Showing posts from 2008

A Glimpse

There are many times where I will be reading scripture when all of a sudden the realization hits me of how little I actually see of the kingdom. My dear brother Ethan explains our view of what God is doing as focusing on the corner of a great painting. We see this little bitty piece of the corner and think, “wow, what a masterpiece.” Then we run around trying to show everybody what we have found. That in and of itself is good, when we see a new piece we tell others. The problem arises when we start to believe and live like that corner is the whole of the painting. The problem is when we start to believe and live like all that we see is the totality of everything. When we think that we have it all figured out , we tend to stop searching and seeking. When we stop seeking, we become like someone who has bought a plane or train ticket and then just sit in the waiting area, even if they bought the tickets months in advance. How foolish would that be? To buy a ticket to fly somewhe


Have you ever been speechless? The point not where you could not speak, but where you dared not? This morning in listening to a teaching CD titled "The Hope of Prayer," a question entered into my mind... What is the answer God is giving us when HE is silent? The answer I feel right now is to stay in prayer before HIM, but be still and silent... to listen, to draw nearer to the throne. It is not that I cannot speak (those of you who know me know that.) It is more that I just need to listen now and not speak. Habakkuk 2:20 "But the LORD is in HIS holy temple; let all the earth be silent before HIM." shhh!

Lessons that you only learn by doing.

There are some lessons that you learn that are so stupid, you can only learn by doing them... Here are some of mine. (Idea blatantly stolen from Never try to unplug a record player with your teeth. Never try to pull two broken ends of an electric fence together without checking to see if the charger is disconnected. (I believe this is how they discovered the transporter beam in Star Trek). Never try to capture a cow by hiding in the hay loft, and placing a loop on the ground for the cow to step in. (Could also be titled little boys cannot fly...) Never try to stand in the upstairs window of your parents roller skating rink and moon people. Never try to jump your bicycle of off the edge of the pool into the water. No matter how much time you think you have before the bus arrives, do not "go behind the tree." Never tell your mother, "Well bless your little heart," in the same sarcastic tone she uses with you when you are whining about something. Never

Lessons that you only learn by doing.


I probably watch too much TV. Okay, not probably. However, that is not the topic of this writing. The topic is a show that I catch occasionally called "Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew." I caught a few episodes last season, and thought that it was a strange reality show. I also thought that probably one of the celebrities biggest addiction is fame. Even to the point of going to rehab on TV. We have all seen the headlines of "Star A" or "Star B" getting in trouble and heading to rehab. I have scoffed and joked at the brokenness that celebrities go through. This season though has been different. There is still the same sensational garbage that is going to go on, but there is also more. I am seeing the picture of real broken people. Brokenness that money and fame cannot hold at bay. These are real people! These are people who have something missing somewhere in their lives and have tried to replace it with dark, dangerous things. They are no different than m

James 3

James 3:10 Just another something to examine about myself as I get ready to worship God. jb

Am I Okay With That??

I was talking with a brother in Christ today. I really enjoy talking with him, because we have a relationship to stretch each other. Today we started (like most times)with "what is wrong with..." and like always we ended up by talking about the plank in our own eye. We spoke today about the things that are a hot topic in the nation at the moment, "right to marry," pro-life vs. pro-choice, among many others. My friend said something that took the air out of me...he said,"how can I take a stand on those things, if I am not willing to examine where I am personally numb to sin." My gut reaction is to say, "bro, what are you doing? these people are dying in their sinfulness and they want everybody to go with them." or "Why don't you shut your big yapper!" Yet, as I think about the statement I have to ask myself where it is I have stopped on my walk towards being a disciple of Jesus... I have to examine the things that I have all

For $20

What if you could feed a family for twenty dollars? How? Follow this link. jb


It is the word that I sometimes use about Church. You know that you sometimes think it too... church services can be so "boring." I just want to ask us all a question... Does sin ever get boring? If not, why? If so, why aren't we looking for more? jb

Church Marketing...

Listen for the buzzwords. Ouch.


Sometimes I get so wrapped up in myself, in the things that are going on around me and are happening to me. Then something happens to change it. I think God shakes me up a little. I have some friends that are teachers in China. Today their e-mail update said, " Continue to lift us up and constantly mention us to Dad." And I am undone! To read these words just really stuck my heart. Here we are living in America, enjoying our freedoms and our things, and we are griping. I read these words and I think of missionaries over the years, this is just like something that we would read from one of Paul's letters to a first century church. These words are words that today I have honored...will you join me?

And now...

