Our New Home

Our New Home
Fall is defintely in the air!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Active Participation


My wife and I recently discovered an area outside of the downtown blocks of the little town of Apex, North Carolina that we really like.  For the last couple of weekends we have explored the streets and regions of the locale.  Sunday was especially pleasant as the hot and humid weather finally broke and we drove in the countryside in the eighty degree temperatures with the top down and the gentle breezes swirling around the open cabin.  The countryside seemed to burst with color and you know… it even smelled good! 
The best way to explain it could be demonstrated when we were paused at a stoplight next to a little car filled with four young men who were grooving to the blasting tunes emitting from their stereo system.  I shared a big smile and a good laugh when I cast my glance to the driver, who was a rather big guy, as he looked my way with a grin and began to sway his upper torso to the beat!  Then in a flash the light turned green and he nodded and sped off over the next rolling hill, while we slowly accelerated and simply absorbed the deep rumble of our V8 engine and tuned exhaust!
The first thing I always consider when we look at housing now a days, is how accessible the home and property would be for a wheelchair.  The homes in this semi-rural area have paved driveways and walkways, can easily be fitted with ramps and are approachable by smooth paved roads.  The only drawback is that they don’t have sidewalks.  This one potential roadblock to rural living, since we enjoy our daily walks, has gotten me to thinking about some retrofits I could make to Piper’s chair.  It is also something that I want to discuss with her Physical Therapist and chair Rep when we meet to discuss a custom new chair for her.
My thought is that if we had larger tube tires we could probably go more places off the paved paths that we pretty much have to stick to at this point.  This alteration could open up a whole new arena of opportunities for us and happily expand the range of possibilities for the type of house and neighborhood that we could move to.
The same could be said of our increasing knowledge of the Gospel.  As I continued my study in Colossians today, it dawned on me that the Gospel is also called the “Good News!”  In fact, the God’s Word © modern translation normally translates the word “Gospel” throughout the New Testament as “The Good News.”
Colossians 1:6 informs us that “This Good News is present with you now (and) it is producing results and spreading.” (God’s Word ©)  A little further down in verse twelve Paul tells us that the Father “hath made us worthy to be partakers or participants of the inheritance of the saints in light.” (KJV)  Vincent’s Word Studies says to connect “In light with inheritance: the inheritance which is in light.  This need not be limited to future glory.  The children of God walk in light on earth.”  So that tells me along with many other such scriptures, that we get to be active participants of our inheritance in our everyday lives… today, tomorrow and forever!
That Gospel truth has JOY written all over it!  I guess that is why it is called the “Good News!”  It is also one of the main reasons that we can have JOY all day long - 24/7… even when times may be a little hard at that particular moment.  For His “Good News” promises us ultimate victory at the end of our faith-filled, JOY-filled, patient stands of faith.  So we can rejoice even in the midst of troubled times and in doing so be a conduit of His peace to those also touched by the situation.
Sometimes folks give me a bit of a strange look when I can smile while in the throes of dealing with the attack on my wife’s health.  But you know… it is hard to stay sad, down or depressed when I cast my eyes upon the “Good News” of Jesus Christ and participate in the expectations of that which He has already provided for my wife and I through His finished work on the cross!
That’s where the secret weapon of His JOY stands out!  That’s one of those opportunities when we can open up our coats and pull out our concealed weapon of His JOY and let the light of His inheritance shine forth in and through our lives into there’s!  I like being an active participant of His inheritance in this earth… How about you?
Have a great day!  If you haven’t done it yet, take a moment or two to take out your concealed weapon of His JOY and polish it up by sharing it with someone else today.  Stay in tune to His Word and keep asking yourself… “What or Who am I expecting to unleash God’s Secret Weapon on today?”

Monday, June 29, 2015

God's Secret Weapon!


I began to notice something last week.  Every time I read about JOY in the Word of God I felt a tinge of excitement go off inside of me!  I am not sure if this is something that happens to every Christian when they come across scriptures that mention His JOY, or if it is just something that occurs with me.  It is almost like I have to stop what I am doing and shout an exclamation of rejoicing and thanksgiving or I might burst!
When this came up again on Friday, I stopped for a moment to consider what had just happened. The first thing that I noticed was that I had a smile on my face and an expectation of God’s best building up inside of me.  Then I had the tantalizing thought that JOY might just be God’s secret weapon!
If there is one thing that I have learned through experience over the last six years, it is the importance of the JOY of the Lord working in me… and for me!  In some of the darkest moments that I have faced, at those times where the futility of my actions and hopes ferociously attacked my faith, it was the understanding that “the JOY of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10 KJV) that set me to rejoicing in expectation of the truth of His Word and lift me above the conflict of doubt and unbelief raging against me.
Colossians 1:13 in the Contemporary English Version tells us that “God rescued us from the dark power of Satan and brought us into the kingdom of his dear Son.”  The personal revelation of that verse alone is enough to build my JOY to the point of rejoicing before the Lord and laughing at the senseless lies of the enemy of our faith… can you shout “Amen!”
The encouragement coming from Nehemiah, Ezra the priest and scribe and the Levites to the children of Israel in Nehemiah 8:10 came in reference to what the people were feeling when they looked at the futility of the situation they faced as they observed the destruction of their beloved Jerusalem.  The leaders had begun to read and teach the Word of God to them and the folks in the crowd began to weep.  But the leaders emphatically told them that this was not the time to be sad, but to be glad for “the JOY of the Lord will make you strong.” (Easy-to- Read Version)
As I look at this verse, I can begin to see why or how JOY is God’s secret weapon for us His people.  Can you imagine the consternation on the devil’s face when he saw the people wipe away their tears of hopelessness and replace them with shouts of JOY because of their increasing faith in God and His Word?  Can you just imagine the consternation on the devil’s face when he sees you and me break into shouts of JOY when things begin to fall apart… because we choose to trust not in what we see but in what the infallible Word of God has to say about our situation?
Hummm… that alone is enough to get me to want to be full of the Lord’s JOYhow about you?  It would seem that you and I have a secret weapon that the world, the devil and the forces of evil cannot contain!  And it is the JOY of the Lord bursting from our mouths, exercised through our faith, and demonstrated by a smile, a dance and an unshakeable trust in God and the truth of His Word.
And you know?  It is probably the only weapon that we do not have to have a concealed weapons permit to carry!  Have a great week ahead.  Stay in tune to His Word, and keep asking yourself… “What or Who’s SECRET WEAPON am I expecting to carry today?”

