Every Bible Counts

Today I had a great conversation with a new friend from Tenesse who I met here in Uganda. A humble guy, who came to work on a painting project for Watoto. 

As he was planning to come he felt that God impressed him to bring some bibles. He took the bibles wrote the plan of salvation in the front and high lighted the scriptures in each bible. 

One of the days he was working he felt impressed to take the bibles to the work site and when he got there there was a Watoto teacher. He told her about the bibles and she teared up and said if he would give her the bibles she we distribute them. 

THE NEXT DAY she came back to him and told him that she took the bibles to the village and a man gave his life to Jesus after receiving one of them. 

He was so happy, that he heard God, obeyed and a life was changed. Glory to God!  

Every action of obedience makes an eternal difference. Even if it seems small to you it’s big to God, and to whomevers life is changed. 

Gods Heart Beat

 Acts 13:20-22 MSG

 “Up to the time of Samuel the prophet, God provided judges to lead them. But then they asked for a king, and God gave them Saul, son of Kish, out of the tribe of Benjamin. After Saul had ruled forty years, God removed him from office and put King David in his place, with this commendation: ‘I’ve searched the land and found this David, son of Jesse. He’s a man whose heart beats to my heart, a man who will do what I tell him.’ 

Matthew 6:9-13 AMP

Pray, therefore, like this: Our Father Who is in heaven, hallowed (kept holy) be Your name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven (left, remitted, and let go of the debts, and have given up resentment against) our debtors. And lead (bring) us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. 

Note:  the basic definition according to God of having a heart like God, having our heart beat with Gods heart beat is about obedience to God. 


to follow the commands or guidance of to conform to or comply with, to submit to

>David stood out to God because he had a submissive heart and a pliable will. David stood for what God stood for, loved what God loved, because he loved God

>The search:  its interesting to me that God goes on a search to find a man who’s heart beats with his. I wonder today if God begin a search, when His eyes lit upon us would he find our hearts beating with His heart or would He find our hearts in doubt, fear, rebellion, distracted, status quo, mediocrity, or compromising?

>There is no doubt that doing the will of God requires submission on our part, but God has given us the ability to choose. 

>Something to think about:  When we go our own way, and move away from Gods way life is not better. There is a lie out there that if we do things Gods way, if we Aknowlege His will in our lives, if we submit to his authority, our lives will horrible because he’s out to get us.

>It’s like saying the only reason police exist is to give us tickets and make our lives hard. Not seeing the reality that the objective of the police is to protect us and make our communities safe. 

The Challenge:

Romans 7:14-25 MSG

I can anticipate the response that is coming: “I know that all God’s commands are spiritual, but I’m not. Isn’t this also your experience?” Yes. I’m full of myself—after all, I’ve spent a long time in sin’s prison. What I don’t understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise. So if I can’t be trusted to figure out what is best for myself and then do it, it becomes obvious that God’s command is necessary. But I need something more ! For if I know the law but still can’t keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time. It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge. I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question? The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different.

Romans 8:1-2

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh.  For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made us free from the law of sin and Death.

Galatians 2:19-20 MSG

What actually took place is this; I tried keeping rules and working my head off to please God, and it didn’t work.  So I quit being a “law man” so that I could be God’s man.  Christs life showed me how, and enalbled me to do it.  I identified myself completely with him.  Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ.  My ego is no longer central.  It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to imporess God,  Christ lives in me.  The life you see me living is not”mine,” but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.  I am not going to go back on that.

>The Best Life is the God kind of life.  A life submitted to Christ and His will for us.


How do we acquire a heart like Gods?

1.  Pray
            1 Thessalonians 5:17 AMP

            Be unceasing in prayer [praying perseveringly]

            The Lords Prayer is a great guideline of how we should pray.

