Friday, November 26, 2010


This last week was Thanksgiving and for all my family, its not just a time to eat but a time to laugh. My sisters and brother sat at the table and played a game called Left-Center-Right with all of the in laws. It’s a dice game where literally anybody can end up with the prize at the end. As we laughed and made outrageous noises at each roll of the dice, I caught a glimpse of my mother and grandmother. They were sitting there quietly smiling and watching those of us at the table enjoy each other like only we can.

My mom is in her sixties, my grandmother in her eighties and all of us kids are in our forties now. I’m not sure how Mom and Nana thought our family would turn out but I think that one scene in mama’s house on Thanksgiving day was as much of a success story as any mama or grand mama can ever hope for. -They have kids that love each other.

This, in fact, is actually a picture of heaven. Everything in the Kingdom of Heaven is first about family and everything is relational. I think a lot of us bible thumpers have caused a lot of good people to miss the point of how it all works. Everything in the Kingdom is in relationship with the King or else it aint in the kingdom at all.
God is absolutely over the top about being a Father first and restoring his family so we can all sit at the same table.

I am not saying there will be a dice game, but the picture of success that He has as a Father is that same picture of success I described of my Mother and Grand mother.

When you really believe that everything in the Kingdom is first relational, you begin to come to some off the wall conclusions about how things work. Things like: God Values restoration over punishment. ( Turns out, he’s not Zeus, He’s Jesus. Who knew?)

God would rather call you family than call you a servant. ( yeah, it turns out he made angels to be servants and you and I to be Kings and priests and live in His house as family. Help me get the word out about that.)

God doesn’t move through a good church service He moves through good relationships in a church service. ( Believe it or not He wasn't faking when He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane that we would become one even as the father and Him are one. That’s a big shocker since most of us in the body of Christ think we are supposed to be the bloods and the crips. )

The great commandment is not the great commission which is to reach the world, the great commandment is found in Matthew 22:37 which says, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’

All of this kind of stuff gets you into big trouble because it means we actually have to love each other. I think most of us would rather have our knees drained than actually be held responsible for loving the people around us. We love John 3:16 which is all about how God loves us but very few of us want to quote 1st John 3:16.

By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
1st John 3:16

Thursday, November 18, 2010


The weather has changed. All of us fat people rejoice at cooler temperatures as my angelic weather vein points north from the roof of my house. While the digits on the thermometer fall I also become aware of my nasal cavity like no other time of year. The wind is blowing and so is my nose.

I don’t know what has happened. I used to not be allergic to anything. I turned 40 years old about 4 years ago, and now I have to reach for my glasses as I fumble down the hall to the bathroom several times in the night while having a sneezing fit. What the heck?!

When I was a kid I used to make fun of my good friend Robert Copeland because he would have these horrific allergy attacks. He would sneeze for ten minutes without stopping. I would laugh my head off. Today, I cry as I sneeze my head off and repent for ever laughing at my life long friend.

The Mayo clinic, which has nothing to do with mayonnaise, says an allergy is an exaggerated immune response or reaction to substances that are generally not harmful. Its the whole “generally not harmful” thing that gets me. This week’s cup of Jehovah Java comes Brewing with an allergic reaction warning.

A Head full of Yuck

We are being conditioned in our culture these days to generally take in things that we never would of tolerated before. The point and click nature of Porn for example is teaching an entire generation to have no respect for intimacy and to see anything sexual as selfish, controlling, and even hateful. Rape scenes are becoming common in mainstream entertainment and the masses have no allergic reaction because its nothing compared to what they are privately watching.

When I went to the Department of Public Safety website and found the map for registered sex offenders there were no less than 35 within a three mile radius of my house. One labeled as “High Risk” three houses down from my own. These are not people molesting their kids and preying on teenagers, these are people who have been caught and convicted of sexual deviancy. The actual number is much higher.

I don’t think for one second that any of these people grew up wanting to be child molesters or pedophiles. I just think they slowly conditioned themselves to consider those things generally not harmful that make the rest of us have a terrible reaction. You can not tell me pornography didn't have a huge part of that desensitizing process. There are people right now, who after long term exposure to that kind of filth, will cease to have a terrible reaction at the thought of abusing a woman or exploiting a child. Porno is getting into our heads and being shoved down our throats like the alien did John Hurt back in 1980, meanwhile America yawns.

If you are someone struggling with this kind of issue, I want to encourage you to seek help now. At what ever level pornography has you, there is a level of grace from God to overcome that mess. Make a stand for your family, your self and even your walk with God and turn away while you still can.

...But sin didn't, and doesn't, have a chance in competition with the aggressive forgiveness we call grace. Romans 5:20 (The Message)


Thursday, November 11, 2010


Several years ago, Leanna and I were working in children’s church. One of my favorite places to be in ministry is messing with kids and when we do kids church we want it to be fun, full of life and generally a place where everybody knows Jesus is the coolest person in the universe...a lot like how I do the main service come to think of it.

It was worship time and while the tapes were playing we would hand the microphone over to one little boy and then to another little girl. It was a hoot. When the tape ended, a little girl said, “I know a song” and she started singing into the microphone, “I want to be your hands, I want to be your feet, I’ll go where you send me....” everybody clapped, It was beautiful.

Then a little boy shouted “I know a song too.” He put his mouth on the microphone and busted out into his dramatic masterpiece. “Take this job and shove it! I aint ‘a working here no more.”


You may or may not remember that song or Johnny Paycheck who made it a 1977 #1 hit, but it wasn't a hymn. Johnny Paycheck was the stage name of Donald Eugene Lytle and Donald Lytle had been the steel guitar player for George Jones for years before changing his name to Paycheck. The real Johnny Paycheck was actually a boxer who fought Joe Louis. You got all that?

