The Wind

Gentle and soft you chase

Easily you kiss the face

The leaves announce you’re here

Clapping as they cheer

A voice that can’t be heard

Speaks loudly without a word

Spirit and wind they say

Are brothers in their way

Reach out embrace the wind

Refreshes like a friend

Other times you come

Like a freight train on the run

Roaring with your voice

How can wind make a choice

To release such a mighty force

Stirs up our remorse

We forget your mighty power

Spirit wind makes us cower

Reach out ignore the wind

You’ll never do so again






Last week, I went to camp with some of the teens of the church. On the way there, we passed through a town named Giddings, Texas. Now, I’m sure Giddings is a wonderful town, full of wonderful people. My reason for mentioning Giddings is that many years ago, God sent me there on a mission. The interesting thing about that mission is that it was one I didn’t want to go on.

Have you ever been asked by God to do something you didn’t want to do?

When you don’t want to do what God is directing you to do, how do you decide what action you are going to take?

Some might say, “Well, that’s easy. You do what God says because He is God and if you don’t, He will get mad at you!”

Well, in my experience – refusing to do what God tells you to do rarely causes an instant backlash against you. Now, don’t get me wrong – some choices have immediate, visible consequences. But, others don’t…….Many don’t. Many people realize this and therefore decide to do what they want to do if it clashes with God’s direction.

Many people simply don’t trust God enough to obey Him when His direction is contrary to what they want. There could be many reasons for this lack of trust but our disobedience still boils down to this fact:

If we don’t obey God, it is because we don’t know Him.

Getting to know someone is a relational priority. It requires the actions of two people. God must have the desire to know us and we must have the desire to know Him. When the desire is there, it is usually followed by action that facilitates relationship building.

Ok, a little rabbit trail……Now back to what God wants versus what we want!

Police have what they call “victimless crimes”. These are crimes committed in which nothing is taken from someone else or in which no one is hurt. But, in life, there is no such thing as a “victimless crime”.

When you choose to directly disobey God, you always sin against yourself. You do damage to your character. The more you disobey God, the “easier” it gets for you to ignore His commands. Soon, you have created a lifestyle of “doing your own thing”. In such a life, Jesus is neither Lord nor Savior.

Another thing that happens when you choose to disobey God is that you refuse the relational growth that trust in God can bring. The outcome of failing to trust God is seen in a thousand different character flaws:

Cynicism, criticism, gossip, slander, ridicule, joking at other’s expense, a lack of empathy, failure to assist others, etc.

God will dig out relational pain others have caused you and heal it through your relationship with Him. If you refuse to trust Him, your “relational well” is clogged with garbage from painful relationships and is polluted by self serving character flaws.

I know that it is hard to trust God when you have not been able to trust others. But, you must start somewhere and God’s love is pure and unselfish and has the ability to heal you and release you from the character flaws accumulated through a lack of faith.

I’m so glad that I went to Giddings years ago when I didn’t want to. Once there, I did what God wanted me to do. Doing so worked toward clearing the relational garbage from my life and created within me a trust that began to purify my heart.

“Going to Giddings” may not represent your choice to obey God or not to obey God. Whatever the circumstances, don’t sin against your own character. The consequences may not include God “squashing you like a bug” but will include the accumulation of a set of character flaws that will effect you negatively in a thousand different ways and lead to a future where prospects for joy and peace are “slim and none”.

Love yourself today by loving God and putting His will first.


What Does God Want From Me?

What is the great commandment in the law?

Law carries with it the idea of “legalism” or salvation by works, which is contrary to grace.

But, Jesus didn’t rebuke the man who asked this question regarding law because the law does have a purpose. You can see the conversation in Matthew 22:35-40. Law doesn’t bring righteousness to the observer but does reveal sin.

Isn’t this a good purpose?

After all, didn’t Jesus say that the true worshipers of God must worship Him in Spirit and truth? (John 4:24) Can we convict the Law of being untruthful? Truth is necessary to worship God adequately – it is just not complete by itself.

Now, back to the question:
What is the great commandment in the law?

the great: mega – primary, most important, foundational

Jesus answers by saying that the first in priority, the primary, most important, and foundational commandment is:

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.

What is Jesus saying?

The Law states that the “mega” commandment is relational.

So, the most important direction found in the Law is to have a relationship with Jesus. It is not to “do something” or “not to do something” but to love – to be relational.

Therefore, can you successfully keep the Law or avoid sin if you neglect the primary, most important, foundational commandment?

