One-a-Day Thursday 10/1/15

number 1When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom (Proverbs 11:2).

The world’s wisdom says that the opposite of love is hate, but that isn’t so.

The opposite of love is pride.  

Love puts the other person, the beloved, first.  Pride puts self first.  God wants your love, and he knows that you are incapable of giving it when you are wrapped up in pride.  So, because he loves you, he will break your pride.

This is usually a very painful process.

It’s kind of the classic, “This is for your own good,” scenario.  When you are humble, you are open to God’s love, his teaching, his wisdom.  You can grow when you are humble.  When you are walking in pride you are closed off to really experiencing God, because your world begins and ends with you.

You have a couple of options, Beloved.

Option One:  “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time”(1 Peter 5:6).  Trust your reputation, your ego, your self-worth to God.  Let him build his character into you.  Make every effort to subordinate your will to his, and let him work through you.

Option Bad:  Continue walking in pride until God chooses to humble you.  Because he will.  And the longer it takes, the messier it will be.

Let me know which option you choose.  I may want to clear out of the way.

Or get a front row seat.

Choose wisely, Beloved.

One-a-Day Wednesday 9/30/15

number 1When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise (Proverbs 10:19).

I talk too much.  That revelation comes as no surprise to those of you who know me.  I find that this Scripture could easily be my life verse, and probably many of yours as well.  We have all experienced that moment of wishing we could “unsay” that ill-timed, unkind, ungodly word.

But we can’t.

So I’m going to take God’s advice today, and hold my tongue.  Obviously, that will make it difficult to type without getting the keys all wet, so I’ll make my typed words few, as well.

See, now there’s an image you didn’t need.  I just proved my own point.

Enjoy the quiet today, Beloved.

One-a-Day Tuesday 9/29/15

number 1Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers over all wrongs (Proverbs 10:12).

It’s amazing what a little attitude adjustment can do for you.  I can’t say that I walk around seething with hatred, but I do have my share of negative attitude toward people.  Because, well, people bug me.

There, I said it.  

People bug me, and sometimes they bug you, too.  Admit it.  Frankly, people can be idiots at times, and it gets to a person.

So, what do you do with that?

You can carry that negative feeling into your interactions with the people who bug you.  I guarantee the result will not be blissful, harmonious fellowship.  You might score a zinger point or two, but in the long run your relationship will be hurt and God will not be glorified.


You could try entering the interaction zone wrapped in love.  

I know you don’t feel like loving them—why should you?  They bug.  So don’t try bringing your love.  You’d be pretending and everyone would be able to tell.  

Bring His love.

You know God loves them—for crying out loud, he loves us, and all we deserve is a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.  So try seeing them as God sees them, and perhaps loving them as God loves them.  It’s gonna take prayer, but you can do that.

You might be surprised at how powerful God’s love is to cover over those things that annoy us about other people.  Sometimes that love gives us insight into why they are the way they are.  Sometimes that love simply grants us extra grace to deal with the issues.

As I write this, I wonder how many of you will take my advice and apply it toward me today.  Because, frankly, I bug sometimes.  Hmmm…

Walk in his love today, Beloved.


One-a-Day Monday 9/28/15

number 1Above all else guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life (Proverbs 4:23).

The wellspring  

The source

If you live in the desert, a clean, pure water source is something to treasure and protect.  If it dries up, you are lost.  If something gets in that pollutes it, you are equally doomed. Actually, one great way to defeat an enemy in days of yore was to poison his water source, often by throwing dead things into it.  

Lovely image, hmm?

God has given each of us a new heart, and it is a spring of his living water, nourishing and refreshing us.  

We’ve gotta guard that wellspring, Beloved.  If we fall out of fellowship with the Father, he cannot replenish the spring, and it dries up.  Do you know what happens to life in a desert with no water?  Yes, you do.

If we let the world in, the wellspring gets polluted, fouled, undrinkable.  If we let our Enemy poison it with his lies, it produces death rather than sustaining life.

Guard your heart today, my friend.  Be oh so careful what, and who, you let in.  Keep in close contact with the One who refreshes and replenishes.

Drink deeply, Beloved.

One a Day Friday, 9/25/15


number 1Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely…(Philippians 4:8)

My wife is lovely.

My daughter is lovely.

I get to think of them all day?  

Cool beans

The word “Lovely” means exquisitely beautiful, and my ladies are certainly that.  But the word has a deeper meaning.  When I think of “Lovely,” I think of something that quiets my spirit, that brings my soul rest and refreshment. Lovely things are evidence of God’s beauty and grace in the world.  How can it be that the God of thunder and lightning and earthquake and hurricane and tsunami is also the God of snowflake and fern leaf and butterfly wing and dandelion fluff–

which I know are weed seeds, but don’t spoil the mood.

