Is Jesus Really Enough?

I often ask the question, “Is Jesus really enough?” And, if He is do I live my life as if this was true?”

It seems to me that for many believers Jesus is not enough. They are not satisfied with just Jesus and their personal relationship with Him. It seems that they need Jesus plus something else. Jesus and a healing. Jesus and a miracle. Jesus and prosperity. Jesus and a new and better job. Jesus and an angel. Jesus and the power to heal. Jesus and a prophetic word. Jesus and….

In their daily lives these believers are seldom content with what they are experiencing in their walk with Jesus. And they are certainly not content with the situation in life in which they find themselves. So you see believers often striving for more money and thus a higher wage. They want a bigger house, a better car, better holidays, nicer clothes. They are looking for bigger, better, and more. They are discontent with what is. 

This is true in ministry as well. They want to have greater recognition as a minister of the Gospel. They want bigger crowds coming to hear them. A bigger church. Greater recognition. Being on radio and television, writing books and blogs. Recognition, authority, and popularity.

It seems that people today are simply not satisfied. And, as a result they are not thankful. Nor are they content or at peace with their life as it is. They are always striving and struggling. 

As a result they live unsatisfied lives. They are disappointed with the hand that life (or God) seems to have dealt them. They are discontented with life as they are living it. They are unfulfilled and simply not content. Surely Jesus wants them to have more and better so there must be something that they are doing wrong. 

I believe that this is a sign of a relationship with Jesus that is not healthy. It is lacking depth and substance. Jesus is not at the center of the life of these followers. He is an add-on. He is there for times of crisis and when things are not going as they think they should or as planned. If, and it is a big if, Jesus was at the center of their whole life then He would be enough and they would no longer be striving for more of anything. They would be trusting Him. And, they would be content and not discontent.

Paul states, “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”        Philippians 4:11-13

Jesus is always enough. In fact, He is more than enough. And those who have a solid, in-depth, daily, ever-deepening, personal love relationship with Him are people who live ‘content’ regardless of their situation or the circumstances.

Here’s the question the Lord asked me a long time ago when these verses from Paul’s letter to the Church in Philippi first spoke deeply to me… “Content or discontent, which tent do you live in?” That question, these verses, changed my life, my priorities, and my perspective. I live content with what I have and what is happening because I am dwelling deeply in Him allowing Him to live His life through me.

Galatians 2:20 states, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. And the life that I now live in my body, I live by faith, indeed, by the faithfulness of God’s Son, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

So, when we are content it is because we have a deep relationship with the Lord where we find satisfaction, fulfillment, and total acceptance. So, we can stop striving and pushing for more. Because, He is always more than enough. 

A Second Death

The Bible states in the book of Hebrews that it is appointed once for a person to die and then the judgment (Hebrews 9:27). This is true of a person who is not born again. However, if a person is a true believer who has had an encounter with the living God, His love, and has a relationship with the Son of God, Jesus, then this is not true. Let me explain briefly.

I was spending time in the sunshine paddling my kayak on a lake that was as flat and calm as a mirror. It was a great day to move slowly through the water and watch the eagles, the pelicans, and other assorted wildlife. I found a small sandy piece of shore and stopped to eat my cheese and crackers as well as my apple. Throughout this peaceful time I was thinking of a wonderful lady who died a few days ago. A friend. A fellow traveller in the faith. A faithful believer who loved the Lord with her whole heart.

Verses floated through my pastor’s mind … 

“There is a time to be born, and a time to die” (Ecclesiastes 3:2) 

“If there is no resurrection from the dead then we are fools to be pitied” (1 Corinthians 15:19)

“In My Father’s house there are many rooms and I go to prepare a place for you”.     (John 14:2-3)

“He ((Jesus) gives us victory over sin and death” (1 Corinthians 15:57)

“We are born into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3)

When a person does not know Jesus as His personal Lord and Saviour, is not born again, then when that person dies he or she is judged. Not for their sins which remain unrepented for and thus unforgiven. The Bible states that they will be judged strictly on the fact that they rejected the only solution for sin and the only way into eternity with God the Father in heaven.

