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Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Flesh A Spiritual Dimmer Switch

Throughout Scripture Jesus and the Holy Spirit are referred to as the Light.  And when we accept Christ into our life, we receive the Holy Spirit as a Helper in our daily life, among other things.  The Light invades the darkness in our spirit.  And the only way we can be what God calls us to be is to depend on the Holy Spirit and walk moment by moment with Him.  We are illuminated by God’s Word and we allow Him to call the shots in our life.  As it says in Psalm 119, “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.”  We can see clearly where we are to go when we are guided by the Word.
At the same time, we still have our flesh or old self that we have lived with for as long as we have been alive.  It’s human nature, if you will, that has had control of us since birth. 
As much as we would like to say we have no problem living and walking by the Spirit, it is not the easiest thing to do…consistently.
In fact I see the Holy Spirit as a BRIGHT LIGHT that wants to SHINE 100 percent in our life all the time!  But our “flesh/old self” acts as a dimmer switch on the Holy Spirit.  The more we allow the flesh to have control…the dimmer the Holy Spirit can be in our life. 
Will we ever be rid of our flesh?  Not while we are living in this earth suit called the human body.  So to some degree, there will always be a dimmer on the Holy Spirit in our lives.
BUT…the more we can stay in the Word, keep in fellowship by prayer, and surround ourselves with other Brothers and Sisters in Christ…the stronger the Holy Spirit can shine.  Then we can share who our God is and what He is doing in our lives with others that don’t know Him.  We can be that light…a bright light!
I’m not saying this as a task that has to be done and checked off our list.  That would be performance based and that’s not the way God works. 
As the Spirit leads our life, He will put the desire in our heart to read His Word, to keep in constant touch with Him through prayer, and to hang out with others who can support us and pray for us.  We need to be a RAT for Jesus…Real, Authentic, Transparent.
The less the flesh has control…the higher the dimmer switch for God can be turned up and the stronger and brighter our Light can shine for Jesus.   
So my encouragement with this post is for you to open your heart to the Holy Spirit.  Let the Light of Jesus take control of you in every part of your life.  Remember you have NO secrets from God.  He knows everything anyway…you might as well be open and honest with Him now.  That’s when He can work miracles in your life…and be the Light that shines through you! 
May the Holy Spirit shine bright in your life…and your flesh be very dim!  

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Even If I Was The Only One

(The following entry gets a little graphic, so just be aware of that.)
Did you know that even if you were the only person on earth that Jesus would have come to set you free by dying on the cross?  Have you heard that before?  Do you believe that?  I do!  I know how much trouble God went through to pursue me to the very bottom before He could get my attention.  And if He loves me that much…I know, without a doubt, that if I was the only man on the face of the earth Jesus would have come down to rescue me.  Rescue me from eternal separation from God, so that we could have fellowship anytime and anywhere.  Then I get to thinking…what does that mean? 
Well, that means that since there would be no other humans on earth, the Father would find a way to send Jesus here.  And since there would be no other humans on earth, I would be His disciple…His follower.  He would teach me amazing things.  We would fellowship together, eat and drink together.  There would be laughter, tears, wonderment and awe.  I would try to walk on water as He calls me to Himself on the sea.  I would also be the betrayer.  With nobody else on the face of the earth my part in the story would include condemning Jesus with my words.  It would be with my sword and authority that I would arrest Jesus.  Then my mind would reel as I would proclaim… “I find no guilt in this man.”  The very next words out of my mouth would be yelling, “Crucify Him!  Crucify Him!”  Finally, I would sentence Him to die.  It would be me who flogged Jesus, beating Him, ripping His flesh, blood oozing out of his body as I mock Him, laugh and press a crown of thorns onto the top of His head digging into His skull.  I would lead Him up the Via De La Rosa to Golgotha where my own hands would nail His hands and His feet to the cross.  Each time the hammer hit the nail and He would wince in pain and cry out, I would wonder what am I doing and why?!  Tears would stream down my face…but I would continue.  Then by whatever power I had…I would stand the cross and as it fell in place, His body would be jolted and again He would wince in suffering.  Then I would step back and look up.  Finding my sword nearby, I would pierce His side and blood and water would flow out.  Tears would flow more freely down my face.  I now know what I’m doing, but I can’t stop it!  But then Jesus…hanging on that cross…looks up into the heavens and says, “Father forgive George, for he thinks he knows…but he knows not what he’s doing.”  The day grows dark… there’s an earthquake and it is so severe that I’m not able to stand.  Jesus again cries out to the Father… “It is finished!”  And then silence.  Total quiet.  It is deafening.  It is the most incredible stillness I’ve ever heard.  I want to feel complete guilt, but I heard the words that Jesus spoke…He asked the Father to forgive me.  And if God could forgive me…who am I to not forgive myself?  Am I better than God?  May it NEVER be!   
I believe that’s what God would have done if I was the only man on the face of the earth.  That’s what He would have done if you were the only man or woman on the planet.  He loves me and you that much.  When it comes right down to it…we did go through everything I’ve just shared.  Because it was our sin, past, present and future sin, that put Him on that cross!  But, thankfully, the story doesn’t end there.

