Thursday, March 30, 2006


Great buildings seem to have a “personality” about them. One example is the Grand Hotel in Taipei, Taiwan. It is a massive red and gold marvel of oriental majesty.

Numinous feelings dizzy the mind and skip the heart the first time you enter it.

There is a presence of life about it.

In many intricate ways a building patterns itself after a human body. Frame-skeletal system; bricks-cells; plumbing-circulatory system; wiring-nervous system, etc.

Stuart Hamblin’s song called a man’s body, “This ole house.” The scriptures call our bodies “the temple of the Holy Ghost.”

Building structures seem to have a life essence.

Awe of this phenomenon was so great in Tokyo, that ancient (and some not-so-ancient) builders believed that the structure could only live if someone lay down his life for the building.

The victims, usually willing volunteers, were buried alive in the building’s foundation. The lowered cornerstone snuffed out the life of the one honored to be chosen.

Only by doing this could the builders be sure their building would live.

Ephesians 2:20-22 “…Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone in whom all the building fitly framed together growth unto an holy temple in the Lord: in whom ye are also builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.”

The church—fitly framed and builded together—has as its chief cornerstone the once sacrificed now risen Lord Jesus Christ,

Jesus made sure His building—His Church—would live.

Sunday, March 19, 2006


O flaming tongues that danced
On Moses' burning bush
And filled the Upper Room
With a mighty sounding rush

Come fill my hungry heart
And set my soul ablaze
Prompt my willing tongue
And fill my voice with praise

Dave Ohlerking

Saturday, March 18, 2006


If I am not walking in daily awe of Jesus—with a feeling like I’m into a relationship far beyond my capacity and ability—then I’m not properly considering Who He is.

Yet, if I am walking timidly—taking hesitant, insecure steps—then I’m not properly acknowledging His presence in my life!

This, then, is the ultimate mystery:

He is beyond yet within.

Like the Psalmist said, “Such knowledge is too wondrous for me.”

Sunday, March 12, 2006


God’s near side to me is His Spirit.
My far side to God is my spirit.
Therefore, God reaching my spirit encompasses all of me.



It’s a matter of absence.

Consider: Dark is the absence of light.
Cold is the absence of heat.
Evil is the absence of Godliness.

Choice is the most God-like power He vested in man. When He chose to give us choice He drew a line of boundary He would not cross—man’s will.

And man has so totally abused that power. Evil is the creation of every man’s will when it operates in the absence of Godliness.

Thursday, March 09, 2006


The Louvre—what a famous gathering place!

I wonder how many people have stood here—right here in this chamber—and contemplated the broken, yet stirring form of Venus de Milo.

Who is here right now? Orientals, Africans, Latins, Americans, maybe every region is represented.

Paris, this City of Lights and treaties and fashions has brought millions to this museum for public and private viewings. How long is the roster of viewers? Who are some of the famous that have visited this spot?

Radicals like HoChiMinh, Kruschev, Lenin. Gentlefolk like Hammarskjold and Einstein. General Ike, Statesman Adlai, Warrior Patton. The haughty, the soft, the rich, the workers. Bitter ones, lovers, bullies, helpful ones…

We have all seen the same thing. It is almost like this defiled sculpture has bound us all together. Their eyes, seeing it, reached forward in time to meet and hold the same image my eyes now see.

My eyes leap the centuries and hold the same image they beheld. For long moments the eyes of yesterday, today and even tomorrow lock together on her face. There’s even a sense of presence, like we’ve all come together at history’s gathering place.

What a thought! There is something that bridges my experiences and theirs—centuries notwithstanding.

Can it be that there is one thing that bridges all people across time?

At first the thought is gentle, but then it grows and takes on a driving, compelling force.

There is!


A different form—marred by human misdeed—was lifted up for all to see.


Like a spike driven into the middle of History, the crucified Christ rises at the ultimate gathering place—that special chamber in man where he fixes his soul’s destiny.

The fortunate have heard and can lift their eyes to Truth in that chamber.

Some refuse to look. Oh, pity the one who came to the gathering place and looked away. One step from Now into Forever and he, too, shall see the Truth. Too late!

Others search the chamber but can’t find Truth. They haven’t been told. They’ll see in Forever, but oh, cherish the chance to tell them now!

Bid all to come to the Gathering Place!

