Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Some of Cheree's Recent Work

Cheree did this painting in the art class she attends on Mondays. She just finished it yesterday.

The picture was done with Adobe Photoshop. The original picture is below.

A Couple Pictures of the Family

Well, I've gotta include a couple of MyLady and little Esperanza.

Framing Injustice

In a conversation I had with a few friends at the Reklaw Fly-in Friday night I was reminded how easily we justify and legalize our lifestyles. The conversation was about laws in TX counties that allow nudity for BYOL locations for 18 year olds, but in bars that serve liquor, 21 years old and up, only "topless" was allowed. Now, I'm not for either one. Both are against my moral beliefs and standards. I believe both abuse of women as sex objects and destroy the focus of the true intimate relationship [that is included in marriage but goes far beyond sexual intimacy] a man should have with one woman. The ideas that reverberated in my brain were first, the illogic of allowing total nudity for 18 year olds and only topless for 21 year olds. Mmmm... something is not right here [actually neither is right]. And how easily we can with laws make right our unjust and immoral lifestyles.

I guess the Psalm I read the next morning kind of sums it all up.

"Can wicked rulers be allied with you [LORD],
those who frame injustice by statute?" Psalm 94:20 ESV

Friday, October 26, 2007

I Decide to Forgive

The Spirit of God came to bring good news, comfort the afflicted, announce liberty to the captives, console the sad; give joy instead of morning, songs instead of desperation; to give victory in the LORD and to show His glory.

Forgiveness is the first step towards healing of our memories and remove, affliction, sadness, rejection and heaviness. We forgive by praying like this...

Lord, I confess that I have not love correctly. Instead, I have resentment towards some people and I lack forgiveness in my heart. I repent and I ask that you forgive me for no forgiving others like you forgave me. I come close to you, Lord; help me to completely forgive those that have offended me. Amen

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A Multi-generational Experience

This past weekend I had a funny multi-generation experience. I was at The Call Las Vegas and drove around with a couple great friends from Redding, California, Lynne and Torston.

The first thing I did once I got to Vegas and promptly got lost on the edge of where I didn't want to go, was to stop at a cornerstore/gas station and I buy a map. How can one get around town, especially one you don't know, without a map? This was good map and it faithfully got me from point A to point B all day Thursday and Friday, until I picked up Lynne and Torston from the airport. That's when the excitement began.

Lynne had an iPhone and Torston was showing off the map search, I don't remember what site he was using, I was just thankful that I could now enjoy driving my rent-a-car upgrade around town without worring about finding my way along too. Torston was now responsible for getting us from point A to point B and that worked fine until Sunday morning when we got lost not far from home. Before we became "more lost," I pulled into a parking lot, stopped, found out where we were and where we were going in a flash, with the aid of the notes in my faithful moleskine and my handy map, I located and plotted the route to our desitination for the morning, International Church of Las Vegas.

I began laughing inside... not because of the old map and notes winning over the new technology of iPhones and internet, but because it was such a clear example of two different generations. I was very comfortable with the map; Torston, 21+/- was more comfortable with technology. Hummm.

It's not that I don't like modern technology. In fact I really do. When Bev and I went to Puerto Rico in August, the car we rented had GPS included and free since we had to wait sooooo long for the rental. It was a life saver several times and a constant laugh as we listened to the computer voice telling us when and where to turn. It was so good that I checked out getting one in Vegas, but I was too cheap to pay the 11 dollars per day plus the 50% additional cost all the different and diverse taxes added to it. The map came out cheaper, $2.50 and when it came down to the show down, I had the quick draw.

Forgiveness Heals

Agnes Sanford said, "As we practise the work of forgiveness we discover more and more that forgiveness and healing are one." But, how does forgiveness help us heal the wounds and memories we have?

True forgiveness accelerates the process of forgetting. Fresh memories are... like a color movie, we are the protagonists. As we forgive, the movie changes to black and white, we become observers... Later there is a moment, in which... we stop participating in the movie and there is no pain. The time needed for healing is something very personal... it is a process.

Pain is inevitable for all, but misery is optional. Let's forgive others so we ourselves can be healed.


Forgiveness is not keeping bitterness for an offense. You must decide to forgive... it's not an emotion, it is a decision of your will.