The rich young ruler found this out. His story is found in Luke 18:18-23.

Being right with God has nothing to do with being “good” because no one is. It has to do with loving God and prioritizing Him.

Jesus gave the rich ruler a directive. If he loved the Lord, he would gladly follow it. His refusal revealed that even though he had kept the commandments, he had neglected the primary, most important, and foundational direction of the Law – therefore, revealing himself to be negligent in his love for God.

The Law teaches us that loving God is primary; the most important thing we can do. That it is foundational to everything godly.

Jesus also said that there is another direction – another relational command that proves our love for God is real because it is totally dependent upon our love for God – you might say it is a byproduct of the great commandment or evidence of its existence.

You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

Can you truly love God without loving your neighbor?

If someone say, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also. 1 John 4:20-21

God loves people. So, evidence of our love for God (being in relationship with Him) is to receive love for others.

Jesus said:

On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.

The power received by keeping these two commandments causes the individual to be able to keep all the other commandments. All others are in place as a result of these two. They are kept by keeping these two.

You can keep all the commandments by keeping the two in the Great Commandment and both are relational – products of love.

“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” John 14:15
Your behavior will follow your passion so if your passion is Jesus, your behavior will follow that passion.

Focus your energy and attention on loving Jesus not your behavior. If you do, your behavior will line up with your passion and it will be a product of love.


rep enta nce

Most of us think we have a good idea of what repentance is. But, I want to take some time today to study repentance and to highlight the beauty of this gift we have received from God!

It is hard to be thankful for a gift when you have no understanding of the gift’s purpose. So, let’s take a good look at what God has given us.

The New Testament word for repentance means:

Changing one’s mind so that one’s views, values, goals, and ways are changed and one’s whole life is lived differently.

It is easy to confuse repentance with another human experience called “attrition”. Looking at the definition reveals the difference.

Attrition – remorse, self-reproach, and sorrow for sin generated by fear of punishment, without any wish or resolve to forsake sinning.

The difference between repentance and the act of attrition is found in the finished product. In both repentance and attrition, you will find some aspect of sorrow. But attrition, at best leads only to some type of outward change. It may lead to someone being more careful so they don’t get caught but it does not lead to a hatred of the behavior itself.

When a person repents, the change is radical. It involves change, both inwardly and outwardly; mind and judgment, will and affections, behavior and life-style, motives and purposes – all are involved.

Attrition is not sufficient for godly transformation because it allows the love for the sin to continue to live within us. Repentance means going in the opposite direction -to practice the virtues, motives, and behaviors most directly opposed to the sin.

One theologian said that repentance is a fruit of faith. I agree because by its purest definition repentance involves a change in how we think and how we respond. In essence, one cannot truly repent without having something to turn to. God provided His Son as a sacrifice for our sins; a way in which we can live differently than we do when dominated by a life of sin. The sacrifice of the Son of God allows an alternative to the dominance of sin and death. In its purest form, faith is part of the gift that God has given to us – opening the door to the gift of salvation.

Faith cannot operate without repentance. To trust in God, we must have a revelation that the road of sin is leading to death and then, we must change our mind regarding how we will live and receive the gift of salvation offered by God through His Son. The bridge between revelation and transformation is repentance!

The idea that there can be saving faith without repentance, and that one can be justified by embracing Christ as Savior while refusing Him as Lord is a destructive delusion. True faith acknowledges who God really is- Priest and King. True trust in Him as Savior will express itself in submission to Him as Lord also.

The culmination of all God’s gifts to mankind are summed up in the reality called “The Kingdom of Heaven”. To receive the Kingdom involves walking a pathway along which we come upon many gifts along the way. These gifts are not haphazardly placed on this pathway, but placed according to a priority necessary for the realization of the final product.

Repentance is the first gift we find as we walk the pathway.

Every true preacher of the gospel always points this gift out first to those seeking to walk the pathway to the Kingdom. In the Old Testament, the prophets pointed the gift out to Israel as they sought to return to the God from whom they had strayed. John the Baptist pointed the gift out as he prepared the way for the Savior. Jesus pointed it out as the first step to the Kingdom. The Twelve pointed it out to the Jews, Paul pointed it out to the Gentiles and the glorified Jesus pointed it out to the seven churches in the book of Revelation.

Impenitence is always the road to ruin. Repentance is always the path to remission of sins and the surety of God’s favor.

