He Just Wants Us To Be By His Side

images-5My mother always had me dressed up with a little bow tie and suspenders as well as my hair being slicked back with a gigantic wave in front. I looked like every mothers dream little boy as she took me to Sunday school. I would sit on the small bench with a handful of other kids hearing stories about how much God loves me and that He had a plan for my life. Those flannel graph lessons planted seeds of faith that have grown and bore fruit in my life.

Scripture says in Rom 8:39, that nothing, “shall be able to separate us from the love of God”. Paul gives us a list of things in the earth and outside the earth that clarifies that there is nothing that can separate you and I from His love. Many years


God has always been forthright in showing His intent of being with His people.   (tweet)


later, though I might not be wearing suspenders or a bow tie with a wave in my hair, those foundational truths of God’s love have become an anchor in my life. Yet, His love is so much more than a one-time story that inspires us.

From the front cover to the end of the Bible we see God’s intent and love. In Gen 3:8-11, we read the first story of mankind where we see God walking and talking with Adam and Eve in the midst of the garden. It was a perfect scenario, God wanting to commune and be with His creation. Then at the back of the book in Rev 21:3 where John’s revelation of Jesus gives us a picture of the end of the age we read, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people”. From the beginning to the end of time itself, along with thousands of years in between God has always been forthright in showing His intent of being with His people.

But unfortunately, when sin entered the world through the disobedience and self-will of Adam and Eve in the Garden it separated us from God. Sending all of mankind in a tailspin in need of a redeemer. At the end of this story in Gen 3:21 we see


One of the greatest truths of Scripture is the fact that God desires to commune with His creation.   (tweet)


God’s heart in the midst of mankind’s epic failure by His immediate covering of them with the animal skin, foreshadowing the shedding of Christ’s blood for our sin, as they were banned from His presence. God began at that very moment to passionately Continue reading

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God’s Love Isn’t Puppy Love

Hair Of The Dog: Pooch Becomes Insta-FamousThe red foil rapped heart boxes and mountains of chocolate cherries seemed to shout the announcement of the season of love. It’s time to order roses and reserve dinner for two. Ready or not the marketing of big business has pressured every individual to consider his or her love life one way or another. Whether it is like Donny Osmond’s song many years ago “It’s puppy love” or the love of your life for so many years it’s time to “show the love”.

The Beatle’s song, “All you need is love…” is only true if you define “Love” as the Bible says in I Jn 4:7-8, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”


We can accomplish the greatest achievements in the world but if we don’t love others with God’s love it is useless   (tweet)


It’s when we begin to allow songs, poems, as well as our own feelings to define love that it can get distorted and totally off base. God Himself is love and when we identify and reflect Him then we will begin to act like He is. In other words we will bear fruit (Gal 2:22) and show evidence of being grafted in the “Vine”(Jn. 15:5). God made us with desires and feelings to be able to fulfill His will in the earth. He Himself is a God of relationships. But, only through His statutes and plan can they keep pure and whole. When we move outside of His plan then our love can easily turn into a Continue reading

He Still Loves Me even when I Blow It

637685246Peter in his zeal blurts out “I will never be made to stumble”. Again moments later, in rebuttal to Jesus’ prophetic word in Matt 26:34-35, revealing that he would deny Him three times; Peter emphatically declares, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!” Strong words that came from love and a life that was transformed by the Master. As well, the other disciples followed in voicing their commitment and devotion to Jesus that historic night on the Mount of Olives not knowing exactly what would shortly transpire.

The city was doing construction on the sewer lines in front of my Aunt and Uncles house many years ago while they were keeping my siblings and me for a summer. My brother and I were at the young age where curiosity can make you do things you shouldn’t. I remember so vividly my uncle sternly saying, before he went to work that day, “Do not play around or get down into that construction hole”.   Well… even though we had made a oath and commitment that we would never do that we were overtaken and enticed with adventure. Being able to resist no longer, my brother lowered me into the hole later that day for a harmless look. Then at the sight of my uncle coming around the corner he ran and left me in the


Jesus still loves us even after we have made great commitments to Jesus and then failing Him and totally blowing it.     (tweet)


hole. The willow tree that conveniently hung over in my sight was a perfect place for my uncle to get a branch and proceed with one hand to help me out and wimped me all in the same motion.

More than the sting of the whooping was the pain of knowing I had failed in my oath and commitment that I had made to my uncle. The thought of disappointing him and possible losing his love was worse than any other pain I was feeling. It wasn’t until later that a valuable lesson was learned.

In comparison I can vaguely imagine the feeling of disappointment that Peter Continue reading

Embracing the very Purpose of God with Hope!

sunriseMy pager went off at 11:30pm with a message saying I needed to go to a room at the far end of the fourth floor. As a hospital chaplain you never know what kind of situation you will be walking into when the call comes in. In this case I was puzzled when I arrived to a dark empty room filled with an atmosphere of hopelessness that could be cut with a knife. There was absolutely no one in the hall or even near by. A matter of fact, it was a section of the floor that was not occupied other than this empty room with a deceased corpse in it. Needless to say I was confused and


If God had a refrigerator, your picture would definitely be on it!   –   (tweet)


wanted to make sense of this situation and answer the “why”. I began to research and try to pieced together what had happened only to get a more complete understanding a day later when a newspaper article had came out with some details.

