A humble heart is His home

For thus says the high and exalted One Who lives forever, whose name is Holy, “I dwell on a high and holy place, And also with the contrite and lowly of spirit In order to revive the spirit of the lowly And to revive the heart of the contrite.” – God (Isa. 57:15)

The central truth for the comfort of God’s people is that the infinitely Great One cares even for the infinitely little.” – Charles J. Ellicott

“A humble heart is His throne.” – Thomas Watson

From the highest height (Heaven), to the lowest depth (a sinner’s heart): God is there. His gracious and glorious presence is boundless.

Do & Teach; The Holy Knot

Knot on the ropeMy mom is a retired educator. My wife is an educator in a family of educators. So, I know firsthand the real life of teachers: the extra hours, the out of pocket expense, and the grading papers late at night. They have hilarious & heart-warming stories. Stories of triumph & defeat. Stories of devotion & sacrifice. Stories of life.

I also know firsthand the absolute LOVE they have for education and for the future of “their kids.” You see, they are like family.

I have had many wonderful teachers in my life. However, there is One that stands above them all; the greatest Teacher ever, the Master Teacher: Jesus.

“You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am.” – John 13:13

In Acts 1:1, Luke says that he is writing “of all that Jesus began both to do and teach.Calvin called to do and teach “a holy knot that cannot be untied.”

That’s a teacher, isn’t it? Do and teach. They not only give you the tools, but also show you how to use them! They get right in the trenches with you! They fight with and for you! Teachers get up every morning to inspire, encourage, and challenge.

Eternal wisdom is imparted from Jesus (John 7:16). Every word that falls from His lips instructs and improves. Abide in the teachings of Christ (2 John 1:9)!

Recently a co-worker was talking about how much his mom hated Latin. Yet Latin was never mentioned. The comments were all about the teacher. The teacher made it a bad experience. Ironically, my mother also took Latin… but loved it.

Same subject. Different teacher. You see, a good teacher can even make Latin come alive.

If you love a subject, thank the passion of a teacher. If you excel in a subject, thank the encouragement of a teacher. And in all things, thank the Teacher of us all, Jesus Christ.

Ref: http://biblehub.com/greek/1321.htm


Are You Getting Jesus or the CliffsNotes?


Remember CliffsNotes? I’m not sure if they still even have them now or not. Kids probably just use Google. But anyways for those too young (or for those who actually DID do their homework), CliffsNotes were the abbreviated version of literature classics. If you didn’t read the actual thing, you could buy the CliffsNotes and get the gist of it.

Are you getting Jesus or the CliffsNotes?

“The right understanding of Jesus Christ is essential to understanding many other vital truths, particularly the gospel and salvation. There’s no good news apart from Christ.” – John MacArthur

Let me give you just one verse. It is short and easy: “I and the Father are one.” – John 10:30.

I was at a restaurant once and they poured my Ginger Ale over a ton of ice. I could hardly taste it. It was gross, really. I have harsh words for anyone who waters down the Gospel to make it easier or more user-friendly.  Its gross, really.

MacArthur also admonishes those who make their faith a “private” matter: “If your faith is ‘a private thing,’ it’s not the Christian faith.” I have heard this defense as I’m sure you have too.

Nothing about the Great Commission sounded “private” to me.

“And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among people by which we must be saved [for God has provided the world no alternative for salvation].” – Acts 4:12 (AMP)

Don’t make that private. Make it public!

Don’t settle for an abridged rendition of Jesus. Demand the full version!

Don’t read the CliffsNotes. Read the original!



MacArthur, John. Good News: the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Reformation Trust Publishing, 2018.

Like a Dog Licking Its Master’s Hand

dog licking hand

Jesus commanded us to: Worship the Lord your God, & serve Him only. – Matt. 4:10

In 60 of the 91 occurrences of “worship” in the NT, it is the Greek word proskuneo. It means “to kiss, like a dog licking his master’s hand.” Literally & figuratively, to proskuneo is to fawn over, crouch to, & fall down to kiss the ground before.

Our worship of the Lord is the metaphorical kissing-ground between we (the Bride) and Christ (the Bridegroom).

