I know a man who several years ago had a little problem. He liked to drink beer. Now, there is nothing wrong with drinking beer, so far as I know. This man's problem was that he drank it a six pack at a time. He drank it at least once a week, and many times twice a week. What's the big deal, right?

Well, for this man, it was a big deal. He drank to escape the pain he felt over the failure of his marriage. He drank to hide from the hate he felt for the man his wife left he and his daughter for. He drank to not feel so alone. And, he drank to run away from the memories of the way it used to be.He was not an alcoholic, however, he felt like he could easily approach the edge and fall right over.

No one knew he had a problem, because very few people knew he drank beer like this. He could play the "Christian" social game as well as anyone, "one beer won't hurt, after all." Except after all the people left, he finished the six pack. Slowly, he was becoming buried by his double life. He knew he had to stop, or it would get worse.

For over a year, He prayed, and begged, and tried, and prayed and tried some more. The harder he tried, the more he was tempted to drink, and the more he was tempted, the further he fell. To make matters worse, he was becoming depressed. Was there nothing he could do that would ever change anything? He felt like a failure, and guilt came upon him like a flood.

About a year and a half ago, this man reached his limit. After a night of drinking seven or eight beers , he finally came to the end of himself, and gave up. He gave up trying to stop, he gave up his effort, and just fell toward God in despair.

A year and a half ago, this man stopped drinking beer when he was alone. In the last year and a half, he can count the number of beers drank on two hands. How does such a thing happen? What changed?

When asked recently how it happened, he had to openly admit, "I don't know. I gave up trying to quit drinking six packs. I got so frustrated over it that I felt like just dying. I didn't want to disobey my Father in Heaven anymore, and no matter how hard I tried, nothing I did ever made a difference. To go from drinking a six pack two nights a week to almost nothing? I can't explain it."

This man was asked recently how he was doing with that now, and he said, "I'm not really doing anything. I have a beer maybe once every three or four months, but the truth is, it just never occurs to me anymore to have one."

I know this man well, and his efforts at making himself "better" amounted to nothing, yet when he finally fell toward God in despair, everything changed, and he was never aware of the process. How do I know this man so well, you might ask? Because this man is me.

To this day, I don't understand what happened. I couldn't tell you what steps to take to get to the point of absolute surrender. You see, that is what happened. I surrendered in despair, not to the problem, but to Jesus. Today, I have no checklist left to mark off my growth and "victory" over sin. It's not that I don't sin, or that I haven't anything left to be changed. It's just that I learned a better way, and it starts with surrender.

I'm not telling you not to try. Some people try quitting things with amazing results. What I am telling you is this; in the end, we change nothing through our efforts. The night I fell in depair, I never doubted that Jesus was going to find a way to help me.

Jesus told us to abide in him, and he would abide in us, and so we would bear much fruit. This question I put to the the many who believe that the only way to abide in Jesus is to try to obey Him. If you came to Jesus through grace by faith, would it not make sense that you remain, or abide in Him through the very same? My experience tells me the answer is yes. What does your experience say?



Maybe you are here by mistake? Maybe not. I am glad you're here. If you are here because you have been looking for something, possibly all of your life, but have yet to find it, maybe what you read here today will help. I hope and pray it will.

God may have been on your mind recently. Maybe someone said something to you about Jesus, and you have been thinking about those words, and wondering if they are true. Maybe someone did something nice for you, and asked nothing in return, and when you asked them why they would do such a thing, they told you because Jesus loves you, and so do I.

Whatever the reason, you are here now, and I'd like to help you continue to find what you have been looking for. The answer is not in the news, nor is it in a church building. It's not on TV, the radio, or the bottle of alcohol that some turn to in despair. Have you despaired? Have you felt like giving up? Don't give up yet, there is a hope that is true, and I'd like to tell you about Him.

If you are like me, then most of your life, you have wondered what will happen when you die. That's not morbid, it's built into us, it is natural to think about such things. The problem is, if you don't know what will happen when you die, fear sets in. You have heard about heaven, and you have also heard about hell. You know you don't want to go to hell, but you don't know how to get to heaven. Or, maybe you have been told that you have to be really, really good to get into heaven. Possibly, you have been taught that you just have to be "pretty good" to get into heaven. No matter what the circumstance, you may feel confused about where you stand with God. I am so happy to tell you that you don't have to be confused any more, if you don't want to be.

You see, life isn't about death. Yet we at times can become consumed with fear at the "end" of our lives here. Why is this so? Does it have to be this way?

The answer to that question is no, it doesn't have to be that way, not any more. Life is about living, not dying. Aren't you tired of worrying about the end of your life? Aren't you weary of all the questions without answers? Life in this world can be very hard sometimes, I know, but it doesn't have to be hopeless.

If that is where you are, if you feel hopeless, or unable to figure it all out, maybe I am able to help. We'll see.

There is a Man I know. His name is Jesus Christ. You may have heard about Him many times, or maybe you have only heard about Him a few times. None of that matters. What does matter is what He wants to say to you, right now. He loves you, and as hard as that could be to understand or imagine, it is still true. How do I know? Because once I, like you, was hopeless and lost, without a clue as to how to make sense of this life. Jesus changed that, and He is still changing that for me, and He can do it for you, and will do it for you, if you ask Him.

Maybe you think Jesus would never love you, maybe because you think you are unlovable, or have "done too much wrong" in your life. I don't know all the reasons, but I do know this: There is nothing you can do that Jesus cannot forgive. Some call these things we have done sin, while others call them mistakes. Whatever they are to you, please hear me now, Jesus can handle it.

