Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Over the memorial day weekend Gina and I renewed our vows! The ceremony was held at the Church In the Grove, at The Great Passion Play in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. I have wanted to do this for awhile since Gina and I were not yet serving the Lord when we were originally married. So this was really special to me - to make this vow to one another and to God as well.

I worked hard to set this up as a complete surprise, but Gina was on to me, she had figured out what I was up to the night before... Though I never verified if she was guessing correctly!

The Church in the Grove is on the grounds of The Great Passion Play which has long been our favorite vacation spot since we where originally married some 12 years ago now... So it was the perfect location... the minister was Marvin Peterson, who believe it or not - ministers at a local Assemblies of God church - so that was a cool point of connection and Minister Peterson did a GREAT job - Gina and I were fortunante enough to make friends with he and his wife Kay after the ceremony, so I hope to further that friendship, they were both wonderful people!

As life would have it - artist Jack Dawson was in town that weekend, and we were able to meet him and he signed a print of his work entitled "Two Become One" which is a portrait of marriage... he has some great work - all his art is distinctly christian and has a powerful message- alot of which is on display at the Sacred Arts Center at the Great Passion Play.

Anyway I just wanted to share some of the love - we had an incredible weekend together and it was great to just share with each other in uninterrupted fashion love, spiritual insight and togetherness - You know life and business are so intrusive to a marriage... I am sure some of you have noticed that... it is amazing what setting some time aside just for each other can do to remind you how wonderful the person you married is... I am hoping you experience that today...

Well thanks Gina - for marrying me - again!

Also if you have never been to The Great Passion Play why? You're missing out!

Friday, May 9, 2008

The Most Dangerous Thing!

Oozing from the darkness it comes, lurking in the night, and creeping in the shadows, the clutches of its cold hands steal the life from its victims – no one is safe, no hiding place can be found – it knows where you are AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!

I love people! Talking to them, hanging out with them, and gaining their perspective. I have heard a number of different opinions on the most dangerous thing! That which is infiltrating Christianity and leading thousands to hell!!!

Just the other day I heard someone say – “The most dangerous thing in Christianity is legalism” then later that same day – I heard a preacher on the radio state “The most dangerous thing in Christianity today is this false grace message in the church!”

Hmmm how can two things be the MOST dangerous… I know for instance my wife is the “most beautiful” – She shares that title with no one, and I can think of none who match her beauty – for that cause she is the “MOST” – (http://sisterginasblog.blogspot.com/) which denotes a singular position or as Encarta Dictionary states “the best of all” – but I digress – my theme is not the value or debate of the over use of “most” – nor the intense beauty of my wife - but instead to opinionate on what I believe to truly be the most dangerous thing, of which neither of the above mentioned(legalism or false grace) holds that title.

The most dangerous thing in Christianity is religion without love. There is nothing as heinous, dangerous and deadly as this. When we fail to operate in love, we get legalism, false grace, and all sort of other symptoms – all of which are only effect pointing to a root cause and lack of true love is that cause.

When we live in loveless faith the actions we perform are based on either mere duty or fear, neither of which is really all that pleasing to God …

(1 Corinthians 13:3) If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

(1 Corinthians 13:1) If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.

Loveless faith produces strange doctrines, and church splits, immorality and gossip. Loveless faith is the root of symptoms like: prayerlessness and dull dry worship. Loveless faith is the reason we don’t read like we used to and witness like we once did… Love wanes… and when this happens we lose our burden for the lost, our compassion for others and our patience with the world, and the body of Christ!
Sadly some have only had religion, some denominations are founded on loveless faith, and when love is absent – fear is present – and fear and love – well they don’t mix! You see perfect love casts out fear

(1 John 4:18) There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

Interestingly enough some denominations are completely fear based, and do the things that they do based on fear… The disciples of those denominations often times are prophets of fear, breeding more prophets of fear, who breed more prophets of fear…

(Matthew 23:15) "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are.

Lack of love creates pride, arrogance, selfishness and self centeredness… If you continually are asking “What about me?” – and “No one ever considers me” and other similar statements – You may be lacking in love…

(Matthew 5:44) But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
(Matthew 5:45) That ye may be the children of your Father …

(Luke 6:29) And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also.
(Luke 6:30) Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.
(Luke 6:31) And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.
(Luke 6:32) For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them.

How Important is all this?
What is the most important commandment? Studies reveal that many have stated
- Thou shalt not kill
- Thou shalt not commit adultery

As being the top two, however interestingly enough neither are correct! Instead the most important commandment is LOVE

(Matthew 22:36) Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
(Matthew 22:37) Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
(Matthew 22:38) This is the first and great commandment.
(Matthew 22:39) And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
(Matthew 22:40) On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

See when you have love you wont kill, steal or commit adultery – you wont be legalistic, nor will you be involved in false grace – because love:

is not self-seeking
it keeps no record of wrongs.
rejoices with the truth
it is not easily angered
Love is patient
love is kind

You can find all these attributes of love in 1 Corinthians 13…
How is your love life anyway? You know what I mean – Are you loving?
Loving in your relationships with friends and foes?
Loving in your worship?
Loving in your bible reading?
Loving in your marriage?
Loving in your doctrines?

