Kids Playing in the Street

icy street 2

The road in front of our house was nothing but ice, so of course Charlotte wanted to go ice skating on it. We were crossing the street & she stopped to play around. I let her do that for a little while, but then I told her to come in. Like any other kid, I had to tell her multiple times before it got through that I was actually serious. Eventually, I had to go get her. For some reason this was all a great surprise to her & she appropriately made a big fuss.

Here’s what WAS going through my head:

  • She’s going to fall on that ice & get hurt.
  • She’s little, so any car coming might not see her.
  • Its icy, so any car coming may have a hard time stopping.
  • It’s cold out here & warm in the house.
  • I have hot chocolate inside ready for her.

Here’s what was NOT going through my head:

  • I don’t want her to have fun.

Someone who has not accepted Jesus, is like that kid playing in the street. There are cars coming. There is ice everywhere. The sun is going down & it is getting dark.

Love isn’t sitting complicit as they are play. Love is warning them to get out!

Of course, we can’t physically go get people out of the street like I did with Charlotte. We lovingly tell them the truth (Eph. 4:15). We tell them how warm the house is & what a wonderful feast there is inside (Isa. 25:6). We tell them how we also used to play in the street until our Father beckoned us safely away (Luke 15:32). We pray that message pierces their hearts as it did ours (Acts 2:37). But then, it is up to them to turn away from the street & to the Father (Deut. 30:19).

You know what? I did go over there & ice skate with Lovey. Sorta. I held her hands as she scooted across the ice. I walked along beside her & held her up. She slipped a few times, but I never let her fall. I just reassured her, “I got you. I got you. Don’t worry.”

Then after a bit, I carried her inside & we had hot chocolate. God will meet you where you are & if you let Him, He will walk along beside you & hold you up. When you slip, He will never let you fall.

He has you (Isa. 49:16). He has you (Heb. 13:5). Don’t worry (Phil. 4:6).

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The Holy Spirit is a Composer

How is the Holy Spirit a Composer?

There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all, – 1 Cor. 12:4-7

“Profit of all” is one Greek word: symphérō meaning “combine in a way that brings a profit.” It is where we get our English word symphony.

So think of it this way: The Holy Spirit is the Composer of a diverse orchestra – us! He takes all these different instruments and creates beautiful music. The symphony of this music is the profit of all.

We all have different gifts, ministries, & activities but the same Spirit. Through His divine power, He turns our clamor into music.

Imagine no maestro! Imagine no direction! All those musicians playing different melodies at different tempos and no leader! It would be chaos, it would be noise, and it wouldn’t profit anyone!

Aren’t you ready to join our orchestra? We have the most lovely Maestro! There are spots available!

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Prayer Does Work!

I know it can be frustrating to pray for something and not receive an answer. Especially when Scripture tells us:

Ask and it WILL be given to you; seek and you WILL find; knock and it WILL be opened to you. – Matt. 7:7 [Emphasis mine]

So what do we do when prayers seem to return unanswered?

Please remember: God does answers prayer. However, the answer may not be the one we think we want, it may not be answered the way we think it should be, and we may never know why this side of eternity.

That’s where faith comes in.

Not always, but lots of the time God answers prayer with Yes, No, or Not Now.

I love my girls but that doesn’t mean I just give them everything they ask me for. That wouldn’t make me a very good father, would it?

If Charlotte asks me to go to the park. My answer is yes. I do some quick assessments that she is totally unaware of & quite frankly doesn’t understand: is it raining? is it too late? does she have shoes on?! (Those are all for HER safety mind you.) Then off to the park we go.

If Charlotte asks me for another ice cream cone. My answer is no. She has no concept of cavities, but I do. It is because I love her & I know that another ice cream cone will most likely upset her stomach. More ice cream will make her more un-happy rather than more happy. Even though she may scream, cry, & think I do not love her – the answer is no.

If Charlotte asks me for a car. (A real one, not a toy one like the pic) My answer is not now. Handing the keys of a car to a 4 year old would make me irresponsible, not loving. She’ll get one when she is mature enough. Also, now that I know what she wants I will start saving & researching. I put actions into motion behind the scenes. It may make her angry today, but the answer is not now.

If Charlotte asks me to go out on a date. My answer is never. That is not a God metaphor, that is just me. (Book, chapter, & verse can be found in Patrick 1:1.)

The Bible overflows with examples of God answering prayer. I’m not going to list them here, but please know this: God is in control of all the factors involved, & He has your safety at heart in every decision He makes.

So even if we pray and it doesn’t seem to work out, that doesn’t mean we stop talking to God (which is really what prayer is).

If my girls only talked to me when they wanted something, that would hurt me. I want them to talk to me all day everyday about everything.

God’s no different.

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Do You Feel Loveless?

Prison bondage Jail

If you feel unloved, not loved, or loveless you are feeling a lie. The TRUTH is you are fiercely, ferociously loved. God is head over heels in love with you (Eph. 1:5).

I know its hard, but try not to think of God in human terms. People are fickle. We can turn from loving to hateful at the drop of a hat. God isn’t fickle like we are. He’s the opposite. He’s constant (Mal. 3:6).

If pains me to think of fellow believers in prisons of their own making.

