Monday, February 27, 2006

trust issues

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, whose thoughts are fixed on you! Trust in the LORD always, for the LORD GOD is the eternal Rock. Isa. 26:3-4

There is nothing like broken trust to rob us of our peace. Do you have trust issues? Have people in your past not come through for you? Did someone break their promise and in turn break your heart? I have had many people break faith with me. I have broken trust at times in my life as well. If you think about it, trust is at the foundation of every relationship. In fact, love is impossible without trust. I have seen many relationships disintegrate and never come back together because trust was lost and never rebuilt.

My relationship with God begins on a foundation of trust. I trust His message that Jesus was His Son and that He sent Him to die for me on the cross and that God raised Him from the dead. I trust that as I put my faith in Jesus he forgives all my sin and gives me eternal life. “Therefore, since we have been made right in God's sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.” Rom 5:1 This gives me tremendous comfort to know that by faith I have made peace with God.

I begin to trust other messages from Him about my life and we continue to build our foundation of trust.

I was twenty eight years old when I married Michelle. I waited and trusted God for a good wife for five years after I met Jesus. I felt that He had me waiting for a long time but I continued to trust Him. I met a couple of viable options before Michelle and at times thought they might be right for me but God gave me no peace at all about those girls. Then I met Michelle. I knew on our first date that she was who I had been waiting for all my life. I prayed that God would allow me the privilege of having such a good woman for my wife. A great peace came over my heart and of course God said yes because it was His will. Looking back I now can see why He made me wait. I was not ready for her. He needed to do some things in me before we could be healthy as a couple. I can see that He was trustworthy to bring me the right person at the right time.

I have learned to trust Him at His word about money, authority, depression, hurtful people, and many other important things. What I am saying is I have found God to be trustworthy. If His word says it, it is true. He is a mighty rock upon which I can build my life. His word is certain. He will make His word come to pass. "…I am watching over My word to perform it." Jer. 1:12

What I am saying is that I believe that I can trust God completely. I am not saying that I always do perfectly and completely trust him. That would not be true. But I am saying that there is such a solid foundation that He has proven to be so true that I continue to place my heart in His hands. As a result I am experiencing His peace more and more. His peace is basically ruling my heart. “let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts.” Col. 3:15 He is making more and more calls, and I am believing Him more and more. He is my rock and I intend to trust Him for the rest of my journey.

May you trust in Him today,

I leave you with a song of David who also learned to trust God…
These are the words he sang: "The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the strength of my salvation, and my stronghold, my high tower, my savior, the one who saves me from violence. I will call on the LORD, who is worthy of praise, for he saves me from my enemies.
2 Sam. 22:2-4

Friday, February 24, 2006

Peace In the Mind

Do you presently have anything that is robbing you of inner peace and rest? Do you sense God’s life in you calming your fears and putting your heart at rest?

Yesterday we talked about Jesus giving us a very special gift…

"I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give isn't like the peace the world gives. So don't be troubled or afraid. John 14:26-27

I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world." John 16:33

God’s Peace is found only in a person. We will have trouble and sorrow in this life. So we know that the absence of problems is not the key to experiencing God’s peace. Only by trusting in Christ will I experience the peace that God gives.

God’s life in me produces an amazing inner peace that calms my nerves and puts my heart at rest-even in the midst of trying times. As we have said, this is a matter of choice. We can choose to surrender to the Holy Spirit, resulting in our bearing His fruit. Or we can give in to "the desires of the sinful nature," that is, desires of our senses, which can be highly influenced by Satan. In that case, the fruit is not love, joy, and peace. On the contrary, what flows out of us are immorality, impurity, indecency, anger, ill temper, jealousy, and selfish ambition.

The battle for peace of mind is won in the mind. Where is my mental focus? What is my mind-set?

Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; Romans 8:5-6

If I set my mind and heart on Jesus and allow His indwelling Spirit to have control, He will fill me with God’s life and peace. If I allow my mind to go on auto-pilot it will naturally gravitate toward what my sinful nature craves and those things do not tend to lead to life and peace but death.

So here is what we must do… “Since you have heard all about him and have learned the truth that is in Jesus, throw off your old evil nature and your former way of life, which is rotten through and through, full of lust and deception. Instead, there must be a spiritual renewal of your thoughts and attitudes. You must display a new nature because you are a new person, created in God's likeness—righteous, holy, and true.
Eph 4:22-24

Each day that I choose to set my mind on God, He progressively changes the way I think. There is a renewal of my thought and attitudes. Peace is the result of an act of the will to set my mind on the things of God. It is a daily conscious action to consider others and choose to put God first. To be characterized by peace is not acquired all at once. (Even though I can experience peace any time I choose to surrender to God’s indwelling spirit.) A peaceful Christ-like character comes step by step. It is a result of development and growth over time. To experience the peace promised here, all of us need the help of the Holy Spirit. He alone can help us to know this peace to the full and in all its rich variety.

Let’s do this: Let’s surrender together right now. Pray with me…Father, we choose to yield our hearts and minds to You right now, in this very moment. Please fill us with Your life and peace. Even though circumstances in my life may not change immediately, I choose to rest upon You. You are my peace. You are my Joy. You are my Love. Fill me right now with all of who you are. Thank you so much! Help me to keep my mind set on You for the rest of this day. Amen.
Don’t miss this weekend’s powerful message as we continue our "God's Life-Is It In You?" series. We will talk about a peace that passes all human understanding. Bring a friend. We are going to have a great time together.
You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You. Isa. 26:4

Thursday, February 23, 2006

peace be still

The other day I saw a commercial on TV where there was this amazing beach and two people sitting there just watching the waves gently roll in. They had a pager and two Corona’s lying on the table between them. The pager goes off and they just throw it into the ocean. And they are caught up into a world of perfect peace and tranquility. What a life!

