How Do I Find My Calling?

CallingHow do I know the will of God for my life?  What’s my calling…my purpose?  What are my gifts?

These are all questions that have intense interest for a multitude of people – young and old.

These are questions that have a great deal of focus both with young and old alike.

The question is also the invention of Western Culture. 

Now, I’m not saying that there is no value in taking a gifts survey.  It may confirm what you are good at, and what conditions help you function best.  But, to be honest with you, I have never…I mean not ever witnessed much – if anything – change in a person’s approach to life and spirituality after they’ve taken one – two – three – or, more of them.

That may be a bit of an exaggeration on my part.   Perhaps it’s not a fair judgement.  I’m just saying what I’ve honesty – over time – observed.

Our culture is one of “the specialist.”  Has it made us (really) any better?  I’ll let people with higher pay grades than I argue that.  But, I suspect – when all is said and done – focusing on the discovery of a person’s “giftings” often only makes them more self centered.  Tough words, but true.

Your Assignment and your Calling are not the same thing.

Our “Calling” is captured in the words of the Greatest Commandment, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’
(Mark 12:30)  He then added that equally, we are to love our neighbor as ourselves.

It’s interesting to me that He immediately used an extreme example by telling the story of the Good Samaritan.  The Good Half-breed.  The Jewish outcast, God-forsaken, lower-than-life.

When you wonder about who God considers to be your “neighbor,” think about someone that you want to have absolutely nothing to do with.  Be honest about it.  

We want to squirm on that one and play word games, but Jesus gives us as much wiggle room as the thickness of a gnat’s whisker.

The Assignment:  The immediate task given by our Master.  The length of time required for that task may be an hour, or most of a life-time.  Regardless, it is never, ever to be “owned.”

In my 40 years of ministry life and observation…

The majority of the people are not really all that sure about their gifts.  Even after numerous tests, they are still “seeking.”

A “word” I believe the Holy Spirit put on my heart:

A person may become sure of their special gifts, (which usually includes the question of the D word “Destiny.”)  and still never fulfill their “Call” while a person may never be sure of their gifts and yet successfully fulfill their primary calling (as described above.)

If you are unsure.  Be at rest.  I don’t believe God cares that much about how “sure” you are and how many gift surveys you take.  I do believe, however, that He cares about your
pursuit of loving Him with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.  As well as loving your neighbor as yourself

Western Culture and it’s specific practices and “rights” are not the same as the Culture of God’s Kingdom.  It may be a very good thing to not look at them as the same.

Focused Concern About What Our Gifts Are May Sound Godly, But It’s Really The Pursuit Of Self Seeking.  Our Purpose and Destiny Is To Be Lovers.  Of God and Each Other (including the outcast).  That’s Enough On One Plate For Any Man Or Woman.






The Powerful Choice We Can All Make

We'll Never Give Up

Today is about choices.  One of the most powerful decisions you can make for today, for this moment, is “I’m not giving up…I’ll never give up!”

Photographer Tom Stoddard took this award winning photo (courtesy of Getty Images) in 1993.  It was captured on a city street in the suburb of Dobrinja, Sarajevo in the presence of streets lined with enemy soldiers.  The woman is dressed for work and with her countenance is saying, “We’ll never give up.”

You may be surrounded with images of defeat.  Fix your eyes on this true-life photo.  Let it sink into and permeate your own heart and mind.  Make it your story.  Your choice.  Put your choice on your face, in your dress, in your actions, and in your speech.

Philippians 4:19. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  The Greek language states it this way, “who has infused His strength within me.”


Why Little Is Bigger Than Big

quote-little-things-bigIt’s wonderful when God gives us the gift of something BIG happening.  The rather strange thing about that, though, is it has not been the BIG GOD THINGS that has made my heart grow fonder in my ever-growing relationship with Him.

The picture here says, “Never get tired of doing little things for others.  Sometimes those little things occupy the biggest part of their hearts.”

That is a truth that comes from the very heart of God regarding relationships with others as well as His relationship with you.

