Thursday, May 26, 2011

"Our Battle..."

From Piercing The Darkness page 117 by Frank E. Peretti 1989:

Destroyer scanned the town from this rooftop perch.
"If Tal is so subtle, we will be even more so. If he
depends on the prayers of God's people, then we work
all the harder to keep God's people from praying."
He chuckled a sulfurous chuckle.
"You don't know about the little imps
I requested from the Strongman: Strife,
Division, Gossip, and a host of others flooding
this town at this very moment! These
humans are only of flesh, of mud, and
I suggest there is one force stronger than
their zeal for God: their own self-righteousness!
We will make them proud, pure in their own
eyes, vindictive, unjust judges over each other,
and stir up such a noise among them that the
simplest prayer will not be uttered!"

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12 NIV

Monday, May 23, 2011

"Rainless Clouds"

Jude writes concerning Godless men:

"These men are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm—shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted—twice dead. They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever."

"Clouds without rain" caught my attention.

And maybe since it hasn't stopped raining
in my part of the world for the better part
of six weeks, this three word description
just smacked me in the face.

What exactly is wrong with "rainless" clouds?

How is this a negative?

Well, thinking about it I came up with two
1. Clouds without rain are useless.

If you're a farmer and your fields are
in need of rain, seeing the rain clouds
come would be a grateful sight.

But what if that is all there was,
a cloudy day? NO RAIN.
Therefore, no relief to your thirsting

USELESS. No good. Empty promises.

2. Clouds without rain lead to doubt.

Doubt? Yes.

Suppose I was to plan a day for my family
to go to a Pirate game. I haven't bought the
tickets yet because I was going to do that
when we got to the stadium.

The game is at a certain time. A few hours
before we are going to head to the stadium,
the black rain clouds roll in.

Now the question becomes, is it going to rain
and ruin the experience, or worse, get there
and then the game is cancelled? OR, is it
just going to threaten to rain, but never will,
so by not going, we may miss a great experience?

Rainless clouds produce doubt.

Doubt. Mislead. Shake your security.

No one has room in their lives for rainless clouds.
They are useless doubt sowers who do damage.

Question? Are there days in my life where I am
acting as the cloud without the rain?
Do I sow doubt? Am I being useless in another's life?

God, produce in me a useful, thirst quenching rain
that others will see and glorify YOU for it.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


If you've ever had a child, known a child, had
any sort of interaction with children, OR been
a child yourself...

The source of the some of the greatest questions
of all time have come from children.

The whys, whats, wheres, hows, hows comes,
whos... they ask them all, and usually they
are compound questions.

"Why is the grass green?"
scientific reasons answered.

"Why green, and not red?"
God designed it that way answered.

"Why did God choose green?"
who has known the mind of the Lord...
Bible explanation answered.

"Can we go outside?"
glad the green questions are over...
now the parade of new questions begins.

Is this just childish curiosity or just the
way children understand how to keep
the adult engaged in dialogue?

And why (oh no a question) do I not
have the persistence of a child in asking
questions of God?

Why do I just get things off my chest
and move on when I should be persistent
following up each question with another

Does anyone believe that a child is merely
asking questions to "get things off there chest?"

I would say absolutely not. They want to know.
want to understand. want to have meaning
full dialogue.

It's not a way to clear the air and move on.
It's their way of drawing out answers that
satisfy... if even the answers are not the
ones they want to hear.

Then he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend,
and he goes to him at midnight and says,
‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread,

because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me,
and I have nothing to set before him.’

“Then the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children are with me in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man’s boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs.

“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Luke 11:5-10 NIV84

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

"Joyfully Disappointed"

Remember this tweet:

"I praise you 24/7!!! And this how you do me!!! You expect me to learn from this???How??? I'll never forget this!! Ever!! Thx Tho."

That was tweeted in late November by Buffalo Bills
wide receiver Steve Johnson after dropping what
would have been a winning touchdown catch in
the end zone in overtime in a game against the
Pittsburgh Steelers.

He was disappointed. Not doubt about it.

Today, I sit disappointed.

We have journeyed 9 months through the
painful process of selling our home... in
order to purchase one that would accommodate
the family of 6 we have.

3 bedrooms, 1 bath... just isn't quite enough.

So as of 2 days ago, the process was streaking
toward a conclusion. Under contract to sell.
Under contract to buy. Just waiting for
home inspections to pass... and then
on to closings.

"Not so fast my friend." (that's for the college
football fans out there).

A problem has arised that seems more and
more likely to take us back to "On The Market"
status. Something out of our control.

Let me spell it for you:

D I S A P P O I N T M E N T!

To get this far and to encounter a closed
door is frustrating... yet, it's comforting.


Yep, comforting.

Of course my prayers all along is for a sell
and buy scenario to succeed. Yet, in my
heart, I always defer to God's will and purpose...
always defer to His control.

And if that would mean closing the door,
so that I will travel according to his plan
to wherever He will take me...

then yes, disappointed... but joyfully.


Well... knowing this:
Philippians 2:13 " for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose."

He maybe closing a door... and this good.


He cares enough to do it.


I'll say it again, He cares enough to do close the door...

and for me, there is joy in the disappointment as well.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

"Tunnel Vision"

I've lived all my life in Beaver County, Western Pennsylvania...
minus four years in Indiana County at IUP.

One of my favorite things about the
city of Pittsburgh is the view of the city
as you emerge through the Fort Pitt Tunnel.
(As seen above)

It has been, is and always will be to me
a special trip into the city through the
tunnel. At one moment you see nothing that
indicates a city is near...

AND BOOM! As you come out of the tunnel,
there it is... Breathtaking in my opinion.

So, in some way, I love tunnel vision.

Yet, how often has someone who is
accusing you of being narrow-minded
said that you have "tunnel vision"?

"You only see things one way."
"You are so narrow-minded"

And on some things in this life,
maybe we all need to see it 360.

However, label me narrow-minded...
label me thick headed...
label me as having "tunnel vision"
in all things biblical truth.

Psalm 86:11
"Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name."

Isaiah 35:8
"And a highway will be there;
it will be called the Way of Holiness.
The unclean will not journey on it;
it will be for those who walk in that Way;
wicked fools will not go about on it."

John 14:6
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Matthew 7:14
"But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it."

John 10:7
"Therefore Jesus said again, I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep."

The bible is clear there is a proper way,
gate, path, highway... not only proper
but singular... as in the ONE AND ONLY.

That may seem single minded, narrow minded...
tunnel like... but it's God's truth... and I for
one would rather have a tunnel view of God
instead of a 360 view of everything else.