A Ministry of Christian Chefs International (CCI)

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Continuing the Entrepreneurial path ...


“That the most excellent method he had found of going to GOD, was that of doing our common business without any view of pleasing men, [Gal. 1:10; Eph. 6: 5, 6.] and (as far as we are capable) purely for the love of GOD.”
― Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God

"So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless." 
1 Corinthians 15:58 (NLT)

Hello Sistren and Brethren!  On our paths mountains suddenly come up to us...we look at it...analyse it...plan a path around or over it and then......The Holy Spirit reminds us of what Jesus said...about Faith...and mountains...and a groovy Worship song...that has a line 
"And this mountain that's in front of me will be thrown into the midst of the sea..."
So as we rightly ponder...we come to the logical and wise conclusion that...We need help!  And so we approach this next step in our walk with Christ,yoked, armoured, and Graced the fact we are co-creators with God...and each day each step gets us closer and the works we do in faith move that mountain...and as co-laborers with Jesus, the work we engage in on a daily basis ought to be done in a particular manner. and Bro Lawrence reminds me of "Excellent"! And Paul reminds me of "Enthusiastically"!  For we believe that when we put our hands to the proverbial plow, we are indeed cultivating and renewing parts of creation. We are the workforce of God’s restoration project. Thus, the work we do should be done with the utmost excellence!

In a way, Paul reminds us of this in Ephesians 2:10 when he says that, “we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” We are the First Entrepreneur’s masterpiece in the sense that we were created to reflect who He is. We are His image bearers. But when sin entered the picture, it marred His image in us. It darkened the reflection. So He sent His son Jesus to destroy sin and death and recreate us—a renewed humanity. Now, we can once again reflect and re-present His Light...His presence on earth...who He is in His creation. We do this by seeking to accomplish the good things He planned for us to do long ago in the garden. Things like ruling, creating, building, and growing. Things that are excellent. Things that rightly picture the very nature of God.

Therefore, if our work is to be a reflection of the First Entrepreneur, we must strive for excellence in everything we do. Our work is too important to be mediocre, or drab, or half-hearted. Our work is the work of royalty. Our work is a representation of the King. It is bound up in what He is doing in this world.

So, as we take to the streets, the public markets, the halls of power, or the corridors of knowledge, all of our endeavors should be oozing with excellence. We, God’s masterpieces, should be the most creative, most useful, most life-giving purveyors on the planet! Our work is for the Lord and thus, it is never useless. It is restorative, life-giving, and good.

This should motivate us to pursue excellence in all areas of our endeavors. Nothing about our work should be slighted or handled flippantly. In everything we do, everything we produce, everything we create, we should strive to make it worthy of Jesus, the King! In doing this, we properly reflect who God is to a watching world.

Martin Luther King, Jr. captured this idea well when he proclaimed, “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, 'Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”
A couple questions to ponder...
Why should we as Christian entrepreneurs and creatives be more motivated to do excellent work than non-Christians?
How is excellence defined in your chosen work?
How, practically, can you become more aware of the areas of your endeavor that need more work to become truly excellent?  PRAY!
Ask God to help you see excellence in your work as a means to reflect Him and His excellence to the world. Pray that God would grant you motivation and strength to pursue excellence in all areas of your work...in excellence being a mountain mover...in, with, and for Him.

A groovy thing to do...to meditate on areas of responsibility in your business or life that you feel you do with excellence. Then, identify areas that you know are not done with excellence. As a relationship builder think about maybe asking a close friend for feedback on the list and work to find the resources you need to work towards excellence in the latter three areas.

Now...we have a very busy rest of the week and weekend...Working with Christian Chefs International in catering The Fish Fest Concert event in Salem this weekend...we will be catering the "Green Room" feeding of the musical guests and their bands and staff...with Friends, supporters and Alumni of CCI and CCA...and also presenting the Christian Culinary Academy at a booth there!  Sharing the Good News that God loves those who love to cook and has provided a Cooking school just for those who love Jesus and those called to a deeper relationship and purpose to seek Him first...and to cook!  Just like Jesus did...in excellence.  When I think about that  AFTER Jesus was resurrected ...he cooked for the disciples!  I bet it was Gooooooooood!
And Pray for us please! As we certainly have an opportunity to share excellence in what we teach and present.  And pray for the 7000 plus who will attend to be encouraged by excellent music and Worship!
We also will be feeding the hungry at the "Sunday Supper"  event sponsored by the community at Our Lady Of Victory church in Seaside, OR.  And other God appointments also....We are so blessed to be called to be the hands and feet, heart and Light of Our Father 

Rock and Roll!  Jesus is the Rock and we Roll!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Practice the Presence...called to co-create part deux




God morning Sistren and Brethren! As we go through an entrepreneurial stage in our walk in the Lord just wanted to share some insight and encouragement...Especially from the Word and from others gone before us i.e. Brother Lawrence and the Apostle Paul...on the Co-mission, the Co-creation, and Co-mmunion....We seek Him in every aspect of our businesses and ministries...God is so good...in ALL things, in ALL ways, and ALL the time!
Perhaps Bro Lawrence was pondering Pauls writings when he wrote:
“That his prayer was nothing else but a sense of the presence of GOD, his soul being at that time insensible to everything but Divine love: and that when the appointed times of prayer were past, he found no difference, because he still continued with GOD, praising and blessing Him with all his might, so that he passed his life in continual joy; yet hoped that GOD would give him somewhat to suffer, when he should grow stronger.”
― Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God