John 3:16-18 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

So, it is appointed for a non-believer to die and then the judgment…”

A person who has accepted Jesus as their Lord and Saviour and is thus truly born again and a Christian by biblical definition and standards… their physical death at the end of their lives is not “once to die and then the judgment.” Their physical death is really their second death. 

You are born physically into this world. This is your first birth. But you then need to be born again – born spiritually by accepting the fact that you are a sinner, that your sin separates you from God. That God loved you so much that He sent His Son to die for your sin and shed His blood for the forgiveness of your sins. And, if you will respond to the conviction of the Holy Spirit and experience godly sorrow then you will sincerely repent and receive God’s forgiveness and the gift of eternal life. (References: Isaiah 59:1-2; John 3:3-8; Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23a, Romans 5:8; Romans 6:23b; 2 Corinthians 7:8-10)

So, born physically – and a second birth when you are born spiritually, born again.

When you are born again the book of Romans says that you have died. Died with Christ and been raised again to new life. No longer walking in the flesh but moving in the spirit. No longer living by sight but living by faith. You have become a new creature and all old things have passed away. This is the FIRST DEATH a believer experiences.

Romans 6:3-4 “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.”

We were buried with Him by baptism … and only dead people are buried. This is the first death. Then when a believer dies it is the second death. Said another way, a believer dies to self and lives for Jesus – a spiritual death and resurrection. Then, he or she dies physically – the second death – and raised with a glorious physical body as Jesus was. Amazing.

So, Paul states, “It is not I that lives but Christ who lives through me” (Galatians 2:20)

My point: When a true believer physically dies and moves on in life to eternity it is truly their second death. They have, on their day of salvation, already died to self and made Jesus Lord – the first death…..

Up, Up, and Away!

Often, as believers, we appear to have it all together. We let people know by our words and our responses that things are really good when they are not. We put on the ‘right face’ for each occasion and wear the right mask to hide what we are really feeling and who we really are. We know how to behave in each situation and thus can be who we need to be even if it is not the true us … because things are not always what they seem to be.

No where is this seen more often than in most people Facebook accounts. You can post such glowing things about yourself. Hand select the pictures you want to post. Make yourself look better than you are. Actually portray a different you than the one that lives in the reality of day-to-day existing. Things are not always what they seem to be.

And in the Church you see the same issue on a constant basis. You think someone is a mature believer and has a great spiritual life and a tremendous walk with Jesus.Only to find out that they are living in sin and simply put on the Christian mask or their go-to-meeting face so as to be acceptable and to fit in. Things are not always what they seem to be.

To avoid this self-deception and generally experienced pitfall we need to know ourself fully (to real ’me’) and be fully known by one other person. 

Every year I create a statement that sums up what I am hoping to achieve during the year. A number of years ago I lived with the statement, “To know myself fully and be fully known.” It was a year when I asked myself a lot of questions. Why do you do that? What meaning does that have for you? Is this action (thought, attitude) linked to something in your past that needs to be dealt with? Why do you believe that? Should you continue to live like this? How do you feel about that? And, as I discovered answers to the many questions I shared my findings with a close and deeply trusted and confidential friend. 

Over the year and the following three or four years (all of which had different slogans to be fulfilled) I continued to discover the real me that God had created. He was buried under life demands, social pressures, expectations of others, cultural baggage, the daily grind of life, and religious teachings that were not biblical. So, I continued to tear down and uproot the old me which was not the real me. Then after a season the real me began to come to the surface. I realized that things were not always as they seemed to be in my life. And, I was discovering the real me for the first time.

After the season of uprooting and tearing down came the season of planting and building. These seasons are, by the way, mentioned in Jeremiah, Chapter One. I began to build and then reveal the real me to my confidential friend and Christian brother. As he accepted this new me and the new ways I was expressing this new person he too realized that things are not always what they seem to be. And, he really encouraged me to keep digging, adjusting, changing … as I planted and built. The new me was slowly emerging and life began to be integrated and I was beginning to walk with serious integrity. 