After Jesus has breathed His last breath, I realize I can’t just leave Him there.  I must take His body and put it in a tomb.  So, I take it down, wrap His body in a burial cloth and bury His body in the tomb meant for me.  Then I roll a giant stone in front of it.
So now what?  I wait.  I can’t believe what I have just been through.  My emotions are shot.  My fear comes and goes.  Would the Father really forgive me?  Jesus made the request after I had hung Him on a cross. But how could He forgive something that evil?  I need to go check the tomb.  I don’t know why…I just do.  It has been three days now.  But wait…what’s this?  The stone has been rolled away!  By who?  I’m the only man on the face of the earth!  This can’t be!  There’s something bright inside the tomb…it’s an Angel of the Lord…He’s telling me that Jesus is alive!  He rose just like He had talked about.  My heart leaps and I can’t wait to see Him.  There He is…in a glorified body!  I fall at His feet!  He says He loves me!  Even after all I’ve done…He loves me, I AM forgiven and I can have fellowship with Him forever!  Praise God!
Christ has risen…He has risen indeed! 
Happy Easter! 2011

Sunday, March 20, 2011


What?!  What does sacrificial worship mean and is it something God would have me do really?
It has been a little over a month since I have posted anything on this blog and I have had some ideas, but today something happened and I felt a need to share this. 

If you have read my entire blog, you know that I had to hit bottom and in the process I lost my wife, destroyed my family, lost my home, my stuff and ministries along with broken relationships.  You also know that God continues to work in my life and has Blessed me beyond my comprehension.  Much of what I lost and what truly meant the most to me…remains fractured.  Other parts of the loss have been restored!

I say all that to introduce what I want to say in this post about “Sacrificial Worship.”  Today was another blessing of a day in the Lord and I went to eat at one of my favorite buffet restaurants.  I took a book that I’m reading to pass the time in between “courses.”  While I was dining, a family that I have known for several years sat in the booth behind me and we started chatting a little.  It was good to see them and we were able to catch up a little, as much as you can in a restaurant full of people and trying to eat at the same time.  I asked the husband… “so where are you guys worshiping these days?”  The words out of his mouth spoke volumes.  It was a message in itself.  He told me where his wife was worshiping, and that he didn’t like it there so he wasn’t going anywhere.  But he said he may be going back to a church they had attended a few years ago.  WOW!  How sad my heart was hearing that.  And it’s all that needed to be said on that subject, for now. 

Here is what I would like to say to him and to any man who is not worshiping because they don’t enjoy the church where their spouse is going.  First, I would say…You are called to be the SPIRITUAL LEADER in your home.  That means leading your family in spiritual matters!  Even church attendance.  Here is where the sacrificial worship comes in.  I used to go to church to see what I could get out of it.  If I didn’t like the music, the pastor, the message, the building...whatever…I wouldn’t be interested in making sure I was there every Sunday.  It was after hitting bottom and seeing God in a new way that I now know it’s not about what I can get from the service.  LISTEN UP HERE…It’s what I can GIVE TO GOD during the worship service that is important.  I still may not agree with the music choices, the entire message from the pastor or like the building!  But I serve an AWESOME God and He wants all of me even as I worship together with other believers on Sunday morning.  He can AND WILL speak to you as you open your heart to Him! 

