Tuesday, July 31, 2012


As I shared earlier, I recently returned from a worship leaders conference in Kansas City. There were 2 general sessions each day during which several well known worship bands/leaders would lead us in song and then there would be a time of teaching. Often during the music they would bring all the house lights down and it was then that I would notice how many people had ipads - in this dimmed sanctuary filled with about 1700 worship leaders - you could see the bright glowing screens of scores of ipads. During one session the band was up front leading - most everyone was standing, singing - arms raised. There was a gal in front of me who stood and sang for a few minutes and then sat down with her ipad and proceeded to her Facebook page chatting back and forth with a friend - every now and then she would look up, raise her hands for a bit and sing and then go back to her Facebook page. Here we are singing about being "captivated' by God's presence - well maybe not.

When Isaiah saw the Lord in His temple - nothing could have distracted him. When John saw the "door to heaven standing open" and was invited to "come up here!" - he wasn't distracted by anything else - the Lord had his attention. We can so casually enter God's presence - even doing so without any thought at all. Of course the Scriptures tell us to "boldly come before the throne" - that's because nothing stands in our way because of the cross - but to come boldly and freely is not the same as to enter casually or thoughtlessly.

Truth is - even without an ipad in hand - I am easily distracted and i often can enter into times of corporate worship without any real thought or focus. In Revelation 1:17 after John sees Jesus it says; "when I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me..." What a great picture of coming into His presence with awe and wonder and at the same time feeling the gentle, welcoming touch of our Savior. Next time you enter a time of corporate worship - be sure to come prepared, anticipating, waiting, looking, attentive and praying.

Friday, July 20, 2012


There is very little grass in Tucson - at my house there is no grass. At the church we nurture a precious piece of lawn - its biggest need of course is water - 4-5 times a day during these summer months. You can't have a lawn in Tucson without a built in sprinkler system unless you want to stand out in the sun all day with a hose! But - even in the worst heat and dryness - water brings green!

I just spent the past 5 days in Kansas City at a worship leaders conference. The church where we met had a huge expanse of grass - it just went on and on - it was so refreshing to see so much green on Monday. Now, 5 days later, after 103 degree days and no rain - all I see is the beautiful green withered into a dry, brown expanse, The church didn't have any sprinklers! No water! The grass was daily crying out for a drop of water - without it ... dry ... brown ... withering.

They say you need some crazy number of glasses of water per day to be healthy - I have at lease that much coffee - since coffee is mostly water - I think I am covered ... well, probably not. Such a simple thing - a glass of water, the quick sprinkling of a lawn - the difference between beauty, life ... withering, brown, dying.

How often do I assume that  the water of God's Word and Spirit from last month, last week, or even yesterday, are sufficient to give life and beauty and freshness to my soul today. Truth is - we need that water poured out upon us daily.  Don't miss His daily invitation to hear His voice through His Word. Are you withering away? Go to the Rock that is higher - Jesus.

 "He opened the rock and water flowed out; it ran in the dry places like a river."
Psalm 105:41

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


I am afraid that my image at church has been forever tainted by my description of my shoe wearing habits last Sunday. In response to the many questions I endured...  Yes - I buy all my shoes used - yes - you can certainly tell that someone else has had their old feet in the shoes - no - I don't spray them first, I just put them on and pretend they've been mine all along - no - so far as I know I have not gotten any kind of disease .... yet.

We were reminded on Sunday that the Lord Himself has already clothed us in new garments that are created in the "likeness of God, in holiness and righteousness." (We will discover in Eph. 6 that we have a great new pair of shoes as well!) He has not just stored away our old garments (the old self) but rather those garments are gone for "we have been crucified with Christ", and "we have died and our life is now hidden with Christ."

There is a great passage about new clothes in Zechariah 3:3-10. Joshua, the High Priest, is standing in "filthy garments" and the Lord commands an angel to take away the old clothing and He instead adorns him with "festal robes" and he gets a new hat as well! It is a picture of our iniquity being removed and the righteousness of Christ being placed upon us. The source of these wondrous new clothes is of course Jesus - Zech. 3:8 describes Jesus as The Branch who will accomplish that great work in one day. The picture ends with all of us sitting under fruitful trees, dressed in fine clothing, drinking the fruit of the produce and enjoying the Lord and one another.

In Christ - that is a picture of what we have today! You are clothed in His righteousness today - the old has passed away - the new has come!