When my dog, Annie sees me, it doesn’t matter if I’ve been gone for 1 minute or 1 hour – she cannot contain herself! She goes completely spastic: she runs all over the place, she jumps up on me, & yes – she licks my hand. She is so excited, she just about explodes! Just like Olivia Newton John in Grease, Annie is hopelessly devoted to me.

When was the last time we got that excited worshipping our Lord & Savior, Jesus Christ? Are we hopelessly devoted?

– If this post blessed you please like and share!

Ref: http://biblehub.com/greek/4352.htm

Your Sins Have Been FIRED!

Let’s say someone comes up to you, removes your coat, and sends it away. Would you say you still had your coat?

No. It was removed. It was sent away. Literally, the coat is no longer here.

Jesus takes our sins away. (1 John 3:5). When John the Baptist saw Jesus he said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:19)!”

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to FORGIVE US OUR SINS and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. – 1 John 1:9 (Emphasis mine)

Just like that coat; they’re gone. Now, of course we don’t miss the coat or go shopping for new coats, right?

“No one who is born of God [deliberately, knowingly, and habitually] practices sin,” – 1 John 3:9 (AMP)

Therefore, if we repent and turn to Him, Jesus forgives our sins (something only God can do, by the way).

The Greek for “forgive” carries the word picture of discharging something so as to leave.
I note it because:

  • It is so much fun to say: aphiémi (af-ee’-ay-mee).
  • Its roots are apó, “away from” and hiēmi, “send.”
  • Properly then, aphiémi means: send away; release (discharge).
  • By forgiving our sins, Jesus removes them and discharges them.

Therefore, because of Jesus’s wonderful Love & Grace, your sins have been:
Let go; fired, dismissed, sacked, axed, laid-off, and canned. They have been given their “pink slip” and “walking papers.” Like Elvis, your sins have left the building.

  • Stop re-living them.
  • Stop obsessing about them.
  • Stop beating yourself up over them.

Brother and sister, they are not even there! (Heb. 8:12, Rom. 11:27, Mic. 7:19, Psa. 103:12)

To pretend otherwise is to act like you still have that coat on that someone removed from you and sent away.

– If this blessed you, please like & share!

Villain Worship: A Dangerous Culture Shift For Our Children


David Koresh led a cult in Waco, Texas wherein more than 70 men, women, & children died in 1993. Taylor Kitsch will be portraying him in a new 6-part miniseries.

Ted Bundy was a serial killer, rapist, & necrophiliac who murdered numerous young women and girls during the 1970s. Zac Efron is set to star in a new movie about him.

Tonya Harding was a two-time Olympian and Skate America Champion who was stripped of her title and medals when she allegedly conspired to have her competition assaulted in 1994. Margot Robbie is playing her in a new movie.

These are the monsters, people – not the heroes! These are the villains, not the victims!

This culture shift of presenting the bad guys as the good guys is very dangerous, particularly for our children.

Sadly, this is nothing new. Remember Angelina Jolie’s Maleficent (Disney, 2014)? In the original Sleeping Beauty she was a fairy who cursed a newborn to die. In our Post Christian society, she is the misunderstood hero!

There is even a show called Lucifer where the devil is bored of Hell and wants to help humanity by solving crimes. I know that sounds like a joke, but it’s not. Lucifer was nominated in 2016 & 2017 for “Choice TV: Breakout Star, Breakout Show, & Favorite TV Crime Drama” for the Teen Choice Awards. (Teen choice! TEENS are choosing this show!) Lucifer is currently filming its fourth season.

20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! – Isa. 5:20

Here’s why this is dangerous:

Yes, there are good and bad qualities in us all. Each is capable of good and bad. In this sense, we have all at one time been a villain as well as a hero. That much is true. I understand writing more interesting, multi-dimensional, and rounded characters in a story. I understand the concept of an anti-hero (someone who is not the traditional hero and may do bad things for a good purpose, like Batman). I understand offering a more realistic mixture to the stale dichotomy of the Good vs Evil tropes in movies and television.

However, the same cannot be said of our enemy, the devil. He is not multi-dimensional and rounded. He is boringly flat. He is a one-trick pony. He is not an interesting character with many layers. He’s never been the good guy and never will be the good guy.

