Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Scot McKnight Interview: “The King Jesus Gospel” & McKnight Responds to Critics

From time to time in this blog I want to post links to other blog articles that I think will be a blessing or perhaps a challenge to you in your spiritual journey.  This is one of those times.

Myself along with a few other brothers and sisters have been discussing this topic when we get together from time to time.  This was even a point in my message last Sunday morning.  The fact of the matter is, we've made the message of the gospel so simple and it's been "watered down" so much that it seems, in most cases, we've taken repentance out of the equation altogether. There must be more than what the modern church is teaching.

Frank Viola in his blog "Beyond Evangelical" interviewed author Scot McKnight.  McKnight is the author of a number of books and writes in depth about Jesus and Paul.  I wanted to share this interview with you today in hopes that it may challenge you in your walk with Jesus.  Scripture admonishes us to make our calling and election sure. 

To access Frank Viola's blog and his interview with Scot McNight, in particular just click on the link below.

 Click this link to read the unedited interview:

Until next time, enjoy the journey!


Monday, February 27, 2012


Have you ever bitten into an apple anticipating a big bite of juicy apple only to find a worm in your apple?  I suppose finding half a worm would be even worse!  At least for a city boy like me it would be, I'll tell you that!  Finding a worm in an apple would render the fruit useless.  The interesting thing is from the outside the apple looks much like any other apple.  It's not until you look inside that you find the worm.

Now let's shift gears a little.  How about your life?  Are there worms in your apples?  That is, what kind of fruit are you producing in your life?  Is the fruit your life is producing of good quality or is it of such poor quality that it is rejected?  Oftentimes, you cannot tell from the outside.  You see, it's a condition of the heart.

Jesus said, "Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain..." (John 15:16) You see, if we abide, or live in Jesus, we have a guarantee of continual fruitfulness. Those who continue to live in and abide in Jesus are chosen to bear fruit in this life.  The fruit we bear will be will be lasting (will remain, abide).  People sometimes speak of wanting to leave a legacy.  You want to leave a legacy?  Serve God!

The Fruit of the Spirit is included in this, as well (Gal. 5:22-23).  The Fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance or self control) should be part of our daily lives as we move forward in our spiritual journey.  These fruits should manifest themselves in our actions as well as our reactions to the things we face in our lives.  Others are observing how we respond to the various pressures and stresses life brings our way.  They are observing the fruit we are producing.  What are they seeing in our lives?

So, I ask you again, are there worms in your apples?

Until next time, enjoy the journey!


Saturday, February 25, 2012


Church fusses are not unique or uncommon.  But when a pastor and a music minister or choir director have a disagreement things can get interesting.

Pastor Singer preached on committment and how we should dedicate ourselves to service. The choir director then led the choir in singing "I Shall Not Be Moved."  The next Sunday,  he preached on giving and how we should gladly give back to the work of the Lord.  The choir director then led the song, "Jesus Paid It All."  The next Sunday, Pastor Singer preached on gossiping and how we should watch our tongues and what we say.  The hymn that week was "I Love to Tell The Story".  Pastor Singer became frustrated and disgusted over the situation, and the next Sunday he announced to the congregation he was considering resigning.  The choir then sang, "O, Why Not Tonight?"  When he resigned the next week, he told the church that Jesus had led him there and Jesus was taking him away.  The choir director then led the choir in singing, "What A Friend We Have In Jesus". 

Keep a smile on your face, and enjoy the journey.


Friday, February 24, 2012


Cindy and I had  the opportunity to attend our grand daughter, Lauren's, school program this afternoon.  This was a "civic" themed program all five kindergarten classes joined forces to put together.

They started out the program by recognizing all the veterans and active duty soldiers who were in attendance.  The children then led those in attendance in the Pledge of Allegience - and yes, the words "under God" was recited in the pledge.  The children went on to sing several patriotic numbers.

The song I most enjoyed was "God Bless The USA".  Now I'm certainly not the most patriotic person in the  country.  I never have been.  Don't misunderstand me  I am an American citizen.  I understand and believe with citizenship comes reponsibility.  As the children were singing I began to wonder what kind of a country will our children and grand children have if things continue on our current path?  l'm not talking about republican or democratic issues.  l'm realistic enough to know that whoever is in office is never going to make everyone happy.  The bottom line is our leaders must work together for the good of our country - and our children

It's easy to criticize our leaders.  Scriptures tell us we are to PRAY for our leaders.  They certainly need all the prayer we can send up for them.  Let's make it a point to pray for our government leaders on the federal, state and local level.  And, together, lets ask God TO BLESS THE USA!