Nearly two thousand years ago, Jesus died on a cross. What's the big deal, you might wonder. There is a reason Jesus went to the cross, dear friend. That reason is you. If you have never talked with God, it doesn't matter. If you have never tried to "do good", it doesn't matter, Jesus overcomes all of that. He is the Son of the Living God, who made you, and longs to know you, and for you to know Him. There aren't any answers that make sense in this world that don't include the God who made you. Without God, all is an evergrowing list of unanswered questions. The more we look, the less everything makes sense, the more we try, the more discouraged we get. It doesn't have to be that way. Are you willing to find out the truth?

This world tells us that we are measured by what we accomplish. The trouble with that is, what happens to those who don't accomplish much? And how do we know how much we have to accomplish to be accepted? This world is a measuring stick, and none of us measure up. The more we do, the more the world tells us we have to improve, because the moment we stop "trying", we are no longer worth anything.

Aren't you tired of trying to measure up to something, and never knowing what you have to do to be accepted, finally? If you are, then come to Jesus, He will accept you just as you are, broken heart, broken hopes, broken home, and all. We have all done things we are not proud of. Let's call them what they are; sins. There is no getting around it, our hearts tell us we have done things that we shouldn't have. Who is going to make those things right again? Who can heal the pain we have felt? Who can heal the pain we have given to others? Everyone has done this, there isn't one person who hasn't. But Jesus knows that, and He stands ready to accept you, just as you are, into His Kingdom. He will forgive all that you have done, if you just ask Him. But as well as that, He will become your friend, your brother, and your close, trustworthy guide. He is able to make all things new, and He is able to make sense out things that don't make sense. Will you trust Him? Do you believe He is able to do this? He came here, to this world you live in, to give His life for you, so that you could be with Him forever. He has risen from the dead, and is seated with His Father in Heaven, waiting for you to ask Him. If He can rise from the dead, then He can also take you with Him wherever He is.

He has made the claim that He is the Son of God, and He has made the claim that He was with God in the beginning, and that He is God. He has said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me." If you have always wanted to be with Him in heaven, but didn't know how you could get there, know that He made the way for you. Know that all you have to do is believe in Him for your salvation, and salvation is yours. That's it, you don't have to earn anything, you don't have to measure up, or try real hard, or even beg. All you have to do is believe that He is who He said He is. Can you? Will you?

Life isn't about death. It's about living, and Jesus is offering to you, right now and forevermore, eternal living in heaven with Him. Will you accept this gift? Will you accept His love? Will you accept His freedom, and begin your journey with Jesus? There is nothing you have to do but say yes, Jesus!

If you are willing, then tell Him now. Open your mind and heart in a prayer, and tell Him that you believe in Him, the Son of the Living God. Ask Him to forgive you for your sins, because you know He can. Ask Him to give you a gift right now, the gift of His Holy Spirit, planted right within your heart, to be with you always, til the very end of time. Tell Him that you want to know Him, and you want Him to know you. Thank Him for dying for you, so that you could be with HIm forever. It doesn't matter if you think you don't know how to pray. It doesn't matter if you don't say a lot of words. What matters is that you believe in your heart that He is true, and that He has already done that which you couldn't do for yourself, measure up.

If you have asked Jesus for salvation, then please tell me, or tell someone who Knows Him. There are links on this weblog to people who know Him and love Him. They can help you get to know Him better. Maybe I can, too. My email address is treindl@earthlink.net, if you want to tell me. If you have any questions, about this, if you feel uncertain, please, I ask you to email me. Thank you very much for visiting me.



Hello!!! Yesterday, I had a marvelous conversation with my daughter, Ally. You see, I have been trying to help her realize that her faith is her faith, not her daddy's. That's not easy to do, by the way, because sometimes the very act of encouraging her in faith can leave my marks all over it, to the point where she learns only what I have told her, and thus, it becomes her daddy's faith. Hmmmmmmmmm............

We talked about heaven yesterday! What will it be like? What will we do there? Will we eat? Will we play? Will we know people there? Will it be boring? (this is a standard question from any twelve year old).

So............ here's some of what we came up with:

1. We will definitely be able to see Jesus, something both of us long for.
2. We might be able to fly!!!
3. We will worship God, and never get tired of doing it.
4. We will never again have a stomach ache.
5. We will never again be betrayed by someone we trust and love.
6. We will never feel like crying.
7. We will never be irritated, angry, or confused.
8. We will always feel just like we do on Christmas morning!!!
9. We will never have to be alone, or feel alone in a room full of people.
10. We can drink the water, and not worry whether it will make us sick.
11. All of our questions will no longer be unanswerable.
12. We'll never fall down, or hurt ourselves.
13. Ally will not be my daughter in heaven, she will be my sister (this one really blew her away!)
14. We will never be embarrassed by our parents again. (Do I do that?)
15. We will eat a feast like none ever prepared before. I'm hungry already.
16. We will never have a headache again.
17. We'll get to see angels!!!
18. We'll live forever!!!
19. If there are bikes in heaven, we'll never fall off.
20. We'll never be tempted to sin again.

You can probably tell which ones a twelve year old girl would come up with. Or can you? Anyway, here's where I ask you to help us fill this list up. Life can be very hard. I happen to think sometimes wondering what heaven will be like can help. So, help us think about heaven, help us think about what we will see, or what we will do, please? It's got to be better than being a Chicago Bears fan!!!! For them, heaven can't come soon enough!!(Can you tell I am a Green Bay Packer fan, the official football team of heaven?)

