Saturday, June 29, 2013

Do You Hear What I Hear?

Have you ever had one of those moments where you had thought you were hearing something?

I was driving to work this past Tues when I first heard it.

 It was soft and so faint that at first I was not sure if it was what I thought it was. I quickly passed it from my mind and continued about my morning. About seven minutes had passed when I heard it again. As I strained my ears to hear this faint noise my heart skipped a beat when I identified it.

Yes! It really was what I thought it was, but where was it coming from? My CD player was off, my phone was silent and hooked up to the car charger, and when I rolled down the windows to see if this was coming from another car everything went silent.

The sound I was hearing was most definitely the theme song from the 1978 Superman movie. I am not sure if you have ever heard a song so much that you can play it in your mind note for note, but even now if someone were to call out a song you knew well you would be able to play that song in your mind as if you were really hearing it?

As I drove to work I think I heard this song playing at least five times. As I pulled into the parking lot I had the sinking feeling hit my stomach, "Dan, what if you have really flipped? I mean what if this is what it is like to do that. You are going to be able to hear this song non-stop and it was all your fault." I picked up my pace trying to drown out the strains of the John Williams orchestra score because it seemed as if I walked heavy and fast the sound went away. As I stood in a silent elevator, there it was again! By now the song had lost it's thrill and by the time lunch had arrived I found myself slipping into a stage of acceptance. I chewed my food in time to my own private hellish orchestra.

I would hear it and then things would be silent for about seven minutes and I would begin to pick it up again. I think at one time I actually was sad at the prospect of hearing this tune for the rest of my life in this fashion and I thought, "Well Dan, you have finally went all 'Beautiful Mind' and get used to living with this". Maybe my parents were right? Comic books would hurt my mind and even now I regretted ever picking up that cursed "Man of Steel" comic book as a young boy. How foolish I had been to think that it was just an innocent child like yearning for something greater in those days gone by.

By about 4:00 pm I was standing in line at the post office and by now I was humming along with my constant companion. By this time, after hearing this in the background of my mind all day I could not help but wonder if this was some kind of cue for me. Was I supposed to be doing something when I heard this song play? Maybe my wishes had in fact come true and I just needed to find a phone booth?
 I reached into my cargo pocket of my pants to get my post office key when my hand felt something that had been in the pocket all day long. It was my MP3 music player!

I pulled it out and saw the Superman theme had been on repeat and the song I heard in "My Head" all day long had actually been playing in my pocket and I had been hearing them through the ear buds that were crammed into the bottom of my pocket. I could not help but laugh out loud with the relief that I had not lost my mind (at least in this way) after all!

I had been hearing something all along that I had excused as something other than what it was.

Have you ever done that?

Hear something but go on acting like it was not anything more than just a "Thought"?

Genesis chapter 1:3 is probably one of the most overlooked historic passages in the Bible. I say thatwith confidence, because I know that I have overlooked it before as I have read the account of creation.

"And God said, Let there be light: and there was light." ~Genesis 1:3

Did you catch it? No? Well, I did not either, let's look again, and this time I will underscore what both of us missed the first time. I will underscore what just about everybody missed the first time they saw this.

"And God said, Let there be light: and there was light." ~Genesis 1:3
This is the first recorded words that God spoke. There is a lot to what He said in the first recorded words, because this is something that Jesus came to earth to say as well.
I GUESS the point I am making in Genesis is that God spoke, and man missed it. You missed it, and I missed it. The fact is, we seem to be very good at missing God's voice in our lives.

This is perplexing because Jesus said, "My sheep hear my voice." He also said repeatedly in scripture, "He that hath an ear, let him hear." He spoke in parables, and even his disciples missed it many times.

Why is that?

I believe it is because we expect God to speak in the way we understand Him to be. In many cases I believe we have just given up on God's voice in our lives because it has been a long time since we "heard" His voice.

"And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt."
                                                                                                                              ~Exodus 3:2-3

Moses was walking and working when God came to Him. (God will not use a lazy man to do anything for Him other than be an example of what not to do)

Moses was walking, and saw the voice of God before he heard the voice of God. This hit me like a ton of bricks the first time God brought this to my attention.


I was always taught growing up that God spoke through the preacher at the local church. "Listen up and don't color during the preaching because that is when God is speaking" or "Be sure to be faithful to church, because the time you miss may be the time that God speaks to you."