So here is my message to men who stay home from church because it’s not a place they like.  As husbands, you are called to be the Spiritual Leader of your home.  If your wife desires to worship at a certain Bible believing Jesus preaching church, GO WITH HER.  Serve her in that way, sacrifice yourself and worship the one and true God.  Not because it’s where you want to be, but because that’s where your wife wants to be right now.  How can you be on the same page with her spiritually if she is getting fed and giving herself to the Lord and you are staying home doing whatever?  Let me answer that.  You can’t!  When the two of you can be on the same page spiritually…your marriage can grow and be more fruitful than you ever thought possible.  Putting Christ in the center of who you are and the center of your marriage can be the answer to a volume of issues in your life. 

You may be saying…yea George what do you know, you’re divorced.  And I say… you are right!  And that’s one reason why I’m divorced!  First of all I didn’t have Christ at the center of my life every moment.  Secondly, Christ definitely wasn’t the center of my marriage.  To be blunt and honest…I was the center of my marriage.  It was all about me along with other issues in my life.  Wow what a horrible place to be.  I still praise God for my ex-wife!  I mean she stayed with me almost 30 years!  She is an incredible woman of God and I miss her every single day!  I do know this…if God was to ever bless me again with a re-marriage, the relationship would be a 180 degree difference than what it was.

That’s why I have shared these blogs.  Men…I don’t want poor choices to cost you everything.  It’s not worth it.  Love your God and love your wife and family!  Relationships are the most important part of life!  I can assure you that!  God Bless you!  Thank you for reading this and I pray that maybe one family might be able to be strengthened by what God does through these words.  And I pray for my friend that he can hear from God about serving his wife and family spiritually and sacrificially! 

Saturday, February 12, 2011


A little over a month ago I titled a post I, Me, Mine about the Beatles song of the same name.  I guess I could have called this one I, Me, Mine 2…because I want to share with you what God has laid on my heart about loving others…putting others before ourselves and praying for others.
What does Jesus tell us about the two greatest commandments?
Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord.  And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.  No other commandment is greater than these.” Mark 12: 29-31.
I could expand on this passage for quite a while, but that’s not what I want to do here.  Jesus tells us to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength.  And then love our neighbor or fellow man/woman as ourselves.  NO other commandment is greater. 
My friend Ed is in county jail serving time for a huge mistake he made.  That mistake cost another man his life and altered the lives of many others.  That mistake also brought him to an incredible and deep relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.  I too am living the consequences of mistakes I have made in the past.  Those mistakes caused the breakup of my family and other friendships/relationships as well as some ministries.  But because of those mistakes, God brought me to a place to where I had nowhere else to look but to Him and He has come through time after time in the past almost three years.  Along with the deliverance of the past, came blessings I could never think of, as well as a deep constant relationship with Jesus.  So when I visited my friend Ed in jail recently…we discussed why we were so on fire about what God has done in our lives.  The story that came up was from Luke 7 when Jesus was having dinner at a Pharisee’s home and the immoral woman came in…
Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Look at this woman kneeling here. When I entered your home, you didn’t offer me water to wash the dust from my feet, but she has washed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair.  You didn’t greet me with a kiss, but from the time I first came in, she has not stopped kissing my feet.  You neglected the courtesy of olive oil to anoint my head, but she has anointed my feet with rare perfume.
“I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.”  Then Jesus said to the woman, “Your sins are forgiven.” Luke 7: 44-48
So both Ed and I know how much we have been forgiven and love much.  We have acquired the fire so to speak.  But really, if anybody truly knew how much they had been forgiven…I mean REALLY understood it…they too would have the fire.  Perhaps that’s a challenge for you. 

