Wednesday, October 30, 2013


Today in Morning Prayer, Jesus begins and ends with the word, “Listen.”

3 And Jesus told them many things in parables, saying: "Listen! A sower went out to sow.
4 And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up.
5 Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. 6 But when the sun rose, they were scorched;
and since they had no root, they withered away. 7 Other seeds fell among thorns,
and the thorns grew up and choked them. 8 Other seeds fell on good soil
and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
9 Let anyone with ears listen!" Matthew 13:3-9 (NRSV)

His story speaks of different spiritual attitudes. The Resister (rocky soil.) The Fair Weather Follower (no root,) the Choker (among thorns,) and Multiplier (good soil.)

Those who listen to Christ on a regular basis and APPLY his ways do the impossible (one hundredfold.) Listening and hearing are not the same. Even an atheist hears the words of Christ from time to time. True listening requires taking in the words and acting upon them.

Noise keeps us from listening. Faith and filtering go together. I cannot listen to God if I take in everything.

A disciple, one whose life consistently exceeds his or her circumstances, develops the art of filtering out noise.

Today, filter.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Show Me Jesus

Some Greeks came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him,
“Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” John 12:21 (NRSV)

Is that too much to ask? That is, people unfamiliar with the Church want to see this living Jesus. See him, not hear about him. I think people are hungry to experience a Lord and Savior. 

What if all we did was to point every ounce of Sunday morning (and beyond) into people experiencing Jesus firsthand in us and through us? I bet it would be a different world. 

Maybe the “rest” does not matter and certainly should not be in the driver’s seat. People may not be hungry for pews or stained glass or right thinking or hipsters in black rimmed glasses and skinny jeans or trendy programs. I bet they yearn to see Jesus. Nothing less satisfies.

What stands in the way of you (and your church) giving Jesus to them? What will you do about it?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Dear God

Sorry I missed you. Hate to just leave a note. It seems like we are two ships that pass in the night. I am very busy. Guess you know that, don’t you?

Anyway, I have been meaning to get to that Bible and to worship you on Sunday. I do throw a prayer your way on the way to work, though. So many other distractions and priorities. I am sure you understand.  I don’t know who to say, “No” to. I just can’t get to you now. Someday.

Someday soon, I will have time for you. Promise. (Unless you want to make a 26 hour day, huh?)


Your Child

Imagine if your child left you this note. How would it feel? How true is it for you?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013



If you were in church this past Sunday, you might have been as disturbed by God as I was. We read this.

Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper. Jeremiah 29:7

The context of what God spoke through Jeremiah is this. The People of God chose to ignore God’s admonition to return to godly (holy) living. You see, God’s People had gotten lazy and took their choosiness as entitlement and quit caring about acting rightly with others and with God. The People of God did what felt good to them. And they lost everything (as God predicted) and went to live under their conquerors.

Then God says, “Help your conquerors flourish. Pray for them. Your destiny is tied up with them. Even though they brought you low, you now must work with them. This is Plan B. Remember; you chose to thumb your nose at plan A.” “By the way, this will take a while. No quick fixes.”

Today, we are the People of God. We often do what feels good and, while we tip our hat to God a lot, don’t take God too seriously by changing the trajectory of our lives as a result of the freedom Christ gives us. We elect people who “hope other elected officials fail.” We turn a blind eye to the hunger, homelessness and lack of healthcare in our own backyard. And we are fearful an angry a lot.

Sounds like Jeremiah is speaking to us.

I wonder if we should listen and act?

Thursday, October 3, 2013


Ask almost any person how things are going, they will say, “Busy.” “Busy” is a proud badge we wear to show we matter, that we are important. “Busy” is a badge we wear because we cannot say, “No” to others. “Busy” is a badge we wear because we have not asked (or, maybe, listened to) what God has in store for us in order to live abundantly. We become busy because we have no way to sort out that which God says is unnecessary to our mission in life. The choices we would have to make to not be busy would be hard but fulfilling.

What needs to be pruned in your life? Who can you ask to help you with this? What do you fear that keeps you from pruning?

"Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it. For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it. "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles? In the same way, every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will know them by their fruits. "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. Matthew 7:13-21 (NRSV)