Its worth asking since all the law and all the prophets hang on love

Friday, May 2, 2008

Lopsided to Learning

Cleaning the Cup – Part two – De-spiritualizing the Faith
Lopsided to Learning

Recent studies have shown that Christianity which accompanies the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, and the act of Glossolalia(speaking in Tongues) is one of the fastest religions/faiths in the world! Well, praise the Lord, that is excellent news! However further study and evidence details that the practice, doctrine and personal experience of this event is actually declining among long time Pentecostal denominations… That seems almost contradictory!
In my research however I have found some unique substantiation of such views! Why these elements exist I don’t know, perhaps there are circumstances that skew the data collected, in any event I can personally attest that to some the element of Spirit in faith while not shunned is certainly not chased or strongly desired.
There is no substitute for knowledge. Without a doubt we quickly understand that knowledge possess power and is critical to the growth, potency, and longevity of the faith. In fact Paul admonishes us:

(2 Timothy 2:15) Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Wholeheartedly I concede to the wisdom of scripture and the critical need for its application and understanding, after all Paul again instructs us:

(2 Timothy 3:16) All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

Equally we must further understand there is no substitute for the Spirit of God, and His active presence in our lives.

For these the Word and the Spirit are merely two halves of one whole! Greater credence given to one than the other creates an imbalance, an unharmonious blend, which creates an unfortunate deficiency.

(John 4:24) God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

This in mind, perhaps one of the shortcomings to which we voluntarily succumb is we are more given to knowledge, lopsided to learning, and we have not given ample credence to the move of the Spirit.
We are inundated, over-whelmed; covered up with books, series, programs and teachings. Certainly the market contains more product than any person can digest! For every fear, circumstance and question, a book has been written, and thank God for it, I take no issue with knowledge… But knowledge alone will not, cannot, and has not been possessed singularly with the power to change, heal and deliver. In fact by design that is not the job of knowledge alone, it contains a powerful partner… the Spirit.

For this cause Jesus spent a great deal of time teaching the disciples, but they were commanded not to do anything until they became infused with the Spirit! What a potent truth this is! Knowledge was not enough!

Consider the Spirit’s job - He produces within us
(Galatians 5:22)
(Galatians 5:23)

Again we are told
(Galatians 5:16) This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

(John 16:13) But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth.

Consider the gifts that accompany the Spirit of God

(1 Corinthians 12:7) But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
(1 Corinthians 12:8) For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
(1 Corinthians 12:9) To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
(1 Corinthians 12:10) To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:

Words of wisdom
Word of knowledge

Just to name a few! Wow! That is some powerful stuff! Imagine operating as a body in the gifts of the Spirit, not just in the service, but as equally important in our communities as well! We’d turn the world upside down!

No wonder Paul tells us

(Galatians 5:25) Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

(Ephesians 4:30) And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God

(1 Thessalonians 5:19) Quench not the Spirit.

Let’s expand that a bit. Imagine this power in operation in you as a: Father, a Mother, or an employee… As a husband a wife, or a neighbor…

The Spirit is in operation in our lives, not just at our services, He is ever present, all the time! Let Him invade your everything! Your personal life, your love life, your parenting, or your checkbook, in all things! We are supposed to be spiritual beings, filled with the Holy Spirit, functioning in His abilities and directions! … in Him we move, we live, we breath and have our being…

Look at these scriptures for the very personal relationship others had with the Spirit

(Acts 15:28) For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;

(Acts 16:6) Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia,

Do you see the interpersonal relationship being presented here?
For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us
were forbidden of the Holy Ghost

We have the Spirit working with, speaking to and directing the paths of the early church…

Imagine for a moment, giving the Spirit freedom in your life, allowing Him permission to function in every area… Letting the Spirit out of the box! Giving attention to His presence in little and big ways and opening our minds up enough to accept the supernatural!

Hearing His voice
Feeling His presence
Seeing His hand in our circumstances

It’s possible; actually it: “is” – it is a reality, it is an absolute - when we allow it.

Open yourself to Him. He is in you… Feel His presence, His guidance, His unction… He is the comforter, the teacher and He guides our steps…


Lets get Spiritual… Let us walk in the Spirit, lets us as Paul said: live by the Spirit, and keep in step with the Spirit.

There is within you, by the power of God, receptors, antennae for the Holy Spirit… its time to tune… He who hath an ear let Him hear what the SPIRIT saith!