It was as if the voice of God was a lottery call and His will for my life was like a rare flower on the side of a mountain somewhere. You may get it and you might not. It all depended on whether or not you attended all of the conferences and events that your church held that year and if you fully participated in everything that unrolled at those conferences and events. I understand that phrases like that are attention getting for a boy, but the problem with that approach is that a boy is what God uses to make a man.

I grew up with that mentality, and I rejected any other "Frequency" that God broadcasted across my airwaves with.

I was in my mid twenties and I was working at a trucking company. I had been given an area of the 250,000 square foot warehouse to oversee. I was honored at the confidence placed in me and was determined to be the best at what I did. The area was new to our company, and I had the freedom to create process and procedure action plans. The only problem was that no one followed them. I was frustrated.

I was also serving as a youth director for a tremendous church, and had a similar situation going on there as well. I poured my heart out to the teens each week, and invested a lot of me into that area as well. I laid out with clarity what God wanted them to "do" and had similar results as at work. I was frustrated.

Then she came . Her name is Charlotte. Her "Assignment" was taking care of the computers in the warehouse. She walked back into the area that I worked and asked me how I was doing. I was busy trying to make people "do" what they were supposed to "do". I was rude, and annoyed when she asked, "Why does God have a preacher working in this area, at this time, and with these types of problems? What is He trying to speak to you about?"
"I don't know Charlotte, I have work to do and don't have the time to talk about this with you." I replied. (Yes, I can be rude too, and no I do not sleep in a three piece suit either)

Then she gave me an Elijah moment.

"Dan, could it be that God doesn't want you to make anybody do anything, He just wants you to show them how to be what He wants them to be. The teens at church are no different than your co-workers, you cant make them do what you want them to do, you just need to help them fix things when they are broken and you need to be willing to be that for them as often as they need you to be that.", with that message she turned and walked away.

I could not believe what just happened. How did she even know about the teens at the church? She spoke, and it resonated with my Spirit. I jumped on the forklift and caught up with her.

"Charlotte, what just happened back there? What did you do to me when you spoke to me?" I asked, thoroughly concerned at this point. She just casually looked up and said, "God used me to speak to you."

God used her to teach me that God speaks in many ways. Over the rest of her "assignment" there, she would teach me about God's voice, and God used her to help me tune in his frequency on the airwaves of my heart.

We are very visual people, and 95% of our communication is through body language. As we read the story of Moses, I love the fact that our personal God revealed his His voice visually to see first if Moses was alert enough to catch it.

Before God spoke to Moses with His voice, He first spoke to Moses with a burning bush.

"And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt"
                                                                                                                                ~Exodus 3:2-3 

How much have I missed because I was not looking to be spoken to? How much have you missed because you have not anticipated God speaking to you?

It takes effort to be alert.

Do you anticipate hearing from God?

God has been waiting for you to wake up this morning so that He can speak to you! Think about this, of all the things that you could have read right now, He let you read this post. Why?
God's way of speaking to His children is not limited to the Bible and the church house. Both of these are tremendous things that God has given us, but He also gives us ears to hear His voice in the everyday things we do, places we go and people that we meet.

God's voice has changed my life!
God is broadcasting to you today and that voice is one you can identify as Him or just some faint sound in the background of your mind and heart. I do know that when I discovered Proverbs 3:5-6 was not just a verse to memorize for Sunday School, but the tuner for my reception from God it was a day that changed me FOREVER!
"Trust in the Lord (Jehovah) with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways (The places you go, the people you meet and the things you do) Acknowledge (Search for  and Discover) Him and He shall direct thy paths". ~Proverbs 3:5-6

Could it really be that simple?

It is!!!

 Climbing with you,

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Hello My Name is...

I like to meet new people.

I usually get to do that every day of my life and when I do there are always a few things that in the course of conversation that I like to find out.

I like to find  out their name. A person's name speaks their destiny and that is an amazing thing to me. I like finding out if and when they met Christ. If they have, I like to hear the events that surrounded the first time that they heard the voice of God in their life. I also enjoy finding out the person's "life message".


Yeah I know it sounds strange and if it strange to you I am OK with that. Most Christians can readily give you a "Life verse", which is the equivalent of a passage of scripture that they love and feel describes their feelings toward the Lord, but I have met very few Christians that can tell you their "Life Message".