Worship the father
Submission to His will
Forgiveness and forgiving
Ask for direction
Deliverance/spiritual warfare 
Submitted praise

  2.  Meditate on the word of God

Joshua 1:1-9 MSG

And don’t for a minute let this Book of The Revelation be out of mind. Ponder and meditate on it day and night, making sure you practice everything written in it. Then you’ll get where you’re going; then you’ll succeed. Haven’t I commanded you? Strength! Courage! Don’t be timid; don’t get discouraged. God, your God, is with you every step you take.” 

Psalm 1:1-3 MSG

How well God must like you— you don’t hang out at Sin Saloon, you don’t slink along Dead-End Road, you don’t go to Smart-Mouth College. Instead you thrill to God ’s Word, you chew on Scripture day and night. You’re a tree replanted in Eden, bearing fresh fruit every month, Never dropping a leaf, always in blossom. 

Romans 12:2

Don’t be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may be the proof of what is good, acceptable, and perfect in the will of God. 

3.  Fast

Daniel 9:3 AMP

And I set my face to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplications, with fasting and sackcloth and ashes; 

1 Samuel 7:5, 6 AMP

Samuel said, Gather all Israel to Mizpah and I will pray to the Lord for you. So they gathered at Mizpah and drew water and poured it out before the Lord and fasted on that day and said there, We have sinned against the Lord. And Samuel judged the Israelites at Mizpah. 

Joel 2:15-17 AMP

Blow the trumpet in Zion; set apart a fast [a day of restraint and humility]; call a solemn assembly. Gather the people, sanctify the congregation; assemble the elderly people, gather the children and the nursing infants; let the bridegroom [who is legally exempt from attending] go forth from his chamber and the bride out of her closet. [None is exempt from the humiliation.] Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar; and let them say, Have pity and spare Your people, O Lord, and give not Your heritage to reproach, that the [heathen] nations should rule over them or use a byword against them. Why should they say among the peoples, Where is their God? 


That we as a church will fully develop a heart like Gods

That we will become desperate for the salvation of our family, friends, city, area and world. 

That our nation will turn its heart toward Jesus

Praying, meditating on Gods word, and fasting are all things we should do as individuals, but there are times that God calls us as a church to Fast and pray together. As I prayed about 2014 I really felt impressed to lead the church in a time of Fasting and prayer.

What are you expecting God to do
in your life as an individual through this fast?

What type of fast am I going to commit to?

What would you like for the church to pray with you about during this fast?


Fasting should always be done in conjunction with prayer and bible meditation. 


Coming Soon…blog series on parenting


For the next few days I thought I would blog on parenting. Maybe some things I’ve learned will help you. Here are some topics…

Parenting is a process

Parenting can be problematic

Parenting with purpose

Parenting purposefully is powerful

Parenting requires prayer

Parenting requires promise

Parenting requires the right pace

Parenting requires planning

Parenting requires playing

Parenting requires proficiency

Parenting requires practical communication

Be watching for these hope they help. No expert, just a parent who has great kids. I’m blessed.

Stupid is as Stupid Does

Proverbs 1:4-6 (msg) To teach the inexperienced the ropes and give our young people a grasp on reality. There’s something here also for seasoned men and women, still a thing or two for the experienced to learn-Fresh wisdom to probe and penetrate, the rhymes and reasons of wise men and women.

I’m on vacation, relaxing and enjoying time with my family. I’m having a great time. God is good! Enjoying time with God as well just reading proverbs and wanted to share some thoughts I love that my dad and grandfather taught me as a young man, how important the bible is, and how it’s wisdom can transform and revolutionize our lives.

In this passage that’s what this is saying. These writings are inspired by God and penned by the great king Solomon. What he says is simple. The word of God teaches us how to live, but more than that he reveals the right attitude for growth and development.

No matter if we are young and zealous, beginning to learn about life, thinking we know more than we do, we need to pay attention to the wisdom of God and be teachable.

No matter if we are older, experienced and have faced many issues, there is more for us to learn. More growth and development to be had. Be teachable.

