Posts

Showing posts from 2010

Here's your sign...

Years ago, Bill Engvall (a comedian) produced a hit song with another country artist called "Here's Your Sign." The premise of the video was that we share the planet with some not do bright people and it would be easier if we could just hand them a sign so that others would be warned. Here is a link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5ZkdHImCuQ
In our society today, we are quick to give labels, or signs to ourselves and others. You have heard many of them: Stupid, Idiot, Queer, Fag, Slut...; the list goes on and on and on. Labels, names, and w=verdicts that we place on one another to categorize who we think they are based on the slight evidence that we have available.
But, what if we had more knowledge? What if we knew of the battles and hardships, and attacks that people had walked through? What if instead of trying to label someone with a term that we had decided on we used a different scale? What if we saw people the way GOD sees people? What if we were to call people by…

providence

I have been abundantly blessed throughout my life to be able to engage in various activities. Someone asked me the other day what I did before the ministry. Well, I began to think about that and it leads to a long list of jobs and passions that I pursued.
Job wise, I have hauled beer, and worked as a mover/driver. I have worked at 7-11, as a school janitor, a school bus driver, substitute teacher, lifeguard, disc-jockey (actually played records); I have also worked in waste water, water distribution and run a swimming pool. I have been on stage and off in theatre (professionally), done voice work for commercials, worked as a fry cook, and even made water skis. I think that is all...
Over all of this time, I have to admit that I rarely felt as if I "fit in" at any of these places. I have for the biggest part of my life felt as if I were a misfit wherever I was. That is a blessing! It is a blessing because even though I felt awkward, and sometimes downright unwanted I have had th…

today

So today. Today is a day that I will live. I will live today with all that I have. I will sing, I will laugh, I will shout and I will tell of the ONE who made me. I will tell of the ONE who knew me before the earth was formless and void. I will tell of the ONE who knew my unformed self. I will tell of the ONE who wove me together in my mothers womb. I will tell of the ONE who who chose to be born like me. I will tell of the ONE who experienced and endured all that I know. I will tell of the ONE who died, fought back death and won. I will tell of the ONE who is waiting eagerly yet patiently for the command. I will tell of the ONE way to hope, truth and life. I will tell of the ONE way to the FATHER. I will tell of the ONE who longs for you to accept HIS love.
simply HIS, jb

Thoughts I had during worship

These are thoughts I had this Sunday while visiting a church service in the Bay Area of California.

Sometimes we fool ourselves. We fool ourselves into thinking that our reverence and worship are the "IT" God is longing for. Yet, the things that pop out to me in scripture, the things that bring joy to PAPA and are a pleasing aroma and glory to HIS NAME is when our hearts are completely poured out to HIM. There is a fulfillment of GOD'S promise of grace when we rely on HIS holiness instead of depending on our reverence. How many of us "knew" the proper way to worship when our souls began to cry out for hope and salvation; for renewal and restoration? How do we know that the way we set up worship is pleasing to GOD? 2Songs, a prayer, 3 songs, communion, contribution, a song, sermon, 2 songs, prayer, dismiss... Is this pleasing to GOD or to me? Is GOD pleased by regiment and ritual? If our hearts are truly poured out to HIM, then yes! If is is simply a set of hoops to…

The Altar or a Table...Altarable.

This is a sermon I offered at the Tenth and Broad Church of Christ in Wichita Falls, Tx. It is the first of three in a series on Refocusing on the Lord's Supper. The next two weeks, Allen Carr and Ken Holsberry will complete the series.

Altarable from Tenth & Broad Church of Christ on Vimeo.simply HIS,jb

ten things I love about church

10. Ken Jackson - Paul Guinther - Jason Ondo - Jason Stewart9. Ryan Favre8. Brent Holsberry - Jack Cummings - Tyler Colley - Charlie Burnam and the rest of the T&B Youth7. Allen Carr and family6. Larry Suttle - Ken Holsberry - Greg Stanford - Elmer Johnson5. Mustangs 4 Christ4. Ruth Kizer - Virginia Hearn and the Wed morning ladies Bible class - The Sassy Sisters 3. The Colley - Green - Schulte - Studdard family.2. Joe, Karen and Matt Kohler1. My Band of BrothersTen is not enough to list the things that I love about the church. it is the tool through which Christ offers redemption to the world. simply HIS,jb

top ten frustrating things...

A couple of weeks ago, I read Trey Morgans --10 Things that Frustrate Me as a Minister -- Here is my list...…


10. "Because we have always done it this way" answers. Questions deserve scriptural examination and discussion; both sides may learn something.
9. Standing on songs that have the word stand, stand-up, I will rise, etc. in them. We don't kneel when the song has the word kneel in it...
8. People who place form of corporate worship over living a daily life of discipleship.
7. People who threaten to change churches if they do not get their way.
6. People who do not follow through with number 7.
5. Elders who see themselves as more CEO's than shepherds of the flock.
4. The "us versus them" attitude. It is not a war against flesh and blood. (2 Peter 3:9 God is patiently waiting wanting for all men to come to repentance).
3. Wrapping the Cross in a flag. (it contributes to number 4) We should be proud to live in America, but our citizenship is in another, far more…

A question

Yesterday I spoke with a friend. He called and asked a question that is difficult to answer. You see my friend's wife underwent a liver transplant this past year. Everything went great with the transplant, in fact doctors were amazed at the lack of complications, even going so far to say or infer that it was a "God thing."

