I started out my Fathering blog with this quote from “Transformation of the Inner Man” – “ If the father has truly lived the Way in Christ; it is easy for a son to do the same; if the father has not, our Lord will first have to overcome and bring to death in the son what the father was.” This is a necessary work of Christ to release the negative effects that our fathers had on us. One of the things Anne and I were contending for in that blog was that in our quest for holiness and cleansing and sanctification, the Holy Spirit will at times have us revisit the way we were fathered, and especially the negative effects from the way we were fathered. Continue reading Fathering Blog Follow Up
“If the father has truly lived the Way in Christ; it is easy for a son to do the same; if the father has not, our Lord will first have to overcome and bring to death in the son what the father was.” John & Paula Sanford, p.99, “Restoring the Christian Family”
God has always been about producing a people among whom He could dwell, and through whom His will and ways and person could be manifested. His intentions began to be revealed in a known and clear way first to Abraham, as seen initially in Genesis chapter 12.
While there were a handful of things that God promised to do for and through Abraham, it all started with making him into “a great nation” (vs. 2). This idea of a nation in God’s mind was not a political entity as much as it was a relational entity. A relational entity or a people through whom “all the families of the earth will be blessed.” (vs. 3). Continue reading Restoring The Truth About Fathering
In my first study on cleansing posted on March 10th, I sought to establish a couple of important truths. First that our wonderful Savior performed an initial cleansing and washing in each of us when we were born again by the Spirit of God. For instance, in Acts 15:9, Peter testifies of Christ’s saving and cleansing work among the Gentiles, “and He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith.” Second, that He continues to cleanse and purify His church until we are forever with Him.
Then in my second study posted on April 8th, I sought to establish that we have an active role to play in the ongoing cleansing work of Christ. In 2 Corinthians 7:1, Paul exhorts, “Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” Continue reading Getting Cleansed Part I
At first glance, “Dying to Know” might convey that there is some new or cutting edge field of knowledge that I am pursuing to enable me to be more effective. But in fact the opposite is true.
God by His grace in recent months has opened my eyes and helped me come to terms with the fact that my sense of the “need to know” has become an entanglement that has actually prevented me from effectively fulfilling my calling and ministry. Continue reading Dying to Know
“I must take care above all that I cultivate communion with Christ, for though that can never be the basis of my peace – mark that – yet it will be the channel of it.” Charles H. Spurgeon
In my last blog post I shared about some of the lessons I was learning about the call to oneness with my wife. One of the major ways grace has been coming to us in this season in our marriage is by increasing our oneness and intimacy with Christ, and that, through the use of a variety of devotionals. (Devotionals are books or daily emails that were written for the express purpose of helping us go deeper in our walk with God). That’s what I want to share about in this post.
As the Holy Spirit has been unraveling some of the subtle sin patterns that have enabled me to be so busy in the kingdom, and yet lose my passion for the King (and my passion for personal godliness and holiness), I have discovered anew the great value of devotionals in stimulating my passionate pursuit of the King of kings and Lover of all lovers. Continue reading A Rediscovery of Devotionals!
So I’ve discovered again of late how “oneness challenged” I am in the flesh…..Jesus once in the context of a discussion about divorce reminded His hearers of what God’s original intention was regarding marriage. Quoting Moses in Gen. 2:24, Jesus “answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?
One flesh speaks of sexual, emotional, spiritual, mental and relational oneness. Two very diverse people of opposite genders laying down their rights, their self focus, their independence, and pursuing together oneness, harmony and unity in every area of life. Continue reading Oneness Challenged
June 10, 2017
“I cannot imagine a greater motivation to pray than that God enjoys having me in His presence. He enjoys my company.” R.T. Kendall
The first time I ever remember hearing about the value or the practice of a daily quiet time with God was probably in my first or second year of high school. To play with one or more of the four sons of this godly couple down the street from me, I had to often interact with their mother. One day she gave me a booklet published by Intervarsity Christian Fellowship called “The Quiet Time”, and asked me to read it. Miraculously I did read it and then gave it back to her. She asked me what I thought. I replied it was great. She then said, well then now you need to practice it. For the next four years I rarely did. I had one foot still largely in the world at that time in my life, and the discipline of starting my day with God (or even ending it with Him) just never kicked in. Continue reading My Journey with Daily Quiet Times
June 8, 2017
“By judging others we blind ourselves to our own evil and to the grace which others are just as entitled to as we are.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship
One of the skills I developed early in life is that of judging others. Whether it was a friend or relative or neighbor or fellow student or teacher or coach or leader in our church or a leader in government, if they had a fault, I was sure to find it. I could even identify their motives and the state of their hearts – hidden as that was to the naked eye! And I especially specialized in making sure someone around me knew of my latest insights into someone else’s character (or lack of).
