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…]

How Low Can We Go?


This post is part of the October Syncrhoblog “Down We Go” .  Please check the Synchroblog link for an explanation. 

When Mary Tudor ascended the throne of England, the monarchy reverted to the Roman Catholic faith. John Bradford was one of the Reformers imprisoned in the Tower of London for his faithfulness to the Church of England.  Seeing some fellow-prisoners marched off to their execution, Bradford is said to have observed “There, but for the grace of God, goes John Bradford.”

Bradford himself soon joined the ranks of the martyred in the Reformation narrative.  Though some have doubted the attribution of the saying, There but for the grace of God go I lives on in the English language as a pious cliche warning against viewing the less fortunate, the fallen, the needy, and the weak with pitiless contempt. [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?
[Read more…]

“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…]

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…]

A “Heretic’s Apologetic”—Not an Apology!


Curiosity  got the better of a friend who said, “I like your blog. You seem to be well-grounded in Scripture (she must mean My Other Other Blog).  But…why do you call yourself a ‘heretic’?”

Off the cuff, “It’s a JOKE.”  Serious answer—it’s really NOT a joke.

I’ve spent my entire life living in the Bible Belt.  A lot of folks here will actually tell you, “You’re going to go to hell if you don’t go to church!” To their mind, it seems, you can have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and be knowledgeable about Scripture, but if you don’t “belong to” or “go to” a “church-as-they-know-it”, you’re going to hell. In the Bible Belt, if you don’t “go to church”—in some cases that means every time the door opens—you risk being branded a “backslider”.  I commit “heresy” by challenging their traditional view of church-as-they-know-it.
[Read more…]

It’s Time to Make the devil Unhappy!


I contemplated splitting today’s article into two parts, but I’m hoping to wrap this series up on Friday!  It’s really time to put the topic of performance-based religion away and focus all the attention on the One with Whom we have a relationship.  So, please bear with me…or skip it and come back in a few days. But please don’t forget: performance-based religion kills relationship and makes the devil extremely happy!

[Read more…]