Today we transition our discussion about joy and turn our attention to Peace. A question: Do you feel like you have peace? I mean real peace of mind and heart. Are you at rest on the inside? When we talk about God’s life being in us we have to talk about peace.
What is peace? Is it the absence of problems or conflict? Do I have peace when there is nothing putting pressure on me and I am all caught up on my work?

All I know is that American culture promises peace but delivers little more than stress. America is troubled and afraid. In order to afford the regular trips to paradise beach we need lots of money. In order to impress friends and keep up with the latest trends we work harder and longer. In order to put money in savings or investments for our future so we feel financially secure...You get the picture. I could spend more time mentioning all of the other mental tortures and anxieties that rob us of peace in our minds and hearts in this culture. But instead I’ll share the good news.

But when the Father sends the Counselor as my representative, and by the Counselor I mean the Holy Spirit, he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I myself have told you. "I am leaving you with a gift, peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give isn't like the peace the world gives. So don't be troubled or afraid. John 14:26-27

Our Father has given His children a gift. Jesus sent this gift into our hearts. He is God’s own Spirit living in us. If you are trusting in Christ then this gift of His indwelling presence is yours. If the Holy Spirit is in you then Peace is in you. He is after all the Prince of Peace.

One time Jesus and His disciples were on a boat going across waters that suddenly became violent and dangerous. The disciples became afraid for their very lives. They look around for Jesus and find Him sleeping in the back of the boat. They wake Him and basically accuse Him of being off the job and apathetic to their plight. Jesus simply speaks to the storm and says, "Peace be still" and the entire scene changes to calm waters. He says to them that they have little faith in Him.

I believe that it is far easier for Jesus to speak to nature’s storms that to the storms of anxiety, insecurity, and fear that rage in our hearts. Can I hear the voice of God? Can His Word truly speak Peace into my life?

Yes He can! We are going to talk about this amazing Peace and how we experience it over this next week and in our weekend services.

Let’s start by making sure we know the facts:
1. God’s Peace is found only in a person.
2. We will have a lot of trouble and sorrow in this life.
3. The absence of problems is not the key to experiencing peace.
4. Only by trusting in Christ will I experience peace.

I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world." John 16:33 (NLT)

Remain connected to Jesus and you will have peace "in Him". He is a mighty overcomer and so are His followers who truly trust in him.

Peace be still,

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Joy-strength training

I have been seeing a personal trainer for over a month now. Every time I go see him he pushes me a little harder. Each time I go I get a little bit stronger. He challenges me and I like it! I am 39 and I am in the best physical shape of my life.

Three things the trainer keeps emphasizing are exercise, proper diet, and proper rest or recovery time. In order to grow in strength I have to give attention to these things.

God says that Joy is our strength. We need a lot of it to get through life. Life has a lot of pain and sorrow for us along the way (not to mention a powerful enemy), and God’s antidote to discouragement and depression is His Joy in us. Millions deal with depression every day. They go to doctors, see psychiatrists and take pills. Some truly need medication but many could be cured by a prescription of pure Joy.

In the Bible there is a story of a group of people who are experiencing a great deal of discouragement. They needed to build a wall around the city in a very short time to protect themselves from dangerous enemies. The task was daunting and the obstacles were numerous. At a certain point in the project Nehemiah gave the people these instructions... "Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength." Neh. 8:10

Why did he essentially tell them to have a party? If you read the surrounding context he basically gathers them for a worship celebration. They hear His word, celebrate His presence, and enjoy the company of others who love Him (not to mention some great food and drink). Nehemiah knew the secret to renewing their hearts and building morale was found in these three things: God’s word-God’s presence-God people.

You and I need those same three things for our hearts to be filled with Joy.

Psalms 16:11 tells us "In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. "
Jeremiah said, "Your words were found, and I ate them, And Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart;"
Jesus tells us to love each other "That My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full." John 15:11

It is my professional opinion (as a spiritual personal trainer) that if these things are neglected, weakness will result. Life will kick you in the teeth and you may not be able to handle it. We will face many battles in life. We must be strong or we will find ourselves being overpowered by our enemy. Many live under a cloud of depression that could be lifted if only they would take these "joy-strength" training issues more seriously.

How is your Joy strength? Do you have enough to be the overcomer that God intends for you to be? Do you have a steady diet of God’s word? Are you resting in His presence? Are you regularly gathering with other people who love God and partying? (Weekend worship celebrations & life groups)

If you listen to your trainer he can really help you. If you ignore his instructions you are just spinning your wheels. I hope you will hear my words of encouragement today. If I sometimes push a little harder or speak challenging words, it is because I want you to grow strong. I want your heart to be filled with the Joy of the Lord.

A final word: Be strong with the Lord's mighty power. Eph. 6:10

Building Joy Strength,

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

the pusuit of happiness

“We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable Rights; that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” Jefferson

Consistent Joy comes to those who pursue it. It is not found by those who wait on it to arrive. What usually arrives for those who are passive is pain or sorrow. Life has too many blows to deal us that can easily rob us of Joy if we are not intentional about returning our hearts to Joy each day.

A negative mind-set is a huge problem. It can be the default setting for many. They see all that is wrong. There is a need for certain things to go well before than can be joyful. They have a strong dependance on others to provide joy for them. Joy is always “out there” in the future. It remains elusive because of the thought processes of the negative mind.

A positive mind-set is crucial in order to return to Joy. I must determine to find what is good and hopeful and set my attention there. This is a choice I make. I need not wait for external circumstances to change in order to experience Joy. I can find creative ways to help my self return to Joy. In last weekend’s service, my wife Michelle spoke of creating a Joy Box that contains memories of Joyful times. She has made one for us. It is fun to look into it and remember and return to Joy.