Thinking back over the years, I can remember the first time that thought occurred to me.  It was in Chicago in the middle of a snow storm.  I was on my way to work at W.M.B.I. radio.  The thought in my mind was, “I’m not looking forward to walking through the snow.”

Perhaps I could have “exercised my faith” and spoke to the storm – like Jesus – and watch the snow cease.  I would have given credit to God for the great miracle!  Instead, as I approached the entrance, I saw a parking spot right in front. 

The thought that occurred to me was, “How cool is that!  My heavenly Father takes care of all the little stuff for me.”  I felt warm, and loved.

The big miracle would have been awesome.  I would have been further convinced of His power.  The “little act” (which was probably a miracle in itself if you know Chicago parking) demonstrated His intimate, practical, caring heart for me.

Look for the little things.  That’s actually what our hearts crave.  Give to others the same, and acknowledge their little things for you.

Here’s a “little thing” short (2:23) video of something God did for me that has further deepened my relationship with him.  Check it out.  It demonstrates a reality you can realize for yourself.

This May Be Killing Prayer For You

Krisenmanagement-lPrayer is something everyone knows is “the right thing”…”the righteous thing.”  However, there’s a lot of guilt surrounding that knowledge.  Guilty feelings about anything are never helpful.

So let’s look quickly and simply reveal the “elephant in the room.”  Let’s expose why so many people intuitively know the right thing about pray, but seldom or consistently put an “ing” on the end of the word, prayer.

What’s it all about Alfie?

Okay, that dates me.  That’s the title song of a movie that’s nearly 50 years old.  So, let’s ask a more audience inclusive question.

Why Don’t I Seem To be Able to Put an “ing” On the End of Prayer?

Perhaps it’s because you are trying to use your fork as a soup spoon.   (Whuhhh??)
Yes, maybe you keep attempting to utilize prayer in a way that it wasn’t designed to function.

If you are using PRAYER primarily for CRISIS MANAGEMENT, then it’s a prescription for failure.

Crisis Management Praying is Normally “the Norm” for Most People

A good ratio for prayer as “crisis management” is no more than ten percent.  Here are the some of the reasons:

  1. More than 10% C.M. keeps us consciously need focused.
    Frankly, a mind that is constantly need focused isn’t a peaceful mind.  And most people try to avoid a “conflicted” atmosphere.  Can you see how that would position praying as something we might actually be avoiding?
  2. More than 10% C.M. distracts us from God’s primary prayer purpose.
    The primary purpose for prayer can be summed up with these two ideas:
  • Developing Friendship with God
  • Developing Partnership with God

Jesus said, “I no longer call you servants, I call you friends.”  A friend (in the biblical description of the word) includes both the ideas of intimate relationship, and common goals.

We talk to our close friends about needs in our lives, and even things that each can help each other with.  But, if our relationship with our close friends is constantly consumed with “bailing each other out,” then that relationship begins to feel “needy.”  It eventually separates rather than further bonds.

Magic Suggestion: 

  • Talk to the Lord every day for the next 7 days for a minimum of 2 minutes.
  • Do not talk to Him about your needs.  None of them!
  • Tell Him the things you are the most thankful for
  • Brag on Him.  Be as specific as possible
  • Do it again for another week
  • When a pressing need arises, simply thank Him, in a few words that you are grateful that He supplies all of our needs, and then move on.

This is a “money back” guarantee.  It will begin having a positive affect on your overall peace, joy, love, etc.   The curious thing to me is that solutions to issues you didn’t even talk to Him about begin “popping up.”

Jesus is cool that way!  Btw…it will take some work and dedication to change your approach because we are soooo used to prayer and praying being primarily a Crisis Management Tool,
and that is never what God had in mind.

Final Thought:

When trying to deepen your relationship with the Lord, know this.  The things you most need to learn, you already know.  What things do you already know about developing a great natural friendship?

We’d love to hear your thoughts.  Leave a comment and we will all benefit. 






Why I’m More “Emergent/Progressive” But Am Not Going To Hell Or Leading Others There

Aguirre-Wrath-of-God-006I grew up hearing and believing one explanation of “the good old fashioned gospel.”  And, in truth, I hold a rock solid position that Jesus is the Way, Truth, and Life. 