"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful." 2 Timothy 4:7 (NLT)

...As we begin to integrate our faith and our works, we must be prepared for the journey that will most assuredly follow. A journey marked with highs and lows, good and ill, abundance and want...it's called life! A journey that at times is our greatest joy, and at other times, our greatest sorrow. For the decision to operate our ventures in accordance with the principles of God’s Kingdom will undoubtedly bring with it unique challenges. However, to not do so would be to deny our very responsibility as those who have been called to create.  Look and ponder the lives of the Apostles..each uniquely affected, effected, and changed....becoming a living stone, a beacon, and a testimony to the changed life that comes from a living relationship with the Lord Jesus!
For this reason, it is important that we understand our calling to create as also a calling to faithfulness. Every good endeavor that we take up is a work that is to be done unto the Lord (1 Corinthians 10:31). As Christians, we recognize that profit is not the only bottom line of our ventures. We are followers of the First "Entrepreneur" if you will. We reflect Him in our creative endeavors. And like Him, we create, build, and nurture for the sake of His glory and the good of others. As such, our labors and practices ought to function out of our deep faith in God and in what He is doing in this world—building His Kingdom. This is to be our faithful practice and as Bro Lawrence calls our "common service".
“That our sanctification did not depend upon changing our works, but in doing that for GOD’s sake, which we commonly do for our own. That it was lamentable to see how many people mistook the means for the end, addicting themselves to certain works, which they performed very imperfectly, by reason of their human or selfish regards. That the most excellent method he had found of going to GOD, was that of doing our common business without any view of pleasing men,1 and (as far as we are capable) purely for the love of GOD.”
― Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God


Accompanying this faithful practice will be a whole gamut of experiences. Some will be what appear to be blessings and God’s favor. These will be seasons of growth, joy, and exhilaration. It will seem that all is right with the world and that God is on the move in and through your work. However, there will also be those experiences which appear to be the ill favor of sin and evil at work against you. These will be times of sorrow, hardship, and doubt. It will look as if God has withdrawn from your labors. All might feel lost.

These are the realities of living and working in a world that is fraught with sin. A world that is in desperate need of reconciliation and restoration. A world that needs the faithful practice of those who have been called to create. God has gifted us and placed us to be culture-creators and attitude testifiers who faithfully practice God’s justice, goodness, truth, and love in all that we do. Our entrepreneurial endeavors become outposts of the Kingdom of God. They are places where people see and feel the presence of God in everything we do and in everything we create. This is why we remain faithful through it all...

How might we start to see our work as a faithful practice?  Start by praying! Pray that God would give us an understanding of His calling on our lives as co-creators and practitioners of faithfulness. Ask that He will help us see the need to remain faithful through every season. Ask Him to grant us strength to endure the highs and lows of following the call to co-create.

We are writing everything down as much as we can remember to...Writing a set of goals for our work that are not focused on outcomes, but are instead focused on faithful practice regardless of circumstances.
Stay faithful...Stay Strong...Stay Faithful...
Did I say Stay Faithful?  ;)

Rock and Roll!
Jesus is the Rock...and we ROLL!

Friday, August 4, 2017

The Practice of the Presence...Called to Co-create...Entrepreneur



Hello Sistren and Brethren! After seeing and hearing about the entrepreneurial adventure of our graduated student Anna...I was inspired and edified as to the ventures so many of us desire and as the Lord inspires and leads us into...and knowing that ALL things work together... and for His glory as His gifts in us are revealed ...manifested...into the world we are placed in...Wow going into "Business"! Whew! Thats being called to create or rather Co-create with Our Creator.  I was also reminded of our past Brother in Christ and in the kitchen Nicolas Herman AKA Brother Lawrence ( see previous blogs about him). Love this pic...



I too can relate as my wife and I are broken more and following His lead into the work He would have us do in the entrepreneurial spirit of co-creating with Him Our Creator in the Holy Spirit Power of Grace as Jesus manifested for us and gave us Himself for us to role-model and follow The Way...in Spirit and Truth...being real, and being honest...I came upon a like minded Sistren and Brethren who celebrate this aspect of who they are in Christ...As I share the ALL things...Its a Love thing its a God thing! 

Its an ALL thing...  All in? All or nothing?...hmmmm...Its ALL His "business"...Amen?


Brother Lawrence once wrote: 
“Let us think often that our only business in this life is to please God. Perhaps all besides is but folly and vanity. ” ( From the Practice of The Presence of God)





"All the believers were united in heart and mind. And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had. The apostles testified powerfully to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and God’s great blessing was upon them all. There were no needy people among them, because those who owned land or houses would sell them and bring the money to the apostles to give to those in need." Acts 4:32-35 (NLT)


For those who are called to create, our faith should impact every aspect of our entrepreneurial endeavors, from our motivations for creating, to the products we choose to create, to how we operate our ventures. As we set out to be an influence in culture through the vehicle of work, we must do so in a manner that captures the heart of God and stitches it together with all of our practices, products, and procedures. Thus, the entirety of our enterprises serve as beacons for a Kingdom that is very different from that of this world.


Obviously, this is both a counter-intuitive and a counter-cultural effort. However, that is what our faith is all about. It’s about living into a reality that is beyond our senses, but is, at the same time, no less real than the air we breathe. As the writer to the Hebrews explains, “Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see” (Hebrews 11:1). Our faith, put into practice in all of our work, brings to life the realities of God’s unseen, but very present, Kingdom.





