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Friday, February 25, 2011


Fellow travelers,

Don't you love it when you see something or hear something and it reminds you of a truth or something you forgot, and it rejuvenates you?

A friend of mine recently introduced me to the song "He's Alive", by Laura Hacket and Cory Asbury.
Listen to it here

What I like about it is that even though it is simple, not too many lyrics, they are full of powerful truths.

There is no power in heaven or hell 
that could keep me from the love of the Father on His throne

Chains of sin can't hold me down
Even death itself can't keep me in the ground

Death where is your sting?
Grave where is your victory?

I love the picture painted by the words "chains of sin can't hold me down" I can just see chains being busted off me, like Samson breaking the chains. Or these "even death itself can't keep me in the ground", death, the one thing we all have to face, the greatest fear for most people is exposed for what it is now, a sheep in wolves clothing. 

Satan wants us to think that sin and death are still in control. That we are subject to them. But we have overcome, by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. 

He's alive now I'm alive. He's alive now I'm alive.

Because the power of death is broken, we can now walk out in the power of God like we were meant to.
So much happened when Jesus died and rose again. We are all like sleeping giants, capable of so much, through the power of God now available to us. We just have to be awakened to it!

Happy Trails!


Sunday, February 20, 2011


Fellow travelers,

I was laying on the couch this morning, tired, after going to bed late last night, and I had this thought...this scary thought:

"I need to go to bed earlier"

What? Where did that come from? That is when it hit much as I enjoy hanging out with my friends at night, I really want to be able to get up in the morning and not feel tired. This was a novel idea for me. But it made sense. If you have 2 things you like, and they come into conflict with each other, you have to decide which one you will give preference to.

As usual this is not some new idea I came up with, but it didn't stop there, the sermon at church today had a common theme, "if you want to do something, you have to plan to do it". Be intentional.

And a major part of being intentional is having the right perspective. My boy Elijah wants to be better at being nice (and he is getting better). But every night he tells me that it is hard, and that he doesn't want it to be hard. He won't listen to me when I try to encourage him that he is doing better. He can't seem to accept the fact that it will get easier to not hit or be mean to his brother, and that he will get better at obeying mom and dad right away. And the fact that he is in this rut of seeing it as hard, actually makes it harder. His negative perspective will hold him back. In fact,  in the end, without the proper perspective all our attempts to change things will fall through, because they will not have a solid foundation  for "why" we do it.

I also gained some more appreciation for my parents from this. I realize now that just because they were "mom and dad" did not mean they did not like things like video games, and hanging out late with friends. They just knew that in order to be at their best in the morning, they had to go to bed.

So take a look at your life. Is there something you have been trying to start, or be consisten at, and you are finding it hard? Check to see if you have healthy, appropriate perspective for the why you want to do it, and then be intentional.

Happy Trails,


Friday, February 18, 2011

Freedom part II

Fellow travelers,

Just wanted to share this one thought I had...kind of a add-on to my last post.

What sets our walk with God apart from other religions is that God values the freedom of choosing to obey and He empowers us to make these choices. When we mess up He is there to help us back up. Therefore we are even free to make mistakes, because we know that there is always hope beyond them!

Truly we are free!

Happy Trails,


Thursday, February 17, 2011

freedom vs Freedom

Fellow travelers,

Have you ever thought about freedom? Freedom gets thrown around a lot, and depending on who is using it, its meaning can change radically.

I sometimes see freedom being used as an excuse. An excuse to say what they want to say (even if it hurts others). Or an excuse to do what they want to do (hey I'm free to eat what I want, drink what I want, or do whatever I want to my body).

Other times freedom becomes a trap. People scare you into doing something, so you don't lose your freedom. You see this all over the place in politics, scare tactics, meant to bully people into voting for them.

Before you get too judgmental, hear me out. The point I want to make is that freedom is not something we came up with here in America. It is not a man-made thing at all. God is the author of freedom, in fact He tells us:

Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

God created freedom, freedom is a promise from God for all who believe and love Him! 
Go God!

But wait! If that is true, then why do so many of our brothers and sisters in Christ live under tyranny and without what we consider some basic freedoms? Could it be that the freedom God promises is something other then what we find in the Constitution?