"Unless something happens to draw the citizens of our nation into a relationship with their Creator, we are in big trouble. Prayer draws upon the power of heaven to do God’s will. He has told us what His will is…reconcile men and women to Him who loves them. We steadfastly refuse to do it! While we have hidden in our buildings holding “worship services,” Satan has been winning the hearts and minds of those we have ignored. Our prayer ought to be that God’s people will finally do God’s will." The above quote is from SIBI instructor and missionary Dwight Whitsett. Can I get an AMEN?? Friends, brethren, we need not whine or complain about who is now elected to office. We MUST not judge someones faith on how they voted. What we must do is remember that God does not work through a nation, but people. God has not called America to be His voice in this world, He has called those who have been saved by His grace. Unfortunately, most of us are happy to just sit in the boardi

Whatever it takes?!?!?!?

The economy is in decline, marriage is being changed before our eyes, our military is stretched thin, and now it seems as if an American toy manufacturer is supporting an eastern religion. It seems like more and more, America is being shaken from within and without. Have you ever prayed that God would do whatever it takes to return America to its Christian roots? I have. I have prayed that God would do whatever it takes to turn the hearts of men and women to Jesus. Now it seems to be happening. So, what now??? I sometimes seem to fall into the same line of prayer that Habakkuk fell into; first I cry out about the sinfulness of my own people and then when God gives glimpses of what could happen I cry out, surely things are not that drastic. Let us be about prayer as the election nears, let us pray that God will use this time, this nation and us individually to bring Him glory. Let us not worry about our comfort as Christians, and instead worry about the eternal salvation of the ones

anazopureo There has been much on my mind and heart lately. So much that I have not been blogging much for fear of something I might type. You see, sometimes blogging can be "safe" because of the anonymity of it. I mean most of you know who I am, but there is just something about communicating this way that can feel distant, or well safe. This is a way of communicating in which you do not see the physical response of those you are communicating with, so I was trying to be mindful to not be hurtful or accusatory and the best way for me to do that was to not type. But I cannot hold what is inside of me... The link above is a Greek word lexicon that gives information of the word stir . As I type I hear the words of the song: "There's a stirring, deep within me.." I realize that the last couple of weeks that I have been stirred by God. When we get comfortable, or complacent, or whatever, I believe that God will stir

Thanks God

Today I am Thankful! For His using on such as I For my Wife For my children For my family For my brothers (you know who you are) For having a "job" to preach and teach.

Are the stones crying out???

As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him— you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 2:4-5 I find it rather amusing at times to read about the questions that are posed about Stonehenge. If you watch the History channel or PBS you are bound to see that countless hours of time and film have been spent to document or propose a theory on what men believe was the purpose of this group of standing rocks represented to the builders. Well, to be quite frank, unless some day someone finds the directions and reason behind this formation no one really knows; it is a mystery. Recently I have begun to think on the idea of stones or rocks as a monument in scripture. I think of Exodus 24, where Moses was commanded by God to set up 12 stone pillars representing the 12 tribes of Israel. I think of Joshua 4; where the ston

_______ we stand!

"My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. "Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world." John 17:20-24 I wonder why this is so difficult?? Why does it seem so hard to have unity? The middle of the passage that you read above from John 17:23 Jesus is praying that we would be brought to complete unity so that the world would know the love of God for the world (John 3:16). Jesus tells the apostles in John 13:34

Serving in times of trouble.

"We serve a God who is able to deliver us, but even if he does not, we will not worship other gods who are false!" (See Daniel 3:16-18) The three musketeers of faith Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego spoke these words standing outside of a fiery furnace so hot, it roasted the men who were heating it. It makes me think. It is so easy for me to proclaim the glory of God my life when that glory is not so clearly visible. The hardest thing to do is to praise God when we do not see the rescue... HOWEVER; we have historical record of the fact that God will not fail. God will be faithful to those who trust and obey. Wether we are rescued from the physical peril we are undergoing, God will always provide rescue. In this life or not; therefore, I will not follow idols (greed, anger, hate, politicians, actors, athletes, teams...) I will follow my ABBA FATHER, My JESUS, and give my self to the prompting and guidance of the HOLY SPIRIT. "We serve a God who is able to deliver us,


