Monday, March 24, 2014

Knock! Knock! - Guess Who??

Revelation 3:20
New King James Version (NKJV)
20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.

They say that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Took me a while, but I think it makes sense. I love to laugh and I equally enjoy helping others to laugh. My son is the same way! The other day, he decided to tell me a knock knock joke. It went like this:

Him: Knock! Knock!
Me: Who’s there?
Him: Me!
Me: Me who?
Him: Uh….Me!
Me: Me who?
Him: Knock! Knock!

Then, he just fell out laughing and wanted to tell me the joke again. Wasn’t the best joke in the world, but he thought it was hilarious.

This makes me think of someone else who is knocking at our door with a similar response.

In Revelation, we learn that Christ is standing at our door. The eye opening disclosure to the believer is that although he is powerful and passionate – Christ is also patient. We need Him more than He needs us, however He comes to our private place of residence and for some people, He uncovers them from their hiding spots. But when He arrives, He doesn’t bust open the door. An earlier part of that same passage talks about the lukewarm church – people who are lackadaisical in their belief and are virtually worthy of being spit out. He comes for them also.

The next part of that verse says that He knocks. His persistence to cause salvation is true. Christ knocks! Many would never know God if not for Him seeking them out. He sees your mistakes and knows about your imperfections yet He still wants to know you personally. Don’t allow your circumstances to deafen you to the sound of Christ’s knocking.

But, even if you ignore the knocks or the benefits of his handiwork, I pray that you hear His voice. Christ speaks to us through His Word, Teachers, Preachers, Bloggers, that timely worship song and moments that make you say Hmmmmm….

Finally, Christ enjoys dining with you. That’s pretty cool! If we reject His beckoning at this point – can we really blame Him for our conclusions? When Christ knocks, we should open the door swiftly. What have you ever gained from making a decision on your own when you have the King of wisdom available at your door? Just as Christ knocks to save the lost – Christ knocks to save His people from getting lost.

Have you ever opened the door to a guest who brought dinner and all the extra stuff? That’s what Christ does when you open the door for Him. He comes inside and not only feeds you at your location but also gives you more than enough to share with others. But, we still have to answer the door.

I heard a preacher say, Christ will draw you and not drag you. Although we are given the ability to make our own decision, Christ will direct you towards the right choice. Either way, you have to make a move.

So, consider my son and his horrible knock knock joke. Christ is knocking on your door, whether you adhere to His hand or His voice, the answer is the same – His Presence.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


Romans 8:26-27
New Living Translation (NLT)
26 And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. 27 And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers[a] in harmony with God’s own will.

Old McDonald Had a Farm E-I-E-I-O!

This is such a fun and addictive song. Someone starts singing it and then it is stuck in your head the remainder of the day.  Maybe I’m a research nerd or maybe my quest for random knowledge makes me believe I am cool, but I randomly decided to do a search on what E-I-E-I-O was really about. After a little more than too much time perusing the Internet for answers, the common definitive was that it was used as filler when there wasn’t enough words to say.

My son has latched on to this song and loves to sing it. Sometimes I find him randomly just saying e-i-e-i-o when he is at a loss for words. Example:

Me: Hey son what are you doing over there? Do you need anything?
Son: Playing.
Me: What are you playing with? Are you sure you are ok?
Son: truck, car, e-i-e-i-o (as he grabs at his pants)


Exactly! When he ran out of words to describe his circumstance, he simply said e-i-e-i-o.

Here is where it gets fun. Although my son was at a loss for words, his father knew exactly what he was trying to say. He was playing but he needed to go to the restroom.

The bible says in Romans 8:26-27 that in our weakness, the Holy Spirit helps us. It also says that the Father knows our heart and pleads on our behalf. So, what does that mean for you? When you are at a loss for words and end up fussing, rumbling, and mumbling words through your tears and complaints – the Holy Spirit is right there listening and deciphering your requests.

In tragedy, in confusion, in upset, or even in loss its ok to be lost on what to say. Remember that you are not alone and that the words of your prayers, articulate or unrecognizable, are always heard. When we get caught up in our activities and need assistance – words can become difficult to locate. There is hope. Keep speaking - He is listening and able to understand your every request.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Fear - it's what's for dinner!

Head bowed and arms loosely hanging at his sides, my son sombered his way over to me. My first thought, he must have wet his pants...