Friday, June 26, 2015

Membership Has Its Benefits


My wife and I used to play a fair amount of tennis together, especially in the years previous to the arrival of our kids onto the scene!  At the time, Piper’s folks owned a couple of lots in two prestigious coastal developments on either end of our ruggedly beautiful Sonoma County California coastline.  In fact, we co-owned one with them for a few years on the hill near the private airport at the Sea Ranch community.
That family ownership gave us the rights and privileges to drive on the private streets without being stopped by security and free use of the facilities and amenities.  One of our favorite things to do was to drive out to Bodega Bay in the morning and play tennis on the courts that were built on the edge of a cliff with commanding sights of the Pacific Ocean.  It was a big thing for us as young adults in our mid-twenties to be able to enjoy the pleasures and benefits that came with membership in the development’s owners associations.
As I read from Colossians 1:13 this morning I also began to think about the benefits and pleasures that the family membership in the kingdom of God affords us who believe.  This verse informs us that: “God has rescued us from the power of darkness and has brought us into the kingdom of his Son, whom he loves.”  That verse is like the identification cards we carried in our wallets or the decal on the front window of our Datsun 280Z that identified us as members of the private coastal communities.  That decal on the window afforded us a friendly, gentle wave from the security patrols in their white Volvo patrol cars at The Sea Ranch, instead of a yellow light flashing in our mirror!
Likewise, Colossians 1:13 gives us the green light of opportunity to walk in obedience to God’s ways and thereby enjoy the benefits attributed to family membership in the kingdom of God, free from the adverse convictions and sentences of the law of sin and death. (See: Romans 8:2)
California State Route One is a major north-south highway that runs along most of the coastline of the state.  Its winding, twisting paths traverse through both of the developments I mentioned above.  It is a fun route to drive and has beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean.  I can still hear Piper’s gentle voice urging me to slow down on the especially twisty turns above the small coastal community of Jenner, California as her stomach was beginning to get a bit queasy from “Parnelli Jim’s” sports car driving as I accelerated around the sharp corners!
It was always a regular event for us to pull over and park in the narrow turnoffs along the way to Sea Ranch so that I could capture the outrageous scenes of the waves, fishing boats and blue as far as the eye could see with my camera.  Piper had become quite accustomed to the knowledge that I would usually somehow catch her lovely form in many of the pictures as well!
But as wonderful as those scenes were from the road, they were not nearly as gorgeous and breath-taking as the close up pictures you could get from the various meadows, hills and beaches on the private communities that only members had access to.  The same could be said for our membership in the kingdom of God.  The perspective of life from outside of the family of God is NOTHING compared to the personal experiences of His love through “the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might.” (Ephesians 1:19 ESV)
As members of the family of God we have the privileges of the kingdom life that among the other many benefits, allows us to have the “Kingdom Perspective” in our lives on this earth.  That perspective causes us to see things differently.  It allows us the freedom to respond differently to both the good and bad situations that we might face each day.  It empowers us to rise up above the hurt, confusion, sickness, lack and troublesome circumstances around us and walk in the love, peace and joy of the Kingdom of God.  It allows us the possibility of being the strength in someone’s life in times of need. 
I was up a few times last night tending to my wife’s needs as she awoke congested on a number of occasions.  When I lay back down after the last incident, I sat in quiet retrospect for a moment and then asked the Lord to show me what His kingdom perspective was on what was happening with Piper at that moment.  The reply was almost immediate as I began to picture the prayers I had prayed and the scriptures I had spoken over her before originally tucking her in around 11:00 PM. 
Then I understood that I had already set the “immeasurable greatness of His power toward us who believe…” and all I needed to do was to re-activate my believing for those actions and thank Him for His working peace and wholeness into Piper’s life!  And you know… once I did that I fell into a deep sleep… along with Piper… and we didn’t wake up until about four hours later.
So, what is your perspective going to be this weekend?  Are you going to tap into the benefits that come from your membership in the kingdom of God?  Will you enjoy God’s kingdom perspective with every experience on Saturday, Sunday and beyond?  Just think about it… It didn’t really cost you a thing as Jesus paid the price of your membership with His blood.  So why not take advantage of the multitude of benefits that He has already provided for you?  Have a terrific weekend.  Stay in tune to His Word, and keep asking yourself… “What or Who’s membership benefits am I expecting to activate and enjoy today?”

Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Written Account of Your History...


I was startled awake around six this morning by the sound thunder booming and cracking outside and rain beating against our bedroom window.  I was a little surprised because I had not seen it forecast in the weather report for the day when I checked it last night.  But I have begun to realize that things can blow in rather quickly around these parts!  As I listened to the commotion outside, I found myself enjoying the moment.  I did a quick survey of my senses and noticed that I was at peace and found the storm to be comforting and inducing to my continued rest until it was time to rise and shine in a few hours.
My pleasure with the storm reminded me of a recent conversation that I had with our youngest daughter who lives in Oklahoma.  They had just gone through a week of inclement weather with lots of thunderstorms and she told of how she also enjoys a good thunder pumper to the point that she loves to watch the activity from their porch in order to view the light show in the skies.  The house that we first lived in when we moved to Oklahoma had a large covered porch and Piper and I used to sit outside during the multitudes of thunder storms they have and enjoy the sights as well!  This might be because we have little such weather in our home area in northern California!
Our perspective of these fierce storms as being something interesting, awe-inspiring and fun to watch is similar to seeing the world through the eyes of Jesus’ perspective in this life.  Not that tough times are fun but as we yield to what the Word says about the outcome of such trials, it can bring us a sense of interest, awe and pleasure in the knowledge of Jesus’ overwhelming care and love for us.
A section in Ephesians chapter one caught my undivided attention this morning.  Beginning in verse six, Paul talks about the Good News that is present with us now, the knowledge of God’s grace and kindness that it brings to us, the blood of Jesus by which Papa God used to forgive us of all our failures and the revelation of the mystery of His plan for us through Jesus’ finished work on the cross.  Then the Apostle made a startling statement in verse ten.
The God’s Word © translation says that “He planned to bring all of (our) history to its goal in Christ.”  Putting it that way really made me stop and think as I sat at our kitchen table earlier today.  If what Paul said is true… and I have no reason to be led any other way as it is the Word of God and Psalm 119:160 unequivocally informs us that “There is nothing but truth in your word…” (God’s Word ©), then your history as well as mine will come to the goal Papa God has planned for us by and through our trust in Jesus and His Word!  Need I say anymore concerning the idea of making God’s perspective to be YOUR perspective?
I have come to trust in the Good News, the good report that the Gospel of Jesus Christ brings to me.  When it comes down to my wife’s future, it is the ONLY thing that helps me to get up in the morning with an expectant and genuine smile on my face.  When I am extremely tired at the end of the day and she is weak and needs my physical attention to assist her into bed, I depend on the continual kindness or grace of the Lord to empower me to suck it up and push through my needs in order to meet hers. 
It is His good report that gives me the ability to get past “that look” that many folks have on their face when they see my lovely wife in her chair as we pass them on the street or in the store.  Believe me, it can be difficult when I consider that in times past most people would smile when they looked upon her normally outgoing, cheerful and encouraging countenance!  But His perspective on her situation assures me that those smiles will occur again as the promises of His Word to her in Job 33:24-25 come forth and “she shall return as unto the (spunky) days of her youth!” (personalized KJV)
Do you believe His Word concerning the fulfillment of your life’s history?  It is pretty clearly stated in His book of truth.  All you have to do is to believe it, accept it for yourself and then set your steps and your confessions to align with it!  When you think about it… Your history has already been written.  So get the book and find out what it is!  Have a great day.  Stay in tune to His Word and keep asking yourself… “What or Who’s Word am I expecting to believe as the truth today?”

