0 thoughts on “Leadership

  1. nice, informative and educational post and the most interesting and informative post i’ve ever seen, so the post bookmarked my browser for futurehttp://www.casaemail.com.br

  2. Great title with an formerly forgotten scripture to back it up. The biblical writers were people of the farm, fields, fish and family so matters of the body, reproduction and daily life were not hidden matters. Today some places refuse to allow a woman to feed her baby because pornography has replaced biology and nutrition as the main meme in our culture.

    But crushed testicles does, as you point out, have a larger meaning for us. When I grew up it was a shorthand for what we now call guts or courage and the people of the Bible had plenty of that. I think that Political Correctness has largely crushed our nerve and keeps us from speaking plainly. The enemy of our soul knows how to manipulate us into silence so we do have to use our testosterone wisely and be Wise as serpents and gentle as doves”.

    One of my mentors was Rabbi and Family Therapist Dr. Ed. Friedman. One of his books was published posthumously and it is a good one. “A Failure of Nerve” and it is worth reading by all Christians. Ed loved to speak to radical leftist, anti religious groups so loved by agnostics. He always tried to “Throw the cat into the midst of the pigeons” and get the group vexed and out of control. He loved intellectual challenges.

    My book called Hope and Change for Humpty Dumpty attempts to give guidance on the timing of a challenge to anyone needing some display of tester one. I suggest there are four possibilities in a challenge.

    1. The wrong statement at the wrong time.
    2. The right statement at the wrong time.
    3. The wring statement at the right time.
    4. The right statement at the right time.

    Jesus was a master at picking the right time to say the right thing.

    Shalom,

    Gary

  3. Well said Jim I agree with you, thanks for stating the facts and making it clear , you have pointed out some sad realities about the Church and Oprah and her followers.The Truth Lives and doesn’t Compromise.

    • Okay, next to my family and my kids, this is my Passion topic! It’s what gets my juiecs flowing.First and foremost, I believe that those statistics are proof that the church has fallen asleep. The church has narrowed itself into a corner and unless willing to adapt to some change, this statistic I fear will grow. Churches have been doing what they do because that’s the way it’s always been done. Some churches hold tight to Tradition. The church can never compete with culture. They will never win. Its just the way it is. But the church can certainly change from “doing” to having a strategy.If You read my “About” section on my blog, you’ll see a line where I wrote, “I bleed Orange.” I encourage you to check out http://www.whatisorange.com to learn more about that and to see where my firm stance on what the church should be doing.We (as in Us, Moms, Parents, etc) put So much responsibility on the Church for those poor statistics. I see it as a 50/50 deal. Parents need to wake up and realize that they are the primary spiritual leaders in their kids lives. The church is a “Partner” to you as a Parent. Or at least it should be. There in lies the problem. Churches are failing to see that they need to come along side of us as parents and support us and understand that what happens at home is far more important than what happens at church. I am a product of Christian parents, christian private schools and church all my life. I saw friends come and go within the church. From my experience, The leadership within the church are all on different pages. Nursery, elementary, youth and “big” church are all doing their own thing. There is no strategy. They are silo’d. I beg of the church to align themselves together with parents and have a strategy for how to get a child from birth through college not ever wanting to leave the church! It is possible. It just means people are going to have to adapt to change and let some things go. Sorry for the rant. I warned you that it was a Passion area for me. I could say so much more…. : )

    • This is actually something we have been addressing at our church in the past few months. We have been incorporating more activities for our youth, such as– on a specific Sunday night, the youth conducts our entire service; our music director has incorporated some of the new Contemporary Christian music into our services, which the youth absolutely love. We have also brought a young youth minister in which has been such a blessing!Honestly, I think one of the main reasons the statistics are what they are is because a lot of churches are too set in older ways– not so much catering to the older members, but pacifying them by not incorporating newer ideas and technology into the service, etc. It is absolutely critical that we do all we can to make our young people feel a part of the church because they are the future of the church, and they need all the guidance they can get in this harsh and cruel world!!

  4. Indeed that is a very telling question! This is a well-written piece. And, unfortunately, there is blame to go all around.

    • Thanks, Brenda. I know what you mean. Perhaps some dreams are of our own imagination, and others are only “seasonal.” But I believe some dreams are from God and should endure! Jim

  5. Great Post. I still remember when you told me about your experience with Don Quiote. One thing stands true, Jesus loves me, and forgetting what lies behind, it is still true that for each of us there is the prize of the high calling and purpose that God is desiring to do in and through each one of us. May God Bless your day, Jim B.

  6. Good word Jim, are you going to start canvassing the Carolinas? I’m sure they could use your encouragement.
    Blessings!
    Paul

  7. Greetings from California! I’m bored to tears at work so I decided to check out your site on my iphone during lunch break. I really like the knowledge you present here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home. I’m shocked at how quick your blog loaded on my phone .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyhow, good site!

  8. I have not checked in here for a while since I thought it was getting boring, but the last several posts are good quality so I guess I will add you back to my everyday bloglist. You deserve it my friend 🙂

  9. Excellent read, I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing a little research on that. And he actually bought me lunch because I found it for him smile Thus let me rephrase that: Thank you for lunch!

  10. I have read several good stuff here. Certainly worth bookmarking for revisiting. I wonder how much effort you put to make such a wonderful informative website.

  11. Fantastic goods from you, man. I’ve keep in mind your stuff previous to and you are simply too fantastic. I really like what you’ve received right here, really like what you are stating and the best way by which you assert it. You are making it entertaining and you continue to take care of to keep it wise. I cant wait to read far more from you. This is really a tremendous website.

  12. It is terrific to read through your content regularly, my mate. When i will center on yuor web blog everyday and also see your webpage to read through a hottest posts, when you finally enhance. Sustain! We imagine you have a great time of day.
    money

  13. Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to say that I have truly enjoyed browsing your blog posts. In any case I’ll be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again very soon!

  14. Excellent read, I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing some research on that. And he just bought me lunch as I found it for him smile Thus let me rephrase that: Thanks for lunch! “Love is made in heaven and consummated on earth.” by John Lyly.
    [url=http://www.sacslongchamppascher2013.com]longchamp[/url]
    longchamp

  15. I have been surfing online more than 3 hours today, yet I never found any attention-grabbing article like yours. It is beautiful worth sufficient for me. In my opinion, if all website owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the web will be much more useful than ever before.

  16. I’m often to blogging and i really admire your content. The article has really peaks my interest. I am going to bookmark your web site and maintain checking for brand spanking new information.

  17. Nice post. I learn something totally new and challenging on websites I stumbleupon everyday. It will always be helpful to read content from other authors and practice something from their web sites.

    • “Forgive me for being so ordinary while claiming to know such an extraordinary God.” Jim Elliot. Thank you for your quote and may God bless you and your ministry for Him.~ Robert Lloyd Russell, editor of JIM ELLIOT: A Christian Martyr Speaks to You

  18. An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a colleague who has been
    doing a little homework on this. And he actually ordered me dinner simply because I discovered it
    for him… lol. So let me reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!
    ! But yeah, thanx for spending some time to talk about this topic here on your website.

  19. Simply wish to say your article is as amazing.
    The clarity in your post is just spectacular and i can assume you’re an expert on this subject. Well with your permission allow me to grab your RSS feed to keep updated with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please carry on the gratifying work.

  20. Hi there, just became alert to your blog through Google, and found that it is truly informative.

    I’ll be grateful if you continue this in future. Many people will be benefited from your writing.
    Cheers!

  21. Hi great website! Does running a blog like this take a lot of work?

    I’ve very little knowledge of coding however I was hoping to start my own blog in the near future. Anyhow, should you have any suggestions or tips for new blog owners please share. I know this is off subject but I simply needed to ask. Cheers!

  22. After reading your Piper article in the MS Journal, I had to find you online. I kept hearing lately that we have been paying the price of the piper, without remembering the story details, and how we had been lulled into a stupor. Your article put into words what I felt the Spirit was saying to me. I recently posted that justification by faith rocked the church 400 years ago, and the message that we can do more than Jesus Christ because He left us His Holy Spirit Who leads us into all things will rock the church today. I had also posted that we were like Esau selling our nation’s liberties for short term goals rather than appreciating the birthright our founding father gave to us. Your words on this blog are affirming to me because I had similar, half-baked thoughts that you have freely given as generous loaves of Manna from heaven.

  23. Just made a decree in morning watch prayer that God is sending fiery angels to remove the spirit of stupor from the ekklesia in America. Two days later, I get this article of yours in MorningStar Journal. I’m glad to read some of your other well-written pieces on this blog as well.

  24. I must thank you for the efforts you’ve put in writing this website. I really hope to check out the same high-grade content by you in the future as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my own, personal website now 😉

  25. I must thank you for the efforts you’ve put in penning this website. I really hope to view the same high-grade content by you in the future as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my very own site now 😉

  26. I really love your site.. Great colors & theme. Did you make this website yourself? Please reply back as I’m looking to create my own website and would love to find out where you got this from or what the theme is called. Thank you!

  27. Right here is the right website for everyone who wishes to understand this topic. You realize so much its almost tough to argue with you (not that I really will need to…HaHa). You certainly put a new spin on a topic that has been discussed for ages. Wonderful stuff, just great!

  28. Having read this I thought it was really enlightening. I appreciate you spending some time and energy to put this short article together. I once again find myself spending way too much time both reading and posting comments. But so what, it was still worth it!

  29. I was extremely pleased to uncover this great site. I wanted to thank you for your time due to this wonderful read!! I definitely appreciated every part of it and i also have you bookmarked to look at new information in your blog.

  30. Your post, Confessions of an Amnesiac | Jim Buchan's Blogsite, is really well written and insightful. Glad I found your website, warm regards!

  31. You’re so awesome! I do not think I’ve read through a single thing like that before. So wonderful to discover somebody with a few unique thoughts on this issue. Really.. thanks for starting this up. This website is one thing that’s needed on the internet, someone with some originality!

  32. A motivating discussion is worth comment. I think that you need to publish more on this subject, it might not be a taboo matter but typically people don’t speak about such topics. To the next! All the best!!

  33. I seriously love your site.. Very nice colors & theme. Did you build this website yourself? Please reply back as I’m trying to create my very own blog and would love to find out where you got this from or what the theme is named. Thanks!

  34. I was more than happy to discover this great site. I need to to thank you for your time due to this wonderful read!! I definitely appreciated every little bit of it and I have you book marked to look at new information in your blog.

  35. I’m amazed, I must say. Rarely do I come across a blog that’s both equally educative and interesting, and without a doubt, you have hit the nail on the head. The problem is something which too few people are speaking intelligently about. Now i’m very happy that I stumbled across this during my hunt for something regarding this.

  36. Hello there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after going through some of the posts I realized it’s new to me. Nonetheless, I’m definitely pleased I stumbled upon it and I’ll be book-marking it and checking back often!

    • Well if we are talking about lost kids that don’t have godly ptenras… as a missionary (now SAHM and wife to a missionary) with Child Evangelism Fellowship I must say you (the church) must go to the kids. It’s not good enough to teach sunday school classes of kids “About” Jesus. You MUST share the Gospel with them! Most of our churches teach Bible stories to children… which obviously I have no issues with… but I bet the reason these kids end up leaving is because they never became Christians! As someone who taught kids sunday school for a long time I can tell you most of the curriculum DOES NOT share the gospel… or it does once every 5 weeks or something like that. That isn’t good enough! You can’t expect kids to stay in church if they never accepted Christ as their personal Savior. For kids outside of the church? Go to where they are. Schools (yes you can do it, visit cefonline.com) community centers, parks, wherever kids are and tell them why Jesus came.Kids should know Bible Stories but if they don’t know the Gospel then they can’t be saved and won’t stay in church.

