Is That You?

The sudden slapping sound of metal on metal made by the tumblers in the door lock broke the empty silence and her eyes opened.

Covered by blankets and the heavy darkness her breathing goes shallow to listen more intently. Her mind sorts through scenarios, and then if only to satisfy her anxious internal voice and quiet her fears she calls out in a voice just loud enough to be heard…

Is that you?

Practically every married couples lived out this scenario or some version of it and at times our relationship with the Heavenly Father is also this way. We’ve been together a long time,during which His Holy Spirit has been a counselor and guide. We’ve walked together,He’s carried me, I’ve walked away, He’s been faithful. You’d think we’d be more discerning of His “moving” by now but somehow at times we still find ourselves feeling like the woman under the blanket. Seeking confirmation of what we think we know, anxious and fearful of the unknown, and that can be dangerous because many times we only see what we want to. Our spiritual eyes can easily become accustomed to an environment of darkness!

I know that there are definitely times when I find myself asking…

Is that You?

I find biblical context for my confusion In Luke’s Gospel chapter 7:19-23.

What John was experiencing was definitely not what he or any of the other apostles had expected to occur. At this point John was perhaps facing death, so I can understand how difficult it must’ve been for him to trust who he thought Jesus was.

I don’t make very many life or death choices but given what was at stake here I can totally understand how he might’ve wondered if he’d been mistaken somehow.

He needed to ask Christ in as direct a way as possible exactly who He was. He chose to send two of his friends to ask Jesus because he was imprisoned. Can you imagine that? Telling your friends and most likely people who you’ve taught about Jesus to go and ask Jesus this most basic question! As awkward as that prospect must’ve seemed to him, I believe his biggest challenge was to first face his own fears.

Fear of being wrong, of not seeing things as they really were and of exposing his own humanity to his friends. He had to first understand that thinking you know something is the greatest obstacle to learning anything!

That’s certainly a mindset I can relate to.

Recently I’ve had occasion to reevaluate some of my own beliefs. Take abortion for example…I just don’t think that denying that choice to a woman is very much of an expression of love which is what Christian people are called to do and be in this world. I understand that it’s about the unborn child but it’s still the woman’s real estate that it has to be conveyed through…

Our Father hates all sin, as should we, but He gave Adam a choice because
without it…

It’s not love…it’s just the law!

and while God’s word certainly carries that authority He’s too much of a loving Father to treat us like programmable robots, no, He gave Adam a choice!

What I’m saying is “Who are we to insert our authority over the lives and choices of another when God Himself who is love, chose to do otherwise”

Do I hate abortion? YES! but standing outside an abortion clinic harassing people who’re already going through perhaps one of the most difficult times of their life doesn’t seem all that loving to me…

We’re not called to be anyone’s judge or to be argumentative like an attorney…we’re just supposed to be witnesses of the difference His love has made in our lives! To be ever-ready to give an answer when asked about the source of our hope!

I see the people outside the clinic with the huge and unspeakably gruesome pictures of aborted babies on display. I look into their accusing self righteous faces as I walk by and then stop for a moment and ask…

Is that You?

I know it’s me…

Listening to the lyrics of a song recently I was struck by their accurate reflection of my own life!

I want to know what became of the changes, we waited for love to bring. Were they only the fitful dreams of some greater awakening?

Jackson Browne “The Pretender”

I’ll admit that sometimes I feel that way. I’m certainly not as committed to living my life for the Lord as some are! And I do feel somewhat frustrated and discouraged over the status of my own spiritual life! It’s been quite a challenge to me that’s with me to this day! At some point, who knows when…I’d like to find my own state of grace where I can truly accept the full measure of forgiveness that Jesus was crucified to secure for me!

Take this guy for example…


I met him one day while I was taking a break from driving. He told me drives this bus up and down the west coast doing his ministry which he claimed was based on Seventh Day Adventist teachings…

He told me that Christ had established his true church in 1866 which had me wondering what the second chapter of Acts was all about!

My issues with this particular variety of religion are numerous but in a nutshell, well…it’s a religion! A man made set of rules that when followed entitle you to go to heaven. Based on the belief that Christians are still under the law instead of the “new and better covenant” spoke of in Hebrews 8:6.

Is that You?

If what your looking for is a perfect representation of God the Father in Christians or the institutions they establish you’ll never find it! If you think otherwise I believe that’s an indication of how you see yourself, Perfect!

I know I’ve found it to be true in my own circumstances…

Can you see the problem?