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Right Perspective...


My wife and I met with some members of her family soon after our return from our three year stay in Oklahoma.  During that visit we brought them up to date on the current status of my wife’s health.  I had called them from Oklahoma right after the initial brain scans had been taken and deciphered by the medical team we were working with in Tulsa and although we didn’t really have any more detailed information, I felt it was important to go over what we knew in case they had any questions.  I wanted to be very upfront and honest with them as we approached the long road ahead of us.
After the discussion one of Piper’s relatives turned to me and stated “Well, you’ll have to take the lead on this.”  I had a thousand different things fly through my mind at that comment and to be honest they all centered around my immediate reactionary thought  of “Dah… what do you think I’ve been doing!”  Now, I didn’t mean to be disrespectful, but since I had already been dealing with the situation for over two years without any assistance (neither asked by me or volunteered by them), I just assumed that position from day one.  After all, she is my wife, the most wonderful and most important individual in my life.  Piper is the one person I know better than anyone else in this entire world… Why would I even consider yielding the responsibility of her care to anyone else but me?
At the time of that conversation we were talking strictly about the medical part of the situation, and that was the way I interpreted the reference of the comment.  What I didn’t realize at that time, was the far reaching other sides to that statement that would add to my already bursting list of responsibilities.  Besides everything else, I came to understand that I also had to take a leading role in helping others understand how to deal with Piper’s health, show them the best ways to interact with her, and when to protect her from those who would unknowingly harm her by their emotions, negative words and worry.  I also realized that I had a responsibility to help them to build their faith for Piper’s recovery.
The last part was and has been the hardest part.  While most folks have been open to our stand of faith and perk up when I share God’s perspective about her healing with them, a few close to her have not been so receptive… drawing distant from us, being quiet in our company and then questioning our actions and decisions with others behind our backs.  What I have come to learn and practice with these individuals is to simply share life… God’s Zoë life with them.
I found myself twisting and turning for quite a while in the wee hours of the morning today.  I finally rolled over and stared off into the dimly lit bathroom across the room and began to think about the Word of God and the idea of “perspective” that I have been writing about.  After a few moments I started to consider what Jesus’ perspective was while He walked this earth.  My immediate thought was that His perspective was always about life… The God kind of Zoë life as defined in John 10:10 and other such verses.  He always had the right words, the right answer and the right actions when it came to people’s needs.  And they were always forgiving, encouraging, loving and life-giving.
When everyone wanted to stone the women caught in adultery, He stood alone in taking the opposite route that included forgiveness and the giving of a second chance.  He loved on Peter, forgave him and re-established him as a leader when Peter stood in the deep clutches of failure and self-destruction.  He saw past the outward expression of Paul’s incorrect understanding of the Father’s plan for mankind and helped him to realize the true hunger of his heart and literally change the known world through his missionary trips and writings of the New Testament.  He so loved you and me that He gave His life in the place of our sins and failures so that we could bring His life and light into a confused and dying world.
Jesus told His followers that “the thief cometh not but to steal, and kill, and destroy:  (But) I am come that they (who believe on Me) might have life and that they might have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10 KJV)  Now that the Lord has returned to His rightful place at the right hand of the throne of God, we are His hands and feet in this world.  And the torch has been passed onto you and me.  Now it’s our responsibility to be the bearers of His Zoë life.
At times that includes leading the unbeliever into a relationship with Jesus as their personal Savior and Lord.  At other times it entails bringing a hot meal to someone in need, going out of your way to visit the sick or encourage those going through a difficult time.  For me with certain struggling family members, it has been a warm smile, an encouraging report of the little miracles I regularly see in Piper and sharing small glimpses of how the Lord has been working in our lives in the midst of the daily difficulties we regularly work through.  I always make a point to stay positive and not feed anybody’s fears.  I am watchful over what I share and how I share it, and I always attempt to point our successes to the Lord as a place where we can agree as a reference for our common faith.
When I think about the methodology that Jesus employed, I don’t find a place for criticism, judgement, complaining or hopelessness.  Can you?  To me it is all about faith in the Lord Jesus and our love for all of God’s people. (See Colossians 1:4 and Ephesians 1:15)  It all points back to His perspective of the Zoë, God kind of life… and I for one, can’t think of a better perspective… wouldn’t you agree?  Have a great day.  Stay in tune to His Word, and keep asking yourself… “What or Who’s PERSPECTIVE am I expecting to emulate today?”

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

SWEET!