This is the picture we get of the Church in its infancy from our text above. In these early Christian communities, much was being done that spoke to the realities of God’s Kingdom here on earth. For they believed that God had done something amazing in the person of Jesus Christ. They believed that He was the Messiah—the one whom God was sending to reorder the world and all of history. As such, they began to live out that reality. Their faith informed everything they did. It led them to sell all they had and share it with one another. It led them to give sacrificially and generously. It led them to care for those less fortunate than themselves.





This ought to serve as an example for us today. As our faith is integrated into every aspect of our life, works, and entrepreneurial endeavors, it ought to transform how we work. For it is not enough that we put a Bible verse on our packaging or an ichthus on our website. The integration of our faith must go deeper than that if we are to be His Light to a watching world. We must be willing to enter into the nitty gritty of our organizations and ask tough questions about faith and practice. Questions such as, “Does our belief in justice play a role in how we choose pay, benefits, and even health care options for our employees? Is the compensation we offer in-line with our understanding that ‘those who work deserve their pay’ (Luke 10:7b)? Are we making ethical decisions when it comes to the materials we purchase? Do we truly care for our employees? Do we have their best interest in mind (Philippians 2:4)?”


All this we do for the sake of modeling the Kingdom to a world without faith to see it. In other words, our work makes visible a Kingdom which is otherwise invisible to the naked eye. This cannot happen if our faith is not fully integrated into the entirety of our work. Work to be Salt and His Light for the Kingdom today! 


How have you seen the Lord use your work in the past to reveal the Kingdom to others? 


How might the Lord be calling you to use your creative endeavors today to more clearly reveal the Kingdom to your customers, employees, and partners? 


“God, help me to see the need for all aspects of my life, job, ad-venture to be touched by my faith. Help me to see what I am doing as communicating the reality of who You are and what You are doing in this world. God, strengthen me to ask tough questions of my venture and to respond in faith. Amen.”






Rock and Roll!


Jesus is the Rock...and we Roll!


Friday, June 23, 2017

The practice of the presence...Acts...Amen?

“There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful, than that of a continual conversation with God; those only can comprehend it who practice and experience it.”
Brother Lawrence

     One of the special things I love about my wife...her continual conversation and verbal communication and as a co-Chef our conversations are like those we would have in the kitchens of our world...things said...understood, and celebrated as we come together in co-creating culinary memories...giving praise , honor, and glory to Our Father Son and Holy Spirit...It is like a soundtrack of our lives...
     So I just want to encourage you all to keep in communication...Communion if you will, With, For and Of Our Lord and Master...and let it lead into actions...Words alone...thoughts alone...are not enough...Actions...all that leads to the fruits of our connectedness in the Vine...Good Fruit.  Taste and See!  I do pray that I can recieve words to share, thoughts an prayers to share...actions...to share...that lead to Fruit...to share...
     The fish and bread that fed the multitudes were things...stuff...but when the Words of the story, the recollections (thoughts) of the events, and actions when we re-create that moment in our community sharing celebrating of the meal He wanted so much to share with His friends...He continues to want to share with us...
     It's groovy Summer time schools are out, vacations are being planned and enjoyed...respite and rejoicing are all over.  God's nature...the beauty of the world and the miracle of creation we get to walk in each day...the moment we get to breathe in His presence...and exhale His Life present in us...those who chose!  For those who chose the relationship with the Living Son of God Jesus there is not just an eternity but a Now...THIS is the day...Amen?
Choose wisely chuckling...I am reminded by that line from a movie you all may be acquainted with and as summer time is one for movies as many  are off for the summer looking for entertainment...(and hopefully some groovy missions work  ;)
     ...Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade  where the search is on for the Holy Grail...in the ending scenes the hero and bad guys encountered a Grail Knight who spoke the line..."But choose wisely, for while the true Grail will bring you life, the false Grail will take it from you..."

Choose wisely seek Wisdom from God...Lady Wisdom is calling out to share it with us...

Rock and Roll!

Jesus is the Rock and we Roll!




OK here's a couple clips Pass the Popcorn! Enjoy!




https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_IlNbsILLE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ubw5N8iVDHI

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Call for you...line 1...

God Morning! Our Father doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the CALLED! funny after I wrote this down I got a un-requested confirmation from Chef Patrick on the faces book...We just gotta be willing...and like Our Father who's yes is Amen....So this morning as I have my Coffee with Jesus I say " OK what are we gonna do today?" I hear "Just be ready, I go before you"...
So Blessed this "Our Father's Day" Created in His image got a word today about that...We were created with His nature so to speak His DNA coursing through us spiritually ...in our relationship with the person Of God Jesus who put His "touch" on us ...New every day as I was reminded by Pastor Lovelady this morning...
Wow lots of good encouragement including encouragement about beng an encourager! Wow JOL! ( Joy of the Lord)
Pondering God's creative spirit in us as He speaks and leads and guides us into a ministry....Yeah Groovy Graham Cooke posted this which was...encouraging and edifying: Your testimony is the beginning of your ministry. Every time you set someone free, that’s revenge. The enemy has to live to regret that he ever messed with you. You have to make him pay again, and again, and again, and again. You have to rub his nose in it! That is really what generates our ambition in the Kingdom.
(from Living Your Truest Identity)
So I just wanted to encourage you to read the Acts of the Apostles....trying to keep up with some other brethren and Sistren who are doing likewise...its good to read learn and share...I am hoping that may happen here...

