Monday, August 31, 2009


There could not be a more unlikely hero than Samson. He not only married a woman who was not an Israelite--he married someone who was from the enemy Philistine nation. He deceived his parents by giving them honey taken from a dead carcass. He murdered thirty men just to payoff a gambling debt. He exercised revenge by burning Philistine crops. He slept with a prostitute. And that's just the stuff that we know about. Yet, in spite of all that Samson did wrong, God used him in a mighty way. His secret? It's a lot more than just his hair. Notice these five verses:
  • "...the Spirit of the Lord began to take hold of him" (Judges 13:25).
  • "At that moment the Spirit of the Lord powerfully took control of him.." (Judges 14:6).
  • "Then the Spirit of the Lord powerfully took control of him" (Judges 14:6).
  • "Then the Spirit of the Lord powerfully took control of him" (Judges 14:19).
  • "But the Spirit of the Lord powerfully took control of Samson..." (Judges 15:14).
May the Spirit of the Lord take hold of me as well...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Psalm 96

SING A NEW SONG TO THE LORD! God is the Creator and He has placed within each of us the God-like tendency to create. I believe that he loves for us to allow the prayers and passions of our heart to be expelled from our lungs as a melodic act of worship.

EACH DAY PROCLAIM THE GOOD NEWS THAT HE SAVES. Our great purpose on this planet is to share the goodnews that, "He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him" (2 Corinthians 5:21). How many will we pass by today who are dying without the Hope that is Christ? God loves for us to share His salvation message.

PUBLISH HIS GLORIOUS DEEDS AMONG THE NATIONS. Our God is a great God and his deeds should be proclaimed among the nations. What has God done? Tell it! Declare it! Publish it! Brag on God!

BRING YOUR OFFERING AND COME TO WORSHIP HIM. I was looking for a gift for my wife yesterday. I know what she likes and I know what she doesn't like. With great thought and creativity I selected a gift full of meaning that will communicate my heart. May I give as much thought to the gifts that I bring my Father each day.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Quiet Time: August 17, 2009

Here is what the Father is saying to me today:

"Get ready! Today the Lord will give you victory over Sisera, for the Lord is marching ahead of you" (Judges 4:14). This is a powerful promise of victory that I hold dear today. The Lord is marching ahead of me and victory is certain! No fear! It is of no coincidence that this promise is given to Barak by Deborah. I also have a "Deborah" who is speaking victory into my life as well.

"Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to have all of you, to sift you like wheat. But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen and build up your brothers" (Luke 22:31-32). Yep, I know what this feels like! Notice that Jesus has no doubts that Peter will both fail and then repent of his failure. Jesus' prayer is that Simon's faith in God would not fail. Peter's failure and subsequent repentence will allow him to strengthen the brothers. God indeed causes all things to work together for the good for those who love Him.

"Happy are those whom you discipline, Lord, and those whom you teach from your law. You give them relief from troubled times..." (Psalm 94:12-13). It's almost absurd. How can one who is receiving discipline be happy? God is not like us at all! And guess what? Today I am truly happy!

God drew me into prayer this morning with one of my favorite prayers--the prayer of love. This is where I get to lie down on the floor and just allow the Father to pour his love over me and into me. I try to empty myself of any thoughts except the thought of receiving God's love and loving Him back.

My second season of prayer was a prayer asking for the infilling of the Holy Spirit. Finally, I was given a prayer of meditation--considering all that God is doing in my life and identifying the ways that Satan would attack and destroy me.

"Father, as always, my life is yours. It comes from you and sustained through you. Allow me Father the opportunity today to build up my brothers. I believe your promises and I await your deliverance. Love me Father! I love you back! Fill me with your Holy Spirit that I might be supernaturally empowered for this day! You are enough!"

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Practice! Practice! Practice!

I had a great time this afternoon with my son Jaren. He has twice failed the driving portion of driver's license exam. I rode with him over to Greeley and spent nearly an hour driving around this afternoon. He is a great driver but there are some difficult situations to navigate in downtown Greeley. It's pretty easy to turn into the wrong lane. He made a few mistakes but before long he was driving flawlessly. I think that he is now ready to go try the exam one more time. I'm not sure when that will be. He will have to call and get on the list. It could be next week or the week after. We had fun talking about all of the great things that he could do and experience once he has his license. I'm proud of him. He is a great young man!