Lovely is an aspect of God’s glory that I don’t often take enough time to notice, much less appreciate.

Today I shall.

Care to join me, Beloved?

One a Day Thursday, 9/24/15


number 1Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure…(Philippians 4:8).

Ivory soap bugs me.

Oh, the soap itself is fine–smells nice and lathers well.

It’s the advertizing.

They say that the stuff is 99.44 percent pure.

You can’t say that.  “Pure” is an absolute.  You can’t have partly pure.

You can’t even have mostly pure.

It’s either pure

or it isn’t.

Paul tells us to think about what is pure.   

Good luck with that.

I mean it.  Well, not the luck part.  Instead, I wish you grace as you plow through the sociocesspool that we call Thursday.  Keep your eyes fixed on Christ and your thoughts centered on glory, and try not to slip in the muck.

And if, by chance, you do, the One who calls you Beloved will clean you up–and he’s got something much better that Ivory soap.

Although I do like Ivory soap.  Please don’t sue me, Proctor and Gamble, I’m a poor and simple man.

Happy Thursday, Beloved.

One a Day Wednesday, 9/23/15


number 1Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right… (Philippians 4:8).


“Right” is kind of like “Truth.”

The world will tell you that it is subjective, that what is right for you may not be right for me.

The world is wrong.  Enormously, abundantly, horrifically, dangerously wrong.

Wow, that sounds awfully narrow-minded of me.


“Narrow is the path…” and all that.

You see, it would be different if we had no objective reference point for right and wrong.  If we all had to make it up as we go along, you could see how we might wonder about the right and wrong of basic issues.

But we do have an objective reference point.

We just don’t like to look at it sometimes.

For all the things that are unclear in the Bible, there are a whole big hairy bunch of things that are crystal clear.

As you move through your Wednesday, focus on that which you know is right.  Hey, here’s a thought–if you have a moment, post a comment on one “right” thing we can ponder today.  I’ll start us off:

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves (Phil. 2:3).

That’s right.

You’re up!

Happy Wednesday, Beloved.

One a Day Tuesday, 9/22/15


number 1Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble…(Philippians 4:8)


As in, “Worthy of or befitting nobility.”  That’s just my definition.  I don’t know if Mr. Webster would approve, but I like it.

You, Beloved, are nobility.  Better than that, you are royalty.  You are a child of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Don’t rush through that.  

Soak in it for a bit.  

Repeat it…roll it around your soul for a moment.


God has pulled you out of the muck and glop of this world.  He has cleansed you, clothed you, and called you his own.  He has stood you before all the universe and said, “Hey!  This one’s mine.  Back off!”

Or something like that.

So, why would you dive back into the muck?

Why do I?

Oh, Beloved.  Our thought life should befit our new station.  The sinful thoughts, the base, the petty, the immoral–they are not just wrong; they are beneath us. They are not worthy of who we have been called to be.

Lord, help me to be the man you see when you look beneath the muck.

Can I get an “Amen?”

One a Day Monday, 9/21/15


number 1Finally, brothers, whatever is true (Philippians 4:8)

“True for you” isn’t.

Truth is not an opinion.

It does not waver or shift with the fashion.  It does not vary from situation to situation or person to person.

We live in a world that tells us there is no absolute Truth, that truth is malleable and changes through the ages.  The world tells you that you create your own truth.

The world lies.  

And you know it.

Because truth is a person.  A glorious, personal person.

Jesus said he is the way, and the truth, and the life.  He said that we would know him–the truth–and he would set us free.  So, that which is consistent with the person of Jesus Christ, that which lines up with who he is…that is true.

That which does not…is not.

Walk in truth today, Beloved.

One a Day Friday, 9/18/15


number 1Yesterday’s conversation got me thinking about how I sometimes wish God were not so gentle with us, that he would just muscle his way past our sins and fears and guilt–and will–and make us what he has called us to be.  I know that’s not his way, and I know that his way is infinitely better.  But still…sometimes…

Anyway, the following poem by John Donne came to mind.  I’ll let him be our guest blogger for Friday.

Batter my heart, three-person’d God, for you

As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;

That I may rise and stand, o’erthrow me, and bend

Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new.

I, like an usurp’d town to another due,

Labor to admit you, but oh, to no end;

Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,

But is captiv’d, and proves weak or untrue.

Yet dearly I love you, and would be lov’d fain,

But am betroth’d unto your enemy;

Divorce me, untie or break that knot again,

Take me to you, imprison me, for I,

Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,

Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.

Happy Friday, Beloved.