A "Life Message" is the thing that you were put on this earth to speak with your life. It is the aspect of God that you were to express to the world around you.  In the blog post, "Weapons of Mass Destruction or Extremely Heavy Paper Weights" I posted about why we were created and The word "Formed" used in the scripture was explained in greater detail than I want to explain here.

My name is Dan. Dan means, "God is my Judge". I have found that when I am walking in the Spirit it is like a second nature for me to help people and myself understand that God has the power and right to judge our lives. God's purpose and not His fairness dictate the circumstances of our lives. Reversely, when i walk in the flesh it is extremely easy for me to be judgmental of others. I have no trouble judging others by their actions and myself by my intentions.
In the post, "You Had It All The Time", I wrote about how that message has been the message that God has intended for me to speak to others since the day I was born! It is my "Life Message" and life became so much simpler when I discovered the message and how to use it to point people to Christ.
Now it is exciting to meet people because I have the privilege to help them see Christ and anyone I meet was allowed to meet me by God and it is someone that He wants to use me to reveal Himself to that person.

Instead of living my life FOR God's affirmation I discovered how to live my life FROM God's affirmation. It was no longer "Living for Jesus" but now "Living from Jesus" and I found that Christ IS LIFE!!! He is the purpose and I cannot stop talking about how incredible He is!
"The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." ~John 10:10 

I used to struggle to make myself "have a burden" or "Manufacture a moment" but one day I was finally able to discover something that God had been trying to tell me all along, "Dan, my Spirit is within you and you being yourself and me expressing myself are one and the same" and that my friends has changed my life!"

When Jesus, whose name meant God with us, was speaking of His impending death He made mention of this nugget.

"Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you."                                                                                                                ~John 16:7

Comforter? This is the Holy Spirit of God!

"Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations (What Mystery is he talking about?), but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect (Mature) in Christ Jesus:" ~Colossians 1:25-28
Paul was saying that Jesus, God with us, was crucified so that the eternal Holy Spirit of God could become God IN us! The old Testament saints did not have that and this is why Hebrews refers to this new covenant as a better promise! God indwells the believer. If you are a saved Child of the King, He is in you!

It was never supposed to be about me trying to do anything. It was about me daily making the choice to surrender everything about me to Him. Could it really be that simple? When I am surrendered to Him it is then Him working out through me. He allows me to demonstrate Him to those that He strategically places around me. Be it the guy on the corner asking for spare change, the waitress at a Waffle House, or a co worker. It is then through that demonstration of Him to the world around me that I fulfill my purpose and my life produces the very "Message" God designed me to produce.

I believe that we were given a message to speak to the world around us and that message can only be spoken fully when we are "In Christ". Only Christ can give us the power to do that to our fullest potential.

"My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,"
                                                                                                                     ~Galatians 4:19

Last night I had the opportunity to sit down with a friend and true believer in Christ and have an incredible time of discussion (And a great cup of Waffle House coffee) about what the Lord is doing and how He is working. I loved it and I am always challenged when I hear about the things that God is doing in peoples lives.

Our waitress dropped in and out of our conversation and for the most part stood close by and listened.
Jesus said, "If I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto me." for a reason. He wanted it to be clear that programs may attract a crowd but that is all they will do, because there will always be a more attractive program out there and the crowds will then be attracted to those programs. It is not about our programs we offer but it is about the Christ we present! Christ will draw men because Christ is LIFE and people are hungry and thirsty for life.

We were getting ready to leave the waffle House and out of the blue something amazing happened. I was paying at the register when I saw the waitresses name was Mercedes.
"Do you know what your name means Mercedes?" I asked.
"Well, there is a story behind it about a German family..." and she launched into a story about a first daughter in a German family that died and so on.
"That is an interesting story" I said, "But do you know what the name itself means?"
"No, I really do not", she replied but quickly added, "I will be sure to look it up!"

"Your name means Mercy" I said and then I followed up with a question that changed the entire conversation. "Are you a merciful person Mercedes?"

I could see her entire face change when I asked that. It went from casual conversation to truly shocked. Her confident smile turned into a serious firm line as she looked me dead in the eye and said, "I am people that seem to hurt me over and over. I have tried to not be, but I can't seem to stop." Her eyes showed an interest in this conversation so I continued with the next step.
"Mercedes, you can't seem to stop because your name means Mercy. You were given a name by God to reflect Him to those around you, and the aspect of Himself that He has asked you to reflect is His mercy. That is incredible!!!"