Incidentally, when is the last time we cheered as loudly for God as we do for our favorite sports team? I tried that today. It felt great!!! Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



"I don't know why"
He said to Missy
When she asked him about Mama.
"Sometimes we're not meant to know
all the reasons everlasting,
and sometimes people when they go
fulfill a purpose with their passing."

Little Missy was seven years old
when her Mother became ill.
She grew to nine before the day
cancer laid her Mama still.
Missy was there for all the pain
her Mother suffered through,
and with tears falling just like rain
she watched the last breath Mama drew.
Missy's Father took her in his arms
and prayed a silent prayer,
and he said these words to Missy
as his tears fell in her hair.

"Mama's up with Jesus now
and someday we'll see her there.
She's in Heaven with the Father
and her soul is in His care."

"Mama prayed to Jesus, you see,
and gave her heart to Him.
He's the one nailed to the cross
Who died for all our sins.
And He just couldn't bear to see
Mama suffer anymore,
so Jesus came to take her to
the place He prepared her for."

Missy's Father explained salvation
to a girl growing up too fast.
Without her Mother to hold on to
she'd need the strength that lasts.
So Mama's passing achieved the purpose
that God intended it to.
Her Mother died and she was saved
and Missy made it through.
She knelt down to say "Help me, Jesus",
and she asked Him to save her, too.
While she prayed she cried so softly
but she thanked Jesus anyway,
and through her sobs she wept her prayer
and came to Christ that day.

"My Daddy said,
'Mama's up with you, dear Jesus,
and someday we'll see her there.
She's in Heaven with Your Father
and her soul is in Your care.' "

"Mama prayed to You, dear Jesus,
and gave her heart to you.
You're the one nailed to the cross
who died for all we do,
and You just couldn't stand to see
mama suffer any more.
Thank you, Jesus for taking her to
the place you made her for."

Nine years later Missy came to speak
in front of her whole school.
Her Valedictorian's speech was required
and she knew just what to do.
Classmates, teachers, and family were there,
these people she testified to.
She told the story of her Mother
and what her passing meant.
She told of being saved through death
and the life her Savior spent.
Through her sobs she spoke of Jesus
in passionate words that went:

"My Mother is up with Jesus now
and someday I'll see her there.
She's in Heaven with the Father
and her soul is in His care."

"Mama prayed to Jesus, you see,
and gave her heart to Him.
He's the one nailed to the cross
who died for all our sins.
And He just can't bear to see
you suffer any more.
Won't you please just let Him lead you
through salvation's open door?"

The years passed by, and Missy knew
that her heart belonged to Jesus.
But a man came by and loved her, too
They were married two years ago June.
Missy came to know her man
and in her a child grew.
Nine months passed by and joy was heard
in the cries of an infant new.

But life has a way of coming round
and God has plans to sow.
The doctors found a tumor,
Missy's womb would have to go.
So they cared for her as best they could
but the cancer continued to grow.
Missy was torn between two worlds,
her Mother she missed in life.
But her daughter born the other night
would miss her Mother's life.

Time was short and Missy knew
her life was growing dim.
Jesus was calling and soon would come
to take her home with Him.
She spoke to her husband
the Father of her child,
these things she said to him.

"I'm going away to Jesus soon
and someday you'll see me where
I'll be in heaven with my Mother
waiting to welcome you there."

"There's something I need to say to my girl
but can't, I have to go.
Help prepare her for this world,
and pray Jesus save her soul.
Bring her to her Mama's grave
and like my Father did
"tell her,"

'Mama prayed to Jesus, you see,
and gave her heart to Him.
He's the one nailed to the cross
Who died for all my sins.'
"Tell her,"
'He just couldn't bear to see
Mama suffer anymore
So He came down to take her to
the place He prepared her for.'

Missy's husband promised he'd do
all the things she asked him to,
and as he held her in his arms
He asked her something, too.
"Missy, please forgive me,
for the times I was cross with you?"
Missy smiled and answered strong,
"I have,and love you, I do."

Late last night Missy called her man
and asked him, "Please, please try.
The Lord is calling, I hear Him now,
I want to say goodbye.
Bring my little girl, I love her so,
Please bring my Daddy, too.
Remember what you promised me,
and try to be here soon."

When he arrived he could see
Missy was on her way.
With tears in his eyes so red
crying, he heard her say,
"Rememeber all the things we planned?
Now we'll never get to do.
But love, please know as much as I,
that Jesus loves you, too.
Don't be angry with Him now,
tell Him thank you, please?
It hurts too much to be here,
I'm sorry I have to leave."

Her man was there for all the pain
that Missy suffered through,
and with tears falling just like rain,
he watched the last breath Missy drew.



Well, it's Friday night, and here I am at my computer, alone, having sent my daughter to her mom's house for the weekend. Am I lonely? I think about that thought for a moment............No, not really. Missing my daughter? Yes, but not really lonely.

"Enforced" solitude can have that impact in a person's life. I didn't choose to have my wife leave me for another man, that was her doing. But here I am, and after four years of it, you get used to it. God does amazing things in the heart of enforced solitude, times in the wilderness when you can't see your way past the heart-breaking circumstances you are in. Much of my love for God was shaped during this time of "wilderness" and solitude. Just another way God uses everything toward the good of those who love Him, and how He builds the need, the dependence, and finally, the love.

