• A Message to the People of the Unsurprisable God

    In heaven there is no Situation Room, there is no Disaster Recovery Plan, and no one is selling insurance! Do you know why? Because God is Unsurprisable! Page after page in the scriptures we are reminded that nothing takes The Creator by surprise.

    So then, in the light of that truth, how do we believers (those who call themselves by the name of this Unsurprisable God) handle international crises like the one we're facing now?

  • A Renegade's Reformation


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    What is Reformation Day? Who was Martin Luther? What does any of it have to do with us today?

    I asked these questions when the 500th anniversary of Reformation Day rolled around. I know I was taught something about the Reformation in history class at school. The story seemed long and overly complex as it dove into the messy history of the church, religion, and politics so I tuned it out. So, what did Martin Luther do that was so important to us?

    The key to the Reformation movement was the Bible.

  • A Tender Heart

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    Is your heart tender? Or do you guard it well with lots of barriers to keep it from being hurt? Jesus had a tender heart. He was full of compassion and love for the crowds that gathered around Him. When He was grieving for His cousin John’s death, He did go to a desolate place alone to grieve, but when the crowds came, He did not send them away. He knew they were like sheep without a shepherd, hurting, broken, and yes, even hungry.  His tender heart, sore from grieving John’s death, was still willing to care for others who needed His compassionate and healing hand. There was no guarding of His heart. He let it be tender and vulnerable, even to the point of allowing His own people to reject Him, spit on Him, hand Him over to be crucified.  He felt it all and it must have been so very painful.

     All of us, at one time or another, will face grief and sorrow in our lives.  We will mourn and be sad, but we must not stay there.  So often we want to make it so we never have to feel that kind of pain again, and we build walls in our heart to guardus frommore hurt.  But sadly we only end up isolating ourselves, as our hearts become hard and impenetrable. People around us who need our true, caring love don’t receive it because we don’t want to let them in all the way. We are guarding our hearts, not letting them be tender toward those who need our compassion.  Fear controls us rather than letting Jesus love people through our tender, vulnerable hearts.

  • Are You In A Season of Molting?

    Webster’s defines “molt” as the “casting off or shedding of feathers, skin, or the like, in the process of renewal or growth.” I see it first-hand as my chickens go through a molt in the early Fall. For a few days, they lose piles of feathers, then they are almost naked for a few days. They look horrible and miserable. However, when the whole process is finished, they look young and beautiful again with clean, strong, new feathers which will keep them well-insulated through cold winter months.

    This year, as I watched my chickens go through the molting process, I saw it as a picture of my own life in Christ lately. The Lord seems to be ridding me of my old ways of dealing with life that are not helpful for my faith in Him. My “old feathers” need shedding to allow the new, healthy, strong ones to replace them.

  • Authority of the Believer

    As we look at our identity as The Children of God it’s really important to understand our authority and to be able to exercise it. Sharon Gakin wrote a great article explaining her experience exercising her spiritual authority over demons (see below). 
    Jesus encountered demons, and so will we. They are active all over the world, but we don’t have to fear them; Jesus gave us authority over them: Mark 16:17 "And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues;
    But we must each have our own authority from Christ. Acts 19 tells the story of the Sons of Sceva who tried to cast out demons “in the name of Jesus whom Paul teaches about”. That didn’t turn out very well for them. We are saved directly by Christ, we are individually baptized into and by the Holy Spirit of God. We have a direct link, a relationship with God Himself. We also each have an identification and an authority directly from Jesus Christ. 
    If you knocked on a door saying “Police! Open up!” you must have the identification that goes along with that claim. When the occupant asks for identification, it’s no good if your answer is, “well, I know a cop.” No, if you are a believer your authority identification comes to you directly from Jesus Christ, your Messiah. There is no demon that can stand against that name and that authority.
    Thanks Sharon for sharing your experience with us!
    Authority of the Believer - by Sharon Gakin
    Authority1b1Understanding the gift and use of the authority of the believer came very late in my Christian walk. No sermons were preached, no Bible studies done, and no discussions ever came up. Somehow I sensed it had something to do with power over Satan but I wanted nothing to do with Satan. I knew he worked in our lives but I figured as long as I avoided evil, I was safe.
    Wrong. That first sermon on authority opened my eyes to the power, necessity, and ease of its use. The battle before time even began centered on authority: who is in charge? God or Satan. Of course Satan lost that battle but retained an earthly domain where he could work for a short time.
    That hardly seems fair to us weak humans, but Christ did not leave us defenseless. First, He limited Satan and his cohorts to work ONLY by permission. If God draws a boundary, he cannot cross it. The problem comes when we fail to recognize the permission we’ve granted by default through our ignorance, apathy or sin. 
    As joint heirs with Christ,  we receive what He has: authority over heaven and earth. The disciples received this authority early on (Luke 10: 17, 19; Mk 16:17; Luke 10), therefore as disciples, we can receive this also. 
  • Being Still

