Wednesday Wisdom: Romans 12:18, Matthew 22:39

News and social media look a lot like a really long episode of Jerry Springer minus the big bald dude to separate the crazies 🥴 (#kidsdontknow) But something I’ve observed— the deeply divided, mean-spirited people I often see represented on those outlets are NOT the people I encounter on a daily basis in our communities 🤨 Given the opportunity we get along pretty well!

I’m not saying that differences don’t exist, or that people arent really mad or that it’s all being made up. They sure look genuinely mad to me! 😅 What I’m proposing is that while we stay aware of some deep divisions in our nation we not overlook (and enjoy) some unity and good will among actual people in close proximity around us.

Here’s one of my concerns — that we try to emulate what we see on TV. We see 2 opposite sides depicted. We feel forced or obligated to take a side. THEN, we go looking for our opponent/perceived enemy in the people we know and have had a good civil relationship with up to now, and (at least in our mind) start villainizing them and working against them. The thing about looking for something? You tend to find what you are looking for, even if it wasn’t there.

But let’s assume it is there. Let’s assume that the bad ideology and position you saw presented on the news REALLY is the one held by your neighbor. They’re still your neighbor! We don’t relate to each other like 2 faces on a screen from a news network or 2 blue check marks on Twitter. We can actually talk to one another about differences, exercise patience, share life and think through things together. I’m in NO WAY suggesting we compromise truth or convictions. Stand firm! I’m suggesting we live with each other in a way that allows truth and our convictions to be communicated and received — not like many of the examples we see on TV and in News Feeds.

Hey, y’all know I’ve got a Bible verse for this 😆 Here’s a couple:

If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. – Romans 12:18

You shall love your neighbor as yourself. – Matthew 22:39


Wednesday Wisdom

Wednesday Wisdom:

Whoever meddles in a quarrel not his own is like one who takes a passing dog by the ears. – Proverbs 26:17

Lots of us today are just looking for something to be mad about. Getting in the middle of conflict that’s not even ours to try and fuel the ugly fire. Griping, complaining, slandering, attacking. It’s an exhausting, frustrating way to live. And it’ll come back to bite us like a mean stray dog. 😳


Everybody’s Hiring, The Best Reason To Work

Everybody’s hiring 😅 Ok, maybe not everyone but I’ve traveled 2K + miles this summer and seen a TON of help wanted signs. Seems my whole life I’ve heard concerns about the potential for job shortages but I don’t remember hearing about labor shortages, not like this. Lots of factors got us here, but how do we get people working? What makes people WANT to go to work? There’s lots of incentives. Dignity, feelings of accomplishment and satisfaction, contributing to society, financial security and ability to provide for yourself, others and acquire things you want. These reasons and others are all good, but none of them are the best. What’s the best incentive to work? GOD! Hear me out—I was blessed to have the necessity and value of hard work emphasized to me as a kid, but I about fell out of my chair the first time I heard a man say the MAIN person he worked for was God. He was a roofer, and he talked about driving every nail for the Lord. He gave me a whole new perspective and motivation for work.
Work is a gift from God. Adam and Eve worked in the garden BEFORE sin entered the world. Every time we work, we’re getting a little (imperfect) throwback to the Garden of Eden. God loves work! God created, looked at what he made and saw that it was good. Then on the 7th day he rested. There’s a pattern for us to follow in God himself. God talks a lot about work in His Word.

Here’s 6 Bible references on the subject of work:

•Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, – Colossians 3:23

•If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living. – 2 Thessalonians 3:10-12

•Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest. – Proverbs 6:6-8

•But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. – 1 Timothy 5:8

•The desire of the sluggard kills him, for his hands refuse to labor. – Proverbs 21:25

•A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man. – Proverbs 6:10-11

Don’t be mistaken. We don’t work for our salvation. Jesus did that for us, and it’s by his Grace that we are saved. But a person saved by Grace should have a desire to work to reflect God and live in joyful obedience to Him!