I can set my mind on the beauty of God. I can hope in His word. I can look for good in others. I can pursue doing good for others. I can pray for someone or I can pick up the phone and call and encourage them. I can choose to pursue Joy.

Joy is found in a relationship with Jesus. That is where life is found. One writer said, “For me to live is Christ”. To be filled with His life is to be filled with Joy.

For Me To Live Is Christ. Not…
For me to live is money… and to die is to leave it all behind.
For me to live is fame… and to die is to be quickly forgotten.
For me to live is power and influence… and to to die is to loose both.
For me to live is possessions… and to die is to depart with nothing in my hands.

When things are the object of our Joy, we must live in fear of losing them. When Christ is our central focus He can broaden the dimensions of our circumstances and bring good out of even the most hurtful of times. He delivers us from preoccupation with actions of others who would steal our joy. Jesus calms our fears regarding ourselves and our future and sets us free to explore a joy filled life with Him.

Pursuing Joy in Christ,

In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalms 16:11

Monday, February 20, 2006

set your sails for joy!

Well. It’s Monday again. Another week begins. The grind continues. A pile of work awaits. Gotta pay the bills. Wait a second. I’m going to start over.

It’s the beginning of a new week! Today has endless possibilities. God is faithful. Jesus has forgiven me. The Holy Spirit lives in me. I have a wife and a son. I have a roof over my head. I just had some bran flakes and soy milk. (Oh Yeah!) I am alive!

There that’s better! I’ve just turned this day around by choosing a joyful attitude. You can get up and say “good lord it’s morning” or you can say “good morning Lord!” Today I can set my sails toward joy or away from it. The choice is completely mine.

What do you think your day would be like today if you spent it thanking God for everything and everyone? Do you think that would impact your heart and emotions? What if you really began to count your blessings instead of your burdens?

I was listening to the Bible on CD the other day. Paul and a guy named Silas were thrown into prison. I won’t go into all the details but let’s just say they were having a bad month. What did they do? They had a pitty party right? Wrong. They started praising God out loud and transformed the environment. The depression could have set in on them pretty thick but instead they turned the entire jailhouse into an atmoshere of joy. The “choice” to have an attitude of joy led to their deliverance.

Joy is a choice. It is a matter of attitude that stems from one’s confidence in God-that He is at work-that He is in full control, that He is in the midst of whatever has happened, is happening, and will happen.

We are the ones who consciously determine which way we go. To paraphrase the poet:

One ship sails east
One ship sails west
Regardless of how the winds blow.
It is the set of the sail
And not the gale
That determines the way we go

Laughing our way through life depends on nothing external. Regardless of how the winds of adversity may blow, we can set our sail toward Joy. Joy is found in God; A God who is at work, who is in control, and who is causing all things to result in His greater glory.

I have learned so much about this over the last couple of years. Listen to Paul again…

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Rom 8:28

Things always turn out for good when we love and trust God.

What about you today? Which way is your sail set? What attitude have you chosen today? Most days? Let’s “fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Heb. 12:2

Make it a great day,

Friday, February 17, 2006

Joy camp-part 2

I was glad when they said to me, "Let us go to the house of the LORD." Ps. 122:1

In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Ps. 16:11

The church to me is joy camp. Life is too depressing for church not to be inspiring and uplifting. It is a place of fresh beginnings and deep renewal. We experience times of transcendance and wonder of who God is. His presence is known and felt among us and excites our hearts. For those who believe and have open hearts-He fills them with Joy!

Our Father has given us a wonderful gift-birth into His family. We are now brothers and sisters in this growing family. As such we are to enjoy our times when we gather. It should be a blast! I am intentional about times of laughter together and the like during our services. I want the environment to be fun-loving. Yes, I want it to be both fun and loving. I want us to be glad to see each other and promote joy for one another. We are to see good in each other and draw it out. We are to better one another’s lives and give great joy to the world. The church should be a joy factory!

Yes, one of the main things you should take from our gatherings is joy! We are to abolish depression and discouragement! All of us are facing tough times in one way or another. What we need is a group of people who are for us. When we walk in they are sincerely glad to be with us. They are interested in our story and are willing to laugh with us or cry with us or pray for us or just sit and listen to us.

I love my life-group. I am part of a group of friends that are for each other. We share our struggles and successes. We are starting to know each other more deeply and promoting joy in each other’s lives. Being in my group gives me life-God’s life. That is what this is all about isn’t it? God’s life? Are you part of one of our life groups? If not, reply to this e-mail and I will send you a list or talk with you personally and help you find one that is right for you. You need some Christ-focused friends who regularly help you return to joy in life.

I am glad to be a part of the church. I don’t know what I would do if there was no church. The followers of Jesus have saved my life. I, as much as anyone, know the church is not perfect, but it still is the greatest thing on earth. I look forward to the joy of being with you our next time together.

You have the ability to make people’s day don’t you know? You can have God’s joy in you today and you can spread that joy all around. You can be a breath a fresh air in the lives of others today. Pray right now and ask God to fill you with His Spirit and let His joy begin to flow through you.

May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it. Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now glory be to God! By his mighty power at work within us, he is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope. May he be given glory in the church and in Christ Jesus forever and ever through endless ages. Amen. Eph. 3:19-21

Joy to the world,

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Joy camp-part 1

"I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. When you obey me, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father and remain in his love. I have told you this so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! John 15:9-11

The other day I went to pick up my son from a friend’s house. He had been there for three hours playing with one of his little buddies. As I approached the front door of the house I was able to look in the front window. There Sam was playing on the floor with Joey and some toys. He looked up and saw me through the window and jumped straight up in the air. He just kept jumping too. Until we got him in our arms he was jumping! His little heart was filled with joy.