Of course, his driving record is a great metaphor for life. It often takes us a while to learn how to navigate around the tricky portions of road that we travel. Like driving, practice makes perfect!

Quiet Time: August 16, 2009

I find myself in a season of my life when I am needing to hear from God more than ever. I have deeply offended a person who means a great deal to me. My time with the Father this morning was centered on this person, my choices--both good and bad, and the steps forward that I should be taking.

From Judges I read, "For the Lord took pity on his people, who were burdened by oppression and suffering" (Judges 2:18). Simply put, God is a God who shows mercy to those who are broken. I am encouraged that my God does not throw us away but that he embraces us in our weakness and sorrow.

My prayer began this morning with a prayer for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. I have asked that God would remove anything that is offensive to Him and that I would be made holy by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit will guide me into all truth and will also convict me of all faults. The Spirit will reveal to me each step that I am to take. May I today be saturated with the Holy Spirit.

Luke's Gospel reveals the story of when Jesus sent his disciples into Jerusalem to prepare for the Passover. They are told to follow the man with a pitcher of water and that, "He will take you upstairs to a large room that is alread set up" (Luke 22:12). I am encouraged that God already has a plan for me. I simply need to follow His direction to the room that is already set up.

My second prayer is the prayer of petition--praying for myself. I am asking God to bless me: Body, Labor, Emotions, Social Relationships, and Spiritual growth.

God gave me this promise from Psalm 92: "But the godly will flourish like palm trees and grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon. For they are transplanted into the Lord's own house. They flourish in the courts of our God. Even in old age they will still produce fruit; they will remain vital and green" (Psalm 92:12-14). It's always encouraging to know that God is not through with me. He will cause me to flourish, to produce fruit, and to remain vital. And though I am not "Godly" in my actions--I stand declared "Godly" through the actions of Christ on the cross.

My third prayer is the prayer of intercession and, of course, I spent the entire time praying for the person that I have offended. I have a large rock in my office that represents the judgement that I might be tempted to throw at myself or others. I carried that rock around with me this morning as I prayed and I wept for my friend. I prayed that I might feel their pain and that I might be able to pray for their healing through the passion of that pain.

I finished my time with the Father with a time of thanksgiving. I am thanking God for the pain and I am thanking God for the restoration that will occur. I am thanking God for His promises and I am thanking God for his love.

"It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to the Most High. It is good to proclaim your unfailing love in the morning, your faithfulness in the evening" (Psalm 92:1-2).

Friday, August 14, 2009

Psalm 91

Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

This I declare of the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I am trusting him. For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from the fatal plague. He will shield you with his wings. he will shelter you with his feathers. his faithful promises are your armor and protection.

Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor fear the dangers of the day, nor dread the plague that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday. Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you. But you will see it with your eyes; you will see how the wicked are punished. If you make the Lord your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter, no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your dwelling. For he orders his angels to protect you wherever you go. They will hold you with their hands to keep you from striking your foot on a stone. You will trample down lions and poisonous snakes; you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!

The Lord says, "I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue them and honor them. I will satisfy them with a long life and give them my salvation."

Psalm 91 (NLT)

Friday, August 07, 2009

Still Growing...

As I walked along the beach this morning with my Bible open and the warm waves washing over my feet, I was one more time reminded of the fact that I am still growing. I have a system of beads that I use to draw me into conversations with the Father. This morning, the green bead made it's appearance for the second time this week. I wrote about growth on Monday and I will continue my thoughts on growth today.

Not only is people-pleasing a temptation that I must constantly resist, I find that I am also drawn to the idea of being "superman". These two are closely related--I mean how can you reject superman? If I can just do everything perfectly, then no one will ever judge me! The problem with trying to be superman is that if forces me into the tyranny trying to be something that I am not and of course constantly failing to meet the mark. God gave me Psalm 89:2 today as a word of promise. In this Psalm Ethan the Ezrahite prays, "Your unfailing love will last forever. Your faithfulness is as enduring as the heavens." God is faithful! I fail! God's love is unfailing! My love fails! God is perfect--I am not! God is not counting on me to get it right--I suspect that he already knows that I will mess it up. Even in my failure though, He will show himself faithful! He is faithful!

