Saturday, December 05, 2009


Like many former players, I grew up not having a relationship with my dad. When I arrived at Florida State to play for Coach Bowden (class of 1987), I was a young man trying to figure out what it meant to be a man. I did what I thought men do in college...
It seemed that every time I was looking in one direction for the meaning of life in college, Coach Bowden would boldly demonstrate something completely different. He seemed to have no concern about what others thought concerning his views on life. He was going to be true to his convictions no matter how adamant the protest.
It was not unusual for Coach Bowden to bring in well known speakers such as Billy Graham to come and speak to the team. He didn't seem to care that most of us lived diametrically opposed to the message they would bring.
Typically during Bowl week, Coach Bowden would make it mandatory for the whole team to attend the FCA Breakfast. Many would come in hung-over resenting having to be there. That didn't stop him.
I recall one day, while the team was huddled by the tree, Coach Bowden speaking to us like he did most everyday before practice. Yet, on this particular day, Coach Bowden decided to talk to us about life; "Men," I recall him saying, "Do you know what fornication is?" We snickered, "Do we ever!" My friends and I laughed it off as yet another one of those quirky Bowden moments.
While Coach Bowden was determined to make us champions on the field, he was equally determined to make us champions off the field. I was not one who bought into his off the field philosophies, I was with the other group if you know what I mean.
Yet, when my dreams came crashing down and my pride was bruised and hope shattered, I was desperate for answers for my life. It was then, while sitting in the locker room of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (no I didn't make it :-), that all these crazy things that Coach Bowden said and did came flooding into my mind. Not having a clue what it really meant to be a man at peace, I cried out that day for answers. It was then, 21 years ago, that I encountered the God that Coach Bowden demonstrated and spoke of.
I am forever grateful! Because of Coach Bowden's quirky boldness and odd conviction for life, I can now be a man of similar conviction and passion. I am now able to be a faithful husband and a loving father to my four amazing children.
We all know that coach Bowden is a legendary coach, and many players would concur that Coach Bowden was like a father/grandfather to many of the fatherless. Yet even more than that, Coach Bowden is an ambassador of the living God, and his life and conviction for truth has brought life and purpose to many.
I can count over a dozen x-players that I personally know, who are now living lives wholeheartedly devoted to the purposes of God, and each would say that coach Bowden had something to do with it.
There was a day, a year or so after I finished at FSU, that I decided to write Coach Bowden a letter to thank him for the "seeds" he planted in my life. I didn't even know if he received it. It was sometime after this that my brother (who also shared similar convictions) invited me to go to an FCA breakfast where Coach Bowden was to speak. Other than the mandatory breakfast at the Bowl games, this was my first FCA breakfast. Little did I know the surprise that awaited me: In the midst of his talk, Coach Bowden pulled out a letter and began to read excerpts about an x-player. He added something like, "I enjoy seeing guys go on to have successful careers in the NFL, but this is what matters to me most..." He was referring to the change of life I had thanked him for in that letter.
When I played, Coach Bowden called me - along with the other 90 guys on the team - "Buddy". I honestly did not think he knew my name. Now, when ever I see him, the first thing he asks me is, "Are you still ministering?" He remembers what is dearest to his heart!
While there may or may not be a large celebration for Coach Bowden following his retirement (I am sure there will be), one thing I am confident of: there will be a massive celebration in heaven, with a large banquet room full of all the thousands of lives Coach Bowden impacted for the Game that matters most! I for one will be there to stand up and shout!

Coach Bowden, you are much more than just a football coach, you are a Life Coach! Thanks again, for the life you shared. I, and many, many others our eternally grateful!
Bart Schuchts #98 (class of '87)

Wednesday, December 02, 2009


I was recently asked the question: "So, what is happening?" It would have been so easy to rattle off all the challenges I am faced with being unemployed with a family of 6 (wife and I, and four children), yet what came out of me surprised me. The heat tends to bring up all kinds of "dross", and I have seen my fair share of uglies coming to the surface in this time of intense heat. I guess that is what motivated me to share the answer that came forth this day. Following such intensity, it was refreshing to hear something good come to the surface. Perhaps you can relate:

What's happening? More refinement, more waiting... more submitted and yielded to God... More hope of what is to come. More love for my wife and children following more intense refining. More faith in God's goodness and provision despite what we see...More ministry opportunities yet no more clarity as to what is next, yet more peace that God has us in the palm of His hand and all of our steps are ordered by Him. Less understanding yet more peace, rest and trust. More comfort in knowing of God's exceeding and abundant goodness despite what my eyes can see and my mind can comprehend. Less money and direction, yet great assurance in the awesomeness of God who is our provider and the one with the plan. More peace that surpasses all understanding as I rest and trust in His goodness. Less answers yet more rest in not questioning the one who is The Answer. More peace in knowing who is God and who is not. More rest upon the chest of Him who is my comforter and source of life.
More trust that it really is all about Him, and that He alone is Lord. More acceptance that I truly do belong to Him, and I am good with that, more able to rest in His goodness.
What will happen next? I don't know. He does. And I am OK with that (at least today, which is the only day I am living in).
I am realizing more and more that God just can't help Himself - it's who He is - He is just good and I am just going to have to accept that! :-)
So, what is happening with you?

Enjoy The Journey!