    There are certain cycles of behavior in my life that I am continually repeating. The biggest one is trying to control my time. The world is screaming about efficiency and productivity. My human need to control everything in my world grabs onto it.

    It starts with one little thing. First, it’s a simple plan for the day. That plan then begins to grow, and I turn it into a to-do list. That to-do list turns into a schedule so I can make sure I get everything done on time. I look around, and I see more things I am not getting around to that I wish I could, and so I add to my plate until it’s overflowing. Before I know it, I’m staring at a day without enough time in it, a pile of things I can’t get to, and I’m living in a stressed and frazzled state of hurry and rush and pressure. My failed plan tells me that I am not enough. I don’t do enough. I’m a failure. I’m a mess. I’m a bad wife, mother, grandmother, friend…


  • Creating Freedom

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    Tell me one thing that you did when you were young that you absolutely loved. It was probably second nature and engrained in your day-to-day life. Do you still do it? Or have you set it aside as something that was childish or unnecessary? What do you do now that brings you pure joy?

    When I was young, I loved to draw. Pencils, crayons, markers, it didn’t matter. Singing was my second language. I could spend hours playing alone, lost inside a fantasy world I created inside my head. I never felt alone when I was immersed in one of these activities.

    As I got older, the world slowly invaded these sacred areas of my life. The love of art became art classes where every detail of my creation was analyzed and graded. Band moved into my life and I disappeared into a sea of faces playing what was instructed. Choir was a structure that robbed the freedom from my song. Fantasy was a game for children that I was forced to leave behind.

    As I grew and became more a part of the world around me, I started to notice things.



  • Dr Michael Heiser

    September 8th Dr Michael Heiser was with us and shared two sessions with us.

    1. Cosmic Geography and 2. The Two Powers in Heaven

  • Empathy

    There is a drastic difference between Empathy and Sympathy.

    In this short video Dr Brené Brown describes the differences very well. 

    As believers we need to get good at empathy. Empathy is described as an instruction, the great law of the New Testament in these simple words: "Love your neighbor as yourself".

    Empathy requires listening, not to formulate a response, but listening to feel what the speaker is feeling. We have been trained to form opinions, defences and responses while we listen. We have to unlearn that if we want to love biblically. We have to become good at suspending our judgement for the sake of feeling what the other person is feeling. 

    At Lazarus' tomb in John 11 there were a lot of responses that Jesus could have had:

    • "I was busy, I couldn't come."
    • "At least you still have your sister."
    • "You should have gotten him to a doctor earlier."
    • "Hs death is a result of sin in the world."

    Instead Jesus simply wept. Because He felt for them, he had empathy.
    The response of the 3rd party observers is critical to see: (v36) "So the Jews were saying, "See how He loved him!"…"

    If those outside the church don't see how much we love each other, then what would convince them to question their own faith.

    In this video Dr Brown ends off by saying, "rarely if ever does a response make things better, what makes things better is a connection." How very very true.

  • Gifts of The Spirit

    3 part Gifts of The Spirit series from Nov / Dec 2014 is ready for streaming or download:


  • Great Adventure Awaits

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    Have you ever heard the term “A sense of adventure” or “We are off on an adventure”? What exactly does that mean and, more importantly, what does that mean for you? I have long been intrigued by those men and women who pursue the greatest of adventures and often wondered what drives them to do it? Is it a purpose, a lifelong dream, a driven nature that seeks out those possibilities of achievements? Are they looking to fulfill some desire that has been churning in the innermost part of their being?