The killer of a persons growth and development, the thing that will stunt it more than any other is the pride and arrogance of thinking we know more than we actually do. I’ve made a commitment to be a life long learner. In my mind that is the key to success. So, let’s be honest about where we are and be open to be taught necessary lessons to achieve Gods purpose.

We don’t know it all, we don’t enough, and the moment we think we do, we’re done.

What are you learning right now?

Uncharted Territory

Remember why the church was established, move beyond our comfort, and let people know what God has done in our lives, and what He can do in their lives.


What’s on Your Mind?

Collisions 3:1-2 (AMP)

If Then you have been raised with Christ [to a new life, thus sharing His resurrection from the dead], aim at and seek the [rich, eternal treasures] that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  And set your minds and keep them set on what is above (the higher things), not on the things that are on the earth.

The bible says in proverbs, as a man thinks in his heart so is he.  We are told many times in the new testament, to put on the mind of Christ.  Romans 12:2, tells us to be transformed by the renewing of our minds, and Jesus said that the greatest commandment was to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and Strength.

This passage in collossians helps us understand how to grow spiritually, and really how to keep from stunting our spiritual growth.  When we accepted Christ, in symbol we died with Him on the cross and rose with him from the dead.  Our old nature, what the apostle Paul calls the “old man” died when we accepted Jesus sacrifice, and understood that He paid the penalty for our sins.  Just like our “old man” died, our “new man”  now lives with him in reserrection.  Meaning we are the personification of the idea expressed in 2 Corinthians 5:17 If any man be in Christ he is a new creation, old things have passed away, and behold all things have become new.

In truth, we at that moment of salvation are regenerate.  When our faith connects with God, he changes us.  However our old nature, sin nature, carnal nature is at war with that spiritual reserrection and we have to remind ourselves daily that old man is dead.  How?  will we struggle with this forever, boredering on a defeated life foreaver?  Not knowing if we are going to make it spiritually.  No.  Not if we do what this passage says. “Set your minds, and keep them set on what is above.  Meaning godly thoughts, a mind that is transformed and progressively changed as a result of thinking on the word of God, and on Gods plan and purpose for them.  We know that we think on things we allow into our lives.  So what is on your mind today?  Worry?  Stress?  Sin?  trouble?  Gossip?  Failure? Past?

It says, “Set.”  Which means establish, found, consistant.  It implies don’t let anything take your thought life off course?  So two things.  1.  Take the time to meditate, think on Biblical, godly, and purposeful things.  2.  Don’t listen to, follow after, fill your mind with other things.  No fear, just faith.  No gossip, just truth.  No worry, just peace.  No Sin, just righteousness.  No failure, just hope.

What’s on your mind?





True Religion

James 1 says, “Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world.”

If we want to be what God has purposed for us, this is how it looks. As we grow in our relationship with Jesus and mature as Christians we become an expression of His love to the marginalized and outcast. Extending his Grace to the lonely and destitute. It is the heart of God to reach out to those in need. In need spiritually, physically, financially, and relationally.

You can have religion, that “attempt at righteousness through ritual and morality”. Or you can have a relationship with Jesus and experience true religion as Jesus expresses Himself and His Spirit through you.

What are some practical ways you see this happening in your life?

The Power of Parenting-The fathering component

This is the second of three blogs on the “Power of Parenting.”  The previous blog was about the different approaches to parenting.  I think its fine that there are a lot of ways to parent, some good, some not so good, but I think if we are purposeful in what we do we will figure it out.  I highly recommend the best parenting manual I know about.  “The Bible.”  No greater insight on parenting or anything else in life for that matter.

In our society we are missing one of the strongest components of effective parenting.  Fathers.  Thank God that there are still a lot of great dads out there, but as a result of high levels of divorce, and pre-marital pregnancy, and just, purely irresponsible men we have an entire generation that is suffering the lack of true fathering in their life.  So This blog is not intended to be a big beat down on dads, but an encouragement on how to be an effective father to your children.

The fathering component:

Ephesians 6:3 (MSG)…Fathers, don’t exasperate your children by coming down hard on them. Take them by the hand and lead them in the way of the Master.