Monday, September 28, 2009


Recently, when asked how things are going concerning work, I found myself answering, "There is nothing on the radar..." I was thinking about this phrase this morning: "nothing on the radar" and I recalled the time years ago when I was lost at sea.
It was during our college winter break that four us decided to venture the Bahama islands by way of boat. We boarded Eddie's 22 Ft Mako boat in Key Biscayne, Fl and headed for Bimini Island, where we spent a restless night on lounge chairs by the pool, half-eaten by mosquito's (remember, we were college students on an adventure). By morning, we were eager to get to our destination of Free Port, about an hour and a half jaunt across the sea.
We noticed many large crafts docked, so we inquired as to why. We learned that there was a small craft advisory, with a large craft advisory anticipated with the threat of a winter cold front sweeping through. The seas looked to be about 4-6 ft, which was enough to rock our tiny boat, but our poor night's sleep and thirst for pleasure brought us all to the unanimous decision to "go for it".
Rocking like a surfboard going against the surf, we ventured off shore out into the vast sea. Once comfortable at sea, we decided to stop midway at a tiny remote island to watch Eddie dive for large Grouper. While he was down 40 ft below, the 3 of us noticed a large black cloud creeping toward us. As soon as Eddie surfaced we brought it to his attention, and after one more brief dive, we were on our way to Free Port.
We made it about ten or so minutes before that remote black cloud became the sky about us. It brought with it cold wind, heavy rain and bolts of lightning that struck the water on all sides. At one point, while holding onto the steal beam on the boats side, I felt electricity shoot through my hand as lightning struck the sea some 100 ft away. It was cold, windy and frightening as the sea and storm engulfed our tiny craft in it's massive grip.
We went full tilt trying to beat the storm to our destination, but to no avail. The seas had now picked up to about 12 to 14 ft, and proved to be too much for us to overcome. Cold, wet, intimidated and overwhelmed we grabbed the radio to call for help, only to learn that we had no means of communication - it didn't work! We checked the gas situation, only to learn that we had less than a quarter of a tank of gas! As we looked at the compass to make sure we were on the right course to Free Port we discovered that it was spinning out of control - we had no clue where we were heading!
It is not like being lost on a highway somewhere, and you can stop to get directions or at least find a safe place to rest. NO! This is the sea, and there was no land in sight, and we had no idea what direction to go in to try to find land! We were LOST! We didn't know if we were heading toward a distant Bahama Island, the States, Cuba, England... or anywhere at all.
Several hours had now passed and the storm had not let up. By this point we had turned off the engine and rode with the massive waves allowing the sea to take us where ever it was going. Our minimal supply of beer and Peanut Butter would not last long (remember we were college students). We were young, dumb and apparently soon dead, lost at Sea!
We kept hoping we could spot a boat off in the distance somewhere, but not even large crafts ventured these rough seas on a day like this one. We were the only fools at Sea it appeared. We had no idea where we were going not to mention how to get there. I was developing quite a prayer life about this time, grabbing hold of any hope I could muster (no, I was not a practicing Christian as a college student...getting closer on this trip however).
I was afraid we were not going to make it, and I was mad. This was the year I transferred to Florida State to play major college football, having given up a scholarship and starting position at Georgia Southern College, that year's 1AA National Champion. I was not ready to give up on my dream, not to mention my life! But, there was nothing I could do about it! I was at the mercy of the Sea, and I was no match for this massive beast! It seemed evident that we were going to die at the hands of the Sea!
Following one mirage after another - our eyes continually tricking us as we hoped beyond hope to see a boat, land or anything - we finally saw something off in the distance. Another mirage? NO! As it got closer we could finally make it out; it was a large craft of some sort...
With our last bit of gas, we cranked the engine and headed toward our vision of hope before us. As we did, Eddie, who grew up on the ocean, warned us, "chances are a boat at sea in a storm like this is running drugs. If so, and we approach them, they may shoot at us!" This was no time, nor was anyone in the mood, for pulling our leg. Eddie was serious. As one, we agreed we would rather take the chance and die fast rather than die slow at the hands of the sea... We went for it!
As we approached, they yelled out at us, "What are you doing out here?" While not the warmest greeting, it sure beat the sound of guns! Before we knew it we were hooked up to this massive tug boat headed for Puerto Rico - not ideal, but far better than dying a slow death at sea!
Following some time, we were invited in to observe their sophisticated Radar screen. Fascinating! Other than circular lines, and a mark that indicated where the Tug boat was on the screen, I saw nothing. I believe that was part of the point. They asked us how we got here, out in the middle of the ocean far from land, and after hearing our story they were amazed we were still alive. They pointed to a tiny dot off in the distance. "You guys can travel with us to Puerto Rico, which at 10 knots, will get us there in about two weeks, or you can try to reach this distant Bahama Island we spotted off in the distance."
You would think fear would have kept us on the boat following this traumatizing day, but while afraid, we were college students with short memories on a adventure... With only the faint light of a Lighthouse way off in the distant night, covered in more rain, we headed toward our unknown destination hoping to have enough gas to make it. We arrived! It was too dark to tell where we were, but by morning, after purchasing gas, we discovered two remote islands: One had some people on it and the other did not. We ventured to the one that did not. Shortly after docking the boat, a cruise liner showed up off shore with one row boat after another making it's way to this remote island.
Turns out we landed somewhere near heaven! Before we knew it, we were feasting in this Bahamian style celebration accompanied by music, games and a massive feast that we were welcomed to partake in. We ate like kings!
We went from famine to feast, death to life, despair to great hope, fear to the time of our life, as these vacationers inquired about our story and paid to go diving with Eddie (who is amazing)...
It was the scariest time of my life, yet an adventure I could never replace! (Thanks Eddie! :-)

So now, as I find myself answering, "Nothing on the Radar!" There is so much more to that statement than I first realized!
When the disciples, who were fishermen, were out in a similar type storm, Jesus was asleep! (How do you sleep in a storm?). In fear, they woke Him and He stood and quieted the sea!
When the wind and the waves mount up against us we have two choices: focus on the wind and the waves and be gripped, as I was, by panic and fear; or rest in the boat with Jesus! When He says, "We are going to the other side", there is nothing to fear! We might as well learn to rest and enjoy the adventure with Him!
When things look devastating, and death and defeat seem to have us in their grasp, look a little closer, it's not a mirage, there is a distant land on the radar! There is a Lighthouse that will lead us to the feast!
No matter the wind and the waves, we will get to the other side!
Enjoy The Journey!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Have you ever felt like you had something in your heart you wanted to pursue but you had no idea how to get there?
For years, about 21 to be exact, I have been in pursuit of more: more than just ordinary, more than average, more than the monotony of "eat, work, sleep and one day die!" - a purposeless existence of monotonous routine that doesn't amount to much at the end of the day/end of life.
I have something in my heart, that God has placed there, that longs to be fulfilled. Yet how?
Can anybody relate?
There was a call of God on Abraham's life to do something extraordinary, but how was he to get there? Abram had a good life: good family, good place to live, wealth... No real apparent issues with his hometown or family. Life was fine. Why did he leave? Because God had something more for Him!
"The Lord said to Abram,'Leave your country; your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you...' So Abram left, as the Lord told Him..."(Gen 12:1-4)
Yet, his journey was not as smooth as one might guess: Abram left his hometown, went to Canaan (promise land) but the Canaanites were there. He then went to two places and set up his tent. A famine hit the land, so he moved to Egypt. Following some problems, Abram then moved to another place, then "...he went from place to place until he came to Bethel..." (Gen 13:3). Eventually Abram settled in the land of Canaan where the Lord said to him, "Lift up your eyes... All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever..." (Gen. 13:14-17).
The Point?
We know of Abraham as "The Father of our Faith", this mighty man of God who obeyed God and did great things, but we often miss the difficult journey he endured. If Abraham had friends like some of us have, he probably would have been told that he is being foolish and irresponsible: "You need some stability in your life... you are going around aimlessly, that can't be God!..."
I hope Abraham didn't have friends like that, but if he did I sure am glad he didn't listen to their counsel! Where would we be now if he did?
Truth is, Abraham had no idea where he was going or how to get there. He was just obeying God! God said go to the land I will show you., so he went! Abraham didn't care how foolish he looked, he just cared to do the will of His Father!
I wonder how many of us are like Abraham.
There is more, but are we willing to obey God even if we look foolish! Keep this in mind as you dare to obey the Lord: "God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise..." If you are not willing to look like a fool to the self acclaimed wise, then you probably will never find your "Promise land"! (1 Cor.1:27)
"Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations... he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what He had promised." (Rom. 4:18-21)
There lies the key: God has the power to do WHAT HE HAD PROMISED, not what we think or try to accomplish in our own strength, but what he has promised!
My ending words of encouragement: If God says to do something, have the courage to go. If not, wait on Him.
Enjoy The Journey!