We’re all created in Gods image but our sin shattered it into shards and fragments that show a perverse reflection. There are times when man does reflect enough of Him,or is able to die to his self to such an extent that what we see seems like perfection…

We call that “art”

In the ninth verse, thirty eighth chapter of Marks gospel,John brings to Jesus’ attention certain other practitioners they’d observed who were engaged in a deliverance ministry of sorts. The idea being to get His approval to “forbade” them from it. My sense is that based on His reply Jesus wisely observes that “if our policy is to shut down everyone who doesn’t have it all together who’ll be left?” And tells John to basically leave them alone!

None of us have got it all right…

No need to ask, “Is that you”!

We are the woman,

we’re also the bride.

We are the pretenders,

prevented by pride.

From seeing the truth,

Through our fractured eyes.

We fear what could save us,

And instead cling to lies!

I Think You Know

I’ve always thought that one of the things I do best is to understand (and sometimes explain) abstract concepts. I’m certainly not a concrete linear thinker so that’s all that’s “left” right?

Today,as I reclined in my chair, lost in the serenity of the view outside my window I had one of those disoriented moments…It happened as I was making the transition. It was a moment in which the perceived insanity of this world seemed so clearly juxtaposed against the peace and tranquility of the world I had drifted off into,and like going from hot to cold the effects were magnified.

My next thoughts were analytical and seemed to question the authenticity of what I was experiencing and it’s relevance to anyone besides myself but the case was quickly lost. I knew it was more than just my own egocentric flattery… No,the observance of this familiar topography was a product of months,perhaps even years, of subversive confoundment at the perfect storm of circumstances that seemed to not only be following me but hanging over the whole world as well!

One very dark cloud that’s predominant characteristic or quality lies in the inability of anyone to put their finger directly upon it

I’ve noticed that everyday the water seems to get muddier. That with each new shocking headline or catastrophe I become a little more jaded. With the advent of each new previously unthinkable event we’re forced to redefine what is reality.Have you ever wondered “What next?” And then,wanting to turn directly towards that roaring sound you hear creeping up on you, you begin to move only to be halted by your sternest inner parental tone barking out for you to do an about face back towards “reality”? Often it’s accompanied or supported by another inner voice espousing the convincing logic of continuity, the notion that what has happened will always continue on and on,and to think otherwise is well…foolish

2 Peter 3:3-4

Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,4And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.

To me it’s no mere coincidence that this is also the concept science bases much of what it espouses to be true upon. That this is the threshold of truth used as a platform for hypothesis and theory to explain practically everything. Be it carbon dating or that most sacred of scientific cow’s “the speed of light” both of which have faced a re-examination in recent years. The crisis then becomes a cliche, it’s almost like saying,

“What if everything you know is wrong?”

Am I being overly abstract even for me, painfully esoteric and annoyingly cryptic?

All apologies…

I’ve chosen to write this primarily for myself, if someone else gets it then great. It’s simply a situation that’s increasingly difficult for me to abide with and so my hope is that by exploring it here I can perhaps put a finger on it or give it a name. In the past I’ve railed against what I perceive as the hypocrisy of institutionalized religion that’s become an “I’ve got mine” Christian social club or the pridefully motivated law keeping that would do the Pharisee’s proud! But that’s not really it. It’s so much broader, and yet it can take the form of small annoying things that seem out of balance or somehow just wrong in your life…like living someplace where flies seem to outnumber humans by 10,000 to 1 or too much month left at the end of the money…

My annoyances and inconveniences seem petty when I look around and see the interminable struggle just to live that’s faced by so many here on this blue and green spinning ball. Reconciling those realities is like trying to ignore some 800lb existential gorilla in the room or not be shocked at an emperor without any clothes. It’s an out of whack reality that can unexpectedly slap you in the face even in your favorite chair or anywhere that the illusion is strong enough, accepted as the norm or thought of as just the way it is

I’m simply trying to relate how in one moment

I was startled to see through the illusion.

James 3:15-17

 15This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. 16For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.17But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

To some who read this what I’m saying will make little sense. Others may relate,acknowledging the new status quo of confusion and deception. It’s probably not any revelation to many that this world is going to pot,

but what I’m pointing at is how, on a very personal level,

I feel the effects of what’s happening!

How sometimes it still takes me by surprise.

 like the frog in a pot eventually looking around as if to say,

 “Isn’t it getting hot in here?”

What in the world am I talking about?

It’s really no great matter unless it leaves you different than you were before

Different in what way?

I think you know…

How Do I Know?