Oh! Also wanted to start posting some groovy quotes from the "patron Saint" of food service folks. Brother Lawrence from "The Practice of the Presence of God" ( that's what its all about amen?) Try this one on for size...
“Let us think often that our only business in this life is to please God. Perhaps all besides is but folly and vanity. ”
Brother Lawrence

Rock and Roll...!...Jesus is the Rock!...and we ROLL!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Summmmmer tiiiime and the livin' is eas...er Buzzzzzy!



That is a groovy old song

Ella and Satchmo...grooooovy (link)


thinking about for some...the lazy hazy days of summer vacations and warmer weather....well for some it is a time to get busier! God has us on a Co-Mission! He never changes, stops, or as Jesus showed us He is the Lord of the Sabbath! I love the Acts it is a spiritual and historical heritage of what obedient servants did committed to His working through them. Not just 24-7 more like 25-8! Haha that is how I describe having/running a restaurant...can I get a big Amen?

...So...I encourage you to read the Acts....I am sharing a little word about them as we Rock and Roll along on His Path, His Way, and in His Light, Truth and Life ....lets roll to Ch 12...

and ponder ( Thank you Pastor Kelly!)




"Acts 12. satan is active. He gets some licks in. But God ultimately wins and wins bigly! James is killed by Herod. Peter is arrested and is scheduled to die next. God's people pray. An angel is sent to miraculously deliver Peter. Herod is killed by God for his pride and blasphemy. Don't quit when Satan gets a few licks in. Pray and keep pushing forward. We will ultimately win. Go get your next victory!"





Amen and Amen! Go!.. the first two letters in GOD...and get it!

Rock and Roll Sisters and Brothers!

Jesus is the Rock...and we ROLL!




Chef Leo

In times like these its good to know there have always been...Times like these...

Monday, June 12, 2017

Happy Summer everyone!

This has been an amazing winter and fall seasons all folding into a new "season" of life...or lives conjoining together as mine and my new Wife Chef Lissette have been growing into...God is Good! And as many know Chef Ira and new Wife Abby were married this spring also!  Making ALL things New!  ...and our ultimate testimony is that we are living proof of that...This would not be... unless God was wholeheartedly in it!  Wow...amazing...Just as the Christian Culinary Academy Class of 2016-17 steps into a new season  we rejoice with them and with you who have supported continue and pray for all that Our Father is doing in lives and through the gifts He gave us to do that...If any of you has not received a recent CCI Newsletter in your email we are using a new server.  This is also a reminder to resubscribe to the Newsletter and to be encouraged that your prayers for us have worked!  And will continue as God never changes His Love ...
So ...as we continue to seek first the Kingdom of God...and of Him first in our lives, our relationship with Him grows exponentially as does ours in our marriages...
Praying you all are being touched and held in His Love...Just wanted to share some good words from His Word...We thank you for being ..co-believers and co-"missioned" with His Great commission to "God and make disciples..." In our going and coming we all know the importance and blessing of running to and diving into the Word of God and as we "Act" on our parts it is good to read of those "Acts" of the apostles...We encourage you to do so... Taste and See!  That God is good!  
From Good input from Pastor Kelly Lineberry on chapters 9, 10 and 11 of Acts ...God Bless and Rock and Roll!  Jesus is the Rock and we Roll!
Acts 9. What do you do when you realize you are wrong? I'm thinking there are areas in our life where we are wrong and God is trying to get our attention to guide us into truth and a better way. We all need to be teachable. Saul was so wrong and so blind to it that God had to knock him off his high horse, shine a bright light in his eyes and physically blind him to get his attention! 
Sometimes we are so entrenched on a certain position with people and situations. Sometimes we are stubborn at the wrong times and in the wrong ways. Sometimes we are fighting God and His will.
When Saul (later named the Apostle Paul) finally realized he was wrong he asked this amazing question, "Lord, what do you want me to do?" We might want to ask that as well. Jesus is Lord and we should acknowledge that. Then we should discover what He wants us to do, and then we should do it. Give God your yes! It is the very best thing you can do with your life.
Acts 10. This chapter gives us the details of a huge and controversial shift in the church. God uses Peter and a Roman soldier to declare that the Law and the Old Covenant have been fulfilled. There is a new covenant and a new way now. The blood of Jesus cleanses all, and anyone, who believes on Him. It took people of prayer and fasting, angels appearing, visions and Holy Spirit speaking clearly to get this to happen. When Peter entered Cornelius' house he began to teach them about Jesus, His love, His power, His death and resurrection ... then Holy Spirit came and filled them all and they all began to speak in tongues and worship God. That was the big evidence that Gentiles were included and accepted in the church without any works of the law. Still today the anointing and presence of Holy Spirit reveals many things to us. Our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and He dwells within us to lead, guide, comfort and empower. Anyone can be saved! Anyone can be filled with Holy Spirit!