Sunday, August 02, 2009


When asked what my desire is, I would often answer "ministry". In this season of extended time of contemplation, I have rethought that answer. While I want to do what I was created to do, I do not want to do ministry if it means we can't win. Now don't get me wrong, Jesus won the ultimate victory on the cross when he died and resurrected; the enemy is at His feet! Yet, when I look around it appears the enemy has the victory. Take a minute and think that over. By your own observation, does it look as if the Body of Christ at large has victory over the evil of the enemy? By some appearances, it looks as if the church is a defeated and oppressed foe.
I want to "play" for a winning team? Having played football at FSU back in the late 80's, and seeing our team my junior year struggle to beat the power-house teams (going 7-4-1), it was hard to feel that we were among the best. Yet, that same group of athletes, minus a few, found something within to become one of the best teams in FSU history in 1987, my senior year. We finished #2 in the Nation and were the catalyst for a football legacy. Following this triumphant season, FSU finished in the top 5 every year for 14 years. We went from average to dominant! Several friends played during the peak years of that era, from 1990's-2000's. They talk about how they knew they were going to win every time they stepped on the field, it was just a matter of how many points they would win by. That is what it is like to play for a winning team!
Now, let me clarify, this is not about football. While a great accomplishment, it is not what defines us. Football is merely a game played in the larger scope of life. I am talking about something much bigger, much greater - I am talking about Christ's Body, His Church! Perhaps not a fair question, but one worthy of contemplation: Do we, as the Church, know what it is like to win?
While I read that Christ won the ultimate victory, and He has all authority and has given us, His Church, all authority, frankly it is not what I see around me. Are we, by faith, meant to just hold onto some obscure theory that does not apply to us, or is there something we are to grasp and apply to our day?
Perhaps, like the people of Israel before us - who were God's chosen people - we are standing on the sidelines in terror of the taunting threats of "Goliath". This was one large foe, very intimidating to say the least. The Army of Israel had good reason to be afraid: He was bigger, stronger and more opposing than any of them. He was a beast who could devour anyone who stood before him. Why would anyone want to challenge him?
Yet, something in David rose up to the challenge. He had already defeated the lion and the bear while tending to his father's sheep, and David spent much time getting to know his God. David knew who he was and he knew who his God was. There was something in David that was different than all the other Israelites - in short, he was anointed by God. When David saw the giant Goliath taunting God's people and taunting his God whom he loved, he was indignant. David did what he knew to do, he rose up, took his slingshot and conquered the opposing foe!
The enemy of our soul and the enemy of Christ's Church is a very dominant opponent. His evil has taunted, intimidated and conquered many great ones throughout history. He is the most formidable foe ever. To stand up against the enemy without the authority to be victorious would be like standing before Goliath with no chance of winning!
Yet, we read that Jesus has already taken on and defeated this foe through the cross and resurrection! Great, "It is Finished!" Then why do we still hear his taunting threats and see the impact of his destructive ways among God's people?
Perhaps, like David, God has anointed us to apply the authority Christ gained and imparted to us, His Body! It appears we may be sitting on the sidelines in fear while he taunts and dominates God's people? Where is the "David" of our day? I am not sure that any one man can take on this daunting task, but if the Body Of Christ would rise up, be rightly fit together, with Christ at the head, we could conquer this formidable foe!
Short of that, why do "ministry" if we can't win? Who wants to play for a losing team? Are we really the weak and defeated church? We shall either rise up and be the victorious Church Christ died and resurrected for, or why bother playing church at all!
"Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom." Luke 12:32
I'm just saying...
Enjoy The Journey!

Saturday, August 01, 2009


I will make this blog short and to the point.
Message of the hour: DO WHAT YOU LOVE TO DO?
Question: How?
It is worth exploring, don't you think?
Today is 8/01/09. The #8 means new beginnings. I am just saying...
Enjoy The Journey!

Friday, July 24, 2009


"Early in the morning, Joshua and all the Israelites set out from Shittim and went to the Jordan, where they camped before crossing over...." Joshua 3:1
It is so easy for us to get stuck in Shittim and camp out there, but God has so much more for us. You and I were created by God for greatness, to partner with Him to bring Heaven to Earth, but far too often we find ourselves stuck in Shittim...
It is time for us to put on our hiking boots, get out of our current mess, and cross over the place of transition into the land of promise! First however, we will need to face and defeat the giants of complacency, mediocrity, fear, doubt, pride, unbelief, and stinking thinking. Once we do, the promise of God awaits us!
What do you say we all determine to set out from Shittim, cross over the Jordan and possess the promise of God?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

This encouraged me, thought I would pass along...
Enjoy The Journey,

Gaining Direction Through a Lack of Provision
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 2 by Os Hillman
Tuesday, July 21 2009

"You will drink from the brook, and I have ordered the ravens to feed you there" (1 Kings 17:4).
The prophet Elijah pronounced a drought upon the land because of the sin of Ahab and the nation of Israel. There was only one problem. Elijah had to live in the same land as Ahab.
"Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, 'As the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.' Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah: 'Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. You will drink from the brook, and I have ordered the ravens to feed you there'" (1 Kings 17:1-4).
God provided for Elijah in a supernatural way. The ravens brought bread in the morning and meat in the evening. His water came from the brook.
God often uses money to confirm direction for our lives. Many times God uses a lack of provision to move us into new directions. It is a catalyst to encourage new ideas and strategies. Many times a loss of job becomes the greatest blessing to our lives because it provides the catalyst to do things we simply would never do without taking the step to get out of our comfort zone.
Friend, if you are fully following the Lord in your life and seeking direction from Him and you have no un-confessed sin in your life, there is no way He will allow you to miss His provision for you. He has a thousand ways to get the provision you need at the time you need it. Provision follows obedience."

Monday, July 20, 2009


This was a quote sent to me from my brother Wayne today, from a motivational source he receives daily: "One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful." What came out of me encouraged me, so I thought perhaps it would bring you encouragement as well:
I can say now, though difficult, this is a beautiful and peaceful time. I just know God is going to come through. GOD IS GOOD (He cannot give what He does not have)- even in the midst of trial! I don't always have to feel happy, but I can always feel His joy and presence. That's what I deeply long for. So, this time of trial is bringing me back to what it is I really long for - HIM!
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds,
because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1:2-4
"Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us." Romans 5:3-5
Enjoy The Journey - all of it!

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Have you ever felt like someone has put something on you that isn't you? My advise: Go confident in who God made you to be!
What must have gone through David's mind when The King of the land placed his armor upon him? It wasn't a bad idea you know. I mean, if a soldier is to go into battle, especially in those days, he better put on his armor and carry a sword! David stepped up and offered to take on the evil giant Goliath, the least the king could do is offer his armor. It was a noble gesture!
Think about it though: what if David would have put on Saul's armor? Would it help him defeat the giant? David was a kid! He wasn't even a soldier! He was just bringing his brother's - who were too scared to fight the giant, along with the rest of the Israelites - their lunch. "Here is your lunch, bro! By the way, what is that uncircumcised Philistine saying about my God and His people?...Those are fighting words! Take your lunch bro, I am going to shut that guy up!" (my loose interpretation of the event :-))

In truth, in the natural, David had no business being anywhere near that battle. Bringing lunch to his brothers was a privilege in and of itself for any ordinary kid. A child is not fit for battle, especially one of this caliber!
Yet, there was something about David that was different. He was not natural. He was not ordinary. He was not just any child! David was anointed by God! David had defeated a Lion and a bear by himself while defending his flock of sheep.
David wasn't a typical soldier, nor was he a typical kid! To go into battle, adorned as a typical soldier, even if it was the King's armor, would have been a major mistake! If David would have put on Saul's armor to fight the giant, he would have been devoured! That was Saul's Armor. David didn't have typical armor.
David had to go dressed in what brought him victory before: his slingshot, his stones, himself, and the anointing of God! As I have heard said before, David could have thrown that rock backwards and it still would have hit Goliath! David knew who had his back! He had God with him, what else did he need!!!
Saul's Armor is great for Saul. Armor in general is required gear for any soldier going into battle. But, when the soldiers are too scared to fight because the giant is too intimidating, then something greater is needed. David, though a kid with no armor or sword, had just what was needed for this victory: He had God!!!
Next time someone tries to put Saul's armor on you remember who you are and what has gotten you this far. If you haven't yet defeated the "Lion and the Bear", spend more time in the backside of the desert getting to know your God, before attempting to take on "Goliath". Who you are in private is who you will become in public! Embrace the preparation of the Lord!
Saul's armor is good for Saul, and wise for any ordinary soldier, but you are not ordinary! You are extraordinary, and you go in the Name of the Lord!
Go dressed in Him, in the way that He has prepared you to fight! And always remember, no matter how big the giant before you, "The Battle belongs to the Lord!"
Enjoy The Journey!

Sunday, July 12, 2009


Anybody who has done anything great has had to overcome major obstacles. On the other side of that obstacle is your destiny!
No wall, no obstacle, no barrier, no fear, no doubt, no anxiety, no lie... will keep me from my destiny! What about you?
As told to me today, I pass along to you: "Take action toward your passion!" (thanks Steve H.).
Many on the sidelines will say, "Why?"
The past, present and future cries out, "Why Not"!
You can have ordinary if you want it, but I am following my creator to create and live what He created me to be! Care to join me?
Enjoy The Journey!
"...Priest-Prophet-Judge Anointing

The coming apostolic ministers will be as pillar of cloud by day with prophetic anointing that will function as a pillar of fire by night giving illumination. Each will provide a canopy of protection through the Holy Spirit even as Israel was protected during the judgments of Egypt. The shelter of Goshen will become apparent in the coming season.

