Sunday, March 20, 2011

Moving Day!

This BLOG has Moved to our new location,

Click this link and check us out (and tell your friends).


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Same God, Different People

*NOTICE* Patrikin is moving, tomorrow, to! Check it out and let me know what you think!
Today's Post:
"Every Scripture passage is inspired by God. All of them are useful" - 2nd Timothy 3:16a
There is a noticeable difference in Bible passages - some show God angry, others full of love and compassion. Why the difference?

Some believe the Old Testament God is not the same as the New.1 Others teach it's man's understanding of God that evolved and continues to do so - essentially rewriting scriptures for our day.

The Church has always taught God is the same, has not changed, and all scripture is equally inspired.

The Old Testament is the only Bible the early church had. They didn't say, "Hey, we can do better than that!"

The difference is relationship.

Example:Vandals think I'm a bad grouchy man when I call the police on them, but my family thinks I am wonderful when I give them Christmas gifts. It's the same me, the difference is relationship and their actions. I am more complex than either view. Sometimes I have been known to let my children suffer the results of their actions when I think it is in their best interest. I then seem to have become a mean grouchy man, but I haven't really changed.

God has different relationships with different people groups but he is the same God. He has always been compassionate but our sin evokes justice. In Christ the justice is satisfied and we can walk with God in peace.
"[W]e have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:" - Romans 5:1b
- fritz

1 - Marcion of Sinope, 144AD

Friday, March 18, 2011

Not Tempted to Eat Worms

*NOTICE* Patrikin is moving in the next few days to here! Check it out and let me know what you think!
Today's Post:
"[E]very man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed." - James 1:13b-14
I've never been tempted to eat a worm, they just don't appeal to me - but there's something in a fish that calls when they see one. It's not the worm, it's the fish.

It's the same way with us.

Example: We have a handicapped child who is always drawn to the donut/coffee table at church; he can't keep his hands off and can't stop with one. We can't blame the church, they're not tempting him - he has the problem.

It's the same with any temptation. God and society are not doing it to us, we are. We have the responsibility put down our pride, recognize our problem areas, and avoid situations that allow us to be corrupted.

God will help by providing an escape route but he doesn't make us take it.
"God is faithful ... When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure." - 1st Corinthians 10:13b-14 (New Living Translation)
The devil doesn't make me do things, I move my own body, and always have a choice.

- fritz

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Conspiracy Theory

Conspiracy theories are rampant! The world bankers are plotting this, the Rothschilds are planning that, the government is secretly conducting one thing and another.

It has always been such and they may all be true! But there there is a higher planner!

Take a moment to read what the Bible says about that,

"Hide me from the conspiracy of the wicked,
from the plots of evildoers.

They sharpen their tongues ... aim cruel words ... shoot from ambush ... encourage each other ... they say, “Who will see it?”

But God will shoot them with his arrows ... turn their own tongues against them and bring them to ruin"

- Psalm 64:2-8 (NIV)
A friend years ago told God in prayer, "Lord, since you are going to be up all night anyway, I'll let you worry about that; I'm going to get some sleep."

*NOTICE* Patrikin is moving in the next few days to here! Check it out and let me know what you think!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Following Faith - Step 5 (Time)

"These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth." - Hebrews 11:13
There is one final step to following faith - time!

Faith followers of the past did not all receive during their earthly journey what they were wanting, neither did they all receive immediately. Sure, by faith Abraham received his son, Daniel didn't get eaten by the lions, and incredibly small armies defeated incredibly large enemies, but the Bible also points to others who received their reward later.

Some children never come to Christ while their parents are alive, yet those parents hold on in faith because of a longer view of life than their breathing.

God is for eternity, our life is for eternity, faith is for eternity.

Be willing to take that last step, the step of time.

- fritz

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Shoe Throwing

"Judah is my lawgiver; Moab is my washpot; over Edom will I cast out my shoe" - Psalm 60:7b-8a
Throwing a shoe in middle Eastern culture was a sign of intense disrespect, and it is really bad when God says he will (figuratively) throw his shoe over a whole people group!

Fact is, God judges by people groups, even now.

Notice the term,"nations" in this verse and who said it:
When the Son of man shall come in his glory ... before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them [the nations] one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats" - Jesus (Matt. 25:31-32)
There is one exception!
"[P]ut on the new man ... where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all." - Colossians 3:9b-11
Those who put on Christ are his people group regardless of where they come from.
"thou ... hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation" - Revelation 5:9b
Jesus' redemption crosses all boundaries, people groups, and genders.

Thank God for Christ!