Sadly that skill (or vice actually) is at an all time fever pitch in our culture today. Our cable networks even pay people to do it daily as a profession. Few seem able or willing to grasp the seriousness of the poison they are spewing, much less the seriousness of the judgment they are bringing upon themselves as a result of their own unrighteous judgment. Continue reading Fleeing from Unrighteous Judgment
This morning after my time with the Lord, I checked my emails, the weather, and a smattering of news headlines from a few sources including charismanews.com. Therein was an article entitled, “16 Million Reasons People Are Leaving California by the Millions.” I suppose much of what Mr. Snyder wrote was true or possible (e.g. massive earthquake and tsunami coming some day), but I question the wisdom or purpose of such an article. I’m sure it had nothing to do with the potential additional sales of his latest book referred to in the article.
But my purpose of this blog post is not to criticize his article. It is rather to celebrate the Romans 11:4 reality that the living God has “…Kept for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” The context of that amazing revelation is God’s response to the prophet Elijah, who had lost all hope and faith in God’s ability to finish and preserve what He started with His chosen people Israel. Against all odds and so many attempts by evil governments and armies to wipe Israel out, they continue to thrive today physically; and their spiritual revival is soon to follow.
And the same can be said about the body of Christ in California. Yes our State is self destructing in many ways, and the worst may still come, but God in His amazing grace and power has called many thousands of His sons and daughters to dig our heels in and unite together to see “His glorious kingdom come and His will done” here in all its fullness before Jesus returns.
Last night Anne and I gathered with 33 others of our fellowship (most under age 35) (see pic above) at my son’s house for a night of worship and prayer. Every time when we thought their living room, dining room and kitchen were maxed out with people, someone else would walk in the door.
Extravagant praise filled the house with children wandering to and fro. Testimonies of God moving and working were shared at points; sometimes demonstrations of Him moving and working were evident in our midst. I know these kinds of gatherings are happening all over the world and are on the increase.
So to all of those who live in the cities of America or Israel or Nepal or Sumatra who know and walk with God, and who have discerned and submitted to His calling to dig your heels in and focus on what He is doing and saying in your city or State, rather than focusing on all the doomsday prophets – – I have one thing to say – “You are the salt of the earth and the light of the world.” And I am very proud and thankful to be counted among you today.
At some point this last week I felt led to go find in my office my copy of “Revival Fire” by Wesley Duewel sensing my own need for “revival fire” to be stirred up in my spirit. God has done some amazing things in this country that at a number of times in its history seemed bent on self destruction. Wesley does a great job of chronicling many of these revivals and awakenings as well as the significant ones in other nations. I struggled over which account to record for you. What struck me about the one I chose is first it was mostly layman led and inspired; and second Wesley speaks twice of an “unusual spirit of prayer” as he lays out his account of what some call “The Layman’s Prayer Revival”. Might this be the year when this “unusual spirit of prayer” is rediscovered in America? I hope you are stirred as I was by what God did in such a short time through ordinary men and women. May He do it again in our day. Continue reading An Unusual Spirit of Prayer
January 26, 2017
When I was a child, we could be pretty self righteously brutal to our friends whom we caught lying. I’m not clear on whether I first heard the saying, “Liar, liar pants on fire” from one of them, or if I first heard it among my children and their friends when one of them was caught lying. Either way this many years later that little saying was was more on target than we realized.
There is an epidemic of lying going on in our national conversation, most obvious among those we have to listen to the most (e.g. media personalities, government officials, and ex government officials), but it certainly is not limited to them. Continue reading “Liar, Liar Pants on Fire”
Dear Squire & anyone else that wants to listen in,
Thanks for your thoughtful response to my facebook post today. As you have probably discovered by now, I rarely allow myself to get into debates or elongated conversations on facebook.
But in your case, since I so appreciate your zeal for knowledge and your sincere interest in politics and the welfare of our nation, I’m going to make an exception, but in the form of a blog post if you don’t mind.
As to President Obama’s farewell speech on Tuesday, it has been duly noted by another that he mentioned the word “republic” once, and the word “democracy” and its variants no less than 25 times. This pattern is pretty much in keeping with his tenure as our President over these last 8 years and in my view is not accidental. Continue reading Republic or Democracy are We?
While there have been at least a couple of times in CA history where great moves of God here powerfully affected our nation and the nations (i.e. Azusa Street revival 1906-1915 & Jesus Movement in the 70’s), most of the time in between our influence for godlessness and lawlessness has been more noteable or more visible, and thus a source of great dismay to many on the outside looking in, and to some of us on the inside.