I am also so thankful to have been able to “join the conversation” with men and women of faith that have enlarged the “faith conversation.”

What Conversations Have I Paid Attention To?

“Emergent/Progressives: like Brian McLaren, Robb Bell, N.T, Wright, and Gregory Boyd to name a few.  I am also thankful for my heritage of those from the “Faith and Prosperity Camp like Kenneth Hagin, Joyce Myers, Marylin Hickey, and Kenneth Copeland.

Then let’s add the “Prophetic/Revival Culture” of Bill Johnson and company.  And, let’s not forget the “Purpose Driven” folks like Rick Warren.  And just for good measure, I’ve learned some great perspectives on faith from several Catholic brothers and sisters.

I’ve Gone “Liberal” and Probably Never Was a True Christian to Begin With.

The Good Old Fashioned Gospel

That’s what my “good old fashioned fundamentalist gospel preachers” would say.  That I’ve gone liberal and probably never was a true Christian to begin with.  To them, I’ve compromised the message of Jesus. 

Jesus shed His blood and died on the cross because all men are under the wrath of God until they turn away from their sinful ways and accept Jesus, lest they die and spend an eternity in hell.    If that isn’t the heart of your message”, they say, “you’ve compromised the Gospel.”  

I almost wrote here than I’ve been converted from that “good old fashioned gospel” message.  But that wouldn’t be the truth.  I still believe the essence of man’s need of a Savior.  Jesus and what He did is that Salvation.  An Important part.  Vital.  But only part.

Not Inaccurate But Oh So Incomplete

I began listening to the “Emergent” folks because, as they said, it wasn’t a movement.  It was “a conversation.”  And, I welcomed times of challenge to my thinking.  Perhaps I would have been satisfied to stay with the “Good old fashioned gospel camp” if they’d been willing to have a conversation.  But, they weren’t.  Any time I’d try….they’d go all glassy eyed and call men like McClaren and Bell, “serpents in the grass.”

Some of them would give me, personally, a right to look into their teachings.  If.  It was to learn how to refute them.  Really?  I see.

I remember when Rob Bell’s book, “Love Wins” came out.  The thing that actually motivated me to read it was the utterly unfair criticisms being levied by people who hadn’t even read the book themselves.  They were simply going on what their favorite critics were saying Bell was saying, and passing it on like a personally read, pondered, and prayed through response.

So, I thought…Okay…at least If this Bell guy is so far off, I want to see why for myself.  So, I read it.  (To tell the truth, it took me awhile to admit to having read it around some of my friends)  What I found.  Rob Bell was asking legitimate questions.  He was not making absolute statements.  Those questions deserved some open hearted pondering.  He was not trying to corrupt the minds and faith of the innocent, naive, baby christian!  Sheeesh!

Then I’d try to explain what I thought “prosperity guys” were saying, and…CONVERSATION OVER.  “Kenneth Copeland is on his way to hell, and he’s leading millions there with him.”  Then I would be pointed to internet web sites of critics that would damn anyone that even sniffed of a “prosperity” aroma.

Problem was, these snippets would be loaded with out of context quotes!  I, myself, didn’t and don’t agree with the emphasis of some of the things these folks teach…but, come on!  Let’s have just a smidgen of integrity here.  Let’s deal with real issues IN CONTEXT.

Did You Know That Jesus Taught Reincarnation?

HERE’S THE PROOF> “And Jesus said to Nicodemus, you must be born again…”

Well, obviously – in context – that is not what Jesus was saying at all.  Thing is, you can prove anything with pieces of bible verses…or even whole passages…out of context.

So, What’s the Point of My Rant?

We must learn to listen to each other.  We must have conversations.  We must not be afraid to “test our truth.”  We must not be so freaking arrogant with closed minded (and hearted)  “us and them” judgements.   And, we must stop being parrots.  We must become seekers and teachable at heart.  We must be humble enough to learn more than we think we already know.

The Gospel that Jesus preached was about the full flavor of God’s Kingdom.  In the world to come, and in the here and now.

