Thursday, November 30, 2017


Corrie Ten Boom was a young Dutch girl taken prisoner by the Germans during World War 2 for hiding Jews in her attic in Holland.  Her story was made famous in a book and movie called 'The Hiding Place.'  She was held captive in a death camp until weeks before the camp was liberated.  Her sister, Betsy, killed by the Nazis in that camp - said of her prison:

"Bless you, prison, for having been in my life.  Bless you."


There's the "IN everything give thanks" Bible verses we're so fond of quoting - but there's a deeper level of Christian devotion we aren't as comfortable with, and yet it's just as important when we come to points in our lives where we need to fully trust God.

Not just "IN" everything give thanks -- but 'always giving thanks to God the Father FOR everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.'  (Ephesians 5:20)

You didn't cause it, God, but even in this I see Your graceful hand.
No, I didn't deserve it.
Yes, I was forever marked by it.
No, it didn't come from You.
But yes, I know You never left me in the middle of it, so even FOR this, I give You praise.

Can you say that about your prison?
Do you see God in it at all?
What matters isn't the circumstance; what matters is how true to God we remain in it.

It may not make a lot of sense at the time, but you are very much in God's hand.

And be blessed.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017


When we talk about trusting God, typically we mean that we'll trust Him this little rough patch we're having right now, if it doesn't take Him too long to figure it out.

'I'll trust you through Thanksgiving, God - but by Christmas time, You need to have this thing fixed if we're going to be friends going forward.'

That isn't the way of trust.  Trusting God means trusting . . . period.

Trust His character - trust His Word - trust His direction - trust His promises - trust His wisdom . . . period.  Not just because you think the valley will soon end - not just because you know one day there's a blessing.  Just trust.

I know that's hard.

Where are you being called to trust and it's brought you nothing but pain so far?
It's brought nothing but difficulty?
Nothing by setback?
Maybe even harder times?

Here's the end game reality:  'God meant it for good.' 

Oh, sorry.  Did you think that meant He would work out everything so YOU were happy and satisfied?  Hmm.  That isn't what that says.  He will work it all out for HIS good - for HIS great purposes.  But know that in the end, that IS your very best.

Which is why the idea of providence is best seen thru the rear view mirror.  God's hand - God's control - God's blessing - is best seen looking back over a life, not forward or even in the moment.

God has your best in mind ... period.

And be blessed.

Saturday, November 18, 2017


I noticed this week that sin has a big appetite.  Don't ask me how I noticed it - I just did.

The more you feed sin, the more it craves and grows.

Sometimes we think if we read our Bibles and pray more - get in a couple of life groups - we'd not have these problems with temptation.

But no.

Being a follower of Christ doesn't exempt you from desires of the flesh.  No matter how good you are - no matter how long you live - you'll be tempted as a Christ-follower - but you can be tempted without sinning.

Because there will be times in the course of your marriage when it just gets a little dull.

There will be moments when you'll look at someone and have a fleeting thought.

There will be occasions when a desire springs up inside you that seems shocking even to you.

When that happens, don't decide you married the wrong person.  Consider it temptation.  Consider it an accusation from the enemy of your soul.

And say 'No.'

And be blessed.

Monday, November 13, 2017


There are a few important words we need to understand when it comes to dealing with temptation.

One is DESIRE.  This is where sin gets its first foothold.  At wrong desires.  Our desires are landing strips for the enemy of our souls - so be very careful and watchful.  Desires aren't always sin, but wrong ones left unchecked, grow.

Then there's DECEPTION.  Wrong desires lead to deceiving yourself that the wrong desire is justified.  We lie to ourselves, which is the most dangerous kind of lie.

DISOBEDIENCE.  Deception ultimately prompts wrong actions, which is disobedience to God.

And finally, DEATH.  There is a consequence for every disobedience.  The Bible says, 'The wages of sin is death.'