Nueroligists say that in a child’s first two years, the desire to experience joy in loving relationships is the most powerful force in life. In fact, they now say that among the most basic of human needs is to be the “sparkle in someone’s eye.” When this joy is the strongest force in a child’s world, life makes sense, because children look forward to moments when they can reconnect to joy by being with their beloved.

Wonderfully enough, that innocent desire that begins in childhood continues throughout our entire lives. Life makes sense and is empowered by joy when we are in relationship with those who love us and are sincerely glad to be with us.

Life falls apart when there is no one to love us. Joy ebbs from our lives and we seek alternatives to joy. We try to be happy. Entertainment, vacations, television, etc…we try it all. Our brains are wired to seek and return to joy. Joy was meant to be our default setting. The problem is that joy is relational. It is only produced and communicated in living beings. People give and receive joy not things. Joy is produced when I move into the presence of someone who is truly glad to see me.

I have a friend who pastors in Arizona. We have been friends for many years. I can just simply be with him and receive strength from his presence. When he looks at me he is glad to see me and I him. We give and receive life to each other simply by seeing each other. He sees good in me and I him. Do you have any friends like that? I love him deeply, more deeply than I can explain. He gives me joy.

Jesus has been trying to tell us this stuff for years. He said that if we would love the way he loves, that we would be filled with His joy and that our joy would be full. Christ followers are to fill the earth with His joy. We are to abound in His love and experience it to its fullest. It is to pour out of us upon others giving them and us joy.

This is why Jesus “loved us the way the Father loves Him”. He wants to empower our hearts with joy strength. As we believe in His love we get healing joy. As we lay down our lives for each other and love each other God gives us even more joy. This is the secret-love people deeply and you will have joy. It is God’s antidote to depression.

In fact, the church should be joy camp. I am going to pick up here tomorrow…

Joy to you,

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

prayer for you

Let’s experience together today one of the most amazing prayers in the Bible.

I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will give you mighty inner strength through his Holy Spirit. 17 And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God's marvelous love. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love really is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it. Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Eph. 3: 16-19

Wow! We have been talking about this for a couple of weeks now-is it starting to settle into your mind and heart? I want to pray for you today. As I pray, enter into this prayer with me. Hear my heart for you. Believe that God is meeting with us. Allow His powerful words to impact your heart.

Father, in the name of Jesus I ask You to fulfill your desire to make those of us who are weak mighty. Do this by giving us inner strength through Your Spirit. Expand Your life in our hearts. What a joy to know that You established a beach head in our lives. The same place where Satan has hurt and abused us for so many years has been overthrown by You Yourself and You have taken up residence inside of us. How amazing for us to even think about You inside of us!

Holy Spirit, make Christ’s presence more at home in our hearts. Create an environment in our lives that is welcoming to Jesus. Make it to where Jesus feels so comfortable in our hearts. We want Him to make our hearts His throne and lovingly rule from there. Help us to do our best to cooperate with You in this.

May our roots to go down deep into the soil of Your love and draw up the nutrients that we need to love others the way Jesus loved. We want our partners to know the love of Christ through us. May our children grow up in homes where parents are loving them with God’s love. May our friends and coworkers experience Your love through us today. May all of them feel safe and secure in God’s love as it flows through our hearts toward them.

May we understand the ununderstandable. May the height, width, deep, and length of God’s love be comprehended by us today. May we experience the love of Christ in our hearts today even though we may never really get it in our thick skulls.

And finally God, may we be filled up to overflow (and spilling out on others) with all of the fullness of life and power that comes directly from You!

In Jesus Name,

Love someone today,

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

driving out fear

Did you know that the most repeated command from Jesus’ lips was “fear not”? Did you know that the command from heaven not to be afraid appears in every book of the Bible? Relationships were designed by God to comfort us and bring stability to our lives. Yet many experience fear of rejection, insecurity about who they are, and all kinds of nonloving emotions because of relationships instead.

Where God's love is, there is no fear, because God's perfect love drives out fear.
1 John 4:18

God’s goal for us all along has been for us to know and love Him. It is why we were created. But life apart from God is a life characterized by pervasive fears. All the way back in the garden of Eden, we see a close relationship between God and man until there is a severing of the relationship. God comes looking for Adam and where is he? He is hiding and afraid. Most people have lived in some sort of fear since that day.

The Good news is God’s Son Jesus came to set the world free from fear for good. How does He set us free? Through the experience of His love.

I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will give you mighty inner strength through his Holy Spirit. 17 And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God's marvelous love. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love really is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it. Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Eph. 3: 16-19

"I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. John 15:9

As we stay connected to Jesus and receive His love, we are filled and then we pour out his overflowing love to all of those around us. We set people at ease when we love them. We set them free with Christ’s love. The most powerful weapon of spiritual warfare is unconditional love. It is unstoppable!

Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. 19 This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence. 1 John 3:18-19

I have the abilty to change people by offering Christ’s love to them. We have the ability to stabilize people emotionally, to set hearts at rest with this amazing love. I have seen it time and again. A child who has grown up insecure and weak through neglect and a lack of unconditional love meets a follower of Christ, tastes real love for the first time and they are never the same again. They discover who they truly are, develop a growing sense of confidence, and continue spreading this powerful love in Christ.

We are on a mission to drive out fear. God’s love kills that stuff for good.

How do those around you think you feel about them? Are they secure in your love? Have you told them? Have you shown them? Drink in His love for you today until you are full and remain in His love by becoming an ongoing supply to others.

