Do You Hear What I Hear?

My wife and I had the exciting privilege in July of 2015 to visit the House of the Virgin Mary in Izmir, better known to us as ancient Ephesus, Turkey.

Folklore has this house as the place where the Apostle John, following Jesus’ last words on the cross, took Jesus’ mother Mary to escape persecution. Legend places Mary there where she with John lived out their final days.

Outside the house, on the path back to the parking lot, was this wall with a place to place your prayer slip of paper. Many hundreds of thousands of people, perhaps millions over the years, took this opportunity to leave a request in hopes of receiving an answer, a blessing to their innermost prayer.

A couple of thousand years earlier, when Jesus was teaching, in one of his controversial moments, a woman called out of the crowd, “Your mom is so blessed to have you!” (Loosely paraphrased) In the cadence of the moment, Jesus replied, “But even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice.” (Luke 11:28 NLT)

I think we’ve all had them, you know, the idea in our head that we can almost hear. It may have come in the voice of our parents, a teacher, a loved mentor. You may have caught yourself saying, “It was almost audible.”

What if God wants to use that medium to bless you?

Do you hear what I hear?

“But even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice.”

House of the Virgin Mary in Izmir, Turkey
Looking for Answered Prayer

“Woohoo!” It’s All in The Performance

Three separate things came into my world and joined hands just the other day.

1) My good friend’s daughter gave a stellar performance last week on the parallel bars and balance beam in her gymnastics competition.

2) Facebook reminded me of a performance that I joined my daughter in six years ago as she took on Victoria in, “Vancouver Island’s Got Talent.”

3) Another buddy walked into my house and with an ashen face said, “The doctor told me to prepare my will…I’m going to die.” They had found an aneurysm the size of a Loonie.

These three things kaleidoscope‘d’ in my mind and nailed a thought.

My friend’s daughter’s performance was videoed and put on Facebook. His heart leaked out of his mouth as he watched and videoed his accomplished gymnast, “Woohoo!” Three combined letters said it all.

Then as I watched, now six years removed, my pride swelled again as my daughter killed her performance and walked away with the prize.

My buddy, who five days ago had his holidays canceled and his life held over a cliff, had to know if he/we were praying to get God’s approval or if he already had it. When you are told that your brain could have an explosion at any moment, you don’t know whether to “blow or sneeze. ” Both are precarious.

My thought was this, “None of these things had love hanging on performance.” My friend’s expression didn’t leak out because all of a sudden his daughter had finally won his approval. No, her performance came out of a long relationship of love and support. She didn’t need to try and acquire, purchase or earn it; love and approval were already hers. She was free to perform just because of hard work and talent.

I traveled and joined my daughter to try and help out because I loved her and wanted the best for her. I didn’t develop that love pending on the win. There was a lifetime of love invested, but this was just performance time where she brought all her gifts to the table/stage.

My buddy, dangling over death, had to choose. He needed to know that in his ‘world collapsing moment,’ he was loved, and didn’t have to do anything to deserve it. He needed to know that his prayers were heard, not because he had negotiated the right price or formula to purchase an answer, but because his Father in Heaven crazily loved him.

Performances were nailed, and prayers remarkably answered, because of love.

My buddy is in Mexico today because love made a way through miraculous intervention.

So now it’s your turn. Are you performing because you are loved, or are you trying to get love by performance?

Let’s Talk

You Don’t Have To Live; You Get To!

Positioned For The Amazing

When does the Amazing happen?
When does the ‘Break’ occur?
When does your ship come in?
When does the answer come?

All of these questions preclude a moment. Some people are ‘wired’ for moments, for a moment. They are waiting, anticipating, and desiring the resolution, the ‘break,’ the answer. Will it happen, or, when will it happen?
My answer? “I don’t know.”
What I do know is that ancient Joseph, the Dream Coat Joseph, had a dream. He perhaps naively exposed that dream to those he thought cared about him. They did not. For thirteen plus years he suffered and was put down, down and down again. He was about as low and betrayed as he could get when all of a sudden, all that changed.
Joseph in a moment went from the dank, dark, dungeon of depression to prophetic advisor and everything changed. His Amazing happened.
All the way through this ordeal, this process, Joseph wrestled with the God he so trusted. We know this because the scripture tells us that he remained in his dilemma “till the word of the Lord proved him true.” (Psalm 105:19, NIV) You see, Joseph wasn’t the keeper of the moment; only God could and was that keeper and God was Joseph’s keeper.
Will the moment appear? Will your moment appear?
God is your keeper. He is the one who oversees your life. He knows where you live or where you have been thrust. Let his word prove you true. Allow and encourage his character development in you.
If you will do this, and continue to do this, you will be in position for the Amazing.