The Lord will allow nothing to come upon the earth unless He first reveals His secret counsel to His servants (see Amos 3:7). Moses, Aaron and Samuel each represent types of the coming government. The manner in which the Lord used these men will also portray the coming leadership and God's dealings with them. He is going to give divinely granted understanding. God's Word declares that His breath gives understanding and He is going to breathe upon us to give comprehension of these times and the things we must do to walk intimately with Him as His habitation.

Commissioning and Release

Even though Samuel was born through covenant relationship with incredible destiny, he did not experience the supernatural dealings of God until his prophetic commissioning.

"Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, neither was the word of the LORD yet revealed unto him."—1 Samuel 3:7

Many of God's people have experienced introductions into this realm and tasted the fruit of this promise. There may be many others who feel as though they do not qualify for this type leadership because they have not had prophetic or supernatural experiences in their life. However, Scripture make it plain; the Word of the Lord had not appeared to Samuel until a very specific commissioning experience released him into his purpose and calling. Many of today's "Samuels" are hidden and unfamiliar with the visions and revelations of the Lord. Nonetheless, great and profound expressions of the Spirit are imminently awaiting these leaders once the grooming is complete and the timing appropriate for their full and complete release.

Paul Keith and Wanda Davis
WhiteDove Ministries"
From Elijah List

The ElijahList - Paul Keith Davis:

The ElijahList - Paul Keith Davis: "The Coming Apostolic Movement"

Shared via AddThis

The ElijahList - Kathryn Marquis:

The ElijahList - Kathryn Marquis: "In the Midst of Darkness, a Treasure Forms"

Shared via AddThis

Saturday, July 11, 2009


Up against the Red Sea... Have you ever been there? I'm there now. What do you do? Major dilemma.
Here is the picture: massive Red Sea before us, enemy closing in behind. God provides a pillar of fire (some temporary provision) to hold off the enemy for a day or two. Now what? Conclusion: We're in trouble!
Here are the choices: 1. Panic 2. Run back to Egypt 3. Swim for it 4. Wait.... Let's work our way there by means of elimination: Panic, while a natural choice, is not a good choice; If you run back to Egypt, the enemy will devour you; If you swim for it, that may work but I would imagine it is a long trip and to try to do it in our strength isn't necessarily wise. I guess that leaves us with door number 4: WAIT! That doesn't feel so wise either, but what else do you do? Ouch!
I just learned from my brother-in-law, Silas, that there is an old Jewish tradition about a man who waded out into the Red Sea and was up to his neck about to drown... the Red Sea parts! Talk about last minute comebacks!
Perhaps that explains why my arms are so tired, from all that doggy paddling!
There are times when God will allow us to be pressed in with no good options, and the only option left is to Wait. Not comfortable at all!
It is in these times that we either die or God comes through in an amazing way!
The promise to hold to is this: "God will make a way where there seems to be no way!"
So, here is a question I ask myself: What do I do while I wait? Because panic is not a healthy option, I may just try floating. Have you ever tried to float in a pool? Not easy, but it sure is relaxing once you get there. I prefer a raft personally!
The disciples were out on the lake when a massive storm hit. They were scared, which for fishermen that tells me it must have been some storm. While they were busy trying to survive, Jesus was resting! WHAT? How in the world do you rest in a storm at sea? I have been lost at sea, with 12-14 foot seas; it is very frightening! I was doing anything but resting! Yet, Jesus was able to rest. He must know something we don't!
Despite the wind and the waves, despite the imminent danger all around, there is a place of rest found with Jesus!
While the storm is fierce, and fear is breathing down our neck, we can rest in this one truth: WE WILL GET TO THE OTHER SIDE! Once I know that, I can rest!
So, the next time you are in a fierce storm remember this: Rainbows come out after the storm!
Enjoy The Journey!

Friday, July 10, 2009


Disappointment is simply dis-engaging from the appointment. When my expectations don't happen the way I thought they would/should -no matter how good they seem- I find myself dis appointed!
Time to get re engaged with God's plan and appointment!
Short and to the point!
Enjoy The Journey!

Thursday, July 02, 2009


It takes courage to dream! Dreaming can be painful! Have you ever tried to launch out to fulfill a dream, only to feel as if you had fallen flat on your face?
What about sharing your dream? Have you ever tried to share your dream with family, friends, co-workers etc and heard something to the effect of: "That's just not reality!", "You are just a dreamer!", "That is just not practical!" On and on it goes.... have you ever had cold water thrown on your fire? What did you do about it?
How about fear: Have you ever thought of launching out into your dreams only to be paralyzed by fear? There are some serious giants in the land of dreams! Have you ever stood face to face with such a giant? It can be a real diaper changing moment, you know!
I once heard it said that "Fear Not" does not mean that you will not shake, tremble or sweat, it just means that fear should not keep you from your destiny. David probably felt fear as he stood before the massive Giant Goliath, but he did not allow fear to keep him from his destiny! He knew Who had his back! Conquering Golaith was the gateway to David's dream of becoming a king!
It takes courage to dream! There is fear to overcome, failure to face, naysayers to ignore... When you are a dreamer you are constantly in over your head. That, my friend, is always scary. But to not dream, not risk, not believe, not trust and not obey is a greater agony than fear and failure! Sometimes, you just have to jump out of the boat! It takes courage to overcome all obstacles and dare to dream!
I once saw a strange image, relating to the subject of fear, that has had great impact on me over the years. As we venture on this journey together, allow yourself the freedom to imagine and be childlike, it will go a long way in helping you become a dreamer. Remember, the mind was never meant to be master over the heart. :-)
Some years ago, I saw an image of me standing on a path in the thick of the woods. There were some monkey-like creatures overhead up in the trees. They were heckling me. Weird? I know! Stay with me. All I know is it felt real and they were annoying! I wanted to leave, yet I did not want to go backward. I was motivated to go forward. That is until fear gripped me. I opened my eyes, argued, and refused to go forward. It seemed very real, even though it was just a picture in my mind.
As I closed my eyes again, I was face to face with this enormously giant eye! That's right, an eyeball! Strange, I know. The eye was so massive that it consumed my view up ahead. All I could see was this eye - no head, no shoulders, no body... just this massive eyeball! My mind immediately kicked into reason, as my imagination tried to picture what kind of body must be connected to this massive eye! Bigger than I wanted to imagine, that is for sure.
I knew if I wanted breakthrough I was going to have to brave this thing and go forward. I would love to be able to tell you that I just went along with the image and strolled forward into wonder-wonder land, but I'd be lying if I did. No! It felt so real, and I was so terrified, that I opened my eyes and tried to erase this image from my mind. I actually argued adamantly with my brother when he lovingly tried to encourage me to allow myself to go there. NOPE! I AM NOT GOING THERE!!!
This strange image would not leave my mind for months. I became so annoyed by the nagging persistence of it, that I finally found enough courage to continue the journey. One day, while alone, I allowed myself to picture this massive eyeball one more time. As I closed my eyes, I caught a glimpse of the body - yikes! It looked like an enormous dragon! Stay with me - remember, childlike... The fear that gripped me was paralyzing. I wanted to open my eyes and move on, but I recalled the months of torment that followed the last time I tried to bury this image. I was determined to brave this thing and move forward. Somehow this seemed to be related to my dreams and destiny, though I did not understand how or why. Regardless, I determined to face this thing head on.
As I braved the path ahead, getting closer and closer to this massive eyeball, I could see more of the enormous dragon before me. It consumed my view. Knowing I was going to die as soon as this massive creature noticed me, I faced the fear and ventured onward. As I came close to the eye, the path dipped immediately beneath the figure before me. It felt like a roller coaster where it appears you are going to run into a wall only to rapidly dip beneath. Before I knew it I was below this dragon-like creature, safe, on a wide open path that came out to an open field. I opened my eyes in relief, consumed by peace and overcome with the hope of what lies ahead.
What was this about? I do not fully know, however, the impact it had within me sticks with me to this day, some 10+ years later. From the time I was a child, fear has had a hold on me. Following this strange image that took place in my imagination, fear no longer paralyzed me. The deception of fear was exposed!
Truth is, fear is mostly just a silly image in our heads that lies to us in order to keep us from our dreams and destiny. Once we face the "Dragon" head on, we find that it is only a facade. While it feels so real, it is merely an illusive image that has no hold on us.
To reach our destiny, and fulfill the dreams God has placed in our heart, it will take courage to overcome fear! Giants will have to be overcome for us to get to our promise land! Once we have the courage to face our fears we will see that God has made a way where there once seemed to be no way.
The enemy comes to discourage, disappoint, and depress. Discourage = to disengage from courage; Disappoint = to disengage from appointment; Depress = to press down. Conquer fear and doubt and be encouraged = endued with courage, be re appointed to your dreams and destiny, and un press the Godly passions of your heart that are longing to be heard.
Dare to Dream!
Once the lies of the enemy are exposed, we now have the courage to dream and the determination to not allow any naysayers or fear to keep us from our destiny.
Remember, it takes courage to dream. You have what it takes!
Enjoy The Journey!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