Things I have read, heard, or watched lately. Read: The Shack - A wonderful allegory on the relationship God desires with us and has with Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Celebration of Discipline - A good look at spiritual disciplines and why we should desire them in our lives. This Present Darkness - The first Peretti book that I ever read. The second time, is still as powerful an idea of spiritual warfare as it was the first time. Heard: Walking With God - The questions a man asks if he makes walking with God a DAILY desire for his life. (An example is a prayer that God could break my personality if it would make me a better disciple.) Unveiling Your Purpose/Calling - Good thoughts on stretching and searching for the fulfillment of the purpose of God in my life. Songs from Wendell & Laura - Songs sung by my dear sweet friends that remind me of the gifts God gives us to affect others. Jay Burnam: Songs For God - My favorite new artist! A young man expressing a heart for God. Chr


Why do I do it? Why do you? It seems a peculiar thing to wake up early on a weekend morning, dress up, and drive to a building (set up much like a theatre of sorts) to gather with a bunch of other peculiar people and sing songs, and hear lectures, and discuss someone who lived thousands of years ago, and his Father; a spiritual being that no one has ever seen. Why would we go and do that? I know why I go. I go because I believe that In the beginning there was the Word, and that Word was Jesus. I believe that before the world was created, back in the mist of pre-time; God had an idea of me, of you, of all of us as His children (much like we dream of what our children will be like before they are born) as the ones He would love and would love Him back. I go because this Creator God, the one who formed land and sea and cosmos with speech; formed man with His hands, fashioned him with an image that would mark him as a special creature, a love child...I go because when everything went cra

Looking back

This morning as I sit here at the family computer, and truthfully for the last few weeks, I have been looking back. I have been looking back at the remarkable journey God has take my family on over the last 4 years, and in particular the journey God has brought to my life for the last 7 or 8 years. Most people that knew me growing up and especially during the time of life from 18-32 years of age would never guess that I do what I do. "A minister?????????" would be the response you would get from folks who remember. But you see, I hold on to this, For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength. Take a good look, friends, at who you were when you got called into this life. I don't see many of "the brightest and the best" among you, not many influential, not many from high-society families. Isn't it obvious that God deliberately chose men and women that the culture overlooks and exploits

Have you seen my sword?

"For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." 2 Cor. 10: 3-5 NIV "I know you are, but what am I?" "I'm rubber; you're glue whatever you say bounces off of me and sticks to you." After watching the speeches and posturings of our 2 biggest political parties, and having someone show up at my door "polling" about the issues...I have decided that we will not solve the problems that plague our nation just by electing the right pair for president and vice-president. The problems in our nation are far more reaching than the behavior modeled by many of our citizens. The behavior is simply the manifestation of a much larger problem. The hear


What is it that you dream of? A life goal, or something that you have seen that you are saving your money for? Graduation? From high school, college, graduate school? Maybe you dream of being married, having children... This morning my darling daughter is walking through the hose singing a Chris Rice song, "Deep Enough to Dream." "Deep enough to dream in brilliant Colors I have never seen Deep enough to join a billion People for a wedding feast Deep enough to reach out and touch The face of the One who made me And oh, the love I feel, and oh the peace Do I ever have to wake up 'Cause peace is pouring over my soul See the lambs and the lions playin' I join in and I drink the music Holiness is the air I'm breathin' My faithful heroes break the bread And answer all of my questions Not to mention what the streets are made of My heart's held hostage by this love" So. I wonder this morning what dreams are you desperate to not leave? Is it the drea

Deeper Water

"When He (Jesus) had finished speaking, He said to Simon, "Put out into deep water..." Luke 5:4 (HCS) Growing up in a family that owned a public swimming pool, I spent a couple of days at the pool, and in the water from as far back as I can remember. My family tells me that when I was just a toddler, my brother was in the deep end of the pool and teasing me to "come on in," and reportedly I did. That one incident did not fulfill my desire for the deep end of the pool though. At the age of about 5 or so, my Mom witnessed me swimming from pole to pole along the rope which divided the deep and shallow end. I remember my own children wanting to get to the deep end of the pool too. The singing group Casting Crowns has a song entitled "Somewhere in the Middle" an excerpt that leaps out at me is... "Just how close can I get, Lord, to my surrender without losing all control" How close can I get to submitting to God and still keep my __________

A New Look

Hey Everybody, or both of you, or Mom...whoever is reading this. I am trying to change over to so that there will be no confusion about who is sending out this stuff. I hope that those of you who have been reading will continue, and I hope to blog MUCH more consistently. Coming as soon as I can figure it all out, a whole new look and focus. His, jb

Who Says?