It did not mean that she was supposed to be anyone's door mat, but that she was given an incredible gift of Mercy! "You can only reflect that aspect when your life is IN CHRIST".

To say that the wheels were turning would be an understatement. My friend and I walked out of the Waffle House leaving Mercedes looking to the people around her and say, "That was really powerful! I have asked myself so many times why do I keep helping people when they don't appreciate me and to hear that makes me really want to look into this thing that guy was saying. I am going to look into this."

Your name is very powerful and I believe that your name is directly tied in with your purpose on earth and the "Life Message" that God has given you to speak.

What is your name?

God makes no mistakes right? So is it possible that the name you were given was not by accident? Could God be big enough to allow a name to rest on the mind of your parents? 

Your name is your identity and the day that you discover your identity in Christ is the day you draw your first breath of this thing called "Abundant Life"!

Climbing with you,

Monday, June 24, 2013

Is True Love Really That... Cheesy?

I would probably say that some of my favorite moments of the day take place in the early morning hours.
The house is quiet, the coffee is strong, and everything is peaceful. I described the morning routines in detail in the post,( "The Perfect Cup" Click Here)and I have to confess that I look forward to this time from the moment that my head hits the pillow.
There is one element of this morning routine that I especially guard very carefully. It is my son Clark. He has a habit of rigging little traps in the hallway that my morning eyes cannot see very well. Little toys that make noise when they are bumped seem to always find their way into the hallway in an obstacle course fashion for me to make my way around. He does this because he wants to make sure that he gets to "spend time with my old Dad" before old dad leaves for work. Old Dad? I am only 34.
The traps are always well placed and they get me every time. At first I tried really hard to avoid them, and now I think I try harder to set them off because it is hitting me that this guy is growing up. I know full well that there will come a day when those little traps will not make their way into strategic places anymore and somehow I think that the coffee would not taste as good if I did not have to stop drinking every two seconds to answer the deep questions of an eight year olds life at the breakfast table.
Last Friday morning it was a little musical puppy that caught me by surprise and in an instant he was bursting out of his bedroom with a goofy grin and a, "Ha! I got ya Dad!". You can not get mad at the guy when you see him standing there with his glasses disheveled, goofy grin, and hair sticking up everywhere. So we made our way to the table where he had Captain Crunch and I had my coffee. He then took me by surprise when he asked me, "Dad, could you go walk down the hallway for a minute, count to ten, then come back?"
"I guess so, but if you put something in my coffee I will make sure that you live a long and miserable life" I said as I got up and headed to the hallway. When I got back he carried on like nothing had happened and in the drive to work and daily start ups there I soon forgot my ten second walk in the hallway.
It was lunch time and as I got my lunch out I noticed what had happened.

A little bag of Cheese Nips. He had been waiting to slip these into my lunch bag. They were the last of his stash.
Now you need to understand that these crackers can be just as strong as currency with kids and the fact that they are shaped like Angry Birds makes them much more valuable than your average cheese crackers.
Just a little bag that spoke volumes about a big love. I sat there at my desk and I cannot even begin to tell you how special that I felt at that moment.
Could it be that this is how our Father feels when we willingly take the things about life that we value so much and present it to Him?
Clark has taught me more about the heart of God than anyone else on the planet and this, little to the world but huge to him, act of love was astounding to his father.
King David was referred to by God as a "Man after God's own heart" and I believe this was the case because David was a man who was after the heart of God. 
"Unto thee, O LORD, do I lift up my soul. O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me. Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed: let them be ashamed which transgress without cause. Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day." ~Psalms 25:1-5 
Our soul is our Mind, Will, and Emotions. We place extreme rights of ownership on these areas of life and are quick to tell others, "These are mine!" aren't we?
David was making it very clear that this was willing choice on his part to make a present to God the most valuable things that he as a creature of free will had. The message that such a present makes can be summed up in two letters, one symbol, and one word.
I have no idea what this Monday is going to throw at you. I have no idea how much of your life or mine will be altered by the events of today, but could I challenge you to take some time today to just honestly evaluate what has seemed so valuable to you and ask yourself, "Do I love Dad enough to slip this to him?"
Maybe it is a job? It could be a dream? It may even be a possession or a fear. For someone it could even be a hurt that has been hung on to because it seems to be the only thing we have that brings validation to us and our circumstances. I don't know. But I do know that anything we have that we consider "ours" is worth presenting to Him.
I do not mean we run it down to the neighborhood church or sign it away in a will to the pastor, I mean just give God the right to have it and use it if He would choose to do so.
When was the last time that you lifted up your soul, or anything else that you would put the word "My" in front of, to the Lord?
Is true love really that Cheesy?
If there is any part of the Father's heart that views a supreme sacrifice from the life of His children that could identify with the way that my heart felt as I looked at that Angry Bird Cheese Nip staring back at me, I would say Yes!
Think about it. Presenting what we value to God's use and care is choosing Him over so many other avenues that appear to us, on our plane of understanding, to make so much more sense.
So today I want to Zip-lock up my cares, fears, frustrations, relationships, possessions and everything else that I guard as "Mine" and slip them into the Father's lunch bag as He walks down the hallway.
Today, before the events unfold as they will, I want to just say;
Climbing with you,