  37. “A Ray of Hope…” is a timely reminder of God’s mercy, goodness and sovereignty in the midst of our current human perspective under these extremely disappointing circumstances. Thanks, Jim. We needed that reminder. Especially in His own words,
    encouragement abounds!

  38. Can I simply just say what a comfort to find somebody that truly understands what they are talking about online. You actually know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. A lot more people need to look at this and understand this side of the story. I was surprised that you are not more popular since you definitely possess the gift.

  39. I am really impressed along with your writing abilities as smartly as with the structure on your weblog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it your self? Either way stay up the excellent high quality writing, it’s uncommon to see a great blog like this one these days..

    • As a pastor’s wife- this topic is near to my heart!First of all, I have to say that I do not bveilee that the “Church” is at fault!! The Bible is very clear, that it is to be us PARENTS that are to be training our children in righteousness!!! Sunday School & Youth Group were started many, many years later & really were started for the “non-churched” kids! Those statistics are sad, but I think they are a lot due to the fact that parents have been relying on the church to teach their children about Christ- instead of taking an active role themselves (& actually living what they bveilee)!A couple things our church does that I LOVE are… when children turn 4, they join their parents in “big” church- children younger than that are certainly welcome, but there is nursery & children’s church provided for children under 4. Although I do understand how difficult it can be for some kids to sit so long (we are all about wiggles at our house), we bveilee that having children in the service, plants seeds in their little hearts! :)We also have just started a curriculum (our pastors & elders & teachers have created) that lasts 7 years & walks everyone through the Bible… all Sunday School classes of various ages as well as the sermon are focused on the SAME topic… are memorizing the same verse, etc. In this way, children (along with their parents) will go through an in depth study of the whole Bible twice.Sorry, this is getting way too long! ;)Great question!Jessica

    • Well, I learned something new. Only 4% of my generation believes the Bible!? Praise the Lord for Godly parents! Thank you Jesus! The kids need to be in Church… not youth group, not children’s church, but Church. I don’t me do not have these things, but a saved child, no matter what age, needs to be in “big” Church in my opinion, and the youth can STILL have their own group and attend regular services. Also, we HAVE to teach about having a RELATIONSHIP with our Maker and Saviour. If you are best, best friends with the God of our salvation, it won’t be so easy to walk away:) I pray my kids stay in Church…

  40. After I originally commented I appear to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time a comment is added I recieve four emails with the exact same comment. Perhaps there is a way you are able to remove me from that service? Thanks!

  41. Having read this I thought it was really informative. I appreciate you finding the time and energy to put this informative article together. I once again find myself spending a significant amount of time both reading and posting comments. But so what, it was still worthwhile!

  42. Oh my goodness! Awesome article dude! Many thanks, However I am going through problems with your RSS. I don’t understand why I cannot join it. Is there anyone else having identical RSS problems? Anyone that knows the answer can you kindly respond? Thanx!!

  43. Great blog right here! Additionally your web site quite a bit up very fast!
    What host are you the usage of? Can I get your affiliate hyperlink for your host?

    I want my web site loaded up as quickly as yours lol

  44. Thank you so much for giving everyone a very remarkable possiblity to read from this site. It really is so brilliant plus jam-packed with a great time for me and my office co-workers to visit your web site particularly thrice in one week to see the fresh items you will have. And lastly, I am just always amazed with the incredible advice served by you. Some 4 areas in this post are without a doubt the most beneficial we have all ever had.

  45. I was thinking of 12/12/12 yesterday. However, I did not tie it to a tremendous return on that date. I know I need to expect that what I give will be multiplied .
    Thanks for the new thought.
    WW

  46. My first year as Resident Counselor at U of Cincinnati was 1967. I was in charge of 12Resident Advisers for a dorm of 600 upper class men. Those were years of sex, drugs and rock music and to a country kid from a village in Illinois I was deeply challenged in how to communicate with my staff and students. I went to an intense encounter group conference and came back with a beard. After that, several students felt comfortable to ask me for help with drugs and other problems. Amazing what happens when we join the culture but retain our values and convictions. Before the beard I must have seemed outside the life experience of my students. The hair did not change my heart but it did change my image.

  47. Jim, I love this revelation of the truth. It goes to show how willing we are to accept the lie and even cover it when calling it what it is may mean reframing something in reality. How embarrassing it is to see that we don’t hold our leaders to a higher standard any more. Our President’s character is important if we are to follow his leadership!

  48. Being that the Word is God and the Word was God and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us and now the Word dwells in us. Every professing Christian should have a word cloud that looks like the one in this post, with Jesus being in the center. For it is no longer ” I” who live, but it’s Christ who lives in me! So I guess you can say: I am a word cloud!! Great post Jim!

  49. Very good bit of wisdom is shared in your blog here. There is so much to be said for “selective amnesia”. I was tempted to beat myself down many years ago concerning a co-worker who committed suicide. I do not believe that I ever gave him an adequate gospel witnesss before he died. This could have really ate away at me, if I had let it. We have to move on from the past, and “press toward the mark.”

  50. Still doing some of the things I use to do surely that’s why I can’t get a breakthrough I’ve given up a whole lot its so hard to give up smoking. God help me.

  51. Do you have any idea how profound this is? I have never heard it put that way, its such an visualization. I feel that way about a few things in my life, I think the main reason you stay in a bed you’ve outgrown is that its familiar and you can have a fear of the unknown. This word is encouraging me to step out and venture into new things. please keep messages like this coming, they are really needed!

    • Thank you for the encouraging message. God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). Be bold and strong, for the Lord your God is with you! Wherever the soul of your foot treads, He has given it to you! (Joshua 1)

  52. In the New Kingdom we have a dramatic change in the succession planning scheme. In John Jesus is reported to say that “I will not leave you as orphans. Then Jesus makes a remarkable statement that “You will have the Holy Spirit with you and in you…” From then on the game is played not by an occasional person like Elijah and Elisha but by ever single believer . All Christians are to be trained to follow in the footsteps of Jesus and every single believer can be the top dog or a star performer. This is what Equipping the believers is all about. We have replaced the NT system of discipleship or socialization with a system of formal schoolization and leadership is no longer decided by gifts, talents and call but by graduate degree. In God’s system even a Lawyer can be a leader.

  53. Jim,
    Thanks for being real world. There are far too many times when we think we cannot play the ball where it lays.
    Love you, Buddy!
    Don

  54. The StepDD of a Pastor friend wanted his funeral at HSI favorite saloon. When he was introduced as “Pastor Rich” most patrons were confused about what that meant. He was Abe to gently share the love and truth of God and felt great about the service. It is a problem when we separate all Christian activities from real life. No wonder we seem so strange.

  55. Kinda reminds me of Jesus comment in John 13:35 “By this shall all men know you are my disciples if you have love for one another.” Or as someone said, “There is more love and fellowship at the corner bar than in a lot of churches.”

  56. I ask myself what do I have today? I only have R120 as my tithe, is it enough for the Lord to transform my situation. I’ve cracked my skull on how am I going to pay all this debts my rent,child schoolfees & transport the list is endless how I got here? My foolishness deprive me of sleep,peace & happiness will I ever get out since I no longer work with no income. Its tough only God knows…I wonder if in all this pressure will I be able to cope & just put my eyes on the cross. Truly speaking I’m stressed, ppl calling & coming over cause I owe them…plz pray for me.

    • Thanks for sharing this heartfelt situation. The story comes to mind about the woman who provided for Elijah in 1 Kings 17. She was in despair and felt that she had very little. But God turned her situation around, and much more quickly than she could have imagined. I will be praying for such an outcome for you as well.

  57. That is so true. When we finally get it, it is not about us but the Holy Spirit, God’s Spirit, it shut the mouths of lions, parted oceans, raise the dead, and Jesus said we would do even more!

  58. Just as useless as we are without Holy Spirit, so is Holy Spirit without us. If that is a surprising idea, one must consider how God set up the world–to be shared together.

  59. Thanks Jim,
    Appreciate your Blog.
    If only as a nation we could turn our eyes toward God.
    Thanks for your so well expressed words of wisdom and truth.

  60. Hey!!! I can SO relate to this one. I’m such a minimalist when it comes to anything cyber or wireless etc. And I am also finding Gods depth and available resources to be so far beyond what I’ve been walking in. The more I learn and piece together all the threads , the bigger the tapestry and I AM A PART of it!!! It’s so worth the study and gleaning. Thanks, Jim!!

  61. Thanks Jim. I appreciate this insight and emphasis upon motion that we so easily overlook. The call comes with invitation to respond with our whole person, which requires motion at all levels. Good word Jim. I will think about this more today. Blessings.

  62. Solid materials here on jimbuchan.com, dude. I’m glad you’ve had the opportunity to collect
    all this info on this page, and I’m loving the way you present it. You’ve taken
    the effort to make it simultaneously entertaining and intelligent.
    I think I can gather a lot from you. This is really a superb web site.

  63. The second amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees every American the right to bear arms. Has any law ever been so ambiguous? What are arms? What does it mean to bear them? At least with the first amendment we know exactly where we stand: Freedom of speech. It couldn’t be any clearer. But, the right to bear arms leaves the second amendment open to different interpretations. We need gun permits to carry a concealed weapon. Do we need knife permits? No. Yet both can, and often do, cause death. We can own a gun, or a rifle, or a sub-machine gun, or a machete, and dozens of other tools to kill, even our own bare hands. So, gun control is a debate in our country that makes no sense unless you broaden the ban or acceptance to include all instruments of death.”^

    Most up-to-date posting from our personal internet site
    http://www.calaguastourpackage.com/index.php

  64. Excellent post, Jim. Yes, this is an all-too-easy trap to fall into. I, like you, blog and try to guard myself from allowing it to become about the blog and its success indicators rather than its purpose: the message. I see a lot of similarities in that trap as the trap you’re describing that many churches fall into. It’s easy to end up “doing” church rather than “being” church.
    Yes, I’ll join you in this struggle.
    I was about to congratulate you on this blog. But in light of this post, that seems out of place. So, instead, I’ll encourage you to keep following God’s will with your writings.
    Be well, friend.

    • Thanks for the excellent perspectives, Tom. We live in a day when churches, bloggers, and seemingly everyone else is seeking a higher PLATFORM. How ironic that our Lord, in contrast, came to wash people’s feet and take the LOW place of servanthood. How do we so often miss this?

  65. Good word, Jim!!!!!!!! Over and over, in so many areas, I keep coming back to the truth that it’s NOT about ME!!!! I’ve also been a bit leary of what I keep hearing, lately, that seems to be saying that since we are covered by the blood and made new, we are , therefore, sinless…..We are , hopefully getting more and more obedient and honed, but it could be dangerous ground if it causes us to start to dismiss our consciences, for even little offenses or sins. It’s HIS righteousness and kindness that overtakes us and changes us . We never “change into God”. We can be filled and changed from glory to glory but we are still human and still live in this body till we arrive totally in heaven. In HIM we live and move and hava our being. Any thoughts?

    • Thanks for the encouraging word, Roberta. It’s good to know that it’s not about us. It’s amazing to read the book of Acts and see that the church seemingly spent no time promoting the church. But as they lifted up the name of Jesus, the church grew and prospered.