Well now it seems that the suppressed immunity that allowed such a successful acceptance of the liver has allowed cancer to spread rapidly through her body. As you can imagine, she is tired and leery of chemo...so my friend admitted to me that he wants to encourage his wife to continue to fight, to explore and exhaust every availability of treatment. She is reluctant, he is scared and there are questions.

My friend admits to me that he is afraid of being left alone if she dies. He is hurting and confused, and scared. So I am asking if you will pray for my friends Paul and Kathleen.

simply HIS,
jb

One Trick Pony

I find it funny (not really ha ha funny, but ironic) that people will say the biggest problem with Christians is that they are hypocrites; yet, when we live and breathe what we believe we are called intolerant. I think I would rather be thought of as intolerant. Intolerant of sin, death, lying, destructive behavior, unhealed wounds, and people fleeing the wrong way thinking all along that they have such freedom. The TRUTH is that CHRIST is the only way, the only life, the only hope! FATHER help me to be a "one-trick pony!"simply HIS, jb

pins and needles

Have you ever awaken after sleeping on your stomach and both of your arms are asleep? Do you know that momentary panic filled thought that you are paralyzed and are going to suffocate? Can you recall the stinging sensation of pins and needles as the blood begins to flow through your arms? I have the nagging sense that some of us are going through this in our faith.

Sometimes I feel that as churches we have been sitting so long that maybe our legs have fallen asleep, that we try to walk but our feet are not fully functioning. Or that maybe we have slept on our arms to long and they feel like heavy rubber making it difficult to reach out to hug, or help others. Perhaps I am so wrapped up in how the church (the people) are not seeing how much I am struggling, or how high life is piling things upon me, or blah, blah, wahhhh!


1 John 3:16 (New International Version)

16This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.

Life...?!

Okay, so as I continue to look into John 10:10, the statement was made to me "it depends on our definition of life." I agree...so lets look at what it was Jesus meant abut life.

the Greek word is from the root - zao (dzah'-o) actual word is zooeen from zoe (dzo-ay') The definition in Thayer's Greek lexicon is: "life real and genuine,...a life active and vigorous, devoted to God, blessed, the portion even in this world of those who put their trust in Christ, but after the resurrection to be consummated by new accessions (among them a more perfect body), and to last forever." "to be obtained in fellowship with Christ."

The Rev. David Brown write this:[Jesus states]"I came not to preserve a life already possessed, but to impart a life before unknown and to communicate it in a rich and unfailing exuberance."

That is a remarkable claim! Jesus is telling these Jewish leaders that this life is one of which they have never before even thought o…

Examining Life

I am going to try something new...I want to try to write for successive posts on a scripture that seems to be stirring in me quite strongly. I would like to take a couple, or a few,(or how ever many it takes) to write and discuss aloud my study of and thoughts about a section of scripture in John.

John 10:10 (New American Standard Bible)

10"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.


The text above follows an action packed section of scripture in the gospel of John. Beginning in John 8:12(which is titled "The Validity of Jesus' Testimony,") we see a section akin to a running gun battle in a movie. Jesus is being questioned by the Jewish leaders of the day and is responding to them by pointing out their lack of knowledge and understanding about the spiritual ramifications of earthly actions. He is also giving them a history lesson to correct some of their revisionist historical beliefs; but anyway...

In Joh…

one week

...so it has been one week since we returned home from Boulder. I really ran a whole gamit of emotions during that time. Saturday I was just glad to be home, to see my pups, and get some rest. Sunday was one of the most difficult times of being in church that I have had in many years. As I sat through the worship, and communion and the lesson; I was battling the thought that what we do on Sunday mornings in sanctuaries around the world have to be about more than just a "pep rally" for Christians. Larry preached about being the church with the "OPEN DOOR," a church that sees beyond what songs we like to sing, getting done by 11:20, and being more equipped to notice more than ourselves. This message fit hand-in-hand with our trip to work with SEVENS...but I had trouble. I had trouble buying in, that the folks who sat around me were really all that concerned. I mean after all, I had just spent Spring Break week with homeless people and with their problems, what had th…

called

we stood along the stairs leading from the highway down to the riverwalk. Just beyond where we stood was the Pepsi Center where the Denver Nuggets play basketball. Further along the riverwalk was a huge REI store. All around us was life, and it was wizzing along blurringly fast. But my new friend Benny searched under a pine tree, looking at some tarp, and cardboard and a wet blanket. Benny spoke of a friend who lived in this "squat" frequently; Trent. Benny spoke of the hard life that Trent had lived. He said Trent grew up in the church, the son of a minister...yet, his path had placed him under this tree among the tanbark, under the highway just a few hundred feet from the home of the Denver Nuggets, and he was dying!