I want to say this morning that things are not always as they seem. Much more is going on for the kingdom of Christ in this State than is readily evident. And I have every reason to believe it is going to continue and increase. For instance: Continue reading Seeing the Unseen in CA
Because truth has such a transforming effect on the lives of Jesus followers, Satan is always trying to pervert or corrupt it. A great or sad example of that is how he has sought to pervert and twist the wonderful truths regarding the blood of Jesus. There is a whole genre now of movies and T.V. shows that are obsessed with blood,… anyone’s but Jesus’s that is.
I guess that is your right if you work in Hollywood. But to be a disciple of Jesus, you must learn to relish and cherish the blood of Jesus. Jesus made this starkly clear in John 6:53, where He is quoted as saying, “….Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves.” Continue reading The Blood of Jesus
January 2016 marked a new slice of life and ministry for me. For the first time in my 22 years in ministry here in Los Osos at that time, I started teaching our World Changers class once a month. My amazing wife has poured out her life for our children’s ministry for all these years. But I stayed next door with the youth and adults all these Sunday mornings. I tell you this to say – I’m not sure what these elementary aged children have learned from me over these last ten months, but I have learned a lot. And one of the most significant lessons I’ve ever learned about God came through preparing a lesson for these kids back in late May I believe.
Allow me to provide some background. Anne and I began our first ever Sabbatical (3 month period of refreshment and renewal and withdrawl from all ministry) June 1st 2015. We put together a five and a half week road trip that began with a beeline towards Redding, CA to hang out with the world renown Bethel Church for that weekend. We attended everything we could Friday evening, Saturday morning and afternoon, and Sunday morning. And repeatedly I heard from various staff the annoying phrase, “God is in a good mood.” Overall our time there was very refreshing and helpful, but that repeated phrase bugged me. Continue reading Knowing God as a Happy God
INTRODUCTION – I have two amazing brothers. My older brother Danny loves nature and wildlife – especially birds and deer, which he is constantly taking pictures of. My younger brother Billy loves nature and wilfdlife, especially deer and turkey and fish, which he regularly hunts with bows and guns and fishing rods.
While both of them see the value of nature and wildlife, thankfully both of them see that the value of humans is far greater as evidenced by their care and concern for many people in their spheres of influence. Continue reading The Value of Man vs. Animals
October 10, 2016
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God unto salvation for those who believe….” Romans 1:16
Last night after watching the first 30 minutes of the Presidential debate, I left the TV room where my Dad was stationed, and headed for my bedroom to read and pray before I went to bed. 30 minutes was enough to greatly sober me, but not depress me. For I had experienced something yesterday morning that renewed my hope in the one thing that can and will make a difference in our very broken (as in screwed up “broken”) nation.
Several months ago my daughter asked if I would accompany her and Emmeline (her one year old daughter) to Knoxville for a short trip so my parents and clan could meet her. Her husband couldn’t get off work, and navigating 3 flights (both ways) with a one year old alone was not a pleasant thought to her. So we arrived around 11:45 Saturday night. And by 10:00 Sunday morning my mother and I were sitting in the church sanctuary of the Good Samaritan Church of Hope (not to be confused with the Good Samaritan Episcopal church in Knoxville).
Continue reading Hope Renewed!
December 14, 2013
Lots of talk, debate, confusion and general angst these days about healthcare in general and Obamacare in particular. This post has been rattling about in my small brain for some time now as I continue to follow the public conversation, and deal with my own health related issues, and those of others I minister to here on the Central Coast of CA.
Anne and I are not facing any significant health issues personally of late. But we were one of those couples that received a letter some months ago from Anthem Blue Cross, whom we have had our medical insurance through for almost 20 years, stating that our monthly payment would be going from $403.00 a month to over $1,200.00 a month in January 2014 – if we choose to stay with Anthem Blue Cross and go with the policy or plan they are suggesting for us – in light of the “Affordable” Care Act kicking in. Continue reading Knowing God as our Healer
August 24, 2016
Actually I’m not, but I used to receive emails and snail mails that began that way about the latest evil or unjust or unconstitutional thing one or more of our government officials just did. And the implication and hope was that I would also be outraged, and take their recommended action.
Now I’m not making light of some of the awful things some of our government officials have done. But the last thing in the world I need is someone encouraging me or giving me license to be outraged. Continue reading Owning up to and Overcoming Anger
Several Thursday afternoons ago I joined with some other folk from around the Central Coast to pray for an hour in front of Planned Parenthood in San Luis Obispo for an end to the tragic practice of abortion, and all of the wrong thinking and attitudes that lead to an abortion, and especially the evil, heartless greed of the abortion industry. I hadn’t been there five minutes, and an employee of P.P. walked out rather hurriedly and uttered these words at us as he kept walking across the street, “Why don’t you people get a life. C’mon this is America! Quit hassling people.”