How does a mother Eagle get her Eaglets to fly? You got it! She takes the padding out of the nest.
Let's face it, if you are a baby Eagle in a nest way, way, way high in the air are you eager to learn how to fly? Not when there is a cozy nest to rest in and a tender momma Eagle to snuggle up against. Why leave such comfort and security if you don't have to?
Momma knows how to motivate: it starts with one comfortable piece of the nest at a time until baby Eagle is trying to find rest on a pile of poky sticks. At last, when the onetime place of comfort and security is no longer desirable the baby Eaglet is motivated to fly! Out they go!
Momma Eagle takes her frightened Eaglet on a mini flight and then drops him. It's not that big a deal, only a free fall from a cliff crashing down to the ground way below! No big deal! As the Eaglet is sinking at top speeds to earth below, momma Eagle swoops below and picks him up. AHHHHH! At last~! Back to the nest...
Nope! This time momma goes higher and drops the Eaglet again... On and on it goes until the Eaglet learns to fly.
When the Eaglet learns to fly, it SOARS to great heights!
You know another interesting thing about Eagles: When a storm comes, they don't fly away and look for shelter. They turn and face the storm and fly right into it. You know what happens? The wind of the storm gets beneath them and lifts them up above the storm to greater heights! Have you ever heard the phrase, "He lifts you up on Eagles Wings?"
What kind of day are you having?
Are you comfy in the secure nest, or is it starting to get a bit uncomfortable?
"Wanna Get away?"
Be encouraged: If the nest is starting to get uncomfortable, you may be about to SOAR to new heights!

Saturday, June 06, 2009

INSPIRATION - Do You Have it?

Are you inspired?
Or, like so many, are you just going through the motions of duty and obligation void of passion, hope and life?
One thing I must confess right up front is this: I love to probe beneath people's outer facades. I am not much for shallowness, posing, or fake behavior. I have been there and done that, and it's a waste of time. I spent 19 years of my life living in locker rooms, full of insecure athletes trying to prove to ourselves that we were something more worthy than we felt within. Nothing wrong with athletes of course, it's just that nothing can fill the void of insecurity no matter how great the world may view it. It's a painful place to live. With that in mind, let's begin by being real. OK! (As if I am actually sitting here talking to someone, right~! :-)).
Are you inspired? Really?
I awoke this morning with something bothering me, but I couldn't identify it. As I began to journal (my way of exploring my inner wrestling's), I came to the word inspiration and I could hear the echo of it's void deep within my soul. I had to admit the lack of inspiration I feel in my daily existence. Ouch!
Let me clarify: I am inspired by my wife and children, their love, life, smiles, hugs, activities and their potential. I am especially inspired to have such wonderful people to love and live with. I am fulfilled there. It's in the area of purpose, daily focus and motivation that I feel the void of inspiration.
To throw on suit pants, shirt and tie 5 days a week to do something that does not inspire me on a daily basis is painful. Nothing wrong with what I do, but it just doesn't inspire me. Many would say - and have said - that does not matter. To them, maybe that is true, but to me my heart knows differently.
So what do you do about it? Pack up and leave where you are in search of inspiration? Maybe, maybe not. Been there and done that too, not sure I would recommend that either. Yet, there is something to be said about exploring the true longings of your heart and making needed sacrifices to live the life you were created to live. It is at least worthy of exploring the subject of inspiration in hopes of living a more meaningful life of purpose and fulfillment.
God did not intend for us to live a life mastered by duty and obligation void of purpose and inspiration. Despite many religious rebuttals, God did create us to live from a place of passion, desire, and fulfillment. Let's not blame our apathy on the one who created us. Apathy and complacency is not what God created us for. He created us to be inspired!
In fact, the very word inspiration, comes from Him!
Inspire, according to Webster, means "[in-spirare, breathe] 1. to inhale 2. to stimulate or impel, as to some creative effort 3. to motivate as by divine influence 4. to arouse (a thought or feeling) in (someone) 5. to occasion or cause."

In other words, if I can take some liberties, inspiration means to be breathed on by God to stimulate, impel, motivate, arouse, cause... us to live out some creative effort.
In the beginning, "The Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being." Genesis 2:7
The word Breathe here means "spirit"
God imparted His Spirit into mankind and man became alive!

To Inspire means, to breathe life. When God created us, He inspired us by breathing the life of His Spirit within us.
"God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them and said to them, 'Be Fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over.." Genesis 1:27-28
Blessed means, "to cause to prosper, to make happy, to bestow blessings on." (Vines Expository Dictionary)

Get the picture? When God created you and I He created us to be like Him, He blessed us causing us to prosper and be happy. He breathed His Spirit within us to give us life. HE INSPIRED US!
Unfortunately man walked away from this great beginning, and we continue to reap the results of an unfulfilled and uninspired existence, constantly searching for something or someone to fill the void.
We tend to live lives of meaningless existence, looking forward to Friday so we can do something "fun", only to get right back on the treadmill of misery come Monday. Is that really the way we were intended to live?
We can do something about it you know. We do not have to live the mundane, "nasty now and now" of eat, work, sleep and one day die excited we made it to the finish line! That's not life, my friend! That is death!
We were created for much more!
Listen to these words of Jesus, the one who died that we might find life and return to what God intended for us in the beginning: "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full" John 10:10
Some of you reading this may not consider yourself a Christian, while some of you probably do... let me start by saying this: As one who calls myself after the name of Christ, I want to apologize for my peers. We have not done a very good job of demonstrating His true identity. We have not done an adequate job of revealing the real reason He came and died. We as a group at large have lived in such a way that depicts Him as mean, unloving, judgemental, religious, boring, rigid, uncaring and uninspiring. Many have compromised and lived lukewarm lives, satisfied with much less than what Christ came and died for.
Christ followers: It's time we repent, which simply means turn and go the right way, change our way of thinking, return to the pentacle/high place, and begin to live and represent God for who He really is.
It is not God who wants us to live uninspired lives. It is the thief himself who came to steal, kill and destroy. Christ came to bring abundant life and Joy!
In the beginning, God breathed His life and Spirit within mankind and blessed us to live, and prosper! He created us to be fulfilled and happy!
It is time we live the way God created us to live. It is time to live inspired lives!!! When we do, we will be able to inspire the world to greatness!
Enjoy The Journey!