Last night, I talked about solitude, quiet times, and Lectio Divina (Sacred Reading). Tonight is just a continuation of that.

So, how does one approach "solitude"? As stated yesterday, solitude is removing yourself from others, and giving God your undivided attention. You can prepare for it by reading the Bible, but try to limit that to a few verses. This isn't a Bible study, it's Spirit-led prayer. The reason the Bible may help is to point you toward God, and away from the world.

One way I do it is to begin by laying down on my back (the position does not matter), and clearing my mind as best I can. Everything is turned off. I have absolute silence. Then, I simply pray, "Holy Spirit of God, here I am. Take me where you want to go." Then I stay silent. If a thought creeps into my mind, or several, then I take that thought captive by telling God about it, and usually, He turns it into a prayer. What are some of these thoughts? For me, they can be weird, like, "Gee, I'm getting kind of hungry." Or, "Man! I forgot to call my mom!" Hmmm.......

What do you do with that? Well, one thing we need to do is recognize that many of these thoughts are there all of the time, we just never recognize them because we don't take the time to quiet our soul so we can hear them. Some of these thoughts may be important. They may very well be something that is an issue you haven't dealt with, so don't get all worked up over the fact that you can't deal with your mind because it never shuts up. How do I deal with, "Boy, I'm getting kind of hungry"? Well, I can focus on my hunger, or, I can say, "God, I am thinking food. The thing is, it's kind of in the way, because it's trying to make me not all that fired up about being with you, it's screaming for my attention. I know haven't prayed for the many in this world who are starving, so I'm just going to do that now." The funny thing is, that last part isn't where my mind would naturally go. If allowed to roam, my mind would scream louder and louder, until my hunger overcame my desire to be with God. So, by capturing the thought, and giving it to the Lord, He redirects it into a prayer, and I follow.


Taking a trip with the Holy Spirit is what results from my time of solitude. Literally, there are times I am transported to the other side of the world, praying for someone I know to be on a missions trip, or for someone I know to be in jail because of his faith in Jesus. Or, it can be next door, or down the street. The fact is, I don't pray much for others until I am in solitude with the Spirit, and He leads my prayer, and my time. And, most of this time is spent with nothing else than thoughts of people, pictures of those I know well, or words of those I know of. Rarely am I led to address a personal concern of mine during these times. But I never cease to be amazed at where the Spirit has taken me, who I have seen, what I have learned, and how little time it took to get back.

The thing is, I have learned that Spirit-led prayer (solitude) is never about me. I am lost in this equation, it's like I have ceased to exist. I am aware that I am alive, I am aware that I haven't left my living room, but beyond that, I am wherever the Holy Spirit took me, and it's the most amazingly freeing heart rush I have ever experienced. The other result of this is that although the prayer has not been about me, I often come away with some pretty awesome insights into the things that have concerned me for that day, or week, or whatever.

This I know; I can't force it. I can't try to be in control of this event. If I do, there is nothing, no trip, no prayer, no insights, no nothing. Simply put, to do this takes no more effort than to lay down on my couch, and surrender to God. If that's too much effort, then I would think that to breathe would be to die. Oh yeah! Don't worry if you end up falling asleep. There may be a physical reason for it (like you not getting enough sleep?), or maybe you are so relaxed that you just pass into a slumber. It's not wrong to fall asleep before God. It's amazing how relaxed and comfortable we can feel when we are near Him, considering how awesome, how powerful, how strong and big He is. Don't feel guilty, there is no guilt in it, and you trying to stay awake is you trying to control the outcome, which doesn't work.

Regarding "quiet time" which to me is altogether different from "solitude", I spend my quiet time reading scripture, and meditating on it. Some of the time is spent in comprehensive reading (Three to four chapters, used to familiarize myself with the entirety of Scripture), and Lectio Divina, which as stated previously, is "Sacred Reading". Put into English, I take as few as two verses, and no more than five, and hand write them into a notebook. Then I ask these seven questions of them: 1. What does it say? 2. What does it mean? 3. What is one thought I like? (What my soul agrees with) 4. What is one uncomfortable thought? (Something that may well convict me) 5. What questions do I have of this passage, or what questions does it raise? 6. What do I need to do? 7. What is one thought to take with me for the day?

I handwrite these answers out to slow my mind down (computer writing is too fast!) I do this every day, it's not a ritual, it's just something I love to do. I don't always see results immediately, but if I watch over time, I see incredible results. Yet, it's not the results that drive me, it's the overwhelming desire to get to know God.

Lastly, if you don't have that overwhelming desire to get to know God (and you definitely cannot manufacture it yourself, it's impossible), then bring it to God. If you can't honestly say that you are willing to take the time to get to know Him, then try telling Him that you are willing to be made willing. I wasn't always willing to get to know Him either, so I just asked Him to make me willing, that I was willing for that.

I said it yesterday, and I'll say it again today. You cannot love someone well, if you don't know them well. You can have contact with them, but that's not love, that's just an acquaintance. If we want to love God, then we need to be willing to get to know Him. Relax, God does all the work anyway. Do you really think it was you who "decided" to come to Him in the first place? That's why the prayer that you are "willing to be made willing" is such a good way to approach God. It's surrender to His will, and without that, we won't learn or grow much in our walk.

Thank you very much for reading this. May the Lord bless you, and keep you, and make His face to shine upon you. (I just love that verse) Amen.