Acts 11. Contention arose in the church against Peter. Tradition was broken and some Apostles and brethren were concerned and wanted to defend tradition. The great thing is they had a conversation with Peter and listened to his explanation. After hearing about the vision, the words of God, the angel and the baptism with the Holy Spirit accompanied with speaking in tongues ... they stopped the contention and glorified God for the work of salvation He was doing in other people groups!
That is a great pattern still today when contention arises in the church or even in relationships. Stop, have a conversation or two, or three ... listen to each other's heart. Consider the motives and what God is doing, and work it out until you have unity again.
It took many more conversations, prayer meetings, experiences, adjustments ... but eventually the church grew, people came together, ministry expanded and they continued to work on unity and the progression of God's will. God is moving. He does new things. He reaches out to all people. He has new emphasis and new methods quite often. It is true that God doesn't change personally but we see in scriptures that His methods and movements and directives change quite often. Think about the differences from Adam to Abraham to Moses to David to Isaiah to Jeremiah to Daniel to John the Baptist to Jesus to Paul to Constantine to Martin Luther to Azusa Street to all the changes in the last 100 years ... (I know I skipped a bunch but you get the idea)
Core Biblical doctrines never change but many other things do, traditions sometimes change ... keep having lots of conversations. Don't allow contentions to grow. Work hard to understand and be in step with God. Work hard on unity. Don't change because of emotions or society but do change because of the Holy Spirit's directives and leading.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Intermezzo...A "Words" about seeking help...

Asking for help is vital to our spiritual "Vitality"!  It starts and ends...with God...God is Love..so whatever is You...( a creation of Love), whatever is important to you (a response of Love), whatever you Feel... ( the Spirit of Love) or whatever you want, need, desire,crave, consume...you get the idea is a manifestation of Love in, of, around, about, and through you.  Living by the life of Love
( that other person of Jesus) that dwells, lives, breathes , moves, works and shines...simply does so because God Loves ...you.
OK so as we follow Him, believe and obey him...we look to this "Author and Finisher of our faith"! And as we look we look....Within... We begin/are born... created.  We "finish" are Born Again...growing in Love...I just shared a statement " It is OK to pray for yourself" with someone...and they admitted they had a hard time with that one...I just heard the word "Resistant"...our Adamic nature is such...that we all living in that sin "resistance" that blinds and binds the Freedom we were first created  in...and now "Made Free" By Jesus's Victory on the Cross...
Free to Love ...yourself!

Leviticus 19:18 “Don’t seek revenge or carry a grudge against any of your people. “Love your neighbor as yourself. I am God.

Hosea 12:6 What are you waiting for? Return to your God! Commit yourself in love, in justice! Wait for your God, and don’t give up on him—ever!

Matthew 22:37-40 Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them.”

Mark 12:32-33 The religion scholar said, “A wonderful answer, Teacher! So lucid and accurate—that God is one and there is no other. And loving him with all passion and intelligence and energy, and loving others as well as you love yourself. Why, that’s better than all offerings and sacrifices put together!”

Romans 13:8-10 Don’t run up debts, except for the huge debt of love you owe each other. When you love others, you complete what the law has been after all along. The law code—don’t sleep with another person’s spouse, don’t take someone’s life, don’t take what isn’t yours, don’t always be wanting what you don’t have, and any other “don’t” you can think of—finally adds up to this: Love other people as well as you do yourself. You can’t go wrong when you love others. When you add up everything in the law code, the sum total is love.

Galatians 5:13-15 It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don’t use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that’s how freedom grows. For everything we know about God’s Word is summed up in a single sentence: Love others as you love yourself. That’s an act of true freedom. If you bite and ravage each other, watch out—in no time at all you will be annihilating each other, and where will your precious freedom be then?

James 2:8-11 You do well when you complete the Royal Rule of the Scriptures: “Love others as you love yourself.” But if you play up to these so-called important people, you go against the Rule and stand convicted by it. You can’t pick and choose in these things, specializing in keeping one or two things in God’s law and ignoring others. The same God who said, “Don’t commit adultery,” also said, “Don’t murder.” If you don’t commit adultery but go ahead and murder, do you think your non-adultery will cancel out your murder? No, you’re a murderer, period.

OK...now that you have tasted some "nuggets"...chew on them and think about loving yourself...Taking His Word to your heart..obeying and Loving yourself enough to do those things that the Holy Spirit empowers us to do...
First and primary  Ask God for Help!  LIke David in the Psalms...and so so many in the old Testament did,  and others who suffered for NOT asking...and like the Greek, Syro-Phoenician woman who came to Jesus!  begging for help to heal her daughter...Help! Help! Ask! Ask!
While there are many scriptures that speak to that I encourage you to search that out for yourself...Wow...so many encouragements..to Ask for help.  That as Jesus o that bloody Cross...instrument of torture and death should respond to a plea for help...
We all know or have read ...."ask and you shall receive"
Help and be helped..and BE help!

And if I may offer a worldly word on the subject of asking for help...from a magazine article I read [citation needed ;) i lost it]  I read that a vast majority of seriously troubled folk who need help but don't get it  suffer tremendously depression kills many causing suicides ...but of those who sought help....any help  the vast majority like in the 90 percentile actually felt better within two weeks!

So Sistren and Brethren...Love yourself,,,pray for yourself, and yes help yourself by following the Godly advice...As simply put in Proverbs 20:18,
Form your purpose by asking for counsel, then carry it out using all the help you can get.  Get it all from as many of those who would really desire to help you trusting God to answer you in your time of need....God who heals through His people called into the healing profession...God also counsels by those called into that ministry...and that is yet one more awesome reason Jesus is called  WONDERFUL Counselor!
...Run to the Word...seek counsel!   Especially from the Wonderful one...

And Rock and Roll!  Jesus is the Rock....and we Roll!




And keep checking back as our journey continues to that place called Grace...



Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Next steps..Knowing ...now GO-ing...