A number of years ago… gosh, it must have been in the late 1980’s… I had gotten up early before the rest of the family and wanted to do something special for them.  The first thing that popped into my mind was fresh donuts, so I slipped out the door and set off down the road in my little red Datsun 4X4 pickup truck.  We had recently purchased our first house north of our home town and to be honest, I was not real acquainted with the area as of yet.  My wife on the other hand had Grandparents who had owned a small ranch in the nearby hills and knew the locale well as she spend a lot of time with her Grandparents in her youth.  But since I was trying to surprise the family, I could not ask for her assistance.
So, after aimlessly checking out the local shopping areas that I knew about for a bakery, I finally threw in the towel and headed a few miles south to the local mall and the Cinnabon cinnamon roll shop inside.  By the time I got home the surprise was kind of blown as everyone was up and knew that I must have been up to something!  But everything worked out well as the surprise ‘sweet’ breakfast turned into a weekend brunch and we all enjoyed our sticky fingers and faces and the splurge of a sugar high for the first meal of the day!
I was reminded of that experience once more this morning as I sat on the floor next to the bed and confessed God’s perspective of my wife’s health to her from our list of over 100 healing verses from the Word of God.  My twice daily personalized rendition of Proverbs 16:24 declares to my wife that “God’s words of life, are sweet (I usually draw this word out by exaggerating and saying ‘sweeeeeeeet!’) to your soul and health to your body.”  And every time I think of ‘sweet’ I think about the super ‘sweet’ and very sticky rolls that we enjoyed on that special morning many years ago.
It also reminds me of how ‘sweet’ God’s perspective is to me when I think or hear of His goodness to you and me. His perspective as revealed to us in His Word, tastes ‘sweet’ to our physical and spiritual senses.  Living by this perspective is what empowers us to demonstrate our faith in Him through our love to our fellow believers.  That’s what Paul was talking about in Ephesians 1:15 and almost word for word in Colossians 1:4 when he told the two churches that “I have heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all of God’s people.” (Ephesians 1:15 God’s Word ©)
Over the last six years I have also experienced the not so ‘sweet’ side of those who do not walk in the realm of faith and love.  I have come to painfully learn on a first hand basis how fear can distort God’s perspective in others.  My wife and I have been on the receiving end of those who have reacted in ways that were not in sync with their Christian beliefs.  And let me tell you, it is not a very ‘sweet’ experience.  It was similar to my short term experience in-between jobs many years ago, when I helped a friend make repairs around a large dairy ranch behind our local county airport.  Let’s just say that opening up the car door to the fragrance that surrounded the barn was quite an eye (or nose…) opening event!
The perspective of God’s Word is encouraging, life-giving, faith bolstering and loyalty building for anybody in any situation.  I can hardly tell you of how good and ‘sweet’ it is to me when someone shares and/or agrees with me concerning God’s perspective of healing for my Piper.  The opposite is true when those who should know and share God’s perspective with me choose to stay quiet.  It makes me leave their presence, phone call or letters with an empty feeling, a sad heart and a peculiar stench in my nostrils.… and usually drives me to pray Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 3:14-20 for them.
Wouldn’t you rather bring a ‘sweet’ treat into someone’s life today?  Be open to sharing the ‘sweet’ treats of God’s perspective with those you interact with today!  Just don’t overdo it!  I know that I can’t eat more than one ‘sweet’ sticky Cinnabon cinnamon roll without overdosing on all that sugar!  In other words… just share a little encouraging, life-giving, faith bolstering and loyalty building ‘sweetness’ of God’s perspective at a time!  Give ‘em time to digest it and then look forward to another serving when they see you again!
Have a great day.  Stay in tune to God’s Word and keep asking yourself… “What or Who’s ‘sweeeeeeeet’ am I expecting to share with others today?”

Monday, June 22, 2015

Its All About Perspective...


I flipped on the Giants – Dodgers ESPN pregame show last might while I was preparing dinner for my wife and I.  During the show they had a special report on fathers, sons and baseball.  In the segment the reporter interviewed various Major League players as well as a bevy of ESPN sports reporters.  It was actually quite a touching time as the interviewees discussed their childhood memories of how their Dad’s influenced their love for what is dubbed as "America’s Favorite Pastime."
It made me remember my own Dad’s love for the game.  As I have mentioned before, I have many fond memories of him working outside with his trusty transistor radio nearby, blasting a San Francisco Giants game.  I enjoyed playing baseball as a youth and even played on our Parochial league baseball team for a year or two. 
Some of my most favorite times though, were of our epic annual family softball games at Matanzas Elementary School around the corner from my parent’s home.  My first cousins were (and still are…) die-hard Dodger fans and we of course followed the Giants, so it was only natural that we pitted our families against each other for the yearly summer classic.  And even though we haven’t played for countless years, all of us kids still fondly remember the plays, the hits that won the games, and each of our individual claims to fame.  Then we always add… “we need to schedule another game!”
I would have to say that I probably inspired my kids more to love the game of football rather than baseball, as I did not closely follow the game after getting married.  But football was a different matter!  After learning and playing the game in high school, I became enamored with the sport.  For a while there, it would not have been unusual to find me puttering around in the yard or garage on a Saturday afternoon listening to a University of California Bears football game.  And after church on Sundays, I would be in front of the TV cheering on the San Francisco Forty Niners!
My current love for Baseball was opposite to the report on ESPN as it can be attributed to my oldest son.  When we returned from Oklahoma I was captivated by his knowledge of and attraction to the game.  His enthusiasm encouraged me to start watching the Giants again, and then I was hooked as they began their first run to the World Series in 2010.  Josh’s perspective of the game was infectious and I caught it! 
I picked up that same infectious feeling this weekend as I read from Colossians 1:4 and Ephesians 1:15.   The Apostle Paul is greeting the churches and tells them, “We thank God because we have heard about your faith in Christ Jesus and your love for all of God’s people.”  (Colossians 1:4 God’s Word ©)  Then in Ephesians 1:17 he begins to pray: “I pray that the glorious father, the God of your Lord Jesus Christ, would give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know Christ better.” (God’s Word ©)
As I meditated on those verses I suddenly thought about the word “perspective” and I could see that Paul was happily inferring that these two churches were successfully living according to the Lord Jesus’ perspective in their daily lives.  Good reports had come back to him because their faith in Jesus and love for the brethren was very evident to all.
The 1828 Webster’s Dictionary defines perspective as “a true representation of any subject.”  From what Paul had heard, the Christians in these two cities were seeing their surroundings from the correct perspective of Jesus!  When I looked up the verse in the original language, I picked up the importance of the phrase “your faith IN Christ Jesus.”  The Colossians and Ephesians didn’t just believe in Jesus (after all the devil and his cohorts believe in Jesus too!) but lived IN Him on a daily basis.  That little word “IN” refers to “a fixed position in place, time and state, instrumentality and a position of rest.” (Strong’s)
Those early church members knew their position in Christ and lived accordingly.  Ephesians 1:20 informs us that Papa God “raised Jesus from the dead and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places.” (KJV)  Then we read over in the next chapter that He “hath raised US up together with him (Jesus) and made US sit together (with Him) in heavenly places IN Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:6 KJV)
Those Christians knew their place, practiced His authority and faced life with the one perspective that demonstrated to them and their world, “a true representation of any subject” that they had to deal with.  Think about that for a moment or two.  Is that the way that you live your life?  Is that the perspective that you see your world through?  If not, then you are seeing things incorrectly and are going to make some wrong decisions that could lead to a whole mess of problems!  Check it out in your Bibles and stay tuned for more on this subject in the week to come.  Have a great day.  Get in tune to the truth of your Bible and keep asking yourself… “What or Who’s PERSPECTIVE am I expecting to have today… and every day?”

