Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Prodigal Son

I highly recommend a book by Henri J.M. Nouwen called " The Return Of The Prodigal Son". He takes the painting by Rembrandt and looks at it from 3 perspectives. The son, the father, and the older brother. I think I have mentioned this before, but Luke 15:11-32 is one of my favorite stories in the bible. Why? Because I am in it. I have been a prodigal son. I grew up in a Christian home, but ignored everything I was taught and did much like the son in the parable. It wasn't until I was 30 that I came to my senses and returned to the Father (Heavenly Father).
If you look at the painting, you will see how tattered, worn out and weary the son appears when he returns. The father, even though the son hurt him and left, shows tremendous compassion and love for his son. In the parable you will read that the father does not condemn, ridicule or embarras the son. What does he do? Luke 15:20 "So he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him." Wow, how much do you think he loved his son? Luke 15:22-24 "Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and snadals on his feet; 23 and bring the fattened calf, kill it and let us eat and celebrate; 24 for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again: he was lost and has been found." and they began to celebrate.
See the gentleness in the fathers face. That is how God receives us when we come to him. If you believe that and you have been running away from Him, turn around like this son and run to him. I promise he will run to you with open arms and kiss you (as in the parable).

Tuesday, April 28, 2009



I have been reading Daniel lately and if you haven't read it in a while, or ever, I highly recommend it. In chapter 10, Daniel fasts and prays for 3 weeks concerning the vision in Chapter 9. Chapter 10:10-14 (NASB) Then behold, a hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees. 11 He said to me, "O Daniel, man of high esteem, understand the words that I am about to tell and stand upright, for I have now been sent to you." And when he had spoken this word to me, I stood up trembling. 12 Then he said to me, "Do not be afraid, Daniel, for from the first that you set your heart on understanding this and on humbling yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to your words. 13 "But the prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days; then behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia. 14 "Now I have come to give you an understanding of what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision pertains to the days yet future." So God sent an answer to Daniel's prayer immediately, but the messenger was in battle with Satan's forces (the prince of the kingdom of Persia) for 21 days. Do you pray and think God does not hear you because you do not get an answer right away. Ephesians 6:12 say's "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places." We don't see the spiritual battle but we know it exists and we know that God has defeated Satan, when Jesus conquered death on the cross. Know that God hears you and he will answer you even though His messenger may be detained. God fights for you in a heavenly realm the we cannot see. Be glad brother or sister, that you can't. Read Daniel and be encouraged.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Savannah and her new roller blades. Looks like a pro doesn't she. I got a pair as well, but unless someone tries to bribe me, you won't ever see that picture.

Listen to the song "The Motions" by Matthew West in the upper right hand corner (listen to the words, don't just look at the pictures). I don't need to say much about it other than, Believer or not, you should be able to relate.

Monday, April 20, 2009

You know that I am standing behind Melissa (who is taking the picture), making faces that I would deny if ever accused.

Psalm 73:25-28 (NASB) 25 Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth. 26 My flesh and my heart may fail, But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. 27 For, behold, those who are far from You will perish; You have destroyed all those who are unfaithful to You. 28 But as for me, the nearness of God is my Good; I have made the Lord God my refuge, That I may tell of all Your works.
The nearness of God is my good. Think about that. Does this mean that when God is not near, that we are bad. John 15:5 "I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. You might be good in Man's eyes for doing good deeds and being generally nice to people. To God, the only way we can be good is to be near to him. The last part says "That I may tell of all Your works". This is what God has laid on my heart, as well as gifted me in the area of evangelism. My desire is to truly live every day for Him and reach the lost, and care for the Orphan (James 1:27). If you don't have the Joy of knowing Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, or do not have joy at all, please choose a relationship with him right now (Upper right hand corner of this blog). His joy is eternal.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


That's my Izzy. Yes my large can of shaving cream (35% bigger) that I bought the other day is gone. In addition to this picture, every toilet in the house is filled with shaving cream. Reminds us of the time we found Lilah covered (I mean covered) in shaving cream, she looked up with a totally relaxed demeanor and said "shaving cream is happy".

Easter is tomorrow and although we should reflect on the Crucifixion of Jesus daily and what it means to us as believers, we celebrate this annually because it is a magnificent victory. Sadly, we put more emphasis on the 4th of July than we do Easter. Don't get me wrong, I am extremely patriotic, but I am also extremely grateful for Jesus dying on the cross for me. Read Psalm 22 (yes the whole thing) and then read Matthew 27:35,46. David was obviously suffering and crying out to God for deliverance. Isn't it amazing that approx. 1,000 years before Christ was crucified, David predicted almost precisely the event of Jesus hanging on the cross (even graphically) In verses 22 & 23 David praised God and gave him glory even out of his suffering. Do we do that? Or do we say, God why did you let this happen, or Why did you do that to me? God will deliver you, Now or for eternity. Think about (really meditate) what Jesus did. Read John19:17-37 for the full account of our Saviour's death on the cross. Thank him right now for dying so that you can live.
If you have never seen the movie "The Passion of the Christ" get in your car and drive to Blockbuster and get it. We live in a visual age, so seeing this event on the screen may grab you and draw you to Jesus. For me, seeing the face of the women accused of adultery (actress Monica Bellucci) when Jesus said (John 8:11) And Jesus said "I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more" had a huge effect on me and brought tears to my eyes (not a regular thing for me).

Sunday, April 5, 2009

I wanted to thank my wife Melissa (that's her holding me up) for putting up with me, supporting me and making sacrifices over the past 4 years so that I could pursue and achieve the goal of earning my 1st degree black belt in Tang Soo Do. That happened yesterday and She brought all six of our children to see their daddy get a black belt wrapped around his waist at the end of 3 1/2 hours. (we did hire a baby sitter to be there with us). Also thanks to My 12 year old Savannah who took karate for 3 years with me and still helps me go over techniques at home. Thank you both, I love you.