Join me in this story based on a sharing I had done a long long time ago about a journey to a place called Grace...now we may still go there  ;)   I pray you are edified and touched...initially there is a Character called the Tour Guide (Guide), and the New Reborn Child (Newbie)...You know we all been there  ;)


"Whew...OK...Let's Go!" said the New Reborn Child "Wait! replied the Guide.  Before we head off at a Holy Spirit breakneck pace...lets look around....Coast clear?  Any Traffic?  Lights on?  Seat Belt secure?...Armour on? Shield up? Sword Sharp?.... says the Guide..."Hay Waitaminit! I thought we were going...you mean I may have forgotten something?" , "Yeah lots..., talkin...You...lets think about it...Where you going?  You just got here and ....Well think about it...where are you?" queried the Guide  "Um  I am ...here... Oh Yeah I know I was lost but now I'm found!  I know I am a sinner...but Jesus died for me!  I know the Holy Spirit filled my heart with Love and ...Power!  I have been forgiven!And got that Amazing Grace!"  Ok so ...where are you going?  Looking around..."well I know got to go!  God said Go!  Right? " "...Well Yeah  He did say that...so ...Where?"  "He will lead me!" exclaimed the Newbie.   "Cool...so what are you gonna do?....for how long?  Did you read the map?" asked the Guide.   "Um No...what map?"  "The Word...The Bible..." the guide spoke smiling patiently.  "Yeah I heard of it...has a lot of groovy stuff....I read some a long time ago...am ...I  going to make disciples?  Right?" queried the Newbie.   "Yeah so How you gonna do that?  True God can do miracles  and saving you and me certainly fits into that category...So do you think that being a disciple might help you make...disciples?   Blushing the Newbie said "You are right I don't even know what its like being one...The Guide got the Newbies attention and said "When you meet someone... you could meet and fall in Love at first sight!...but then what?...relationship...Starts... TBC

God Morning, afternoon or evening Sisters and Brothers!  I know how anxious you are...I am also encouraged by the Word where He shares about being anxious...it is the root word for anxiety Amen?And while the word by definition can mean keen, desirous,and eager...and is... wanting something very much... we all feel that the word has a negative aspect to it...it is usually experiencing worry, unease, or nervousness...and as God would have us know...left to itself can lead to Anxiety a more pronounced form of what they share as defined...Worry...please allow me to share a list of synonyms for anxious...
worried, concerned, uneasy, apprehensive, fearful, perturbed, troubled, bothered, disturbed, distressed, disquieted, fretful, agitated, nervous, edgy, antsy, unquiet, on edge, tense, overwrought, worked up, keyed up, jumpy, worried sick, with one's stomach in knots, with one's heart in one's mouth; informal, uptight, on tenterhooks, with butterflies in one's stomach, trepidatious, jittery, twitchy, in a dither, in a lather, in a tizzy, eaten up; strung out, having kittens; antsy, spooked, squirrelly...Whew   OK so some would say these are "normal" for us humans as we traverse this world we live in...I humbly offer that in view of Creation this is yet another opportunity for Our Father to shine...His light Jesus conquering and victorious over this part of "the world" that is not our Home...We want to Go!  Where?   Well lets pick a destination on this Way...We have Jesus in our Heart now...And as He taught about seeing that relationship with His Father we have made that commitment...And Sisters and Brothers you may know that when you say "I Do"  you say a lot...as He is the New Covenant let us experience by His Body and His Blood...His presence...Lets Go there!
And so we are anxious for this new adventure...as these others were ...Lets see what they had to say and what God had to reply...

1 Samuel 9:20 But as for your donkeys that were lost three days ago, do not be anxious about them, for they have been found. And on whom is all the desire of Israel? Is it not on you and on all your father’s house?”

Job 20:2 “Therefore my anxious thoughts make me answer, Because of the turmoil within me.

Jeremiah 17:8 For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, Which spreads out its roots by the river, And will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, And will not be anxious in the year of drought, Nor will cease from yielding fruit.

Philippians 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;

As you can see in the intro story I myself have been there jumping in the Truck and saying OK Jesus Lets go!   then after a bit of driving in silence I figured....and said  OK  Jesus YOU drive!  and sniveling got into the passenger seat...then anxious again and all like  "Are we there ye?t Are we there yet??  Are we There yet???  Then in my excitement at being on the road with Jesus I tended to jump out of the truck and run ahead of Him....the conclusion was after years of this I was getting tired of being a speedbump on the Way...Jesus I am sure was sighing each time he ran me over  ;)

With such a daunting journey ahead...we know to pray and not to ...Be Anxious...Don't Worry...Fret Not...But where to start?  Feeling a bit overwhelmed at this New Birth the Newbie humbly asks...Lord where do I start?  "At the beginning" comes the answer.  the Newbie hears the still small voice  "Go to My Word..."  Yikes!  I really need some help! " Thats a great start says the Guide...Hearing more clearly..."Come to me..."  And as a finger may be pointing...

"Hey look over there!"  said the Guide.  "Other journeyers!  Lets go ask them for help"  TBC...



Praying this feeds you in a way that entertains and blesses ...
Rock and Roll!  Jesus is the Rock...and we ROLL!





Friday, January 13, 2017

Knowing...and actually doing...Time to get down to business...