A story was told to me many years ago about love. About how when we’re truly loved by someone whom we see as being wonderful the effect is transcendent. We’re lifted up, empowered, the phrase used in the story I heard was…

If I said it was because of the way He so faithfully provides for the physical needs of my family and I, which I believe He does, I wouldn’t be able to explain why it is that God loves everyone but some in this world go without.

I could say that I know God loves me because He sent His Holy Spirit to be a guide and counselor to me who leads me in all things but His Spirit is like the wind. You can’t actually see it…even though you can easily see it’s effects!

Would it be easier for people to understand how I know if they could experience His peace? If instead of feeling anxious about their circumstances,both present and future,they could cast their cares upon Him knowing He cares for them?

 That’s a lot of “If”s” in one sentence…

I used to walk through life carrying heavy burdens that I couldn’t put down! I know Jesus loves me because He took my burden of condemnation and sin and made me free!

What about the way Jesus is working in my life to heal me from all of the wounds I’ve suffered from the weapons formed against me by my enemy, continually transforming me by the renewing of my mind…

Would my testimony be convincing?

Oh I know! It’s the joy I feel in my life which is the fruit of His Spirit! It’s very attractive to others but can be so difficult for them to accept because it’s a gift!

All of us have placed our faith in something. Mostly in the things we can see like science,technology,and of course people! Every time we pay attention to anything we give it tribute and power in our lives. If we place our faith in Christ it can be said of us that though we may be in this world we’re not of it.

Our faith is the only requirement for us to receive our Father’s real love! But have you ever tried to explain what love is to someone? If so,you no doubt know it’s futility.I can tell you how much God loves you, I can show you in His word how He’s shown it, I can let His love shine through me for you to see, I can show you a world of miracles based on His love for you, but would it be enough?

The choice belongs to each of us,to decide what it is we believe.

Of course the responsibility for those choices is ours as well!

A Mighty Wind!

The wind is commonly used in literature as a metaphor to represent a powerful force of some kind or as a harbinger that’s acting as a catalyst or agent of change.  From a meteorological perspective wind is simply a physical manifestation of the effects of gravity and barometric pressure on static air that’s enacted between geographic regions.

Recently I’ve felt as though I’m living in a windy metaphor of my own that’s pulling and pushing me both literally and figuratively.  Allow me to explain, it’s been so windy here the past couple of days and extremely dry for the past couple of months that we’re now under a county wide burn ban. As an aside I’m wondering, is it more than a coincidence that we’ve just recently come through a hotly contested political season? I don’t know, and for me to jump to any conclusions about it at this point might seem unsportsmanlike so I won’t. When I first saw from a distance the large and yet very low cloud-like plumes of smoke I initially ruled out a fire, let alone one purposely started. After asking around about it I was told that the Conservation Dept. was conducting an out of control controlled burn of about 1000 acres just north of me… Now I’m being told that it was intentionally set by some other individual!

Can you see God? You haven’t seen him? I’ve never seen the wind. I see the effects of the wind, but I’ve never seen the wind. There’s a mystery to it.
– Billy Graham

I’ve also been feeling a bit of mystery or confusion concerning other winds blowing and fires burning in my life right now that are moving me in a direction I thought I’d never go again. I’m not at all certain but there’s a better than even chance that I might soon be going back to driving a truck over the road. On the one hand it’s a matter of practical survival, a temporary measure, that will along with other things get me and mine to a better place in time where hopefully better opportunities will meet us. And on the other it could also be a way for me to usher in some needed changes that might be good for me personally as well. At any rate I feel compelled to accept the position if offered to me, perhaps being back in the wind is exactly what I need. A change of scenery, a chance to see a few places again and reconnect with memories from my not too distant past. To observe what’s changed and what still remains since I’ve been “out there” running up and down the road.

To conclude this windy post there’s one final movement that I’ve sensed growing stronger of late having to do with Eschatology or the study of or interest in biblical prophesy. I realize that it’s been hot stuff  since before Christ walked on the earth but naturally, as I see it this new interest is being generated by a number of currently ominous “ill winds” that are  swirling around these days.

We’ve seen severe flooding as well as  historic drought worldwide resulting in record low harvest yields.  As a result we’re staring a worldwide food crisis in the face right now!


Our debt problem in this country combined with the anemic GDP stats spell out a recipe for a coming global economic meltdown starting with hyperinflation in the US that will take out all other economies whose currencies are tied to the dollar.  Read more:

There’s a new world-wide church coming to the forefront of late. One of many modern progressive organizations whose message is based on the premise that man is essentially good. Their contention is that despite man’s long history indicating otherwise he’s going to somehow cast that aside and finally save himself. The belief is that the “New Earth” or “world Order” will be made possible by eliminating what causes division among people and uniting everyone under a banner of world peace.