Let me start by saying, for far too long in our society in many areas we have taken the easy way, or quick way out.  We have taken short cuts in our finances and careers, we have hurried through our relationships ending up with mere acquaintances and not deep strong friendships.  We have also taken the quick and easy way out in dealing with our children.  Dads we have the worst time with this.  Here is some advice from the Bible on how to parent effectively.  There are several things a father should do, and several he should not.  First, is to realize its not up to mom to do all the leading and connecting with the kids.  We have often deferred this to our wives.  I think its interesting, that in a lot of places in the bible it refers to the moms role in a kids life but here in this scripture Paul talks about what a good marriage looks like, what Great kids look like and then talks about great parenting and never mentions mom, just refers to Dad.  As if to imply to all the dads out there, to quit shoving the responsibility off on mom to be the all in all in this parenting dynamic.  He gave specific instructions to dads.  He said.  Don’t exasperate your kids, but take them by the hand and lead them.  Here is what that means.

Don’t Exasperate:  to make angry, worsen, infuriate, frustrate, wind up, drive mad.

As men we have the ability to stir up anger in our kids.  This is not to say be easy or passive.  It means don’t bring gas to the fire.  God made us to be answers to the questions our kids have.  He has given us the responsibility to lead them to the solutions to their problems.  We are not supposed to enflame the situation, rather to calm the situation and lead them to right decisions, and choices.  Yes this takes more time and effort, but the results are incredible.

How a dad should relate to their kids.

Be Powerful: Influential, strong, effective, persuasive, commanding, authoritative.

Be a man.  A person who cares, who carries himself as a person whose life counts.  Who lives with meaning, and purpose.  Not a push over or a bully.  Find that place of strength and gentleness.  Relate to them from there.

Be Personal: connected, not distant, not uninvolved.

This is where so many men miss it with their kids.  Even the dads who are in the home and a part of the lives of their children.  At times we as men just hold others at arms length.  Its very important your kids know you are right there with them.  You are not unapproachable, your are personal, and interested in their lives.  I know its funny on the sitcoms for the dad to be macho and uninterested in the wife and kids, and is merely tolerating them day after day.  In real life though, its not funny at all, and it clearly makes a negative mark on the children who lovingly long for the approval and attention of dad, but never seem to get it.

Be Present: Be in the moment:  Come on dads, don’t watch your kids grow up and then say, “what happened to the time?”  But you can remember every movie, or tv show or great sporting event that happened over that same period of time.  Your children are the greatest blessing and responsibility, make sure you stay in the moment and don’t miss it.  You can not get it back.  No matter how bad you want to, you can’t get it back.

Be Paternal: fatherly, caring, kind, affectionate, warm.  This is basically the spirit, or attitude of a father.  This is the way God relates to us.  Its ok men, to be affectionate and warm.  Its not weak to be kind.  It is not awkward to tell your kids you love them.  The lack of fatherly affection can truly confuse and hurt a child.  Sometimes its not WHAT you say.  Sometimes it is what you DON”T say.

Don’t worry about being perfect: be yourself, let your kids see who you are.  Be authentic with your kids.  You can be there hero and not be perfect.  Imperfect is real, and perfect is pretentious.  Your kids don’t need you going through life pretending.  They need you in the real world, dealing with real problems and coming up with real solutions.

Be Predictable: consistent, not all over the place, counted on.  The greatest thing you could do for your kids is to be consistent.  Let your kids know they can count on you.  Not up one day and down the next, but steady, strong, there.  This creates such stability in them.  It gives them a place they can always run to.

Be Presentable: Fit to appear in public, fit to be displayed.  Your kids want to be proud of you, give them reason to.  You don’t need to try to relate to your kids friends on their level, but simply relate to them.  Don’t purposefully embarrass your kids, it may seem funny at the time, but you lose such credibility in their eyes when you do that.  Remember what it was like to be a child or a teenager.