Friday, June 19, 2015

Are There Yummy Deserts in Your Future?


I had an interesting experience last night.  My wife and I had done some grocery shopping earlier in the day so our refrigerator was full and the cabinets stuffed the weekend!  After dinner I took my plate to the sink and turned to open the freezer in order to retrieve one of the new desert cakes I had purchased.  My mouth was watering with high anticipation of the sweet delicacy!  But alas, when I peered into the cold abyss there was not a yummy cream-filled desert delight to be found.
In consternation I suddenly began to recall that I didn’t remember taking them out of a bag and putting them anywhere.  So with a sigh, I figured that I must have left them in the car… out in the 100 degree, most likely 90% humidity all afternoon!  Okay… no big deal right?  I’ll just man up and put my shoes back on and trudge all the way out to the parking lot (about 100 feet away!) and get the bag.  But once again I was surprised to find the back seat empty except for Piper’s support pillow.
Now I was getting a little irritated.  I wanted my desert!  When I returned to the living room I dejectedly sat down next to my wife and pouted exclaiming that the cashier must not have given us our last bag!  After a while of feeling sorry for myself, I finally found the receipt and noticed that we were never charged for the desert.  At that point I also realized that we didn’t get the coffee and dried fruit that I had tossed into the cart as well.  Then I knew what had happened…
The checkout area was pretty busy when we checked out yesterday.  We had two or more folks in line behind us and another cashier standing close to Piper in the next line.  The gal behind us had begun stacking up her groceries on the conveyor with ours and the cashier must have confused the last few items of ours with hers.  This has actually happened to us on a couple of occasions before while in our last residence in California.
The point being, that I was more intent on making sure that Piper was okay in the tight and busy quarters than I was on watching the cashier as she charged us for the contents of our basket.  I had to chuckle a bit though, as I thought about the look on the other customer’s face as she unpacked some things she did not pick out and wondered where they came from!
This morning I realized that there was a lesson to be learned in the midst of my consternation last night.  When I went to the freezer I was fully EXPECTING to get out a soft, sweet, cream-filled delicacy but because I was not diligent to stay focused on what was going on around me at the time, I was disappointed.  I had to settle on whatever leftover, measly old stuff I could find in the kitchen for my desert.
My experience was right in line with Jeremiah’s message in chapter 29 verse 11 when he described God’s plans for us as being the future we were EXPECTING.  (See Jeremiah 29:11 in The Message Bible)  Proverbs 23:17 puts a better spin on our discussion by encouraging us to “let reverence for the Lord be the concern (or EXPECTATION) of your life.” (Good News Bible)  Verse 19 clarifies it even more by stating: “My son (or daughter), listen, be wise, and keep your mind going in the right direction.” (God’s Word ©)  Then the 26th verse takes away any question of what that direction is by declaring: “… keep your eyes fixed on my ways.” (International Standard Version)
All these verses make it pretty clear that as we throw in our lot with Jesus and make His EXPECTATIONS ours, then we will know what’s ahead and have a future that is filled with His complete – every need met – shalom peace!  BUT… in order to attain this future – His thoughts and plans for us - we must keep our focus steady on Him and the truth of His Word.  Losing or allowing our focus to drift will only lead to disappointment that’s probably a lot worse than my having to settle for an old, dry piece of chocolate cake instead of the fresh, sweet, cream-filled concoction I was EXPECTING!
So what will it be?  Whatever is available at the time or the peaceful, life-giving, happiness of God’s thoughts and plans for you?  Choose to stay focused on His ways as defined in His Word and EXPECT His best to be awaiting you!  Have a great weekend.  Stay in tune to His Word, and keep asking yourself… “What or Which of His Delicacies am I EXPECTING today?”

Thursday, June 18, 2015

What is Bible Hope?