Well, I am now at the time when I am ready to fly. To make public the “new me” I have been working on understanding, embracing, and bringing forth for the last five years. I have brought who I am on the inside to the outside where others can see, hear, and encounter this new person who no longer has to wear masks as he worried about being received and accepted. He is now strong enough and understands himself well enough to live a life that has integrity and is integrated… holding together seamlessly being the same on the outside as he is on the inside. 

Over this season of five years or more I have tried a number of times to “fly free.” But, I was not ready and it failed every time I tried. This past week I flew free for the first time since this major remake began. I and walking with a tremendous assurance of God’s love, a new confidence in what God is doing in and through me, and a tremendous boldness to simply be me and to minister in that simplicity and freedom.

You may not recognize me when we meet next time. But, I will be sure to introduce myself. You see, things are not always what they seem to be. But, in my life the masks are gone and the only face I put out there to be seen is the real me … I am now living on the outside who I really am on the inside – the new me has risen and the season of tearing down and uprooting, planting and building have almost come to an end and it is time to experience the freedom that only Jesus can supply and fly free in both my personal and professional life. 

Life Is a Journey of Discovery

I am on a journey. It started 9 months before I was born and still continues today. The journey is called “life.” And, on this journey the only constant is change. To journey you must always be changing, growing, stretching, maturing, and moving forward. Real life needs to be lived and is not something you can handle in a passive manner. Life should never happen to you – you would always make life happen.

So many people simply wake up in the morning, do their morning routines, go to work, perform well at their job, come home to a fairly standard evening routine, go to bed and wake up to begin another day. In my mind that means they are living to work and God wants us to work so that we can live. And, life is something we need to grab hold of and live for all it is worth. Each day. Every day. 

I fall asleep at night having maximized each day and given every event, person, and activity my best effort and full focus. I live each day to the fullest and work hard not to waste time as it is in such limited supply and needs to be used wisely. You can do three things with time. Waste it. Spend it. Invest it. I work hard to invest my time wisely and to the maximum benefit of others. 

That is what Jesus asks us to do and what He will hold us accountable for when we stand before Him on our judgment day. To invest your time means to invest your life. To invest your life you need first to come to know yourself  – who you really are. To come to know yourself means entering the journey, your journey called life. It means you can’t be passive and just sit there letting life happen to you.

Coming to know the real you that God planned and created is not easy nor quick. For most people the real “you” is buried beneath societal norms, family expectations, the demands of life, and the hurts and disappointments of the past. So, you will need to dig the real you out from under all that ‘garbage’ that keeps you from knowing you. 

God said to the prophet Jeremiah that he was to uproot and tear down. Then he could build and plant (Jeremiah, Chapter one). This is what must happen in us and with us as we journey to discover the real you that God created. It is not easy. It takes time. But it is the foundation of a life lived in such a way as to please God. It is the only way to live a fulfilling and meaningful life. 

Most people, including most believers, have not taken the time to discover themselves. Life is not a journey for them. It seems to be a destination and they feel like they have arrived. So, they don’t change and are not growing, developing and maturing. To be honest, they are boring – seriously boring. They focus on themselves and all that has and is happening to them and constantly share their issues with others who will listen. They are not seeking help. They are not seeking to be understood. They are simply seeking to be heard. At the best, they are seeking sympathy. And, these people don’t have room in their heart for others because they are totally self-focused and self-absorbed. Thus boring and ‘dead.’ No journey. No discovering of self. No growth. No change. No life.

Those who are on a journey of self-discovery are exciting to speak with. They are seriously other-focused as they want to enter into other peoples lives so they can hear new things and enlarge their perspective. They love listening to others. They look for new adventures, new things to become involved in. They always have something fresh to share, something exciting. Yes, they may talk belfry about themselves but it is always how they are growing, what they are learning, where they are planning to go, what the Holy Spirit is speaking to them today. And, they share to encourage others to join with them on the journey.