Growing Up On The Rez

Cool side by side from Navajo Rez VBS. Left is Trinity at age 10 getting VBS crafts ready. Right is her helping lead VBS crafts this year at age 20. She’s standing within just a few feet of the exact same spot. Trinity was 4 and Q was 6 the first time we took a summer VBS trip to the Rez. Phoebe and Norah don’t remember a summer without the Rez and Luka made his first trip last week. Between those summer trips, November trips, and other visits, my kids have done a lot of growing up on the Rez. And in a way, we have too. Like so many things, several years ago we set out to teach but ended up mostly learning. If there’s anything we’ve definitely learned in the last 16 years or so, it’s that we still have A LOT to learn! But here are just a few of the lessons our Navajo brothers and sisters have taught us over the years.

  1. Jesus speaks powerfully through every language
  2. Church is the people not the building (or the revival tent)
  3. Laughter is a universal language
  4. It’s easier to share the gospel when you’re also sharing life
  5. Our creator is way more creative than we give Him credit for
  6. Skin color and cultural differences are no match for Jesus Christ
  7. A different way of doing things isn’t a wrong way
  8. Quiet waters run deep
  9. Simply traveling a long ways is a good way to let someone know you care
  10. Listening, learning, and understanding are an absolute must for all involved in sustainable cross cultural partnerships

Like I said, these are just a few of the many lessons, growth is a glorious part of a journey that I’m so glad we’re still on!

The God Who Sings

The LORD your God…he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. – Zephaniah 3:17

I’ve got a high spirited, temperamental 1 year old little boy. Sometimes he gets so worked up over some hurt he’s feeling and there’s no way he can sooth himself. When that happens about the only way I can calm him is to hold him. And if holding him doesn’t work, I sing to him. Right into his little ear. It’s like he feels love through the singing. It calms him like nothing else can.

When the Bible says that God quiets us by his love with loud singing, I imagine it’s something like what I’m doing with my little man. We’re a temperamental people. Full of hurts and frustrations. We can’t sooth ourselves. By faith in Christ I have access to a singing Father, who picks me up and quiets my anxious heart and mind with his love.

Keep lookin’ up, friends. And rest well. We have a loving God who sings.

The Church At War…

The Church of Christ is continually represented under the figure of an army; yet its Captain is the Prince of Peace; its object is the establishment of peace, and its soldiers are men of peaceful disposition. The spirit of war is at the extremely opposite point to the spirit of the gospel. 

Yet nevertheless, the church on earth has, and until the second advent must be, the church militant, the church armed, the church warring, the church conquering. And how is this?

It is in the very order of things that so it must be. Truth could not be truth in this world if it were not a warring thing, and we should at once suspect that it were not true if error were friends with it. The spotless purity of truth must always be at war with the blackness of heresy and lies. 

-C.H. Spurgeon 

Wolves in sheep’s clothing…

Successfully creeped out the church family with this picture this morning 😅 And it should creep us out! Jesus gave us a strong and sobering warning when he said: 

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” Matthew 7:15

Among other things, false prophets are known by being:

•Teach unsound doctrine (out of step with God’s Word and void of the Gospel)

For additional reading check out 2Peter 2:2-3, 2Tim 4:3-5, and 1John 4:1-3.

We have to be vigilant in this, church! And the best way for us know a phony is to know the REAL DEAL — to be so familiar with Word and the gospel Good News of Jesus Christ when a counterfeit comes along, we recognize it. We have to seek God and wisdom above all else. And friends, please don’t be afraid to warn a brother and sister about unsound doctrine. Love them enough to point them to the truth, in love. 

For parents of teens, youth leaders, etc.

…a fool is reckless and careless. -Proverbs 14:16

Parents of teens and those who work with high school students know the Spring of year is a fun and exciting time of year for students, especially the closer they get to being seniors. Unfortunately, it can also be a dangerous time. I don’t have statistics to back it up, but it just seems like this time of year, as we get closer to school ending, students are just more likely to be careless with their actions and make choices that can be detrimental to their emotional, physical and spiritual health. If you’ve noticed this pattern yourself and would like to talk to your teen about navigating this season with care and wisdom, I’d like to share a couple of things from my limited experience that might be helpful:

1. Talk to him/her like they are an adult, and share your concerns in a loving, straightforward way. Be diligent not to come across like you think they are so stupid that you have to take the time to talk to them about their dumb choices. Don’t be a grouch. Don’t talk down to them. Maybe start with something like, “hey I love you very much and I want you to have a good time, but more than that I want you to be safe and keep your head on straight. I wouldn’t be talking to you about it if I didn’t think you were capable of hearing it.”