If you don’t see repentance as a gift, then think of what the world would be like without it! Even with Jesus’ sacrifice for mankind, without repentance there is no way to embrace it.

 Thank God for the gift of repentance! May repentance always be one of my closest friends!



Make Your Connection

The Spirit of the Lord is seeking out people to connect them to Jesus. The connection that He is making with people is not based in selfish purposes on His part nor is it a struggle for followers or superiority. This connection is a product of love. It is made available because of desire. God has a desire to make Himself known and to show love. This desire is best discovered by a creation that mirrors Himself – one with the capacity to reason, choose, create, and relate spiritually. We are the result of the desire of God.

The connection God creates with us is peaceful but far from casual. In other words, the byproduct of the love He gives is peace and security, while the relationship though stable in its commitment is forceful in its creative power.

God relates to us not from the framework of our failures and weaknesses but through the framework of His purpose for us. He does not decide what He will do for us based upon our failures but based upon His plan and purpose for us which was established long before we were born. Every step of our lives, both good and bad work toward that purpose. God never deviates from the goal He has for us. As long as our hearts say, “Amen” or “So be it” to the promise of God we cannot be derailed from God’s desire for us.

God’s connection to us is one in which we are commanded to “boldly” enter. We have an invitation to fellowship in the place called the “Holiest of all”. Because of God’s love for us and the Holiness of His nature, we are changed by our connection to Him – defects exposed and changed, motivations cleansed, guilt erased, wounds healed, our destination in life radically altered. Instead of holiness causing fear of judgment, we are benefited by its presence in our lives. The “boldness” with which we enter is freedom of speech; freedom of communication in which we know the Truth (Who is the truth?) and the acceptance of the Truth sets us free!

The Bible commands us to draw near to God with a true heart. Almost all of what we derive from our connection to the Lord is His doing and not ours. He provides the way – He provides the love – He provides the Spirit – He provides the power – He changes us and our circumstances. But, there is one important thing that is our responsibility:

The submission of our heart!

We are not responsible for cleansing our hearts but we are responsible to agree with God! Agreement with the Truth creates within us a throne upon which Truth reigns in us. This is the definition of a true heart.

Remember how we first said that God doesn’t work in our lives according to our sins and weaknesses but according to His purpose?

Well, a problem exists for us that must be handled for us to grow in God. When we first approach God, we have what is called an “evil conscience”. That basically means that we come to Him full of guilt and self-pity over our failures, full of self-hatred and self-loathing because of our weaknesses, and full of pride or low expectations because of our perception.


Yes, we are not doing the work, God is, but we will not receive it if we don’t allow His love and holiness to change our perception of self and base our perception of self in agreement with His word and purpose!

If guilt over our failures is not taken away, we will make decisions based upon the feelings of and belief in our guilt. If self-pity is not taken away, we will consider ourselves victims instead of victors in Christ! Victims cannot be whole because the ability to make changes and healthy decisions for their lives lies beyond their control. God doesn’t hate us or loath us, He loves us! If self-hatred and self-loathing are not taken away, we will keep every promise of God at arm’s length because of our unworthiness. If our perception of self is not changed to agree with God, we will never believe or act at the level His Spirit leads.

Scripture says that, when we are connected to God, the blood of Jesus cleanses our evil conscience. Instead of relating to God through our failures and sins, we relate as His beloved child – an heir of His and a joint-heir with Jesus! The firstborn in Israel received a double portion of the inheritance from the father. Jesus is the firstborn. If we are joint-heirs, our inheritance is a double portion! Sons receive inheritances – if you relate to God through a view of your evilness, you will never receive it!

The priests of Israel would wash themselves whenever they entered the Temple or tent of meeting. As believers in Jesus, we have been baptized into His death and raised in His life! This baptism has made us forever clean in His sight. Our bodies represent our lives here on earth. Our lives, although still housed in a tent of flesh are washed with purity before Him!

1 Peter 3:18: “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us (connect us) to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit, by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison, who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is eight souls, were saved through water. This is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and power having been made subject to Him”.

What does a good conscience answer toward God?

When He says, “This is yours!”, a good conscience says, “Yes”!