Let’s Talk

You Don’t Have To Live; You Get To!

Personal Care

So, I read a story today about a guy when he was young, who, almost cavalierly, asked God to fill his life with the power of the Holy Spirit. He accounts that God immediately answered and he felt God’s power. His life went on to be amazing. The events of his life took a positive graph position, up and to the right, and, looking at his life today, that appears to be exactly what happened.

That is not what happened to me. Oh, when I was young, I felt God amazingly fill me, but my life went anywhere but up and to the right. This reading today was an emotional GPS moment of truth versus feelings for me.

I would like to be able to tell the story of success and accomplishment, according to my version of those things, according to the way that story I read today worked, but that is not my story. Rather my story is one of a very Blue Collar, slug it out, and figure it out type of life. The two books I have written, Blue Collar Theology and Path Out – Eliminate the Swirl, tell some of these accounts.

My point?

Does God show favouritism? Do some get the “Blessed or Easy Way,” while others of us get to clean up the mess? Sometimes it seems so. But, it is not so!

God carefully, amazingly, intimately, and personally cares for you. He is working a plan that supports and includes you, even if it isn’t immediately obvious.

He wants to connect with you in such an incredible and purposeful way. All you need to do is what I did: Acknowledge him in all your ways, (this includes your emotions at the moment) Proverbs 3:5&6, and choose truth over feelings.

Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
    and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 40:28-31

Let’s Talk

You Don’t Have To Live; You Get To!

Use the Right Guide

I don’t measure the amount of water I drink in metres or feet, neither do I build my house by quarts or litres. The right quantifier, measuring stick, is imperative. It makes all the difference and gets the job done.

We need to discover our personal, emotional, GPS. Who we measure against is most revealing.

Already in the previous blog, I tried to discuss the futility of comparing ourselves with someone else. It just produces a false reading.

However, if we compare ourselves with the ultimate source, with God, we get an accurate, though maybe uncomfortable reading, every time.

There is a huge advantage here.

An accurate attitudinal positioning makes for a great foundation in life. It provides for admitting our lack humbly, but at the same time to fully embrace our strengths. The playing field is levelled, we are humanly equal, and both the rose-coloured glasses and the dark shades of shame are eliminated. We no longer need to prove ourselves to anyone. We can breathe deeply once more.


Because the one we measure against has demonstrated in abundance His acceptance and love for us regardless of where we fall on the scale. He gave us Christmas.

Maybe this Christmas you can find His peace.

Measure accurately and just ask.

Merry Christmas!

Let’s Talk

You Don’t Have To Live; You Get To!

From Blessings to Hellholes

After living in his car in -10 degrees, $325.00 for a room and shared washrooms looked perfect for my friend in the boom town to which we had just moved.
These first answers in a long line of needs, job, permanent accommodations, and family separation just to name a few quickly felt like a windfall from the heavens. Several people that I met there and lived with could tell this same story.
I found it amazingly intriguing what transpired over the next few months.
These same people managed to find a job, start work. Their bank balance began to increase, their familiarity with their environment and system of the city, made them more comfortable, and they started to feel entitled to something better.
Now, they “Can’t wait to get out of this hellhole.”
How did these accommodations, though simple, change from a blessing to a hellhole?
Granted, they weren’t the newest, they were old. The accommodations weren’t the cleanest; they were old. But it was a far cry from the $700.00 others were paying for a single room, and it definitely was better than the back seat of a car.
Something changed for my buddy. What?
He had the same accommodations and great people living there. (Somewhat biased)
He had the same price.
He had the same people managing.
He was the same person evaluating.
There was only one distinct difference that I could find; my accommodation buddy chose a new attitude. Not good, not great; just new.
As I recall, things eventually worked out for all of us who shared this accommodation story.
If you are going to live through something anyway, why not live through it with a smile in your heart, not just on your face, but in your heart.
You can make that choice.

Let’s Talk

You Don’t Have To; You Get To!