I am reminded of the lyrics to a song called "Red and Black" in "Les Miserables" 

It is time for us all

To decide who we are...
Do we fight for the right
To a night at the opera now?
Have you asked of yourselves
What's the price you might pay?
Is it simply a game
For rich young boys to play?

Jesus died for us, He consider the cost, and thought us worthy of His life. But was it so that we could do what we want, have our fun and still get into heaven? No!

He knew that we were stuck, and so He bought our freedom from sin. We had no choice before, and now we do. We can choose to not sin, we can choose to flee from temptation because the Spirit of God is in us. 

"God has led you away from danger, giving you freedom" 
Job 36:16a

This choice is the freedom we are promised. Laws change, governments fail, but God's law is forever, and His authority is never shaken. We can proudly stand up for our freedom to choose righteousness over sin. 

For we have overcome, by the blood of the Lamb, and the word of our Satan, bite the dust (Thanks Carmen)

Happy Trails,


Monday, February 14, 2011

Seasons of life

Fellow travelers,

Today was a good day. The sun was shining, the weather was awesome. The boys and I made Valentines Day cards, and we got to play outside. Then to top it off, I was able to go on a great date with my beautiful wife...BONUS!

It is on days like this, when things go well, life is full, and I am happy that it is easy to see how good God is.

It is the other days, the ones where the boys are constantly fighting, or crying, or both, and the car breaks down, and asteroids are hitting the earth...thats when it is not so easy to feel like things are good...those are the days when you need something to rely on. 

A good friend of mine once gave me a good way to look at life, in regards to good times and bad. The good times are like seasons of rain. The ground is rich, and there is life everywhere. The bad times are like the droughts. The ground is caked, and barely anything grows. 

Just like Joseph did with Egypt, we must store up during the times of plenty. Faith can be stored. You can hold on to the faithfulness and goodness of God, and when the seasons turn dry, you have something to help you through. And while that can be difficult, you will find that faith is like wine. As you let it age it matures, and gets fuller and more delicious. Faith that has been tested actually satisfies more then the faith that comes directly out of the good times. 

There is something mysterious about it, but when we press in, in faith, to God in the dry times, and sometimes we have to dig deep, but when we do, those become the times we remember. Those sweet moments of oasis in the desert come to define us, and help us navigate the rough times beyond. 

So no matter what sort of season you are in, take full advantage of it. Drink in the sweet water of the rainy season. Fill up your cisterns. And if you are in the drought, remember the faithfulness of God. He never changes, and you will find that He is even sweeter in the desert. 

Happy Trails,


Sunday, February 13, 2011


Fellow travelers,

Tomorrow is the big V not victory day. I'm talking about Valentines Day. A day of frolicking through the fields of love and sugar comas. And also a great chance to take your wife on a nice date (SCORE!)

OK, so why do we take these great ideas, like love, or thankfulness, or hard-work, or trees; and relegate them to one day. I know the idea is that by having a holiday in honor of something we immortalize it and make it part of our daily lives...right. Who spends their days thinking about the holiday that just past? Instead of creating a system to help us keep the important things in front of us, we have created a way for us to be ADHDed by the blitzkrieg of holiday sales, TV specials, and give-a-thons.

Now, I am not saying that I think we should do away with holidays (my goodness NO! What would I do without my Thanksgiving pie, or my Christmas presents?)

But I am saying that if we are to in this world and not of it, we need to show them God's way of remembering love, joy, peace, thankfulness, goodness, kindness, gentleness, and self-control. It is not by having a party for each thing once a year, or by sending funny cards to each other.

God calls us to live out these values daily, but not under our own power. By living in community, and relying on the power of the Holy Spirit, we live in a way that confounds the world, and makes people ask "What is up with him?" 

Or as in the immortal words of that awesome Newsboys song, "Shine, make em wonder what ya got, make em wish that they were not, on the outside looking bored"

Happy Trails,


enjoy! oh and if you did not click the link really should.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Think about it...

watch this first
Fellow travelers,

Did you notice that this ad was 30 seconds of funny, but not much else? I have been paying attention to commercials recently, trying to figure out what EXACTLY they were saying. Most of the time, not much. The ones that do contain a lot of info, are usually boring.