Before I go any further with this serious subject, there are a few questions I must ask.

1. If I wear my faith on my sleeve, will it wash off when it rains?
2. Will Jesus come back on a storm cloud, or a big, white, fluffy one?

There! Got that out of my system.

Solitude. What is it? Why do we "have" to do it? What's the big deal? I read my bible, go to church, do all the "right" things, right?

Solitude is a time when we withdraw from the company of others in order to give God our undivided attention. John Ortberg

Solitude is not exactly the same thing as "quiet time", which is another practice "Christians" use, or try to use, on a daily basis. Quiet time often equals Lectio Divina, which is translated "sacred reading". Another way to say that is meditative reading of scripture. Solitude is somewhat different, although you may begin your solitude by reading a few verses from scripture to put your mind in the right place to meet with God.

Solitude means removing yourself from everything, all noise, all people, all activities, anything that can "divide" the attention you give to God. Looking at the world around us, you might think solitude would be way more difficult to enter into than "quiet time". However, if you have that assumption, you are probably wrong. Solitude is prayer, only it is Spirit-led prayer.

In a world crowded with noise and flashing lights, and loud people, solitude is one thing that can change our entire walk with Jesus. By its very definition, solitude (Spirit-led prayer) means we are quiet and alone, and we allow the Spirit to lead us. Can you understand why Satan might not think that is such a good thing? Look around you again. See all the flashing lights, hear all the loud noises and people? Bingo!

Although many believers, especially extroverts, avoid this primary discipline of the faith, the spiritual cost in doing so is great. Even a casual look at the Gospels reveals that solitude was an indispensable practice in the life of the Lord Jesus (see Matthew14:23, Mark 1:35, Luke 5:16, John 6:15) Kenneth Boa...Conformed To His Image

Satan wants you to be busy. He wants you to have people around you at all times, noises going, the television set on, whatever he can use so that it is just too loud and too busy for you to hear the voice of God. What will God say to you, I wonder? Many people struggle with their prayer life, thinking, "God never seems to answer my prayers", or "I don't get any guidance from God." Some of this may be due to the absence of silence and solitude in their lives. If we don't give God a chance to speak to us, how can we ever hear Him?

Notice that Kenneth Boa calls solitude a discipline. There's that "D" word! Guess what, Jesus practiced solitude. If we claim to follow Jesus, then its okay to practice the things He did without worrying about whether we are getting caught up in "methods and traditions". Jesus also celebrated the Passover, a Jewish tradition from the time of Moses. So, not all tradition is bad. Likewise, not all discipline is bad. It is a discipline because sometimes it takes discipline to practice it.

Let's put that in a way that maybe we all can recognize a little easier. We keep appointments with doctors, right? We keep appointments with our friends for dates, dinner, or just plain fun, right? If God is our father, our healer, our savior, and our friend, how much more so should we make and keep appointments with Him? But, the "D" word is there, staring at us all of the time, and we don't always like anything that we think we "have" to do.

This may help. You don't have to do it. It's your choice, as always. Before we even try to do it once, we need to change our attitude about it. This isn't a duty, or a job. It's a privelege. Think about this. You get to hear, and speak in the presence of the Almighty God, the unseen one, your maker, your redeemer, the One Whose thoughts and ways are higher than our thoughts and ways. This is God!

Do you remember as a child looking up to someone older and maybe wiser than you? Do you remember how you sought their attention, their approval? Was this not a relationship you really wanted to have, one that you enjoyed very much? One maybe that even shaped your life?

Then there's God. He's always there, you can't be separated from Him. He patiently awaits your attention, your love, your time. Yet we are the ones who need Him, long to hear Him, long to see Him, and know Him. He is the ultimate relationship of our lives, and here He is, just waiting for us. Haven't you always wanted that kind of relationship? This isn't a bad thing, it's a very, very good thing.

For men, God is the best friend they ever had who will always go wherever we are. For women, God is the ultimate husband, always listening, never interrupting, patient and kind through changes in appearance, old age, and mistakes. For both, no matter how we look, or act, no matter the mistakes we make, if we believe, He will always be there, loving us just the same. Isn't that an appointment worth keeping? Even psychologists aren't that good, and they charge you money just so you can hear them babble. God is so much better than a psychologist, that to mention the two in the same sentence seems sinful.

Do you want to know why so many are rebelling against the "traditional" church? Because the "traditional" church is boring! It is filled with things that have become meaningless, chants, and rituals that are no longer pleasing to God, because they are words uttered with their lips, while their hearts are far from Him. Do you want to know why people don't like solitude, and "quiet" time, and "devotions"? Because we have been told that these things have to be boring! I will not apologize for saying this, if you want to live with a boring God, go ahead, but for me, no thank you!

God is life! He is not death! He is not ritual, or chanting, or image-driven dribble. He is God! The same God that made volcanoes made you. The same God who made kittens and puppies made you. The same God who made color made you. God didn't have to give us color, He could have given us black and white, and we wouldn't have known the difference. God is Boring?! No way!

No wonder "discipline" is such a dirty word in this new generation, when all you get out of God is boredom! I assure you, God is not boring. Look at the one-liners Jesus zinged at the Pharisees on the spot. What journalist or Hollywood writer wouldn't give his or her left arm to be able to respond with such quips and answers, on the spot?! Jesus didn't have hours to write a column, or months and years to write a book, He responded immediately, and left his accusers and questioners with nothing to say! Is that boring? Can you do it? None of us can! Shake off that old preacher or relative, or mentor who taught you that God was boring. It's not true!!