Have you ever known someone who just did not have a clue? I mean someone who seemed totally oblivious to any kind of sense whatsoever. My Papaw used to say that they had no more sense than God gave a screwdriver. It is sad really, that there are people who, no matter how many times you explain something, they either argue with you endlessly debating “the facts,” or look at as if you just grew a second head. Well, did you know that the same thing happened to Jesus? Jesus went about teaching and preaching, and healing people of all kinds of things (even death) and there were some who wondered aloud about the “authority” He had to do those things. They asked “why do heal on the Sabbath day?” They enquired why this and why that, and who do you think you are? There was one time in particular, 27They arrived again in Jerusalem, and while Jesus was walking in the temple courts, the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders came to him. 28"By what authority are you doing

How do you...

Okay, I wanted to ask another question. How do you see God? How do you picture, view, imagine, etc... Do you see God as this big police officer in the sky, waiting to pull you over for reckless living? Maybe He has set up a trap to catch you, a "sting" to arrest you for your sinfulness and shame you into being a better Christian. Do you see God as a wish-fulfilling Genie? Running to Him in prayer, during times of crisis. Speaking of crisis, maybe you view the Almighty as some kind of hostage negotiator... SO you give Him your list of demands, the things that you are bargaining for before you will set your heart free to Him. Maybe He is that old guy who lives on your block, you know the one...He knows about everybody else on the block. He is always going from house to house, always with some crazy idea about how you could better mow your grass, raise your kids, drive your car, etc... Perhaps you see God as this ancient powerful man imaged creature, sitting on a throne, wa

Just Wondering

Okay, so we have this amazing book the Bible and in this book, we have examples of how God communicates with His people. We have God speaking to His children, we have God placing events in motion, we have God affecting weather, surrounding nations, even natural resources. So, I want to ask you all (or both of you) How does God communicate today? Does He speak to us, and if so how. If not why? Does God still give us individual messages, and to what purpose? Do you think that any of the things going on in politics, weather, culture, natural resources, etc. is God communicating with us? Please no simple "religious" answers. Give me what you believe. johnny

Do You Have Change??

"I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe" (Eph 1:18-19). Paul's letter to the Ephesians exhorts believers to experience three important things in their spiritual lives that he experienced personally. As a good mentor, he desires those he is leading to follow his example. First, God wants you to have the eyes of your heart enlightened in order to know the hope to which He has called you. God has called each of us to a future and a hope. Some do not ever realize the dreams they envision for their lives. Paul prays they will experience this. Second, God wants you to know there is an inheritance for each believer in Jesus Christ. There are riches to be had - not financial riches - but spiritual riches that are laid up for every saint. As you are faithful to His calling in your life, there


My Dear Sir, Like in our tellphone conversation now. There is a transfer in the amount of $950.000.00 USD directed in cash credited to file KTU/9023118308/03, at the owner of this email address. ( ) The INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND contacted us for your compensation a couple of hours ago due to your allocated security code. They said that they choose to send it to an email address instead of a name. We are unable to complete a transfer directed at an email address, so we require some more information in order to complete this transfer. FULL NAME: FULL CONTACT ADDRESS: MOBILE PHONE NUMBER: OCCUPATION: MARITAL STATUS AND AGE: As you are sending us with your full information,do remember to send our transfer fee,which is $285, to this information stated below: RECEIVER'S NAME:.............. JOSEPH NWABUNWANNE CITY:....................................COTONOU COUNTRY :..................... .....BENIN REPUBLIC. QUESTION:..........................COLOUR

Need help publishing a children's book?

Anyone interested in publishing a children's book should check out this site: There will be a : GUEST CHAT Thursday, May 22 -- Harold Underdown "Down the Publishing Path" Harold Underdown, editor and writer of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Publishing Children's Books will be with us to help us understand all the steps along the publishing path and how to walk it more smoothly. To learn more about Harold, check out Come and hear Harold: Thursday evening, May 22, 2008 Send questions for Harrold to: or 9-11 p.m. Atlantic 8-10 p.m. Eastern 7-9 p.m. Central 6-8 p.m. Mountain 5-7 p.m. Pacific

I'm awake and oriented

Statement: I woke up this morning Your response: Well duh, you are typing a blog. I mean that I woke up this morning, actually last night. I had been walking around half-hearted in my attitude and reactions. I was reacting like myself to a lot of things going on around me. Last night (at bed time)God began to speak to me. I wanted to go to sleep, but God said that it was time to wake; that I had slept long enough. He told me that I have been living and acting out of the first eternal purpose of Jesus (that all men be saved). Yet I has stopped there, I was not moving into the second eternal purpose (that all come to be like Jesus). Van Morrison wrote and sang "clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am stuck in the middle with you." When I get stuck in the middle, I forget that there is more available to me. I am left wanting more...I want more of Jesus, I want more of Him and less of me, I want more grace to give to others, i want more kindness to pass around,