The patriarch of a national family company who seemed to have a life of success, notoriety and material gain had fallen into the clutches of suicide. Being at the age that one would think would be delightful and full of enjoyment it was filled with hopelessness to the point of prematurely ending his journey. Unfortunately, this same story is repeated much to often. Many people go through life never really understanding purpose and grabbing ahold of what God thinks about them.

In Jer 29:11 we read God’s thoughts towards us, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Did you hear that? God has good plans for you! He’s not up on a cloud somewhere with a hammer waiting to crush you. But has plans for your future filled with hope and goodness. He doesn’t look at you and think evil about you! Actually, the


Many people go through life never really understanding their purpose and grabbing ahold of what God thinks about them.   –   (tweet)


psalmist says in chapter139 of Psalms in verse 17-18, “How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand”. If God had a refrigerator, your picture would Continue reading

The Bridegroom is Madly in Love with His Bride!

Wedding Of Renata Kochta And Thomas FrankThe Moment had finally arrived! Like a perfect bride with an angelic glow, the women of my dreams began the walk down the aisle gripped in the hands of her father. The pounding and fluttering of my heart was so hard that I was sure everyone could hear it. Any difficult times throughout our dating relationship all faded at the exhilaration of the wedding day. That moment will forever be etched in my memory for eternity.

In His earthly ministry Jesus performed His first miracle at a wedding. In 1 Jn. 2:1-10, we read the account of Jesus and His disciples at the wedding where His mother seemed to be helping to host. Like most wedding celebrations, I am sure they


When Jesus looks upon His children, He sees His beautiful bride soon coming down the aisle arrayed in splendor   (tweet)


were enjoying the fellowship and festivities, when Mary comes and presents the dilemma of the shortage of wine to Jesus. As you can guess this would be a great embarrassment for the bridegroom. At this time Jesus had not done any miracles yet in His ministry, yet His mother knew He was the answer to this problem.

As the story proceeds in verse 7-9, Jesus turns the water into wine. As custom goes the first cup of new wine is taken to the Bridegroom for a taste test and the approval. We read the reply in John 2:10, “Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now!” NKJV

Not only was this an incredible miracle for those at the celebration but also Jesus’ ministry was established through this powerful miracle of turning the water into wine. Every time God moves in His power, it releases God’s best amongst those He loves. In this case it was the best wine that was being saved for the last, which was


Having our eyes open to Jesus as the Bridegroom God brings the understanding that He is madly in love with us!      (tweet)


totally opposite of the norm. But, foremost this was a prophetic picture and revelation for the end of the age. Jesus begins His ministry at a wedding and then in Rev. 19:7-9, we read at the end of the age where it is concluded at the marriage supper of the Lamb.

One overlaying perspective of the Kingdom of God is seen in Jesus’ teaching ministry through the lens of a bride. The far-reaching message includes wholehearted
love, adoration of God’s splendor, unwavering commitment and devotion, as well as, Continue reading

Your Love Letter Still Moves Me!

95465434The envelopes are getting tattered and the ink is starting to fade. But yet I find myself pulling out those priceless letters I have kept for so many years. The goose bumps go up my spine every time I reread the love letters my wife sent me when we were dating. The words keep melting my heart time after time, whether from a week or decades ago, I am moved by the words she wrote to me.

I think you can relate, right? It might have been a note from your first real girl or boy friend or even from a parent or grandparent. But words of love still penetrate us. There is just something about love communicated that moves us and brightens our days.

So how long has it been since you have taken His love letter down from the shelf or out of the drawer and blew the dust off of it? It’s probably time to read again God’s love letter to you. How much more than notes from a sweetheart should our Creator’s words of love move us?


He has you on His mind and penned His words of love to you. (tweet)


He has you on His mind and penned His words of love to you. Not just a one liner or quick note, but thousands of words. We read the words of the Psalmist in Ps 40:5 saying, “Your thoughts toward us cannot be recounted …they are more than can be numbered”. But, so often we push them off as out of date, non-relevant or even unbelievable. The Bible in short is God communicating His love, His purpose and His destiny for us. Jer 29:11-12 says His thoughts towards us are “of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope”.

God’s love letter to us, the Bible, is more than a good history book. Better than any other book of poetry and so much more than a list of religious “do’s and don’ts”. The God of all creation is madly in love with you! God loves you! That gives me chills just saying it! His unconditional love for us is beyond any “so called” expression of love we might have experienced from others. It is deeper, wider and taller than anything else. Like it says in Eph 3:18-19, “that you… may be able to comprehend … what is the width and length and depth and height to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge”.