It’s about honoring and worshiping Almighty God.  It’s also about paying attention to and doing what He said in fuller measure in the world He has given us to steward.

We must never arrive!  Instead we must walk by faith.  That’s a journey not a destination.  As we go (the real meaning of “Go”) into all the world and fashion maturing followers of Jesus.  Journey. Journey, Journey.

P.S.  Oh, yes…I almost forgot.  I’ve learned a great deal of rich understanding from “Messianic Roots” teaching.  I do not believe some of the positions of “Torah Pursuant” brothers and sisters, but my faith has been greatly enriched by looking to the roots of language and cultural understandings.

What teaching sources have been a blessing to you?  Let us know in the comments:




God Not Caring What You Want Is Rubbish

praying-child1“God has promised to supply what we need, not what we want.”

Sounds right.  Sounds spiritual.  Sounds mature.

Problem is…it isn’t right, spiritual, or mature.

Let’s just look at some Godly reality for a second…(or maybe two):

Yes, always thinking about what you want is not healthy.

You and I can become “materialistic” at the drop of a hat.  Always looking to God as “Santa in the sky” is not at all healthy to a rich relationship with Him.  There is much about Western Culture and the contemporary Western Church that has contributed to “me-ism.”

But, there is much about religion that has contributed to poverty

For me, the reality of relationship with my Heavenly Father is that He can be seen in a good earthly father.

Can you imagine one of your children begging you for food?  “Mommy, please can I have some supper? I’m so hungry!  Daddy, please!  I’m just confessing that you will allow me to enjoy some food right now!  If my children were always begging me for things they truly needed, I would be less than a true example of Godly parenthood.  And yet…

Don’t we too often look to God (The true Heavenly Father) like that?

The Lord spoke this to my heart this shocking thought:

“Ask Me for what you want, and you’ll get what you need.”

“Ask Me for what you want, and you’ll get what you need.”

That sorta flies in the face of “God only promises to supply what you need, not what you want,” doesn’t it?

Here’s just a couple of things I believe the heart of these words are speaking:

  1. When you and I are centered on “believing God” for our needs, we are lack centered.  Being lack centered is destructive to true faith.  Any time we are focusing on what we need (regardless of us saying we are believing God for a change) our hearts are chained to our needs.
  2.  We think that only asking for our needs is “all grown up.”  But…isn’t the Kingdom made up of little children.  And don’t little children as their parents for what they want?  If it’s not a good thing, the parent is supposed to be wise enough to re-direct the request.  Not train their children to only beg for their needs.

If we begin asking for what we want (which isn’t as easy as you may assume), we will have a more faith-filled perspective about the heart of our Heavenly Father.  The fruit of that changed perspective is healthy faith.

Jesus said “Do not be like them (the pagans), for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”  (Matt. 6:8)

The Holy Spirit through King David said, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:5)

YES THERE’S SOME DANGER OF “ME-ISM” THERE.  THERE WAS ALSO DANGER IN ENTERING THE PROMISED LAND.  “My God shall supply all your needs” is a promise, not a reason for limitation.

I’d love to know what you are thinking.  You can let me know by commenting.  Thanks.


3 Curses of Caring Too Much

Care too muchIt’s true that caring about others is a virtue.  It’s also true that apathy drains life of meaning, vibrancy, and the potential healing of others…(not to mention oneself).

But true God-given compassion and the kind of care that so many practice and are imprisoned by are polar opposites.

Cares That Are A Curse

1.  When we care too much about the opinions of others

The key words here are “too much.”  When a person has a healthy kind of respect for how others respond to us, it’s a good thing.  So, how can you tell the difference?  By the way it makes you feel.  If it’s healthy, it registers in our emotions as peaceful respect for the opinions of others.  Healthy care is a safeguard against haughtiness and self centered pride.

However, if you feel worried that you’ll be rejected by others it’s unhealthy.  If you try to mold what you do and say into what you think is acceptable to others, it’s unhealthy.  

