Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Love's Absolute

Something has to change....wouldn't you agree? I mean, isn't the whole world running hard after some kind of change? Diets, global warming, politics, the fall TV schedule, fashions, new car models, makeovers (extreme or otherwise), the emerging church (a new term but an ancient pursuit), name it, its changing. If it isn't changing its probably dying.

However, the key to being part of a change that isn't changing just for change sake is being changed by something Absolute. After all, radical Islamic fundementalists want change too, but their brand of change is death to the infidels and, well, I guess they don't mind dying too.... which pretty much leaves us all dead. My point is that change has to grow out of a deeper transcending Truth because, as stated at the top of this blog, something HAS TO change.

Here's what I believe; If you will give God a handful of change, He will give you an acre of life. God is the only One who can change everything instantly but, He won't impose change where we don't invite it. Hence, giving Him the handful. You and I don't have to change everything today, but we do need to change something.

So here is today's challenge to change: Loved people are extraordinarily and daily changed. Love indeed changes everything! But I hasten to add, not just human love. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy loving and being loved by my wife, family, church and friends. It's just that I have discovered that even if those factors are in place, I am still looking for Love. Love's Absolute is God.

Too often when we approach the subject of the love of God, we smile it off with a warm feeling (at best). At worst, it hits an empty detached wish for an experience. Jesus and Paul prayed for something dramatically different: Read John 17 and Ephesians 3:14-19.

TALK ABOUT ABSOLUTE!! Jesus wants us to have the same love that the Father had for Him, from the beginning, when They lived in the mystery of the Trinity....that Holy Community of Absolute One, though Three. What held Them together? Love. And that Love, Jesus prayed, would be ours. Do you believe Jesus always gets His prayers answered? And Paul gets even crazier because he prayed that we would actually experience God's Love so much so that we would be filled WITH ALL the FULLNESS of God! That's outrageous!
I John 4:16-19 says, “God is love…”. God doesn't just love, He IS Love. This sets an arresting base-line for ALL of our dealings, all of our vision and all of our pursuit of God. This passage also says that this Perfect Love violently, forcefully and furiously "casts" out fear and every related anecdotal deviation even remotely resembling fear.

This kind of Love will ruin us. Sick, dysfunctional, manipulative posers of love won't stand a chance. The human condition is uniquely vulnerable because God created us to be Loved,not just loved. In absence of Love, we become reckless. In the aberrations of Love, we become abnormal. But in the full on Transcendent Supremacy of God's Love we are free to become the full on human we were all destined to be.

So whether you have put yourself in the vortex of this Love for years or you have not at all, in either case, dive in NOW! I know that some of you want to know how, but the truth is, if I knew how, with western scientific precision, I'd borrow all the money I could and advertise it everywhere I could buy the time and space to shout it out. Why? Because something has to change!

The value of any person, place or thing is in direct proportion to the Love that is allowed into on and through that person, place or thing. Allow it. Make room for it. Get out of your own way. Get on your knees and accept it. Go out in the woods and open wide your mind and heart to receive it. Just do something to ALLOW IT!

Jude 20,21 says to keep yourself in the Love of God.
"ARGGGGHHH!", you say. "Tell me how!", you say. I can only tell you why.


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Did you know?

Michael Angelo, our church web artist, asked me last night if I would use this forum to invite you to visit our church web site at, . (Thats lower case L W C and the number one). From there you can download my Sunday and Wednesday sermons for free. If you want to burn a CD and give it to a friend, just please write the web site address and this blog site on the CD. And, by the way, there is also a link from the church's web page to this blog.

We are constantly updating that web page and striving to make it as much of a service to as many people as possible. It is important to us that the vision and message that God has entrusted to us is seeded out as far and wide as possible. That is all....

Monday, October 08, 2007

Nasty Cat in the Basement

In my 35 years of pastoring I have found that there are very few productive options to hold to when it comes to the subject of the "end-times". The following is a basic sampling to illustrate what I mean:
*ignore it because it is too complicated
*ignore it because it isn't my gifting to teach it
*ignore it because it is too scary
*ignore it because it is too controversial and it might split my church
*go after it and sink into the multiple complications (and sinking genuine discipleship)
*go after it and pretend it is my gift to teach it (while secretly using one of many books written
by the specialists on the dates, timelines and current geo-political dynamics)
*go after it and scare the pants off most thinking people and ignore the terror in the eyes of
women and children
*go after it and identify my church as one of the "Pre", "Post", "A", "Mid", etc. catagories

Ignoring it is like greeting guests into your home and warning them that you have a nasty cat in the basement when and if you see them approaching the basement door. "Trust me. You don't want to go down there. The stench alone is bad, not to mention the rabies. Why do we keep it? Well, it was my grandmother's cat.....she mysteriously died from rabies....but we promised to care for dear old Nasty."

