Thursday, December 27, 2007


Quote From Plato’s Republic:

“…Let us place the just man in his nobleness and simplicity, wishing, as Aeschylus says to be and not seem good.

There must be no seeming, for if he seem to be just he will be honored and rewarded, and then we shall not know whether he is just for the sake of justice or for the sake of the honors and rewards; therefore, let him be clothed in justice only, and have no other covering; and he must be imagined in a state of life opposite the former. Let him be the best of men and let him be thought the worst; then he will have been put to the proof…

…The just man who is thought to be unjust will be scourged, racked, bound, will have his eyes burnt out; and at last, after suffering every kind of evil he will be impaled.”

This is a forecast of Jesus written in stilted English.

C.S. Lewis explained it farther in Reflections on the Psalms in the chapter on second meanings;

“…cases in which the latter truth (which the speaker did not know) is intimately related to the truth he did know; so that in hitting on something like it, he was in touch with that very simple reality in which that fuller truth is rooted.

We are prolonging his meaning in a direction congenial to it. The basic reality behind his words and behind the full truth is one and the same.

If Plato, starting from one example and from his insight into the nature of goodness and the nature of the world, was led on to see the possibility of a perfect example, and thus depict something extremely like the passion of Christ, this happened not because he was lucky but because he was wise.”

What excuse have we who have the revealed Word of God to let us see and emulate the holy goodness of Jesus?

Monday, December 24, 2007


The soft sounds of the carroler's "Silent Night" warm our hearts.

Like the Red Sea did for Moses, the thundering cacophany of secular sound rolls back at this season to allow the passing of "The Beautiful Music."

Tonight, Christmas Eve, there is a special glow as little hearts beat excitedly, anticipating an avalanche of gifts. Older hearts swell up and bathe softened eyes with the warm tears of love.

Indeed, this is a magnificent time.

Thank you, Jesus!

Saturday, December 22, 2007


A buoyant great joy and an unspeakable sorrow both sweep through my soul as I remember 2007.

Children’s Cup grew to double the number of CarePoints and the number of children we care for (about 7000 now) whose lives we have seen Jesus change.

But how quickly other scenes ambush my heart as I look at the ones still waiting for our help.

I can tell you how it feels to watch a sobbing child’s body shut down with AIDS.

I have heard dying mothers plead for someone to care for the children she will leave behind.

I have watched orphaned children—in one case a 6 year-old girl—become the sole protector and breadwinner for her younger siblings.

I know of dozens of unwanted and unnamed toddlers who were handed off to village men to be sold for sex. If the children wanted even a morsel of food they would have to do whatever the man wanted.

I can tell you the problem is growing faster than we have the funds to respond.

I can tell you that the twin destroyers named AIDS and Hunger are measuring and defining the church—the Body of Christ—as they gallop in unrestrained apocalypse destroying families and nations.

But I can not tell you why or how so many of my fellow believers who call upon the name of Jesus for their own needs refuse to respond to the needs of a dying generation.

What can be said or done in 2008 to reach past indifference and ignite the hearts of God’s church?

Sunday, December 16, 2007


"Manger" is the verb form of "to eat" in several languages.

Another layer of meaning and beauty in the Nativity.


Friday, December 14, 2007


God's Book calls Jesus "The Bread of Life."

The Bread of Life was first placed by human hands in a manger--a place where the hungry come to be fed.

That manger was in Beth-lehem which translates "house of bread."

How perfect the layers of symmetry in the Christmas story!

Saturday, December 08, 2007


Something in me winces when I think others may read this.
Does this long post make up for many days without posts?


There is more in me than I am releasing to God—weaknesses I have clung to and usability I have withheld. Will the weakness keep me from action? Can commitment to action conquer my weakness? Lord, I do commit, help thou my uncommitment.

I live in the great joy of having been allowed by God to see my own feeble human efforts touch a lot of lives. I cherish the thrill of sensing His anointing enabled by living for Him. Yet, I struggle to keep the peace and confidence that comes from living a God-centered life from turning into smug self-confidence. Great men have boasted, “I would never…” only to become embroiled in the very thing they vowed to avoid. I cling to a list of, “I-have-never…” sins and try to avoid acknowledging a long list of not-so-visible commissions and omissions

There is a disquiet in my soul knowing I’ve not yet totally surrendered every area of my life to Him. Too many times I’ve exhibited faults like disdain, anger, fear, doubt, distrust, self-interest, non-action…where does the list stop?

The closer I draw unto him, the more my faults become evident in the inexorable light of His presence.

Since the preponderance of human deeds is evil, and God is always helping us get past our sins, does that mean that evils in my life frustrate the course of good? How do I get to that place where I am past damage control and into the place where I can operate fully in the power and freedom of His will?

Can that ever happen as long as I am a mortal being subject to the diverting exertions of my human nature? Will I ever be able to honestly say, “I am crucified with Christ…?”

Is it humanly possible to reach a level of relationship with God that I can escape the tethers of self-interest and pride?

I think about the implications of water baptism. When I went under the water I became immersed in a totally different environment. Water instead of air. Silence instead of a cacophony of voices attacking everything I revere as good.

Comes now the thought that compares water baptism to baptism in the Holy Spirit. I think the answers to the questions I have just asked are right here. If I live my life baptized in, fully immersed in the Holy Spirit of God—a totally different environment for my heart and mind—I will better escape the devil’s attempts to jack-hammer his influence into my soul.

A powerful verse is speaking to me right now. “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit.” Ephesians 6:18 I see it clearly now. My hope to escape my human nature is to immerse my thought-life—praying always--into an on-going conversation with God in His Spirit. Praying in the Spirit must become the default action of my heart and mind. Whenever my mind is free to focus I must resume that dialogue with God.

I’ll think of it this way. It’s like an unending phone conversation in the Spirit. At times I must apply my mind to the business of living, but I must not hang up the phone. I must keep it to my ear and let the conversation continue and listen for His guidance.

Dare I let the awareness of my human frailties discourage me from pressing onward and reaching past my imperfections? The Holy Spirit is my reach-extender.

How amazing that a Perfect, Holy God allows such flawed things we humans are to represent Him and lead the lost to Him!

Saturday, December 01, 2007


I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Phil. 3:14

I want to live in such a way this verse would describe me.