The heaviest weight one carries on his shoulders is a bundle of bitterness. Hana More said, "it is cheaper to forgive that carry resentment. Forgiveness saves the expense of anger and the cost of hated." Then, our emotions and feelings change.

Obviously, forgiving in no way changes the past, but it sure does change the future. Through forgiveness of others we receive healing, freedom, peace and forgiveness from God. Now we are not victims; we are free in Christ - and what a great liberty there is in forgiveness. Forgive you offenders. Receive you freedom.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Good Thoughts

Thoughts not only cause us to sin; they also reveal who we are.

The psalmist said, "search me, oh God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts." He was willing for God to reveal the tendencies and desires of his soul. "If there is evil in me, show me, LORD."

Examening our thoughts, we know how we are doing. If one is evil, as Jesus mentioned, "from the heart flows evil thoughts: death, adultery, lies, stealing and more." If one is honest, the wiseman said, "the desire of the just is only good."

How important it is to live in peace and victory. Let us live with good thoughts.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Our Worse Enemy

The Anglican Bishop B. Porteus taught that what we fear to do before men, we should fear to think before God.

Evil thoughts are worse enemies than lions and tigers; because we can get out of their path..., but bad thoughts come in for every side. Like the cup that is full and no more can be poured in, we must keep our heart full of good thoughts, so bad thoughts cannot find a place to enter.

"...Bad thoughts quickly ripen into bad actions; and that if the latter only are forbidden, and the former left free, all morality will soon be at an end."

Above all things... guard your thoughts.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Change and Challenge

Last night Trey Hill shared about seasons, seasons of change and challenge... We do not like change, but it is necessary. Challenge is difficult, but all goes through challenging times and challenge brings change and blessings.

This morning as I was reading Jeremiah I made an interesting observation. Jeremiah 21:10 says "I have set my face against this city for harm and not for good, declares the LORD..." That was prophesied against Jerusalem. vs. 9 says, "He who stays in this city shall die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence, but he how goes out... shall live and shall have his life as a prize of war." Not good news for the Jews that revered so their holy city and temple of worship.

Yet... consider Jeremiah 29. Here Jeremiah is prophesying to the captive people in Babylon. He challenges them to build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce... marry and multiply. Seek the good of the city where I have sent you... in its welfare you will find your welfare [29:5-7]. Then in vs. 11 is the big promise and hope for them. "I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

What must we do? Leave the "holy city" and established religious practices. Go where God sends us. Seek the LORD. Call upon Him. Come to Him. Pray. Seek and you'll find. Seek with your while heart. I will be found by you! [verses12-13]

The final promise, what is it? "I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you... I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile." vs14 The anointing and the power and the revelation and the blessing and the joy and the celebration will return. Why? because we turned loose of our comfort and traditions. We left our city and went to the foreign land [the world] and blessed them with our presence.

Lord, let your face shine upon me as I go to the land where you have sent me. Allow me to bless those around me. In blessing them is my blessing.

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11 ESV

In spite of me... He blesses me

Today traveling from Dallas, TX to San Antonio, this song by Darrell Evens and Ben Ferrell blessed me.

You Bless Me

I messed up my little world
Broke Your heart and about lost my mind
So far from You and so far gone
But Your love was there for me to find

O You just took a hold of me
And my tears were flowing freely
But Your joy came in the morning
And You blessed me
O You blessed me
You could have shunned me
But You blessed me

Now when I'm running out of rope
With less of me there's more of you
I worship You my only hope
'Cause You're dear to me and I belong to You
And O You have got a hold of me
And now I'm living freely
'Cause Your joy comes in the morning
And You bless me
O You bless me
You bless me You bless me

Your goodness led me to repentance
I fell down on my knees
Instead of judgement You gave me mercy
Now I am living in Your presence
Your love just flows so free
And Lord You take good care of me

And You bless me
You bless me
You bless me
You bless me

Monday, October 15, 2007

Guard Our Thoughts

James said we are tempted by our own evil desires that seduce and take captive. From our evil desires, sin is born, and... when it develops, death is born.

Note the process, our evil appetites provoke thoughts that cause us to act and satisfy the desire. Like the bait on the hook attracts the fish, one is seduced to fulfill the evil desires when they meditate on them.

What we think on today is what we are or will soon be. This is why we must guard our thoughts and think only on what is good and pleasing to God. In this manner we can protect ourselves from doing evil and we can overcome evil desires and sin.