Admittedly, many people that don’t care enough and claim that they’re “just keepin’ it real” with their “in your face” brutish attitudes need to learn how to speak their minds with more grace.  In my experience, “speaking one’s mind” is best saved for “after a cool-down” period.  The thing about the “cool-down” period is that it puts stuff in true perspective.  Rule:  Never trust reactionary emotions.  The more heated the feeling, the more need to “zip it.”

Another important discovery I made when I lived under the “caring too much what others think” curse was the realization that most people I was worried about pleasing didn’t really care that much one way or the other. 

2. When we care too much about our regrets over past “mess ups”

I think this affects parents more than most other people.  Maybe I say that because I’m very familiar with this particular curse.

I was just talking with a lady in a half-way house program that mourns over “what could have been” for her daughter if she hadn’t made such self-centered, life-altering destructive decisions.

The truth is that she’s in a very good place now, making excellent decisions, and setting herself up to take advantage of excellent opportunities that God can bring her way.

Focusing on past failures is destructive and will cause you to walk right past present opportunities.  There are faith building things to remember, but there are also many things we must “put under our feet.”

It’s a lie to believe that if you stop caring about the past failures that you don’t care enough about the people that were effected. 

Allow yourself to only think about the God who is the “Restorer.”  The Bible is over-full with examples of how He can make all things new.

Some need to let go of the fantasy that things won’t be as they should be until everything is restored to our original desires.  That’s not true.  That’s why we have grace.

Grace takes the heart of what could have been (but was destroyed) and clothes it with something that’s even better.  How does He do that?  I dunno, specifically.  That’s a mystery found in grace, but it’s a God thing of the grandest order.

3.  When we care too much about what we don’t have

“You will NEVER have enough time, enough resources, or enough money to do the perfect thing.  But what’s truly amazing is what you can achieve without “enough” of these supposed requirements.  Sooner or later you will come to realize that it’s not what you are missing that counts; it’s what you do with what you have.”  – Marc Hack 

Instead of caring so much about what we don’t have enough of, it’s much more fruitful and joy producing to be consciously, consistently grateful for what we do (especially the little stuff.)

How Can I Tell The Difference Between “Caring Too Much” and Compassion?

As I stated earlier, it’s about inspecting the fruit.  In I Peter 5:7 (KJV) we find the counsel, “Cast all your cares on Him because He cares for you.”

The word, “care” is used twice in the King James English translation.  But, they mean entirely different things.  Our “care” is best described as anxiety, worry, and fear.  God’s “care” is best described as the acts associated with love.

The fruit of caring too much that is a curse:  Fear, anxiety, worry about….just about everything.
The fruit of the God kind of caring:  Actions of compassion, honor, and respect for yourself and others.

Do you know what it is to care too much?  Have you solved it?  Are you in the process?  What have you discovered is helpful.  Please share your comments:









Enlightenment and Fruit of the Poisonous Tree

Age of Reason

“The Age of Reason” aka: “The Enlightenment” has had the effect of “dumbing down” a vital, life producing faith.
How so?  By deeply affecting the way we think about God and how to know Him.

This is important to me, how?  Pastor Gary, I just want a faith that brings me peace.  I want to learn things that make me happy.

To that I say, “I understand.  But, pleeeease…read on.  The way we feel is governed by the way we think.

The Authority of God’s Word, The Scriptures

I absolutely believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God.  I am increasingly making it the final authority over my life.  When I say “increasingly making it,” I believe it’s the only honest way to express the process of our obedience.

[I am, of course, talking about the journey to maturity of a Believer]

I also believe that God has designed the journey in such a way that we have to dig to find the gold.  It’s not scattered around on the surface to be picked up by any wanderer.  It’s too precious.  If His “gold” is on the surface, it can be, as easily, trampled.  If you haven’t had to dig for God’s gold, you may have found “fools gold.”  It may sparkle, but it has no lasting value.