The same God who created humor, also created worship. The same God who created up-times also created down times. If He did so, don't you think there's a good reason? Would He ever tell you to do something that was bad for you? If we believe He uses all things to the good of those who love Him, then why must we believe He is boring!?

Solitude, quiet time, Lectio Divina, it doesn't matter what it is. There will be nothing but boredom in it for us if we expect it to boring. But, before we expect it to be boring, let's please just remember Who we are talking about, okay? We are not talking about some politician, or some preacher who left his personality at seminary. We are talking about God! If he made humor, how much more humorous is He than us? If He made excitement and thrills, how much more thrilling must He be?

Solitude can only happen alone, and only in silence. It is literally Spirit-led prayer. Begin by just asking the Holy Spirit to lead you where He wants to take you, and then just let go, and enjoy the ride. If you truly let go, I promise you, your ride will be anything but boring. You will be amazed at all the places He takes you. With Him, there is no boundary, or border. Neither Communism nor democracy means anything to Him. There is no place He cannot take you, no thing He cannot show you, no word He cannot speak to you.

Quiet time is time spent alone with God, but it doesn't necessarily have to be silent. Quiet time is misnamed. Let it just be time. You can spend time in solitude, and quiet time, laying down before you sleep, or driving your car, or just sitting in a chair alone. Quiet time is not necessarily the same as scripture reading, but it can be used as time to do just that. But "quiet time" is where we talk to God, and He talks to us. It is the times we possibly learn the most about God, and from Him. And here is a truth: You cannot love someone well if you do not know them well. If you want to love God well, then you have to get to know Him, and that means you have to use what He has given you to reveal Himself to you. One of those things is His Word. Another is prayer. We have no better way of discerning the Will of God than through prayer, and specifically, Spirit-led prayer (solitude). But when you do these things, do them with an expectancy of the amazing, because the God you love is an amazing God. He is most definitely, absolutely, the most exciting being you will ever be around!!! Treat your time with Him as if He is. Fire yourself up!! If we change the way we approach our time with God, our time with God will be changed, I promise.

I will continue this tomorrow, incorporating quiet time and scripture a little more. Also, I'll touch on what to do to approach solitude, and how we actually do it. Thanks. Oh yeah, please answer the two questions I asked at the long ago beginning of this post. Bye bye.



Here is something that I will be sharing with my small group this Friday. I arrived at this because of the things I see in my own church that distress me, as well as all of the things I read and hear in other churches, yes, even churches internationally. There is this common problem we all share. It's called dissensions (Disputes, factions, etc Galatians 5:20-21).

Everywhere I go, I hear the "Christian song and dance" being played. You know, the one that starts out singing "oh, Blessed Lord God Jesus, how I give all of me to you.", and so on. It then moves into its second verse, which begins by talking about someone else (gossip), and ends with advice for that person , advice that person will never hear, because let's face it, gossip is gossip because the person isn't there to hear it. The third verse sings about everything this singing Christian is currently doing in their walk with Jesus, and ends with everything they have ever done (Ministries and programs).

The fourth verse (yes, this is a loooooong song) starts out praising the church this singer attends, but ends by bashing the leadership, and wishing just a few things (okay, ten or twenty things) were different, then it'd be a perfect place to "worship".

Everyone has either sung this song, or heard it sung. I am of the opinion that everyone has sung it, so don't feel like I am pointing the finger at you, because everyone means me, too.

I thought and thought about this, and what it comes down to is this:

Ten Questions Jesus will definitely not be asking you when you meet Him.

1. What church did you attend?
2. What programs were you involved in?
3. Was your church a good church, or a bad church?
4. Did you like the Pastor?
5. Did you like the type of music at your church?
6. Was there something your church did that you thought was wrong?
7. Did you find just the right church suited to your every idea of what "church" should be like?
8. Did you "feel" accepted in your church?
9. Were there people in your church that you thought shouldn't have been there?
10. What did you think I could have done differently?

Five Questions Jesus is sure to ask when you meet Him

1. Do you believe in Me?
2. Who do you belong to?
3. What did you do with everything I gave you?
4. Did you give everything to me?
5, Did you prepare yourself for My coming?

That last question is a little ambiguous, I admit. I mean, what can we do to prepare for His coming? But, these questions are the things that will pave our eternity. The ten questions above those? They mean nothing. Strangely, we seem to spend most of our time stuck on those issues.

What church we attend, what people we "fellowship" with, what clothes we wear, what money we have, what we think about every Christian we know, these things bear absolutely no fruit. The only things that matter are the things Jesus cares about.

Last night I referenced the Acts 2: 37-47 church. Do you know what is the most telling verse about that church, the verse that speaks loudest for them, and against this generation? Verse 46, which says, "Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart."

The Acts 2: 37-47 church continued with one mind (the mind of Christ), and with sincerity of heart. That is what is missing in the modern church. It is missing, I believe, although I do not know for sure, because we are more focused on the first ten questions than we are on the last.

After our salvation is sure, the only important thing is, do we live as though Jesus is coming right now? Everything else pales in comparison to this one thing. Because, if we live as though Jesus is coming right now, then all the answers to the questions Jesus asks us will be met with, "Well done, good and faithful servant."

So, we can focus on the meaningless, or we can focus on the questions Jesus will be asking us, and live as though He is coming, right now. May the urgency of the Lord's coming meet you fully with grace. Amen.