- fritz

Monday, March 14, 2011

Following Faith - Step 4 (Confession)

"These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth." - Hebrews 11:13
There is always a spoken element to following faith.

A careful reading of scripture points this out. For example, when Jesus taught on removing mountains by faith he said,
"if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done." - Matthew 21:21
Or when a women who couldn't stop bleeding for 12 years came to Christ it reads
"For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole." - Matthew 9:21
But confession alone isn't enough, there are three (3) steps that must come before. Many start confessing before they're even convinced what they want is even possible.

And what did the heroes of faith confess? That they were only passing through to a better place! They weren't trying to be friends with this world but living with eternity in mind.

- fritz

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Voluntarily Yielding Rights

"But we're not going to start demanding now what we've always had a perfect right to. Our decision all along has been to put up with anything rather than to get in the way or detract from the Message of Christ." - 1st Corinthians 9:12 (The Message Bible)
An article in The Consumerist1 reports about a Walmart customer refusing to show his receipt because, by legal rights, he did not have to. We all have rights - Yes! Some are offered by our country of residence, still others are given to us by our creator.

But we who have given our lives (rights) to Christ have a bigger purpose - to bring honor to Christ and to further his kingdom.

There are times to voluntarily yield rights in a spirit of cooperation, love, and understanding. Knowing when is a matter of maturity and good judgment.

Sure, the guy at Walmart won the fight but in so doing he made everyone else wait, ruined the day of a nice man only trying to do his job and came across looking like a jerk for no good reason.

Sometimes there are higher principles to stand on.

- fritz

1 - "Calm Man Successfully Buys TV And Denies Walmart Receipt Checkers" by Ben Popkin, The Consumerist, March 7th 2011

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Following Faith - Step 3 (The Embrace)

"These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them" - Hebrews 11:13
To embrace is to hold on and not let go.

It was what the Syrophenician woman in the Bible1 did when she kept pressing Jesus for her daughter's deliverance in spite of insults. It was what blind Bartimaeus2 did when he kept crying out to Jesus in spite of everyone telling he to pipe down.

There is an IF to receiving from God,
"for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." - Galatians 6:9b
When you see what you want and you become convinced you can have it, embrace it and don't take "No!" for an answer.

- fritz

1 - Mark 7:28
2 - Mark 10:46

Friday, March 11, 2011

Word Flinging

"Let me tell you something Every one of these careless words is going to come back to haunt you ... Words can be your salvation. Words can also be your damnation." - Jesus (Mathew 12:37 Message Bible)
Words are flung around so much they are no longer taken seriously; a promise here, and apology there - in our society they now mean nothing.

Next time you talk to customer service for anything, actually count the number of apologies you receive - including the automated one while on hold. How can an apology mean anything if it's automated?!

God values words, and to Him they mean something.

We should be the same way. The Bible says,
God, who gets invited to dinner at your place?
How do we get on your guest list?

"Walk straight,
act right,
tell the truth.

"Don't hurt your friend,
don't blame your neighbor;
despise the despicable.

"Keep your word even when it costs you,
make an honest living,
never take a bribe.

"You'll never get
if you live like this."
- Psalm 15:1-5 (Message Bible)

See "Cascade of Broken Promises", Seth's Blog March 7, 2011

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Following Faith - Step 2 (Being Persuaded.)

"These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them..." - Hebrews 11:13
Following faith is a five (5) step process beginning with seeing God's promises afar off - choosing to believe that what looks impossible right now is possible with God.

But that is not enough! We must become convinced what we see is intended for us, and that comes through persuasion - an interesting combination of evidence, testimony, and choice. God doesn't expect us to believe without evidence but he does expect us to allow ourselves to become persuaded.

That persuasion usually comes through what's called a "witness", or "testimony". God provides a witness in our hearts that what we are desiring he wants to give.

Read it in Hebrews 11 - Able had the witness, Enoch got the testimony, Abraham heard the "call", Sarah believed what she heard from God and though she laughed she became convinced!

Where does the witness come from? Ultimately from God, but sometimes by way of listening to others we respect, by reading what is written in the Bible, and by asking God to speak in our hearts.

Spend some time with godly people - those following faith. Listen to some good preaching (you don't have to wait until Sunday), have some alone time reading the Bible and asking God to speak it into your heart.

Tell God you are willing to be persuaded!

- fritz

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Following Faith - Step 1 (See afar off)

"The just shall live by faith."
- Romans 1:7, Galatians 3:11, Hebrews 10:38
Living by faith is more a matter of following than leading. It involves a five (5) step process revealed in Hebrews 11:13. After listing some famous people it says,
"These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth."
The first step, "seeing ... afar off", is seeing something from God that looks impossible, and wanting it.

