Friday, September 26, 2008

Yoga and the Christian Walk

I was thinking today about my daily walk with Him and what it means to rest in His finished work.

My wife and I go to a yoga class once a week (which has been a lot of fun) and there is a position known as "downward dog". Now, I have no idea where this name is derived because it looks nothing like a downward dog to me - perhaps it was the same people who came up with the names and "shapes" of the constellations.

Anyway, this position is considered a resting position. I consider it anything but. It is VERY hard to hold. I told my wife that since this is a resting position and we consider it a working one, then perhaps we are doing it wrong - or maybe it's a mental attitude.

Which brings me to resting in Christ. Perhaps I'm not considering it rest because I want to fight it - i.e. somehow do my own "work". OR, again, maybe it's an attitude that I fight against because it is somehow supra-natural?

I don't know, but I think this somehow holds the key - for me anyway.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

To Quote that Great Paragon of Wisdom, Aerosmith; I'm Back in the Saddle Again

I know, I know, I haven't posted in a while. It's just that I never intended to make this a "must do", but only share when I had something to say.

That being said, I have a lot of thoughts in my head and heart from over the past couple of weeks. God has worked a GREAT WORK in me - just as he promised, and I bless Him for that.

He has shown me some wonderful truths - life changing stuff, all of which I just don't know how to put into words here.

Disney was awesome AND overwhelming as usual. We have gone many, many times and we always enjoy it. Some of our fondest family memories have been made there.

We were traveling on the monorail from EPCOT to the Magic Kingdom one night. I was looking at the full moon thinking about the mass of humanity that one encounters there and MY seeming insignificance, when God told me that He STILL knows ME! Yes, even though satan tells us that we are nothing, the Holy Spirit tells us otherwise.

Which leads me to something I've learned - that satan uses our God-given desires/needs and (can I say) "bastardizes" them. We have a natural desire to eat - so satan tells us to overeat. We have a natural desire for sex, and I don't need to be specific here, but just say that after thousands of years, he knows what buttons to push!

So...the ultimate truth is that satan tempts us to sin when he gets us to meet our OWN fleshly needs OUTSIDE of God's plan. We eat too much to satisfy some emotional need that God CAN and WILL meet, and satan knows that overeating will KILL us sooner (or at the very least, affect our health and well-being). But, we just have to trust Father to meet our need.

God tells us in Philippians "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. " Do I believe Him or not? I have a choice. And if I exercise my choice to meet my OWN need outside of Him, then THAT is sin.

Could we go on to say that we tell ourselves (and ultimately agree with satan!) that we are independent from God and can ACT independently from Him? Isn't THAT what the Fall WAS?! The deceiver doesn't change his tactics because he knows that it works EVERY TIME!

I know that the sin(s) that so easily besets ME can absolutely be described that way! Ultimately we can believe God or satan. We HAVE a choice. THAT is why we have to renew our mind daily and to "set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. "

Praise be to YHWH and glorify His Name!

Friday, September 12, 2008


My family and I love going to Disney World and are leaving today for a week. I know that God will continue to work in me and with me, so I hope I'll have some insights to post while I'm there.

Thursday, September 11, 2008



People are unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish motives.
Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friend and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Be good anyway.

Honesty and frankness will make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People need help but may attack you if you try to help them.
Help them anyway.

In the final analysis, it is between you and God.
It never was between you and them anyway.

From a sign on the wall of Shishu Bhavan, a children’s home in Calcutta

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A Muslim Preaching Jesus?!

I have only done a cursory investigation about this, but I would love to believe it is true! Please don't take my posting it here as proof that it is true without doing your own research.

By Joel C. Rosenberg (Washington, D.C., September 9, 2008) -- You have probably never heard of Father Zakaria Botros. But you need to know his story. He is far and away the most-watched and most-effective Arab-American evangelist focused on reaching the Muslim world, and by far the most controversial. The Rush Limbaugh of the Revivalists, he is funny, feisty, brilliant, opinionated, and provocative. But rather than preaching the gospel of conservatism, he is preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. And his enemies do not simply want to silence him. They want to assassinate him.

