resurrection and The Life.

Grateful 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Our Final Two Days -- Hearts Aflame 2015

Wednesday in The Holy Land found us at these sacred locations:

- The Old City of Jerusalem
- The Upper Room (John 13)
- The Via Dolorosa (The Way of Suffering)
- Mount Calvary / Golgotha 
- The Empty Garden Tomb
- The Horatio Spafford Prayer Center 

Today, Thursday, is our last day in The Holy Land. As I write, we are leaving Jerusalem headed towards...

- The Road to Emmaus, (Luke 24)
- The Valley of Elah (1 Samuel 16 & 17)
- The City of Joppa / Jaffa (Jonah & Acts) 

Pray as we take a midnight flight from Tel Aviv to NYC and onto DC. 

Give away your life... With Hearts Aflame.

(Click image below for full-frame of The Jesus Lamp.) 


Grateful 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Being Light -- Hearts Aflame 2015

Tuesday, our Hearts Aflame Discipleship Journey surely continued fanning the faith of our souls. We were inspired to be Jesus-believers who will live as those who are characterized by being light. Here's where we visited:

Bethlehem's Shepherd's Folds, The Church of the Nativity, The Southern Steps of the Temple, The Western Wailing Wall, and The Dungeon were Jesus was imprisoned beneath the House of Caiaphas the night before His Crucifixion. 

(Click image below to see image of the spot in The Church of the Nativity's grotto.)


Give away your life... Being Light!

Grateful 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Passionately -- Hearts Aflame 2015

Monday our Hearts Aflame Discipleship Journey continued like this:

The Dead Sea, The Caves of David's EnGedi, The Jericho Dig, The Temptation Desert Wilderness, The Sycamore Tree, The Village of Bethany, Jerusalem's Mount of Olives, Church of The Holy Teardrop, and Gethsemane.

A full passionately lived day, indeed. Deeply emotional. 

(Click image for full-frame photo of Gethsemane.)


Give away your life... Passionately.

Grateful 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

A Day of Renewal -- Hearts Aflame 2015

Our Sunday itinerary for our Hearts Aflame Discipleship Journey began with a stop at Cana of Galilee where I officiated wedding renewal vows for three couples in our group. So tender was the experience.  

Next we went for worship with our Nazarene Family in Nazareth. It was so Heavenly in the atmosphere -- a taste of Glory from Above. Lunch with our Middle Eastern brothers and sisters followed. 

Once leaving Nazareth, we went back towards the Galilee. We walked down The Mount of The Beatitudes together. The time of hearing God's Word read aloud from our Lord's Sermon on The Mountainside overlooking The Sea of Galilee was so very inspiring. 

Next we went to The Jordan River where Pastor Margaret and I were humbled to baptize 18 dear souls in the holy waters where John The Baptist baptized Jesus -- speechless and uplifting, indeed. 

Finally, as I write, the sun is setting over the desert wilderness as we are on the road south to Jericho. Our hearts are aflame within us. It has been a day of renewal for sure. 

Click image below for full-view "sign of fish" written in the sky as we journeyed towards Nazareth for Sunday worship. 


Give away your life... Dedicated totally to Jesus. 

Grateful