So here’s a quick question…when was the last time you spent more time praying for others than for yourself?  Now don’t get me wrong here I’m not saying we shouldn’t pray for ourselves.  Even in the Lord’s Prayer Jesus uses the words… “Give us this day our daily bread…”  So we are to pray for our needs.  And in the prayer of Jabez he asks that he would be blessed and his territory enlarged:
He was the one who prayed to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and expand my territory! Please be with me in all that I do, and keep me from all trouble and pain!” And God granted him his request.   1st Chronicles 4:10
And how many times in the Psalms did David ask for blessings, protection and destruction of enemies?  Plenty!
The Lord wants to hear our heart and that includes our desires, needs, concerns, hurts and praises!
However, to look at the most important commandment from Jesus, I think we need to look at how we love God and how we love others.  If we make God our first and foremost priority in life by just inviting Him in EVERYTHING we do and say, then our heart will burst with the desire to love and serve and pray for others.  I know this is easier said than done.  And please understand I’m not saying to DO anything in our own power…because we can’t do it!  It can only be by the power of the Holy Spirit.  But to have that fire…will put others on our minds and in our heart to pray for their needs.  Whether it be healing, deliverance, salvation or simply for God to reveal Himself to them. 
I think it’s important to look beyond ourselves and into the lives of our families and others to see what God can do in their lives and how He can do it.  And what a blessing we will get out of it.  We may or may not see the results of our prayers, but that won’t be up to us. 
So here’s a challenge…for a week how about praying for those you know who have great needs.  Maybe even those you don’t know…but know there are needs.  Whether they be relational, financial, spiritual or physical…pray that God would intervene in their lives.  See what He does.  If there’s nothing visible that goes on, just know that God never sleeps and He’s always working.  Have the confidence and knowledge that God will answer those prayers…someday…in His way.
May you acquire the fire as you come to know how much, dear brother or sister, that you have been forgiven! 

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Desk Fountain of Rock and Water

In May of 2010 I was blessed with the opportunity to go back to South Dakota and speak at a Blessing Service for Paige Harbert.  Paige is a part of the family in Spearfish who welcomed me into their home as my journey of discovering who I am in Christ and my healing, deliverance and growth kicked off. She was graduating High School and asked if I could be there.  WOW!  What an honor and privilege.  As I thought about what I could tell a graduate just starting to look ahead at life after high school, the Lord gave me something that is appropriate, I think, for all of us.  He reminded me about two particular elements that were used throughout scripture.  These elements were used to honor God and to refresh.  Here is what I shared...picking up with the information about the elements.
These two elements are significant throughout the bible yet they are so simple and you can find them anywhere. 
The first is rock or stone or slate.  Throughout scripture, they are used in a number of ways including as monuments.
In Genesis 31, Jacob and his family set up a monument of stones and ate a covenant meal with Laban.  In verse 48 it says, Then Laban declared, “This pile of stones will stand as a witness to remind us of the covenant we have made today.”  In Deuteronomy 27 Moses told the Israelites that when they cross the Jordan River to set up some large stones and coat them with plaster.  Verse 3 says: Write this whole body of instruction on them when you cross the river to enter the land the Lord your God is giving you—a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, promised you.  When you cross the Jordan, set up these stones at Mount Ebal and coat them with plaster, as I am commanding you today.
In the 4th chapter of Joshua, 12 stones were carried from the middle of Jordan River representing the 12 tribes of Israel as they crossed on dry land…to construct a memorial.
There were many times in the Old Testament that rocks or stones were used to build monuments for something significant God had done.
Then in 2 Samuel 22:2 David sings of his Rock: “The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior my God is my rock, in whom I find protection.
Of course David slew Goliath with a stone from his slingshot.  David uses the Psalms in 18, 19, 28 and others to call God his rock.  These are just a few of the examples that the Old Testament uses a rock or stone as significant. 
In the New Testament Jesus talks about obedience to His Word as building a house on solid rock.  Matthew 16 Jesus renames Simon to Peter which means Rock and Jesus said upon this rock I will build my church.  Even though Jesus knew Peter’s coming failures, He still knew what Peter was really made of.
Other things that stand out in the scriptures regarding rocks or stones…
Christ is called the cornerstone that was rejected by builders…
Jesus was buried in a tomb which was carved out of rock and the rock covering the tomb was rolled away.  Rock is significant in the bible.
When the Israelites were wandering and were thirsty, God told Moses to strike a rock with his staff…and that brings me to the second element I want to mention in this blessing…water.