This probably is not a news flash, but if ad companies are spending billions of dollars on ads that don't have much content, but plenty of laughs, then they must think it works. What does that say about us?

I know personally I tend to make decisions based on how I feel about things. Since I know this, I try to use facts to help shape my feelings (Know Thyself...thanks famous Greek dude). Yet, I am still amazed at times at how sometimes I want something just because I thought the commercial was funny.

And so I had this revolutionary idea. What if we all just thought things? What if whenever we saw a commercial we didn't just laugh at the guy getting bad counseling from a former drill instructor, but we also said "man that is funny...but it doesn't mean the insurance is good". Or if whenever we see some show that spouts out some lie, we didn't just sit there and assume everyone knows it is a lie...we call it out, "hey, that is so wrong", like the boy calling out the naked emperor. That is something we all know...but until we say it, it can be kept in our thoughts and not actually affect our actions...

So guard your mind, think about things, and call out absurdities. You will be surprised at how much more you will laugh, and how much less you will persuaded by other peoples attempts to get you to do things.

Happy Trails,


Friday, February 11, 2011

The Process

Fellow travelers,

A good friend of mine shared this with me, and I thought it was well worth passing along. (Thanks Billy)

Graham Cooke pointed out in a teaching that God takes us through a process:
  1. Declaration:  He declares what he will do in our lives. (Abraham:  a great nation/a son, Jospeh:  the dreams, Moses: deliver Israel, etc.)
  2. Distress:  He makes it look like the declaration will never happen.  (Abraham: barrenness, Joseph:  sold into slavery, Moses:  40yrs in the desert/Pharaoh's hard heart, etc.)
  3. Development:  He build's character and grows our faith when we trust despite the circumstances, so that we are in it for him and not the promise.  (Abraham:  great faith, Joseph: integrity/forgiveness, Moses: boldness/confidence, etc.)
  4. Display:  He fulfills his promise and does what he said he would do in a way that we least expect.  (Abraham:  child in old age, Jospeh:  2nd in command of Egypt, Moses:  the plagues and red sea, etc.)
What is so cool about this, is that we have totally seen God doing this in us over the years, even before we started this journey to moving overseas 2 years ago. 

I think that we are currently in step 3, hopefully moving on to step 4...but I have a feeling that this is not the kind of thing you go through only once. God has so many promises and dreams He wants to fulfill in us, I don't want to get comfortable where I am, and not let God take me further. 

Where are you in this process? I know how hard steps 2 and 3 can be...but take heart that the Display is on the way. Habakkuk 2:2-3 says:

2 Then the LORD replied:
   “Write down the revelation 
   and make it plain on tablets 
   so that a herald[a] may run with it. 
3 For the revelation awaits an appointed time; 
   it speaks of the end 
   and will not prove false. 
Though it linger, wait for it; 
   it[b] will certainly come 
   and will not delay

God does not ever let His promise come back void...and that includes human error. He knows us, and He knows that we will have set backs, but God is not in a hurry. Our salvation is being worked out, our faith has to be tended like a garden, and He is he gardener. He knows when to prune, and when to leave the ground fallow. He also knows when to water, and how much sunlight we need. 

I hope this was as encouraging for you as it was for me. 

Happy Trails,


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

On This Day

Fellow travelers,

On this day, you were loved. You were thought about all day long, and even all night.

On this day, the entire universe was preserved in perfect order, all the stars, planets, black holes, nebulae where kept spinning, expanding, and contracting, just for you.

On this day, you breathed air, felt wind, and walked upon ground that was created just for you.

On this day, you caused angels to sit on the edge of their seat, guessing what you would do.

On THIS day, your mistakes, your mishaps, your misspoken words were all covered by the sacrifice of Jesus, and they all are being turned to good.

On this day, make sure you remember that you are valuable, and that you are remembered and loved like this...everyday!