They are constantly growing and changing and so everything is always new, fresh, thus powerful and interesting. Because they are coming to know themselves better they are secure in who they are, confident in where they are at, bold with what they believe, and excited about all that is happening. They are living life. Engaged in life. Embracing life. Making life happen. They are happy and interesting people to know and be with. And, they will challenge you to join them and Jesus on the journey called discover life. 

So, this summer, take some time to begin your journey or renew your journey Take some time alone to think and pray as you look inward. Share what you are discovering with someone you trust, someone who is also on their own journey. You will learn so much more about yourself as you share your discoveries with them. And, you will get a different perspective as you listen to them share their discoveries with you. No two journeys are the same but you can journey together and help each other as you do.

The Oldies

Sitting here and it is early morning on a Thursday. It is cool and overcast but promising to be warm and calm. I am camping. Half way through 21 days of tenting, kayaking, paddle boarding, walking in the woods, and simply being away from people and relaxing. I have my best friend with me and he too is an introvert. So, there is often hours of quiet and little talk. Other times we share where we are at in our journey with Jesus. And, try not to talk “business” which is ministry and church. 

Yesterday and again this morning we were talking about songs that were meaningful when we were younger and that still speak to us today. And, even a fun one that brings back memories like Ralf Harris and “Tie Me Kangaroo Down.” But, mostly serious songs that spoke directly to our hearts. In my case, the song “It’s a Wonderful World” by Louie Armstrong. It is my life theme song. Every once in a while I post it on my Facebook page. Almost daily I play it for myself on YouTube. 

So, what are some of the songs that were and are meaningful … Yes, they date me. “In the Year 2525” by Zager and Evans; “The House of the Rising Sun” by The Animals; “Bye Bye Miss American Pie” by Don McClean;  “Piano Man” by Billy Joel, “Hotel California” by The Eagles and “Abraham, Martin, and John” by Dion. You may note that none of these songs are Christian and you would be right. But, they are songs that spoke to me and obviously to my generation and still do. Most Christian songs don’t speak to me because they lack depth and are often not biblical. I honestly don’t listen to Christian music when not in an assembly of believers. Don’t misunderstand, I love to worship but don’t believe that what we call worship today is really that. It is mostly entertainment. 

But, I digress…

It is good to sit back once in a while and think deeply about life and what events and situations formed whom you are today. It is good to revisit some of the things that spoke strongly to you “back when” and to think and feel through why the were so important and even why they still speak volumes to you now. Plato – an ancient Greek philosopher who lived long before Jesus was born – is quoted as saying, “An unexamined life is not worth living” and I totally agree with him. 

Some times it is good and refreshing to think back. Not to dwell in the past but to take the time to quietly review the past and what events, people, and songs brought you to the place where you are now and helped to create the person you have become. So, yesterday while walking up the hills with my friend and again this morning over fresh coffee made in a French Press while camping and waiting for the sun to come out from behind the haze – we are doing just that. 

And, it has been good. In fact, it has been very good. It has even helped us to know and understand each other better because, after all, we are from different generations and had vastly different upbringings. 

Summer is a good time to reconnect with one’s roots and your heart once again. To get away from the every day rush and busyness and reconnect with your feeling and, once again, become alive inside.

Living With Hope

A long-time and great friend of mine died last night. She had been fighting a valiant battle with a number of medical issues over the last year or so. Last night she won the battle. She was a solid, born again believer and the second she took here last breathe on earth she took her next one in the manifest presence of Jesus in heaven. We will miss her as she played a vital roll in our lives and we had many meaningful and even fun experiences together over the years. However, one day we will see her again when it is our time to leave this planet behind, leave time behind, and enter into eternity.