"If you are thirsty, come to me! 38 If you believe in me, come and drink! For the Scriptures declare that rivers of living water will flow out from within." 39 (When he said "living water," he was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him.

Let those around you experience God’s life of love flowing from within you and set hearts at ease. Let your children know unconditional love from God through you. Your spouse, your friends, those you work with and everyone around you. Let the love of God be released and dispel fear from the lives of those around us.

Driving out fear,

Monday, February 13, 2006

special reservations

I bet a lot of people are making reservations for Valentine's evening dinner out. I used to have a friend in management at the House of Blues at Mandalay Bay. On the top of the hotel is an exclusive place called the Foundation Room. I was given the privilege to make special reservations and have a private dining room from time to time. I was also granted the opportunity to have some private parties up there as well. The place is very nice and has an incredible view. It is a great space for relational experiences with loved ones.

Jesus also has a specially reserved relational experience for His followers. Listen to His words just before His death...

Jn 14:15-24
"If you love me, obey my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world at large cannot receive him, because it isn't looking for him and doesn't recognize him. But you do, because he lives with you now and later will be in you. No, I will not abandon you as orphans " I will come to you. In just a little while the world will not see me again, but you will. For I will live again, and you will, too. When I am raised to life again, you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Those who obey my commandments are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them, and I will love them. And I will reveal myself to each one of them." Judas (not Judas Iscariot, but the other disciple with that name) said to him, "Lord, why are you going to reveal yourself only to us and not to the world at large?" Jesus replied, "All those who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and live with them.

This is HUGE! Jesus tells us to obey His command to love one another three times in John 13, 14, 15. He is emphasizing our need to obey this command for our benefit. There is a specially reserved experience for those who will listen to Him in this area. In our weekend services we talked about the first of the nine fruits produced by the Holy Spirit in us-love. We were challenged to a "greater love". We were told about the secret to joy and overflowing life. We are to lay down our lives for others only to discover a whole new and overflowing life.

Jesus says in the passage above that those who obey will receive special experiences with God. These experiences are reserved for those who obey Jesus’ command to love others the way he loved-sacrificially and unselfishly.

Jesus says He will reveal Himself to each one who will love like this. This sounds exciting! A fresh moment with the Lord is granted when we love like Christ. I believe that Jesus meets us in these moments with His very presence, enveloping our hearts, and filling our spirits. In these moments we become truly alive with God’s life. These moments don’t happen for just anyone. No, only a few ever really experience this.

Recently, I was in one of our life-groups and someone opened up and shared a very deep place of their life. This person allowed us deep into their heart and revealed things rarely spoken of. I felt honored to know at this level. It truly was one of the special moments of my life. In the same way, Jesus shows us Himself when we reach out sacrificially and unselfishly to love someone. It is a special moment of personal revelation that He grants as we obey His command to love.

Jesus makes another exciting promise as well. He says that the obedient one will have the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit "come to them and live with them". You may ask, "What does that mean?" I guess we will just have to obey to find out. It at least means God’s life will be in you.

Love today! Don’t miss one opportunity to be like Christ-to experience the life of God filling you and overflowing out of you toward others. Let Jesus show Himself to you today in a whole new way. And may God come and live with you today!

Making reservations,

Friday, February 10, 2006

the squeeze is on

In baseball there is a play called the squeeze play. When a runner is on third base, he will wait for the pitcher to wind up into his pitching motion and the he will suddenly run for home. The play is designed to surprise and put pressure on the pitcher and hopefully cause him to make a mistake.

Did life squeeze any yesterday? Did you feel the pressure? Did you make a mistake?

We have been speaking about life squeezing and bad stuff oozing out. We also talked of allowing God to fill us with His life so that we and those around us can experience life in all it’s fullness. So, exactly how do I let God’s spirit fill me and what does it look like when I do?

I know this is going to sound simple, but it is--you just ask your father who loves you to fill you with his spirit. “…And don't you think the Father who conceived you in love will give the Holy Spirit when you ask him?” Luke 11:14 Message

What does it look like? “…when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” Gal. 5:19-22

It looks like love. Why does it look like love? “Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is born of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God—for God is love.” I John 4:7-8

I believe that our discussion about the fruit produced in us by God’s Spirit is crucial because it deals directly with our character. Character deals directly with our integrity, and our integrity speaks of who we are when no one else is looking. Our integrity shouts to the heavens as to what is really inside us.

God uses trials to show us what is on the inside of us, and that is the proving ground. When the pressure is on, and the world is squeezing tightly, something has to come out. Our character is much more important than any gift that we possess. As a matter of fact, if we are operating in the gifts of the Spirit without the fruit of the Spirit, we could be doing damage to the cause of Christ.

Jesus said that the Father has life in himself and he gave that life to His Son so that all who trust in Him could receive this life. As I maintain connection to Jesus, His life, the life of His Spirit fills me. God will allow us to experience circumstances that require His life. You can count on someone around you requiring of you a great deal of patience. This is the way it is--a situation arises where your natural response might be hate and then God says to you, “Allow my love to fill you”. Then, instead of hatred that leads to bitterness which results in death, you love which leads to joy which results in peace, etc…

Everyday we need to be filled with God’s life because the world is going to squeeze. If we don’t hold on to Him for dear life, then we will try to hold onto something else. And whatever that thing might be (alcohol, entertainment, sex, food, etc.) it has no life in it. Life is found in God’s Son Jesus. Only He has been granted power to give life.

Let the world squeeze and find Jesus coming out of me. He can transform the difficult moments into times of victory. When circumstances seek to bring me down His life will rise up from within me and lift me above those circumstances. He is my hope and my real life. May the evidence be plain today!