For Abraham it was a son, for Enoch it was not having to die, for Noah it was being spared from world catastrophe, and for all the heroes of faith it was having a place to call their own that would not wear out or fade away.

The Bible says,
"[God] is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think" - Ephesians 3:20
Our problem is that we settle for so little, thinking all we can expect is what we currently have right now.

God can do more! Take that first step; begin to dream big and follow faith!

- fritz

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Pretending to Believe

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." - Hebrews 11:1
Substance is, actually, a combination of two words in the original language - "under" (or "sub") and "stand", hince the literal translation, substance.

If something has substance we can be feel it, hold it, and use it - which is what the heros of the Bible did!

It is not an idea to believe in without any evidence. Real faith is the evidence without which we are only pretending to believe - which doesn't work.

It's time to stop pretending and get some real faith from it's source - God's word!
"So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the [spoken] word of God." - Romans 10:17
Put yourself under some good preaching, read the Bible asking God to speak it into your heart, let the Holy spirit give you the substance of hope and the evidence of what you can't, yet, see.

- fritz

Monday, March 7, 2011

God Likes Books

"Every day of my life was recorded in your book before one of them had taken place." - Psalm 139:16b
God likes books, words, and writing - from the beginning of history to the end.

As important as preaching is, as enjoyable as pictures are, as entertaining as videos have become, it is the common book, with written words, God has chosen to use for everything he cares about.
"And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works" - Revelation 20:12
Why? Not sure, I just think he likes books, words, and writing - and we should learn to enjoy them, too.

- fritz

Sunday, March 6, 2011

No Control

"And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us. And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not" - Luke 9:49-50a
Jesus never tried to exert control over anyone.

He told the wind to cease, demons to leave, sickness to be healed, and spoke the truth in the face of opposition but he never forced his will or ways on anyone.

How much different would our lives be if we purposed to not try to control.

- fritz

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Still Lacking Something

The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? - Matthew 19:20
The Bible tells of a good man who came to Christ and was told to sell everything and follow.

What's important to notice is not the command of Jesus to sell everything, but the man's overwhelming sense something was lacking from his life even after all the good he had done!

The issue is not being good but who is calling the shots.

Jesus told many of the good people of his day,
"[T]he publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you." - Matthew 21:31b
He wasn't recommending being bad but that God's Kingdom is for those who turn everything in their lives over to Christ.

When there is a nagging feeling that something is still lacking, check to see if there is still something (maybe even something good), withheld from Christ.

Throw it down and find rest to the soul.1

- fritz

1 - Matthew 11:29

Friday, March 4, 2011

Not My Fault, Still My Problem

"And the LORD spake ...When any man hath a running issue out of his flesh, because of his issue he is unclean ... and the priest shall make an atonement for him before the LORD for his issue" - Leviticus 15:1-2, 14-15
Yuck! Old Testament laws can be very graphic but if one believes, as the early Christians,1 that even Old Testament law has application today, then what do these verses tell us?

They show that even unintended uncleanness is still uncleanness. Having a boil, lesion, or zit is certainly not the intention or even the fault of the individual, it's the way we all are - the human condition.

Yet it still needed cleansing and sacrifice.

We are, all, born with various problems, tendencies, and orientations. Whether our fault or not they are still unclean and need the forgiveness and cleansing of Christ.2

- fritz

1 - 1st Corinthians 9:9-10
2 - 1st Corinthians 6:9-12

Thursday, March 3, 2011


"Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God." - Matthew 5:9
We think of peacemakers as those as who try to get people to stop fighting.

But what if it is something else?

Scot McKnight tells us in his book One.Life
[P]eace is a result and not a goal.

Peace is the result of years in a good relationship. Marriages shaped by love result in peace. Instead of focusing on having a good marriage, a husband and a wife who focus on loving one another will have a marriage of peace.

Societies that are shaped by justice and love become societies marked by peace...

People who love find peace, whether they think about it or not.
Maybe being a peacemaker means choosing to do loving acts in an unloving situation. Maybe those are the ones who will be called the children of God

- fritz

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Maturity - knowing what not to say and not saying it.
"If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body" - James 3:2b

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Better Than Dreamed, More Difficult Than Imagined

Jim Martin, pastor and author of a blog I regularly read made an astute comment, Monday, February 21st1
I often tell couples before they marry that marriage will probably be better than they ever dreamed and more difficult than they ever imagined.
He goes on to say
Marriage can be difficult, in particular, when you have never seen a healthy marriage up close.

So where else can a person learn to be married?