Friday, June 05, 2009


Who Are You? If I was to sit down with you one on one and ask you who you are, what would you say? Think about that for a minute.
Who or what defines you? Who do you think you are? Who do your peers think or say you are? Who do your parents... say you are?
"Who are you? Who, who, who, who?..." The song from the music band, "The Who", now rings in my head. "WHO ARE YOU?" Do you really know?
In order to really know what something was intended to be it would be wise to consult the one who made it. For example, a light bulb: What did Thomas Edison create the Light bulb to be?
Allow me some latitude to engage our childlike imaginations a bit: Let's imagine a light bulb had feelings and could communicate. Who would he say that he is? If sitting in a box in a store, the light bulb might have a difficult time expressing who he is. "I am a decoration?"
Let's pretend for a minute that the light bulb was brought up with a family of balls. He was among the football, baseball, basketball, soccer ball.. you get the picture... Who would he say that he is?
A little boy reaches into the bag of balls and grabs the light bulb and begins to toss it in the air. What would the light bulb be feeling about now?
A wise lamp whispers from the corner of the room, "Psst, what are you doing? Don't you know who you are?" The light bulb looks down at his disfigured body, then over at his peers of well shaped athletic equipment, "Yes, I know who I am. I am a ball!" The lamp knows better, "A what? You are not a ball!" Having never heard such words before, surrounded by balls all his life, the light bulb denies such a claim and protests, "How dare you say I am not a ball! I was raised in this family of balls and I am a ball!" The lamp probes deeper, "Really? How do you feel as a ball? Don't you feel a bit fragile, scared, unworthy...?" The light bulb tries to deny it, but his heart cannot. He bows in painful defeat, feeling the deep pains of his own inadequacies. "My peers are so good at this stuff, but I am not... Maybe I need to work harder to become a better ball!... I feel so fragile, so unworthy..." At last, a moment of truth. "That is because you are not a ball, my friend! You are a light bulb!" Having no idea what that means, he looks away in disgust. "Here..." The wise lamp leans over, "let me show you something." At this, he connects with the disillusioned light bulb and to his amazement a deep feeling of satisfaction and fulfillment overcomes him as a beautiful white light fills the room. Now the balls applaud him and the lamp rejoices with him as the once dense lit room radiates with the bright light that exudes from this amazing light bulb! At last he knows who he is and everyone around him benefits!
What about you? Who are you? What were you created to be? What is the world longing to see come from you?
It may be wise to ask the one who created you, and to connect with the right people, so that you too can fill the room with amazing light!
Enjoy The Journey!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Let me tell you about "Jon"

It may have been one of the more gratifying encounters I have experienced. Sitting in the back of the room with arms folded and heart seemingly removed sat a gray-haired gentleman no one seemed to know.
While many men were visibly touched by the stirring movie clips of "The Kid","Brave Heart", and "Good Will Hunting"... as well as the moving talks of men sharing their hearts vulnerably, "Jon" - as I will call him - sat detached, unmoved and noticeably uncomfortable. It was obvious that this was not the typical crowd he hung with on a Friday night.
In the midst of a profound night of encouragement for most men gathered, Jon walked out. It seemed to be more than he could take, or wanted to take in anyway. After all, he was the one obviously calloused man that no one seemed to know anything about. "Did he go home?" It appeared he did.
Then came morning: Jon approached a few of us - secondary players on this retreat weekend - and asked if we could meet. "Of Course". This profound meeting took place in room 804 at this remote retreat sight mid Saturday morning.
Immediately, the Lord began to speak and touch on some of the more hidden places in Jon's heart. He seemed uncomfortable, but surprisingly he remained.
"Who are you here with?" The question was presented. "No one!" Jon offered. "My ex-wife saw the web sight and told me to come!" That in itself was amazing. "You drove here by yourself not knowing anyone?" He nodded. What courage! "I almost left a few times... this is my last chance... I have gone through several marriages, several children, and this is my last chance... I was leaving, but I decided to give it one last try..." Wow! This meeting was his last ditch effort to reach out for help - something he had a tough time doing.
Jon looks like a cross between John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, and "Curly" from the movie "City Slickers". If you can picture any of them, you can see that Jon is a very rugged, burly, hardened hunk of a man - a western cowboy sort of guy - country strong and well traveled; visibly worn out from his 60+ years of life! It is obvious he has some stories to tell, and much pain and shame hidden beneath his massive frame.
It is not often that I feel intimidated, but I must admit there was something about Jon that was intimidating. His hardened exterior seemed impossible to penetrate. Yet, he was here for some reason he was not yet ready to reveal.
It didn't seem to matter what was said, Jon didn't seem to budge. Nothing seemed to touch him. Sensing something from the Lord, the question was posed, "Did anything in the movie clip from "Good Will Hunting" speak to you?" - earlier we were all shown the scene where the counselor revealed the pictures where Will was bruised and beaten by his father. A pointed question was launched, "Did you choose the wrench?" Jon just shrugged it off just like he had been doing. "No." He oozed venomously."The Shotgun!" Now we were getting somewhere. "Your father beat you with a Shotgun?" He looked up with some of the angriest eyes I have seen, "On a good day!" Intimidation crept in once again. The other two men in the room felt it as well.
Following an awkward pause, Jon managed to bark out some of the darkest anger heard, "You F_ _ _ing prick!!!" he directed toward his father. Years of pinned up anger, resentment, bitterness, hatred... crept to the surface. His crusty eyes welled up with tears. This hardened cowboy looked up at me and all I could see was a wounded little boy in a massive man's body, crying out for the help he had never before known how to ask for.
The rest of the story began to unravel. "Have you related to any of the movie clips at all?" He smiled wryly, "The only movie I relate to is "Silence of The Lambs" and I don't think it would go over real well if I told everyone I related to the bad guy!" He meant it. "I have lived a F _ _ _ ed up life! I ruined many people..."
His father left when Jon was two, and the few times he came back into the picture he brought a severe beating with him... By the time Jon was twelve, he had had enough. His dad came around again, this time the many years of pinned up anger had come to a boiling point... "What came of it?" I dared to ask. He stood up face to face with me and grabbed at his shirt and pulled it up. "This!" He pointed to the large scar on his stomach. When he was twelve, he was stabbed with a knife!
Instead of the love he needed from his father, he received deep, painful rejection. He has a scar to show for it.
Sometime later in his twelfth year, Jon gave his life to the Lord, but as he said, "family called me chicken sh_ _! So I ran..." I asked the obvious, "When did you come back to the Lord?" Jon looked at me as if I was stupid for asking, then just shook his head from side to side. "I hadn't!"
When it was all said and done, Jon was willing to forgive his father, forgive his mother, and forgive himself. A miracle within itself!
Following what seemed like a ten-minute hug, where I felt my guts were going to be squeezed out by his massive, loving embrace, Jon left a new man!
A few minutes after this powerful encounter had ended, Jon went up to two or three people immediately, and with a massive smile, shook there hand and said, "Hi, my name is Jon!" It said so much. An hour earlier, no one seemed to even know who Jon was, and Jon had not said a word to anyone for two days. Now free of shame, guilt, anger, bitterness and resentment toward mankind, Jon was able to proudly declare with his head held high, "I am Jon!"
This, my friend, is what Christ died for! This is what the love of God does!
Believe in Miracles! Jon now does!
Enjoy the Journey!

A day or two after the gathering was over, "Jon" sent this poem to the men involved in the weekend. As he said, "...the following thoughts came to me this morning... it helped me sort through and I hope you will find some comfort in it as well.":

"We are men, brought together
to heal a violence, done upon us,
flesh and spirit, soul and mind's
by parents, keepers, trusted kind.
That, which learned at care-less knee
we've now passed on the legacy,
of agony, delivered by mother's, father's,
we bestowed upon our sons and daughters.
Cries God 'Enough.,I'll set you free.
Take a painful reach and trust in Me
There are none so broken, none so cold
That I'll forsake you to the Enemy's hold.
It's not easy, I'll lead you through it,
It'll make no sense, but you must do it
Forgive them all."
He knows you must
Only then will you know
they were hurt like us.
A wounded link in hatred's chain
Set upon us, to destroy again and again.
"Break the link, and trust in Me
it's a dangerous journey
I'll set you free.
You are my child, My man, My warrior
From hatred's chains, I'll you deliver."