These four "D"s are clearly seen in James 1:15 - "DESIRE, when it has conceived (or DECEIVED) gives birth to sin (DISOBEDIENCE), and sin when it is fully grown brings forth DEATH."


Watch out.

And be blessed.

Saturday, November 11, 2017


Moral temptation is all around us.

It's in the office with flirtation from a co-worker.
It's in the restaurant when you're out of town and eating alone.
It's on the internet when you're surfing late at night.
It's on social media.
It's in the church lobby when you brush up against someone who isn't your spouse half-on-accident, half-on-purpose.
It's real and it's waiting to ruin every person reading right now - if we aren't watchful.

Is there anyone who thinks it couldn't happen to you?  Don't answer that.

Because it happened to the wisest man on earth - Solomon.
It happened to the strongest man on earth - Samson.
It happened to the man who had the tenderest hear for God - David.

So let me ask again if there's anybody who thinks it couldn't happen to you.  And again, don't answer that -- except to yourself.

And there, answer it very soberly.

And be blessed.

Thursday, November 2, 2017


The Bible is pretty clear that one of the worst things you can do in marriage is let the sun go down on your wrath.  You'll lay in bed that way and she'll lay in bed this way and a bad root will begin to grow ... fast.

You'll say, 'She doesn't respect me - the way she treats me - she doesn't honor me .  . . '
She'll be doing the same on her side of the bed about him and the root of bitterness will grow and grow and grow and grow in opposite directions in each of their hearts.

The Bible says not to let that happen.  It says to attack that spirit.  Don't go to bed angry.  With all your might, resolve that before you lie down.  Because it will grow while you're sleeping.

That means, in that moment -- if your wife is facing this way and you're facing that way and it's 10:30pm, 11pm, midnight, and she's 99.999% of the blame -- because let's face it, she probably is -- it falls on YOU, sir, to roll over, tap her on the shoulder and say, 'I don't want to go to bed angry.  I need to apologize . . . for my .001%.'

And just for the record ... I wouldn't use numbers.

'I know you're angry about what happened.  I am, too.  But I need to apologize for how I responded earlier - how I handled that whole thing.  I didn't respond in love.  I reacted.  I said some things I didn't mean.  I'm so sorry.  I need to ask forgiveness.'

That doesn't mean the whole thing is solved.  It just means the root of bitterness that wants to lodge itself in the depth of your souls while you sleep just got cut off.

The initiative is on you to be the peacemaker in your home, to fight for your wife's healing, to fight for your family's wholeness, because Jesus initiated and fought for you -- and He didn't even have .001% of the blame.

And be blessed.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017


There are some women who hate the idea of submission in marriage.  Honestly, I believe that's a far easier task than the one God lays on the shoulders of the man.  And truthfully, it's one that I don't know that I even desire because of the enormity of it.

But God put it on us as men and husbands and fathers.

Here it is.

God comes to the woman and says, 'In this relationship I've created and built, you're going to submit to Christ-like leadership.'

And there isn't a woman on the planet who would buck at leadership that is Christ-like.

Then God says to the man, 'And YOU?  You're going to love her the way I love the church.'

So you start drilling down on that.  What does that look like?  How does Christ love the church?  He rescues her, He saves her, He becomes sin for her, He has His body ripped apart for her, He sacrifices everything for her - and here's the kicker:  He does it, not because the bride asked for it.  He initiates it on His own.

The bride never once comes to Jesus saying, 'I need You.  If you get the chance, could You save me.  The bride never comes to Jesus to say, 'I'm going to worship You and serve You every day of my life and love You like no other.'

The church - the bride - couldn't care less about Jesus at that moment.  And yet, He initiates the salvation of His bride.


What does that mean?  It means the mantle on every married man - every father - every single dad - is to initiate.

Initiate in his marriage - initiate in his family - initiate the personal fight for purity and wholeness - initiate the healing - initiate the prayer - initiate the Bible reading - initiate the grace and mercy - initiate the communication -- initiate, initiate, initiate, initiate.

Have a nice day.

And be blessed.