Wednesday, June 29, 2005

The Older Brother Part II

Thanks for the wonderful comments and observations from the last post concerning the older brother. I heard Randy Harris say one time that most of us cannot relate to the younger son, in that most of us have not TOTALLY turned our back on God in rebellion. Yeah, we struggle daily......if not hourly.......but I would guess most of us have never completely left God altogether. Randy went on then to quickly add that most of us HAVE been the older brother sometime in our walk......therefore we can relate to him much better. BINGO! Guilty as charged. How about you? Have you ever felt you EARNED God's love and grace? Then the older brother's attitude and heart should resonate with you. And as I pointed out yesterday, if you have been opposed to God showing grace to someone else or some other group, and if you have been judgemental of someone's idea of celebration......then you have walked in the older brother's shoes.

One last observation about the older brother, and then I will move on to some other topic. Isn't it sad that the older brother had lived with his father all those years, and didn't even really KNOW his father?!? I am assuming he knew a lot ABOUT his father, but like many of us, he found out there is a HUGE difference in knowing about a father and actually knowing him. If he had known him, the celebration would not have been a surprise to him. The love the father showed for his younger brother would have been anticipated and expected......instead of being a shock.
Don't think this point was missed by Jesus's audience that day. Remember who he was talking to.........those who thought they knew the Father better than anybody! Come to find out, all they knew was ABOUT him. If they had really known the Father, they would have known His son. They killed the son of the one they thought they knew.

Do you know about Him.......or do you KNOW HIM?

Monday, June 27, 2005

The Older Brother

We could talk about the parable of the "Prodigal Son(s)" for a LONG time, couldn't we? There are so many deep discussions that evolve out of this special story in Luke chapter 15. I heard Jerry Jones say last year something to this effect: "There were two lost sons in this was lost because of rebellion, and the other was lost because of religion." WOW! Just about all the oxygen was sucked out of the auditorium that we were in. Lost because of religion? Interesting concept.

See if you recognize two traits the older brother exhibited. One, he was opposed to GRACE. Second, he was offended by CELEBRATION. Hmmmm........sound familiar? There really is nothing new under the Sun, is there?

Or under THE Son, either.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Holy Spirit and Ramblings

Thanks for ALL the comments from the last post concering the Holy Spirit. There are no right or wrong least from my perspective. My goal was to share that very penetrating question with all of you, and to motivate you to ponder it with me. Evidently that happened. I will share with you my initial reaction when I was confronted with that question, and it was something to the effect of "I doubt anybody would notice, because I don't let HIM control my life enough." See, for most of my life I have thought I was in control, and I WANTED to be master of this ship. So, it was a major wake up call for me.......a brick wall I needed to bloody my nose with. I know it didn't grab everybody the same way, and I think that is great. But I wanted to share with you, because so many of you had already done so.


I am a very nostalgic person. As I was channel surfing last night, I came across some kind of "comedy" hour on BET. Is there some funny stuff on there? I am sure there is. But last night for the 30 seconds I watched, I couldn't help but think about how what we accept as "acceptable" has fallen to such a LOW level. We tolerate pretty much anything to be shown on TV. And please don't try and read a racial motivation or bias into this observation..........I feel the EXACT same way about Saturday Night Live! The things people say on TV these days would have outraged us in the 60's and 70's, and been XXX rated. I know many of you have "blockers" on your TV set, and I appreciate your wisdom. I probably need to follow your lead. And don't hear me saying ALL of TV is bad.......I know that is not the truth. I love "Animal Planet" and "the Discovery Channel" and "TV Land".
I love watching sporting events. But it just upsets me when what we.....or maybe I...accept as "acceptable" things that would have embarrassed me 30 years ago. Some of you probably are saying "I don't accept it", and I don't mean to speak for those of you who are doing something about it. I just know I haven't been proactive in trying to make a difference. Where are Red Skelton, Jackie Gleason, and Flip Wilson when you need them?