      • Jim, this singular point you make is central to the discussion. The disciples NEVER preached their own reputation or the reputation of any particular church. As Paul wrote, “I preach only Christ and Him crucified!” I was challenged recently by some friends who were taught the heresy that the supernatural gifts suddenly disappeared after the apostolic age. So I read the works of the early church fathers on the subject. (The leaders who were handed the leadership of the Christian church as the original disciples passed away.) Here is what I found. Until about 500 A.D. new believers were EXPECTED to move in ALL the divine gifts of the Spirit outlined in I Corinthians 12 and Romans 12. But, around 500 A.D., bishop John Chrysostom wrote that they were seeing less and less manifestation of the supernatural as these 2 things happened in the churches: they became focused on money and moral sin became acceptable in the body. Despite the false teaching that God took away His gifts after “the apostolic age,” the historical fact is that, when preachers saw their role as a profession, they knew they would need to stop preaching against sin if they wanted the money of the richest sinners. So narcissism in the church began long ago. American evangelicals have merely perfected it.

        • As evangelical, “Spirit-filled” believers, we often have pointed out the shortcomings and narcissism of the traditional, institutional churches. But sadly, we have often fallen into the same traps today. The church I described in this article was evangelical and Bible-believing, yet they seemed to think the Holy Spirit wasn’t particularly necessary to what they were doing. If the Holy Spirit isn’t necessary for our activities, then what fruit will our activities produce? Jesus said that apart from Him we can do NOTHING!

  66. Jim, great blog. I couldn’t agree more. I sooo believe in the Church but I’m also so aware that the Church is going through major reformation; much of it is greatly needed.

    • Good to hear from you, Ken. At the same time as I’m grieved by much of what I see, God keeps reminded me that the church is the bride of Christ, His beloved one. I pray that I will be able to see the church as He sees it, becoming a constructive force for renewal, not just a critic (which is all too easy).

  67. As long as the focus is on little more than marketing and consumer satisfaction I fear we will see this replicated over and over. Marketing can appeal to many per Christians and new believers so they teach them that their way is biblical. Only a visitation of the Holy Spirit can set us free.

    • So true, Gary: “Only a visitation of the Holy Spirit can set us free.” Sadly, much of our religious activity is spurred by the fact that the Holy Spirit is doing so little.

  68. Absolutely right, Jim! You’ve identified 2 very different kinds of knowledge. There’s the knowledge of the worldly, evoking what the book of James calls the DEMONIC wisdom of the world. And there is what A.W. Tozer called the “knowledge of the holy.”
    The knowledge of this world is set on the discoveries and ambitions of THIS life only. Therefore, it is self-centered and manipulative. The knowledge of the holy is based in a desire for the discoveries and ambitions of eternity. Therefore, it is God-centered and rooted in His Word of truth. It seeks not to manipulate others but to serve them. It accepts rejection and sacrifice in this life to precipitate what the Hebrews 11 foretells as a “better resurrection.” The false prophets of our age who claim to be “Word people,” have betrayed the Word. They have picked it apart to proclaim scriptures that only focus on the immediate, earthly rewards. It’s all about how much “God loves me,” what “God wants to do for me,” in THIS LIFE. Yet the Bible says much more about the appearance we must all make before the judgment seat of Christ where we are each judged and rewarded based on our DEEDS in this life. When people are taught this by their pastors, it greatly affects how they live their day to day lives. They are kinder, more generous, merciful, and honorable. When they ignore that day of judgment, they (even Christians) become self serving, egotistical, arrogant, and deceptive. Thank you for being one of the few who is willing to speak these eternal truths. I’m afraid nearly all the pulpits in America have turned from the truth of the Word to the instead proclaim the feelings of the people.

  69. Appreciating the hard work you put into your website and detailed information you provide. It’s nice to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same outdated rehashed material. Wonderful read! I’ve bookmarked your site and I’m including your RSS feeds to my Google account.|

  70. Agreed! Dreams are so important! As you suggest, for us older adults , keeping the dream alive is more challenging because we think we are “over the hill”. We think we are getting too old for God to use us very much. Of course this is not true, because our God is a God of the impossible!

  71. Thank you for sharing the insight on your recent post regarding the U.S. being enroute to their own Damascus road. It is so in line with what Word says prophetically about both Israel and the Church. As a corporate body we (the Church) have not wanted to be made holy as He is holy…entering into the covenant of salvation, yet choosing to ignore the example Yeshua gave. We say we love Him, but ignore John 15 and John 16.

    We have a leader that illustrates the level of corruption and wickedness that has infiltrated the Body of the Messiah. I’m praying that the sons and daughters of the covenant of salvation will come to the place of godly sorrow that yields repentance, that the LORD will hear us, and heal our land.

    Our current president reminds me of when the children of Israel did not want GOD to rule over them, but asked for a king like the other nations around them – nations that worshipped idols and false gods; and the LORD gave them Saul…and we know how that turned out. Selah.

    Where is the call to prayers for forgiveness and repentance?

  72. I don’t get what you’re saying. Don’t compare a Christian’s life to heaven. Heaven is a place, not a person’s life. Since heaven is God’s kingdom, it is perfect in every way. None of us are.

    • Hi Aaron. I’m really grateful that you took time to write a comment on this. You are absolutely right that none of us is perfect (Romans 3:23, etc.). However, we are supposed to pray for more of heaven to touch the earth through our lives (Matthew 6:10). Our citizenship is heaven, even while we walk on the earth (Phil. 3:20). One translation even says that we are “heaven’s colony on earth.” So our lives, even though imperfect, should reflect a heavenly reality.

  73. Very insightful and provocative post, Jim. It is amazing to me that “church leaders” are so busy planting churches that they have no time to make disciples. Having Jesus build His church through us is much different than building churches for Him. Reminds me of Peter on the mount of transfiguration…his response to the vision of Jesus in His glory was to build something for God and His servants (“I will build…”). The Father’s response was to interrupt Peter while he was speaking about what he would do for God, and tell him to listen to Jesus! Jesus said, “I will build My church…” God help us to listen to Jesus and simply obey the leading of His spirit one day at a time as He builds His church through each one of His people for His glory alone. Thanks again for posting this and sounding the call. With you in spirit. ~Sean

    • Great message, Sean. I need to write a blog on the Transfiguration sometime! Yes, indeed, we’re all prone to want to “build something for Jesus.” Peter no doubt was well-meaning, but in retrospect his comments seem downright silly. Some of our good intentions are probably that way too. I could love to catch up with you. Can you give me a call sometime? 803-578-1343

  74. Excellent blog, Jim. I have been thinking along these lines a lot lately. There is just so much bitterness, anger and maliciousness seeping into many issues, with very little real and honest discussion about resolution and following God’s word. I enjoyed reading your blog today. Thanks!

  75. Great stuff. I think Truth Tellers will listen but Haters can not listen well. If I am interested in Truth I will listen to see if what you are saying is true. If I am wrong I can learn the truth and correct myself. If a Hater is wrong he/she will loathe to discover the truth.

    While in Asia I taught in a Muslim Counseling Agency. The head asked my wife why we were different from other Christians. She asked what our friend meant and she said, “You will listen to my ideas. Most Christians just preach and never listen to me. I know what the Bible teaches but they do not know what I believe.”

    Which stance is more convincing to a non believer?

  76. It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d without a doubt donate to this outstanding blog!

    I suppose for now i’ll settle for book-marking and adding your
    RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to fresh
    updates and will talk about this website with my Facebook group.
    Chat soon!

  77. I found your website with the help of Google after reading your evaluation of Michael Hyatt’s book, Platform… What you said is so on target with how I have been thinking about how to approach promoting my books. I wish I could discuss this further in an email. Feel free to check out my website and books before deciding to contact me or not.

  78. Oh how fond the memories of those days of our vagabond fellowship at Cap. I have been forever grateful that , when I met Jesus, it was in a setting that fed me the whole Spirit-filled Truth, hook line and sinker. And, though I’ve gone through many stages and valleys and heights, I’ve never doubted the reality of the LIving Word. What a precious small diner that fed me toward a lifetime of healthy sustenance. Glory to God!!!!

  79. I find my actions leaning towards this type of behavior sometimes. Most of it I believe is how unstable things appear to be financially in the world. Always someone out there saying the sky is going to fall. Seems like if you save a little it can be snapped up in a moments notice. I believe you really need to stayed focused unto the Holy Spirit and follow his lead. “For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live”

  80. Lessons learnt when we are low need be shared as this. Then we need be watchful. Falling is possible from any level, but God’s grace is awesome.Amen.

  81. I love that this can apply to all styles of “boxes” , in all circles of fellowship. God is God. Let’s let Him reign , as the King of Glory!!!!

  82. You’ve brought clarity to me again, Jim!
    I think I’ve gone from a New Wineskin to a Charred Stone now being transformed
    back into a Recreated New Wineskin!
    Praises to Jesus alone!!

    • Excellent, Denise. That is exactly what I’m hoping for. Those of us who have been around for a while are sure to have some “charred stone” moments along the way. But God can revive us and turn us into fresh wineskins once again. I am excited to have an opportunity this Saturday evening to speak to 40 or 50 young people meeting in a basement–something they do for about 3 hours every Saturday evening. I remember those days… And I guess they are back again!

  83. Wow, Jim! This is a really great article! I feel GOD is up to something amazing! I want to play my part in what He’s doing and embrace ‘greater works’!

    Thank you, Jim, for sharing your thoughts with us! My hope is that generations will unite, live out the gospel and embrace the new way GOD has for us.

    • Thanks for the encouraging words, Paul. I miss you, and it’s long overdue for us to get together. I join you in praying for the generations to unite. The name of my ministry is “Crosslink Ministries” (Uniting People to God and Each Other Through the Power of the Cross). When the organization was originally set up, I saw the “linking” as mostly a matter of linking pastors and leaders. But in recent months, I’ve really be stirred by God’s desire to link the generations as well.

  84. Agree totally with Paul’s comments – excellent article, Jim! However, I beg to differ… We will never be the “old guard” no matter how long we have been serving Jesus! 😉

    • Great comments. I’ve been wrestling with the “old guard”/old wineskin issues. I believe that a lot of this is a matter of the HEART. Like heart disease, hardening of the spiritual arteries can occur at any age, depending on people’s diet, exercise, etc. I’m praying that our spiritual hearts and our arteries will remain pliable until the day we die!

  85. How about copycat bloggers taking pictures from other blogs and not giving credit to the photographer? That one’s mine (http://freelanceflaneur.blogspot.com/2012/08/well-that-about-wraps-it-up-for-earth.html), and it isn’t from one of those ‘copycat cities’ your radio told you about, it’s a theme park in Shenzhen (a long flight from Beijing or Shanghai) celebrating the world with scaled-down replicas. Like the Luxor pyramid in Las Vegas isn’t trying to be a real Egyptian pyramid.

    If anything, the theme park is encouraging Shenzhen’s wealthy residents to travel and see the real thing for themselves.

    • I appreciate your comments on this. You make good points. As to your point about “copycat bloggers taking pictures from other blogs,” that is something I am currently trying to work through, understand, and correct. Thanks for taking time to write.

      • Thanks – sorry if I overreacted, I actually don’t have a problem with people using images for personal blogs, I just get annoyed when travel agents and other businesses do it.

  86. Jim, this message really spoke to me. I have been wrestling with this for quite a bit and your words put it into an authentic perspective. Praise God! Thanks!!

  87. Amen! If we lose our saltiness, what are we good for? Nothing – but to be thrown out and trampled under foot of man. Maybe that’s because we are ALREADY trampled under foot of man… Our condition revealed.

    To the degree we fear man, we cannot fear God. May His LOVE constrain us, once again, to stand before Him with integrity – no matter what it costs.

    • I appreciate the encouragement, Ken. Sometime in 2014 I would love to brainstorm together and hear your thoughts on the current state of the church, the culture, world events, etc.