Are we also currently experiencing an increase in the frequency and strength of  earthquakes, volcanic activity and natural disasters? Did Christ specifically say that we should regard these things as significant prior to the tribulation? Read the Olivet Discourse and make up your own mind! The Institute for Christian Research has a lot of interesting articles concerning this topic for you to check out.

Are you feeling the pressure building in your world? I know I am…

The wind and the Holy Spirit also move. The wind from areas of high pressure to low pressure while the Spirit moves or leads us to Christ! In this atmosphere of high pressure and high stress, I can feel them both bearing on my life, drawing me into the peaceful presence of my Lord where the storms of life, tremendous pressures,  and struggles of living cease. I don’t know about you but I want to be on the first load out of here! Just as the church’s arrival was described in the book of Act’s, with the sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, so I believe it must be with it’s leaving at whats called “the catching away” or harpazo. So blow wind, blow your beautiful trumpet!

Revelation 4:1

After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.

Easy Does It!

For many very good reasons those are definitely the wisest words spoken around me in the last couple of weeks.  Recently, after a very long hiatus I’ve returned to the world of physical work. I’m slowly becoming adjusted to my new routine, getting lots of healthy exercise, working with people I enjoy, and spending all day outside usually in the woods! It’s every bit as much fun as it sounds, but the combination of having turned fifty last month and my being so very out of shape (round is a shape isn’t it?) has made it a real challenge. Let me tell you, after you’ve pushed yourself pretty hard it’s an incredible feeling just to lay back on the grass and stare up at the crystal clear blue sky. Feeling your blood coursing through your veins and the blessed peace that even momentary relief brings. Marking time by the thunderous rhythm of your own heart beats against the easy swaying of the tree tops.

Overheated~ pulsating… ecstatic!

At this point in my life, it’s out of necessity I must be smarter about how I go about things. I’m no longer able to simply go to the well of my physical strength as before. This emerging strategy consists mostly of practicing patience, persistence, and planning, but more importantly it’s about using the power that’s available to me most effectively. That involves developing the skill and judgment nessesary to use a machine to it’s full potential without pushing it to the point that it’s going to break or in a way it wasn’t designed to be used. Understanding that it, the machine, will take a great deal of hard use but very little if any ab-use.  So while it’s true that my strength isn’t what it once was and my energy is now much more precious, none of those realities change the fact that the job is about moving heavy objects from one place to another, and so the relationship I have with my “power” equipment is extremely vital to me!

The power of a machine like this makes the impossible possible. It pulls whole trees out of the thickest brush you can imagine using a wench and a cable and “skids” them to a landing.

This is called a “picker truck” it’s the helping hand that lifts the extremely heavy loads onto the log truck like they were toothpicks!

And of course the real workhorse of our operation, the log truck! We do a humanly impossible task by using the awesome power that’s available to us through these tools.

Life can also be a “mission impossible”

How common it seems to be nowadays for people to feel overwhelmed by all of the heavy burdens they’re dragging around or trying to carry on their shoulders. All of us can relate personally or have known those who were crushed by the weight of their problems, by the pile of logs that are on top of them! Many people mistakenly believe that they’re stuck in their situations, pinned down by the tangled mess their living in and are frustrated by it’s complex nature. Sadly, their lives have become a hopeless, joyless, depressing drudgery with seemingly no meaning to all of the hardship and struggles that they endure daily.

And that’s no way to live!

This description also fits many Christian people who would eagerly to tell you about Jesus and his great love for us all!  Who have trusted Christ for their eternal salvation and yet somehow they’re challenged to trust Him with their present circumstances! I wonder if they believe that He’s a far away God who is perhaps indifferent to their troubles or that what goes on here in this life is theirs to deal with alone. I don’t think that’s right, this sounds much easier to me!

1 Peter 5:7

Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

Matthew 11:30

For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Years ago my high school biology teacher told us that he had previously taught chemistry for many years all the while believing that he understood it until one day as he was drawing a formula on the board in a sudden realization he actually “got it” himself. He thought he understood it but his understanding was only on a superficial level. I’m sure he had  passed many tests over it to graduate and no doubt felt comfortable teaching it to others. In his head it seemed to be a settled issue, but in his heart it was a different matter. He didn’t really understand it, not on that level, there was a vital connection missing, an “app” as they call it today that turned it from being just a bunch of abstract theories into a simple life changing reality!