  1. Observe married people who seem to be doing something well...
  2. Be a part of a Community of Faith that values biblical marriage...
  3. Seek Counsel from an older couple who is experiencing a good marriage...
  4. Read books on marriage...
  5. Listen to the words of Jesus, especially on the topic of relationships.
This is something we all need to take to heart!

- fritz

1 - Read Jim Martin's entire post here
2 - Related Post - "Married to A Friend", Patrikin, February 23, 2011

Monday, February 28, 2011

Ear Lobe, Thumb, and Big Toe - Part 2

"The priest is to pour some of the oil ... and ... put [it] on the same places he put the blood of the guilt offering—on the lobe of the right ear of the one to be cleansed, on the thumb of their right hand and on the big toe of their right foot. - Leviticus 14:25-29
Early Jewish Christians believed the Old Testament, with all its sundry laws and ceremonies, actually pointed to Christ and godly living.1

So, why would God specify in the law, the priest was to apply oil, not just anywhere but only on top of the blood that was, first, placed on the ear lobe, thumb, and big toe?

Here's what I think.

Oil represents God's Holy Spirit which brings joy,2 healing,3 enlightenment,4 and endurance.5 The ear lobe represents the mind and what we allow into it. The thumb indicates the action of our hands and what we do with them. The big toe represents what we do with our feet - where we go.6

Gods blessings upon our lives through the Holy Spirit follow the applied forgiveness of Christ, not before. This also indicates God's desire for us is not just forgiveness but life!

- fritz

1 - Written for our sakes, 1st Corinthians 9:9-10
2 - Oil of Gladness, Hebrews 1:9
3 - Elders anointing with oil, James 5:14
4 - He leads into all truth - John 16:13, Anointing teaches us all things, 1st john 2:27
5 - Wise and foolish vergins, Matthew 25:3-4
6 - Ear Lobe, Thumb, and Big Toe - Part 1, February 26, 2010

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Ear Lobe, Thumb, and Big Toe - Part 1

"[T]ake some of its blood and put it on the lobe of the right ear ... on the thumb of their right hand and on the big toe of their right foot. - Leviticus 14:25
God was very specific about where to put the sacrifical blood!

We know the early followers of Christ believed the Old Testament, with all its ceremonial laws, pointed to Christ and godly living.1 So what is the significance of the ear lobe, the thumb, and the big toe?

Simple! Salvation is to impact everything we think and listen to (ear lobe), everything we do (the thumb), and everywhere we go! (the big toe).

- fritz

1 - 1st Corinthians 9:9-10

Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Shared Participation

For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread. " - 1st Corinthians 10:17
This weeks' Church offertory lead to an epiphany - making that 15" journey from head to heart!

Our choir director gave the men and women in the sanctuary different words to sing, like a round. The men sang their part then the women sang theirs then both sang their different parts together and it was wonderful!

It wasn't a show I watched but an event - and I was part of it, reminded Church is not a show to watch but a participation to share!

The realization went further!

Why the liturgy with its printed prayers, times of sitting, rising, kneeling, eating, singing songs we can actually sing? - not for a love of ritual but because Church is not a show to watch but a participation to share. We may detour throughout the service, each having our own part as the Holy Spirit leads, but then we return and continue together.

I participate in a shared fellowship - I sing, I pray, I kneel, I eat, I make the sign of the cross - participating with my body as well as my soul and spirit. There is a place for the "I" in the voluntarily participation with the "We"! I belong.

There is a reason the Eucharist is also called "Communion" - we commune with Jesus and his body, a shared participation.

- fritz

Friday, February 25, 2011

2 Birds, 1 Stick, Red Thread, and a Branch

"Then shall the priest command to take for him that is to be cleansed two birds alive and clean, and cedar wood, and scarlet, and hyssop:

And the priest shall command that one of the birds be killed in an earthen vessel over running water:

As for the living bird, he shall take it, and the cedar wood, and the scarlet, and the hyssop, and shall dip them and the living bird in the blood of the bird that was killed over the running water:

And he shall sprinkle upon him that is to be cleansed from the leprosy seven times, and shall pronounce him clean, and shall let the living bird loose into the open field. "
- Leviticus 14:4-7
What's this with the birds (not just one but two), the thread (it must be red), a stick (it must be Cedar), and a branch (it must be hyssop)?! It all seems arbitrary until we see Jesus!

Two Birds - Jesus and us. Christ set aside his glory to become one of us - completely human.1

Ceder Wood - The cross - Christ's and ours.2

Scarlet Thread - Thread representing what keeps us bound, Scarlet representing, sin3. It is our sin that binds us, breaks our relationships, and keeps us from living free.

