Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Sugarland, TX 1-06


His love is designed to overwhelm all things, especially fear,
shame and low self-esteem.

He does not keep a record of our sins or failings.
He has mercy that can never be properly understood
or articulated, just experienced.
And the only way we can explain mercy is by being merciful ourselves.

Jesus the Redeemer gives us value in the eyes of the Father.
He sees and he speaks to our potential.
He both protects us and releases us to fulfill all
that he wants us to see
and to know about ourselves.
He has a dream about you and everything in his heart is to train you,
develop you and bring you to the place
where you can live out that dream.

The good news is you are loved outrageously.
It doesn't matter what you do or don't do. That's irrelevant.
God doesn't love you based on how well you are doing.
He loves you because he is love.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


What's on my mind is what I love.

Friday, August 25, 2006


"God loves you right where you are
but he doesn't want to leave you there."

--Max Lucado


Thursday, August 24, 2006

Excerpt from Vine's Dictionary


The characteristic word of Christianity, [agapao] can be known only from the actions it prompts. God'’s love is seen in the gift of his Son...But obviously this is not the love of complacency, or affection, that is, it was not drawn out by any excellency in its objects...It was an exercise of the divine will in deliberate choice, made without assignable cause save that which lies in the nature of God Himself.

...In respect of agapao as used of God, it expresses the deep and constant love and interest of a perfect Being towards entirely unworthy objects, producing and fostering a reverential love in them towards the Giver, and a practical love towards those who are partakers of the same, and a desire to help others to seek the Giver.


Love had its perfect expression among men in the Lord Jesus Christ...Christian love is the fruit of his spirit in the Christian.

Christian love has God for its primary object, and expresses itself first of all in implicit obedience to his commandments...Self will, that is self-pleasing, is the negation of love to God.

Christian love, whether exercised toward the brethren, or toward men generally, is not an impulse from the feelings, it does not always run with the natural inclinations, nor does it spend itself only upon those for whom some affinity is discovered. Love seeks the welfare of all and works no ill to seeks opportunity to do good to all men and especially toward them that are of the household of the faith.


Sunday, August 20, 2006

John 21:15-17

After they had eaten, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these others do?" "Yes, Lord," he answered, "you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Take care of my lambs."

A second time Jesus said to him, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" "Yes, Lord," he answered, "you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Take care of my sheep."

A third time Jesus said, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" Peter became sad because Jesus asked him the third time, "Do you love me?" and so he said to him, "Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you!" Jesus said to him, "Take care of my sheep." Good News Bible


One explanation for the three questions is that Peter’s answers brought redemption to his three times of denial. But is there more going on here? Richard Trench, author of New Testament Synonyms, thinks so. He emphasizes that the two different meanings for the word love used in this passage are a reflection of the dynamics of the relationship between Peter and Jesus. In the first question, the Greek word for love is agapao. (As in, "Do you choose to love me?") When Simon answers, however, he uses the Greek word philo (As in "I love you personally and affectionately.")


In his second question Jesus again used agapao. According to Trench, the word used in the first two questions suggests judgment and deliberate choice; the word Peter used in his answers, and the one Jesus used in his final question speaks more of attachment and personal affection. Trench reasons that agapao on the lips of the Lord seems to Peter at this moment too cold a word, as though his Lord were keeping him at a distance, or at least not inviting him to draw near, as he passionately yearned to do. For this reason, Peter substitutes his own stronger “I love” (philo) in his answers. When Jesus questions a third time if Peter loves him, he uses Peter’s word, the word for love that describes personal attachment and affection.


Understanding the difference in the meaning of the two words brings a deeper dimension to the dialogue and, therefore, to the relationship between Jesus and Peter. And by inference, to other believers, who can be assured that their Lord values not only choice but passionate affection as well.


Thursday, August 17, 2006


Previously, I mentioned visiting Liberty Revival Church, aka LRC, in Houston, TX. (The address and a photo of their sanctuary is down the page a bit.) It is a unique church without pews, without walls, on the cutting edge of technology, founded 19 years ago by Ernie and Lyn Fitzpatrick. On their website at LRC is described as progressive, yet traditional in values.