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Weapons of Mass Destruction or Extremly Heavy Paper Weights?

It was a typically warm 2008 July afternoon near the Baltic sea village of Swibno, Poland. A light and airy breeze whispered through the needles of the tall pines that towered just 230 feet from the public beach that was already beginning to fill with the normal traffic of a summer day.

The man who had stopped to survey this scene smiled within himself as he bent down to pluck another  mushroom for his near filled sack when he spied something that captivated his attention. It looked like a bullet sticking out of the pine needles that had packed over the years into a hardened mass. He reached for the bullet and discovered to his surprise that it was in fact an entire belt of rusted ammunition that was fed into what turned out to be an intact German machine gun from World War Two.

What the mushroom picker would later discover is that directly under his feet was at that moment over one hundred and fifty thousand pounds of explosives that had been buried years before by the occupying German armies of the Third Reich. Just a stones throw from a public beach was buried over twenty thousand pieces of explosive that were potent enough in themselves to "Rip an arm off". They were manufactured and designed to destroy but ended up unused and long since forgotten about. Still dangerous, but no longer a threat to the targets that they were intended to hit.

I had been studying the first accounts of creation in the book of Genesis and had posted three posts that broke down Genesis 1:1.  "What's next", "I was here from the start", and "Created by God"

In the process of reading that passage and the ones that followed it i came across a word that i absolutely LOVE!

“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul”~ Genesis 2:7

The word is "FORMED".

The word "Formed" here means; "Created or fashioned to accomplish a desired goal, outcome, or result."

.I have always heard it said that God made man to give God pleasure, glory and fellowship. I see it this way, God personally formed man for the express purpose of being in His presence.

Every other act of creation was a thought followed by the words, "Let there be!" With us, it was a thought followed by the personal act of "Forming" with the desired goal, outcome, and result of man to be in His presence.

You were handmade to specifically be in the presence of the creator!

The word "formed" with this same meaning is also found in the book of Jeremiah.

"Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations."
                                                                                                                  ~Jeremiah 1:5

Jeremiah was helped by God to understand his very life's message to the world and God drops this bomb on him to emphasize the point. "I not only "Formed" you to be in my presence, i "formed" your life to breathe a specific message to the world around you!"

Wow! So if God personally created me to be in His presence, and He personally handmade me to have a specific message or purpose to the world around me...what does that have to do with a pile of hand grenades found in Poland?

I am glad you asked!

There is another place where this word, "Formed" is used and it has the same meaning.

"No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper..." ~Isaiah 54:17
God used Isaiah to tell a nation of His people that "Even though the weapons that were Formed (with the desired outcome, result, and purpose of destroying them) were in fact Formed and ready to be used, they would NOT prosper".
The weapons would still be manufactured, ready, and lethal but they would not be able to be used against the targets they were intended to be used against.

Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil,” ~Ephesians 6:11

This passage tells us that our adversary has prepared an arsenal of inventory designed to destroy the believer. Ironically the thing that causes his weapons to be unable to complete the task for which they were "Formed" is the same thing that enables the believer to complete the task for which they were "Formed".

"This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh." ~Galatians 5:16

This passage tells me that when i walk in the Spirit, which indwells me as a believer, then I can render the weapons of mass destruction of the enemy for my life to be useless.

Weapons of mass destruction or just extremely heavy paper weights?

The choice is mine and the choice is yours!