Hyssop - Used for sprinkling sacrificial blood, water, or whatever on the people and things around the altar4 - God's blessings, His word, and His will are to be applied to our daily living, not just kept as theory.

Earthen Bowl - The real, tangible, physical world in which we live.5

Running Water - Life, activity, constant motion.

One bird killed, his blood gathered in an earthen bowl over running water - Jesus sacrificed on the cross at a point in time and a real place while life moved on and many never noticed.

Second bird, stick, thread, and branch dipped in the sacrificed bird's blood - Our lives, our daily trials,7 our many sins, are to be touched by Christ's sacrifice.8 His "blood" is to be applied to us and all we are or hope to be and do.

Second bird release - When touched by Christ's work on the cross we are set free from sin's bondage, released to live a full, abundant life!9

See, those laws are not arbitrary at all - the whole Bible is a book about one man - Jesus the Christ.10

- fritz

1 - Hebrews 2:14
2 - Luke 9:23
3 - Isaiah 1:8
4 - Numbers 19:18
5 - 2nd Corinthians 4:7
7 - Luke 9:23
8 - Hebrews 9:11-12
9 - John 8:36
10 - Hebrews 8:1-6, Hebrews 9:9

Thursday, February 24, 2011

God is At Work

"The trees ...the birds ... the wild goats ... the conies .... all the beasts of the forest do creep forth ....The young lions roar ... and seek their meat from God ...

Man goeth forth unto his work and to his labour until the evening.

O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all"
- Psalm 104:16-24
Most followers of Christ can see the miraculous hand of God in nature - it is God's handiwork! But the Bible says our daily work routine is just inspired by God.

God is at work at work!

Faithfully doing an honest day's work at an honest job is spiritual, don't let the routineness make you loose site of that!
"Do your best. Work from the heart for your real Master, for God, confident that you'll get paid in full when you come into your inheritance - Colossians 3:24 (Message)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Married to a Friend

"Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; - Romans 12:10
Jim Martin, moderator for A Place For the God Hungry is starting a series on marriage and says something to remember.
"Many marriages end because husbands and wives stop behaving like friends.

Marriages would be helped by husbands and wives renewing their friendship with each another. This would mean eliminating behaviors that should be not be a part of any loving friendship. This also means being intentional about behaving in ways that rebuild and give energy to their friendship" - Jim Martin1
Renew your friendship.

- fritz

1 - Read Jim's whole post here

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sitting With Jesus

"that ye may know ...the exceeding greatness of his power ... Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places" - Ephesians 1:18-20
Jesus was bodily raised from the dead. That's why Christians worship on Sunday instead of the Sabbath - because that was the day it all happened! Jesus was raised, ascended, and took his place at the Father's right hand in heavenly places!

He is NOT the only one there - we are there, too!
"God raised us up and seated us in the heavens with Christ Jesus. - Ephesians 2:6 (Common English Bible)
Note the past tense.

How can I be sitting with Christ at God's right hand if I'm here with you, or on the job, or fishing Saturday morning with my son?

Easy! Think of it this way. My whole body is, right now, sitting in a chair at the library - my hands are on the keyboard and my feet are on the floor but these parts of my body are no less seated than the parts closer to the chair for I am one body and I am seated.

Similarly, we are members of Christ just as hands and feet. I may be here and you there but we who are in Christ are just as seated as our Savior who took his rightful place with the Father.

- fritz

Monday, February 21, 2011

Trinity Not Confusing to Paul

"Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus whom ... ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise" - Ephesians 1:2
Paul was not confused about the Holy Trinity. He could hold the oneness of God with the diversity of persons without complaining or confusion.

Something being both one and more at the same time is seen every day in ourselves. Who do you argue with when your conscience tells you something? How do you know your body is hungry, and do you give it everything it wants?

I'm not talking about multiple personalities, but our own spirit, soul, and body 1 interacting normally. My conscience is its own person, my mind is its own person, my body is its own person - each acting independently, yet still only one of me.

Which one rules? Well, in my imperfection, sometimes its my body and sometimes my will. I can accomplish great things when my conscience confirms what my mind envisions and my body obeys.

God acts together. There is no struggle for attention or dominance. The Father loves, plans, feels and directs. The Son acts in voluntary obedience, and the Spirit communicates God's motives, intentions, and joy.

It is God, our Father, who planned the way of Salvation. It is God, the Son, who of his own free will chose to obey, even to the cross. It is the Holy Spirit who gives us a taste of heaven and tells us God's true intentions and motives.