Until next time,  enjoy the journey.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Remember back when you was in school and you didn't get your homework done?  Perhaps you used the old excuse "The dog ate my homework."  In today's tech savvy society an updated excuse may be "My hard drive crashed and I lost my homework."  The point is, we can sure come up with some excuses, can't we?

Man has come up with excuses for many years as to why he did or didn't do something.  Sometimes we even point to others so as to reflect the blame from ourselves, as in the case of Adam.  There's just something about personal responsibility we don't like to face.

Jesus told a parable of a man who made a great meal and invited many to join him for this meal.  Those invited certainly had their share of excuses.  One said he had purchased a piece of property and had to look it over.  Another said he had just bought five teams of oxen and he really needed to check them over.  Yet another said he had just gotten married and needed to get home to his wife.  At one point someone came to Jesus and said they wanted to follow Him, but let them first go and bury their parents.  Get this - their parents weren't even dead yet!  

My wife, Cindy, was talking to a lady recently who said she knew she needed to be gathering with God's people.  She knew it would encourage her and help to lift her spirit. This lady said she needed to get involved in the work of God.  And she was going to!  BUT...yep, you guessed it - she had an excuse.  She couldn't do it this week or next week, but maybe sometime next month.

If it weren't so sad it would be humorous just how creative some people try to get with their excuses.  Some have given up on creativity altogether and are just flat out lazy. I'm sure glad Jesus didn't offer up any excuses when it came to the cross!  His going to Calvary was a necessity for our salvation.  No excuses there, praise God!  

All these people, and scores of others today who are making excuses, lack commitment to God.  That's really the bottom line. People today are just not committed to the One who committed all to them.  I'm not talking about commitment to a church, a preacher or any other person or entity.  I'm talking about genuine, sincere commitment to God.

It's interesting how we show such a lack of commitment to God yet let something come up in our lives and we want God at our beck and call.  We want Him to be available when we need Him.  What if God had the same level of commitment to you that you have to Him?  What if He gave you the same excuses that you give to Him? 

I think it's high time we get off out "blessed assurance" (back side) and get up and commit ourselves to Jesus Christ and get busy about the Father's business.  We are, after all, to occupy until Jesus comes.  In case you haven't noticed there's still much to do!

Until next time, enjoy the journey!


Monday, February 20, 2012


We live in a day when we've been been led to believe that bigger is better.  Think about it.  We have bigger houses, bigger yards, over-sized furniture, bigger cars and huge 60+ inch tv screens to watch our favorite tv shows or sporting events. We can even go to our favorite fast food restaurant and "super-size" our meal!  Just about anything we have these days we can get it bigger.  And to many, bigger is better.

This idea that bigger is better has even spilled over into the gathering of God's people.  There are mega-churches today that host numerous services on Sunday mornings featuring various styles of worship services.  The idea is to offer something for everyone.  Programs?  They have them for all ages and backgrounds.  Music?  They have all styles from jazz, to contemporary, to praise and worship to an occasional hymn.  I'll share some additional thoughts on these mega-churches in a future blog.

Is bigger really better?  Have you ever heard the expression "It's the little things that count?"  In today's society we often overlook the little things in favor of the big.  We see the little as being insignificant when in reality the little things are every bit as important, if not more so, than the big things.

There are several little things in Scripture that come to mind as I write this.  Each of these little things had a big impact.  These little things made a big difference.


God told Moses to throw that rod down.  That rod was just a dead stick in Moses'  hand, but when he obeyed God, casting it to the ground, it became alive!  That little stick was seriously promoted!  It went from herding a bunch of sheep on the back side of the desert to parting the Red Sea!  That stick was never too far away from Moses.  God had used something as simple as a stick to reveal Himself in a powerful way to Moses.  Listen, God can take whatever we have and demonstrate His power through it!  Don't limit God!


When David set out to face the giant of a man, Goliath, he was but a teenager. David didn't know it couldn't be done.  He had faith in His God.  King Saul tried to suit him up with the king's best armor, but there was no way David could utilize Saul's armor because he hadn't proved it in the past.  David opted to use what he knew - to use what he had proved.  One sling and a shepherd's bag with five smooth stones.  You see, by using what he knew along with the calm assurance that the battle is the Lord's the giant was defeated!  We can defeat the giants in our lives in the same manner.  Use what we know along with the calm assurance that the battle is the Lord's!