Have you ever gone on a trip, and when it was time to leave you had more stuff than would fit in your luggage? That is how I feel this week after returning from my mountain retreat. That is a sad statement however, according to Peter I should always be getting more in my suitcase. “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted...” (2 Peter 1:5-9) Peter lists various virtues that are necessary for avoiding spiritual myopia: myopia simply means nearsightedness. Unfortunately, my faith is often just too nearsighted. Peter offers no explanation or descript


How is it that you judge success? Is by the number of attempts before you get it right? Do you keep score like a golfer; the one with the fewest attempts is the successful one? Or is it simply a case of the ends justifying the means? The thought process that as long as we accomplish the task, no matter what. Do we stop then? Do we cease just because we have reached our personal goals? What if we never reach them? "Success," said Winston Churchill "is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm." Everybody fails. It's part of the process that leads us to maturity and success. Most successful entrepreneurs don't think of their failures as defeats. They think of them as lessons. Can we begin to think this way? Is it Biblical? I would say yes. Over and over again, we see men and women of the Bible who failed on their first attempt, and second, sometimes three or four times brought not even a hint of what we would see as success. Look at men like

A guest blogger

This week, we have a guest writer. Dalton (my 16 year old) will be giving his perspective on "keeping it real." Feel free to comment, I will pass it along to him. -------------Johnny Maybe the Coca-Cola Company had the right idea, maybe, with this world that advertises with anything but reality, they were able to see some form of the light. "Keepin' It Real" was and still is a slogan that obviously affected many people, so who is to say we can't use it in our own walk with Christ? First, let me pose a couple of questions: What is "Real?" How do we keep it?, and, more to the point, where do we get it? Let me say this, we can only find real inside of ourselves, it is not something to be bought, it is not something that there is an eternal search for, except inside yourself. I had a friend, who, in a recent conversation about a job interview said "I wish I could just fake it." There is a problem there, once you fake it, once you have p

Separate and Apart

A number of years ago, I heard a man at the Lord's table say as the plates for the contribution were about to be passed, "And now, separate and apart from the Lord's Supper, we will contribute of our means". That sounded good to me for I felt that you certainly would not want to mix the two. This practice caught on all over the brotherhood. Some places had the contribution at the close of the service and the Supper at the beginning so as not to confuse the two. But as I think back on this, I cannot ever remember anyone who ever got confused about the Supper and the contribution. And as I think about it now, I think that it might be real good for some of our members throughout the brotherhood to get the two a little mixed up. What would be wrong in thinking about the suffering and death of our sweet Lord Jesus on the cruel cross for us individually as we drop our collection into the plate? What would it hurt to say to ourselves, "God so loved that He gave His only

The Moment For Truth

The Moment For Truth Recently, there have been a series of commercials that have caught my attention. The commercials are what I term “Shock value” commercials. These commercials are for the TV show entitled “The Moment of Truth.” This show seems to take up the baton from daytime talk shows in placing contestants on stage while hooked up to a lie detector machine. The show then asks random questions of increasing levels of stress. Here is what the Show Infe page says about the show on Fox’s website: THE MOMENT OF TRUTH will put participants to the test -- the lie detector test -- to reveal whether or not they are telling the truth for a chance to win half a million dollars. On THE MOMENT OF TRUTH, the challenge is simple -- answer 21 increasingly personal questions honestly, as determined by a polygraph, and win up to $500,000. This is the only game show where participants know both the questions and the answers before they begin to play. Prior to playing, participants are

Do We Have The Guts?

I received this letter via e-mail from a friend of mine (Ken Jackson). The forward message of the e-mail said that it would make me think. It Did! Here it is, application to follow. It takes courage to live by a different set of rules and lifestyle.And as a person who is looking to reshape or alter their body you need to realize the the rules of the "ordinary" simply DO NOT apply to you. For instance, many "ordinary" people (friends and family included) see my emails and don't know what to make of them. They take a look at the text and roll their eyes. It's funny because I also see them roll their eyes when I tell them I don't even like sodas, cheesecakes or fried chicken. Or that I may have pizza once a year (Super Bowl).If I didn't have the courage to stand for what I believe in and use strategies that actually work I would be stuck living by the rules of the “ordinary." I've lived that life and I'll tell you from experience – it is no