Paul states, “The message we preach is Christ, who has been raised from the dead. So how could any of you possibly say there is no resurrection of the dead? For if there is no such thing as a resurrection from the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, all of our preaching has been for nothing and your faith is useless. Moreover, if the dead are not raised, that would mean that we are false witnesses who are misrepresenting God. And that would mean that we have preached a lie, stating that God raised him from the dead, if in reality he didn’t.

If the dead aren’t raised up, that would mean that Christ has not been raised up either. And if Christ is not alive, you are still lost in your sins and your faith is a fantasy. It would also mean that those believers in Christ who have passed away have simply perished. If the only benefit of our hope in Christ is limited to this life on earth, we deserve to be pitied more than all others!

But the truth is, Christ is risen from the dead, as the first-fruit of a great resurrection harvest of those who have died. For since death came through a man, Adam, it is fitting that the resurrection of the dead has also come through a man, Christ. Even as all who are in Adam die, so also all who are in Christ will be made alive.” (1 Corinthians 15:12-22 The Passion Translation)

As born again Christians and believers in Christ and His resurrection, we don’t live without hope. We believe in the resurrection of the physically dead back to life. We believe that, just as Jesus was raised physically from the dead on the third day after His death … so those who are born again believers are also resurrected from the dead and spend eternity in Heaven with the Lord. 

And, we believe that when we die we will be reunited with those who were true born again believers and who died before we did. That we will meet our loved ones again and spend eternity with them. So, Paul states that our hope is for more than just this life. It is anchored in Christ’s resurrection from the dead and thus guarantees us life after death if we are true believers in Him. If we are born again.

So, I live this life with tremendous hope for all that the Lord, the resurrected Christ Jesus, is doing in me right now and through me as His plan and purpose for my life are released and come to completion. AND, it is a big “and,” I live with hope knowing that when I die it is only the physical body that I inhabit that dies and I simply continue my life and existence in another world more real and certainly more beautiful than this one. It is this hope lived out now and the hope I have for a powerful future that allows me to live a full, satisfied life with meaning and purpose, direction and guidance, as I move forward towards the day when I too depart this life and enter into something far greater and more magnificent. There to meet with those who have gone before me – those who lived with faith and hope and died in the Lord.

I will see my friend once again and it will be like we just chatted a few minutes ago as time will have no meaning or purpose in eternity.

And, I am reminded: “Without hope in the future there is no power in the present.”

Thoughts On Life and Making It Count

How quickly things can change. One day we are doing really well, healthy and enjoying life. We are relating to our family, making a difference in the lives of those that we know, and are planning the months to come, the change of seasons, and some of the things we would like to accomplish in life. And, then realty can hit and change all of that.

I have reached the age where I realize hat I am on the down side of the hill. In my early seventies there are, at most, 15 very active years left and then a few slower ones near the end before heading into eternity and the home Jesus has prepared for me before my arrival. So, I am writing or creating a bucket list of the things I would like to do before dying. And, I chose the  word ‘dying’ on purpose as I think it is so wrong to refer to someone as ‘passing.’ Passed is what you do when you have gas. You pass gas. And, it is not a ‘bucket list’ as I don’t plan to ‘kick the bucket.’ I am planning on doing what all human beings do – die. 

So, I have a “Let’s have a terrific time” list. And, it includes many amazing activities I want to become involved in before I die. Many places and countries I want to visit and learn about. Many nations I want to preach in and share the Gospel of the Kingdom in as I plant churches. 

Of course, there are things I want to do that are simply fun – camping, paddle boarding, reading some of my favourite authors, skydiving, scuba diving, living on a deserted island in a warm climate for six months by myself, write several books, and on the list could go. Some of the “Let’s have a terrific time” lists are of a more personal nature but you get the idea.

Of course, we don’t know when we will die. Only the Lord knows that. The Psalmist states that God, our heavenly Father, has a certain number of days for each of us to live. And, if we are healthy and care for the health that He has given to us we can live three score years and ten, which means 70 years. Of course, I have been blessed with having passed that milestone and am still in great health ready to see another decade or two before slowing down. I am simply enjoying my life too much to just sit and veg as many my age do. I am not into inactivity and boredom. I want to be challenged, stretched, do new things, go new places and continue the journey with Jesus which I have now been on for 42 years, 8 months. 