You don't have to live in Houston to profit from Ernie and Lyn's expertise. If you're a woman, you will be incredibly blessed, and possibly transformed, by reading Lyn's meditations. Her latest one details how she went from "blah" to blessed. Here's an excerpt.

Recently, I went through a period of feeling like God was a long way off . . . I've walked with him long enough to know it'’s not a forever thing, but it really stinks while you're in it. I was lonely, directionless, and generally blah. I had run down the spiritual checklist of what to do when you find yourself in the desert: keep praying, keep reading your Bible, confess all your sins, forgive where needed, press in, persevere, etc., etc. Life was still very dry, so I ditched the checklist. It didn't seem to be getting me anywhere, so I went back to blah. You know you're a mess when every other sentence is, “Whatever.”

That's the blah part. The blessed part comes through a revelation of God's love involving a sunset-colored dog named Lady. Find this devotional and others on her beautiful website at or click here. Lyn's transparency and her spiritual sensitivity are evident in all her articles.


Ernie, a former businessman, has a heart to help people prosper in the business world by embracing Kingdom principles in business and personal spheres. He blogs on current events, politics and finance at click here. Ernie also is the author of three e-books available on the church website, as well as,,,, and


Wednesday, August 09, 2006

What you see above is a Sunday morning service at Liberty Revival Church in Houston, Texas, located near Northwest Mall at 16200 State Highway 249. My family visited there recently and when the music started, many in the congregation went forward to stand in front of the praise team so they could take a more active part in the worship. Without making a conscious decision or speaking to anyone else, I found myself up front, too. I didn't want to miss out on anything. And it was really good.


Sometime later, I looked down and was surprised to see my 5 year old grandson standing to my left, his face aglow, clapping to the music.

Praise music isn't new to him. His mom plays it in the car and he sings along. And over a year ago, he sung "Jesus, my Loooord" to me on the phone and told me that Jesus is his Lord, even though no one has formally led him in that confession. At our house he asks me to put on the "Jesus music" and he plays it as loud as he can. Then he runs to his Papa to share his excitement. Of course, we think he is special and I'm proud to show him off in this article. Jesus thinks he's pretty special, too. He loves him deeply in a personal way, as He does each of us. But there's something more here I want to say: children are experiencing God today in a way that most of us have never seen.

Jeris J. Cribbs in the August 2006 issue of The Voice of the Prophetic magazine writes that we are increasingly seeing God move in children today in " . . . a Joel 2, Acts 2 demonstration." There are three articles in the magazine about God moving on children. Steve Shultz has one called Out of the Mouth of Babes, in which he tells a true story about God using children to save an American Soldier.


And then there's Akiane, an 11 year old painter, whose parents were atheist before Jesus began visiting her when she was four years old. Her most compelling painting, in my opinion, was done when she was 8 and is called Prince of Peace. She has been featured in many magazines and newspapers and has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show.

Why not check out her website and see which of her paintings is your favorite? Click here.


Tuesday, August 08, 2006


"Prayer is greater than the problem."

--Joyce Meyer


Sunday, August 06, 2006


ISAIAH 59:19

When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him.

In Old Testament times a standard was considered a token of protection and fidelity. Although I have loved this scripture for years, and often turned to it when feeling overwhelmed, I appreciate it even more after reading this definition of standard from Unger's Dictionary:

"God's lifting or setting up a standard implies a peculiar presence, protection, and aid in leading and directing his people in the execution of His righteous will and giving them comfort and peace in His service."

Our covenant with the Lord positions us under this powerful standard.


To illustrate this scripture to God's church today, I have chosen to use the Christian flag. It was conceived over 100 years ago at Brighton Chapel, Coney Island, New York by Charles C. Overton.

The white on the flag represents purity and peace. The blue stands for faithfulness, truth, and sincerity. Red, the color of sacrifice, brings to mind the blood shed by Christ on Calvary, represented by the cross.


Thursday, August 03, 2006

If we keep . . . going through the trials
that are in our lives by faith,
eventually the blessings of God overtake us.

--Chuck Pierce