The disciples wanted the same things many of us desire today.  In Luke 17:5 the disciples asked Jesus, "Increase Our faith." They felt if they had more faith they could do what Jesus did.  Have you ever felt that way?  Jesus told them they didn't need a large amount of faith.  A mustard seed size would do!  I wonder if some of them went to check out a mustard seed to get a better understanding of what Jesus was saying?  Take a look a mustard seed.  Its' so small you can barely feel it if it's in your hand.  Now imagine what a mountain looks like.  It's huge!  In man's eyes mustard seek faith could never remove this mountain.  But God backs up His promises to us!


There was a need to feed 5000+ people.  All they had was the lunch of a boy.  This meal consisted of five loaves and two fish.  That wasn't going to go very far.  But Jesus was there!  He's the difference maker!  He blessed the food and began to distribute it.  It not only fed the 5000+ people it also generated twelve baskets full of leftovers!  We serve the God of plenty!  Our God is more than than enough!

There are other little things in Scripture that could be shared, but these were some I wanted to share that had such a great impact.  Without God those things were just things.  With God those things became great things!  You see, God makes the difference. 

What you do for God may seem small and insignificant at the time, but God rejoices in what is right, not necessarily in what is big.  Be faithful in the small opportunities   Begin where you are and do what you can.  Leave the results to God.  Remember, little IS much when God is in it!

Until next time, enjoy the journey!


Friday, February 17, 2012


When I arrived for Bible study and prayer on Wednesday evening I found a stack for papers on my desk in the office at the church.  One of the ladies who had come to help set up the new library at the church had brought in some things she thought I would like and perhaps could use at some point.  My blog for today is one of these items.

This piece was written by an NCO, and submitted to this unknown (to me) publication by Chaplain Doug Sullivan, Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota.

I believe this is excellent and quite self explanatory.

I am a soldier in the army of God, 
The Lord Jesus is my Commanding Officer, 
The Holy Bible is my Code of Conduct;  
Faith, prayer and the Word are my weapons of warfare.

I have been taught by the Holy Spirit, trained by experience,
tried by adversity and tested by fire.
I am a volunteer in His army and I am enlisted for eternity,
I will either retire in His army at the Rapture or die in His army,
But I will not get out, sell out, or be talked out or pushed out!

I am faithful, reliable, capable and dependable.
If God needs me, I am there.
If He needs me in Sunday School to teach children, 
work with the youth, help adults, or just sit and learn,
He can use me because I am there.

No one has to cuddle me, cradle me, or cater to me.
I am committed.  I cannot have my feelings
hurt badly enough to turn me aside, 
I cannot lose enough to cause me to quit.

When God called me into His army, I had nothing.
If I end up with nothing, I will still win!
My God will supply all my need, 
I am more than a conqueror, 
I will always triumph, I can do all things through Christ!

The devil cannot defeat me.  People cannot
disillusion me,
Weather cannot weary me, 
Sickness cannot stop me, 
Battles cannot beat me, 
Money cannot buy me, 
Governments cannot silence me and
Hell cannot handle me!
I am a soldier!  Even death cannot destroy me, 
For when my Commander calls me from this battle field,
He will promote me to captain and then
bring me back to rule this world with Him.

I am a soldier in God's army, and I'm
marching claiming victory!
I will not give up, 
I will not turn around, 
I am a soldier, marching heaven bound, 
Here I stand.
Will you stand with me?

Do you know that...
If you've accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior, 
You've already enlisted.
The question is:  ARE YOU...

...ACTIVE DUTY - serving the Lord faithfully each day on duty 24/7?
...RESERVE STATUS - serving only when called upon or twice a year at Christmas and Easter?
...GUARD STATUS - backing up the active duty group
...AWOL - Absent Without the Lord?   

What is your status with God today?  I encourage you to get on ACTIVE DUTY today!  There's nothing like faithful service to the King of Kings!

Until next time, enjoy the journey!


NOTE:  If this blog is a blessing to you why not share with others?  Tell others about this blog.  Let's get the word out.  Feel free to share it on Twitter, Facebook or send the link out to anyone you think may be encouraged or challenged by the thoughts contained herein.   

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


"I don't have time for that!"  Have you ever uttered those words when asked to do something?  It's easy to make excuses for not doing something we don't want to do.  Granted, life gets busy at times.  Many of us are busy coming and going and doing things on a daily basis.  Yet it's been my experience we can find time to do the things we want to do.  It's the things we don't want to do we don't seem to find the time to do.  Hmmm...isn't that interesting?