Many people die before they die, if you get my drift. They stop living long before they stop breathing. It is a choice. And, I choose life. There is simply too much I want to do for the Lord and so many things I want to taste, try, and do personally that I am not ready to simply sit. I am trusting the Lord that He still has many things for me to experience. I am doing my best to stay healthy physically, relationally, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. And, to invest the last years of my life pushing back the darkness, preaching, the gospel, planting churches, training and mentoring young men, and generally having a good time – a blast – enjoying all of life while doing all of these things. 

Relationships Are Key

Relationships are important in the Kingdom and thus, of course, in the Church. However, much of what we do does not encourage the building of healthy and dynamic relationships. 

Think about it, we sit in pews or chairs facing the back of someone’s head. We have a set program that we dutifully go through each time we assemble for worship – welcome, worship, greet one another (now there is a great relationship builder), announcement and offering, and then a teaching followed by another hymn, prayer time, or simply a dismissal. 

Of course there is the pre-service coffee fellowship (or mid-service or end of service) where people talk with their friends and those they know are safe. But, again, this seldom encourages existing relationships to grow and mature and certainly does not build new ones.

It takes time and effort to build quality relationships upon which the Kingdom and the Church are then built. It requires time because it actually takes a good length of time to build trust within a new relationship. And, without trust the relational sharing will lack any serious depth and simply be taking about the weather or recent sports game. Seldom about Jesus and never any sharing of personal issues, life circumstances and related feelings.

Not only must there be time for trust to be built up so that it then forms one of the foundations for healthy relationships. But, you and those you are relating to must feel safe enough to share. In other words, there must be a safe place where people can then be vulnerable. Vunerability is key to building relationally. 

You must feel that others are truly interested in what you have to say and what you are feeling. But, even more than that, they care about how you are feeling. To continue to be vulnerable the person you are sharing with must respond to what you are sharing. Continued vulnerability requires more than a passive receiving of information from the person listening. It requires that person to embrace and engage with what is being shared and the person who is doing the sharing. Again, this, like trust, does not come easily or naturally and takes time.

Add to this a large dose of confidentiality where you know that what you share will be received and responded to. But, more than that, it will remain confidential and not become the center of the latest gossip circle or the gossip chain often disguised as a prayer chain. People need to feel that you are trustworthy and confidential and will keep their confidences regardless. Not spreading them all over the local church. 

These three – trust, vulnerability, and confidentiality – are the basic requirements for healthy inter-personal relationships. And healthy relationships are essential for both the local church and the Kingdom to continue to grow and reach the lost with the Gospel of the Kingdom.

Going For Walks

When home I walk my dog two sometimes three times a day. We cover either a short distance or do a marathon depending on how he is feeling and how I am feeling. We are both getting old and sometimes we are just not up for the long ones. But, we enjoy the walks and speak of many things as we move from bush to tree to light standard. 

I am on holidays. The dog is at home. Miss walking him. However, I am still walking every day regardless of the weather. Where I am camping it is seriously sandy soil so when it rains – and it certainly has 9 out of 10 days so far – the ground dries quickly. And, I am surrounded by forest and camped beside a gigantic lake. There are a lot of trails through the woods and numerous hills to climb as I walk with the friend I camp and kayak with. Often we walk in silence. Some times we talk about our journey with Jesus, the Church, the Bible, and especially how we are changing, growing, maturing, developing, and adjusting as we come to better understand ourselves, each other, and the Kingdom call on our lives.

Of course there are many cups of coffee in the early morning around the campfire so we can stay warm as we wake up. And, many cups of decaf coffee around the campfire in the late evenings as we cook supper on the open fire and chat about the day and an assortment of other things. In between I am catching up on my reading – summer reading is always mystery novels, murder mysteries, and legal dramas. My favourite authors – Peter Robinson, Jeffery Archer and John Grisham.

