Tuesday, May 28, 2013


Tonight was Clovis East's baccalaureate.  It was a time of celebrating faith and the future of our graduates.  The class asked Anthony Flores of Adventure Community Church to speak.  His message was simple.  As a person who was running from God in high school, he came to a place where he now follows God passionately and wants others to do the same.

So to the class of 2013, he gave this challenge - die empty.  He told the story of a young man seeking riches and he was directed to a cemetery wherein lied the paintings left undone, the stories left untold, the songs left unwritten, and the dreams left unlived.  Anthony said that when he stood before Jesus, he wanted to be able to say, "Lord, I left it all down there for your glory.  I lived to fullest to serve and honor you and I died empty."

What a challenge!  I know we are encouraged to live boldly and amass whatever makes us happy, be it memories, money, adventure, collectibles, etc.  What if we lived boldly and saw how much we could give away for the sake of the kingdom?  What if the parable of the rich young ruler came to life because we learned to give more away than we tried to keep, particularly in light of promoting and advancing the kingdom of God and His grace and justice?

Anthony spoke with passion and I am glad I was present to hear what he had to say.  It might have been directed at the graduates, but it was meant for me.

Monday, May 27, 2013


My aim is to follow Jesus - to learn, live, love and serve as Jesus did...and invite others to do the same.

You probably read this at the top of my blog.  If you did, one of those items porbably stood out among the rest.  Most people I think would get the live, love and serve like Jesus, but what about learn?

I am indebted to Bill Hull (http://www.billhull.net/) for this idea.

When Jesus was hear, he learned to operate within his finite world after laying down his right to his infinite state of being as Lord of the Universe.  Hebrews 5:8 tells us, "Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered."  Jesus learned a whole new way of relying on His father.  

So it is my aim to imitate Christ.  I am not just trying to imitate Him in what He did, but also to imitate Him in character and style.  I want to be like Him in how He learned so that I might also learn well. 

Sunday, May 26, 2013


Max Lucado tells a story about a man who had a beautiful horse, the most beautiful in the kingdom.  Through a series of events, the man looses the horse, gains it back with 10 more, has to care for his injured son who then cannot go off to war for the king.  With each turn of events, the people around him find reason to judge his circumstances either blessed or curse depending on how they view event.  With each turn, the man urges people to not judge the circumstance a blessing or a curse.  Each circumstance was what it was.  It was beyond anyone's understanding to decide if the event was a reward or punishment, a blessing or a curse.

This story came to my memory today as I sat and evaluated a number of events where things did not seem to be of much benefit to me or my family.  It did not feel good to go through any of them.  But was the outcome of any of them a blessing or curse?  Was it for our best or was something at work keeping me from enjoying a good thing?

The wisdom of Max's story became apparent to me.  I cannot tell if something is blessing or curse.  I cannot tell if a good thing was kept from me or if I was kept from a disaster.  I am left thinking that it is too wonderful for me to see beyond my circumstances or the circumstances of others to know what is really the best.

As I ponder this reality, another thought comes to mind.  The Lord I serve does know what is the outcomes mean.  He understands what He purposes and what He can make of each event, be it trial or victory.  He told a group huddled in exile, wondering if they would ever see home again, "I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11)

He used a man named Paul to remind me that, "God works all things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28)

These are well known Scripture passages to many who follow Jesus.  They are comforting because we trust that He DOES have our best in mine.  They are challenging because it means I let go of wondering and worrying what my circumstances mean.  I continue to follow faithfully and patiently.  The one who works it all for good and knows what the plan is will cause it all to make sense at the right time.