Be Proud: Not ungodly pride or arrogance, but proud to be dad.  You should be proud to be the parent of your children.  Even when they aren’t perfect you are still proud to be their parent.  Let them know you’re proud of them.  My dad would always tell me he was proud of me.  Even when there wasn’t much to be proud of.  That made me want to be better, and do better.

Be Prolific: fruitful, your life counts, means something, be good at something.  Let your kids take pleasure in what you do, or what you are capable of.

Men, lets be men again.  Lets get involved, stay connected, be to our children what God is to us.  DAD.  Romans 8:15, we have not been given the spirit of bondage again to fear, but the spirit of adoption whereby we cry abba (Daddy) Father.

Make it count!

How to Grow Your Church “Paul Style”

Temple of Zeus in Athens at Athens.

Image via Wikipedia

Acts 17:16

The longer Paul waited in Athens for Silas and Timothy, the angrier he got—all those idols! The city was a junkyard of idols.  Last night I was having my study time, and came across this passage of scripture.  I read this whole chapter and realized that Paul was a real strategists.  He may not have proactively thought through his strategy, the Bible doesn’t tell us, it just records what he did.  If you look at what he did you will find an interesting strategy for church growth, church planting, and the spreading of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  It started with him getting mad.

It says, the longer he waited the more angry he became.  He was passionate about the need for religious clarity.  He was angry that these people were serving mere idols when all they needed was to know Jesus, to be informed.  His anger moved him to action.  His action however was not some arbitrary attempt at spiritual exercise that made him feel good about himself but did very little good for the kingdom or the people who so desperately need the truth.  His action was purposed, clear, and effective.  If you are planting a church, leading a church, or trying to grow a church this is a great blog for you.

How to make the church stronger in faith and larger in number.

1.  Get mad (passionate) about the community you are in.

I don’t believe that God always sends people to a specific place, but to a specific purpose.  Sometimes He clearly does send people to a specific place.  Whether he mandates the place or not, one thing is certain.  If you will grow a church in your community, you must be passionate about that community.  Do you know your community?  What are its successes or failures?  What are its accomplishments or conflicts?  What are the needs and demographics.  Be passionate about it and get a revelation of the churches role in that community.  Don’t find yourself answering questions no one is asking.  Know the community and be a solution.

2.  Gather Like minded leaders around you and talk about your vision to bring change or help.

Partner with other church leaders in the community, and your own top level leaders to gather around the same cause.  Sharing the Gospel, helping the community, disseminating the truth.

3.  Emmerse yourself in your community daily.

Teach your team and you yourself get to know the people and heartbeat of your city.  This passage says that paul went out into the streets daily and got in discussions with people who happened along.  Meaning he was friendly, connected, helpful, straightforward.

4.  Build relationships with community leaders and people outside your church.

Through the discussions Paul was having he built relationships with people.  Some people didn’t want to have anything to do with him, but others were interested in what He had to say.  His relationships grew until they invited him into their circle.  Gain influence with others to the degree that they will listen to you.

5.  Research and study your community to the point you can speak intelligently about it and relate to them.

Paul talked to them using their thinking, their philosophers to relate to them and draw them around to his point.  Remember Paul was driven by a passion for their souls, not by a need to be right, or prove anything.

6.  Say what you mean and mean what you say.

Paul did not beat around the bush or try to hide the fact that He was Christian and that was his purpose.  When we are so mysterious about our  agenda and what we are trying to do, it comes across inauthentic and is very off putting.  We are in the community to help, to contribute, to love, but most importantly and primarily to share the Love and Grace of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Don’t sneak up on people, just be who you are.

So I can hear people now saying, what is so important about growing the church , we just need to share the love of Jesus and see what happens.  Well lest you think that paul was  not promoting growth, or being strategic about it, please hear this scripture.  Acts 16:4-5 (MSG) As they traveled from town to town, they presented the simple guidelines the Jerusalem apostles and leaders had come up with.  That turned out to be most helpful.  Day after day the congregations became stronger in faith and larger in size.