  • If you think God is constantly disappointed with you, you are in bondage .
  • If you think God is happy with you one moment & upset with you the next, you are in bondage.
  • If you think God’s approval has anything to do with your performance, you are in bondage.

It has nothing to do with you & everything to do with Jesus.

Jesus redeemed you on the Cross (1 Cor. 1:18).  It literally means “buying back what was previously forfeited.”

You can’t redeem yourself. It is because of His sacrifice not because of your service (Eph. 2:8-9).

So let me cut through the lies you may be nursing. You are loved by the LORD. I repeat: GOD LOVES YOU. You are so loved that He did not spare His Son to take your place. Jesus paid a debt He didn’t owe, a debt we could never pay – all because God loves you (John 3:16). You can’t pay for (or earn) this free gift with good works or religious checklists. That would be considered payment for services rendered. No, all you can do is accept it or reject it.

Start from this place. Then go out & do good. However, know full well that doing good has nothing to do with that starting place, but springs forth from it. Go with the TRUTH that you are never unloved, not loved, or loveless (Eph. 3:19).

If this blessed you, please like & share!


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Is Your Life Out of Order?

Out of Order

Ever go to a machine only to see the dreaded, “Out of Order” sign? Great. This one’s out of commission. Now I have to go look for another. There have been many times where that sign could just as easily been placed on my life.

It is so easy to get things out of order.

It is so easy to get priorities all jumbled up.

Get things out of order & your are left with DIS-ORDER.

Left alone, life will get out of order & jumbled up all by itself. It takes work, discipline, & love to keep your life in order.

  • God, Family, Ministry. • J-esus, O-thers, Y-ourself.

The true order of things must, must, MUST have God at the head (Deut. 6:5, John 13:34; 15:17). Otherwise you are as broke-down as the machine with the sign. And equally unusable by God.

  • Not until the wiring gets re-wired.
  • Not until the programming gets re-programed.
  • Not until the jumbled gets un-jumbled.
  • Until then: Move along. Nothing to see here. Out of Order.

Here’s the silver-lining: the Repairman can fix anything. He can put it in working order!

God can come in & show you how the machine is supposed to work. After all, He made it. He has the manual. He can show you which wire is frayed. He can put in new fuses. He can see… (don’t do it, Pat)… if there is… (can’t help myself)… Hecanseeifthereis a screw loose! (*pants*) Sorry, I tried.

The Repairman repairs. If you let Him.

He isn’t an intruder. He won’t Break & Enter. He requires your consent. Please give it! Show Him the mess only He can fix.

I don’t want to be busted & broke-down any more. I don’t want to be un-usable by God. Do you?

God. Family. Ministry. In that order.

Anything else is: Out of order.


And yes, that image is from Wreck-It Ralph –

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God. Family. Ministry.

caution water on road during rain

Will Rogers said “Common sense ain’t common.” A lot of what I preach I feel is just common sense. It doesn’t get any more plain than this: First things first & next things next.

God. Family. Ministry.

Hear, O Israel: Love the LORD your God with all your heart, soul, & strength. – (Deut. 6:5)

This is to be on our hearts: Jesus first. Everything else second.

What that means: The greatest thing I could do for _______ is to love Jesus.

  • Love Jesus more than your spouse. The greatest thing I could do for my spouse is to love Jesus.
  • Love Jesus more than your kids. The greatest thing I could do for my kids is to love Jesus.
  • Love Jesus more than your life. The greatest thing I could do for my life is to love Jesus.
  • Love Jesus more than your career or school. The greatest thing I could do for my career or school is to love Jesus.
  • Love Jesus more than your stuff.
  • Love Jesus more than the Bible, the Cross, the Church, or your ministry.

What that doesn’t mean: Do not love _______.

It doesn’t mean do not love your spouse, kids, life, career, school, stuff, the Bible, the Cross, the Church, or your ministry.

Absolutely love your spouse, kids, life, career, school, stuff, the Bible, the Cross, the Church, & your ministry.

Just, love God more than & above these things. That is the God-appointed order of the universe.

The devil wants this order re-ordered. Believe it or not, he is even happy with Family, God, Ministry (a mistake many Christians make)! Any list with God not first tickles the enemy pink.

Whatever is first on your list is your god. Is it work? Is it your kids? Is it yourself? If so, the devil is grinning ear to ear.

Smack that grin off his face! Make common sense common again!

Hear, O America: Love the LORD your God with all your heart, soul, & strength. – (Deut. 6:5… sorta)


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Ain’t No Shotgun Wedding

Jesus loves you and wants you to love Him, but He won’t make you. He won’t force you. This ain’t no shotgun wedding.
If God wanted to override our programing and make us love Him, He could, but we ain’t robots. He didn’t make robots. He made us with the built-in function of deciding for ourselves. (Oftentimes at our own peril.)

“This day I call the heavens & the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life & death, blessings & curses. Now choose life, so that you & your children may live.” – Deut. 30:19

God loves you so much that He allows you to pick who you will love. Would if be true love if there was a gun pointed at your back? Would you accept the love of someone who had no other choice? Of course not. It wouldn’t be sincere. It wouldn’t be real. It would be fake. Ain’t nobody love fake.

God included.

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