I love to walk. Back home, walking Cuddles my dog allows me a little time to think, plan, and sort. But, mainly it allows me to connect with my neighbours and chat about life in the neighbourhood. And, as always, a comment or two about Jesus and His Kingdom. During my walks here in the woods I enjoy the flowers, the berries, the eagles, the pelicans, and the other assorted wild life. But, I also find it conducive to connecting in fresh ways with the Lord. 

Maybe it is because I am not following my regular routine of time in the study (5:30a to 9:00a), time in the office (9:00a to 1:00p), time with non-believers (1:00p to 5:00p), and then preparing supper and time with my wife or an evening family event. Maybe it is because I have had a week to unwind, relax, and not think about ministry, people, church issues, writing teachings. and travel. Maybe it is the setting itself – sunshine all day (when it doesn’t rain), bright moon and stars at night, forest, lake, and simply being away from people. Maybe it is because it is “me” time and I am not needed to do this or that, not available to take calls and answer texts, emails, and connections from a variety of apps that beep and squeak demanding my attention NOW. 

Getting away and living with the basics like a tent and a campfire brings you back to the basics in life. And, frees up the time to walk with Jesus in a renewed and fresh way. It frees up time to simply focus on Him and fall in love again. It removes all the regular daily routine with all of its chores and demands that we live with the rest of the year freeing valuable time to simply be.

I am away camping and kayaking and walking in the woods with Jesus. I am being renewed, refreshed, and reconnecting with my inner being, the life Jesus has called me to live, the ministry He has blessed me with in so many places and nations, and, once again, to walk even closer to Him who is life than I ever have before. 

Glad you are not here!

The Soaring Eagles

It is Independence Day in the United States and their main symbol is the eagle. This blog has nothing to do with that eagle or the nation of the United States. It has to do with the eagles I saw soaring on the wind this morning as I drank an early morning, and I mean early, coffee at a camp sight in northern Saskatchewan. I am on holidays and mornings have been cool and rainy. This morning was bright and sunny and clear. So, a coffee outside listening to the birds, watching the squirrels, and admiring the soaring eagles gliding on the wind currents over my head and the lake I am camped beside.

It is amazing how the eagles glide. It looks to be effortless but I am sure it is not. They look like they are having fun. Maybe they are scouting for breakfast under the water over which they are soaring. Perhaps they are simply having a good time. But, they have caught the flow of the wind and they are moving as it moves going where the wind takes them.

Of course, Jesus said that the Holy Spirit is like the wind. The encounter with Nicodemus is found in John, chapter 3. Jesus told Nicodemus that the Holy Spirit, like the wind, goes where He wants. And, that often we, as believers, won’t know where He has come from or even where He is going. In other words, we may not always be deeply aware of what the Holy Spirit has done, is doing, or will be doing in our lives. And, we will not often know where He is taking us.

So, our task is to ride the wind. Go with the Holy Spirit. At times you may simply be moving forward in your relationship with Him. This is called ‘fellowship’ as seen in 1 Corinthians 13:14. At times you may be moving forward and not know why it is happening or even where you will end up – Like Abraham when He left Ur and headed out with God as his guide not knowing the direction or the destination. At all times it is fun because you are soaring on the wind and moving with the plans and purposes of the Living God whom you love and adore.

To ride the wind for whatever reason we need to yield to the Spirit. If you fight the wind you will not soar like the eagles. You have to go with the wind, go with the flow. We are reminded in Ephesians 5:18 that we are to yield to the Spirit letting Him control our thoughts, feelings, words, actions, and attitude. And, yielding means you may not always have a clear understanding of where He is taking you and what He wants you to do when you get there. But you have put Him in control of your life and you are trusting Him completely. 

It is okay not to know everything and understand fully. It is half the fun and we are called to walk by faith and not by sight or understanding. We are called to live in the spirit and not in the flesh. So, let go and begin to soar on the wind.