As Benny told us this story, sorrow began to wash over me. Uncontrollable, overwhelming emotion from deep in my past. I had to walk away from the group; this was about Trent,about the work Benny did, and about preparing our group of students for the mission we…

Where have you seen JESUS?

There is a world out there that most of us never even imagine exists. Never take a minutes notice of except to lock our doors, or remove some "smudge" from our gear shift handle to avoid eye contact with the man on the corner with the sign. I took a tiny step into that world yesterday.

The Mustangs 4 CHRIST are working this week with Bennie Nowell and his family Nikki, Max, Zoe, Pete. The Nowells are missionaries in Boulder, Co and their mission organization is called SEVENS. Monday was our first full day with Bennie and he first took us from the low altitude of Boulder (5430 ft above sea level) to Nederland (8228 ft) which Bennie reminded us is a foothill (no rock above the trees). We spent time overlooking Barker Meadow Reservoir, which was frozen and snow covered, and spending time with God in prayer and alone time. Bennie said that it was vital for us to slow down and unplug before trying to get a grasp of the world in which he works. It was awesome! Sitting on a rock by…

Other Blogs

From time to time, I just want to post some other thimgs I have read.

here are some from this week...


http://wittingshire.blogspot.com/2005/06/raising-men.html

http://francischansblog.blogspot.com/2008/07/prayer-americans-refuse-to-pray.html

http://www.treymorgan.net/2010/02/we-dont-need-church-referees.html

These are just three that provoked me this week. Enjoy

simply His,
jb

Flourescent Salt

"You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men."You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden." -- Matt 5:13-14

Israel of old was a chosen nation. A royal people made Holy by the GOD who pursued her heart. GOD set them up in a land of enemies, and told them that they were to be priests, an example to those around them to the power of this LIVING GOD!

Jesus calls us out today in much the same way. We are to be salt and light. Two things very common today, so common that I forget the necessity that both were in the 1st Century.

You see, Satan knows God, and he knows us as well. Our enemy realizes that we can be distracted from our purpose and our focus on YHWH. The lesson that we today can carry from Israel of the Old Testament is this: As long as Israel served the LORD their GOD, they were a mighty force and their enemies…

That Smell...

Ooh, ooh that smell
Can't you smell that smell?
Ooh, ooh that smell
The smell of death surrounds you.
--- "That Smell" Lynyrd Skynyrd 1977

But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life.
--- 2 Corinthians 2:14-16; The Apostle Paul AD 57

Have you ever become aware of how you smell? Maybe you had worked hard all day and then a breeze hits you just right and WHEW! you are funky. Or maybe it was a more pleasant awareness, like the smell of your shampoo, or you are just blessed with a natural pheromone that is appealing.

I just wonder because every time I read 2 Cor. 2:14-16 I get caught up in the words Aroma of Christ. There is a scent on us that will not wash off; it is like hugging your Grandma, or Mom, or wif…

Worthy?

"Christ died for men precisely because men are not worth dying for; to make them worth it."

C.S. Lewis --The World's Last Night




My worth is found only in that which God paid to redeem me.

simply His,
jb

From the inside

So as I was talking to a friend of mine the other day, the conversation came up about Jesus saying whoever left friends and family would receive much more in His service. So we talked about how that meant more brothers, sisters, moms, friends; but we noticed that Jesus left out Fathers.

That is because God is the only one capable of filling that role. Now he will bring friends into your life to act through in fathering me and you; but He is the only Father.

Now this led me to the thought that it would be nice to have a "tangible" God who would walk with me, and hold my hand, and rub my head. Then I thought of Jesus' words to the 12..."It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you." I often think how much easier, or how much more faithful I could be if Jesus could walk with me and do those amazing things He did (kinda like having a God to touch physically).

Then the most amazin…

Favorite Song?

So what is your favorite song of the moment? No not your anthem that you have loved since high school, or "Your song" that you dance with your partner to...but what is the song that if it came on right now it would just soothe your heart, and ease your mind? What song is it that you sing the chorus (maybe the verses too) in times of need?

For me, it is a song called Deliver Us by Andrew Peterson.

Let me know what you're listening too.

What would it take?

For a man named Saul it took a blinding light and the voice of CHRIST. For a man named Simon it took a Rabbi saying follow me. These are just two examples in the Bible of men who left behind things that they had dreamed of their whole lives and followed Jesus. I wonder what the internal conversations where, I wonder what the family members of the men had to say on the change.

I wonder what it would take for me to be "sold out" to Jesus. To be so intent of following Him and being like Him that I would seek that only. What would it take?

How about you, what would it take?

simply His,
jb

Hmmm.

I have been thinking a lot lately, and writing very little. I have had some things that I needed to work out in my mind and heart before I began to post my thoughts. So...

In a recent conversation with a dear brother in Christ, I came to this conclusion (thanks E!)

I am God's mustang. A seemingly wild horse uncontrollable and unbroken. The truth however is that there is no other rider than Christ, no other bit fits my mouth, and no other saddle on my back. When I turn and where I turn are up to FATHER. I will follow no other voice or command.

How about you?

simply His,
jb