It seems to me that there are just too many wolves amongst the sheep, and I am sick of it all. I am feeling very discouraged about all of this right now, and it all seems so overwhelming.

There is much hurt within the Body of Christ. There are wolves amongst the sheep, and if I had a spear, I'd know what to do with it.

I read the other day of a very young lady in Malaysia who was spiritually abused by a pastor. How does she trust another pastor, when this wolf bit her while she trusted him? How does a man take such advantage of a sheep under his care? I don't understand it! How do you encourage this young lady?

I have twelve men entrusted to my care, but they are not my disciples. They belong to Jesus. The things we have learned together, the memories of joy, and yes, of deep, deep pain have cemented us in our community and faith. How can a leader bite someone under his care? I think of these men, and I wonder, how?!?!!!

I think of the things they have entrusted me with, things they have told no one else. These men I have prayed over, cried about, and rejoiced in. How?!?! Will someone please tell me how such a person ever becomes a pastor?!

I do not know. I know the young lady's story has much company in this Body. I have heard of it first hand. But this one story has affected me deeply. I don't know why.

But, there is a movement afoot. Traditional churches are driving away some who feel that their churches just don't do community right. About all of that, I have only this to say, besides the persecuted church, there isn't a church who does community right, not even one, not even close.

To get community right, we have to be the Acts 2:37-47 church. Maybe that's why we have wolves amongst us, because they know we are desperate to be accepted, and they prey upon it to their gain.

Today, we call the Acts 2: 37-47 church "communism", and we reject it without a second thought. However, that church is the church Jesus Christ built. It wasn't communism, because communism rejects God, and Acts 2: 37-47 depended upon God. We in the non persecuted church do not know, nor have we ever known true community. We pity the persecuted church because they are persecuted. Yet the only two things the persecuted church ever asks for is prayer, and Bibles. They never ask for us to pray that the persecution stops.

They do community similar to the Acts 2 church. I wonder, do you think persecution strengthens community, or weakens it? On the flip side, do you think not being persecuted strengthens or weakens community? Whenever I hear reports of the persecuted churches I know of, I don't hear too much about wolves amongst the sheep. But here in the non-persecuted church, I hear about it a lot.

Dear Sister in Malaysia, if you are reading this, I want you to know I am sorry. As a leader in my church, I struggle with the responsibility of leadership, with the way I treat people, and especially those in my care. It is such a tremendous trust we are given, and I am not worthy of that trust, no one is. For three years now, I have felt unready to lead, and yet I am told that is the right attitude to have. May I die then, the day I think I am ready.

Tonight is going to be a long night. I'll pray for you, lady in Malaysia, and I'll pray for that wolf of a pastor, too. I don't know that I'll ever understand why people become like that. I have always felt so badly for those who are abused by someone more "powerful" than them. It makes me just want to give a lion's roar to heaven, and so tonight, that is what I will do. And we will see if Jesus hears us. Amen.


Becoming Like Jesus

Good Evening.

I am glad to be able to write again tonight. I was wondering throughout the day what I was going to write about, when I was reminded of the following verse:

For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren. Romans 8:29 NASB

What does it mean to be "conformed to the image of His Son?" It is not a mystery, although many do not know what that verse means, because they have never been told, or even introduced to it. It means simply this; you, if you believe, will become like Jesus Christ, through the process of sanctification ("become conformed"). Now, you probably knew that, right? But did you know what it really means?

The above verse talks about predestination in the same way that we are predestined to be saved. However, in this verse, it is easier to understand, and easier to swallow, I might add. Being predestined for something means that God chooses it for you, and does it for you. All the while it feels like you are choosing, and I don't have the time here tonight to get into how that works, but suffice it to say our sanctification is not in our hands, through our efforts, at all.

The process and the events of sanctification belong to God. So does all of the effort. Just as Christ died for us a pure and sinless death that we couldn't die, so also God has provided the means of sanctifying us, literally of conforming us to the image of Christ. So many of us get lost in our efforts to obey Jesus that we either forget this truth, or never knew it to begin with.

Satan wants you to try, really, really hard. His temptations are designed to get you to try, and fail. And when you fail, what does that voice in your head tell you? How about a little self-condemnation to go along with all that SIN!!!!!? And would you like some fries with that burger?

Swallow it. That's what Satan tells you. "Buy the temptation so that I can run to God and accuse you in front of Him, and when that doesn't work, I'll be back to whisper in your ear just how rotten you really are." Have you ever felt like this?

I have, and sometimes I go for days forgetting the truth, forgetting grace. Can you imagine how miserable I get? Of course you can, if it happens to you. You know how to feel guilt. And you know how to try really, really hard. This world teaches us that by our efforts, we can make something of ourselves, so why would it be any different in our faith, right? It is different, because God says it is different.

You are predestined to become like the Son of God. You are a "can't miss" prospect. Even by trying to fail at it, still, God will have His way in your life, and you will be conformed to the image of Christ. That is what predestination means. We can try to be good. We can make our checklists, and try to make a plan for stopping the sins we commit so often.

Or, we can submit to God. The very best we can do as followers of Christ is to cooperate. The way we do that is to learn what God has to say about us in His Word, and believe that. The closer we come to believing and knowing who God says we are, the more readily we will submit to the Potter's Hands. Following Christ means following a person, not a set of rules. And we have the Spirit of God within us to make sure that happens. Romans 8:29 is only possible because of grace, not because of effort.