Guard our thoughts and hearts. Let's live victorious lives.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Vision - Wind in Our Sails

Vision is the reflection of what God wants to do in your life; it is the revelation of a creative idea to your mind so you can bring it to past.

Once you understand the plan God has for your life, you must do it. To His ideas, God adds faith, work and perseverance. Doing is the difference between being a dreamer and a visionary. Action is the difference between somebody with imagination and someone with purpose and destiny. The visionary has an extraordinary imagination. Divine plans and persistent action connect the imagination to your vision and makes it reality.

The idea revealed to you by God is like wind to a sailboat. It is our responsibility to raise the sails of action... for the sailboat of life to arrive in the port of hope, peace and success.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


Vision is the reflection of what God wants for your life. It is faith, hope and purpose; it is the creative idea revealed by God for you.

God wants to show you His purpose for your life; and this destiny is deciphered and developed successfully only upon receiving understanding from God. Jeremiah said, "call to me and I will reveal to you great and secret things that you do not know." God reveals to us His purpose for our lives through prayer, meditation, Bible readings, writing ideas that He gives us and obedience to His plan.

Understanding of our future must come from God. He wants to reveal His plan to you. Get close to God and He will give you purpose and a future full of hope.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Reaching the Vision

"Vision," according to Cesar Castellanos," is a reflection of what God wants to achieve through us." Consider these three ideas: vision is a reflection; it is what God wants to achieve; and it is achieved through us.

Vision is a reflection. A reflection is an imagine of what is real. It's not real, yet it is a representation of reality. Habakkuk said: "write and declare the vision, so the people that read it can run after it." It is important that the vision for your life is clear and understandable. It is your map to a successful future. To have a vision is to have faith; it is to enjoy the complete security of receiving what you are waiting for; it is the evidence of what you cannot see.

To have vision is to have hope of a good future achieving God's plan for you.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Thoughts on Taking Risks by Babe Ruth

"Don't let the fear of striking out hold you back."
"Every strike brings me closer to the next home run."
"If I'd just tried for them dinky singles I could've batted around .600."
"Yesterday's home runs don't win today's games."
"You just can't beat the person who never gives up."
Babe Ruth


"Too many people are thinking of security instead of opportunity. They seem more afraid of life than death." - James F. Byrnes

Friday, October 5, 2007

A Special Piece of the Whole

We are all part of a beautiful painting; each person is a piece of the puzzle and each person is necessary for the completeness of the work.

We must live in unity, for the benefit of the others.

We work according to the diverse abilities and personalities we have, in the area that God has placed us, according to the uniqueness He has given us. Like the members of the body sympathize with each other, we must live in the same manner, helping our families and communities, feeling their pain and joy.

Since we are all different, we provide something special to others. We serve each other with humility and Patience. We live in harmony. We protect the peace and demonstrate love. We remember that we are distinct members of one body. The Body of Christ.


"Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else." - Margaret Mead

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Discerning the Answer

Reading Psalm 73:16-17 reminded me that the answers to life's difficulties and questions, the knowledge of the future, the peace to go forward isn't found in just thinking, thinking, thinking... They are found in God's sanctuary.

The God-answer is found in His presence.

We Are All God's Creation

We have individual talents, different personalities and assorted preferences; this makes us special. We are not all the same. Leaves on a tree are all different; each cloud is unique; every person had their own special and important qualities and, we are all God's creation.

We have different abilities; among us there are musicians, mathematicians and mechanics. Since all receive their talents from the same Holy Spirit, we need each other. We all have our own particular focus: mercy, administration or teaching. And, when Jesus is Lord of all, each one allows us to help others. We live in different manners. Personalities and temperaments are diverse but when we acknowledge that God made us all, we will serve others better.1

Corinthians 12:4-7

Monday, October 1, 2007

God Made You Special

The world population is six billion six hundred million people and each one is different. There are different colors, heights and sizes with different and special talents, abilities, personalities and temperament, combinations without end.

The plans and destinies of the LORD for each person are special and just for them. He is able to design our lives in a way that is marvelously better than we can even imagine, because the plan of God for our lives is good, perfect and pleasing. We must permit him to control our lives; we must trust in His grace when we do what He asks us to do.

Trust in His plan and power. Live according to the specialness God has made us for.