Sunday, March 05, 2006


How often we think and hear things like this:
“Something has to happen.”
“It can’t go on like this.”

Impending, unsolvable political conflicts and disease pandemics are out-pacing fiction writers’ imaginations.

People feel like society’s “autumn” is almost over and winter’s blizzards of destruction are coming fast.

There’s a general feeling that mankind is about to reap the harvest of its evil deeds. The harvest is overdue.

It is the “due season.”

As we survey the costs and hindrances to harvesting souls for Christ’s Kingdom, it is easy to feel faint. So many forces threaten the harvest everywhere.


None of these forces cancel the Great Commission to go everywhere and tell everybody.

None of them void this promise: “And let us not be weary in well doing, for in DUE SEASON we shall reap if we faint not!”

That is the promise that assures the purchasing power of the dollars you give.

That is the promise that eases the fatigue on the mission field.

It is the “due season!”

Saturday, March 04, 2006


Not when you think of the price Heaven paid to send us “The Word.”

Not when you remember that by talking we can lead another to eternal life in Jesus.

Not when you think of all the martyrs whose only crime was talking about Jesus.

Not when you feel the struggle and risks that oppressed people will take just to hear the words of life.

Not when you measure the value of a loved one’s last words.

Not when you read again Jesus’ last words telling us to “Go everywhere, tell everybody.”

Not when you can wrap words in light and electricity and hurl them over walls and through iron and bamboo and muslin curtains into the waiting radios, televisions, and computers and change the world.

Indeed, talk is not cheap—or is it?

For all words are worth they cost so little to wrap up in electricity and flood the world with them.

Just a few cents lays this very blog out there where hundreds of millions of computers can see it if they wish


Power doesn’t do any good until it is released. That’s true of mechanical power or electrical power and especially true of the power of God.

To release is to let go—but letting go is hard to do.

For instance, who can easily let go of their life? Yet in Luke 2:24 Jesus said, “For whosoever will save (hold onto, clutch) his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose (let go of) his life for my sake, the same shall save it.”

I kind of believe Jesus was remembering Abraham and Isaac as He said that. What a moment it must have been when God asked Abraham to sacrifice—to let go of—his son’s life! And it was so much more than that. It meant letting go of his future generations that God had promised would be born through Isaac.

Most scholars believe, also, that Isaac was old enough to understand full well what was happening. He had to be a willing participant in that ultimate act of obedience and letting go.

Yes, that had to be an awesome time of decision. But there was a moment coming that would live forever in their hearts and even now brings faith to our hearts.

Think of it. Abraham keeps looking for the way out that he is sure God will provide—but nothing happens until he takes up the knife and begins to plunge it into Isaac’s heart.

And that’s when it happened.

The instant he and Isaac had truly and actively let go of Isaac’s life, God stopped the knife and revealed the substitute sacrifice.

When they let go it released God’s power to give them back the very thing they had let go of—but in a new way.

Neither of their lives would ever be the same again. They had experienced the awesome power of God together.

The lives of the promised generations that Abraham thought he was sacrificing have each been touched by this great lesson.

When you think about it, Isaac’s life never was theirs to begin with. Did they really think they could have held on to it if God had wanted to take it?

It will never be true that by human grasping and clutching we can hold onto or make more secure what God has placed in our hands.

What a lesson!

But there’s more. Let’s illustrate it this way. Hold out your hand, palm up. Now close your fingers and clench your fist.

Can you see now that you can hold more in an open palm than you can in a clenched fist? So much fuller our lives are when we let go and open up our hands.

This note was found in the papers of a missionary martyr: “He is no fool who lets go of what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”

Like the song says, “Let go and let God have His wonderful way.”

Don’t clutch!

Thursday, March 02, 2006


How could we ever defend embarrassed silence when our failure to witness costs the untold their souls?


There is a more mature faith than that which comes by observation.


It is as impossible to doubt as it is to understand.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


Read the words as the poet pens them onto the parchment.
Feel the parchment come alive as the poem is born in the inkwords.
Fear not, though the haters would slash and torch the parchment, and the inkwords become but ash upon ash; and though the ashes be scattered or buried; fear not, the poem will live on.

It’s clear, the ink and parchment had no life until the scribe shaped the words. Words brought the life.

And so it is that the parchment that is my body was given life by the Word.
Though haters would slash and burn this parchment of my life, like the poem, that part of me that is alive will never die!

Glory to God!