Before my wife and I took delivery of our 2009 Mustang GT last fall, I had done my homework.  I had been looking into Mustangs for a few years and was quite familiar with the models, engines, body styles, color configurations and options available for the fifth generation Mustang which was produced from 2005-2014.  Over the previous year we had also checked out numerous cars online and at local dealerships in our home county back in California as well as in our new residence here in North Carolina. 
When we finally settled on the car we eventually purchased online from a specialty dealer in Virginia, I investigated the history of that particular vehicle including past owners and available service records through its Carfax report.   I also checked out the dealership by researching how long it has been in business, customer reviews and reports with governmental agencies such as the Better Business Bureau.  Once we felt satisfied and had the green light in our prayers, we completed the deal, signed on the dotted line, overnighted a registered check and waited for the transport to show up in our parking lot!
By the time the truck pulled in with numerous beater cars on its top rack and our shiny Mustang convertible all by itself on the bottom row, we were quite excited but yet at peace because we felt positive that all our EXPECTATIONS would be met.  The only real surprise was that the car was in even better condition than I thought it would be!
My approach to buying that car is very similar to the way I approach my faith.  I like to do my homework and find out specifically what the Word promises me before I take a stand on It… especially when everything in the natural seems to go against what I am feeling led to believe for.  Once again, I sense that this is one of the lessons that Papa God is trying to teach us in Jeremiah 29:11.  He describes His thoughts and plans for us as being complete, sound, safe, prosperous, healthy and happy because we are in covenant with Him. 
Then He concludes by stating in no uncertain terms that His plans are to give us an EXPECTED end. (KJV)  Another modern translation says that His plans are to “bring about the future you are hoping for.” (GNB)  Most of my commentaries agree that according to the original Hebrew, the word described here as “hope” is better defined as “EXPECTATION.”  You see, the Old Testament writers as well with Paul and other writers of the New Testament letters are talking about Bible “hope” which in modern English relates best to our usage of the word “EXPECTATION” rather than the current understanding of “hope.”
Webster’s dictionary differentiates between the two words by delineating that “Expectation differs from hope.  Hope originates in desire, and may exist with little or no ground of belief that the desired event will arrive.  Expectation is founded on some reasons which render the event probable.”  That definition sounds a lot like Hebrews 11:1’s equation for faith doesn’t it?  The God’s Word © modern English translation describes how our faith works saying: “Faith assures us of the things we EXPECT and convinces us of the existence of things we cannot (yet) see.”
Therefore we understand that our future… yours and my tomorrow, is set to end up like we EXPECT it to!  Another interesting facet of the definition of EPECTATION is that while “hope is directed to some good; EXPECTATION is directed toward good or evil.”   So hence the very foundational question of this blog: “What are you EXPECTING?”
Are you EXPECTING positive results or failure?  God’s best or whatever the world decides to hand you at any given moment?  Are you just “a hoping and a praying” or are you in earnest EXPECTATION of His Word working for you?  According to our definition, hope has no foundation.  It gives us nothing to hang on to when things look to have gone south!  Our Christian EXPECTATION on the other hand, is based on the infallible foundation and truth of God’s Word and causes us to stand firm when the ground about us begins to shake!
I also did my homework before we took the big step for me to quit my outside employment to run my own lawn and garden care business back in 2010 so that I could be the one to care for my wife in her critical time of need.  We had a plan, jobs lined up and new customers in the making.  But we also faced steep criticism from some who could not seem to leave the boundaries of their own understanding and allow their faith to join with ours in supporting our decisions and needs.
Did we know at the time exactly how everything would work out?  NO!  Did everything run perfectly smooth and easy?  NO!  Did we find ourselves having to stand in faith at various times during the ensuing years?  YES!  Did everything work out in the end?  YES!  As I look back today I can honestly report that it definitely was a Romans 8:28 experience that the Apostle Paul described as “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.” (KJV)
When times got tough, we had the firm foundation of the promises of God’s Word that we were standing on to see us over and through every obstacle that presented itself.  Our faith was based on our EXPECTATIONS of God’s Word working for us in the face of contrary evidence.  And our continued EXPECTATIONS of the truth of His Word concerning Piper’s healing are still set and we are very EXPECTANT of His promised results!
So… where do you stand today?  Are you hoping for things to go well… or is your faith firmly established and EXPECTANT of God’s Word working for you?  Have a great day!  Stay in tune to God’s Word and keep asking yourself… “What am I EXPECTING today?”

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Bulldogs...


I really enjoy it when I get “stuck” on one particular scripture or line of thought when studying the Word over a period of days, how about you?  I was in a bit of a fog first thing today when I sat down to my bible study program but seemed to instantly come awake as I scanned through different translations of Jeremiah 29:11.  I was expecting to move on to another scripture, but God had different plans!
The Good News Bible concludes Jeremiah 29:11’s discussion on God’s plans for you and me by declaring that they are “plans to bring about the future you hope for.”  It is kind of interesting to note that the first bible that I ever owned was a paperback version of the Good News Bible that my future wife gave me in our early dating days back in 1970! 
I still remember walking down the hallway in my folk’s home on the day Piper presented it to me and thumbing through it thinking “Hummmm… interesting!”  I also recall sitting at the kitchen table and trying to make heads or tails of it.  To Piper it was a jewel of great price.  I had a ways to go to reach her understanding of it… and something inside me seemed to be urging me on… and you know?  It still does!
The thought that sprung forth in my mind this morning after reading that version was the nagging question ringing in my ears: “how badly do you want it?”  In other words, what future am I expecting and am I willing to do whatever it takes to attain it?  It was a question that was fresh inside me due to an incident in the wee hours of the morning.
After about an hour of sleep I was awakened by Piper’s coughing as she dealt with nasal drip.  I was almost immediately brought to frustration and questioned the Lord as to why this keeps happening!  After getting up on numerous occasions, I finally got back into bed and realized that He has the answer.  I just needed to get serious about finding out what it is!  Like with the dementia diagnosis, there isn’t much more that the medical field can do.  We think we know what it is, but have not been able to find anything to arrest its symptoms.  Once again I realized that He alone holds the key to Piper’s deliverance.  At that point I simply began to thank Him for His answers and was able to get some semblance of sleep!
As I read further into chapter twenty nine of Jeremiah, I found the answer to the how’s and Who’s of getting answers.  The next two verses tell us that we are to call upon Him and that He will answer us and that when we seek Him we will find Him “because you will seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13 GNB)  The King James Version uses the word “search” instead of “seek” and the modern God’s Word © translation talks about “wholeheartedly” seeking Him.  The phrase “wholeheartedly seek” is probably the best understanding of the original Hebrew similar to the Greek word used in the King James’ translation of Hebrews 11:6 where the writer tells us “for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
To “seek” in both places infers “to crave, search out, to seek with a demand and with application and to worship.” (Strong’s)  It means to not give up until you get your answer or receive what you are expecting.  A Pastor’s wife once described my wife as being like a bulldog.  She explained that once Piper set her faith on something she would not let go until she received what she was believing for!”  And I remind Piper of that statement on a regular basis as we stand for her total and complete healing.
That is the same kind of determination that you and I are to have as we seek directions and/or answers from God for the situations we face in this life!  It really bothers me when I see others in the family who have basically given up any positive expectations or hopes for my wife’s future.  But you know… I can’t let that move me or my faith.  If anything it makes me hold on tighter to what we believe to be God’s will for her.
Is that the same way you approach your future?  Are you willing to do whatever it takes to find out God’s plans for your life and then see it through until they are reached?  Are you craving for God’s best for your life?  I know that I am!  I believe that kind of drive and determination marks you and me as one of God’s favorites!  Would you agree? 
Have a great mid-week.  Stay on top of your faith in God’s Word and keep asking yourself… “What or Who’s plans am I expecting to see through until complete fulfillment today?”

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Painting the Portrait of Your Future...


