Dear Church, We need….

Holy Spirit we need you to invade.

We need you to invade the church.

We need you to draw us with your strong strength.

We need you to soften that which has become hardened.

We need you to heal hearts.

We need you to strengthen marriages.

We need you to break bondages.

We need to be taught.

We need to remember whose we are.

We need to magnify Jesus.

We need to magnify in prayer.

We need to magnify in our speech.

We need to magnify in opportunities.

We need freedom.

We need your Word to explode into the core of our being.

We need barriers removed.

We need chains broken.

We need honesty.

We need transparency.

We need healing.

We need not desire to just do church.

We need to be Your church, Your body.

We need to bring you glory, praise and honor.

Please begin go draw us with your strong strength.

Right now.

May this time be Yours and Your alone.

Dear Church,

It is the crucible (you should look at that definition and the next) of affliction where our faith, love and hope in Jesus is revealed. It is easier to abandon than commit, leave than stay, judge than love when the crucible of affliction is present in your heart, mind, body and soul. God is a redeemer of people and He often has to take us to the furnace before He takes us through refining.

Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; 

I have tried you in the furnace of affliction.

Isaiah 48:10

So today, for the love of Jesus, commit, stay, love because of your faith, love and hope in Jesus. I know it is hard on some of you right now, but know that God is at work even when you cannot see Him. Trust His heart when you cannot see His hand. Be encourage God ain’t finished!

With Love,

Dan

Don’t Get Distracted.

As you read this only read what starts on the left margin. If it is right margin, don’t read it!!

You are easily distracted.

A wide receiver misses a game winning catch because his mind is diverted to scoring before he catches the ball. He can catch a football all day unless he quits thinking about catching the ball.

You are easily distracted.

“I tried reading my Bible, but my mind drifted away. I don’t even remember what I was reading. I can’t find my place to start back because I don’t know where I stopped.” Ever been there?

You are easily distracted.

“I sat down to send them a letter, but I got busy paying bills and forgot.” Ever been there?

You are easily distracted.

“I was not going to eat the fruit of that tree, but I got distracted and I did.” Eve’s been there.

You are easily distracted.

“I should have been at war, but I stayed home, walked on my roof, saw a beautiful woman, had sex, conceived a baby and had a man killed.” King David has been there.

You are easily distracted.

When you are doing a good work, a God work, the weapon of choice against you is often distraction.

You are easily distracted.

When you are doing Kingdom work, you will be distracted by folly (a foolish act or behavior), something lesser.

You are easily distracted.

“I was follow Jesus so closely and would have died for Him, until I was confronted with death.” Peter’s been there.

You are easily distracted.

When some really great things are happening in your life, watch and pray. You will be tempted with distraction. You might continue the good work, but distraction takes your mind off the ball and you are not at your best.

You are easily distracted.

The things that distract you might be good things, important things, personal things, but they are not the best things, the most important things, or Jesus things.

You are easily distracted.

I have seen people sin, families fail, churches split, friendships end, marriages divorce, children hurt, jobs lost, businesses bankrupt, people suffer, words kill, gossip divide, people die and on, and on, and on.

You are easily distracted.

All because someone got distracted.

You are easily distracted.

Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41 (ESV)

I Don’t Understand

I write this for my own therapy and maybe it will help you too.

The last few days have proven especially tough for many people. Contemplating the tragic loss of a young man has not been easy. It has not been easy for family, friends or mere outsiders. I have come the conclusion that so often I do not understand God. I do not understand His ways. I do not understand how He can take something so tragic and work it for good (Rom. 8:28). Why does an 18 year old boy who loves Jesus and serves Jesus have to exit so soon? How is that better?

Life does not quit. Life never seems to say enough. God will allow more on you than you can bear. He will let life get really hard and sometimes it seems to catch it’s second wind when you are totally exhausted.

So, what now? I have found comfort only in Jesus. We are not as those without hope (1 Thess 4:13). We can trust Jesus! Jesus will be the way we all make it through this tragic moment! Jesus will be the way we don’t fall under the weight of it all! Jesus is sufficiency! Jesus understands!

Pray not for explanation but for revelation. We need to see Jesus more than we need to know why!

Nathan had this verse on his Instagram description and are words we can live by!

But I trust in you, O Lord;

I say, “You are my God.”

My times are in your hands;

deliver me from my enemies

and from those who pursue me.

Ps. 31:14-15

Strong Love

Can we bring ourselves to care for others with great concern and sincere appreciation? Can we offer ourselves up for the good of others? We must see people instead of commodities. Behind each face is a person who is important to God. Our treatment of others is rooted in how Christ treated us. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” (Rom. 5:8, NLT) God’s greatest act of love for us was before we were loveable. God did not wait for us to get cleaned up. He sacrificially came after us. We need to be people who love. We must not just let it be a Christian slogan. The slogans don’t work anymore. It has to come from the heart that has been changed by the heart of God. Strong love is a gift from God that is ours to use. Remember these words from Ephesians 3:17–19

Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. (NLT)

We have made love too small. The voices we have heard all of our life have been from sources of small love. The voices are in our brain and they scream small love. That is why it is so critical to renew the mind. That is why knowing the great expanse of Christ’s love is paramount. We must comprehend the incomprehensible nature of His love. His voice should override the voices of our mind that tell us to limit our love. The voices we have heard and learned from tell us that if we love completely we will get hurt, so we have been trained to limit love. Jesus said, “Love God with everything you are and your neighbor as yourself.” (paraphrase mine). Today, I want you to know you are able to love. You are able to demonstrate sacrificial love that smells good to God. It is a “sweet smelling aroma” when we love like Jesus.

You have probably learned that life is about using others for your own fulfillment. We seem to learn that if we lower the level of morality we will experience greater love and acceptance. We are tempted with sexual immorality and covetousness. We lower the value of others in order to increase our own value in our eyes. These are assaults on our ability to love. You can love the way Christ loves when you listen to His voice, live in His power and obey His Word.

I Just Gotta Say It!

As I sit this morning in a coffee shop that has become my office of late and enjoying my coffee, internet, listening to One Church Tuscaloosa’s playlist on Spotify with my Beats, read my Bible, have multiple color markers, cold water, my iPhone 6+ sits ready for anything while I type this on my MacBook, I began to feel conviction!

WHY?

I don’t need to document more.

American Christians, including me and you, seem weak. We don’t have to go to Egypt, Sudan or India to make an impact, but some do. However, we all do need to step up for Jesus! Step out for Jesus! We need to quit whining because everything is not done our way! We must get back to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and take it everywhere we go! We do a great job of salting salt, but we were called to be the salt of the earth. We seek to make the lit room brighter, but we were called to be light in the darkness. If we don’t change our approach to life and godliness we will lose the next generation. We must rise up! The Body of Christ is an army with unending power. She is a sleeping giant. Evaluate your heart! Stir up your friends! Piss someone off (I probably just did :).