  88. In this culture, it might very well be neither. That’s hard. But I’m grateful for fellow believers who will stand in the gap with us. Grace and Truth , hand in hand , will draw those whose hearts are open and will be laughable to others. It’s getting harder and harder for softies like me. Thanks , Jim!!!!

  89. I remember John being in our home, sitting on the edge at one end of the sofa, but the image is only tall fuzziness. His spirit I do remember and he was a precious brother in the Lord. Thank you for the memory jolting, I need those more frequently these days!
    Hope you have a blessed birthday week, Jim.

  90. Hi Jim, Encouraging reminder that we should never stop learning and growing in our faith. I’m often reminded that the more I know – the less I really know. God’s ways are so much higher than ours. Most of the time we try to bring Him down to our level of understanding in an effort of trying to comprehending this infinite God that we serve. Maybe John truly understood that unless we become like little children, we can’t enter the kingdom of God. One thing about children, they are not afraid to learn from others, young or old. John was definitely unique, especially considering the fact that he grew up in a movement that was not exactly passionate about Jesus. The hunger to know a passionate God was probably what drew him to you.

    • Hi Paul. Thanks for the excellent comments. Yes, indeed, John had a childlike quality, even when he was in his 80s. And you’re right that this was pretty amazing for someone from a Plymouth Brethren background.

      You are one of my heroes too, Paul, always hungering for more of the Lord. I want that quality to rub off on me more!

      Jim

  91. LOL – I wanted to comment on your article, and what do I see? My dear husband got to you first, and all I can do is say, “AMEN!” Good reminder, Jim – especially as we all approach John’s age…
    Blessings,
    Myrna

  92. Jim,
    This in indeed a very profound, but easy to grasp, article. What a wonderful writer and critical thinker you are! I’m glad that I had the opportunity to work with you for over five years.
    Blessings Galore,

  93. Great insight Jim, just had a similar conversation this past week. I would like to add that at times that blessing can seem like a HUGE burden but as we press in to hear the Lord’s voice He will once again lighten the load. When we walk in what He has called us to do the load lightens and the joy returns and the road becomes easy, it is only as we struggle the weight seems unbearable.
    David Crowder says it well….
    He is jealous for me
    Love’s like a hurricane, and I am a tree
    Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy
    When all of a sudden,
    I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory
    And I realize just how beautiful you are and how great your affections are for me.

  94. Jim,

    What a great thought! I always appreciate how He photo bombed my life by giving you to me as a friend. I miss your fellowship. Let’s catch up soon and share what is going on in each other’s lives.

    One in His Purpose,

    Don

  95. Amen! A long time ago… In the days of cassettes, for sure, but not the day of 8-tracks – The Lord told me something similar. He said to teach in the fruit and not the flower. When we first learn something, it’s like a bright, showy and fragrant bust of color on our landscape – but short-lived. Soon, the petals fall off and a little, hard nub is left – but that’s the fruit. After it gets the sunlight and rain and ripens, it becomes something nourishing and is ready to share.

  96. Yes, Jim! We as Christ followers have a tendency to become self righteous over time when we forget that we were saved by GOD’s righteousness and not our own. I read Micah today when GOD instructs us to do justly, love mercy and walk humbly before Him. Let us never forget what sin and destruction He saved us from. LORD, let us never forget how amazing Your grace is. Let us be conduits of Your grace for those around us. Help us to be only opportunistic in seeking those lost sheep in order to love them and lead them to You. Jim, Maggie and I appreciate your devotion to the KING!

  97. Very thought provoking. I think there is much too much emphasis on preaching and much too little emphasis on making disciples these days. So … whether the church is growing or not, or whether the preacher gets credit or not, people are transformed in a relationship with Jesus which means being in relationship with other Christians, intimate relationships – which has nothing to do with the preaching although we know how important that is (but not fancy since preachers might think it is them doing the changing rather than the holy spirit – I believe Paul spoke about this himself). Today’s church is doing a fine job at preaching but needs some work with the discipleship component if they want lives to truly be transformed. My thoughts anyway! -Tom

    • Excellent comments, Tom. The goal of a church is not to make good audience members (for the preaching and the music) but to make disciples and Christian leaders to impact the world for Jesus. Sadly, I think we are generally doing a very poor job of that–missing out on the most important mission of all. Thanks for setting such a great example for the rest of us over the years.

  98. Well written, Jim. Oh that the faithful man wwas properly valued in society as well as with our Lord and with His discerning disciples.

    I miss catching up with you. Maybe when I get back fromVegas we can catch up. Donald turned 25 this week and Jona and I had our 29th anniversary.

    Keep ministering to us!

    Don

  99. Excellent point Jim. How is it that spiritual loss is not an even greater priority than physical loss when the former is eternal? Thanks for the reminder!

  100. Great post. I was checking continuously this
    weblog and I’m inspired! Very useful info specially
    the final phase 🙂 I care for such information much.
    I used to be seeking this particular information
    for a very long time. Thanks and good luck.

  101. Please let me know if you’re looking for a writer for your blog.
    You have some really good articles and I believe I would be a good asset.
    If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d really like to write some content for your blog in
    exchange for a link back to mine. Please send me an e-mail if interested.

    Cheers!

  102. AMEN, if GOD isn’t moving us, we would do better to be still. For those of us who hear rather readily, this is especially good advice! We surely don’t need to be making up stuff… Good article!
    Pro 17:28 Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; When he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive.

  103. Amen! This is my husband, Paul’s life verse. We have a LARGE wooden wall hanging of this verse dominating our livingroom. God had to tell us 74 times, but we still need to keep it before us – to remind us to DO it! Thanks for the reminder… 🙂

  104. So true!!!! The same is true of prayer. It can be done anywhere, at anytime, under any circumstances. God doesn’t want us to make a time for Him. He wants us to give every second to Him, knowing He is present in whatever else we are doing. So…Sunday best or sweat socks… Unto HIM!!! 🙂

  105. As always – SUPER JOB, Jim. Of course, you are preaching to the choir, when it comes to Paul and I and prayer meetings – but you surely do a good job of it! Couldn’t say it better ourselves… 😉

  106. I think this is one of the such a lot vital
    info for me. And i’m glad reading your article. However wanna statement
    on few general things, The site taste is perfect, the articles is truly great : D.

    Excellent process, cheers

  107. Oh how important it is that we don’t seek the approval of man but rather to be His man/woman at all times. How wonderful that Andre and other effective worshipers understood that it is in Him that we live and move and have our being! Great reminder and refocusing, Jim.

  108. The Wisdom & Love of God should be our daily demand from God’s Throne. We are sometimes Vulnerable to the demand of our Basic needs and the desires to do the spectacular for God. Which subtly lead us in an endless pursuit of Shadows. May the Grace of God keep us from Falling. And may God’s word be our Guidelines in our Choices. Selah

  109. Good word, Brother!!!! There’s something about a transition that makes ya feel alive…on edge, but alive, nonetheless 🙂 Being able to rest IN it is such a challenge but sure lessens the bruises of bouncing around. Blessings….

  110. The cross, always the cross! Oh, how we need to remember that there is no way to joy for a believer but through the blood and it is found at the foot of the cross! Thank you, a Jim.

  111. SOOOOOOOOO true…I am constantly aware of the words “process and advancement” and “balance and peace”. At least I am aware of the words, since I am constantly fumbling their realities!!! And then I think of riding a bike…at a standstill …it will fall. Absolute balance means constant advancing with lots of little readjustments that create balance and a smooth ride. So…on we go . 🙂

  112. I’m in awe of your insight in the freshness of loss! I wish I’d had such wisdom a few years ago. But, thanks be to God, because of the last few years, I can confirm that your words ARE true!!

  113. Sometimes it takes years, but, our amazing God will do it – because of His unfailing love – in spite of our failings. “Lord, I’m amazed by You!”

  114. Well put, Jim. We are constantly being molded into men and women who prefer the direction of our Master over that of our instincts. It is purposeful, well-conceived, and always right. He will lead us to where,for His glory, we will bloom more fully and beautifully than we ever could have had we not trusted His timing and plan.

  115. That line from Misty Edwards’ song is one of my favorites and is such an interrupter to our current worship theology. But I had never consideredthe thought of leaving space for God to sing back to – and over – us [corporately] or me [privately]. What a heart-stirring and almost too-intimate thought. And I also never realized that this is exactly what was going on in some of David’s worship songs, which gives reading the Psalms a fresh perspective. But as I think of it, there are some worship leaders who do leave space in corporate settings for God to croon His love songs over us. Jonathon and Melissa Helser come to mind. Thanks so much, Jim, for this thought-provoking mind bender and challenging us to break out of our religious routines. Let me know when and where you’ll be leading worship next time….

  116. Good Morning
    When I was read to read the tweet that you had posted on your page there was something I had asked God..
    I was so depressed as I had undergone what was supposed to be a hip revision surgery but doctors had done the Girdlestone spacer surgery.
    This meant that all previous prosthetics were removed with no socket on the one hip.The is done when all else fails as the area around the pelvic bone are either soft or damaged .
    As I had started physical therapy after 23days post op as I had to be in traction for 21 days., as one leg is shorter than the other.
    I knew what to expect but was still somehow disappointed as I took my first steps toward my thousand steps recovery.
    Teary eyed I asked “why God “and was so depressed when I was led to you particular tweet. Deprested and asking God for guidance were you the person on the other side of the globe whom I’ve never met that he had sent this message of hope to me through.
    I know that there are no coincidence s in life but there is a connection in each and every one on earth .
    As I know and trust our Father to do what’s best and as I know my waiting time isn’t wasted time. My breakthrough where my leg which is shortened will be over and beyond my expectations. A confirmation I also received a while ago.
    My belief and faith in God is will see me through this and refuse to believe otherwise.My belief is that if he can do it for the people in the bible I’m no different from them.
    After all He is the God that heals thee.
    Have a Blessed day

    • Margaret, your comments were a great encouragement to me. God is not sitting idly on the sidelines of our lives, but the Bible says He is intimately acquainted with all of our ways. I pray you will strengthened during your recovery period. My God grant you great peace all along the way. Jim

  117. Hooray for some common sense Jim. We are living in a world of people who cannot seem to get their heads around the truth that discrimination is what normal human beings do every day…’What time do I get up? What do I eat? Shall I go to work today or not?….’ Generally speaking, it may be because many have lost their ability , especially moral compass to discriminate on weightier matters, that they are finding themselves paranoid on losing ‘Rights’ that they may not really have, because other people have ‘Rights’ too, that ‘others’ may or may not have considered.

    • So true, Syd. I wanted to mention that we don’t even allow discrimination (screening) by TSA agents at the airports. Grandmas and little children are subjected to the same scrutiny as people who are much more likely to hate America.

  118. Jim has a priceless gift. He is able to take what many faithful Christians believe in our hearts and put it into language that anyone can understand.
    In the book of Revelation, Jesus categorizes 3 types of individuals at the end of time – the hot, the cold, the lukewarm.
    He urged us to be HOT in our faith and regard for His Word.
    He urged us, if we’re not HOT, to at least be COLD. This refers to the most wicked, “coldhearted” among us. This is because a COLD person will sometimes recognize the contrast between his coldness of his life and the warmth in the life of one who is HOT. That can bring an amazing turnaround, as it did when Saul of Tarsus, the worst persecutor of teh church, realized his evil and became the most prolific writer in the New Testament!
    The most dangerous state of all, declared Jesus, was being LUKEWARM. These see no distinction (discrimination) between wicked and good, truth and lies. Jesus basically declared this was a state of hopelessness. Neither side wants you! You’re neither COLD nor HOT. They cast you aside as worthless and even God Himself spits you out of His mouth.
    In other words, God definitely DOES DISCRIMINATE in the way Jim describes! And, you want to be on His side, you sure better be doing it as well!