- fritz
1 - 1st Thessalonians 5:23

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Time - Inside and Out

Self proclaimed "Scientist, Theoretician, and 'Biocentrism' author", Robert Lanza, M. D. has been grappling with the concept of Time.
[S]cience has brought us countless insights ... What eludes us is the big picture, which unfortunately encompasses all the bottom-line issues: What is the nature of this thing we call reality?"1
He postulates a "life-created reality" like a phonograph record (anyone remember those?) with "now" being like the needle, moving sequentially through the tracks. To him, no one ever really dies they just remain where they were after the needle has moved on.

Where's the comfort in that?! The Bible tells us we don't remain in a moment of time - we continue fully conscious into eternity.2

Dr. Lanza also seems unaware that the content of a "record" is determined by an author, not itself.

Take just a moment to ponder C.S.Lewis's view on Time3(Don't will be worth the extra time spent)
Almost certainly God is not in Time. His life does not consist of moments following one another. If a million people are praying to Him at ten-thirty tonight, He need not listen to them all in that one little snippet which we call ten-thirty. Ten-thirty--and every other moment from the beginning of the world--is always the Present for Him.

If you like to put it that way, He has all eternity in which to listen to the split second of prayer put up by a pilot as his plane crashes in flames. That is difficult, I know. Let me try to give something, not the same, but a bit like it.

Suppose I am writing a novel. I write "Mary laid down her work; next moment came a knock at the door! " For Mary who has to live in the imaginary time of my story there is no interval between putting down the work and hearing the knock. But I, who am Mary's maker, do not live in that imaginary time at all. Between writing the first half of that sentence and the second, I might sit down for three hours and think steadily about Mary. I could think about Mary as if she were the only character in the book and for as long as I pleased, and the hours I spent in doing so would not appear in Mary's time (the time inside the story) at all.
C.S.Lewi's conclusion? (don't go just yet...)
God is not hurried along in the Time-stream of this universe any more than an author is hurried along in the imaginary time of his own novel. He has infinite attention to spare for each one of us. He does not have to deal with us in the mass. You are as much alone with Him as if you were the only being He had ever created. When Christ died, He died for you individually just as much as if you had been the only man in the world.
- fritz

1 - Why You Will Always Exist: Time is 'On Demand', Huffington Post, February 14, 2011
2 - 2nd Corinthians 5:8
3 - C.S.Lewis, Time And Beyond Time, from Mere Christianity

Saturday, February 19, 2011

More than Mere

For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? - 1st Corinthians 3:3b(NIV)
"I'm only human!" is no longer an excuse because we more than mere!

We are not only human - we have God, in Christ and through his Holy Spirit, living within. It's time to realize it and start acting like it!

- fritz

Friday, February 18, 2011

Were There Not Twelve?

"And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach" - Mark 3:14
Which apostles can you name?

Bartholomew and Thaddaeus were just as anointed as Matthew and John, just as called and important as the later apostle Paul - but there is something most of the original apostles did NOT do - they did NOT write!

Their lives were not wasted, they had purpose and success in their own way, but it was the writers who's message endured through changing cultures and dynasties.

Not all who write are remembered but, except for our Lord, none are remembered unless they write.

Do you possess a God-given faith? Do you want it to be passed to your children, or to their children?


It doesn't have to be much, just done.

- fritz
Related Post: Carpe Diem, June 5, 2010

Thursday, February 17, 2011

God's Good Pleasure

[H]e hath chosen us ... according to the good pleasure of his will" - Ephesians 1:4-5
God's has a will and it gave him good pleasure putting you in it long before you even arrived on the scene.

It is found in Christ. Don't let discouragement cause you to quit before God's purposes are fulfilled.

- fritz
Related Post: "God's Kind of Ending", February 13, 2010

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Most Damaging Kind of Strife

"What are the most damaging kinds of strife in a church?"

The quiet ones. The submerged, diffused, unacknowledged conflicts that smolder for years and years. If the institution is not willing to grab hold, debate, decide, reconcile, split, or whatever needs to be done, the issue becomes a cancer within. It eats at the body’s vitality, consuming its energy, spreading until the case is terminal.

Give me a genuine theological donnybrook any day. At least you know what you’ve got and can set up a process to deal with it." - Lynn Buzzard1
- fritz
1. SURVIVAL GUIDE: MASTERING CONFLICT, ARTICLE 1, War and Peace in the Local Church A leadership interview with Lynn Buzzard, pg 8

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Conflict - Catalyst for Necessary Change

"And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews " - Acts 5:1
"And when Peter was come up to Jerusalem, they that were of the circumcision contended with him, saying, Thou wentest in to men uncircumcised, and didst eat with them." - Acts 11:2-3
We want to shy away from conflict - we all do, but it can be a good catalyst for necessary change
"We haven’t developed a very good theology of conflict in the church. We’ve talked so much about unity and peace. Nobody ever says, “Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a few quarrels?”

