Are there really only two types of people?  On the one hand, certainly not.  As in ancestry, interest levels, intellectual abilities, artistic talent.  You name it and there are scads of different folk in this world.  Can’t think of anyone in my family who’s the same as me.  Who said, ‘praise the Lord’?  I heard that!  Sounded like first cousin once removed so-and-so!

On the other hand, Isaiah 65 states that spiritually there are only seekers and forsakers.  Now, it’s true that we can’t see into another’s heart and soul.  But by their fruit, Jesus says (Matt. 7:16).  You can sense something, can’t you?  Telltale inward and outward signs of the Lord?

However, surprises happen.  People we thought were Jesus’ own turn out to walk as far from Him as possible.  I’ll never forget a late night phone call from a denominational international mission executive crying his eyes out to me as his wife, also ordained, has run off with a younger guy of a non-Christian religion.  She renounces her husband and her Lord.  Can still recall the agony and shock echoing in his wailing, howling screams.  We don’t always know, do we?

Check out Isaiah 65: 1-16.  Seekers of the Lord receive abundant blessings.  Note the order.  Seek Him–as when you first turn to Jesus, welcoming Him into your life.  Serve Him and blessings arrive.  Always that relationship with our Lord Jesus comes first and foremost.  Even when material things evaporate, the best of the best is here to stay– our relationship with Him.  Agreed?

Seekers–eating until full, thirst satisfied, happiness and joy abounding, a new name and identity given, sins forgiven and hidden far from God’s eyes.  Wow!  Sounds great?

Forsakers–hungry and thirsty, shamed, broken in spirit, possessing a cursed name even as death lurks in the wings.  Not my cup of tea.  Yet most thumb their noses at God.  Think Him irrelevant.  Jesus–unwanted, rejected, unknown.  Not good.  Tragic and sad, eternally so.

This week be a seeker of Jesus, thanking Him for being your savior.  For loving you with all His heart.  For you are His very own, giving you the very best ever.  Himself!


Lord, thank you for calling us your own.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.


BUT NOW! Colossians 3

It doesn’t take much to dredge up memories of shameful sins.  Pops into mind with barely a nudge.  Long past messy ones as if they happen yesterday.  Hard to let go of.  Just me?

In Colossians 3: 5-17, St. Paul talks about sinful lifestyles.  Sexual aberrations, greed, idolatries.  You name it.  Get rid of them, he declares.  Put them to death (v. 5).  Good riddance.  Adios.  And, by the way, move on.

He says, ‘But now…’ (v.8).   A new time arrives.  Sin’s slate wiped clean.  Foibles and failures go behind God’s back, out of His sight.  By His free choice.  That’s forgiveness; and, not the least of all, His love.  But now…!

Colossians 3: 9-10,12–‘…(take) off your old self…and put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator…as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility…’  Get gussied up in your new wardrobe!  Rich fabrics and colors.  No expense spared.  Wear humbly for you know who paid for it.  You know, don’t you?

How about getting a different mirror?  One so small that you can’t gaze into it for very long, because you’re busy looking out for others…for Him.  Not always wondering how you look in someone else’s eyes.  What they think about you.  Self-absorbed.  Life’s not all about you or me.  Shocking, isn’t it?  To think there’s others who need us and not always the other way around.  Who’d a thunk it?!

Put on those… NEW …clothes!  Look the way Jesus wants you to.  Be more like Him.  Strong and loving.  Giving.  Caring.  Standing firm on the Bible as God’s unquenchable truth.

New clothes!  You look mighty fine.  Thank you, Jesus.


Lord Jesus, to live for you is life at its best.  Amen.


Holidays are just around the corner.  Not really, but the stores sure make you think so.  Christmas stuff shows up awfully early.  Last year in Scotland, we note hotels inviting families to make their Christmas dinner reservations in early August.  Christmas?  Yes, it’s now or never!  Don’t dither or else!

Some of us scrounge around in the attic or down in some dark basement corner or on a back shelf of a rarely used closet for some nifty gift for some unsuspecting family member or friend.  Maybe that gift exchange at work deserves something ultra-precious while extremely expendable!  As in regifting.

Is that what we do with the gifts and skills given by God?  Have an inkling about your ability and aptitude?  Be honest.  What is it that the Lord has enabled you to do for Him, for others?

I’m no Dickens or Shakespeare.  So what.  I’m gifted to share Jesus with others through writing.  I know this.  No if’s, and’s or but’s.  That’s why you’re reading this!

What about you?  Regifting what God’s given you?  Expecting someone else to do what God asks of you?  Might as well tell Jesus ‘no thanks, don’t want it, won’t use it…for your sake or anyone else’s’.  Regift it.

Or you could get with God’s program.  Off your duff…for Him…for others… for a change.  Do I sound harsh?  Actually, while pointing directly at you, I’ve got 3 fingers curled arthritically back at me!

Here’s something else.  Isaiah 55:11-12–‘…so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.  You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace…’  If you neglect God’s gift, He’ll get someone else much more willing and just as able.  Then who loses out?

How about saying ‘yes’ to Jesus.  Regifting proves a bad bargain at best.  Get with God’s plan.  Joy and peace drop by.  There’s more– salvation and maturity for others.  Most of all, God’s glory!


Thank you, Jesus, for allowing me to serve you.  Amen.


WHAT’S HAPPENED? Philippians 3

Following a visit with family in Florida, we fly home to the Pacific Northwest.  My wife prefers the window seat and I gladly take the middle, hoping that the person next to me has recently showered, doesn’t over tip the scales or sneeze all the way from Orlando to Seattle!

However, I’m not sure what’s happened.  I stretch my leg muscles like we’re supposed to on long flights.  Wiggle those tootsies!  I do.  Maybe too much for deplaning introduces me to unbelievable, zinging pain in my left leg, my polio one.  I can barely hobble out.

I check out my infirmity with a physical therapist, wondering if polio returns with latent vengeance.  This medico reassures me that it’s nothing to do with polio and gives me a couple of four-a-day exercises.  Walk up a step and down, repeat again and again…and once more for good measure.  Move those achy breaky muscles!

The results?  In a matter of days, improvement begins.  In weeks, I’m back to normal.  Much to the therapist’s surprise, I do those four exercises EVERY day.  Never miss one.  This therapist isn’t used to people taking advice and following through.  Why not?  Don’t want to get better, stuck in pain and suffering?  Not me.

St. Paul prescribes this–‘But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.  I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus’ (Phil. 3:13-14).  This business of advancing and progressing, will it be difficult?  Of course.  Takes determination.  Procrastinators will be frustrated.  Stuck in neutral at best, in reverse even worse.  Serious disciples shift gears into drive.

Most of us don’t like to stick with disciplines. We often poop out at the first sign of a rock and a hard place.  Not St. Paul.  He refuses to hang out in the good old days, digging a cement foundation down memory lane.  Doesn’t gaze back for long.  Nudges forward, embracing the prize of Christ Jesus.  Grabbing hold of promises made and promises kept by our Lord.

How about you?  Muscles atrophying by nesting in the past?  Halt!  Pull up stakes, hit the road, exercising your faith, following through on what you know increases your trust in the One who’ll never let you down.

Some pain?  Of course.   But lots more to gain!


Lord Jesus, I need to move forward with you.  Amen.