June 12, 2018

 I believe grace was illustrated and demonstrated rather than merely defined by Jesus, the fountainhead of all things gracious.  The distinction of legendary artists such as, Rembrandt, Picasso and Van Gogh, is not limited to the scenes or subjects they chose, but also their signature brush strokes, shading and the use of colors.  The connoisseurs of fine art are known for having an eye to perceive the unique signature brush strokes of the Great Ones.  Collectors of this caliber attend exclusive auctions such as Christie’s Auction House in New York City; shelling out as much as one hundred million dollars for just one piece.  The works of the aforementioned artistic geniuses are truly amazing, but pale in comparison; looking like the crayon scribbling of a preschooler compared to the gospel's gallery of grace.  Heretofore, you may have not considered the narrative of the gospels to be a painting, but simply pages of print chronicling the life of Jesus, an ancient text without any textu...

May 10, 2018

How do you define God? Is He some ethereal being "up there" or "out there" beyond the black hole? Is He a malevolent old man meticulously keeping a ledger of our behavior? Anything or anyone you can define, you inevitably confine. The ultimate presumption is to believe what we think about God defines Him. Humans have an insatiable need to categorize and quantify. Being wired with five senses, we can’t resist measuring, counting, and naming. Our left brain is adept at logic, calculation, and language, fearing anything it cannot explain.

When man invented quill and paper, he began, with darkened consciousness, to capture his idea of God. However, God cannot be 'comprehended' in any specific idea or concept.  God cannot be defined by emotion or spiritual sensation. Our experiences may remind us of God’s presence, but their absence does not prove God’s absence.  God eclipses our minds and is greater than our hearts. Augustine said, “The supreme excellence of divinity exceeds the capacity of...

May 3, 2018

The taunting duo of "could have" and "might have been" approaches life as if it is a sexually transmitted disease with a mortality rate of one hundred percent. We've all heard the adage, "there are seven days in a week and someday is not one of them."  Living for the weekend, for the next vacation or retirement is not looking forward. Trying to endure five days of work to enjoy two or working three plus decades to enjoy one is not what God had in mind for you.

When God speaks of eternal life He is not talking about life after this life when you get to heaven someday. Your inheritance isn't just waiting on you "over there in the sweet by and by." Many Christian believers have mistakenly thought that the blessings of God – our inheritance – will not be given to us until we get to heaven. Do we really have to wait that long? Ephesians 1:11 says, "In him we have obtained an inheritance." The operative words are "WE HAVE OBTAINED." Eternal life is not just a duration of e...

March 28, 2018

The popular culture has conditioned us to believe being human means learning to thrive, survive, accumulate and accomplish. It's the "get all you can, can all you get and sit on the lid" attitude that permeates the very air we breathe. Darwin was obsessed with the survival of the fittest. Jesus on the other hand was obsessed with the survival of the unfittest and the most vulnerable. Imagine how mentally jarring it must have been when the disciples heard Jesus say,  "For anyone who keeps his life for himself shall lose it; and anyone who loses his life for me shall find it again." Matthew 16:25 Living Bible (TLB). The purpose for the incarnation was not merely to save us from our sin, but to save us from ourselves. Our instinct is to insulate and isolate to protect ourselves from potential harm or incrimination by association.  This futilistic view results in living as if life is a sexually transmitted disease that we are born with rather than living as if we are an antidote that is to...

February 22, 2018

What?! How is it possible there could be 3 opinions between 2 people? There is a well known quip among Jewish rabbis that says, "Ask two Jews what they think and you'll get three opinions." The Jewish culture has always honored the ability to think critically and clearly, remaining open to differences of opinion.  I heard a rabbi once say that one of the biggest differences between protestants and Jews is that the jewish people know how to argue without being easily offended. The rabbi went on to say they consider questioning an act of worship. The purpose of their arguments are not to be adament, but reflects the mutual desire to understand life and to know God in a deeper way. Wow! To me that is a demonstration of intelligent humility that acknowledges that "none of us is as smart as all of us."   

Have you ever been in a conversation with someone and they expressed something as if it was their conviction, when you knew they were...

February 16, 2018

When you saw the title of this blog you probably begin to think of the marital, financial, and occupational mistakes ad infinitum. I’ve heard it said, "the greatest mistake you can make in life is to continually fear you will make one.”  As we grow older, our list of debacles grow longer, reminding us “how far we haven't come" instead of "how far we have come." Our negative and critical thoughts are like Velcro; they have a stickiness quality. Our positive thoughts are like Teflon; they slide off of us as soon as we experience them. Neuroscience has proven our brains have a negative bias; the brain prefers to orbit around negative and problematic situations. When a positive or unproblematic situation comes into our lives, we have to consciously focus on it for at least fifteen seconds before it can become a part of our memory; otherwise it doesn’t stick. The first person to judge us everyday is not our spouse, family members or peers. The first person to judge us everyday is the one we...

February 7, 2018

The title of this article probably sounds like one of the many oxymorons we hear everyday. Such as, "act naturally, genuine imitation, exact estimate, clearly misunderstood or taped live." To say there is power in silence and stillness sounds counterintuitive in today's frenetic culture. It also seems to be unattainable and to be avoided in time when we are held hostage by technology. Technology has over stimulated us, creating the pop cultural disease known as F.O.M.O.; an acronym for the fear of missing out. Screens are everywhere vying for our attention. The war for our attention has reduced our attention span to that of a gnat.   For example, I've read that the American population checks their phones 8 billion times per day!  We don't deal very well with stimulus deprivation.  We equate stimulus deprivation with separation from what is really important in the world. Our default setting is, "It's just our way of life!" In reality, it is robbing us of life! Our minds incessantly repr...

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