He wrote in a letter to me later in the day:
"I now have one of the rarest of all gifts... Hope."

That says it all!
Enjoy The Journey! And as you do, throw up a prayer for "Jon" - God knows his real name!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

What Does Soon Really Mean?

The other day, my 3-year-old warrior-boy, "Joshie" (Joshua), made a very touching, funny, yet profound statement. I woke up to it ringing in my head the following morning.
Let me first lay the backdrop: Mommy and Daddy were away for 5 long days, in Redding CA. During that time, Joshie's young-big heart was having a tough time. When we would call and talk to him on the phone he would sweetly say, "But Daddy/Mommy, I miss you! But Daddy/Mommy, I love you! But, but, but Daddy/Mommy, I miss you!" it was sweet but sad at the same time. He could not comprehend why we were away from him for so long.
His sisters, and friends babysitting, would say, "It's alright, Joshie, mommy and daddy will be home soon..."
Well, the week after mommy and daddy were finally home, Joshie's heart and mind had already created some startling conclusions. I was playing a game with Joshie and his sisters, when Joshie's 6 yr sister, cutie Kailey, made a comment about something being soon. To this Joshie quickly added, "Don't say soon... soon means Daddy and Mommy will not be home for a very long time!" While it brought a smile to my face, it also brought a tear to my eye. It said so much. "Soon means daddy and mommy will not be home for a very long time!" How profound.
Of course, we spent much time snuggling him and his three beautiful sisters, and we made sure to demonstrate to him that we are here for him and with him. I even went as far as demonstrating what soon really was, by playing a game of "soon" with him: "Daddy will be back real soon, Joshie." He looked at me unsure. "I will be back soon." He stayed lying on the floor waiting. Within about 30 seconds, I returned to the room to the delightful smile on Joshie's face. We did this two or three times until he got it. Soon really does mean soon!
This encounter with Joshie awakened some areas of sadness in my own heart. When I was 3 years old, my "daddy" left... yet did not return home. I began to wonder how my little child's heart and mind must have adapted to this loss. As an adult, I understand and I have received much healing from my heavenly Father throughout the years. Yet, this encounter with Joshie caused me to wonder what impact it must of really had on my emotional and mental development.
I can admit this, "soon" when it comes to the fulfillment of the promises of my Heavenly Father, has always been a strange word to comprehend. As I have heard many say over the years, "God's soon and my soon are not the same thing!" Is that really true? My experiences give it credence, but is that because we are often shaped by our inner beliefs? Or, is it because with God, time and space really are calculated differently? Maybe one day I will be able to expound on that. For now, it remains a mystery to me.
"A day is like a thousand years to the Lord." So who knows what "soon" really means?
This I do know, soon you and I will be walking in the fullness of what our Father has promised! In the meantime - however long that will be - we can rest in the loving arms of our ever-present, all-loving, joy-filled, amazingly good Heavenly Father!
I do know this, and I can testify with boldness: we can rest assured that our loving Father "will never leave us nor forsake us" as long as we shall live - which I am pleased to announce, is forever!
We will "see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the Living!"
Daddy is not only coming back soon, He is here with us now!
Enjoy the Journey!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Lion In The Ocean

"... You are like a Lion in the ocean..." These were the words Glenn, my office partner, said to me following a conversation we had about following desire and fulfillment. The phrase stuck to me like glue. In just a few words Glenn managed to describe what I was feeling inside. I feel much like a lion in the ocean.
An ocean is a great place for a fish, a Dolphin, a Shark, a Whale... That is their source of life. A Lion, however, finds life in an open field, a jungle. A shark, who may be king of the ocean, would not find life in an open field, but a lion... He is the King of the jungle!
"A lion would get weighed down in the water...." Brooke later added. Yeah, that pretty much describes why I am so warn out. How much longer must I doggy paddle in this vast ocean? Fortunately I have learned to swim, but that doesn't mean it brings life to wade in the ocean water.
I remember being in Wyoming on a family trip, and as we took the boat to a private island the boat captain informed us that there are Elk, Bears etc on this tiny island. "How did they get there?" I asked curiously. "They swim..."
Could you imagine taking a canoe ride over to the island, casually paddling, and all of a sudden seeing an Elk swim by? Or worse, a Bear! That is not where I would expect to see a bear!
Yet, as a means of getting from one island to another, I guess I could see the value in such an effort. Glenn humorously added, "There must have been something pretty great on that island..." Why else would a bear take such a radical plunge?
That pretty much describes things... I thought I was only temporally "swimming in the ocean" to get to something much greater. Many years later, I still find myself doggy (or Lion) paddling in the ocean. Did I get lost along the way?
How does a Lion find his way back to the open field?
Yesterday, I was talking to an old friend/father figure in my life who had some very pointed and impacting things to say. One of which was a simple truth I had heard many times before but it seemed to have deeper impact coming from him: "You need to follow passion...take a leap of faith..."
In a discussion at dinner this past week, someone I respect asked Brooke and I pointedly, "So what is your passion...?" When we tried to answer, he added, "So what are you disillusioned about?" The question pierced my heart. Perhaps the many "Leaps of faith", where we felt like we fell flat on our face after risking all to pursue our dreams, may have something to do with it.
So what do you do? Not dream again? Bury your heart in order to survive an ordinary life?
A Lion was not created to swim the ocean! A Lion was created to rule the open field majestically. A lion in the ocean is a weakened foe, overburdened by the weighty water upon his coat. A lion may find a way to survive the ocean, but he will never thrive there.
A lion belongs in the open field where he can rule as King of the jungle!
So, what about you? Are you a fish swimming in your intended ocean? Or are you too a Lion trying to find life in an ocean you were not created to paddle?
So, what can we do about it now? Anything?
This one thing I know, I am searching desperately for my "open field" to thrive in.
As well known speaker Lance Wallnau likes to say, "We were all created to have our own sandbox to rule?" (something to that effect anyway)...
What is your "sandbox"? What is your "ocean" or "open field"?
What are we willing to do to get there?
I for one am tired of swimming in an ocean when I was created to rule in the open field.
Perhaps it is time to find the open field we were created to thrive in!
Enjoy The journey!

Sunday, May 03, 2009

The Lesson of the Peach Seed

Have you ever wondered what is inside of a peach seed? As odd as it may seem, that is how my mind tends to work at times. I like to know what is at the root of things.
If I look at a tree, I can appreciate the beauty but my curiosity gets me looking deeper: what is at the root of that tree? Roots, of course. But what kind of roots? Where did it get it's beginning?
A peach tree, for example: how did it grow and create so many peaches? I am no gardener or farmer (or whoever grows peach trees), but I am aware enough to figure out that a peach tree must come from a peach seed, right?
Have you ever looked at a peach seed? I have one sitting in my office. Weird, I know, but there is a reason which I hope to get to. A peach seed looks like an ugly brown rock of sorts. It looks pretty useless if you ask me. Yet, there is much more to a peach seed than meets the eye.
A peach seed, much like you and I, is packed full of potential. Inside of one little peach seed is the potential for thousands of peaches. Think about it: from that one peach seed there can be one large peach tree that can eventually produce thousands of peaches.
Notice I used the word "potential" and "can". As an ex-athlete I grew up hearing the word potential. "You have so much potential"... "That guy has the potential to be all-world." I'm sure you have heard that word potential thrown around a time or two, right?
What does potential mean? Well, in athletics it means the athletic ability is there but time and effort will determine its realization? A peach seed has great potential! Yet, the one that sits in my office will probably never realize its potential unless something drastic changes.
In order for a peach seed to reach it's full potential it must first be planted in the ground, die to what it once was, and with proper care, begin to grow into a mature peach tree. Once mature, and if planted in the right environment, the peach tree can then reach it's full potential and produce thousands of peaches with more peach seeds.
'What does this have to do with anything?' I can hear you thinking. Thanks for asking. Everything!
Inside of you and I is amazing potential! We were created for greatness. As an athlete, greatness had to do with effort and hard work coupled with natural ability. As an older gentleman (I use that word loosely), I see it is not as much about effort as it is about yielding. A peach seed can strive all it wants as it sits on my desk, but it will accomplish little. Only when it yields its right to remain a single seed can it ever reach it's full potential.
"Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds." Jn 12:24
When we are planted in the right soil and die to our hardened ways, a tree of life is given room to grow within us that can produce tremendous fruit for many to partake of.
We have tremendous potential. After all, the creator of the universe created you and I! Sure we can accomplish great success in an earthly sense, and there is nothing wrong with that. Go for it! But there is more.
Inside of you and I is the potential to be a world changer! We were created for greatness, and the one who created us put a seed of destiny within us. If we will yield, and die to our self, and be planted and rooted... we can produce great fruit for a much greater purpose.
Yet, if we just remain as we are we can have some successes, influence a person or two and live a descent life in hopes of someone saying something nice about us at our eventual funeral. Wouldn't it be more admirable though, to yield to the one who created us and become all that He intended us to be!
You and I are packed full of potential. Will we be like the peach seed in my office and remain only a single seed that never reaches it's full potential? Or, will we yield to the hand of the Master Gardner and allow Him to plant us in such a way that we produce much fruit for His Kingdom sake here on earth?
"This is to My Father's Glory, that you bear much fruit..." Jn 15:8
If we would but yield our life to Him we can find that deep fulfillment we long for. After all, He is the one who put that seed of greatness within us!
Maybe we too can be a tree of life that produces great fruit all year long!
"Cannot I do with you as the potter does?" God asked Jeremiah, "Like clay in the hand of the Potter, so are you in my hand..." Jer 18:3-6
Enjoy the Journey.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Standing on a Mountain