Last week, I had the honor of interviewing Botros by phone from a secure, undisclosed location in the United States, where he now resides. He told me that he had just learned that an al Qaeda website had posted his photograph and named him one of the "most wanted" infidels in the world. The Radicals have even put a bounty on his head. The Christian Broadcasting Network reported the figure was as high as $60 million. Botros does not know for certain. But just to put that in context, the U.S. bounty on Osama bin Laden's head is "only" $25 million.

Why are the Radicals so enraged by an elderly Coptic priest from Egypt who is in his 70s? Because Botros is waging an air war against them, and he is winning.

Using state-of-the art satellite technology to bypass the efforts of Islamic governments to keep the gospel out of their countries, Botros is directly challenging the claims of Muhammad to be a prophet, and the claims of the Qu'ran to be God's word. He systematically deconstructs Muhammad's life, story by story, pointing out character flaws and sinful behavior. He carefully deconstructs the Qu'ran, verse by verse, citing contradictions and inconsistencies. And not only does he explain without apology what he believes is wrong with Islam, he goes on to teach Muslims from the Bible why Jesus loves them and why is so ready to forgive them and adopt them into His family, no matter who they are or what they have done.

If Botros was doing this in a corner, or on some cable access channel where no one saw him or cared, that would be one thing. But his ninety-minute program - a combination of preaching, teaching and answering questions from (often irate) callers all over the world - has become "must see TV" throughout the Muslim world. It is replayed four times a week in Arabic, his native language, on a satellite television network called Al Hayat ("Life TV.") It can be seen in every country in North Africa, Middle East, Central Asia, as well as all throughout North America,Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. And not only can it be seen in so many places, it is seen - by an estimated fifty million Muslims a day.

At the same time, Botros is getting millions of hits on his multiple web sites in multiple languages. There, Muslims can read his sermons and study through an archive of answers to frequently asked questions. They can also enter a live chat room called "Pal Chat" where they are not only permitted but encouraged to ask their toughest questions to trained on-line counselors, many of whom are Muslim converts to Christianity who understand exactly where the questioners are coming from and the struggles they are having.

As a result, Botros - on the air only since 2003 - has practically become a household word in the Muslim world. An Arabic newspaper has named him Islam's "Public Enemy #1." Millions hate him, to be sure, but they are watching. They are listening. They are processing what he is saying and they are talking about him with their friends and family. When Botros challenges Radical clerics to answer his many refutations of Islam and defend the Qu'ran, millions wait to see what how the fundamentalists will respond. But they rarely do. They prefer to attack Botros than answer him. Yet, the more the Radicals attack him, the more well-known he becomes. The more well-known he becomes, the more Muslims feel compelled to tune in. And as more Muslims tune in, more are coming to the conclusion that Botros is right and in turn are choosing to become followers of Jesus Christ. Botros estimates at least 1,000 Muslims a month pray to receive Christ with his telephone counselors. Some of them pray to receive Christ live on their air with Botros. And this surely is only the tip of the iceberg, as it represents only those who are able to get through on the jammed phone lines. There simply are not currently enough trained counselors to handle each call.

Many leading Arab evangelists I have interviewed for Inside The Revolution say God is using Botros to help bring in the greatest harvest of Muslim converts to Christianity in the history of Christendom. Botros refuses to take any credit, saying is just one voice in a movement of millions. But he is certainly excited by the trend lines. He does see more Muslims turning to Christ than ever before, and he told me he has cited my book Epicenter at least three times as evidence of the enormous numbers of conversions taking place. What's more, he vows to keep preaching the gospel so long as the Lord Jesus gives him breath. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son [Jesus], that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life." That verse - John 3:16 - is the verse that drives Botros. He believes passionately God loves the whole world, including each and every Muslim. He believes that "whosoever" believes in the Lordship of Jesus Christ - Jew or Muslim - will, in fact, receive eternal life. He does not believe all Muslims are Radicals, but he does believe all Muslims are spiritually lost, and he wants desperately to help them find their way to forgiveness and reconciliation with the God who made them and loves them.

"I believe this is the hand of God," Botros told me. "He is directing me. He shows me what to say. He shows me what to write on the web sites. He is showing me more and more how to use the technology to reach people with his message of redemption."

