Dear Church, I know you are tired

Tension is part of our life. Tension if not confronted and dealt with will wear your out. If you are a believer, you have tension between right and wrong, good and bad. If you are a believer, you have tension between the flesh and the Spirit.

For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit,

and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh,

for these are opposed to each other,

to keep you from doing the things you want to do.

(Gal. 5:17)

Let’s look at the life of Job. in the first couple of chapters, he loses his wealth, his children and his health.

His wife’s advice: “Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die.” (2:9)

Job’s lament: ”After this Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth.” (3:1)

What I find interesting is the word “hope” is used 19 times in 18 verses. Hope is used in both a positive sense and also in a sort of mocking sort of way.

The tension of Job’s life is between

hope and surrender –

belief and doubt –

staying and leaving –

trust and anger –

truth and feelings –

living and dying.

Hope & Surrender

  • Hope – patient endurance with great expectation.
  • Surrender – declaring defeat

Belief & Doubt

  • Belief – holding on to faith.
  • Doubt – second guessing everything.

Staying & Leaving

  • Staying – remaining spiritually grounded.
  • Leaving – looking for something else.

Trust & Anger

  • Trust – resting in God’s hand.
  • Anger – running from God’s presence.

Truth & Feelings

  • Truth – what has God promised?
  • Feelings – emotional responses.

Living & Dying

  • Living – continuing to get up everyday and being who and where God wants you to be.
  • Dying – removing yourself from God’s purpose.

I call heaven and earth to witness against you today,

that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse.

Therefore choose life,

that you and your offspring may live,

(Deut 30:19)

Do It Anyway!

Brush your teeth! Take a bath! Wash your butt! Wash your face with the other hand! Parental instructions for all children. Many times a child does not want to stay clean but a parent says, “Do it anyway!” There are certain activities/habits that by nature have good results. If you do them even when you do not feel like it, they have good results. On the flip side, they have none or few negative results. I guess taking a bath might be bad if you are in the jungle filled with wild animals that salivate  at the smell of human cleanliness, but for the most part “Do it anyway!”

There are times when we don’t want to do the “hard” work of Christianity. There are times we don’t want to pray. There are times we don’t want to read the Bible. There are times when we don’t want to be part of a faith family (local church). There are times I don’t want to help the needed or use my spiritual gift. DO IT ANYWAY!

What could the negative results be from prayer, reading your Bible, participating with a faith family? What could be wrong with using your spiritual gift?

I have told people before to “fake it”. Now, there are those who would counsel against this but I believe their are spiritual disciplines that we don’t leave to feelings (insert Freddy Fender song feelings here). When we pray we can be honest with God. You can start with, “I don’t want to pray but….” Psalm 22 starts with, “My God, my God why have you forsaken me!” Spend time reading the Bible. Just look for small nuggets that apply to where you are. Don’t rely on your feelings to do right. Just, “Do it anyway!”

Please Read Yesterday’s Post if you have not. I Long for God, But I Do Not Want to Strive For It

Why Would I Quit?

Yesterday my post Why I Stayed received more hits than most anything I have ever posted. Not sure why but I thought I would follow it up. I’m sure there are some who still wish I had not stayed and if I had not stayed they might have stayed. I was told early in my ministry that if you forget your call you will quit. Right at half of all ministers in the U.S. are quitting. I am not sure why they are but I know why I have fought that temptation from time to time. Here are some of the promptings and they are not in any order so don’t try to read anything into them that is not there. I am going to be real honest here so if honesty hurts quit reading now.

Feelings of inadequacy.

Feeling that no one is standing with you but everyone says they are behind you.

Feeling that every time you get close to someone they bail out.

Feeling that you are not making a difference.

Feeling that the expectations are unreachable.

Feeling that it would protect your family from much hurt.

Feeling someone else could do a better job.

Feeling like the numbers are an indictment.

Feeling the people telling you should leave through various means were right.

Feeling like church was a burden instead of a blessing.

Feeling like a failure.

Feeling like something else would just be easier.

Feeling that what people say about you is true.

Feeling, feeling, feeling……

The lesson is that no one should make decisions based on their feelings. Listen to the voice of God – listen to the Word of God. Know the Spirit’s voice. Just know your feelings will lie to you. Satan loves to use our feelings against you.

Warren Wiersbe’s great book The Strategies of Satan (the best $4.99 you could spend) teaches about how Satan attacks your heart and conscience. He uses Joshua the high priest (Zech 3:1-7) as his text. Here is the lesson in a capsule. Satan’s target is the heart and conscience. Satan’s weapon is accusation. Satan’s purpose is the indictment by God’s will. Your defense is the interceding Son of God.
No minister is good enough to be a pastor, grow a church, save a soul or anything else on his own (John 15:5). It is only through the grace of God that a minister is a minister. Don’t quit until God says quit, but you better know that it is His voice you hear.

Nothing to Say, But Let Me Say This


I have been quiet on the blog for the last several day. Why? I have had nothing to say. There have been times in my life when it just seemed like I had run out of words (I know that is hard to believe). I have over the last 25 years of ministry experienced many feelings, failings, and fortunes. Feeling lie to me as well as tell me the truth. Failings do not define who I am. Fortunes are always the gifts of God. I have developed strategic plans both personally and professionally. Some have succeeded and some have failed. I have come to this conclusion. Let prayer and faithfulness be my strategy. I will seek to pray about everything and seek to be faithful in everything. Then I will just trust. The results will not always be what I want but they have not been up until now, so that is no change. I cannot figure it all out but I will seek to watch and pray. I hope this is not just words on a page but a new way of living.