    I suppose there are just as many answers as there are questions, and I for one have always had the questions. You see, I often lack in the “doing” department which has always left me quite disappointed. No, it isn’t that I’ve never tried or sought out adventure, because I have and, yet I am also my own worst enemy telling myself that “I can’t” or “I won’t”.  Oh, those words drive a steel spike right through the heart when you’re trying to build up the courage.

  • How to Read The Bible - by The Bible Project

    Episodes 1 and 2 of a 14 part series on The Bible
    by The Bible Project

  • Love and Fear

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    REM's classic Losing My Religion is a pretty fascinating song:
    "That's me in the corner, that's me in the spotlight, losing my religion."

    Ben Gibbard wrote the song Follow You Into The Dark with his band Death Cab For Cutie. In the song he speaks of an experience under the discipline of a Catholic nun:
    "In Catholic school as vicious as Roman rule
    I got my knuckles bruised by a lady in black
    And I held my tongue as she told me,
    Son, fear is the heart of love, so I never went back"

    That's Ben in the corner, that's Ben in the spotlight, losing his religion. 

  • Male Voice Dexterity

    Six year old Bridger Walker is my hero, if I ever grow up I want to be like him (see article link below). He’s not perfect, I’m sure. He has character flaws and he makes mistakes like we all do, but when it counted he knew how to meet violence with appropriate violence, not too much, not too little; like a man, he had control of the full range of his voice.

    In July 2020, Bridger’s younger sister was attacked by a dog. Bridger came to her rescue, leading her away and helping her hide from the dog and taking the full brunt of the attack on his own body. I’m sure he fought back with all the strength available to him. But he still received 90 stitches for his efforts, the World Boxing Counsel awarded him the honorary title of Heavyweight Champion calling him “the bravest man on earth.” 
    What impressed me most about Bridger is that when he saw his sister being attached he stopped to think, the tiniest fraction of a second; and what he thought was: “If someone has to die, I think it should be me.”
    I believe Bridger made that choice long before this incident, without the aid of a sociology degree, a class in moral philosophy, or a state education this boy had decided to be male in the full range of its ethic. 
  • March LevelUp: Making Space

    3/1/2020 LevelUp

    Barry White: Finding God in the middle, making room for the Holy Spirit-

    Taking this time to listen and hear from the LORD and give us direction, step out of comfort zones, step into uncertainty and FAITH. 

    The Radical Middle

    Question: How deep, how far, how long? It cannot be measured- Love and Compassion


    I have walked across galaxies just to look upon you.

    Stars I have used as stepping stones to reach you.

    The night sky is simply a curtain drawn and about to be opened to a new day.

    My heart was filled the day I created you, that day was worked with fresh dew.

    Lift your voices together and sing and I will gather them like the lilies in the spring.

    Your worship and praise have been heard.




  • My Heart

    This is a drawing that Dawn created around Psalm 139:1. It reminds me of so many aspects of our individual relationships with our God. He is Lord and savior; He is healer, friend, and judge. He is the one who replaces calloused hearts, hearts that have been turned to stone. Ezekiel 36:26 "And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh."

    Psalm 139:1 "O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me."

  • Philippians 2:5-11 - The Poem

    Recently in a sermon I read a rendition I wrote of Paul's poem from Philippians 2:5-11.

    This small piece of scripture was written as a poem and should, I think, be read as one:

  • Pride and Suffering

    I began thinking about this topic when I was in the YMCA pool and saw a beautiful young boy being carried on a stretcher into a dressing area by his two care givers.  He couldn't hold his head straight, and his hands and feet were twisted lumps.

  • Thanksgiving is a Verb

    On Thursday this week, around tables laden with turkey and pie, +300 million Americans will make lists of thing they are thankful for. Now that's a very nice sentiment, but it is not thanksgiving.

  • The Radical Middle

    Saturday May 2nd and we’re all feeling a bit of cabin fever. Some are actually feeling a lot more than that, many have lost jobs and many have fallen ill and died.

    So how do we navigate the rocky political straits we’re suddenly in? It seems that at one extreme there is a group determined that the restrictions are far too lenient, and the governments should exercise a lot more mandated control over the peoples of the world.
    On the other extreme there are those who believe the forced lockdowns and stay home policies to be a vast overreach by local, regional and national governmental powers.