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

From Joel's Podcast

Heard a great point from a podcast that is about 3 years old now -

"The opposite of fear is love" You want proof?
1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

"The opposite of faith is works" Proof? Read the New Testament! ;-)

Grace Giving

In the back of my mind, I have always wondered about tithing. Boy, is it taught in churches today! I have heard from the pulpit more than once (innumerable times, actually), that it is Biblical.

But one must convolute the Scriptures to make that argument. One must mix Old Covenant with New.

Before, when I tithed, I believed I had fulfilled The Law and done my duty. Since I was told that ALL giving should be done through the local church, then by me doing it, I considered my responsibility met.

But even though I went along with that teaching, there was always a nagging doubt in my heart.

We were told that God would get His 10% one way or another.

But doesn't that make Him a tit-for-tat God. A quid pro quo God, if you will.

One freedom my wife and I have enjoyed is that we can now give of ourselves as HE leads and places people and opportunities in our paths.

Isn't THAT what Grace giving is? Giving out of the overflow of material AND spiritual blessings?

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Where is OUR Sufficiency?

It seems as though Jesus is always pointing out the fact that WE can't!

Matt. 14
15 As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, "This is a remote place, and it's already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food." 16 Jesus replied, "They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat". 17 "We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish," they answered. 18 "Bring them here to me,"

Jesus bottom line -"Exactly, YOU can't - I can."

Human Nature and Me

My wife and I were walking this morning and I told her I had come to a realization that my human nature is no longer second nature.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Grace Walk FAQ's (from

What is the grace walk?
This is the term which we use to describe the Christian life as God intended it to be. The grace walk stresses allowing Christ to live His life through us. A careful reading of the New Testament makes it clear that we do not live the Christian life by self-effort but by abiding (resting) in Christ and allowing Him to manifest His life through our own (ref. John 15:5; Romans 15:18; Ephesians 2:8-10; Philippians 2:13; and II Thessalonians 2:13). Through the years various other believers have described the grace walk with other terms such as: The Exchanged Life (Hudson Taylor), The Abiding Life (Andrew Murray), The Crucified Life (L. E. Maxwell), Life on the Highest Plane (Ruth Paxson), The Interior Life (Hannah Whitall Smith), The Normal Christian Life (Watchman Nee), The Victorious Christian Life (Alan Redpath, Ian Thomas), and The Miracle Life (David Needham).

In light of grace exactly how does one live the Christian Life?
The key to victory in the Christian life lies in acknowledging that you cannot live the Christian life out of your own resources or abilities. Only one person has ever lived the Christian life as God intended and that was Jesus Himself! However, there is good news; Jesus wants to live His victorious, overcoming life through you. Perhaps no verse says it better than Galatians 2:20, "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me." We live the Christian life by yielding moment-by-moment to Christ, trusting Him to animate us with His very life.

Does the teaching of grace lead to passivity in the Christian life?
One of the most common misunderstandings about the grace walk is that it teaches passivity in the life of the Christian. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The grace walk is an active lifestyle energized not by the energy of the flesh but by the energy of the indwelling life of Christ. Consider the example of the apostle Paul. Paul trusted Christ to live His life through him (Romans 15:18) while leading an extremely active lifestyle. Notice Paul’s description of his lifestyle in Colossians 1:29, "And for this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me." Paul was not passive; he was active. The words "labor" and "striving" in the original language refer to weariness to the point of physical exhaustion. Yet it was not done in the energy of the flesh it was "according to His (Jesus’) power" which was at work within Paul.

If we are forgiven of our sins past, present, and future at the time of salvation won't that lead to a sinful lifestyle?
This is not a new question. In fact, this was the gist of the concern of those in Paul’s own day who asked, "Are we to continue in sin that grace might increase? (Romans 6:1). Coming to understand the totality of forgiveness should never lead the believer into a sinful lifestyle. In fact, the opposite will be true. When the child of God realizes the totality of their forgiveness before a holy God, they do not want to sin. While it is true that the believer has the freedom to sin if they want too, the believer who has their focus on Jesus does not want to sin. Rules, regulations, and rigorous self-discipline will not keep us from sin but, an authentic love relationship with Jesus will.