...always something that has challenged and kept me in tune with what God's plan is for me and I believe ultimately ...all of us.  We often hear from the pulpit to Be Church...not just DO "church"...
So in that we all have a job...a commandment, the "Great Commission"...we GO....and make disciples...how, when, and where is as unique as Our relationship with Jesus in our heart...as it is a "Heart" thing...
     Now we have a "private tutor", who provides private lessons...Wow to learn from the feet of the Master...and Jesus gave us the "Way" to do that!  As He IS the Way...Amen?  Teacher,  BFF, and Lover who teaches us with Holy patience ..so caring...so aware of who we are..intimately, totally, and eternally...Wow again  ;)

how we learn from The Teacher, with the empowerment and CO-mission that God made real, possible, and do-able through Jesus...and in His providence of the Holy Spirit to empower, engage, and en-joy us ...REMINDING us...haha I know I need that!  I forget..to be honest sometimes I tend to give my heart too easily to the ruler of this world...But God!  Jesus there at the next heartbeat...and He teaches...
Read in Matthew 11
(NKJV)
"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

(MSG)
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”


Learn....From Me!  Walk...Work...Watch...I'll show you...
Just do that!...We can do this!  Lets do that!

I am oft reminded that the First two letters in God are...Go!
The last two are...TBC

Rock and Roll!  Jesus is the Rock and we Roll!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Word for today...and



even every day...Woke up today with the word Share in my mind...went to the Word...and here is some of what I found! The Holy Spirit is amongst many things a "reminder...er" 

 From Isaiah 55 (NKJV)
So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me void,
But it shall accomplish what I please,
And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
From Acts 4
(NKJV)

And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.

Sharing in All Things

Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. 33 And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all.

and (MSG)

While they were praying, the place where they were meeting trembled and shook. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak God’s Word with fearless confidence. The whole congregation of believers was united as one—one heart, one mind! They didn’t even claim ownership of their own possessions. No one said, “That’s mine; you can’t have it.” They shared everything. The apostles gave powerful witness to the resurrection of the Master Jesus, and grace was on all of them.

From Ephesians 4
from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Ah yes Share...
1 Timothy 6
Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share,

Share and Share alike!  remember the gift albeit so intimately personal is a gift meant to Share....when "My" Jesus becomes "Our..."
As Jesus said when you pray say....Our...

It's a Love thing...its a Heart thing...
Its a Love feast!  Pass the Joy please...

Rock and Roll y;all!  Jesus is the Rock...and we Roll!


Sunday, January 8, 2017

i wax...

poetic...
Seeing you

...in this morn I am awakened 
by a crying...a whimpering...
 nothing more urgent than my "beeste" letting me know ...
it is time...
my conscious waiting calmly as my unconscious's remnant...
 departs... 
 dreams and their visions...
visions and their moving pictures and words...
 words...leading to thoughts...
of You Lord...
of reaching out to You Master...
and of reaching out for You Teacher...
leading to revelation...
once again You are being revealed...
 another jot, another tittle...
not a lot, just a little...
more Love

my beginning business moves me hither...
seeking to find my head in the things I awaken with...
 my breaking through the fog of my morn...conscious of pain,
thankful...
reminded i am alive,
 hopeful...
Thank you Master for keeping watch...
so speaks my heart as my mind is still engaging....
placing my right foot on the floor
 attempt to adjust the dishevelment that sleep had rearranged my head...
rubbing my eyes to help bring in to focus...
" get off on the "right" foot, I whisper...
" Ok Teacher what is the lesson today?" 
a song comes to mind 
" Love is the opening Door, Love is what We came here for...
No one could offer you more...do you know what I mean?"
yes Lord my eyes have really seen...
 my beginning business moves me yon...
and I take my coffee outside eagerly desiring to continue this communion...
and I see the sun break into a clear sky landscape still white in frosty dormant sleep...
trees bare and neighborhood quiet...
i clutch my cup in the chilled air...
 leftover snow blowing into my face...
squinting i look and see  the hounds walking about seeking their opportunities to voice their reply to the waiting world...
and i see the light enlightening this Sun-day...
revealing the landscape recently hidden in shadow...
I raise my cup...
" Cheers Jesus"
and sip gratefully seeing the morning sun...
its light proceeding unto the land still sleeping, and the bride therein...
seeing in my minds eye the light breaking upon the multitude of witnesses...
still in slumber awaiting your rise in their hearts and in their eyes that they may see...
i see them in a glimpse from His perspective...
 seeing Love approach with arms...
open...
wide ...
ready to embrace ...
ready to knock on the doors of our hearts...
waiting...
for the opening door...
smiling now as surely as He is...saying " arise my love...come unto me let us...
commune..."
sharing visions, sharing lives...
"Shall we eat?"  revealing His banqueting table...and we look up and read the banner flying overhead....


Saturday, January 7, 2017

Ooooooooooooooo that smell!