You can feel the love flowing all through the Bible. It reveals how He demonstrated His great love for us by sending Christ to die in our place while we were still sinners. (Rom 5:8) God himself declares that His word will never just fade away. And totally opposite of the politician’s words and promises, God’s word will not return as empty promises. In Isaiah 55 we read, “So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void”.


The God of all creation is madly in love with you!   (tweet)


In Rom 8:34 we read with a long list of different things, that nothing can separate us from God’s love. God is madly in love with you! There’s nothing that you can do to separate yourself from His love. Even when we turn our backs on Him, our Heavenly Father continues to look for us and stands with His arms outstretched for our return. So let me ask you, “why do so many people refuse to embrace His love and choose to live a life of consequences?” I just don’t get it!

Who Left the Gate Open?

The unprecedented news quickly exploded through every news outlet of the 5 to 4 Supreme Court decision favoring same sex marriage. The highest court has single handily redefined marriage, opposing the words of Jesus (Matt. 19:1-9). In spite of this country’s Godly heritage, it now seems that America has opened the gate to turn away from being one nation under God.
Different opinions spread on social media such as, “Love Wins” making it look as if this was a debate of love or hate for the gay community. This decision is not about love and hate, but about keeping the statues of God so that we can live a protected and blessed life (Ps. 33:12).
The Bible teaches us that Jesus died on the cross because He loved mankind and wanted to redeem us. (Jn. 3:16-17) It goes on to say that He didn’t come to condemn but to save us. In other words Jesus didn’t go to the cross because He hated certain individuals, but on the contrary it was because of His love towards them! Yet, many people interpret His purpose and message as hate and condemnation. Let me try and explain this with a story.
When my children were young we lived in an older part of Chicago where the streets are narrow and very busy. I had given my sweet little toddler a kiss and slipped out the back door to start mowing the yard not realizing that the door hadn’t latched behind me. Once I was finished in the back I moved to the front yard leaving the gate open making it easier to get the mower back to the garage. Unbeknownst to me this made for a perfect storm.
Moments later I looked up in complete horror to see my daughter getting ready to step out into the busy street. She had innocently gone through the uninhibited doors and gates unaware of any danger. My fatherly instinct provoked me to yell with urgency “Stop”. Causing my naïve toddler to uncontrollably cry thinking I was upset at her. She misinterpreted my love and desire to keep her safe for a dissatisfaction and anger towards her personally. My yelling was out of desperation to keep her from proceeding into a dangerous road where she would most assuredly get hurt. I had been so preoccupied with the work at hand that I left the gate wide open giving opportunity for her to possibly get seriously hurt.


Real love won on the cross over two thousand years ago (tweet)   


In like manner, this debate is not about God or God’s people hating certain ones, but about maintaining the boundaries He has set. Making sure that there isn’t any gate left opened in our society. Real love won on the cross over two thousand years ago. In 1 Jn 4:7-8 it says that God is love and those that follow Him need to reflect Him through love even while we stand for truth. Jesus went to the cross to free mankind from dangerous actions and lifestyles that would bring bondage. God is not a “Cosmic Kill Joy” wanting you to miss out but a loving Heavenly Father who wants to protect us and give us abundant life. He has set healthy borders that will produce a life of blessing if we follow them and will insure that we don’t begin down a slippery slope leading to destruction. God loves the person but came to deliver them from the works and deception of the evil one. (1 Jn. 3:8)

This is going to hurt me more than you!

disciplined child Heb 12:5-11   “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;  6 For whom the Lord loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.”  7 If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten?   

Until I became a parent, I just could not understand the phrase, “This is going to hurt me more than You!”  I would hear my parents tell me this same line each time I was getting a wiping. At times I heard it more frequently than at other times. I guess maybe it was a seasonal thing. It was seasons of rebellion and seasons of obedience.

What was it all about? Could my parents really feel anything? Was it painful to swing the paddle?  I don’t think so! Did they just choose to say it so it would keep them from feeling guilty? Then what was it supposed to mean?

Well, now that I have become a parent it’s starting to make a little bit of sense. Even though my children are pretty spectacular they aren’t perfect. Therefore, there are times that they need a little correction or chastisement. And when that time comes I have to be truthful. It really does hurt me to do it. It would be much easier to just let things slide by without correction than it would be to reprimand them. There has been times that after I brought correction and chastisement that I was hurting all evening. It breaks a father’s heart to see his children hurt, even if they deserve it.  So now after all those confusing times of hearing those words time after time, I can honestly say I get it now! “It’s going to hurt me more than it’s going to hurt you.” It’s because of the love that parents have for their children that make them say those strange words.

The scriptures reveal in Heb. 12:5 – 11 that if we are not being chastised by God then we are not His children. If we are not His children then we are in a heap more trouble than just a little correction.

Therefore I think we should look at God’s correction as an incredible compliment from heaven. It confirms that we truly are His children.  And if we are children then we are heirs to the King. So we should say, Lord please continue to correct and chastise me when I am in need.

Our God is a just and loving God. He is always fair when He moves in our lives. Because He loves us!  In His chastisement towards us we can rest in knowing He loves us and wants the best for us!