Going after it can be like keeping Nasty on the main floor. "Oh-oh...there he goes again, claiming territory! Don't worry. Your shoes should smell better in a month or so. And by the way, do you have your rabies vaccinations up to date?"

I've chosen an entirely different path. I euthanized old Nasty several years ago. The basement was a beast to clean but my house smells much better these days. Occasionally, a guest shows up at my house with their own cat. It's really annoying, but I've learned to keep a cat euthanizing kit right at my front door. Through the years people have learned that they are always welcome in my home but they better leave their nasty cat in their own basement. Apparently, some folks prefer a living vicious, smelly, rabid cat over living the abundant life.

As for me and my house? Well, lets put it this way; The Lion of the Tribe of Judah lives triumphantly in every room and His Kingdom is coming, day by day, ON EARTH, AS IT IS IN HEAVEN. The smell is heavenly......

Monday, October 01, 2007


We have trained ourselves, intentionally, but more so, unintentionally, to expect a marginalized amount of Good and God in our lives. In more ways than I can count, Christianity has allowed for a faith that says that there is only so much of God’s goodness that you can expect in this life, and that it may even be wrong to "over-expect" or put God to the test. As a result, "going to heaven" and, when we "get to" heaven becomes our default for anything that extravagantly challenges our faith. (Another one of these safe zones is the millennium, but that's a topic for a different time).

This is a far too convenient way for Christians to have a lack of faith and then validate it in spiritually accommodating terms. This can sound so spiritual, even “mature” and then quietly, but tragically, invalidate mountain moving, history making, nation healing faith. Limiting, portioning and budgeting our faith then becomes, “mature”. I read somewhere, however, that real maturity is coming to the full stature of the image of Christ and, frankly, His kind of faith scares the khaki pants off most of us.

As a result, I don’t believe we’ve expended the kind of concentrated, corporate, cultural faith for a significant amount of time consistently to really know what God might pour on earth from heaven. Are you aware that Moses saw sapphire floors in the presence of God, right here on earth? What are we seeing? I watched a popular national TV broadcast last night that put new wood floors under a family that neglects their own needs in order to meet the needs of others. That's great, but I'm tired of being a part of a church culture that accepts an impoverished view of what we can do while the outside world dances circles around us.

I wonder what would happen if, in the church, a delightful core of warrior believers found their way to a corporate, kingdom, cultural mindset and they learned to establish among themselves a covenant to speak the same things, sing the same things, to believe and agree together on the same things (in kindness and love) to hold ourselves true in prayer, with a line drawn, that every good and perfect gift comes down out of heaven; if it’s evil, we did it or the devil did it and by the Kingdom's power and glory, we will overcome it!

I don’t know if we have fasted toward this kind of community. (Read and reread Malachi 3:10-18; Isaiah 58:6-12) All too often we allow the delusion of little compromises and diluted down versions of the Kingdom among us. Even our "Christian" media sometimes is so subtle in these errant messages that we miss the watering down of badly needed world changing truths. Christian sugar flies at us and sticks us in sugary holes. People all around us are living in hell while we sing about how much fun we'll all have when we get to heaven. Shouldn't we rather dare to dream about bringing heaven to earth for the healing of the nations?

We are called to a fierceness of spirit, of faith and of a cultural covenant kingdom communication to war against those things that war against us and to be collectively drawn to a REAL focus of heaven on earth. What would happen if we focused on just how far do we dare go with this!? What would happen if we (and I mean, at least, a core of us) would end all the shaming and blaming of people groups and politics and take up the command to examine ourselves and our own works to see if WE are in the faith? What faith is that? The faith that aims at discipling the nations (not a few in every nation, but the whole nation), raising the dead, healing the sick and the confident announcement that the Kingdom of God has come near because it lives and breaths IN US!

We need a vision of our calling that requires God's presence and power in us to accomplish it. By the way, and for the record, I'm not talking about TV ministries or buildings. It seeems to me that too much of what we church folks do could have been done with or without God. Billy Graham is credited with saying that 95% of the activities in today's church would continue if the Holy Spirit were removed from us, but in the book of Acts, 95% of the church's activities would have stopped if the Holy Spirit was removed.

If that burns you like it burns me, lets change it.