When I do not walk in the Spirit Not only am I not following the purpose for which i was "Formed",  but i allow the weapons of the adversary to fulfill the purpose for which they were "Formed".

The rusted weapons found in Poland were a stark reminder that it is possible for weapons to not be used against the ones they were intended to be used on. I would like to encourage you today to take a minute and ask the Lord to renew your understanding of his "Forming" of you. Renew to your mind the "Message" that He placed within your very core that He "Formed" you to deliver to the world around you.

In the post, "You Had It All The Time"  I revealed a message that i know as sure as i know my name that God created me to speak with my life to those that He places in it. God gave you a message and He can bring that to your mind today!

What is it you will be able to see today?

Weapons of Mass Destruction or Extremely Heavy Paperweights?

Climbing with you,


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Home Sweet Home

I have just been to heaven.
If it wasn’t heaven it was as close as I will get this side of it. I went “Home” to a little town in the middle of nowhere called Wolcott Indiana.

When Kevin Coster’s character, Ray Kinsella, is asked if he is in heaven while standing on a baseball field out in the middle of a corn field in the movie Field of Dreams; he replies in a dry response, “No, it’s Iowa.” This is truly how I felt when I took a few days to load my family up in the van and go “Home” to the place where I grew up.


Home can feel very much like heaven and in some respects and I experienced that feeling when I took several days “Off” from routine last week to go and see my family and just get lost for a bit in familiar faces and places from my past.

Something happens to me out there in that farmland that absolutely stirs everything within me, and as I drove down familiar roads from my childhood I was bombarded with memories. I was almost able to see myself as a young boy pedaling my bike as fast as I could make it go down those cracked roads that blistered in the summer heat. I could hear the tar sticking and slapping from the bike tires back onto the pavement and hear the rustled cries of wind passing through the corn stalks from the endless cornfields that lined the road as I readjusted the B.B gun on my back in preparation for my older brother’s ambush in the bend of road up ahead.


I could almost see my old dog, a German shepherd mix named Lady, who was my staunchest supporter and most trusted confidant while sitting beside me in the field behind our house as the evenings crept into place, just listening to me talk about everything that could find its way onto a young boy’s heart and mind.

G.I.Joes, Ninja Turtles, and army stuff were the consuming part of my life as a boy and it seemed as if there was always some fantasy “bad guy” lurking around our farm that needed my expertly honed ninja skills and homemade weapons to defeat.


Being surrounded by open fields with absolutely nothing but open land as far as the eye could see and in some places without even a phone signal just lifted my spirits to the peak and as I drove I found myself wishing that time would just stop completely for a while and I could stay there.

You hear people compare arriving to heaven in the parallel of a beach or a shoreline surrounding an island type of setting. I see an old road out in the country that leads its way through freshly mowed fields to a brightly lit farm house where my heavenly Dad is waiting on the front porch to meet me.


I think what I enjoyed the most about being in that environment were the many times you could just walk down the road and realize that at exactly that moment, there was not a soul on earth that knew where you were. It was a very powerful feeling to feel so small and for that moment be in the full realization that life was in fact not about you. It seems like this is something that each of us struggle with on a daily basis and the thought that the world revolves around us is one that is so easy to entertain.

We make tend to make everything about us don’t we? Even within the church we do this and I do not believe that it is intentional. I think that it happens just because we struggle with flesh and we are so busy looking for the big giants in our life that we, like the children of Israel, slay the giants in the land but miss the fact that we allow the “Amorites and Hittites and Amalekites of self to live”. We knock out the big name enemies of our walk in the Spirit, but miss the little ones that keep us defeated and in bondage.

I like the way David puts it when he had a little time to reflect on where he stood in relation to the God of the universe.

"When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?" ~Psalms 8:3-4

How many times did that thought pass through my mind as I walked those roads near our house growing up is beyond me. Just the feeling that God was so big and that I was so small was an amazing feeling.

God referred to that a lot in the Old Testament when dealing with some of His kids. He used the phrase, “When thou wast small in thine own sight…”

I guess today, before it really gets thick out there and all of the distractions hit you as fast and as furious as they no doubt will, I would like to invite you to just take a walk in your mind down a road very much like the one that I have pictured here and just take a minute to remember where you stand before a Holy and all-consuming God. Think about how small you are and how small the things that you face and will face stand next to His amazingly powerful and massive throne. Then stop right where you are walking and remember that He, in all of His majesty and splendor, is MINDFUL of you.