How does one come to comprehend the grace of God in the Christian’s life?
The fullness of the grace of God in the life of the Christian cannot be understood apart from a revelation of God. Some of the most profound words Jesus spoke are found in Luke 10:21-22, "At that very time He rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit, and said, ‘I praise Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that Thou didst hide these things from the wise and intelligent and didst reveal them to babes. Yes, Father, for thus it was well-pleasing in Thy sight. All things have been handed over to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him." We come to comprehend spiritual truth only as it is revealed to us by the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Revelation is a spiritual apprehension of the truth and it comes only from God. God reveals His grace to us as we humbly seek Him. See also Matthew 16:16-17 and Galatians 1:11-12.

Does grace lead to a lawless attitude in the Christian life?
The simple answer to this question is "No way!" The Christian who is truly walking in grace is not an antinomian ("one who opposes the Law"). Rather, the person who is walking in grace has great respect for the God-ordained purpose of the Law. In Romans 7:12 Paul said, "So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good." Grace-oriented Christians are not "Law-bashers" but, they do understand that the Law has no place in the life of the Christian. Consider the following Scriptures: "Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, that we might bear fruit for God" (Romans 7:4). "In order that the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit" (Romans 8:4). "Realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous man, but for those who are lawless and rebellious" (I Timothy 1:9).

Friday, September 5, 2008

Random Thoughts

I couldn't sleep, and I woke up thinking about God and what He's done in my life over the past few weeks.

Yesterday, I had the realization that Jesus is blooming inside of me. I know that sounds trite, but I have no other way to describe it. He's unfolding in me like the petals of a flower. Jesus, “the true vine", is growing in me, and the first tender shoots of foliage are emerging. Fruit WILL come. That's a promise. I have asked the Father to show me His love for me and He has been faithful and allowed the wonderful "first tastes" of it. I love them both more every day – maybe for the first time in my life. Sad isn’t it.

I sometimes wonder why He doesn't reveal completely the depths of His love to man. Would we not be able to comprehend it in our current state? If He were to supernaturally reveal how much He truly and completely loves us, would it kill us? I don't know. I do know that I asked Him to reveal His love, and He has been faithful to do so, in little baby steps.

When I first started this journey, I determined the only thing I was going to "do" was to abide and rest in Him, and allow Him to change me from the inside out. But if this makes any sense, I didn't (and still don't really) even understands what that meant - I just accepted it by faith - and continue to do so, one day at a time.

This brings me to another article about me He has changed - the fact that I am living one day at a time and not anxious for tomorrow. I have a new peace that passes understanding.

As I mentioned His promises earlier, they are what He kept bringing to my mind before I started this journey. Where were these promises? I wanted the Joy, Peace, and Rest that every believer is promised.

I now enjoy reading His word – it has new meaning for me. As I once considered it an obligation, I now look forward to reading the words of Jesus, God’s Anointed.

PLEASE believe me when I say this, but I have “done” nothing and I am NOT boasting in my flesh – this is all God in me.

Praise be to Him to will finish His good work. I trust Him, and finally understand (just a little) what that means.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

What Does God Get Out of The Relationship?

I've always wondered what does He get out of the relationship with His children. In other words, how does a being that knows the outcome of every situation, get ANYTHING from US?

MAYBE, even though He already knows what is going to happen, He still delights in seeing US become excited about Him!

Does that make sense?

Let me say it a different way – maybe even though He knows what is going to take place, He knows we DON’T know. He then enjoys seeing us light up when He reveals something to us or we come to an understanding or truth, or we come to love Him more.

Do you think this is as awesome as I do?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

6 Things God Wants Every Believer to Understand

  1. God not only loves you, He also likes you.
  2. God is so delighted with you that He is dancing around and singing because He can't hold back the joy.
  3. God is smiling at you.
  4. God never gets mad at you.
  5. You never disappoint God.
  6. The sins of your life are forgiven - ALL of them.

From The Grace Walk Experience by Steve McVey

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Righteousness Rules?

God knows that as we grow in friendship with Him, and discover how to trust the fact that He loves us completely, the root of sin will be destroyed. Grace does not diminish God's desire for our holiness but clarifies the process. Righteousness doesn't produce relationship, relationship produces righteousness. From He Loves Me by Wayne Jacobsen