How about my man Robert Horry?!?!?! Yeah, I keep up with all my Bama boys. I am biased, but can you think of an NBA role player that has had more impact on his team in the last 20 years or so? I bet 6 rings that you can't! GO SPURS! :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

The Question

I want to share with you what I consider the best question I have heard in a long time. A REALLY long time! I don't expect you to answer the question in a public forum like this, but I hope you will answer this question with a close friend or an accountability group. Most of all, I hope you answer to the person you see in the mirror every day. Here it is:

If the Holy Spirit decided he was NOT going to indwell in you anymore, would anybody even be able to tell a difference?

Chew on that one for a while. A long while.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Your Theology

Since I am still in the stone age on links and all that, let me just encourage you to go to Fajita's blog and click on his link to take the test of where you are in your theology. No, it won't be the definitive answer........but it might be insightful as to where you are using those questions as a criteria. I took it and it told me I was the only one going to heaven. :) Seriously, the results said I was 89% Emergent/postmodern and 89% Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan. That might not be exact, but it probably is a pretty good indication of where I am at the present time on this faith walk I am on. And NO.........I did NOT understand ALL the questions, nor did I know all the people that the test alludes to. They didn't even have Jimmy Allen or Max Lucado on there......what's a guy to do?

Here is the web address for Chris's blog where you can click on his link and take it:

Headed out of town tomorrow till the end of the week. I'll have my Pepperdine CD's with me, so as the kids's all good! Oh, and Mark Benton will be with me for part of the trip, and what a blessing that will be.

Thanks for all your suggestions as to what books Jesus might have written. Maybe that will be another blog post one of these days. I thought somebody would turn in the title: "How Wine is Really Grape Juice". :)

I hope ALL you dads have the BEST Father's Day you have EVER had!

Tic, I love you! Thanks for being the best dad any son could hope for.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

The # 1 Author Who Never Wrote a Book

Go to any Barnes and Noble and check out the section for biographies and autobiographies. In most cases it will be the most frequented part of the store....well, besides the coffee. People love to read about the lives of other people, and for some reason, especially the lives of celebrities. It is an obsession with some folks. It seems like every athlete, politician, and movie star has to write a book telling us all the details of their life. How long do you think it will be before one of the jurors in the Michael Jackson trial will write a book? It's probably already happened! I know I will be rushing out to purchase it, how about you? :)

So here is what hit me this come Jesus never wrote a book? How big a seller would "Writings in the Sand" or "My 40 days in the Wilderness" have been?
Think of all the self-help titles we are missing out on....."How to Never Lust After the Opposite Sex" or "The Guilt Free Life". And that is just the tip of the ice-berg. I would love to hear some of your suggestions as to the titles of books Jesus could have written. But getting back to my original question......why didn't he write even one book? We can only guess and speculate, because he didn't tell us why.
Here are a few guesses. Maybe he knew we would pay more attention to what he SAID as opposed to what he DID? Maybe he didn't want to do anything that would draw attention away from the Father? Maybe the time it took to write was too valuable to Him in other ways........such as serving? Imagine that. I do know one thing, whatever the reason was, it was based on what was best for us! He didn't do ANYTHING that wasn't motivated out of his love for us. So, I guess we will just have to wait till the other side to know the answer. It may take an eternity to just answer all our questions, huh? Can't you just see us all like 5 years olds holding up our hands, waving our arms and making sounds and grunting to get his attention? "He never calls on me!" :)

One of the books would have had to been something along the lines of "I Love You This Much <---------------------------> !" Reckon it would have made the "best-seller" list?

Friday, June 10, 2005

John 9

I am not sure there is another chapter in the New Testament that is dedicated to ONE miracle. I wish somebody would make a movie of this event. It might need to be a mini-series! I just want to quote one section from "the Message", and I won't try and make speaks for itself quite well without me, thank you. (Imagine that) I probably would distract you from the powerful message from the text, and lots of times its best to just get out of the way and let the Spirit talk.

Jesus then said, "I came into the world to bring everything into the clear light of day, making all the distinctions clear, so that those who have never seen will see, and those who have made a great pretense of seeing will be exposed as blind."

Some Pharisees overheard him and said, "Does this mean you're calling us blind?"

Jesus said, "If you were really blind, you would be blameless, but since you claim to see everything so well, you're accountable for every fault and failure."