The Impact Of “The Enlightenment” On The Journey (and why it matters)

The simple heartbeat and purpose of The Enlightenment was an attack on religion.  At the time, the Catholic Church specifically.  Here are a couple of quotes from one of it’s heroes, Thomas Paine:

“I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish Church, by the Roman Church, by the Greek Church, by the Turkish Church, by the Protestant Church, nor by any Church that I know of. My own mind is my own Church. [Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason]”

Take away from Genesis the belief that Moses was the author, on which only the strange believe that it is the word of God has stood, and there remains nothing of Genesis but an anonymous book of stories, fables, and traditionary or invented absurdities, or of downright lies. [Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason]

..but the Bible is such a book of lies and contradictions there is no knowing which part to believe or whether any… [Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason]

Before we say that Thomas Paine is clearly an atheist that would never impact the beliefs of a good Christian (or pastor, teacher, theologian), Please read on…

Here’s the poisonous nut that has affected “Bible Believing Christians.”

I believe that good Bible believing Christians adopted the ideology that the only legitimate way to learn and discern truth is in the mental process of logical reason.  Although I am not an advocate of “checking our brains at the door” regarding our faith, I absolutely do not believe the capacity of “intelligent reason” is not God’s intended “boss” in the process of acquiring and establishing truth.  Our brain power is intended to serve our heart, not master it.

The heart or mind of man includes many rich layers including the power of the imagination.  To Imagine is the heartbeat of meditation.  The Word of God doesn’t condemn imagination.  It disclaims “vain/empty” imagination.  For starters, that assumes that there is another side to the coin.  Ie: Imagination that fulfills a good purpose.

Imagination that fulfills a good purpose is Holy Spirit led Internal imaging

The world is taught all types of visualization techniques that are empty of true life and lasting power.  That’s “vain imagination.”  The faith that is enabled and enforced by God through “inner sight” is powerful and eternal.

Fruit of the poisonous “Age of Reason” tree

The age of enlightenment planted the seed that says the only valid way to know truth is reason.  Fundamental Christianity that I’m familiar with says the only way to know sound doctrine is with the power of reason and deduction.  A proof text is the scripture mandate, “Study to show yourself approved unto God…” (2 Timothy 2:15)

The word “study” here is not the picture of a student and classroom.  Instead it conveys these ideas:
1. to hasten,
2. to exert one’s self,
3. toendeavor,
4. to give diligence

The objective here is to be diligent in self exertion to make a straight path toward truth instead of filling the journey with “rabbit trails.”  This verse has nothing to do with dispensations, or cessation of any of the operations of the Holy Spirit.

Frankly, Christianity has been robbed by an “Age of Reason” style of approach to knowing God.

To discover what we can of God, this side of Eternity, there must be a restoration of the full faculties of the mind.  As the Greatest Commandment includes, “Love the Lord your God with all your mind….”  The faculty of reasonable logic is only one part of man’s mind.

Your comments are encouraged and appreciated!


Your Provider In Your Desert

green pasturesAs a shepherd, himself, David understood the shepherding characteristics of our Good Shepherd. 

As we navigate our own desert places, we find encouragement and stronger faith from David’s words:

“He makes me to lie down in green pastures.  He leads me beside still waters.”

More than likely, you’ve read that verse and heard quite a few teachings from Psalm 23.  If you understand it from what David knew about sheep and shepherding, you’ll be encouraged.

How Sheep Act

The first important thing to note is the fact that it is nearly impossible to get sheep to lie down if they are hungry, fearful, or otherwise agitated.

However, when they see their shepherd the sheep will begin to settle down.  Instinctively, they know their shepherd has their best interests at heart as well as the ability to provide what they need.  I realize that is a complex thought process that human beings would think.  That’s why I said, instinctively.

Our Application

  1. The conscious presence of Jesus is what calms our souls.  That’s why, for peace of mind, we must develop the habit of “looking to Jesus.”  We must require His presence.  That’s right, require.  Jesus is the one that produces the peace that passes our normal understanding of peace.  Natural techniques can help induce a calming affect, but no “peace methodology” will sustain the peace of mind without embracing His presence.
  2. The Shepherd is very conscious and concerned for what you and I need.

Green Pastures

A Western culture city-dweller might have a general idea of the imagery of green pastures.  However, imagining a big grassy field is the best they will imagine.