Moses tapped the rock and water gushed from the rock providing refreshment for the wandering Israelites.
When God wanted to cleanse the earth of all the corruption of humanity, he used water to flood the entire planet.
When we are baptized we are immersed into water signifying Christ’s death, burial and resurrection. 
Jesus says he offers living water in John chapter seven talking to the Jewish leaders…“Anyone who is thirsty may come to me!  Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’”* (When he said “living water,” he was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him. But the Spirit had not yet been given,* because Jesus had not yet entered into his glory.) 
And He said when we drink from this water we will never thirst again. 

To me, the scriptures are rich with information about rock or stone and water…and really both elements come down to God’s provisions for His people.  He has provided through rock and rock is used to remember those provisions.  He has provided through water and water is necessary to this day to sustain life.  Through the mentioning of rock and water, may you remember and be blessed by God’s provisions in your life Paige.  May you allow Him to sustain you and may you never thirst again.

As a symbolic monument to those provisions in the past as well as His promises for your future…may this fountain represent the elements of rock and water.  (I presented her with a little desk fountain where water ran onto rock)

Proverbs 21:1 says
“The king’s heart is like a stream of water directed by the Lord;
He guides it wherever He pleases.”
How is the King of King's guiding your heart?  Are you letting him be Master of all?
Maybe you need a reminder of Who God is!  And who you are in Him.  Maybe picking up a little desk fountain or a bigger fountain to put in a place that you can see everyday will remind you of His provisions for you in the past and your Hope in Him to Bless you with the provisions in the future.  
Rock and remember...

Monday, January 3, 2011


A few weeks ago I was awakened in the very early morning with a song going through my head.  It was a very obscure song that I had not heard in a number of years.  Why in the world would this song be going through my head at this hour on this day?  No clue other than to share the message with others.

This particular song was written by George Harrison and is on the Beatles album ‘Let It Be.’  The title is “I Me Mine.” 
The lyrics are very simple, yet signify our culture so well.  They say…

“All through the day, I me mine, I me mine, I me mine.
All through the night, I me mine, I me mine, I me mine.
Now they’re frightened of leaving it
Everyone’s weaving it  
Coming on strong all the time
All through the day, I me mine.”

The chorus is just those three words…

“I-I-me-me-mine, I-I-me-me-mine…"

The next verse spoke to me because of where I have been.  It says…

“All I can hear, I me mine, I me mine, I me mine.
Even those tears, I me mine, I me mine, I me mine.
No-one’s frightened of playing it
Everyone’s saying it
Flowing more freely than wine.
All through the day, I me mine…”

When Harrison sings, “Even those tears, I me mine, I me mine, I me mine…” they speak to me because in the past I was seldom thinking of others than myself.  So when I cried, which wasn’t often, I selfishly cried for me and not what someone else may be feeling. 

What I get from the rest of the verse is no-one was frightened of playing the victim or playing the part of being hurt.  Everyone is claiming to be hurt…and blaming others for the way they feel and those words flow more freely than wine.

That is so much our culture…that everything revolves around I, me, mine.  Not taking responsibility for our own actions, but putting the blame elsewhere.   

Praise God that I have experienced the changes He is making in me that allow me to focus not so much on me and my pain or circumstance, but the pains of others.  

To me there are several great things about tears…they are cleansing…refreshing…relieving.  And David says to God in Psalm 56:8
You keep track of all my sorrows.
You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
You have recorded each one in your book.

I pray that we as a society can get off the I Me Mine and get closer to You Them They.  May 2011 be a year focused on others for all of us.