Now, I know that there are many who will say, "Be careful, you don't want to encourage the people to not try to be good." In response I will say this; I have yet to meet the person who once they understood what grace was, and understood that it was all God's doing, who "backslid" into a wretched constant no-good sinner. It is not even a possibility. God says we are predestined for sanctification. Do you believe it?

May the grace and peace of God the Father, and of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you, in your head, your heart, your entire body throughout this next day. You are the Beloved of God, and He will see to it that you are Holy.

Amen to that.


Thank you for taking the time to read this web-log. This is the first time I have done this, so please bear with me. I have this desire in my heart to share what I have learned, and am learning, with others, about the grace of Jesus Christ, both for salvation, and for living life every day.
I also have a burning desire to shout out the truth to a world dying to hear it, a world that is as alone and without grace as it possibly could be.

Fellow believers, you know that whenever you see someone who doesn't know Jesus Christ, you see a person without an eternal hope. Doesn't that make you want to do something about it?
Well, that is only part of the reason I am doing this. The other part has to do with the many believers who currently live the same desperate, hopeless life they lived before they met Jesus, the only difference being, now they are saved, and they cling to that because they believe there is nothing good for them here. This web page is about truth, and we will expose the truth, and we will expose Satan, and as many of his lies as we possibly can. Why? Because we are commanded to (see 1 Timothy 2:3-4).

Jesus came so that we would have life, and have it abundantly. He did not come so that we could try really hard, and at the end of the day, spend our prayer time moaning to God about how miserably we failed. The Gospel of Grace is not just about life in Heaven. It is also all about life here on earth. A person seeking to live life to the fullest won't find that life until he finds Jesus Christ, and he still won't find that full life until he realizes that grace is necessary and full each and every day. Do you find yourself still seeking that full, abundant life?

This web page will not be about checklists, and ten days to perfection, or the twenty sure-fire spiritual chants that will solve all of your temptations. This website is not about how to get rich in a godly manner, or how to use Jesus Christ to get what you want out of life. It is about truth, and sometimes the truth is a hard teaching. Find comfort in this; life is hard anyway, wouldn't you rather do it knowing the truth, knowing the best way, knowing you have hope each and every day? Or are you content to be led on by Satan and his lies, so long as it doesn't cost you too much?

There are some hard questions we need to ask ourselves, but if we claim to be followers of Christ, then we won't shy away from them, they will spur us on to the truth. Here's one now; If today Jesus told you that the rest of your life, you would have to beg to stay alive, that your job would be lost, your home, your family, and everything that could help you make a living, would you be thankful just to be alive, or would you beg for death instead? You see, the measure of a person's faith is not in what the Lord gives him. Rather, it is in how that person responds to the Lord no matter what the situation is. I have met some really loud Christians who claim they are doing the Christian life the right way because they are set for life, have huge retirement accounts, and tithe out of their excess. They believe that because they have been so blessed, they must be doing something right. The truth is, they may be doing something right. Or, they may not. Wealth and material blessings have nothing to do with how you walk before the Lord. Some of the poorest people I know walk far more closely, and in more dependence upon the Lord than the wealthy who claim righteousness because they have been blessed. So, you can see the truth. God gives to whom he chooses to give, and withholds from whom He chooses to withhold. Yes, obedience does lead to blessings from the Lord, but the truth is, those blessings don't always have much to do with material things.

Tonight, I just wanted to introduce this site, and start with a passage found in different forms at the beginning of just about all the Epistles to the churches of the New Testament. Galatians 1:3-4 reads, "Grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father." Think about that passage for a few minutes.

When is the last time you were greeted in such a manner? Have you ever greeted someone else this way? For most, the answer will be no, and one of the excuses might be, "It just seems too churchy, too holier than thou." Well, that might be a good excuse if you belonged to the world. However, since almost all of the New Testament letters started with such a greeting, it is clear that none of the Apostles thought the greeting was too "holier than thou". We might follow their example, because I am of the opinion that the Church was never stronger nor holier than when these men still walked the face of this earth. I don't see too many miracles being performed, and except for a very few, I don't see many people leading thousands of people to Christ in a single day. Nor do I see people being raised from the dead. So, the Apostles are men we can look at as examples to follow.
Try greeting someone that way today, maybe in a letter, or whenever you see someone. I tried this greeting for an entire week with people I let the Holy Spirit lead me to, and the responses were amazing! Some of the people I greeted in this way actually cried tears of joy, so timely was the meeting of the words. I used the above passage from Galatians, and then explained to them why I was greeting them that way, and usually included some personal addition to that greeting, some thing that I knew about the other person that I wanted to encourage them in. You see, this greeting is all about truth, and especially about encouragement. Grace is encouragement for the rest of life here on earth, and when we see that, when we believe it, it may well reduce us to simple tears of joy.

So, today, think about grace, think not about how hard obeying the Lord is, think simply about how His grace is sufficient for you in any, and every circumstance. Think, and remember how you first felt when you realized that you would be in Heaven one day. Remember that feeling every day! There is no better way to live the abundant life than to live it constantly under and in the grace of God our Father, and of the Lord Jesus Christ. May that very grace be with you today, may you feel it in your heart, and in your body. May it lighten your burden, and encourage you in the seemingly impossible.

I am a man who needs the same grace you need. So, when you read this, remember that you are not reading the writings of an Apostle. You are reading the thoughts of a man somewhere who isn't all that different from you. Thank you.