“Let heaven fill your thoughts…And when Christ, who is your real life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.” Col. 3:3-4

Holding on because the squeeze is on,

Thursday, February 09, 2006

holding on for dear life

When I look around these days, I see so many people struggling. Trying to make relationships work, trying to overcome private addictions, trying to find their way through bouts of depression, and on and on. They don’t look like they are on top of things. In fact, they look more like they are just holding on for dear life. What are they holding on to?

When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, your lives will produce these evil results: sexual immorality, impure thoughts, eagerness for lustful pleasure, idolatry, participation in demonic activities, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, divisions, the feeling that everyone is wrong except those in your own little group, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other kinds of sin. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Gal. 5:19-22

We have been talking about God’s life and having His life inside of us. Above is a description of what life looks like devoid of God’s life and another picture of someone who has allowed God’s life to fill them. Jesus described us as branches in relationship to a vine, he being the vine. He said to remain connected to Him so that the life that is in Him can flow into me.

When I reject/neglect this vital union, my sinful nature is all I have to hold on to. I crave things that are bad for my health. I will tend to feed on things that satisfy my fallen nature. In this cycle of slow death, my life will only produce destructive things like those mentioned above. The things that ruin marriages and friendships-things that hurt careers and crush dreams-things that block my entrance into God’s life.

If I accept the life of Jesus, and I seek to remain truly connected to Him, he fills me with His life. I become full to the point that His life is flowing out of me. The Bible calls this the "fruit of the Spirit". Through our ever deepening relationship, Jesus gives me eveything I need to face life and be refreshing to others. But I must remain connected.

All around us people are starving spiritually. They are malnourished and need for us to bear fruit. They need for us to be filled with things like love, joy, patience, etc...or they may never experience the life of God. God the gardener uses His connected branches to offer His life to the world.

I’ve got a question. When life squeezes, what comes out of you? Do you like what you see? Do your closests friends like what they see? Do you want to be filled with God’s life? Move toward Him even now. Ask Him to take over your life. Spend time with Him right now. Close your eyes and open your heart and invite Him to fill you with His presence. Ask His Spirit to fill your spirit. If you ask in faith He will fill you.

If you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him." Luke 11:13

May you be filled with God’s life today.

Holding on to Him for the dearest of life,

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


"My prayer is...that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: John 17

What an incredible prayer! What do you think Jesus was praying? Being one with each other as the Father and the Son are one? How is that possible? Would Jesus pray that if it was impossible?

The opposite of oneness is division. We know plenty about that. That is Satan’s specialty. He continually seeks to break things up that would be in harmony with God. Your heart, your marriage, your family, your hopes and dreams. He knows God’s vision for us is that we would be one-deeply knowing and deeply caring. So he brings division - an alternative path. It is a path of isolation from those who I would be one with. He has had incredible success with this on earth. He did it in heaven once too. I hate him!

I believe that God’s life is found in deep relational connections. I am convinced after years of experience that the fulness of God’s life is found primarily in moments of complete unity with another. When fear subsides and we feel totally secure, we experience God’s life. We connect with the presence of another. Spirit connects with spirit. A release of life happens in these moments. This is also influencing my views about the sexual experience between a man and a woman. (but that is a whole other e-mail)

I believe it is possible to enter in to God and have God inter into me. I also believe that it is possible to enter into others as well as have others enter into me. In some strange way, I think this is what heaven will be. It will be depth of knowing.

"Now we see things imperfectly as in a poor mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God knows me now." I Cor. 13:12

Right now we grope to experience what will be common in our future. Eternity will be filled with experiences of oneness. Depth of knowing, being one with everyone and everything will be our norm. We can only imagine. It will be sheer joy!

I am seeking to be one with God today. Right here. Right now. He in me and I in him. As a result, I plan to be one with you as well. I wonder where my enemy will try to divide today? I don’t want to let him succeed. Join me in seeking to be one with others today. Seek be be in harmony with your Father. Ask for His Spirit to be full inside of you and listen for His voice throughout your day.

Father, Allow us to be in complete unity with you and everyone else today. Make us whole. Shown us life like never before.

"...may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me." John 17:23

Monday, February 06, 2006

enjoying food

"When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart's delight...." Jer. 15:16

How about some joy for your heart today? Is your heart filled with God’s life today?

Today is a great day to take a fresh look at your spiritual nutrition. Have you read some of the Bible? Maybe you could read John’s Gospel-I am reading that right now. Just a few verses each day can often be enough. Just read until something sticks out to you and then ask God about that. Ask Him to reveal Himself to you. Believe that He will. Be focused about this. He will reward you if you search for Him. He has promised to do so.

"...Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that there is a God and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him." Heb. 11:6

How about a great book? There are so many to read that will inspire you and encourage you in your faith. Those who take time to read are among the healthiest people I know. I am reading "Just like Jesus" by Max Lucado right now. I am also reading another book called "The Challenge of Jesus" by N.T. Wright. I’m reading others as well but that is my job, right? I don’t expect others to read as much as me. Great books written by others who love God can be a tremendous source of insight. I have found them to be critical in my development as a person.

I also purchased a set of Bible CDs. I listen to them while I get bathed and shave in the mornings. It makes a tremendous difference in my life. God often speaks to me through those CDs.

Good Christian music is in abundance these days. Listening to it can do a great deal for your heart’s growth and love relationship with God.

Of course, coming to weekend services to worship God and hear a message from the Bible is a necessary part of a healthy diet. Each week we work hard to prepare a nutritous meal for all.