God is all about growing the church spiritually and numerically and He is very strategic about it.

Why all the Rules?

Why all the Rules?

I wrote previously that I don’t know why people wouldn’t want to get God’s order in their lives. There are so many obvious benefits. I have a sneaking suspicion though; many people don’t like structure because they don’t like rules. I think at times we view any kind of structure or parameter as legalism. Legalism being the method that many churches have used in the past, and many religious belief systems have used and still use to get people to adhere to the rules of that specific organization.

These are two different things. When Paul told us we could be free, he wasn’t saying you don’t have to honor, respect and submit to authority anymore, as a matter of fact he said that we should not use our freedom as an opportunity to be rebellious.

There are many differences between legalism and God’s order. The first and most important is the approach. Legalism approaches externally. Rules are given out to force us to obey. God’s order approaches internally. God changes our hearts, and when our hearts change it flows out of us and produces external change. We can make rules to force people to do what we want, but in their heart they may hate it and be rebelling even if they obey. However, if God changes a person’s heart, to want to obey, then when they do it’s based on submission not on condemnation. Jesus himself said in a verse so rarely quoted, John 3:17 For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

Another difference between legalism and God’s order is the attitude of structure. When God tells us we need to do something it is never arbitrary. He never has the attitude, although He could, “you do it, because I said, I’m God.” He wants our obedience because He truly knows what’s best for us. Legalism is crafted by man, and has a manipulative or controlling purpose. Its attitude is very much one that says, “Do it because I said so.” God’s attitude is always about helping His kids. He is continually leading us to understand we can trust Him and if we do things His way, our life will be so much better.

The last difference between legalism and God’s order is its aim. God has an aim or purpose for everything He wants, asks, or commands us to do. His purpose is always two fold as far as I can tell. One, He wants our lives to benefit His kingdom. The bible says “He would have all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.” His purpose for His order in our lives first, is to bring Glory to His name and draw people to His kingdom. Secondly, he wants to benefit us as individuals. The word says in John 10:10 “the thief comes to kill, steal, and destroy, but I have come to give you life, and life more abundant. He wants to bless us, and that is exactly what His order does to our lives. It puts our priorities in perspective. It places parameters and guidelines in our lives that serve to develop and grow us up as followers of Christ. Legalism is about the outside, order is about the inside. Legalism is about manipulation and force, order is about empowerment and true freedom from chaos. Legalism is about arbitrary rules, and order is about purpose.

Let me give you a visual example of legalism versus order. What if I had a pear tree in my back yard and it was time for the tree to bare fruit. I can see myself walking out to that tree and thinking, “I’m going to get one of those juicy pears off the tree take it in, wash it off and eat it.” What if as I walk up to the tree, I notice, there’s nothing on it. No pears, not one. Wouldn’t it be ridiculous if I said, “that’s embarrassing; my tree doesn’t have any fruit my neighbors are going to laugh?” Now isn’t that stupid? Why would my neighbors care? Do you know what would be even more ridiculous? If out of my embarrassment, I thought, “I can’t let my neighbors see a tree with no fruit.” Wouldn’t they think I was crazy if they looked out and saw me taping pears to my tree, just so the tree would look like it was doing what it was supposed to? That’s what legalism does, it places rules on the external and demands action so everything looks like it is fulfilling its purpose, but it’s really not. Order would say, cultivate the tree, water it, care for it, nurture it and it will produce fruit, then you don’t have to pretend to have fruit, you don’t have to put fruit on the tree, you just have to watch it grow and enjoy it. Galatians says the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, meekness, goodness, temperance and faith. These things can’t be forced, they can’t be demanded, they can only be borne and they are only borne when things are done in order. So let’s stop “putting it on”, and start baring it out.

Today, don’t fear order, embrace it. Submitting to Gods order places us in the center of His will and plan for our lives. It empowers us to grow and lead others to grow. Let order saturate your heart and produce the fruit of the spirit on the branches of your life.