Its hard to keep up with folks who change their names. Garth Brooks, the famous country singer of the 90’s wigged everybody out when he produced a rock album under the name Chris Gaines. I think he was just trying to bust out into alternative rock but instead of people appreciating his contribution, they were mostly disturbed by the name and change of persona. Garth isn't Garth’s first name anyway, its actually Troyal.


This week’s cup of Jehovah Java comes cram packed with lots of names. The different names of Jesus, revealed throughout the bible, are different descriptions of who Jesus is to each one of us. So instead of just reading a description of Jesus as a scripture I try to look for who He actually is to me and you both. If you will allow me to be a bible thumper this week, I have included the scripture with some of the names I was able to dig up. getting to know Him in each of these ways is an incredible invitation. Its a gift so great it will take an eternity to unwrap.

Jesus Christ is your Alpha and Omega, Beginning and End. (Rev. 1:8; 22:13)
Jesus Christ is your Atoning Sacrifice for your Sins (1 John 2:2)
Jesus Christ is... Bread of God (John 6:33)
Jesus Christ is... Bread of Life (John 6:35; 6:48)
Jesus Christ is... Bridegroom (Mt. 9:15)
Jesus Christ is... Christ (1 John 2:22)
Jesus Christ is... Creator (John 1:3)
Jesus Christ is... Deliverer (Rom. 11:26)
Jesus Christ is... Eternal Life (1 John 1:2; 5:20)
Jesus Christ is... Faithful and True (Rev. 19:11)
Jesus Christ is... Faithful Witness (Rev. 1:5)
Jesus Christ is... God (John 1:1; 20:28; Heb. 1:8; Rom. 9:5)
Jesus Christ is... Good Shepherd (John 10:11,14)
Jesus Christ is... Head of the Church (Eph. 1:22; 4:15; 5:23)
Jesus Christ is... Holy and True (Rev. 3:7)
Jesus Christ is... Image of God (2 Cor. 4:4)
Jesus Christ is... King Eternal (1 Tim. 1:17)
Jesus Christ is... Life (John 14:6; Col. 3:4)
Jesus Christ is... Light of the World (John 8:12)
Jesus Christ is... Lion of the Tribe of Judah (Rev. 5:5)
Jesus Christ is... Living One (Rev. 1:18)
Jesus Christ is... Lord of All (Acts 10:36)
Jesus Christ is... Man from Heaven (1 Cor. 15:48)
Jesus Christ is... Our Holiness (1 Cor. 1:30)
Jesus Christ is... Our Husband (2 Cor. 11:2)
Jesus Christ is... Our Protection (2 Thess. 3:3)
Jesus Christ is... Our Redemption (1 Cor. 1:30)
Jesus Christ is... Our Righteousness (1 Cor. 1:30)
Jesus Christ is... Rock (1 Cor. 10:4)
Jesus Christ is... Savior (Eph. 5:23; Titus 1:4; 3:6; 2 Pet. 2:20)
Jesus Christ is... Son of God (John 1:49; Heb. 4:14)
Jesus Christ is... Source of Eternal Salvation for believers (Heb. 5:9)
Jesus Christ is... Truth (John 1:14; 14:6) and

Friday, November 5, 2010


I am not really a huge techno guy but I am just as addicted as anybody to email, the web, texting and basically anything Mac related. Don’t hate me if you are a PC guy and haven't left the dark side for Mac yet. Someday, you too will see the light.

No, I am not a techno guy in the since that I understand how it all works, but my life requires that get a lot of mileage out of today’s gizmos and gadgets. What’s great is that you don’t have to know how it all works to use it.

However, there are people like you and me that still hang on to a lot of the old way of doing things while trying to keep up with the new. I know you are that way not because I am extraordinarily prophetic, and by the way sometimes I am, but because you are reading a newspaper. Sherlock Holmes calls that deductive reasoning.

So when I was a kid, an engine was something that made a car or an airplane move around. Today and engine is a search tool that people all over the world use to find things on the internet.

The largest search engine in the world is Google. Untold numbers of people go there everyday to find websites on anything from movies, earthquakes or currency conversions to local weather reports and high definition maps of the entire globe.

This weeks top 20 Google searches include Black Friday ads, Guy Fawkes day and the shuttle launch. People are searching and searching more than ever before.

As a Christian, Dad, Pastor and a guy just trying to make it through life like everybody else, I spend a lot of time thinking about what I am searching for. To me, a big part of living a victorious life in Christ is knowing I must be dedicated to a life of contemplation.

There are certain things I have to have a discipline to think about. Intentional thinking is a must if I don’t want to wander around like the mental nomads of our day. Unless I want to end up like the buffalo who used to be seen in this area by the millions, I cant be a wanderer or a marauder in how I live life. So I crank up the squirrel cage between my ears and serve God in my thinking.

I think that while we are not wanderers we are certainly searchers. All of us. I also think one of the greatest things we as Christians can hand down to the generation behind us is a legacy of searching after the deep things of God.

We have to be people who constantly seek out the heart of the King.

See, Google and search engines change the definition of searching to mean that instead of searching, you go to a place that searches for you. I think people are being trained today and we need to let our non Christians friends and family know that no one can search out God for us. It is the search that qualifies you for the find.

So where ever you are at, I am here to tell you, God himself is searching and He is searching for people who are searching for Him. You don’t need an engine, just a heart that is willing to seek after His Heart.

And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave their testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart...
Acts 13:22