As Christians I think we all need to have a similar “light bulb” moment! One way to do that is to walk by faith in our own lives until we come to a much clearer understanding of what is the true reality of the spiritual world and the false illusion of the physical one.

1 Corinthians 2:6

However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing.

If only we could comprehend much more of  God’s love for us, think of the difference it would make in our lives, that we could make in this world! we could live our lives in victory and love would flow out of us like living waters!

Philippians 4:13

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

John 7:38

He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

Christs supreme act of love and redemption that was done for all men on the cross defeated sin’s power over us and ultimately death on our behalf. It made the impossible possible, and through the power of His blood Jesus still empowers believers to rise above all of the weapons that are formed against them in life.

Isaiah 54:17

No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.

Easy does it!

We have a tremendous tool that we don’t use nearly enough! It has the power to pull us out of the miry clay we’re stuck in and out of the worst thorns and thickets we could ever hope to find ourselves. It can lift all of those heavy burdens we’re carrying around ourselves, put them on a truck, and deliver you from the need to ever fear them again! What is it?


Romans 12:12

Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;

1 John 5:14

And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:

It’s as easy as just loving God,

Loving our brothers and sisters by sharing Christ’s love which was given to us freely

And finally, it’s as easy as loving yourself and KNOWING that God loves YOU!

There’s nothing confusing or complicated about it. All we have to do is LOVE.

That’s always been Gods intention towards us, I don’t understand why we all don’t get it !

Or why if we say we do, we don’t act with the authority it conveys to us over all areas of our lives

Someday, a simple little man is going to read Gods word and just believe it…

And the rest of us are going to be really embarrassed when he looks at us and says,

It’s easy when you just let God do it!

Matthew 6:13

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen

Who’s To Say?

I’m big on remembering quips, quotes, “sayings”, or expressions.

Recently I was reminded of this one:

“Who’s to say that the rantings of a madman aren’t actually

the clear vision of the only sane man left.”


That got me to thinking about how I see the issues of depression and anxiety. Among the various therapies and methods of helping people who complain of these symptoms, one strategy is to help them to “move on.” Another is to help them sort out why what they’re feeling is perhaps irrational.  Depression is primarily a reaction to loss, one of it’s most common symptoms is hopelessness. Can I honestly try to sell people on the idea that there’s sufficient reason to be hopeful in this world? Anxiety is a high energy emotion that’s based in fear. There are indeed a lot of scary things in this world that can happen to people that we’re powerless to stop. What advice can I possibly offer anyone that can truly nullify this prospect?

Please understand that I’m not attempting to make any definitive statements about helping people with emotional problems, I’m only examining the “reality of perception” people seem to operate in.

What I’m talking about here are average people who’ve suffered belief system crashes that left them traumatized and erroneously conditioned to react with anxiety and depression out of a perceived necessity for self preservation.

What if anything can I say? Explaining to people that their need to hold onto the “self” or “ego” and the resultant realization of their powerlessness in controlling circumstances are at the root of their depression and anxiety?

Sure, but what will I do with the other 45 minutes?

In the absence of having God in our lives we tend to stand in for Him and do the job ourselves, and it is rough territory!

Have you got all of the bases covered? What if,what if, what if?

“I’m such a failure, I couldn’t control the circumstances of my life completely, I should just give up!”

Can you see what I mean about “who’s to say” yet?

If I told you everything bad that was going to happen to you for the rest of your life how do you think you’d handle it?

I think most people might resemble the “mad man” I referred to previously.

What if instead, I showed you in Gods word that while you may go through all of the things in your life I previously mentioned, that not only would everything work out great in the end but that you would have peace available to you in the midst of all of it. Would that calm you down? Would it allow you to see the events and circumstances of your life from the perspective of what you gained from them instead of what you’ve lost?

Proverbs 12:25

Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression,
But a good word makes it glad. (NKJV)

Philippians 4:6-7

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (NKJV)

“Anxiety disorders, like many other conditions, are an example of normal responses that appear at inappropriate times”.

Faced with everything that’s going on in this world we live in and all of the personal challenges that each of us are going through everyday, I guess what I’m wondering is what would constitute justifiable grounds for depression and anxiety?

Although I’ve perhaps got grounds to, I don’t feel depressed or anxious about my personal situation, nor do I feel that way about the future of our world. But I can absolutely understand how someone who doesn’t have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ or someone who doesn’t know Him as their Savior might! Some people may think I’m wrong not to be “overly concerned” but then, who’s to say right?