The utter irony of such a comment from an employee of Planned Parenthood – our nation’s greatest abortion mill by far – didn’t go undetected. “Life” of course is why Catholic and Protestant men, women, young people and children have been signing up in droves to participate in the “40 Days for Life” campaign – held in 306 different places around the world this fall in all kinds of weather and in all kinds of neighborhoods – enduring sometimes far worse persecution and hostility than this. Continue reading “Getting a life” in America Today – Oct. 14, 2013
“No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says: He is always convinced that it says what he means.” George Bernard Shaw
One of the big differences in California and TN or TX is most people own at least one Bible in TN & TX, but typically don’t read them. Here many people don’t even own one. Of course, like in TN & TX, folk here often think they’ve read it, and have strong opinions on what they think it says.
So sometimes when in conversation with folks here on the Central Coast of California, I will ask them what they think the greatest sin is.
Now to be fair, the Bible doesn’t explicitly say what the greatest sin is. My personal opinion is it is breaking the greatest commandment. But most people – in fact everyone so far – has leaned more towards symptomatic sins or the variety of sins (like adultery) that result from committing the greatest sin (in my opinion). So I usually have to quote for them what the greatest commandment is to then hopefully be able to explain why breaking it is the greatest sin. Continue reading The Greatest Sin & The Greatest Commandment – January 2014
While hundreds of thousands (many of whom are adult educated women) march in Washington, D.C., San Francisco, and other cities today to mourn the tragic U.S. Supreme Court decision infamously known as Roe vs. Wade, I thought I would post some quotes on the subject by women…starting with a former abortionist
“I got to where I couldn’t stand to look at the little bodies anymore”. -Dr. Beverly McMillan, former abortionist
Sorrow, quite apart from the sense of shame, is exhibited in some way by virtually every woman for whom I performed an abortion, and that’s 20,000 as of 1995. The sorrow is revealed by the fact that most women cry at some point during the experience… The grieving process may last from several days to several years… Grief is sometimes delayed… The grief may lie sublimated and dormant for years. -Dr. Susan Poppema, abortionist Continue reading Women Who See Life in the Womb Differently – 1/19/14
“I think people need to be educated to the fact that marijuana is not a drug. Marijuana is an herb and a flower. God put it here. If He put it here and He wants it to grow, what gives the government the right to say that God is wrong? Willie Nelson
I understand some are referring to this Sunday’s Super bowl as the “Marijuana Bowl” for two reasons: First, both Colorado (Denver Broncos) and Washington State (Seattle Seahawks) have legalized marijuana (the only two states thus far). Second, Pot enthusiasts are hoping to make their case that smoking marijuana is actually less dangerous than drinking, and thus that SuperBowl commercials should not promote alcohol drinking to the extent that they typically do.
Sadly many people watching these commercials and engaging in this debate are totally oblivious to a an option that is far greater than either alcohol or marijuana, and that option is getting hooked on, or better – being filled by the Holy Spirit.
This post is not an anti marijuana smoking or an anti alcohol drinking post as much as it is a very pro pursuing the fullness of the Holy Spirit post. I doubt there will be commercials on this – this Sunday, so I thought I would make my pitch via blogging. Continue reading Superbowls, Marijuana & the Holy Spirit – 1/28/14
Where men are the most sure and arrogant, they are commonly the most mistaken, and have there given reins to passion, without that proper deliberation and suspense, which can alone secure them from the grossest absurdities.
DAVID HUME, Essays, Literary, Moral, and Political
I’ve had this article or word in my spirit for quite some time now. Have attempted a couple of times to express it, and each time come up short. Going for it regardless today…
For perhaps the last 35 years or so I have observed, prayed for and participated in two major and what were supposed to be (in the minds of our founding fathers) complimentary institutions in our nation = the church and government. Both are facing challenges today that we are woefully ill prepared and ill equipped to face on our own. Continue reading Accessing Amazing Grace in Our Needy Nation – 11/20/14
Starting this Thursday afternoon at 5:30 p.m., nine of our area congregations will be joining together to host a 3 night event at our local Middle School Soccer field. Because of its Christian nature, one of our citizens has called our local Nazarene church to express their displeasure at our breaking the ironclad law in our Constitution of “Separation of Church and State”. Sadly – one of the greatest evidences of how uneducated our general populace is (regardless of degrees they may hold) is that so many believe this phrase is in our Constitution.
Typically what folks who get hot and bothered about this are referring to is the First Amendment to the Constitution, which simply states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” The words “separation”, “church,” or “state” are not found in the First Amendment, the Constitution, or in any other official founding document. And yet many believe all of these words are found in the First Amendment – largely because someone they trusted said it was in the First Amendment; and because they failed to ever actually read our constitution for themselves. Continue reading Church & State – – Separated?? April 14, 2014