The Significance of the Cup


photo by hoyasmeg via PhotoRee

In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you. __Luke 22:20 (NIV)

On the eve of the Passover feast, Christ, the Lamb of God, shared a last supper with His disciples. One of them would betray Him. Before dawn, the others would desert Him and one of them—Peter, the Rock—would deny Him. [Read more…]

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“Come, Let Us Adore Him!”


photo by Infinity Rain via PhotoRee

When my son Mark was in the third grade, his teacher assigned a series of “Famous People” reports. Over the course of the year, each student researched and reported on three famous people who have had an impact on history or culture. [Read more…]

“Jacked Up”


I encourage you to read about the October Synchroblog theme “Down We Go” by clicking this link  before continuing to read this post.  Please explore the links to other bloggers participating in the October Synchroblog (at the bottom of this post).  Those links will allow you to “listen in”,  follow and comment on the “cyber-conversation” as other bloggers participate in writing about this month’s topic. The October challenge seems like a gigantic, multi-tiered party cake! Who knows what’s under the icing? If we take one slice at a time we’ll surely taste something of the Lord Jesus Christ in each writer’s portion.

photo by prpmbd1050 via PhotoRee

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Masquerade! Hide your face, so the world will never find you!” (Lyrics from Phantom of the Opera)

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It didn’t start in the age of  Dear Abby and Ann Landers.  Of course we want to think Dr. Ruth or Dr. Phil can somehow silence that “inner voice” which tells us there’s something wrong with us and we need to “get our act together” before everyone finds out.  I suspect it all started long before advice columnists in newspapers…before newspapers…before the printing press…just…”before”.  Perhaps it started with two naked people and some fig leaves—two people who were silly enough to think God would never find them?  Wherever it started , “it” is definitely there.  Yes…it must have started long, long ago.  I think Jesus may have been commenting on our “advice columnist” mentality with that remark about getting the beam out of my own eye before I presume to help you with the speck in yours. The knowledge that we lack “put togetherness” is behind the invention of masks and advice columns, you know. “Truth”. (High Five…or whatever cool people do…Amen?) [Read more…]

Like Living Stones


As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him—you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. __1 Peter 2:4-5 NIV

Why, after nearly 2000 years, don’t more people who profess to follow Christ look more like Christ? Could it be because church-as-they-know-it has failed to teach them how Jesus sees the Church-as-He-builds-it?
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“Here…by the Water”


Today is the Lord’s Day, and I pray it finds you in Him! 

Friday past, I experienced anticipation and great excitement over the direction my writing appears to be taking as we continue with the water-metaphor of the River and “go with the flow” toward THE STORY—the Whole Story—and prepare to consider His “temple of living stones”.

Today, I hope you will take time to listen to one of my favorite songs, as performed by Steve Bell.  A link for the lyrics is shown below the embedded video. Please play this song more than once and meditate upon the layers of meaning in the symbols of “water” and “stones”. We will be taking a look at the symbolism—and the reality—connected with those metaphors from the Bible for the next few days. There is so much here!  We may stay—in total dependence upon Him—by the River and IN the River for… days?

Or maybe eternity?. [Read more…]

Do God’s People Today Know THE STORY?


Yesterday, I asked you to envision The River .  There is nothing new or profound in the use of “water” for describing the things of the Spirit or the Life that is ours in Christ in metaphorical terms.  And yet…even though we “get it” when we hear the story about Jesus and the woman at the well—of course, HE is the stream of Living Water—do we really get it?. [Read more…]

The River: a Metaphor


I have never had a “vision”.

Never—if you think a “vision” means one must actually see something appear visually in time and space before the eyes.

Being of a literary background, I do often envision—through metaphor, simile and imagery—thoughts and ideas about Christ and His Kingdom. Sometimes, puzzled, I find my metaphors to be as “mixed” as those Paul used when he sought to convey a vision to the churches he had planted. I would like to share an “envisioning” that has visited me of late. Perhaps you will share your thoughts as well. [Read more…]

I’m Stumped, But…


I’m “stumped”. I have no idea what I’m supposed to write today for you to read tomorrow. And it will be “today” when you read what I wrote “yesterday”, which was where I am “today” when…nevermind.  I’ve been spending time catching up on the blogs other saints have written over the past week. I’ve been praying. I’ve read a few pages of Leonard Ravenhill. I’ve scoured a few Psalms and turned to John’s Gospel. There is so much I could write, but not today. Because, I’m still “stumped”.

I would love to think I’m never supposed to run out of “ideas”, that I should always be able to find something to paste in the blank white box in the “Add New Post” screen.  In an effort to remind myself of the “supply side” of Kingdom economics, I even went back and read what I wrote in my earlier post, Why Zarephath?. The only inspiration I found was the reminder that “things run out”. I’ve already written a response to the reality of that in that post, and yet I’m still clueless. What goes in the blank white box today? I’m not out of “ideas”—just out of ideas for something that seems appropriate to share with you today.

Frustrated…stuck somewhere between What am I going to publish at 6 AM tomorrow? and What dish shall I prepare to share with tonight’s gathering?… buffeted by demands that accompany the soon-opening of school and minor work assignments my self-employed spouse issued before the red pickup truck roared away toward Places-Known-but-Days-Unknown, I consider one option:

“This page of the Kingdom is closed until further notice!”

The Spirit says, “Don’t you dare!” Then, I realize I do have an idea—one so “simple” it shames all my paltry wisdom. Resting here in my “place of total dependence on Him”, it comes to me, like a Wind-borne whisper: [Read more…]

Let the Wind Fill the Sails!


My friend Jim Martin wrote a book a few years ago entitled Immersed.  He chose the heading “set sail” for one of the chapters, in which he reminisced about hearing the Ray Boltz song “Set Sail” for the first time.

Set sail! The Captain’s calling. It’s time to climb on board. Set sail! There’s room for all and there’s such a great reward. Theres’ not a chance you can fail. Set sail!

Apparently, Jim had a what I call a “song headache” for quite a while after the meaning of those words registered. Months after first hearing the song, he wrote in Immersed: [Read more…]

Setting Sail for Deeper Waters


“I believe we are leaving the day of the ordained and ushering in the day of the ordinary. It is a time when common Christians will do uncommon deeds because God delights in using weak and foolish things to shame the world. Do not settle for a lesser life. If you start on this journey and set sail for deeper waters, you will come under attack. You will join the ranks of those that the enemy cannot ignore, and he will fight against you with unfair tactics.” __Neil Cole (Organic Church)

Last week, as I wrote about the prophets of the Old Testament and proceeded to look at the role prophets play in the church, an old memory floated to the surface of my mind. In my youth, I heard an older relative make a remark about a gentleman in our community whose passion for the things of God was well known. This gentleman—we’ll call him Sam—sought every opportunity to worship and serve, even opening his home on Saturday nights for “cottage prayer meetings”.  He was constantly exhorting and encouraging people to seek revival. When someone commented to my relative about Sam’s fervent belief in the Lord’s soon return , she shook her head and answered, “I love Sam to death, and he’s a fine man! But now, I just don’t believe in human prophets!”
[Read more…]