One more thing that you can do to supplement your diet is attend a life group with other believers. Hearing the way that God has spoken to others is a great teacher in my life. I love my group. Last week we talked about hypocrisy and being real, and it was so powerful as we opened up to one another and shared our stories. I view being in these groups as vital to my growth and development as a follower of Christ. Let me say again, I believe it is imperative that we make ourselves available to these groups if we wish to grow and become like Christ. I encourage you not to neglect this aspect of healthy nutrition for your life. You can go to our web-site at and click on our life-groups button to see a list of available groups.

Remember, you are what you eat. Are you getting proper nutrition? Experiencing the life that God has for you depends on it. You can be filled with God’s life as you open yourself to these sources available to you. And you can enjoy this food as much as you want. It’s good for you! Jesus is the bread that God gives. Ask for Him today.

"People need more than bread for their life; they must feed on every word of God." Matt. 4:4

Enjoy your food today!

Friday, February 03, 2006

eating for life

“For my flesh is the true food, and my blood is the true drink. All who eat my flesh and drink my blood remain in me, and I in them. I live by the power of the living Father who sent me; in the same way, those who partake of me will live because of me. I am the true bread from heaven.” John 6:56-58

I am reading a book right now entitled “Eating for Life”. In the book, author Bill Phillips unveils what he calls the “big fat problem”. He says the number of obese children has quadrupled and adults doubled over the last few decades. The reason he says is because the food industry spends $15 billion a year on food advertising alone—encouraging and enticing you to overeat the wrong foods, which do little or nothing to nourish your health. In fact, these foods have been proven to feed frustration and stress, and build up loads of body fat which will kill you. He says, “Most people are eating for death”.

Michelle and I are trying to learn how to eat healthier. It is not easy. You have to learn about food. You have to read nutrition facts. You also have to think about food differently. Above everything else, you have to have a strong desire to live.

Everywhere we look today we see products supposedly designed to make us feel better, give us energy, make us burn fat, make us look younger, make us feel great, ect…on and on. Last night I saw a classic, drink Miller beer and you will live the “High Life”. Remember what Jesus said yesterday: “But you shouldn't be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that I, the Son of Man, can give you. For God the Father has sent me for that very purpose.” John 6:27

We have been talking about the life of God that is offered through His Son Jesus. I said yesterday that that life begins now and only a few ever really seem to find it. It is no secret among Christians that Jesus claimed to give life “in all its fullness”. Yet my experience as a pastor has shown me that few ever truly walk in it. Why is this? “The thief's purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give life in all its fullness.” John 10:10

The reason is we allow ourselves to be ripped off. Satan understands our natural weaknesses and desires. He addicts us to junk food that is high in calories and fat doing nothing to make us healthy and alive. He uses materialism, addictions, entertainment, and a whole range of other counterfeit food sources. We fill up on these things and not the true food.

Jesus said that we need a steady diet of Him. He says that he is true food and true drink.
Jesus uses His presence-His very life. Jesus speaks into our hearts words of life. “It is the Spirit who gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.” John 6:63

There is more to be said about experiencing this life that Jesus gives, but at the foundation is a healthy diet. If I am not willing to eliminate junk food and eat Jesus each day, I will never really find this abundant life. I am talking about a sincere effort to eat right by praying often and regularly partaking of God’s word. If you won’t at least start by doing this, Jesus life will remain illusive and you will stagnate or entropy. You will exist but not really LIVE.

Listen once more to Jesus, "It takes more than bread to stay alive. It takes a steady stream of words from God's mouth." Jesus is the bread of heaven. He is the word made flesh. He is your real life. Are you eating right? By the way, our new diet requires that Michelle and I eat 6 times a day. Can you believe that?

Eating for life,

Join us this weekend for the new series:
God’s life-Is it in you?

Thursday, February 02, 2006

God’s life-Is it in you?

"...difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it." Matt. 7:14

I have been watching TV with a little bit different eye these days. I have noticed that most advertisements are promising life beyond what you are currently experiencing. I noticed Gatorade has some liquid that if you put it "in you"; you will instantly become a peak performer and experience life at a whole new level. The catch phrase is "Gatorade-Is it in you?" They have found a way to put this amazing stuff in a bottle for us.

Jesus said that He has life "in Him". He says that he came to give us "life in all its fullness". What is life in all its fullness? What did Jesus mean when he said that? In John 5 He talks about "crossing from death to life". When you cross the bridge to life, what do you see or experience? I am devoting my life to this question. I want to be one of the "few who find it".

Many think of life in a dichotomy: The life we live here and now, and then the life we live in eternity. If Jesus gives me eternal life, is He talking about something that begins now or later? Listen to these words of Jesus as He speaks of a narrow way of living.

"Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it." Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. Matt. 7:13-14

Could it be that many of us are totally missing life now? According to Jesus, many people are on the wrong path. They are not experiencing life but death. They are existing but not really living. He also says that many who think they are on the path of life are only fooling themselves.

Luke 11:35-36 (NLT)
Make sure that the light you think you have is not really darkness. If you are filled with light, with no dark corners, then your whole life will be radiant, as though a floodlight is shining on you."

Jesus says that as I put my faith in Him, He gives me eternal life. I believe that life begins now. I believe that there is so much more to this "life" that He offers, more than we can even think to ask for or imagine.

Over the next weeks we will explore together this "life" that Jesus gives(if anyone really reads these). We will take a look at it as it appears in every day situations. We will seek to understand how to receive and truly walk in this life.

Are you experiencing this life? I saw a Taco bell commercial yesterday and deeply satisfied costumers would declare "I’m full" over and over as they purchased the delicious food off of the value menu. Lately, I’m finding out more about another filling source of nurishment. Let’s go to some new places together over the next several weeks. Let’s explore this abundant, full life that Jesus came to give? Ask Him for it today. Let’s eat it up until we are full.

John 6:27 (NLT)
But you shouldn't be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that I, the Son of Man, can give you. For God the Father has sent me for that very purpose."