But when you look historically for the great moments of the church—the kind of things we make movies and write books about—they’re chock-full of angry, bitter conflict! No one ever hails those quiet times when everybody was having wonderful potluck suppers together.- Lynn Robert Buzzard1
- fritz
1 - SURVIVAL GUIDE: MASTERING CONFLICT, ARTICAL 1, War and Peace in the Local Church, A leadership interview with Lynn Buzzard, pg. 2

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Missing Servant

"And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability - Matthew 25:15
There's a missing servant in Jesus' parable of the talents!

Those familiar with the story will remember that a man divided some of his wealth to his servants to manage while he went away. When he returned each servant gave all the money back with additional amounts earned by investing. Everyone returned at least what he was given.

Where is the servant who had nothing to return - the bankrupt entrepreneur? Did they NOT have those? You know they did! Why is that one not in the story?

I think it is because in God's economy using what one has always returns something positive. The only loser is the one who does nothing.

So don't just sit there, do something good with what you have!
"Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain." - 1st Corinthians 15:58 (NIV)
- fritz

Sunday, February 13, 2011

God's Kind of Ending

"And the evening and the morning were the first day." - Genesis 1:5b
God's days never end in darkness. See it through to God's kind of ending!

- fritz

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Avoiding a Misconception - Fatherhood

"Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father" - 1st Timothy 1:2b
The tendency to understand God, our Heavenly Father, by the experience of our earthly fathers (most have one but some have fore) always leads to a misconception.

Fatherhood is to be understood as God has revealed it, not the other way around.

God is the father our fathers should have been like. As Eugene Peterson translates 1st Thessalonians 2:11,
"With each of you we were like a father with his child, holding your hand, whispering encouragement, showing you step-by-step how to live well" - The Message Bible
How do we avoid the Misconception?

1). Repent of judging God by our standards;

2) Ask God to show you what fatherhood is really like;

3) Forgive the imperfect examples;

4) Bask in his fatherly grace.

- fritz

Friday, February 11, 2011

Using Law Lawfully

"But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully" - 1st Timothy 1:8
Interesting phrase - using the law lawfully - implying, of course, the law can be used un-lawfully and not be good.

Proclaiming "Our Creed is the Bible" isn't enough.

Though the Bible is now available in our own language and, for many of us, free to use as we may choose, it's not helpful unless used correctly.

So how does one use the law lawfully?! Hmmm...

Using the law (indeed, all parts of the Bible) lawfully will:

1)Be Christ centered - see how the Apostle Paul quotes from the law, substituting "Christ" for "Commandment".1

2)Encourage living God's kind of love in good conscience and with an open/honest faith. 2

3)Bring life in the hearers - Jesus said he came to bring abundant life.3 It's the enemy who steals, kills, and destroys, so we should be able to say that using the Bible to steal, kill, and destroy is a misuse.

Yes the Bible is used to correct sin and error, but God's correction applied correctly (law used lawfully) brings hope.

- fritz

1 - Romans 10:8 / Deuteronomy 30:11-14
2 - 1st Timothy 1:5
3 - John 10:10

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Becoming A Person Of Influence

If you want to be a person of influence, or if you want to lead, or for that matter if you want to succeed, start reading...

Turn off your television and read two books a week next year and you’ll be counseling the Pope or the President.

It’s true what I learned all those years ago: Readers are leaders. 1
- Don Miller

Who will join me in setting a goal of reading an average of one good book a week for the rest of 2011?

- fritz

1 - Read Don Miller's whole article Here
I am currently Reading/Listening to:
Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan
The Lost Art of Gratitude by Alexander McCall Smith

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


"The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree ... They shall still bring forth fruit in old age - Psalms 92:12a,14a
Out culture worships youth, but God uses old people!

Moses was 80 when he lead Israel out of Egypt. Paul was called "the aged" when he wrote much of the Bible. Zachariah and Elizabeth were old when they had John the Baptist, to say nothing of Abraham and Sarah!

I met a husband and wife called to the mission field at age 60.

It's God who gives strength, vision, and drive - don't let anyone count you out because you arn't a spring chicken.

There is a reason why church leaders are called "Elders".

- fritz
See also: "Three Score and 10?", August 1, 2010

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

3 Actions to Get Wisdom

"A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it..."3
There are three things a person needs to do to get wisdom: Seek wisdom early1 and listen to instruction.2

1 - Proverbs 8:17
2 - Proverbs 4:13
3 - Proverbs 29:11

Monday, February 7, 2011

Where's Your Heart Located?