  119. Jim,
    Well put. It seems the issue here is Religion as apposed to Relationship.
    The problem is that the fever pitch of the offended, will not allow the discussion. This is what leads to bad law.

    • It’s pretty cool that the next time I see you guys will be Easter…or Christmas…or Thanksgiving–or whatever holiday we want it to be! The celebration never ends.

  120. Excellent post, Jim! The Bible truly mirrors our current situations, if people were only smart enough to realize that history does indeed repeat itself, and pay heed. Instead, we have a liar at the top of our nation who, with his pathetic lying liberal minions, is dragging our country down to depths from which I fear we will never recover. I often get so discouraged, and I can only hope and pray that the Lord returns SOON!

  121. Very astute and timely message. You can’t help wonder if our leaders are operating on greed or if they are truly deceived – maybe both.

    It can be depressing if our hope is in man, but the good news is we serve a God who is able to do above and beyond all we can ask or think. God rescued Israel time and time again – He has rescued this nation time and time again. Consider for example, the First and Second Great Awakening. He will do it again if we pray. That’s the question, will we pray and believe God for the next Great Awakening? 2 Chronicles 7:14

  122. Jim,

    His strong arm upholds us and it is in his arms that we can surrender our bent to lead and follow as he leads with grace and confidence. I know I could dance if I was willing to consistently give Him the lead.

    My wife and I don’t dance particularly well because she always tries to lead. Frankly, as bad as I dance, it probably would work better if I would let her. But He does lead and he makes us all able to dance when we relax and flow with Him in harmony with His movement. It is a very inspiring thought!

    Thanks for the reminder!

    Don

  123. I just like the verse in Psalm 103:5? Which says “He fills your mouth with good things so that your Youth is renewed like the eagle.!!!

  124. We were just with a group the other day, by chance. We looked around and realized we were all overcomes…and, not very popular ones, may I add…BUT, nevertheless, OVERCOMERS!! Thank you for this timely word!!!! May you continue to overcome, by His grace and power.

  125. Thank you very match. I do always enjoyed your wonderful revelations. The book you sent to me has also been a great blessing to me. I hope you remember me. Rev. Nelson Kwame Duvor. From Ghana

  126. Hi Jim,

    This is a great timely Word and reminder for both of us right now. Thanks for sharing it!

    Blessings Galore,

    Valerie

  127. Alright Jim, I want to know one thing: What happened to the girl who listened to your life story and made that comment?

  128. Jim, thank you for your continued encouragement even in the midst of your trials!! I felt the Holy Spirit speaking to me while reading this!!!

  129. Thanks Jim for the gentle breeze of encouragement. Stirred me to break open the book of Ruth again. Meditating on the roots and new adventure thoughts. Sure needed to hear that.

  130. Jim, thanks for sharing. I have thought
    about loss and have tried to relate it typical investment. When we put money into an investment , we expect a positive return. We need to consider a loss as an investment. For example, the loss of a son or daughter is a huge investment. Shouldn’t we as Christians expect , in honor of the son or daughter, a huge return on that imvestment. Consider the mother who lost her daughter because of a drunk driver. Because of that loss(investment), MADD, Mothers Against Drunk Drivers was created. The bigger the loss, the greater our expectations should be, or the greater the honor is for the lossed son or daughter.

  131. As humans we struggle with loss and feel confused, lost, anxious, etc. While it’s difficult to be still and be in God’s presence we need to know God’s word’s so His word can bring us comfort. Thank you for reminding me of this story.

  132. Jim your blog posts are SO good. I’ve really been blessed by the last several. Thanks for sharing your insight!

    • Great to hear from you, Julie! Glad you can relate to my posts. I wish I didn’t have to go through any trials to prepare me to write such things, but unfortunately that’s part of the process!

  133. Ohhhhhh so good!!!!!! It’s so easy to focus on our circumstances, both “good” and “bad”, hard and easy, sunny and stormy. It’s so often the yucky times that draw us into a deep part of God’s heart that we’ve not known before. Of course it’s easier to look back and rejoice. But I’m realizing that we can rejoice even when our emotions don’t feel rejoicy. It’s legitimate praise. Thanks, Jim!!!!

  134. Well done, Jim. Very appropriate for the season we are in as a nation and where I am personally. I appreciate the whole idea of remembering the need to keep the oil on hand and not just to run out and get some when the thought crosses our mind. Habitually checking the important things that anchor us to who we are called to be.

  135. Thanks Jim. Once again a wonderfully practical application of the timeless Word. I too watched a car “blow up” because it had run out of oil. Thank you for your faithfullness and inspiration as you continue to deliver the goods. Hope this finds you well and healthy.

  136. Excellent thought, Jim. I have difficulty transitioning in my own life because my tendency is to want to keep my foot in the door of the old so it won’t fully close behind me. With the door behind closed, or the ships burned, as I heard in another such analogy, the only way to go is forward.

    This present season of difficulty in my life has forced me to look anew at where I am going. No foot in the old door, but boldly entering into the life that God is opening before me. Shoot, I think I’ll get half way across the room and toward my goal before I ever hear the door close behind me when I decide to enter the path opened before me with anticipation and hope. There is nothing quite like the anticipation of something special waiting for you! It quickens the step!

  137. God always seems to take Jim’s thoughts to a level deeper than anyone else I know. Whenever I read one of his blog’s I already know that, no matter the topic, he will offer some degree of insight at least one step beyond what I’ve ever considered about it.
    I can say the same thing about many other wellknown Bible teachers. Though they may offer a certain degree of revelation on a spiritual matter – whether its Charles Stanley, A.C. Sproles, Stephen Furtick, A.W. Tozer, Oswald Chambers, Joseph Prince – or any of the other teachers, past or present, that have gained large numbers of followers – Jim is the only teacher I know who ALWAYS opens my eyes a little wider to what God wants people to know. I read his posts, not to see what Jim wants to say, but to hear what God wants to say. And he always conveys it in a spirit of kindness and humility – another way I know its from Jesus.

  138. Excellent message. Thank you, Jim. God sees the whole picture but we only see in part, from our own limited perspective. His timing is perfect so we just need to trust Him as we wait.

  139. Great post, as always. Resisting the temptation to take matters into our own hands is very hard. Thanks for the motivation to keep going

  140. I remember hearing so many Preachers and worship leaders say things like,”I feel the Holy Spirit with us today!” What if I have a cold and don’t feel good? Is the Holy Spirit gone from me?

    THANKS, Jim, for another well done article. I’ll send you a small paper I am writing to see what you think.

    • Thanks for your encouraging words, Gary. Today I unexpectedly had to pay over $700 to get my car repaired. I definitely wasn’t feeling God’s love and favor based on my circumstances. Thankfully, He can show us His love even amid very disconcerting circumstances.

  141. God really is an amazing Father, let’s us see Him through messages, people that he sends into our lives, and also knowing what His timing means , Its 2 am in South Africa and as I just finished r praying and was led to this blog. See what I mean. I know that sometimes when we think He is hiding His face we can rest in His unchanging grace,
    I know that my breakthrough which is within reach will be over and beyond my expectations, so friends if you reading this comment be assured in His promise, delays are not denials and waiting time isn’t wasted time. God bless

  142. Once again, great insight on an ordinary, relatable item that will be on our “home” fix it list at some time in our lives. Thanks for the scriptural reference as they always anchor your message. Most appreciated. This does beg the question, “what is enough water pressure?” I am sure I will find the answer in the Word, and the answer, I suspect, will be between He and thee. Thanks again Jim for making a difference.

  143. This is like a movie where the guy slides out of sight and you’re never sure what happened. Did he make it? Suddenly the credits come up and your left frustrated looking for the answer and some kiind of closure….

    A mystery sounds like a cop out. But then again, “… eye hath not seen, nor ear heard ,….” But one day face to face it will all be revealed.

    Sometimes that is the only answe we have.

  144. Yes, there are SO many things I look forward to finding answers about in heaven!

    And for the record, women don’t always understand themselves, either, so don’t feel bad! LOL!

  145. After our conversation last week, I shared the “all in” poker analogy with a few folks and have thought often about the implications and challenges. Abandon is a scary, most unsafe place. It is also exhilarating, emboldening, and joy-filled. I’m all in.

  146. GREAT post! A lot to consider. However…did you have to use HIS photo at the top? I know it was part of the point, but it almost caused me to lose my breakfast before reading the post! LOL!

    • You have been one of my inspirations, Charles. I was always amazed at your ability to take timely, seemingly complex, issues and provide clear Biblical perspective. Thanks for the great impact you’ve had on my life as a writer and speaker.

  147. Instant gratification or prayer for God’s perfect timing and plan. My way always falls short of His perfect way. This blog spoke to me. Thanks Jim ft for the reminder.

  148. Loved it! Yes I put myself out there and it’s crazy. I haven’t seen one truly worthwhile prospect yet and I’ve been in it a year. I decided when I get home from my trip to go back to trusting God. LOL.

    • In other words I’m crashing my online entries. Yuck! By the way where did that old pic of me come from that showed up when I typed on here?! Glad I don’t look like that anymore!

    • Great insights, Joni. I can relate. Yes, indeed, I guess we need to go back to trusting God… I think you will also enjoy the blog I’m posting in a few minutes about God’s Dead Ends.

  149. Excellent !! I confess I’ve not kept totally up to date on your blogs . Gonna have to go back and catch the ones I never got to reading. This one is a definite sharer. We are so quick to search for formulas that we can store and go back to , and trust. Even the Holy Spirit gets referred to as an ” it”. I pray we be open to His coming and going , His empowering and dismissing, His direction even when it seems to us to lead toward bumpy little dusty trails. . It’s all about trusting that the Lord knows so much more than we and ….throat clear….it’s not all about US. It’s about Him and His ” all things” that supersede ours. It’s pretty obvious that we are rapidly walking into times of confusion with evil being called good and vice versa. We NEED to be led by the Holy Spirit!!!

  150. Thanks for this article. I thought I was going crazy. I’ve been trying to find articles of this sort. Too many writers, pastors, etc. are joining the Great Commission and the Great Commandment together and they are two different directives from Jesus. I’m preaching on the Church this week and our mission to the world and to the local body. I’ve stated that we need to be Externally Minded {The Great Commandment} as well as Internally minded {The Great Commission]. The early church as you mentioned did do both and the outcome was souls being added to the Kingdom of God and the local church daily. If we can operate in this capacity we’ll see the same results. God wants balanced churches and balanced churches will grow. Thanks for the discernment and for posting this great article.

    • Hi Bill. Thanks for your thoughtful comments. I see God giving you laser-like vision to accomplish His purposes. Let me know if there is ever any way I can be of assistance. — Jim

  151. I’ve found that a to do list/goal list is essential to get things done that need done, walk in our calling, and is Biblical. “Write the vision and make it plain so you may run (in it) who reads it” (Hab. 2:2-4) Even Donald Trump says “the difference between someone who writes their goals and one who doesn’t is that the one who writes them will achieve them; the one who does not will not.”

  152. As I get ready to hit a milestone myself, those are great words to keep in mind. In fact, I think I’ll post those five items on my refrigerator, so that I see them each day and can hopefully keep them as part of my daily action items. Thanks so much! I always appreciate your down-to-earth insight!

  153. I don’t think you are being harsh at all! That post was excellent for anyone at any level of “ordinary-ness” or “extraordinary-ness.” Often I think of extraordinary thing as BIG things . But you reminded me that even small things can be extraordinary. You’ve given me a different lens through which to view how I live. Thank you!