2. Don’t try to be cool. Sometimes during this season parents/leaders realize that time with their young person at home is short and then tend to get lax on wise parameters. Don’t do that. If you have set high standards for your kids, keep them. Resist the temptation to say things like “I know there will probably be drinking, I hope you will stay put when you drink and know when you’ve had too much” 🙄 — There are good reasons lawmakers who don’t even know your kids or care nearly as much about them have put laws in the place to try and prevent them from consuming alcohol until the age of 21. Encourage them to obey the law, encourage them to drive the speed limit, tell them to have fun while being responsible. If they choose to break laws or act foolishly don’t let it be because you encouraged them to by trying to score points as a cool mom, dad, or leader. And newsflash? You aren’t cool 😆 For the most part, your time has passed on all that ha ha. I’m right there with you. 👴🏻

3. Don’t be unnecessarily overbearing. I hope this doesn’t sound like a contradiction to my last statement, but this is not the time to put the screws on them either. They are getting older and wanting more freedom is a natural thing! If you get a sense that they are on a trajectory towards responsibility and doing the right things then give them some room to breathe, stay out later, go more places, etc. Say yes when you can! Middle schoolers dislike the feeling of a helicopter parent. Highschoolers? Tend to hate it. 😅

4. Remind them of their priorities. This is so important! If your student is a self proclaiming follower of Jesus Christ, remind them that everything that they do is to be done for the glory of God. And if they can’t glorify God in doing it, don’t do it. If they want to get into a good college and have a career in mind, remind them that their actions today can prevent them from achieving big goals tomorrow. We underestimate teenagers when we think that they can’t hear those kinds of things. They are more forward thinking then we give them credit for. Sometimes they just need a reminder, like all of us do.

I assure you I haven’t been perfect on all of this. Some of this advice comes from “woulda coulda shouldas” that I have looking back. I hope you find them helpful. Also, chances are if you’re still reading this, you love teens and want what’s best for them. For that I want to thank you, commend you, and ask that you join in me in praying for them. They’ve got it tougher than we realize and need all the prayer and encouragement they can get.


But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare. – Jeremiah 29:7

Applies so well for followers of Christ today! This isn’t our home, Heaven is. But we’re here for a purpose! To love the people of our communities. Seek good for them. Pray to God for them. And then, in striving for the good of others? We’ll find good for ourselves as well.

🔑 Seek good things FOR others not FROM others. That’s a major shift from the way our (my) hearts typically operate. But according to God’s Word we won’t find the good we desire in trying to take. We’ll find it in striving to give.

Lord, train our hearts to think about what want FOR others, not FROM others. Help us to trust You to provide as we set our sights on being faithful. We love you, Lord. We are thankful. In Jesus name, Amen. 🙏🏼

Praying for Fort Worth

Such a horrible heartbreaking incident on I35W in Fort Worth this morning. 100 cars involved and 5 fatalities. Hardworking people took out early this morning to get to their jobs, to do their part, and provide for their families and tragically lost their life. Others are barely hanging on to life right now and many are dealing with life changing injuries. Family members of those involved are grieving and sorting through how to deal with the magnitude of it all. It must seem like a bad dream for them.
No doubt the police, firefighters and medics are shook to their core over this. Their job is hard every day, but most haven’t ever dealt with anything like this.

Friends, let’s pray for these people!

Father in Heaven, these folks need your hand of healing and your peace that goes beyond understanding right now. Please bring healing to those who are physically hurt and guard the hearts of all affected. Be with every person dealing with the loss of a loved one or with serious injury.
Lord please comfort the emergency workers. Please speak to their spirit that they did all they could. We thank you for their faithfulness. Help all of us to love each other well, both prayerful and practically. Show us ways to help where we can and remind us to take time to feel the weight of this tragedy and go to our knees on behalf of those impacted.
Lord Jesus, I pray that all would turn to you during something like this. We don’t know why something like this happens. But the cross reminds us that you love us, and the empty tomb reminds us that you’re powerful. Let all involved feel your love and power.
We love you, Lord.
In Jesus name, Amen.