Let's look at this for a moment.  There are some facts that remain constant for each of us no matter who we are.  These things don't change.  For each day of life God gives us these variables are the same for each of us.  There are 24 hours in each day.  There are 60 minutes in each hour.  There are 60 seconds in each minute.  These things are constant.

It's what we do with the time we have that makes the difference.  There are some who can sit by and let time pass them by whether they be in the work place, at home or at church.  It's been said there are two types of people - those who are willing to work and those who are willing to let them.  While there's a little humor to that statement, there's a lot of truth to it.  It has been my observation if you want to make certain a certain project gets completed, you don't give that project to the one with the least to do.  You give that project to the busiest person.  They will find a way to get it done!

I often hear others say they don't have time to pray or study the Bible.  They don't have time to gather with God's people for sharing, encouragement and fellowship.  They don't have time to serve God.  They don't have time to check on their brothers and sisters.  Yet they seem to find the time to watch tv, go shopping, take a nap, eat or even enjoy a night out.  While there's certainly nothing wrong with any of these things, my point is we can find time to do what we want to do.  Does anyone else see the irony in that?

Perhaps we should be more honest the next time we are asked to do something.  Instead of responding, "I don't have time", let's say what we really mean, "I just don't want to do that."

Better yet, how about we go to Dr. Jesus and our "want to" fixed?  I think we get too self-absorbed.  Too often we can't see past the end of our nose.  As Christians, we say we love God, yet we only want to serve Him when it's convenient for us.  Is that really love?  Love gives.  We say we love others.  Do we really?  Again, love gives.

If we get our priorities in proper perspective we'll appreciate and enjoy life in a greater capacity.  We'll find time for God and for others.  It won't be that "left over" time either.  It will be be good, quality time.  It will be amazing!

Until next time, let's enjoy the journey together!


Monday, February 13, 2012

Why Blog? Why ME?

When I first began the feel like I should start blogging I resisted the urge. After all, I reasoned, I have two other websites that have blog capabilities that I haven't taken advantage of.  Well, I did when I first set them up.  I was excited about that.  Some of you may have read some of those blogs.  I know you didn't read many because I didn't write many and I didn't write them consistently. You know how some things you start fizzle out in a short period of time?  Come on, you can admit it.  It's just you and me.  That's the way those other blogs were. 

So when I felt God leading me to start a blog, I asked, "Why blog?  Why ME??"  I knew my tack record.  So I didn't do anything about it.  After all I was busy doing what I do. On top of that I was dealing with some health issues.  We can sure come up with some excuses to not do what God is leading us to do, can't we?

By the way, to answer the question - Why blog?  Why ME?  I have no idea!  You was probably expecting some deep theological answer there, huh?  Sorry.  I don't have one.  What I do know is that I've been preaching the last several weeks about our need to obey God and do what He leads us to do even when its not what we would normally do. You know, step out of our comfort zone.  I'm been challenging the church to surrender and commit to God.  Sounds like God's telling me to "put up or shut up".  So, I'm going to obey. 

I do believe God has me doing this for a purpose.  God doesn't do things just to do them.  There's always a plan and a purpose in everything God does.  The same is true for everything He has us do, as well.  Who knows who this blog may reach?  If one person is touched or encouraged by a thought that is shared in this blog the effort is well worth it.  If someone is challenged in their spiritual life and is drawn in to a closer relationship with Jesus it's worth it all. 

I commit this effort to the One who gave His best effort for each of us - Jesus Christ!

Enjoy The Journey!


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Stay Tuned

Stay tuned for upcoming blogs.  I hope to start blogging on a consistent basis within a week or so.  I will cover a wide array of topics.  Some of my topics will be serious, some will be light hearted and some even humorous at times. 

A good deal of my writing will be devoted to Christians.  Being an "outside the box" believer, I am passionate about encouraging others in their walk with the Savior.  This will be reflected in my writing.  These won't be your typical "run of the mill" writings you see all the time.  You see, I'm not your typical "run of the mill" Christian. Some of the things I will say might even raise some eye brows.  But that's okay.  We need to raise some eyebrows these days.  We might even tip over some "sacared cows" along they way.  Who knows?

I encourage you to check back often.  Why not sign up to "follow" my blog.

Let's enjoy the journey together!

In His Grip!