If a child grows up seeing movies or reading stories where the bad guys are actually kinda good, then it is not too far of a leap for that child to think the same thing about the devil. Maybe he’s not all completely evil like the Bible says. Maybe he’s actually a good guy that’s just misunderstood. Maybe he got a bad rep. Maybe he’s not so bad after all!


  • He is always bad.
  • He is always evil.
  • He is always the villain.

We should never, ever have (like the Rolling Stones song) Sympathy for the devil. If you give him so much as an inch, he will take everything from you (Eph. 4:27)!

He is not the anti-hero. He is the anti-Christ!

There is never a day the devil isn’t trying to get you to doubt God. There is never an instant where he wouldn’t set you up and then pounce on you. The devil doesn’t go on holiday. He doesn’t ever “take it easy” on you. He is always, always, always, monstrously evil.

We know (and he knows) that Satan is going down (Rev 20:7-10). So he’s trying to take as many down with him that he can.

He is trying to convince our youth that bad guys are actually good. Don’t let him.

He’s a sly, sly devil. But his time is almost up.







We Are Torches Ablaze For God


One of the most commonly shared experiences has got to be lighting candles on a birthday cake. You know how it goes: you take one candle & light it. Then you light the other candles with it until they are all lit.

That is exactly how the Holy Spirit ignites our hearts for the Gospel; individually, until we are all burning. Even the smallest candle has the potential to set a whole forest ablaze. That is how Grace grows! LIKE AN INFERNO!

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. – 1 John 1:7

A candle without the Flame is useless. It’s just wax & some string. But the candle ABLAZE becomes powerful (Psa. 18:28). Now it’s a beacon (Matt. 5:14-16). That shift is solely due to the Source: God, who is a consuming fire (Heb. 12:29).

He kindles us (Luke 12:49).

As lanterns for the Gospel we carry the light of God’s truth through this present darkness (Eph. 6:12). A torch cannot help but burn & bear light. Neither can we (John 12:46; 8:12)!

We, the kindled, the ignited, the aflame – spread those sparks into a roaring wildfire.

William L. Watkinson said “It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.” Yelling at the night never did any good. No, we overcome evil with good (Rom. 12:21).

Now, don’t expect the world to like your torch (John 15:18). Don’t expect a Thank-You card & some flowers. No, light DESTROYS darkness. So for them, its self-preservation. Don’t be surprised when the world turns on you. They like it in the dark, can’t stand any light, & don’t want His light cast on their dark. They like to be covered in a blanket of shadows.

This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. – John 3:19

It is the appearance of light that kills darkness. Light douses dark. Darkness can’t extinguish the torch. Never! No, darkness has to flee (John 3:19).

With one word, the darkness is vanquished. That word is JESUS!

If this blessed you, please like & share!

Inspired by: X Ambassadors, “Torches”

Endless Love Given To All

blackwater falls, mrpatvincent, Holy Spirit, patrick vincent
Blackwater Falls, Davis, WV

Did you know one of the Holy Spirit’s roles is to show you how much God loves you?

the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. – Romans 5:5

First, I like that it is 5:5, that’s easy to remember for people like me who are number-aversive (an ailment I just made up but I think is pretty legit).

God has endless love and He desires to pour it into our lives.

That sounds obvious because we take it for granted. Just think, the opposite could equally be true:

  • God has endless hate & He desires to pour hate into our lives.
  • God has endless love yet He is stingy & hoards it.
  • God has limited love & has to be careful to whom He gives it.

No, here’s the reality: ENDLESS LOVE GIVEN TO ALL.

All who come to Him.

The foolish heart that doesn’t come to him obviously cannot receive. God will not force-feed His love to anyone. It is a sign of tremendous love that God allows some hearts to close their mouths tight.

I’ve seen this technique firsthand by Mary with peas. It is very effective.

If she doesn’t want those peas, her lips clamp shut like a steel trap & ain’t nothing prying them open! I want her to have the peas. They are good & good for her. But she has made up her mind. So, no peas!

Is your heart open or closed?

Love is poured into our hearts. Poured like a magnificent waterfall. Why is it that we love to watch waterfalls? Every year we go to Blackwater Falls in Davis, WV. We drive down there just to look at it. The falls are mesmerizing. They are soothing. Even the roaring of the water is pleasant… loud! but, pleasant.