I stepped out unto our patio with our dog first thing this morning and enjoyed the cool of the day. (Well… the warm of the morning since it was already 80 degrees outside!)  As I took in the beauty of the trees behind our home, the chirping birds and the flowers and tomato plants lining the railing around our private outside enclave, I was in awe at the contrast in the view from just a few months back.  During the winter months the leaves on the trees had disappeared and opened up our line of sight to the CVS store in the parking lot next to our complex and the cooler weather did not allow for the patio plants to exist outside!
But all that was but a distant memory on this beautiful morning.  The color of summer has returned in all its glory!  While I enjoyed the peace of the early hour I was reminded of a conversation I had with my wife last night.  At one point during the evening’s activities I turned to my wife and with much contemplation commented: “You know, we have touched a lot of people’s lives during our years together.”  Then like a movie newsreel, the faces of the multitudes of adults, children and youth that we knew in our families, in the neighborhoods we lived in, at the various churches we served at as well as in all the precious memories with our own kids flashed past the screen in my mind.
It was a good feeling to think about all those great times of reaching out to others, seeing them laugh, learn, cry, and grow in their personal lives and in their Christian walks.  Then I began to wonder about our future and what the Lord has in mind for us.  To look in the natural, things don’t look too promising.  If I had had my way, my wife and I would be pastoring a growing church in northern California and would be caught up to our ears in the ministry as we once again entered life alone with our grown children now living successful lives on their own.
But now… well, now things are different.  With everything that has happened to us over the last six or so years, I can honestly say that I don’t know what we’ll be doing in another few years or even where we’ll be!  But I am rest assured that Papa God does, for He has told us on many occasions that the best of life for us on this earth is not behind us but in front of us!
In the middle of the night last night, I found myself suddenly thinking: “Don’t let the past be the brush you use to paint your future.”  But the unique thing about that thought was that I was considering, like on the couch earlier in the evening, all the good things we had accomplished as a husband and wife team for God.  It was like Papa God was encouraging me to know that He has plans and purposes that are far better than the best we’ve already experienced!
In Psalm 31:15 the beleaguered Psalmist tells the Lord that “My future is in your hands…” (God’s Word ©)  When you connect that with Jeremiah 29:11 you quickly discover that His plans for that future are for you to have His “shalom” peace which includes “safety, welfare, happiness, health, prosperity, completeness, quiet, soundness, contentment, and tranquility” in this life and of course, in eternity. (Strong’s and Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew Definitions)
Now, that doesn’t mean that it will always be a piece of cake as I can vividly attest to, but it does assure us that Papa God always has our best in mind and has given us the tools in His Word to overcome any adversity we face through the knowledge of and faith in His Word, patience and I believe an ever increasing intimate knowledge of how much He loves and cares for YOU and me!
So, which brush do you pick up when you want to paint a picture of His plans for your future?  It takes the fine-tuned brush of His Word and a personal trust in Him that will not be easily shaken!  Put aside the past… both good and bad and “look up and lift up your heads, for your redemption draws near!” (Luke 21:28 MKJV)  Have a good day and a great future!  Stay in tune to His Word, and keep asking yourself… “What or Whom am I expecting to paint my future?”

Monday, June 15, 2015

VBS, Kansas and the News...


I took a respite from the blog last Friday in order to take my wife to a morning appointment with a Physical Therapist.  Because of the time it takes to get my wife ready for the day with breakfast included in the mix, I had tried my best to reschedule to an afternoon session, but the particular therapist that we were to meet with only has morning appointments.   So I was up with the chickens and put it into high gear as we prepared to make it to Durham, NC by 11:00 AM.
The appointment was actually at a Duke University Children’s Hospital in their Physical/Occupational Therapy Department.  The gal that we were to meet with was said to be the best resource for Piper’s particular needs.  I must admit that I felt right at home as we walked into the brightly decorated building.  I commented to the receptionist that it reminded me of some of the church Children’s Activity Centers that I have been in! 
To make a long story short, I felt satisfied with the results of the appointment.  The therapist seemed to know her stuff as she demonstrated and taught me different stretches that will help keep Piper’s joints supple and strong.  We also discussed safety equipment that would assist Piper as well as me in her care and scheduled another appointment to meet with a supplier in order to get Piper a custom chair that will better support her back and neck… and possibly include bigger wheels so that we could expand our walks beyond paved sidewalks and trails.  (After all… Piper always liked her vehicles to have big tires and mags… so this would be kind of fitting I thought!)
So, all in all, I thought that we came away from that meeting with good news…  Although I had forgotten how emotionally and physically draining these medical visits can be, especially when we have multiple such appointments in one week.  When Piper was lying on a bed so that the PT could show us the stretches, I couldn’t help but reflect and share with a few tears, of how different she is now compared to the vibrant and vivacious individual she was designed by Papa God to be. 
There were five college students from Duke University shadowing the PT and I commented to them how much Piper would have normally enjoyed being with them since we worked with children, youth and College/Career students over our thirty plus years in the ministry.  By the time we sat down for lunch after we had returned home, I was pretty wiped out… and didn’t have much energy on Saturday as well!  On Sunday morning we rose up a little later than usual and after participating in two different online church services, I felt refreshed and ready to go!
The headline in the Raleigh “News and Observer” newspaper caught my attention as I picked up the Sunday edition from outside our front door.  The headline read: “Vacation Bible Schools try whimsy, faith to draw kids” and was accompanied by a large color photo of a group of young teens dressed in period costumes performing a Bible based play.  I slapped the paper down on the kitchen counter and laughingly remarked to Piper, “Toto, I’ve a feeling that we’re not in Kansas anymore!”
From our experiences growing up in northern California, that was NOT a headline that one would expect to see in the local newspaper!  You might see a paragraph or two about summer VBS’s in the area on the “Religion” page hidden in the back of the Saturday edition of the paper, but definitely not worthy of the front page!  It instantly reminded me of Dorothy’s exclamation to her dog after she awakes to find herself in the colorful make-believe world of OZ after leaving the bleak gray of a thunder storm and tornado on her family farm in Kansas in the 1939 movie “The Wizard of Oz!”
That line of thought brought me right back to my continued study in Jeremiah 29:11.  By personalizing and combining multiple translations I read the verse as saying: “For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, Jim and Piper, declares the Lord.  They are thoughts and plans for your welfare and shalom peace, and not for disaster, evil or abandonment.  They are thoughts and plans to give you two a future filled with Godly expectations and for My expected end for you.” (Personalized from God’s Word ©, The Message, Moffatts and Amplified versions)
“Albert Barnes Notes on the Bible” explains the King James’ translation of “An expected end” as referencing the people of the nation of Israel’s earthly future and not that of their place in eternity.  As a type and shadow of our future as spiritual Israel, we the members of the Christian church today can take it to mean the same for us!  Romans 8:2 informs us that we are now set free from the adverse convictions and sentences of the law of sin and death.  I John 4:17 lets us know in no uncertain terms that “as he (Jesus) is, so are we IN THIS WORLD.”  And Jesus Himself talked with the Father and stated “They (Christians like you and me) are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.”
My point being that just like Dorothy’s revelation in the Wizard of Oz movie and mine when I saw the Sunday headline, we Christians are not in Kansas (ie; the world!) anymore!  Yes, we may be here physically, but we are not subject to its rules and dictates anymore!  We answer to a higher authority, to a better plan!  And His thoughts and plans for us are for good and not for disaster, evil or abandonment!  Verses like Jeremiah 29:11 have special significance to me because we have tasted the bitter waters of abandonment by those close to us.
I readily admit that I had different expectations for or from them, but they didn’t react like I expected them too.  In fact it was QUITE the opposite, but you know, we have a another source that has only good things and positive reactions for us and we can KNOW exactly what to expect from Him because He has given us the ability to find out His specific thoughts, plans and reactions in His Word!
So yeah… we may not physically be in Kansas (or the world) anymore, but we do get to live this life under another whole set of peaceful, care-full, Godly expectant rules!  Kind of makes you want to stand up and shout doesn’t it!  Think on that for a while this week and have a great day.  Stay in tune and expectant to His Word and keep asking yourself… “What or Who’s thoughts and plans am I expecting today?”