The moment he got close to me, a floodgate of tears opened and out came this boisterous cry for mercy. I'm challenged whether to console him or chide him. We marched into the restroom and in my sternest voice I said, "go potty!" Side note: there is no tough way to say potty.

He undressed and used the restroom still crying. Then, before he redressed, I checked his pull-up. Bone dry. 

We had been diligently working on potty training for weeks. My son was so afraid that he was going to mess up that at the thought of disappointing his father - he cried uncontrollably.

Psalm 111:10

New Living Translation (NLT)
Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true wisdom. All who obey his commandments will grow in wisdom. Praise him forever! 

I don't think God is sitting in heaven, with a golden septor, prepared bonk us on the head for every mistake. His goal is not to beat us into submission.

Through relationship with Him, God wants us to have a supreme respect for Him. Because we esteem Him above everything else, it should drive us to please him. Why shouldn't we shudder at the thought of disappointing our Heavenly Father. Although it is true that God has amazing grace - don't take it for weakness. 

But, the motivation to make great decisions should not be because you fear God on the Big Sins. We need to respect God daily by regarding and honoring Him in all things.   

He is Abba Father - Daddy God - Our Help and Our Strength.  Your life is forged from His love. So here his your challenge - can you say that you respect/fear God enough to not dissapoint him? When God loves, He gives wisdom for mistakes and strength to avoid them.

Eat a healthy portion of humble pie with a side of respect - 

your life depends on it!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

A post for my friend - Sebastian


We can, with a degree of certainty, predict when the sun will rise and set yet there isn’t accuracy in the laying of dew or the dispersing and disappearing of a morning fog. And, as much as we want to know how long we have to pursue our goals, that time is uncertain.  

James 4:14

New Living Translation (NLT)

14 How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.

Recently I was told that a great friend passed away. As believers in Jesus Christ, we have been charged to bring light into dark places. Often our presence can and should change the atmosphere of a room because of the power living inside us. I can honestly admit that Sebastian Young took that responsibility with great pride. From the moment we met, I was amazed at his passion for people. He invested his time, money, and resources into people without asking for reimbursement. I can’t tell you how many street solicitors he supported by purchasing music, DVDs, pies, and whatever else they were peddling. However, that often came at a great cost. He spent so much time looking out for others that he would often neglect himself.

While writing his first book together – I learned about the tragic death of his mother and how he used it as a catalyst to succeed in the face of adversity. We laughed about his Grandfather’s analogy of women and coke bottles, we were encouraged by the birth of his daughters, and we cried as he described the death of his close family members. Through it all, “he had every excuse to fail – but he chose none.”

When the book was published, he carried it around and showed it off as if it were a newborn baby. He took pictures, built a popular Facebook fan page, and spoke in several venues regarding the publication. Excited by the book’s success – Sebastian called me to begin his second book.

His thoughts were everywhere! It was like he verbally exploded every time we met. Sebastian started as a client and quickly became my friend. We hung out in his personally designed backyard, ate his amazing peach cobbler, and destroyed chicken sandwiches from the office restaurant next door. My fondest memories range from him being an IPhone hater and team Galaxy Smart Phone to our random push up contests in the Colbert/Ball Tax office. (I’m sure the employees and random customers were amused)

While writing his second book, he penned this thought,

“Your tolerance to pain is not what God is looking for – God is looking for you to change in your mind.”

This nearly cryptic saying didn’t make sense to me until today. Sebastian called me the evening he had a heart attack. I missed the call. The next morning he called again and said, “I’m in the hospital, bring me a red bag of skittles and some Arizona tea.” I laughed, “skittles and tea, anything for you!” I called and text over the next few days but got no response. Then I got the call that he was gone. My heart sunk as memories flooded my thoughts.

I was mad at everyone. I was at me for not going back to the hospital sooner, I was mad at his friends for not telling me his condition worsened, and I wanted to be mad at my friend for leaving without saying good-bye.

I faked a smile and suffocated my true feelings. Then I read his quote about pain.

What good was all of the time we spent detailing our dreams if I was not going to do anything about them. Instead of withholding my thoughts until they became toxic pimples prepared to pop I needed to make a change. I believe people expend more effort proving they can handle pain than they do pushing to address it and create change.

So, here it is. My change. I don’t know when my life’s vapor will disappear. Yet, just as the Sun removes the dew, The Son will call me home. And all I want to hear is, “Well Done!”

I believe God is saying well done to my friend Sebastian.