Reminded listening to the radio on a trip to visit my Mom in a Hospice facility...by a Lynard Skynard song...and Oddly Godly reminded me of a Men's Encounter retreat in NC many years ago...we as a group were inundated by a stench..apparently (never before or after) a livestock ranch nearby was the source for this prevailing wind that wafted over our group as we sought an encounter with Jesus and were wanting a breaking and opening for the Holy Spirit in our seeking....as we discussed the smell...one person said he thought it was the enemy trying to distract us...that brought to mind that song "That Smell" and I started singing it...many laughed...but God was making even that stench to be an opportunity for ...encountering...And what was spoken was even in the midst of the smell of death...we can arise by the reaching and strong hand of the Lord...Take it and be lifted up...out of our stench out of our mess...completely even out of our generational curse that goes back to Adam...and then the finger of God points...and as we follow His gaze and look and see the Cross!  that pivotal and grand focus point of ALL creation in timeless time, endless eternity ,everything comes together in That Cross...His Cross...I am sure Adam saw it...wanting with all his heart to go back to the Garden....Abraham saw it and rejoiced! Read in John 8.  In the old covenant it was the "object" of faith God's deliverance the one the Hebrew Children tried to "make" in the golden calf...that symbol of the persons who enslaved them tried to brainwash them into believing...So amazing how easily distracted we are...and I am meaning me...how easily I am distracted how easily I give attention to the ruler of the world...forgetting the enemy has been defeated at that pivotal moment ...that Cross.  Thats one of the many reasons Jesus had to send the Holy Spirit..to remind us!  of what he said...for me like looking at my "marching orders"  to me He is saying " Here are your orders, your job, ...and here is your promise...your provision in Grace won for you at the Cross...
I encourage you to read again in Mat 28 and in the encouragement throughout His Word...esp in John 16...
And in John 6...
Jesus sensed that his disciples were having a hard time with this and said, “Does this throw you completely? What would happen if you saw the Son of Man ascending to where he came from? The Spirit can make life. Sheer muscle and willpower don’t make anything happen. Every word I’ve spoken to you is a Spirit-word, and so it is life-making. But some of you are resisting, refusing to have any part in this.” (Jesus knew from the start that some weren’t going to risk themselves with him. He knew also who would betray him.) He went on to say, “This is why I told you earlier that no one is capable of coming to me on his own. You get to me only as a gift from the Father.”

Ah yes  I do have times when I am distracted, and sometimes His voice fades...Yeah those "hard times"  But God!   and sometimes I am reminded by my own self!..." In times like these it's good to know there have always been....times like these"  That is why I cherish His Word touching, feeding, filling, ...reminding me

Be reminded my Sistren and Brethren!
Rock and Roll!  Jesus is the Rock,,,,and we Roll!


Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Happy New York! The New years aftermath...

Sitting here pondering in prayer...looking at the blank page...."What would you have me share Lord?"
"Share your heart..." comes the reply.
So my gaze redirects and I look and ponder within...Seeking Him in my heart and seeking Him in the recent events...the event called New Years...a time of traditions...our eyes attentive to New York and the ball dropping...that grand moment where we sing...and oddly Godly..those traditions are based on...recalling, remembering...pondering ...singing...Auld Lang Syne...I always loved the Scot's heritage their unique cultural make up I sort of...identified with....I felt comfortable with...I'd read the poem...and like many... heard the song based on it...As the Scots singing the song on Hogmanay or New Year's Eve became a Scots custom that spread to other parts of the British Isles. As Scots (not to mention English, Welsh and Irish people) emigrated around the world, they took the song with them...and so many of us followed suit making it part of what we do on New Years day...from Wikipedia, "The song's Scots title may be translated into standard English as "old long since", or more idiomatically, "long long ago","days gone by" or "old times". Consequently, "For auld lang syne", as it appears in the first line of the chorus, might be loosely translated as "for (the sake of) old times"....I was blessed many years ago to hear a phrase that I share to this day " The past is a place of reference...not of residence"  that spoke to me as I was constantly dealing with the past....either as an excuse, or a reason...both wrong things to do...Amen?   Was also blessed in my relationship with Jesus in His Word...
As shared by Paul in Philippians 4 “Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

It has been revealed to me that if I ever thought "I made it! or I got it! or I really understand it!"...I have not...just when I thought I figured it out...I hadn't...chuckles  like bowling, after that perfect strike  I thought "Well now I got it!  OK 300 game here we go!"  ahhh  ...no...then comes the gutter ball and I am as before left scratching my head...so it is in my relationship with God...just when I think I had it figured out..a lot of it was because I was looking in the past...and now wondering about all those times I almost...got it.  There is no way to be looking forward while still looking back at “what lies behind” and you can’t strain forward and press ahead by looking over your shoulder. We are only pilgrims in this world and we are looking ahead to a better future so it doesn’t do believers any good to keep looking back all the time. Imagine trying to drive a car by using the rearview mirror. That’s an accident waiting to happen, isn’t it?...For the sake of the old times...Auld Lang Syne...There is for me a precedent...Should old acquaintance be forgot....When I do look back...and I do...I remember...the night we first met...those milestones in our lives...when we first "met" Jesus...When He revealed Himself in a way that touched and opened our heart...when we made that good choice welcoming Him home...when we said "I do"  we remember that "anniversary"  of that commitment.
Our Father is so much God of the future...creator of time that He is...
...and it is important and the Holy Spirit's job...to remind us of what Jesus said....and I recall...
Luke 9:62
 But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

And as He also reminds us in Genesis 19 “But Lot’s wife, behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.”
Here is a reminder for all of us. Once we come out of the world, like our so-called exodus from sin, we must put the past behind us and press ahead and not look back. When Lot’s wife looked back, she didn’t do it out of curiosity or just to see the destruction of Sodom. She looked back longingly, desirously, and coveting what she had left back in Sodom. She looked back because she wanted to go back. Much like the Christian who comes out of the world but still has to live in the world we look back on the world.
This is why Jesus told His listeners “Remember Lot’s wife!” in Luke 17

Remember Lot’s wife.  Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.  I tell you, in that night there will be two men in one bed: the one will be taken and the other will be left. Two women will be grinding together: the one will be taken and the other left. Two men will be in the field: the one will be taken and the other left.”
 And they answered and said to Him, “Where, Lord?”
So He said to them, “Wherever the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together.”

Something to chew on this new year....To taste and see...
So as we press forward...let us always...
 Rock and Roll! Jesus is the Rock....and we Roll!