Wednesday, February 01, 2006

smokin' what your sellin'

From about the time I was 17 years old until I became a follower of Christ and experienced significant life change at 23, I was a marijuana dealer. I hope that doesn’t shock you too badly. I would drive way south and pick up hefty trash bags filled with the stuff. I also smoked pot quite a bit in those days. Here’s the deal though: I would get what would be considered a medium grade supply to sell to my customers and then I would purchase high end grade for my personal use. I would look people in the eye and tell them that I was giving them the good stuff when really I was personally using something else. I was not smokin’ what I was sellin’.

Let me ask you a question, how do you get high? I mean, everyone tries to get high somehow, don’t they? Everyone uses something or someone to help them feel better-to be up, right? Many use something to give them a lift, whether it is a chemical or any number of other stimulating experiences.

Jesus talked a whole lot about life: "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me …has passed out of death into life…and those who hear will live. "For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself; John 5:24,26…I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10

I think for many Christians, we say that we believe in Jesus, but what does that mean? I suspect the extent for many is a ticket to heaven one day. Being a Christian means some life after this life. Guess what this means? They still need life now. So what do we do? We live it up! I mean up! You know, we try to get high somehow. For some it means partying hearty, while for others it means sexual encounters, for others it’s making more money, or entertainment of some kind, trips, vacations, and a whole host of options. Don’t get me wrong, some of these things are meant by God to be enjoyed.

So what’s the problem, Chris? The problem as I see it is that many of us are not smokin’ what we’re sellin’. We fill up churches singing songs and praying prayers about this Jesus who gives peace, joy, love, etc., but privately, we are using something else during the week. This is hypocrisy in its most obvious expression.

I am making a fresh discovery. Jesus gives me the pure stuff. If I resist my temptation to look at alternative sources of life, and truly ask Him for life, he can and will deliver. I’ve been focusing my heart on this Person that we say we “believe in” and allowing Him to give me “life”. You know what’s kind of cool? Jesus gives the good stuff. There is no middle man. He takes me straight to the source. He never runs out. AND, this is the biggie, IT’S FREE!

Make no mistake; as long as Jesus is just an option, he is not an option. He must be first. He must be all. “…and this life is in his Son…So whoever has God's Son has life; whoever does not have his Son does not have life” John 5:13 It is hypocrisy for me to tell everyone that Jesus is the “way, the truth, and the life” and I experientially don’t know it or really believe it.

Stop loving this evil world and all that it offers you, for when you love the world, you show that you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only the lust for physical pleasure, the lust for everything we see, and pride in our possessions. These are not from the Father. They are from this evil world. And this world is fading away, along with everything it craves. But if you do the will of God, you will live forever. 1 John 2:15-17 (NLT)

I’m smokin’ what I’m sellin’.


living out in the open

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. 8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the LORD God called to the man, "Where are you?" 10 He answered, "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid." Genesis 3:6-10

One of the first things we do when we blow it is try to hide. Why? Because we are ashamed of what we have done. What Satan tries to do is take what we have done and use it to define who we are. If we believe him we live with a sense of personal shame, not only about what we have done, but about whom we perceive ourselves to be.

We start hiding. We hide from God and we hide from others. We feel that no one (including God) could really love us so we try and put distance in our relationships. We avoid people and places that remind us of our shame or sin. We also try and pretend with people. We attempt to hide our fear, pain, and shame with all kinds of manmade coverings.

Adam said he was afraid because he was “naked”. To allow people to see beyond our coverings can be horrifying. I mean, do I want people to see every thing about me? No way! They can’t love me unconditionally and most will walk away from me. So it’s not safe. But what about God? Does He love me enough to see everything about me and not walk away?

The answer is yes! He sees it all and still loves me. In fact, he comes searching for me. He seeks to cover me with something that will not only hide my faults and weaknesses but wash them away for good-His Son’s precious blood.

“But now you belong to Christ Jesus. Though you once were far away from God, now you have been brought near to him because of the blood of Christ.” Eph. 2:13
“So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it.” Heb. 4:16

You don not have to be afraid of God but you can “Draw close to God, and God will draw close to you.” James 4:8

As you draw near and learn to be near Him, you will also begin to drop bad habits and false masks. You won’t need them anymore. One by one, you will let them go. You will begin to feel better about yourself and safe in His presence. You will eventually heal and the real you will emerge from hiding for all to see.

Have you heard God’s voice calling you lately? Has he been asking, “Where are you?” By the way, whose benefit is he asking for, yours or His? Did God know where Adam was or did Adam need to realize where he was? Did Adam need a moment of personal honesty and awareness? He needed someone to help him see.

Do you have some friends to help you? Can you truly see where you are? I pray that you will join one of our life groups. We all need some Christ-focused friends who will encourage us and build us and remind us of who we truly can be. We need people to help us see where we are and where we can be. Groups are forming now and there is something for everyone. Visit our web-site at and find the right one for you.

How about you today? Where are you in life? Where are you in your marriage? As a parent? As a friend? Are you doing a little hiding of your own? Do we know the real you or have you made some elaborate fig-leaf covering? I think you are worth knowing. I am praying that God will convince you to come out into the open. I pray that the cross will shout out to you the unconditional love and grace of God. Let’s walk in the light and get to know one another.

“Oh, what joy for those whose rebellion is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight! Yes, what joy for those whose record the LORD has cleared of sin, whose lives are lived in complete honesty!” Psalm 32:1-2, 4

Pretty encouraging stuff! Forgiven, cleansed, and living out in the open. That is what I want for us today. Honest with Him. Honest with each other. Close to Him. Close to each other.

Looking for the best you,