"A wise man's heart is at his right hand; but a fool's heart at his left." - Ecclesiastes 10:2
God's word has a subtle way of putting us in our place.

The next time you think you are so wise and able, ask yourself on which side of the body is your heart - the right or the left?

Mine too.

- fritz

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Gentleness and Glory!

"The voice of the LORD breaketh the cedars ... maketh the hinds to calve, and discovereth the forests: and in his temple doth every one speak of his glory" - Psalm 29:9
"And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way" - Isaiah 30:21a
God's voice is so powerful it breaks trees, and does whatever he wants it to do. Yet, he is so gentle with us - he is heard in a whisper and lets us choose to follow.

- fritz

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Gospel - Like a Cake Mix!

"but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it." - Hebrews 4:2b
I'm no cook, but I do know something has to be added to dry ingredients to make them stick together and become an actual cake! Just putting the dry mix in the oven doesn't work.

The Gospel is like that. Faith needs to be added to make it hold together in a person's life and become a blessing.

Where does the faith come from? God, gives faith for the asking.

- fritz

Friday, February 4, 2011


"wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved." - Ephesians 1:6b
Words change meaning. Today, we accept a lot of things we are not pleased with, simply because we must.

This is NOT what the Bible means! The original Greek word used by the Bible actually means "highly favored", "charming", "circled with favor".

What's more, with its precise word form and endings the Greek word, here, tells us an additional nuance. Ours was not a onetime time acceptance but ongoing! We are currently living in the high favor of God by being in the one whom He loved, our savior, Jesus, the Christ.

- fritz

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Two Oars on Life's Dinghy

"..holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck" - 1st Timothy 1:19
Living is sometimes compared to guiding a boat. It could end up where you want to go or it could end up drowning everyone on board.

There are two (2) oars on life's rowboat:
1. Faith
2. A Good Conscience
The Bible says letting go of either is a real mistake!

- fritz

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

How Do You Receive Correction?

"And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man" - 2nd Samuel 12:17
David stopped listening to God or his conscience. He saw what he wanted and it ended with adultery and murder. Because he was king no one dared confront him - except Nathan, the prophet.

Though perhaps not with the same sin, we all have times of closing off our conscience and spiritual ears, requiring God to send someone like a Nathan.

God always does it - maybe by using a spouse, a friend, your pastor, even a Police officer - but how do we handle it?! By denial, anger, and self-righteousness -- or by soul searching, repentance, and kindness toward the messenger?

It doesn't have to end badly. King David penned his response in Psalm 51. He also named one of his children, Nathan, no doubt after the man whom God used to bring him back to life.

- fritz

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Desires can be Good.

"If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work" - 1st Timothy 3:1
I have been in churches where expressing a desire to lead made one suspect. Everyone just knew a calling was something not to desire but surrender under duress.

Paul had no such ideas. God moves through holy desire, and so should we.

- fritz

Monday, January 31, 2011

Protected from the Moon?

"The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night" - Psalm 121:6
Some are afraid of getting too close to God and "going off the deep end." Hollywood likes to portray Christians as crazy people, lunatics, from the word lunar or "moon".

Nothing could be further from the truth. Those fully and completely committed to Christ are the most wise and most sane. The Apostle Paul wrote,
"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." - 2nd Timothy 1:7
Jesus healed lunatics whenever he encountered them.1

- fritz

1 - Mark 5:15

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Billy Graham - Advice on Getting Older

What advice would you give to people who are aging?

First, accept it as part of God's plan for your life, and thank him every day for the gift of that day.

Old age can be a lonely time ... children scattered, spouse and friends gone ... but God has a reason for keeping us here (even if we don't always understand it), and we need to recover the Bible's understanding of life and longevity as gifts from God—and therefore as something good. Several times the Bible mentions people who died "at a good old age"...

So part of my advice is to learn to be content, and that only comes as we accept each day as a gift from God and commit it into his hands.
- Billy Graham, Christianity Today interview January 2011
(Read the whole article here)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

3 "F"s of Success In Christ

"But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses." - 1st Timothy 6:11b-12
Saint Paul's admonition points its finger past Timothy straight at us who have chosen Christ's way!

Three (3) things we must do to succeed and they all begin with "F"
Flee youthful lusts1 and the love of money2
Follow godly character and
Fight the good fight of faith
- fritz

1. 2nd Timothy 2:2
2. 1st Timothy 6:10 (the context of this verse)