Happy Trails,


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

For it pleased our Father

Fellow travelers,

In Ted Dekkers "The Circle Series", he describes this future world where the Spiritual is made plain to the natural. In it those who are not "saved" have scabs all over their bodies, and they smell rotten. To be cleansed you must dive into one of the pools of Elyon and die, breathe in the blood red water. At first there is pain, and fear, but it quickly turns into exhilaration and excitement as you realize that you are not dead, but rather more alive then you ever thought you could be!

I got this picture today of God smother me with His love, like when my boys cover me with the couch pillows and cushions. They keep pile them on top, even though they can no longer see me. It gets to the point where even as I reach up, all I find are more pillows. God was saying He wants to cover me so deep in His love that even if I were to reach out for something else, all I would find is His love.

In both of these thoughts the main idea is being completely surrounded and enveloped by God and His love. God is an all or nothing God. He will not accept only part of us, His passion is to see us WHOLLY His, and wholly made whole. (lots of wholliness) He does not rest until we are completely saturated with Him, inside and out.

So dive in, let His love fill your lungs, and just when you think they will burst, you will find yourself surrounded by a sea of cushions, floating there you will be completely and totally at a loss, because you will be lost in Him.

Happy Trails,


Monday, February 7, 2011

Couple Thoughts

Fellow travelers,

I had a couple thoughts I wanted to share this fine evening/almost morning.
Janice and I were talking about faith the other night and I was reminded of Hebrews 11:1

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

And I noticed something I hadn't thought about before. "Faith is confidence in what we hope for", this is not revolutionary, but it hit me that faith works best when we know what we are believing for. Duh, you might say, but think about it. How many times do we ask God for something, or say we are standing in faith for God to move in a situation, and we really don't have any idea and what exactly we want. We might have a general desire, for God to "heal" this, or "restore" that, but I wonder if God likes it if we shoot for more exact things. Not in a testing way, but in a I-know-what-I-want-and-I'm-not-afraid-to-ask-for-that way. I think we forget that we are God's kids, and kids are not afraid to ask their parents for exactly what they want. If Elijah wants pizza, he does not want just any pizza, he wants it a certain way, and he expects me to make it that way. Not because he is manipulative, or testing, but because he knows I love him, and that I like to make his pizza without sauce, lots of cheese, pepperoni, and no crust.

Jesus tells us that if we, who are evil, no how to give our children good things, then how much more will our heavenly Father who is perfect give us great things, to those who ask.

So, whatever you are praying for now, get specific, trust God, that He is good like He says He is, and that He can and will satisfy your needs with good things. 

OK, I was going to talk about how blessed I was by Greg Jennings interview at the end of the Super Bowl, the first thing out of his mouth is "to God be the glory" and after that he only would praise the rest of this team, honor his coach, and then end it again with glory to God...nice, but I think this is long enough.

Good night, good luck, and Happy Trails


Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Paradox of Love

Fellow travelers,

Have you ever heard of the Triple Point?
It is this crazy thing where if you have the right pressure and temperature you can have all three phases of a substance at the same time coexisting. As in, water, ice, and water vapor all at the same time in equilibrium. Weird I know!

Check it out 

I remember learning about this in High School (Thanks Dr. Bah!) And even then it reminded me of God. That somehow He is 3 distinct people, yet He is one, and here we have in nature an example of that.

Cool huh?

Well of course that is not all. Today Janice and I had a chance to talk with some friends about this past couple years, and we kept talking about how hard it has been, and how good it has been. God seems to like paradoxes. Taking us through times of extreme faith testing, but during those times we often experience God's grace and love in extreme ways as well.

Check out this quote from Graham Cooke and his "Nature of God" teaching:

And Beloved, we are learning to live in the paradox of God – to know that He is consistent, but He is also unpredictable.  He is consistent in His nature – you always know where you are with God, but you seldom know what He is going to do next.  But you always know where you are with God because He never changes.

We will walk this line all our lives, the more we choose to follow God the more we will have to balance His consistent nature, and his unpredictable actions. 

But that is where the adventure lies 

So embrace this paradox of love, the hard and the good, because it is in THAT place that we experience ALL of God, in equilibrium, just like that triple point.

Happy Trails,


Here is the full teaching on the Nature of God...if you want
Part 1 

Part 2