  154. Amen. No expectations, no disappointments on earth. I try to please my heavenly Father in all thing’s. Doesn’t mean that sometimes I am not affected by specific event’s. I am able to forgive and love, but only through the grace of God. Good deeds are always noticed by God.

    • I’m grateful for the comments, Maureen and Joni! An old friend from Ohio, Luke Mayercin, wrote on Facebook that he had a theory on why Lillian and Ruth had forgotten me: My singing was so bad that they had intentionally blocked the experience out of their mind! Hmmm… Luke might be on to something there.

  155. Phenomenal Jim. Thank you for gracefully packaging this scenario as it parallels my recent “deflation experience” . I appreciate you and all you do. God bless you Jim. Happy Thanksgiving!!

  156. There’s no other way to see it. He gives and takes away. I don’t care if He takes away anything material, but he takes life. He gives life….takes life. That’s the ultimate in “Indian giving.” A GIFT is exactly that — when a GIFT is given to somebody, the recipient is the new OWNER of the GIFT. GIFTING includes a transfer of OWNERSHIP. I GAVE my wife a $9K++ engagement ring before we got married. It’s hers now. I can’t take it back. That wouldn’t be right — it would, in fact, be stealing. She could give it back to me of her own volition, but I would be a thief to take it back against her will. My father was taken from me via one of the most insidious of diseases — leukemia — at a young age when I was 20 and in college. He was taken away from me, my mother, my siblings, his brother, his in-laws, his friends, his co-workers, his employer, his church, his country, etc…

    My main avocation is playing the guitar, and have played Matt Redmond’s “Blessed be Thy Name” I don’t know how many times. It is a very simple song musically, but the line in the bridge, “You give and take away…” has always bothered me. It made me think of my mom, who finally was taken from us in 2007. I knew it was coming, and was able to accept it then. The whole system on this earth has since come to make zero sense. I see my dad — the BEST MAN I have EVER known — taken from this world for no reason, and people like Hugh Hefner who have contributed greatly to the destruction of morality in the world pushing 90 years old. I never knew my dad to lie, cheat, steal, hate, curse, take God’s name in vain, raise his voice, glorify violence, etc… This kind of injustice seems to be everywhere. One of my best professors in grad school was killed by a driver who fell asleep and crossed into her lane; she was only in her late 20s/early 30s. She was an outstanding professor, and had started a charitable organization to help girls get interested in engineering. She was doing many good things in this world. I don’t see how God can marvel at the state of the world (“…when the Son of Man returns will He find faith on earth?” for example) when He takes the good out and leaves the scumbags to prosper. The filth purveyed by the entertainment industry (movies, popular bands like AC/DC, television, pornography, etc…) seems to flow unimpeded. In my younger days, pornography was well hidden — now it’s practically unavoidable, especially to young people. This culture flat out stinks, and I blame it on the fact that good people are taken out, or terribly impeded by lack of resources, etc…, and evil is given Carte Blanche with more than enough resources — financial and otherwise — that it needs to purvey its filth. I’ve started a number of “good” endeavors, only to get screwed every time. An unmistakable pattern has emerged, and it ain’t pretty.

  157. There are just SO many Christian speakers, writers, psychologists who love having a platform to share their views on life and faith. Very little of it is original. Usually, they just keep rehashing each other.

    Jim Buchan is in such a totally different league.
    Time and again, his words echo through your mind as if God Himself is sharing them. And, in fact, He is.

  158. I’m not a big sports fan, but f I’m not mistaken… the game is either won or lost in the fourth quarter! I’m with you, Jim. I’m playing until I hear the final buzzer – and ramping up my offense, if I’m behind at the 2-min warning!

    Psa 150:6 Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD!

  159. Affirmation from here that you are so right to be on the offence the last one quarter or one third of your life. We waste so much time lamenting the passage of the “best” or the most “productive” time we have had. You have great times coming up!

  160. Jim, great insights. As you know, this is my favorite topic. I would say that the greatest need is Ephesians 4:11 about equipping people to live in love and truth. We know from voluminous research studies that breakups occur in homes and churches because we can’t get along with others who are different from us. As a result, we het frustrated, angry and surly. Surly anger with personal attacks lead to deep wounds and fight with flight. Without healing, equipping and the fruit of love we follow Cain and rhetorically kill our loved ones.

  161. Thanks Jim,
    Great message Jim.
    Just as spend quality Time with Jesus every day, we need to be unselfish and spend that QT time with our loved ones.

  162. Another good message Jim. It’s true we all have a lot of baggage when we come to the altar. And as you mentioned, all of those flaws are covered up on the wedding day. I was just reminded of that this past Friday, January 1, 2016, while performing a wedding for two broken people. In the natural, I’m not sure if they will make it…but in Jesus, I know they will. My wife and I will celebrate our 45th anniversary this coming March and the statistics said it would never work. Jesus gave us a clue to marriage and life in John 12:24. “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone…” God grace can only get through when we truly surrender and die to self.

  163. Jim,
    First time I have read your blog. Very good insight on relationships!
    With this brand new year that has been given to us; my hope is for our personal broken relationships will be restored…..according to His good purposes!

    One thing I know …… He desires this for His children. John 17
    Thank you!
    Joy and peace

  164. Thanks Jim,
    From time to time I have to evaluate balance in my life so that I can rember and spend my time doing what is really important.

  165. Well said, Jim. What Dr. King knew and communicated so effectively was that only the love of God could uproot bigotry and hatred. Unfortunately, since King’s assassination too many people are seeking to conquer sin through the power of the state. We are at or very near the limit of what law can do.

  166. Just catching up on a few of your blogs. This one surely hit the mark! I am one who is a connector. I always find a way to find something that unites. That is a wonderful gift but also a great danger in my life. Seldom is my yes an unwavering yes and my no a solid no. Perhaps each scenario is not black and white, but some are. And in those arenasI am praying to be able to stand alone inside my spot, being within Him , without needing to allow others’ toes to smudge the boundaries. Tis a great challenge within which I need not adjust the borders of righteousness , gentleness and Truth. It is in Him that I live and move and have my being. Blessings!!!

  167. Great message to take a clear minded approach of cleansing unnecessary activities, people, expectations in our life. Great challenge of liberation of being set free.

  168. Life gets more mysterious all the time. Even the scientist who think they can discover the God particle discovered more mystery when they looked.

    After 54 years of marriage, more mystery.

  169. Thank you for these needed, encouraging words. Glad to know that I am not alone in this weariness. Thank you for the reminder of God’s words.

  170. Jim, great encouragement for a Monday morning. One or all of the reasons you gave can assist any of us out of our “stickiness”. Thanks.

  171. Word Jim!!!
    I’ve known Jim Buchan for over 30 years….a solid lover of God…and a solid lover of people! His words come from his heart and the heart of JESUS.
    Thanks for your words of encouragement and truth!!

  172. Thank you SO much for this, Jim. I cannot tell you how badly I needed this reminder, and how timely your message from the Lord really is!

  173. Thanks Jim for your wonderful insight on this matter and for giving us God’s Words to help us through times of hurt. You are a blessing and an encouragement.

  174. Well said, Jim! We must push beyond our fears to actually be fruitful. Stick our necks out a little to make a little more progress than before. Thanks for the reminder.

  175. For years, many Christians have focused in bashing Disney over the use of magic, witchcraft, and wizardry.
    Finally someone addresses the real and deeper issue – WHY are people drawn to Disney fairy tales?
    This message hits home by acknowledging that, as spiritual beings, we desperately require a spiritual awareness in life. Christians who understand this and keep it as core to their faith – miracles, the supernatural, – have the real meaning of the coming of Jesus Christ and His Kingdom. It is NOT of this world!

  176. Jim, cousin David here. The irony of my current spot deserves a comment. I am here at Disney watching son Jack play college tennis. So arriving yesterday I saw a huge welcome sign to the Park. “Welcome to Disney, where Dreams come true”. I couldn’t help but wonder how many folks come here, are amazed, only to return home exhausted, quickly returning to business as usual. My relationship with Jesus, available to all, is today tomorrow and forever! So I come back after this pondering and 8 hours of tennis and see your blog!!!! I could just smile…. Thanks Jim for your thoughtfulness. d.

  177. Terrific post but I was wondering if you could write a
    litte more on this subject? I’d be very thankful if you could
    elaborate a little bit further. Many thanks!

  178. But, Jim, you could have pushed the weeds down a little farther! Ha!

    Great article. I did a similar but worse thing. I cut the dandelions down after they bloomed. Guess what, those nice flowers are seeds. So, my problems grew.

    Out of the roots come the fruits.

  179. Thanks Jim,
    You are so correct:
    reminds me of 2 Chronicles 7:14
    If my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

  180. Thanks Jim. More than a good word.

    I am thankful for President Lincoln’s prayers. We all know that even those prayers have blessed us in our lives.

    Unfortunately, today, I think that if the President was to ask the nation to pray, there would be such division, complaining, etc. It would be good to pray as a nation again.

    Thanks again Jim. Always good stuff,

    Bernard

  181. Great word, Jim. Thanks for the reminder that we have been in worse places as a country and where we need to look for our way forward.

  182. Jim – don’t know if you remember the revival we had in our school in Ohio…but it’s awesome to see kids be kids in the Spirit. Recently, however, we have even seen very serious seniors become kids in the Spirit, because we have become friends with Barbie and Rush Hunt, regional directors of International Association of Healing Rooms, International. On Tuesdays, the KIDS (ages 5-11) are the ones who pray for the sick. If you want to get in touch with your inner child, pay us a visit and we’ll take you there! 🙂

    http://www.mainstreetprayer.org/children

    • Thanks for the note, Myrna. I would love to see or talk with you and Paul sometime. I also need to get a copy of Paul’s revival book sometime. I completed a similar book recently on how to pray for your nation, but I’m sure mine isn’t nearly as good.

  183. Jim,
    I have so enjoyed reading your blog … it so fits my thoughts as a 70-something … not that you want to be communicating merely with 70-somethings. But, all your articles fit me to a tee … and they are helping me to a new awakening. Between you and my re-reading of the Book of Acts I am getting stirred up … what fun … the little children are awake … 😐

  184. Thanks, Jim! I certainly needed to be reminded of this. When I really look at my day-to-day life, I’m amazed at how much of it is spent (either in thought or in action), trying to please many, many people.

  185. Yikes, so true. A very dear friend humbled me at one time reminding me that pleasing my heavenly Father is the most important person to please (by actions and in word’s).

  186. I’ve wished I could be better at goal setting Jim. I have a daughter who was very driven. She has succeeded in climbing some significant ladders in her young 30 years. However, I believe she would agree, there was not always balance which left some regrets. I think balance and season’s are likely big players in goal setting successfully. Being highly relationally motivated rather than goal motivated has some issues on the other side of the coin. Whichever side one is on- your insight is excellent in it’s approach and is sound wisdom for all.

  187. Great blog piece! I especially appreciated #4, the faithful/successful part. True! Do you know that it took me 8 yrs. to write my book, Harvest Fields? I thought I’d never get there.

    I identified with # 5 also. Something that helps bring me balance is remembering that His yoke is easy and burden is light. When life feels crazy, it’s time to slow down!

    Thanks, Jim.
    Warmly, Judy

  188. Jim,

    I seem to remember a passage where Jesus attacks goal setting. A farmer said, “My barns are too little to hold my crops. Tomorrow I will build a bigger barn”. Jesus said, “That is foolish”! You will not live to enjoy it!”

    I do not know Brother Noble, but my Counseling practice is full of these kinds of Pastors. My Psych Hospital had many ministers like him. Driven, anxious, filled with false guilt and shame. All had a god that had no mercy, no affirmations, and endless demands.