Life isn’t really about you and it really isn’t about me. It is about Him. It always was and it always will be. You and I were created from the very beginning to be in the presence of God. Take some time out on your “walk” and just enjoy being able , through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus, to be in His presence and know that His mind is fixed on you!


Climbing with you,



Saturday, June 8, 2013

Created by God

This is my latest creation project that I am working on. It is going to be a portrait of my youngest son Blake that I have mentioned in previous posts.
I love my kids and I love to create things for them. Be it pictures, toys, or story adventures I love to create things for my kids.
My oldest son Clark is really into Ninja Turtles and super hero action figures. His birthday was fast approaching so I created him a "Sewer Den" for his ninja Turtles!
I found myself going "Back to the laboratory" to create for him a custom Adventurer crate motif play set for his Indiana Jones and G.I.Joe figures!

I needed a custom DVD shelf for my Superman Themed "Man Cave" so I decided to design and create a custom light up shelf for just such an occasion.

It is the word "created" that caught my attention as I have been reading Genesis 1:1 and it is that word that captured me.

“In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth.” ~Genesis 1:1

God created.

Everywhere you look around, you cannot help but see the creativity of God.

Reuben Garret Lucius Goldberg was an American cartoonist who received a 1948 Pulitzer Prize for his political cartooning. He is best known for his series of popular cartoons depicting Rube Goldberg machines, complex devices that perform simple tasks in indirect, convoluted ways. The Reuben Award of the National Cartoonists Society is named in his honor. In addition, there are several contests around the world known as Rube Goldberg contests which challenge high school students to make a complex machine to perform a simple task.

A Rube Goldberg machine is an extremely complicated apparatus that performs a very simple, easy task in an indirect and convoluted way. Some examples of his machines have an anticipation factor, as the machine makes slow but steady progress toward its goal.

Remember the game "Mousetrap"? Same principle as a Rube Goldberg invention contest.
To see these contests is amazing. The contestants have a very different look about them, as if you can tell that they know so much more than the average person who is in attendance. They live to create and they create with the intention to display creativity to the world.

They say that when Michelangelo was a younger man he found a large block of marble that was going to be destroyed. He claimed the block for his own, had it taken to his workshop, and for two years he would take time to sit in front of that block. One of his students asked him one day, “Sir, why do you sit and stare at that piece of marble?”

He responded, “I am creating and this (Piece) of marble will be my greatest creation.”

He carved and chiseled from that block the statue of David.

When I stop to think about how complex and intricate all that God has created…I am in awesome wonder of his greatness. Everything he has created has so much detail. People spend their whole life trying to replicate the look of one of his sunsets. They die trying to put into words the picture of a rolling landscape, or a majestic mountain.

God created those with the spoken word. The thought, design, and purpose all brought into harmony in the words… “Let there be…”

I love to watch the discovery channel, and see all the beauty that my God created. How scientists will go to great pains to discover what God thought up. A defense mechanism of a small insect or the mineral properties of a rock planted miles below the surface of the earth. Those were designed by God. He is so much more than a magic genie, or a fire escape, or an adjective to describe how angry we can get.

No…you are talking about the most creative mind that ever was, and that ever will be.

When I run into a financial wall of Jericho, an emotional giant, a red sea of parenthood,  a famine of faith,  a blind circumstance, or the death of a dream. Take a deep breath and remember that we have a very creative God!

When I was growing up, my family went to a little country church in star city, Indiana. The pastor of that church was Lionel Young SR. He was a big man from Texas with a booming rich voice. I was too young to catch the points in the messages and my attention span at the time did not allow me to remember a word from the sermons he delivered, but I have never forgotten his love, and his tears that would come when he would just break out into a song that he would sing mid-way through a message.

Got any rivers you think are uncross able,
Got any mountains you cannot tunnel through?

God specializes in things seemed impossible,
He has a thousand ways to make a way for you!

When mankind fell into separation from God, He revealed one of His most powerful creations He ever designed...Grace. The creativity, and the passion could never be equaled with an earth filled with Michelangelo’s’ or Rube Goldberg’s.
"Thank you Lord for creating me, for creating salvation, and for creating heaven where I can live with you forever!"

Every morning is a chance for us to see, if we will take the time to look, at the most brilliant display of creativity the world will ever be blessed enough to see.
Climbing with you,