Have you ever stood on a mountaintop and looked out at the amazing view? I remember one particular time some years back, looking at the breath-taking panoramic view that engulfed my vision. I could see as far as the eye could see on this bright clear day. I remember thinking of the amazing potential and possibility before me. It was endless. I was inspired with hope and dreams.
Then, when I drove down off the mountain, I ended up on a single highway and all I could see was the microcosmic view before me. The longer I rode on this highway the more real the limited view appeared.
As I have traveled along this long valley road my heart and mind have had a tendency to believe the limited perspective that my eyes could see. My mind began to tell my heart and soul that this was reality.
I remember reading in a book an analogy about a child standing in a crowded elevator. The writer posed a question something like this: "When you are a child in a crowded elevator, what can you see?" The answer, "All you can see is Butts and Elbows!" The point, "But if you ask your Daddy to pick you up, your perspective immediately changes."
While driving down this valley road, I often have to remind myself to "ask Daddy to pick me up". When I do, I envision this beautiful, endless Mountain view. My eyes, heart and mind readjust and I begin to see clearly again the endless possibilities of hope and dreams before me.
"Without a vision the people perish" (Pr 29:28). Or said another way, without the ability to see the panoramic view of endless hope and possibility before us, our heart and spirit tend to die within us.
In this day of economic challenges, financial strain, dashed dreams and fading hope, it is crucial that we take our car off-road on a little stroll atop the mountain. It is paramount that we take a deep breath in Daddy's arms and take in the endless view of hope and possibility before us.
It is true that "we become what we think about most." When we spend all of our time on the low valley road we begin to think that this is all there is. We tend to settle for a mundane life of "eat, work, sleep and die".
I refuse to believe that. I may die one day as "just a dreamer", but I would rather die dreaming than live a life stuck on an endless road of empty pursuit. Why settle for roadwork on a long valley road when there are Mountaintops to climb? Maybe the modern philosophy of our day is true; maybe we can't live on the Mountaintop all of our life. Maybe... Then again, maybe we will discover that the real "reality" is to live on the mountain in order to bring hope to those in the valley.
Regardless, we can always take a daily stroll atop the mountain to gain Daddy's perspective on a regular basis - doing so will allow us to bring a whole new reality to the valley road of life below.
Why settle for less when we can have so much more?
Maybe it's time to take in the breath-taking, endless mountain view of hope, dreams and Heavenly perspective. "For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?" (Mt 16:25-27).
Isn't it time we dream and hope again?
I hope to meet you on the mountaintop to take in the endless mountain view of hope, dreams, and inspiration. Perhaps we will gain Daddy's perspective in order to bring the heavenly point of view down to the valley that we call life.
Enjoy The Journey!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Someone Has my Arm

Have you ever felt like you were walking around with a blindfold on? I have been in one of those seasons recently - having no clue as to where to go next... No matter what my finite brain tries to figure out, there is no clarity to be found. While panic is the first option, I am trying to learn to take a deep breath and assess the situation - focus, if you will.
Don't know if you have ever worn a blindfold before - playfully I hope - but my recollection is it is really hard to see (unless you peak beneath the blindfold at the small glimmer of light below). That is the idea though of a blindfold, right, to block off the ability to see? Have you ever tried to walk around with the blindfold on? How many walls did you run into, or how many shoes or toys did you trip over? Man, it is hard to see when you are blinded, isn't it? Funny how that works.
Well, back to my point: I have been in one of those seasons. No matter how hard I try to understand or figure out what is next there has been little to nothing in sight. "All I need is a little clarity", I cry out to the open air in hopes of someone hearing me.
Well, one morning while I took a minute to pray, a picture came to mind. It was a picture of my wife Brooke and I with dark, tight blindfolds on over our eyes - impossible to see. I then saw a large arm holding my elbow (actually engulfing my entire arm would be more accurate). The understanding followed: "Trust me. I have you. I am leading your every step. It is on purpose that you cannot see where to go right now, because if you could see you would step prematurely. Trust me. I have you. I am leading you step by step. In time, everything will be made clear. Right now, rest in me and trust me."
What more is there to say? When the one who created me steps in to say He has everything under control, what else do I really need?
Perhaps that encourages you in the same kind of weird way it does me... while I like to rely on my own ability (it's more familiar), the truth is it is much more comforting and peaceable to know that someone much larger than me has everything under control.
With that, I can rest and enjoy the wonderful things of today - like Blogging!
Enjoy The Journey,

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I am Writing a "Blog"!?

High tech, I am not. The fact that I am "posting a Blog" is an incredible concept to me. The day I bought a cell phone I felt like I was violating an inner code of some sort. I say I love change but the reality is I am quite slow to catch up with the trends of the day, or even yesterday for that matter. I guess I feel so far behind that I don't know how to catch up. By the way, I have no idea how we once lived without cell phones. I am so glad I decided to join in the fun some years back. I even have a computer. In fact, I work from a laptop every work day. I am getting there. But a "Blog"? It sounds more like a gooey mass of slime, or is that a blob? Either way, it is not something I was eager to put my hands to.
My friend and office neighbor, Brien, encouraged me to set up a blog one day. "A blog?" When he said it was a means of writing, I perked up. Truth is, while I am a mortgage consultant by trade, I have a hidden passion to write - and no, not about financial or business matters either.
I guess it would be safe to say that I am a deep thinker, a frustrated creative guy who doesn't get a chance to be innovative much on a daily basis. Writing allows me to explore, create and express some of the deeper thoughts rambling around within me. I find peace and comfort when I write, it tends to express something within me longing to be heard. Whether anyone reads it or not is somewhat irrelevant (but please do :)) - it's the chance to express myself that appeals to me most.
That said, here I am, on my computer, with cell phone hoisted on my hip, writing my first Blog! WOW! My mom would be proud! I am growing!
So, what will I write about? How often will I write? Who will read it? How does this thing work, anyway? These are questions I just can't answer right now...
All I am prepared to say for now, is WOW! I am writing a Blog! First the Moon, and now this! What would George Washington say?
America, it is no longer "baseball, apple pie and Chevrolet"... it's now Computers, Cell phones and Blogs! Welcome to the year 2009 - glad to call it today!
That's all for now... gotta to get back to my day job.
Enjoy the journey,