This morning on the beach I watched for maybe thirty minutes as some kind of small shelled critters would come out of the sand as the water washed over them, only to retreat back into the sand when the water receded. I'm one of those creatures--constantly advancing and retreating. I embrace the water of God's faithfulness only to retreat back into the sand of my fear. I repeat the cycle over and over again. For me to be superman is to deny God's ability to be faithful--to retreat into the sand. Regardless of my retreat--the water will return. God is faithful! May I grow today to simply trust Father's ability to faithful--to me and through me.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Air 1 - NEEDTOBREATHE "Washed By The Water" LIVE

This is another one of those songs that could be from the soundtrack of my life. I am truly washed by the water...

Monday, August 03, 2009


Those of you who know me well know that I am on a growth journey. I am continually confronting and resisting the compulsion to settle for "Dave" when God has called and freed me to be "David". Dave symbolizes all of the performance enhancing behaviors resulting from an addiction to religion. David is free to live, free to laugh, and free to dance!

I have come to understand that there are four primary manifestations of feudal thinking that exist within my mind. I tend to default to one or more of these four ways of thinking. I'll address all of them in time but for today let me speak of the first one and perhaps the most powerful of the four. I am very much recovering from an addiction to approval. I have lived most of my life craving the approval of those around me and consequently often prostituting my freedom in order to gain approval. I have felt good about myself only when others have felt good about me. Thus I have lived at the whim of others. The price of this approval addiction has been the denial of my own worth and being. Something clicked within me and I got it years ago in high school. I perform--people applaud--I feel good. The oppositie is equally true: I fail--people boo--I feel bad. And so...much of my life has been wasted performing--trying to earn applause. I can equate it to sports. I loved to play baseball my entire life and yet, at least in high school, I noticed that hardly anyone came to baseball games. Basketball, however, was packed with fans. So what did I do? I played basketball! I'm learning to walk away from the gym and back onto the baseball field. Who cares if nobody is watching?--I simply love to play the game. Surprisingly consistent (as He always is), God has given me a growth prayer today. As I am praying to grow, I have already today had the opportunity to choose between basketball and baseball, between "David" and "Dave". And though I have peered inside the windows of the gym, and for at least a moment, lusted for the roar of the crowd--I have in the end (at least for now with the help of a dear friend) chosen to return to the field of dreams and to allow my heart to dance.

There is a song by Skillet that expresses the emotion of my heart. You can hear the song and watch the lyrics here. You can see the actual music video here.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

The Sin of Wanting More...

Sometimes the message is found in what is not said...

A good church-goer asks Jesus a very important question: "What do I have to do to go to heaven?" Jesus answers, "Keep the commandments". And then he lists four of the commandments to which the man replies, "I have done all of this ever since I was a little boy". Jesus then says, "Great! Then you just need to do one more thing--go and give all your stuff away to the poor and then you can come and follow me". The man then walks away sadly because he has a lot of stuff. So what's missing?

The four commands that Jesus lists are #'s 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9. He leaves out the first four that deal with our relationship with God and he leaves out #10 which has to do with "wanting". The first four commands and the last command are related. When we are rightly related to God--we no longer need "stuff". We no longer need to need stuff.

May I learn to be satisfied with the blessing of the day that God has already provided...without wanting more...

Saturday, August 01, 2009

I am Blessed!

I just can't tell you how blessed I am to be in Florida this morning! I woke up at 6:30 (4:30 Colorado time) and I couldn't hardly wait to get up and to get outside. I walked down to the beach (about a block) and I had a wonderful time of talking with the Father. The sand is white and there are many shells. The water is warm and feels great washing over my feet.

Psalm 86:4 records a prayer of David, "Give me happiness, O Lord, for my life depends on you". Our Christian culture does really approve of praying for happiness and yet I am very confident that the heart of our Father is to bless us. As I walked along the beach I considered what I would like to experience over the next nine days. I want to be recharged, revived, and released! I want to return home in nine days with a new vision of what my life is to be and what I am to pursue both as a pastor and and as a person.

God gave me the silver bead this morning and so the focus of my prayer was the prayer of blessing. B-ody: Revive me--bring me back to life again. Let me rest and relax and fully recharge. L-abor: Give me new vision for what the next year and for what the next few months are all about. Give me a passion to do what matters. E-motions: May I continue to be healed emotionally--that I would feel and experience all of life without regret. S-piritual growth: Teach me something new about who you are. Heal me spiritually and release me from the religious tyranny of the past. S-ocial relationships: Bless my friendships and help me bless those who bless me. Give me the courage to pursue relationships without fear.