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Back to the Future 3


Yesterday my wife and I trekked off to the dentist office where our daughter works.  I hadn’t been to a dentist since 2010 and to be honest I can’t even remember the last time Piper went!  She hasn’t been able to brush her own teeth for quite a while now so I’ve been attempting to do it for her.  A month or so ago I noticed that the various medications that she’s been taking and tends to let sit in her mouth for extended periods of time before swallowing along with the lack of consistent brushing was beginning to take a toll on her teeth.
I knew that the dentist couldn’t do a lot for her, but I was believing that we would get a better report than what I thought we might hear!  And praise God, the report was pretty decent!  A couple of her teeth are definitely lost but everything else, teeth and gums looked pretty good!  The one recommendation was to switch from a regular toothbrush to an electric one therefore affording me to perform a better job with the limitations inherent with doing the brushing for her.  My teeth and gums were also in much better shape than I thought!
Those two good reports encouraged me as I studied Jeremiah 29:11 again this morning.  I personalized the verse as I read it saying: “I know the plans that I have for you Jim and Piper, declares the Lord.  They are plans for your peace and not for disaster, plans that will give you two a future filled with my Godly expectations.” (God’s Word © personalized)
As I reviewed the results of our dental visit, I thought about how peace and disaster are distinct opposites!  I drove away from our experience with the great team of folks at our daughter’s office (where she is an X-Ray Tech and office assistant) thanking the Lord for the peace I felt and at the same time blew out a breath of relief in that we successfully made it through another medical process in what at times seems to be a never ending progression of office visits, tests and medical procedures.  (Tomorrow we have an appointment with a physical therapist at one of Duke’s specialty hospitals in Durham!)
The report we received yesterday should not really have surprised me as Jeremiah 29:11 informs us that God’s plans should bring us peace and not disaster.  That word “peace” or "shalom" is one of my wife’s favorites.  It is another one of those all-encompassing words  that covers all areas of our spiritual and physical lives and includes: “completeness, soundness, welfare, safety, health, prosperity, tranquility, contentment and friendship both human and in covenant with God.” (Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew Definitions)
That my friend, is the kind of future that God has planned for you and me!  And I am not just talking about in the eternal realm but right here and now as well!  Remember, your future starts with your next breath!
I got real excited a few months ago as I was sitting next to the bed speaking out our healing scriptures to Piper one morning.  I was getting ready to confess Matthew 14:36 over her when I suddenly heard myself thanking Jesus that He had become personally involved with Piper’s case.  Then without thinking I switched scriptures and declared “for Matthew 8:17 says that You yourself took her infirmities and weaknesses and personally bore the Alzheimer’s disease and every other thing that has attached itself to it.”
That statement reminded me of our first visit to the brain specialist in San Francisco a few years back.  At the end of the multi-hour appointment, Dr. Madison took Piper’s hand, looked at me and said that if we didn’t mind the travel (a little over an hour from our hometown) that she would be happy to take over the care of Piper’s case.  That was the same thing that Jesus said to us as He spoke through Matthew 8:17.  He was the specialist that we needed to see Piper through this journey of complete healing and restoral.  Just like the case with the sick in the land of Gennesaret that is summed up in Matthew 14:36.
And you know…. That it is exactly what Jesus wants to do for you!  He wants to personally take over your case and provide you with His Godly expectations… His peace for any needful situation you face.  Remember, His shalom kind of peace covers EVERTHINGEvery need in every area of your life!  You don’t think that He would want you to be complete in only a few areas of your life do you?  NO!  His peace and His love for you and me covers every aspect of our being… physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally.
His plans definitely do not include disaster or evil which in the Greek includes things that are “bad, evil, disagreeable, malignant, painful, unhappy or sad, injurious, worthless or full of calamity” (Strong’s and BDB).  The enemy of our souls might try to get us to believe his lies and cause us to think that God is the author of such calamities, but scriptures like Jeremiah 29:11, Acts 10:38 and Jesus’ own words in John 10:10 prove that reasoning to be as far from the truth as the east is from the west!
So… what will you future hold?  Well, simply dive into the Word of God between the covers of your Bible and find out!  You’ll see that His plans are for “peace and not disaster” and are fully prepared and able “to give you a future filled with His Godly expectations” of good!
Because of the early hour of Piper’s appointment tomorrow, I will need to take a day off from the blog.  So I’ll close this week off a little early and pray that you have a great and PEACEFUL weekend as you stay in tune to His Word and keep asking yourself… “What or Who’s FUTURE am I expecting to believe for today?”