This coming Sunday is Pentecost Sunday. Pentecost is a Greek word which means “fiftieth day”. Fifty days ago, we celebrated Easter Sunday; the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. According to Jewish law given by God, Pentecost is:

Shavuot – known as the Feast of Weeks in English and as Pentecost (Πεντηκοστή) in Ancient Greek, is a Jewish holiday that occurs on the sixth day of the Hebrew month of Sivan (late May or early June).[1] The holiday is one of the Shalosh Regalim, the three Biblical pilgrimage festivals. It marks the conclusion of the Counting of the Omer, and its date is directly linked to that of Passover. The Torah mandates the seven-week Counting of the Omer, beginning on the second day of Passover, to be immediately followed by Shavuot. The word Shavuot means “weeks” and the festival of Shavuot marks the completion of the seven-week counting period between Passover and Shavuot.

Since the Feast of Weeks was one of the “harvest feasts,” the Jews were commanded to “present an offering of new grain to the Lord” (Leviticus 23:16). This offering was to be “two wave loaves of two-tenths of an ephah” which were made “of fine flour . . . baked with leaven.” The offerings were to be made of the first fruits of that harvest (Leviticus 23:17).

Jesus was crucified as the “Passover Lamb” and rose from the grave at the Feast of Firstfruits. Following His resurrection, Jesus spent the next 40 days teaching His disciples before ascending to heaven (Acts 1). Fifty days after His resurrection and after ascending to heaven to sit at the right hand of God, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit as promised (John 14:16–17). The promised Holy Spirit arrived on this day; Pentecost and the Feast of Weeks.

The spiritual significances of the Feast of Weeks are many. Some see the two loaves of leavened bread that were to be a wave offering as foreshadowing the time when the Messiah would make both Jew and Gentile to be one in Him (Ephesians 2:14–15). This is also the only feast where leavened bread is used. Leaven in Scripture is often used symbolically of sin, and the leavened bread used in the Feast of Weeks is thought to be representative of the fact that there is still sin within the church (body of Christ) and will be until Christ returns again.

On the Day of Pentecost or the Feast of Weeks, the “firstfruits” of the church were gathered by Christ as some 3,000 people heard Peter present the gospel after the Holy Spirit had empowered and indwelt the disciples as promised. With the promised indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the first fruits of God’s spiritual harvest under the New Covenant began. Today that harvest continues as people continue to be saved, but there is also another coming harvest whereby God will again turn His attention back to Israel so that “all of Israel will be saved” (Romans 11:26).

The feasts of the Lord were times when God had an “appointment” to meet with His people. Pentecost is no different. What happened on Pentecost that is so important to us?

  1. The church lives purposely.

Jesus stated in Acts 1:8: But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me.

Pentecost changes the direction of your life. No longer do you live for earthly pursuits. From the day that the Holy Spirit comes upon you, you are empowered to live a life that witnesses of Jesus.

And He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Matthew 4:19

From the day that the Holy Spirit comes upon you, your interests are secondary to the witness of the Living Christ. First let me bury my father; first let me go say goodbye to those in my house…..NO, first, you will be witnesses of Me!

  1. The church lives prophetically.

Traditional Judaism says that it was on the Feast of Weeks that Moses received the law of God on Mt. Sinai. While there is no biblical evidence to support this fact, Peter in his speech to the astounded crowds when straight to the word of God to validate what was happening.

You are part of the church and you no longer live for the American dream or grandma’s dream or whatever. Pentecost means you are a “living epistle”; you live the Word and interpret all personal, national, and world events biblically.

But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. John 16:13

  1. The church lives powerfully.

Jesus stated that the Holy Spirit brings power and the disciples were to release that power. The disciples don’t control it; they don’t command it; they release it! Through the Spirit comes healing; through the Spirit comes revelation; through the Spirit comes conviction; through the Spirit comes deliverance. All things related to the church come through the Spirit. Without the leading of the Spirit, there is no God ordained and recognized move!

For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. Romans 8:14

 And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. Romans 8:9

But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Galatians 5:18

And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. Romans 8:3-4

‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty. Zechariah 4:6

Everything God does is by the Spirit!

Expect a divine appointment with God this Pentecost and get ready for something fresh and new in your life!


The Tip of the Spear

The 101st Airborne Division (“Screaming Eagles”) is an elite modular specialized light infantry division of the United States Army trained for air assault operations. It is the most potent and tactically mobile of the U.S. Army’s divisions, and has been referred to as “the tip of the spear.” The 101st Airborne at a moment’s notice is able to plan, coordinate, and execute brigade-size air assault operations capable of seizing key terrain in support of operational objectives, and is capable of working in austere environments with limited or degraded infrastructure. Its unique battlefield mobility and high level of training have kept the Division in the vanguard of America’s land combat forces in recent conflicts. More recently, the 101st Airborne has been performing foreign internal defense and counter-terrorism operations within Iraq and Afghanistan.

