Wednesday, September 27, 2006


David wasn't thinking of being king when he was tending sheep;
he was just doing what God sat before him.

- John Fisher

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


Our guest writer today lives in England. We began exchanging emails when he critiqued my "Garden" article. I returned the favor by critiquing some of his writing. My favorite, inspired by Psalm 23, appears below. It turns out that what I thought of as an excellent poem was really written as a song. It, and other songs and writings, are for sale. If you're interested, or if you just want to read more of his work, click here. An MP3 of the song is available by request. To communicate with Geoff, use the Private Messenger after following the link.


My God protects and cares for me
As a shepherd tends his sheep.
The lake is clear and still for me
And by its banks I sleep.

My God renews my soul for me
And guides my wayward feet.
His name's a shining light for me,
His love for me's complete.

My God is with me in the vale
As death's dark shadows grow.
And as the evening light turns pale,
The more his strength I know.

My God prepares a meal for me,
Invites my foes to sup.
His blessings pour like oil on me,
His love spills from my cup.

My God will watch me evermore,
His care will never cease.
He'll call to me at heaven's door:
'Come in and share my Peace!'

Photo (c),, Daniela Haussmann,
made available at flickr Creative Commons 2.0

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

You will be blessed if
you obey the commands of the Lord your God . . .

You will receive a curse if
you reject the commands of the Lord your God

and turn from his way by worshiping foreign gods.

Deut 11:27-28 NLT

Friday, September 15, 2006


The following is a creative piece I wrote for a contest using the topic, "Garden." See if you recognize the characters. ~~~~

Dearest Evie, where are you? What is that you have in your hand? Yes, it's pretty. Please don't eat it. Don't even think about how it tastes! Who told you it will make you wise?

Can't I talk you out of this? You've never gone against me before. Or against our Awesome Friend who walks with us in the cool of the evening. Remember that I told you He created this garden and all that is in it? As I have told you before, He put us in charge of everything and told us we could eat from all the trees except this one. If you are hungry for something new, why don't we pick fruit from that other tree, the one called Life?

I fear things will never be the same if you eat this forbidden fruit. Disobeying will change you. We will be separated in some way, living together, yet apart. I cannot bear that.

If you are determined to eat, Dear One, then I must eat, too, so that whatever happens, we experience it together.

. . . Oh, Evie, what have we done?

Genesis 3:6 & 7

Photo by Magalie L'Abbe flickerCC

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


"He that is jealous is not in love."

--St. Augustine


Friday, September 08, 2006

What a person desires is unfailing love.

Proverbs 19:22A TNIV


My last several articles have been about the love of God, both as it flows to us and through us to others. It was my intention to do a follow up article with an illustration. For some time I pondered how to illustrate the love of God. Nothing seemed suitable. Earlier I used a photo of Niagara Falls when I wrote about God's power. But what picture can accurately show God's love?


Saturday I attended the funeral of Walker Best, a young man of numerous accomplishments. In high school he won many awards, two of which were valedictorian and Best All Around.” At A&M he continued his stellar academic performance as an honors student in biology. Walker’'s dream was to be a doctor and he had been invited to interview at 5 medical schools. He lacked only 6 hours to graduate in December and will be awarded his BS in Biology by A&M posthumously.

Yet what people most remember about him was his ability to love others. Over 1200 people attended his funeral. Several publicly shared memories of Walker, many others shared privately. Few talked about how smart he was but rather his joyful commitment to Christ, his radiant smile, his character, his caring hugs, his nonjudgmental nature. Person after person spoke of his kindness, his loyal friendship, and his ability to put others before himself.


Walker's philosophy was simple: Love God and love others. Found on his computer was also this injunction: "Love much, hate little."A slide show featured photos of family and friends, some from his personal computer. On the corner of several photos he had written some of his favorite scriptures, including Romans 12:40-43.

In view of the testimony of so many, it seems fitting to use Walker'’s photo to illustrate the love of God.


August 22, 1983 - August 26, 2006

A life well lived
to the glory of God

Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.
Honor one another above yourselves.
Never be lacking in zeal,
but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
Share with God's people who are in need.
Practice hospitality

Roms 12:10-13

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


Further down the page (click here) two kinds of love were discussed: Agapao (Do you choose to love me?) and phileo ( I love you personally and affectionately.) In another article, I gave excerpts of the definition for Agapao from the Vines dictionary. To further help us understand biblical love, below (appearing in italics) is a definition taken from Vines of Phileo.


Phileo is distinguished from agapao in this, that phileo represents tender affection. The two words are both used for the love of the Father for the Son for the believer, and. of Christ's love for a certain disciple. The two verbs are never used indiscriminately in the same passage; if each is used with reference to the same objects, as in the examples just mentioned, each word retains its distinctive and essential character.

Phileo is never used in a command to men to love God, agapao is used instead. The distinction between the two verbs finds a conspicuous instance in the narrative of John 21:15-17. The context indicates that agapao in the first two questions suggests the love that values and esteems. It is an unselfish love, ready to serve. The use of phileo in Peter's answers and the Lord's third question, conveys the thought of cherishing the object above all else, of manifesting an affection characterized by constancy, from the motive of the highest veneration.

Strong's Concordance says that phileo is to be a friend to, to be fond of an individual or an object, to have affection that denotes personal attachment, sentiment, feeling. Agapao is wider, requiring a deliberate choice as a matter of principle, duty and propriety. The two are related, phileo being chiefly of the heart and agapao of the head.


The crux of the matter is this: the love God requires from us is an earnest concern and interest in the well-being of another. This concern should motivate appropriate and beneficial action.