The pouring of God’s love is like that waterfall. It will never run out. It will never be withheld.

The more room in your heart, the more room for God’s love. Is your heart crowded by the cares of this world? How much room is there for God’s love?

The widow’s oil stopped when she ran out of jars (2 Kings 4). If she would have had more jars, she would have received more oil. It’s up to us how much of God’s love gets poured into our hearts. You’ll only get as much as there is room.

It doesn’t end with our heart. We receive to overflowing. We share that overflow with others. At first the Holy Spirit is the Divine Dispenser, but we get to redistribute God’s love too.

Get out there and do it!

Twin Hounds of Heaven

ChasingCar-56a7a34b5f9b58b7d0ec5546You are being followed. You are being stalked. You are being pursued.

Surely goodness & mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever! – Psalm 23:6

Don Fortner calls Goodness and Mercy, “the sweet, twin hounds of heaven” who have been “at our heels all the days of our lives.” Like any good dog, Goodness and Mercy will follow us. They will give us loving faithful companionship. They will lay their heads on our feet. They will curl up wherever we are.

Let me personalized it for you:

  • Goodness & mercy will follow YOU;

“Goodness” (ṭō·wḇ) in Hebrew means beautiful! Beauty will chase you!

“Mercy” (ḥe·seḏ) is my all-time favorite Hebrew word. It means favor, loving-kindness, & covenant faithfulness.[1] Hesed will hunt you down!


How long will Goodness & Mercy stalk you?

  • All the days of YOUR life;

Good days, bad days, & every day in between!

Days when you feel God’s presence.

Days when you do not.

Days when you eat the bear.

Days when the bear eats you.


Where you gonna live?

  • YOU will dwell in the house of the LORD forever;

“I will dwell” is one word in Hebrew (yashab). It means inhabitant. It means you are moving in with no intention of ever leaving. You unpacked your luggage. You made a key. You are home!


Talk about mov’in on up to a deluxe apartment in the sky![2]

(If you aren’t humming that now, you might be dead.)

There is another Hound of Heaven, of course. THE Hound. His name is Jesus. Francis Thompson’s poem passionately describes God’s continuous pursuit of us.[3]


There is a line that always thrills me: “Rise, clasp My hand, and come!”[4]


You can’t outrun Jesus.

He is relentless in His love for you.

He will never stop!

He is forever closing in on you!


Aren’t you tired of running?

Get up, grab His hand, and come!

[1]  http://biblehub.com/hebrew/2617.htm

[2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L09qnRfZY-k

[3] http://www.bartleby.com/236/239.html

[4] https://www.cummingsstudyguides.net/Guides3/hound.html

Church Doesn’t Mean What You Think It Means


Church doesn’t mean what we think it means. If I asked you to describe church, I am 99.9% positive that you would describe a building where Christians worship, right? Well, that’s not what the original word meant. The first time ekklēsía is used is by Jesus:

And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church (ekklēsía) and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. – Matt. 16:18 (NIV)

According to Strong’s (#1577): properly, ekklēsía is people called out from the world and to God, the outcome being the Church.

Read that again: ekklēsía is people. Called out ones belonging to the Lord.

It wasn’t even a religious term. It was a civic one. It described an assembly of people (or soldiers) gathering for a purpose. Did you catch that? It’s the assembly. It’s the gathering. And they are meeting for a purpose.

I could get into the whole etymology of church: the English transliteration of the German kirche (which actually is a building) and how Constantine’s conversion completely shaped our modern liturgy (pageantry that no where resembles the Jerusalem council of Acts 15). But I don’t want to bore you to tears. What I want is to make sure you realize that church is not just four walls and a ceiling. It’s so much more!

We are the Called Out Ones belonging to the Lord. We act as salt & light in the world (Matt. 5:14). When we leave that building (which I totally love by the way), “church” doesn’t stop there! It goes out with us as the hands and feet of Christ. It’s the moving body of Christ (1 Cor. 12).

The church is also the bride of Christ (Eph. 5:22-33). I love my bride. How much more then does Jesus love His? If you ignored my bride or disrespected her, then you and I would have difficulties. It’s a foolish man who mistreats the adored bride of the Son of God.

When we think of church if we just think of a building then we have a very small idea of church.

If you love Jesus, you will also love His bride.