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Eugene Peterson

This is the introduction to the book of "James" written by Eugene Peterson for "The Message". I know he is not any more inspired than you or I are. But I sure appreciate his wisdom and the spirit in which he writes.

"When Christian believers gather in churches,
everything that can go wrong sooner of later does.
Outsiders, on observing this, conclude that there is
nothing in the religion business except, perhaps
business – and dishonest business at that. Insiders
see it differently. Just as a hospital collects the
sick under one roof and labels them as such, the
church collects sinners. Many of the people outside
the hospital are every bit as sick as the ones inside,
but their illnesses are either undiagnosed or
disguised. It’s similar with sinners outside the
church. So Christian churches are not, as a rule, model
communities of good behavior. They are, rather,
places where human misbehavior is brought out in the
open, faced, and dealt with."

What do you think of his conclusions?

Monday, June 06, 2005


First, thanks for all the encouraging comments after my last post! And thanks especially for the prayers. It's clear to me why we need community and fellowship, not to follow some "pattern" or to get our card punched.........but because it will BLESS us, DUH! Why can't we get it? The "it" being that EVERYTHING He wants us to do is FOR us. He's kinda unselfish like that, isn't He? Imagine that.

I don't want to beat this to death, but when you hear or read impacting things it is only natural to want to share it with those you love. Here is just a taste of "Searching for God Knows What" by Donald Miller. This is from a chapter entitled "Morality".

The hijacking of the concept of morality began, of course, when we reduced Scripture to formula and a love story to theology, and finally morality to rules. It is a very different thing to break a rule than it is to cheat on a lover. A person's mind can do all sorts of things his heart would never let him do. If we think of God's grace as a technicality, a theological precept, we can disobey without the slightest feeling of guilt, but if we think of God's grace as a relational invitation, an outreach of love, we are pretty much jerks for belittling the gesture.

I told Keith Brenton (after he helped me figure out the italics thingy) this morning that I think this is the only book in my whole life that I am thinking about reading again immediately after I finish it the first time. It's that powerful, it's that impacting. If you want to read it and can't find it or can't afford it, let me know and I will get it and send it to you. And you folks that have read it....comment on your reaction to it. It won't hurt my feelings if you are not as high on it as I am. I will just delete your comments from now on. :) NOT! I wouldn't do that.

God bless each of you today on your walk. I'm glad to be walking behind you.

Friday, June 03, 2005

One Year

I realized the other day that I have been bloggin for a year now. WOW! Time flies when you are having fun. It has been a blessing to me, I can tell you that! Because of this blogging community, I have people that I consider close friends that I have really never sat down with and had a face to face conversation with. Reading all the other posts each morning is a rich source of encouragement. I know I have said this before, but the most important reason I am plugged in to all of your blogs is that I am in a survivor mode. Yea, I enjoy it........but more importantly, I NEED all the encouragement I can get to be able to make it. I can't make it on my way. I need community. Without it, you can kiss me good-bye. So, thanks to all of you wonderful brothers and sisters that lift me up every day you post! Please continue in this wonderful ministry. I'm indebted to each and every one of you.


I am hooked on Donald Miller. For those of you who haven't read the sequel to "Blue Like Jazz", please go to Amazon or go to your local bookstore and pick up "Searching for God Knows What"....his latest. I think it is ever bit as good as "Jazz", and maybe better. One minute I am laughing out loud, and the next I am in awe of his deep insights. He has REALLY impacted me.


One of my best friends, Robert Ross, lost his dad this week. It's hard to see your friends grieve. Another close friend is going thru one of the most horrific family situations you could dream earthly hellish nightmare. So, I am emotionally the point I feel emotionally dead inside. Some of you have been there, maybe are there now. Maybe I will have something worth sharing next week. I know I don't need to keep taking without giving also. But, as I said earlier this week........on my BEST day all I have are 5 loaves and 2 fish. Today I feel like I have a few pieces of crust and a few scales with bones. Tomorrow is another day! :)

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Patrick Mead

If you haven't read Patrick Mead's latest post on his blog, don't waste another minute! You will be blessed.........PROMISE!

Is it June already?