    I tell them, “If I had a god like that I too would find some dope or sex or food to fill the gap of perfection”. My God is way bigger than 100,000 members. But it is up to Him where they attend or even attend anywhere. People that attend those churches are worse off than staying at home and praying.

    The “Name it and Claim it” teaching is evil!

    Have Perry to call me. I can offer him a real God.

    • You’ve seen it all, Gary. When the curtain is pulled back, we all tend to look like the Wizard of Oz, trying to keep control with our light and sound show. May God help us to find His rest and peace, abiding in Him instead of striving and conniving.

  189. Years ago I was confessing similar issues to a mentor. When I stopped be summarized my tale of woes and said somethi v like, yes, but you are a lot worse than that. But Jesus saved you anyway.

    I still covet a lot of things. Like you it isn’t Lemmon. It is to be admired and honored. I still need Jesus as .much now as I did before I was reborn.

    Blessings brother.

  190. Great insights, Gary. I’m glad you mentioned the word “coveting,” because that’s really what it is. Coveting is right there in the 10 Commandments (Exodus 20), and Paul said it was the hardest thing for him to deal with (Romans 7). Someday in heaven, I would love to ask Paul for more details on the types of things he was coveting!

  191. WOW!! How insidious and crafty our enemy is!! Thank you for revealing it!!
    You just confessed and affirmed for the rest of us that we’re all, in some way, “just like the rest of us”! How very precious of our Jesus that He did all the suffering so we can just lie back in His arms and say, “Help!” We just plain need Him, don’t we? Self-will to overcome just does not get it! Hard for us independent, “self-sufficient”, determined people to grasp 😉 Thanks for your honesty.

  192. Great revelation on how to trust God through the ever changing seasons of our lives. The only constant we can rely on is our faith in the One that is orchestrating these events for our good and His glory.

  193. Hello again. Enjoying your blog. What comes to mind when I read this brief article is the commendation the Lord gives to the faithful servants in the parable of the talents. In Matt. 25:21 &23 He states, “Well done thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things…. The challenge for us is to determine how to maximize the return of what God has invested in us. This gives Him pleasure.

  194. Men and their remote controls….
    (Sorry – couldn’t help myself on that one. It was too easy.)

    In all seriousness, I have control issues as well. I find myself often frustrated by things that go awry, either in my personal life or at work. Unfortunately patience is not one of my strengths. So patiently waiting on God’s answer/action/etc., is also not a strength. It is definitely something I need to be reminded of daily.

    Thank you!

  195. Thanks Jim, I find it very hard to control anything, only what goes into my mouth and comes out of my mouth, at times both can be a real problem for me, I guess it’s pretty hard to be in control of anything.

  196. Great insights on how to manage the challenges of life …. especially to those of us who are aging gracefully. Thanks for reminding us that periodically we need to reconsider our motives, realign our priorities and learn to rest in Him. That’s real joy! Trying to get there…..

  197. Love this blog post, @JimBuchanTweet. If we can’t BE STILL, we can’t know that HE IS GOD! We must control the speed or else the speed will control us. Let’s be thermostats instead of thermometers and take control of of our environments!

  198. Is. 30:15 is one of my favorite verses. It goes along with Ps. 46:-10. I see the more I learn to allow “resting” in Him to “reign” in my life, the less anxiety, frustration, and thoughts of giving up I have. In return comes the strength and joy to be “content” rather than striving. I do think it takes practice and the reminders are always refreshing. Thanks Jim! I pray you are able to “press into” His “rest”. I also find it to be a “weapon of warfare” that has great benefit. Allowing Him to be God in the midst of our stillness.

  199. The title of this blog REALLY appealed to me and I had to drop everything immediately and read it. (Remind me to tell you my amazing history with Whac-A-Mole.) You nailed it for me with this post. (You always do!) My life feels out of control on almost a daily basis. And I’m honestly not quite sure how to slow it down, truthfully. I really do need to be more discerning as I “pick and choose” my pitches. Thank you for the reminder!

  200. Yes, most heresies contain just enough of the truth (out of context) to convince those who are unskilled in the Scriptures that they are valid. The problem with the rich young ruler was the fact that his money was his God. Even though he was morally upright (obeyed the commandments dealing with relationships to others), he nonetheless was out of covenant with God. Great insights Jim. Thank you for your knowledge and expertise in delivering your case for the Truth.

  201. Wow! Exceptional. What a great story teller you are Jim. I love how you broke this down and made it so practical and applicable to everyday life! Blessings~

  202. Love this, Jim. The revelation you received, the reality in what you saw in yourself, and your repentance is beautiful and redeeming. The Father’s unconditional love will set you and all of us free from Older Beother Syndrome. 🙂

  203. Interesting article Jim. I woke up thinking about blatant selfishness I experienced from two women this weekend. Then I remembered an African proverb shared by Walter Trobisch, one of my favorite little known Christian authors. It says, “Man is hurtin’ but woman don’t know it.” Known for his uncommon honesty and non-preachiness, Trobisch also said after 40 years of marriage he finally felt ready to be a husband. He also observed that marriage starts our 90% hell and 10% heaven then if you stay married long enough it turns into 10% hell and 90% heaven. OF course he would have agreed that both parties need to self-mortify if that’s to happen. And there’s the rub. A friend of mine takes in foreign students for a year in the US, all girls ‘cuz he has daughters. Girls from Asia, Latin countries and all over Europe are amazed by my friend simply because he often does the dishes and vacuums. In their countries men would never do that. They tell him American women don’t respect their men. And they are right. Adam abdicated his responsibility to restore Eve. So do most men. We allow ourselves to be controlled by women because it’s easier than the guff we take if we dare to lead. Then we wonder why they hate us. Real women crave strong yet gentle leadership. Real churches help younger men and women learn how to be husbands and wives. False churches capitulate to cultural norms and refuse to rock the gender boat. Then they act surprised when marriages fail and often shun pastors who get divorced. Relationships are complicated, but without a biblical model for roles they are doomed to failure, or worse, silent sufffering. Too many churches are afraid to have this discussion, so we wear a happy face and act like everything’s fine. For my part, I’m searching for a Christian women from another culture who hasn’t been in the US for too long. I’ll let you know how that turns out.

  204. I love this! Thank you for sharing these words. My prayer is that our nation sets their eyes on our Lord and seeks His forgiveness.

  205. Our faith should be on God. Man is not our Saviour. Jim, your words are another remider where we need to focus our attention. God also uses you as an encourager. Thank you!

  206. This is so good. Thank you for bringing depth into this equation. We need this truth now, perhaps more than ever before. Bless you Jim.

  207. Beautifully written and a good reminder. We all fall short of the glory of God, and forgiveness is very difficult at times. But what We are called to do is to forgive as HE forgiveness us. And I for one am so thankful for that forgiveness.😊

  208. Well done, Jim. It is so telling that God hears the petitions of the contrite but resists the proud. Thank you. This is truly timely.

    Don

  209. Great article Jim. Back in the Jesus Movement I was under the gun from several sources . Unfortunately, I reacted badly to the pressure and complained bitterly to a small group of praying friends. One of the newest converts taught me a real lesson. He said, “Gary, we just have to love those bastards. That is what Jesus said”.

    I laughed at the impious but biblically correct manner he corrected me.m

  210. WOW! What a true word in the season of my life right now Jim. This is a meditate day and night message for me. Thanks for your obedience Jim. Love and appreciate your life so much.

  211. Good to see you blogging again. Jim, I think today will be a new beginning. His mercies are indeed every morning. So that being said, I look forward to catching up again to share.

    It was great walking and sharing with you this past weekend. Congrats on your exciting news.

  212. Excellent word Jim, I agree wholeheartedly. The problem too is that the stupor, you spoke about in your article, seems to be over the church…those called to be set apart from the world (II Corinthians 6:17-18). I’m afraid this nation won’t turn around until we truly repent, turn from our wicked ways, and cry out to God. Can this election do that? Probably not, but it is causing more people to pray. I’m beginning to think that we will need another major catastrophe to wake up America. I hate to see that, or even say that, but the stupor contains a web of deception that now has us living in Romans 1:18-32. God have mercy, Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy – on us all.

  213. Right on Jim
    We are individually and collectively in a battle with dark forces. As individuals we must be in a spirit of prayer at all times. Thanks for your articles, thoughts and prayers. Our Nation is in serious trouble, and as the previous reader suggest, it may take a real tragedy for Americans to wake up.

  214. AWESOME article & unfortunately very TRUE!!!! Thank you for inspiring us to take up our armor & wield the S(Word) of the Spirit!!!!!

  215. Wow! Truer words are spoken. Thank you Jim for your wisdom and scripture. As I have said before, it’s been a time if conviction for me and before the curtain exposes my heart, my reflection is one of humility and asking for forgiveness.

    Your words are also true of the church. Lord, reveal Yourself to the church and let it not be caught up with man leading g. It us You and Your word.

  216. The “Wizard of Oz” is truly a masterpiece in more ways than one. A a child I was fascinated with the story, the characters and the music. Now as an adult I can see the lessons it teaches us about human behavior. When are sins are exposed and people see our true colors it’s an opportunity to react in one of two ways. We can make light of our sins and shift the blame, or we can humble ourselves and repent. Sometimes it takes the shame of exposure to realize how just how destructive our sins can be. Great blog!

  217. Wonderful poem that shows how our perceptions of reality depend on so many different variables. I have never felt more committed to pray for our president than I have for Donald Trump. As a nation we can trust in the truth found in Prov. 21:1 ” The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whither soever he will.” Thank you Jim for your timely, poignant messages.

  218. Jim it seems as though perception while it is not reality can be for some.
    What surprised me is the childish misbehaver of a few in some of our large cities, like children they find a need to act out and misbehave?
    Is it a misconception about our new president elect or just a failure on their part to comply with the law of the land out of a mean spirit?
    There is a great need in America for a spiritual awaking.
    Thank you for all your hard work.

  219. Very insightful post. I truly wish the media would bring this kind of awakening to the general public than the sensationalism and lies. Just think what a beautiful change we would see in our world .

  220. Wonderful example of how to keep our blessings in the proper perspective. We truly are a blessed people with so much to give to others.

  221. Thanks to My Lord for Pastor Glen leading me to eat of His Wisdom in and thru you Brother Jim!
    Be Merry in Christ this His Eternal Season of Living. Moments of His Blessings thru Him Loving you and all your moments in His works and 🎁 presents and presence! !!

  222. This is so right on the money. And speaking of money…as people enter into the income fast lane every character weakness is exposed!

  223. Life happens, and it seems that in today’s world, our focus continues to change due to a request or requirement put on us whether it be personally or professionally. A challenge for me, which I am a work in progress, is understanding and learning how to establish boundaries and say no. That being said, I also need to quiet myself and listen to God’s voice. I work for Him and He needs to direct me to help me put my life in the order that God He wants. Problem for me is being quiet long enough to hear His voice.

  224. Hello Jim. Something similar to your experience happened to me in my ministry a few years ago. I let so many other priorities crowd out what the Lord had called and anointed me to do. There was no question as to what I was capable of accomplishing for His glory, it was just a matter of deciding to walk in it. I started where I was (my local church) and used what He had entrusted to my care (gifts and talents). After a season of obedience, other doors of ministry began opening to me. It was like a beautiful flower that blossomed. Hope this helps.

  225. A very dear Friend of mine gave me a copy of a book over 30 yrs ago that changed my life! In it, I am reminded that my “Old Man” , that “Sinful Me” Was Crucified With Him, and my New Man is a “Replaced” Life………and Jesus doesn’t have any “land mines”! Hallelujah!