David was not expressing the idea of a vast, verdant Midwestern field.  He lived in a land where shepherds tended their sheep in desert places.  There were plots of rich green grass, but the shepherd had to know where they were or he had to look for them.  It was his responsibility, not theirs.

Our Application

Contemporary life in this world is full of desert places.  It’s not normal that we will find ourselves surrounded by endless pastures of visible supply.  It is more common than not that our bread of provision would be daily.

You may have material abundance but know a different kind of desert.  We all experience dry places of some kind.  It is, however, the grace of God that He provides in a way that keeps us dependent on Him.

The Good Shepherd is not failing you if He doesn’t lead you to a lush 10 acre field of sweet alfalfa at your bidding.  And, you can use all the “faith techniques” you can muster to make it happen.  However, the “right one” that some Word of Faith folks feverishly look for probably will not put them in a place where you actually no longer have to trust your Shepherd.

[Btw…I am a faith person.  I believe in many of the principles taught by men like Kenneth Copeland, and Kenneth Hagin, etc.  But, what many of their “disciples” live is not the spirit of what these men taught]

Don’t Fear or Fret in Your Desert

More could be said, but that is sufficient for this post.  Your Shepherd.  Your Provider.  He’s right there with you in the desert.  It’s not an unfamiliar place for Him.  You don’t need to fear, or fret.

He knows where the green places of provision are and he knows where the peaceful water is.  He knows His job, and He takes it seriously.  He’s the Good Shepherd.

[Btw…In Hebrew the word good means to be perfectly ordered.]

What do you think you can do to recognize His peace producing presence.  Your comment may help one of the other readers!

Thanks for sharing if this has helped you!




Can You Taste Your Faith?

spoon-full-of-sugar-artTasteless faith is like lukewarm water.  God doesn’t like lukewarm water.  He spits it out.  He doesn’t expect you to like tasteless faith.

Psalm 34:8 says, “Oh taste and see that the Lord is good.  Blessed is the man who trusts in Him.”

[Forgive my getting technical, but I think it will really “flavor” our understanding in a really sweet way.]

A Little Taste Of The Hebrew:

Taste:  It’s a Qal Imperative verb.   In other words the writer is not suggesting something as a good idea.  Qal Imperative makes the word, taste, a simple active command.

To taste is usually used in verses in relationship to tasting food.

See:  Again it’s a Qal Imperative verb.  It’s typically used how we would think of learning or understanding something.

May I also suggest that this simple command is firmly connected to the ability to trust in the Lord.  The writer is urgent in his counsel that the hearer be blessed.  He knows by experience that trusting is dependent on the experience of “tasting to see” (learn and understand).

To enjoy the sweetness of sugar, it has to be experienced by tasting.  It is impossible to sweeten coffee – or life for that matter – by only understanding the logic behind the chemical composition of sugar.

As Western Scientific thinkers – highly influenced by the Age of Enlightenment’s darkness – we learn truth by the pursuit of logic and reason.  Much of the church has adopted the same process.  Because of this, we are counseled to believe in Jesus, know Him, trust Him, and pursue a relationship with Him but we are only given the tools of deductive reason and logic.

What we, therefore, have is a people who know a lot of formulas like “the chemical composition of sugar,” but coffee (and life) without “sweetness.”

<btw…for my faith friends…I too believe that declaration and repetitions of scripture verses on the topic of our need of the moment is a good learning tool.  But, to refer to sugar again.  Just declaring and continued repeating of the formula for sugar will not make your coffee sweet.>

I turned the corner in my own Jesus Follower life, when I began to ask the Holy Spirit to open up and refresh the power of my God given imagination.  I also had to stop being afraid of imagination, or belittling it’s value. 

The New Age movement taps into the wrong source, but the principle of “seeing” “visualizing” “imagining” is true.  You CAN let the theater of your heart be a stage for the Holy Spirit to direct great revelations of living truth.

“Oh taste and see that the Lord is good.”  < Jump into that one.   Ask the Holy Spirit to show you what that might look like for you.

Gary Ellis OfficeIf this has helped you, thanks for considering a gift of support for The Sanctuary ministry that reaches over 50,000 people in 22 Countries monthy through it’s various internet ministries.