The 101st Airborne Division has a nearly century-long history. During World War II, it was renowned for its role in Operation Overlord (the D-Day landings and airborne landings on 6 June 1944, in Normandy, France), Operation Market Garden, the liberation of the Netherlands and, perhaps most famously, its action during the Battle of the Bulge around the city of Bastogne, Belgium. During the Vietnam War, the 101st Airborne Division fought in several major campaigns and battles including the Battle of Hamburger Hill in May 1969.

By 21 December, the German forces had surrounded Bastogne, which was defended by both the 101st Airborne and Combat Command B of the 10th Armored Division. Conditions inside the perimeter were tough—most of the medical supplies and medical personnel had been captured on 19 December. CCB of the 10th Armored Division, severely weakened by losses in delaying the German advance, formed a mobile “fire brigade” of 40 light and medium tanks (including survivors of CCR of the 9th Armored Division, which had been destroyed while delaying the Germans, and eight replacement tanks found unassigned in Bastogne). Three artillery battalions, including the all-black 969th Field Artillery Battalion, were commandeered by the 101st and formed a temporary artillery group. Each had 12 155 mm howitzers, providing the division with heavy firepower in all directions restricted only by its limited ammunition supply (By 22 December artillery ammunition was restricted to 10 rounds per gun per day.) The weather cleared the next day, however, and supplies (primarily ammunition) were dropped over four of the next five days.

Despite several determined German attacks, the perimeter held. The German commander, General lieutenant Heinrich Freiherr von Lüttwitz, requested Bastogne’s surrender. When General Anthony McAuliffe, now acting commander of the 101st, was told, and a frustrated McAuliffe responded, “Nuts!”

After turning to other pressing issues, his staff reminded him that they should reply to the German demand. One officer (Harry W. O. Kinnard, then a lieutenant colonel) recommended that McAuliffe’s initial reply should be “tough to beat”. Thus McAuliffe wrote on the paper delivered to the Germans: “NUTS!” That reply had to be explained, both to the Germans and to non-American Allies.

History records that the defenses of Bastogne held until General Patton’s tank division arrived. Expecting to be relieved, the 101st was commanded to go on the offensive. They fought valiantly against the best of the German divisions and retook all ground lost to the enemy. They were finally relieved approximately one month after heading for Bastogne.

I read this to you today because of its relevance to what I believe God is saying to you.

Just like the times faced by the men of the 101st, these are not ordinary times. The enemy is angry and is pushing forward to counter moves made by God. I’m sure the men of Bastogne were frightened when they saw the ferocity and determination of the enemy to force surrender or destroy their very presence.

When surrounded by the German divisions, the men of Bastogne sent a message to headquarters asking for help and direction. The answer came back:

Hold at all costs.

The people of God are seeing the enemy pulling out all the stops; employing tactics not seen in many years in our country or maybe ever. We can cry out to headquarters for rescue but the command is coming back to fight on.

Many soldiers are tired. Many are facing need. Many are wounded. God told me to give you this response from headquarters to your cry for rescue.

This is a directive to warriors and not wimps. It is a directive to those chosen by God for such a time as this. Just as the apostles and first century believers were chosen to begin the faith in the face of adversity, you have been chosen to close out the battle in the face of enemy aggression and madness.

This response from heaven tells us:

  1. You are not forgotten.

“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! Isaiah 49:15

  1. Depend upon Me.

The word “wait” or “hope” means to: to bind together (perhaps by twisting). Twist yourself around the Lord so tightly that there is no way you and He can be separated. This is time to decide where you are going to make your stand!

  1. Supernatural power and renewal is coming!

Abundant increase is coming!! A change like not seen before is in store! For those who are willing to stand and fight,  spiritual transformation which will bring fruit is being poured out!

  1. We are not “defending”, we are “offending”.

The enemy is not responding to our defeat but our victory!!! Do you understand? Our enemy is angry because of the Lord’s audacity! This is a time for offensive warfare!

I am proud to be a part of “The Tip of the Spear” – God’s army of this hour! You are a part of the greatest movement in human history: the ushering in of God’s end time kingdom! Trust God to take care of you. Surround yourself with like minded people. If you’re wounded, find one of “God’s medics” and get healed. It’s time to send back an answer to the enemies’ demand for your surrender. What will your answer be?

Let’s fight on for the glory of God!