  226. Thanks Jim,
    Love your examples, Land Mines, that’s explosive. I suppose we all have land mines of some sort. I have read that we all have at least a dozen good characteristics and likewise bad characteristics. I suppose we have to look for and praise those good things in ones personality. I have found that if two people focus on God separately and together it makes a mighty strong triangle of love.

  227. Hello Jim. As always, your points are very well spoken (written) and bring the reader to an understanding of the ways of God through the examples you give. What a great gift! Your blog has blessed me and inspired me to continue perfecting my writing skills as I endeavor to communicate the Gospel through this medium.

  228. Back in the Jesus Movement, before many readers were born, most of our tribe wore big crosses and or fish. We proudly walked around campus advertising our spiritual power.

    One day my friend Chuck was strutting and a friend came up to him, grabbed the cross and pulled it up to his eyes for a better look. He then said, “Doesnt’t your life show it enough that you have to advertise?”

    Chuck put it back inside his shirt.

  229. Greed takes away the life of its owner, just as give it is never satisfied. In todays society the heart of the people is set on worldly possessions. Every race is trying to write the law to fit their agenda. But, to let the truth be told. God have already given us the law. So everyone beware, wether you are into politics, religions,etc
    The boundaries have been set by God.
    Religion. If you’re not walking according to God’s beloved Son, Jesue Christ. Its all in vain. No matter who you are.

  230. This is true wisdom here, Jim. Thank you for sharing this. Your words made me think of Paul Simon’s excellent album and song, Rhythm of the Saints. Genuine joy , God-breathed joy, comes when we are in rhythm with God, and when we get out of rhythm with Him, we can easily become stressed, exhausted and subsequently lose our joy. Your blog has opened my eyes to how crucial the rhythm of the saints is to their walk with the Lord.

    Thanks again, Jim. Many blessings to you.

  231. Thanks Jim for the encouragement to look up now down. Yeshua is the bright star & is where my eyes & my heart should be focused.

  232. Safe travels on your great adventure, Jim! Praying that God will give you much needed rest and amazing clarity and send of purpose while you are gone. We are missing you already!

  233. Wow! What an awesome opportunity the Lord is giving you. I’ll gladly be your prayer partner through this journey.

  234. Jim, you are an inspiration! Thank you for showing us God’s Light and taking courage to step out in faith. You pave the way for many of us to be courageous in our faith, too.

  235. Your great adventure indeed! And a such a beautiful blog! Its crazy when you think about if we really are living the fullest life that God called us to? I think this is great! I wish you the very best and pray for God to softly speak to you! We’ll be praying for you too here!

    Have a great trip!
    Katrina

  236. Welcome to walking by faith. I don’t suppose it was any easier for the heroes of faith of Heb. Ch. 11. It’s one thing to read about faith, and even to teach about it, but it’s entirely different when you’re walking it out in your own life. God is also trying my faith in similar ways. He brings us to the absolute end of a chapter in our lives where we have no choice but to trust Him with the impossible. I have every confidence that you’ll come through this trial as pure gold, reflecting the image of the Master.

  237. I sure needed to read this today. Thanks, Jim. I love reading your inspirational words. You are such a good writer and I so appreciate that about you.

  238. Great teaching on the balance in healthy relationships. As Jesus said, It is more blessed to give than to receive, but there is still a blessing to be had in receiving. I study the way Jesus related to people in the Gospels and invariably find Him in the giving mode most of the time. Like you said Jim, His need to be validated, loved and accepted came from His relationship with His Father.

  239. Your words are so encouraging. The first step is realizing who is constantly withdrawing without making any deposits and learning how to say no. Thank you for sharing.

  240. How true…. so often we become human doings instead of human beings. One of the benefits of getting older is you just don’t have the energy for so much non stop activity. What a gift in disguise. I’m learning by necessity to slow down and spend more time reading and listening for His voice.

  241. Jim, Great stuff.

    However, I do get nervous unless people start taking LICENSE and being LAZY!!!! Look to the Ant you laggard!

    Yikes. I slipped back into my False Guilt and False Shame inducing behavior so quickly after reading the truth you wrote so beautifully. Keep it up Brother. I need it.

  242. Am composing a review of 15 chapters about King David and one of the points is keeping watch in the sheepfold and waiting. I printed the scriptures you show on waiting. Terrific!

  243. Great message. The examples of the men and women who overcame what appeared to be “dead ends” gave me strategies to help me conquer my impasses. The “endings” in life are inevitable, but through the change they necessitate God offers us the opportunity to experience Him in ways we never have.

  244. Jim,
    I guess when you boil life down, it is really all about faith isn’t it? I’m glad that you have had time to process, let go of, pick up, and share what your faith looks like to us, your readers. You have blessed us all -as we process and examine our own unique spaces in this universe and journey with a loving and all knowing God. Keep sharing–you are inspirational and thought provoking. Jesus never leaves us, nor forsakes us. Many blessings, Jim,
    Shelley (Bernard’s sister)

    • Thanks for your encouraging note, Shelley. Bernard is one of the most inspirational people I’ve ever met, always finding a way to help me see the positive, when I’m much too prone to dwell on the negative.

  245. Awesome Jim, I can certainly relate to much of what you came away with on your sabbatical. Learning to live one day at a time and love the one in front of us is always in vogue with our amazing God. So glad you had a wonderful get-a-way. Hope to get to your neck of the woods someday or maybe connect in Columbus. Love you my friend!

    Just Paul!

  246. Hey Jim, #1: I miss you! and glad you had a great takeaway from your trip! #2: Happy Father’s day! and #3: I have chosen to Always make God my HOME!! No matter WHAT life throws at us!

  247. We are in Majorca, Spain enjoying a relaxing vacation. I am not working, thinking about work, and am only occasionally checking my email. Today we rejoiced in seeing God’s beautiful creation. We visited medieval villages and stood at the top of a mountain looking at the amazing azure blue sea. I am trying to love the person God is putting in front of me and resting in Him. I am delighted you had a good time and shared your lessons learned with us.

  248. Another great article. One of the best results of airlines charging for every piece of luggage has been to reduce the luggage. Even then I carry too much on trips. Karen and I have reduced our luggage to one piece and it is enough.

    I am looking forward to more fresh winds from your travels.

  249. I remember a trip to Europe many years ago when I look an unbearably heavy backpack. Of course, I never even used most of the stuff. And I think I’m still suffering from some back pains because of the experience…

  250. Great article Jim. We as Americans often become slaves to our stuff and keeping up with the world. It is hard to think about Christ and the great things he blesses us with when you are wrapped up in the spoils of the world.

  251. Jim,
    The storage industry in America generates $32+ billion annually. There are actually over 54,000 storage facilities in the US. Talk about not paying attention to Matthew 6:19! “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. Great lesson is this blog of yours. Thanks.
    Dave

  252. Great article, I was just looking around my house this weekend thinking of the stuff I need to get rid of because I do not use it.

  253. Wonderful word of encouragement. Thank you Jim!
    “Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? Who hath gathered the wind in His fists? Who hath bound the waters in a garment? Who hath established all the ends of the earth? What is His name, and what is His son’s name, if thou canst tell?” Prov. 30:4

  254. Well, once again Jim you’ve enlightened your readers to an insightful truth of how to successfully navigate through the quagmire of living for God in a fallen world.
    As a 60 year old single Christian woman I can identify with the unique set of “challenges” associated with desiring meaningful companionship at this stage of life. My past experience with online dating was “less than ideal”. For me, it put me in a state a constant longing, questioning, and ultimately I became the victim of my own “witty inventions.” I never actually met anyone face to face, but I had a few online conversations with some “decent” men. I never felt peace about meeting any of these men in person. Also, I encountered a lot of “peculiar” , to say the least, men. I know there are success stories, but I believe they are few and far between. The Lord gave me this scripture concerning the whole “Dating dilemma” … “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing and obtains favor of the Lord.” (Prov. 18:22). If it’s God’s will, he’ll find me.

  255. Great article, my friend. As a Christian Counselor I have heard every story in the book.

    For a long time I did not understand why the Bible says, “God hates divorce” but after seeing what can happen to us afterward, it makes more sense. It is like saying, “God hates war.”

    I hate war. I don’t hate soldiers, but what it does to soldiers.

    Blessings.

  256. I’m reading a lot of judgment between the lines and directly in the lines. I’ve never completed a form for online dating so I ‘m not aware of all the choices of info to share. Seems to me Ron may need to be more upfront with his unrealistic high standards and expectations . In doing so, he may perhaps actually avoid dating anyone. I know that sounds harsh but why is he so worried about Thanksgiving dinner? Seriously. Those mentioned are people with value who are loved by God.

    • I don’t see Ron’s thoughts as being judgmental – other than judging himself and whether or not he could handle those situations. (Many would find those situations tough to handle.) If he knows he can’t, then he is right to avoid continuing the relationship. It’s common sense. And he is not overlooking his own issues, either.

  257. Thank you Jim. Great revelation of “self evident” truths that debunk these misconceptions of how God ordains and prospers ministry. A lot of people who are in positions of leadership are deluded and discouraged because they fail to understand the ways of God. Psalm 103:7 is fitting here: “He made known His ways to Moses, His acts unto the children of Israel.”

  258. First of all, those people that were judging Ron were being quite judgmental themselves – especially without really knowing the poor man.

    Ron was being very honest with himself about what situations he could handle and what he couldn’t. He was careful not to jump into a relationship, knowing there were major challenges right up front that he could not handle. That’s called “paying attention to the red flags.” Why set yourself up for failure? If more people were that smart/careful, maybe there would be a few less divorces.

    Also, as I recall, Ron stated his own shortcomings, too.

    I dare say that some of his critics, if put in the same situations, might have some of the same thoughts/reactions.

    Praying for Ron!

  259. I am glad to hear Ron did try look at himself to see he also are carrying around some baggage. God wants happiness for all his children but before finding a wife Ron would ready need to truly find himself. There are a lot of woman out there and unfortunately the ones that are catching Ron’s eye are not the type of people that are suited for him has he ever thought of that, why do you keep picking these people that you feel have a lot of baggage you’re not finding your soulmate because of the type of people that are catching your eye is it physical. Or is God trying to tell you something that you need to address your own baggage before you start looking at other people look at the beam in your eye before you start taking the splinter out your brother’s eye.

    He may be a good guy but he may have some areas he need to address so that when God is ready to send the person his way he’s open to see her. She will be the one that suits him fine will have some of the same likes it won’t be so much of the past dramas. They may talk about some of the stuff that they went through in their pass but it will be the past everybody has one.

    Good luck to Ron and carry your best friend, father, helper with you when you meet these women God the Father.

  260. This was terrific, Jim. It was just what I needed today. Thirteen days ago I had a biopsy done and am living within the “cone of uncertainty” of having cancer or not having cancer. The pathology report may take another week to get back. I do believe God is for me and trying not to let the evil one steal my joy over this physical problem. Also, we are living in the “cone of uncertainty” about where we are supposed to live. I am approaching retirement and we were recently led to sell our home here in the United States. There are lots of questions swirling about where we should live. Do we move abroad to help my in-laws? Do we move to my hometown? Do we move to another state? What should we do with all of our possessions? It it exciting to move into a new phase of life. But the BEST thing about all of this is to be reminded that God’s “got “all of this and He is totally FOR us. All prayers welcomed .

  261. Thanks for sharing this, Jane. You will certainly be in my prayers, and I hope you’ll keep me posted. Several months ago, I went on a sabbatical to sort out a similar time of possible transitions. With one daughter in New Zealand, another in San Diego, a son in Charlotte, and friends and family in Ohio, where should I live, and what should my remaining purpose in life be? I think I’ve sorted that out now, but it was a tough process. Thanks for taking time to write and share this update.