Monday, October 7, 2013

Ruminations: Reflections In The Midst Of The Journey  is a selection of my writings that I’ve written over the last four years. I’m very proud of the way this collection came together, and excited to share it with you. If you would like to grab a copy of the book you can find it over on Amazon, the links are below.
Paperback 5.99
Kindle 3.99

Friday, October 4, 2013


About three years ago I self published a book entitled “Testimony” loosely based on my own personal testimony. I’ll be the first to acknowledge that the writing in the book is far from wonderful. By the grace of God, I’ve grown in both my abilities as a writer, as well as in my knowledge of the faith. Because some of the writing is so raw, I was hesitant to make the book available in the kindle format, as well as do much to publicize it. The more I thought about it though, I decided to put it out there. It does much to show where I was as I began seeking, and it shows the grace of God in his pursuit of his blessed children. Despite the fact that this book won’t win any literary awards, I still enjoy the story and find myself getting sucked in,(Does this make me vain?) and I have received much positive feed back.

If you would like to purchase the Kindle edition of “Testimony” for only $2.99 please click here. I pray it will bless you in some small way. Print editions of the book are also available through Amazon.

Saturday, April 13, 2013



Have you ever had to make a tough decision? If you're human I know you have. I am in the midst of one of those monumental decision making moments as we seems as if I've been here forever.

I tend to think all decisions have eternal consequences, even though some seem bigger than others, and I suppose they are at least in terms of felt impact. My current dilemma is rather huge. Definite eternal implications. For myself and certainly for my family. 

What is one to do?

I'll be perfectly honest. I feel with (almost) every fiber of my being I know what the right decision is. 

"Great!", you say, "So, what's the issue?"

Well, I suppose the (almost) is one of the issues. The fact that I'm not totally sure...though I don't know that it's entirely possible to be completely sure of much...But the bigger issue for me right now is that almost no one will be happy about this decision. The range of emotions and reactions from friends, acquaintances, and associates will range from anger to disbelief, and the one I fear most is disappointment. 

Even myself...I can't lie. I'm not totally sure I totally love the choice I feel lead to make. A part of me will have to die. Long held dreams, desires, and ambitions I will need to let go of...At least for the foreseeable future. Im sure these hopes, dreams, desires, and ambitions will be replaced with new ones.(One can only hope, right?) Still...its not easy letting go. 

But, I feel this is the decision I must make. For myself and my family as we seek to follow Jesus.

I'm still trying to get to that "More of Him, less of me" way of's certainly a process.

Fear of man issues is something I've struggled with mightily...and these days it is weighing on my soul like a millstone around my neck.

But as he(Christ) hopefully increases, and as I hopefully decrease in my own heart and mind...I pray that the fears and anxiety I feel towards those I choose to associate with will be drowned out and replaced by love and adoration for the God and savior in whom I have no choice but to love and follow, and the family I have no choice but to love and lead in the way of Jesus.

Brennan Manning & A Reflection On Grace

Last night I learned that Brennan Manning had died. I will forever be grateful to Mr. Manning for his writing. I believe I have read his full body of work, some books more than once, and few authors, if any, have helped me understand grace more clearly than Brennan.

He was an imperfect man who stumbled and limped through life. He wasn’t what many of us would envision when we think of the ‘victorious Christian’, yet that’s exactly what he was. He got up one more time than he stumbled, and this last time he got up to enter into the arms of his Abba. Brennan Manning knew that he was completely dependent on the grace of God, and the ‘relentless tenderness of Jesus’…Only when you and I realize that too, will we truly be victorious.

Very often as I read the writings of Mr. Manning I found myself cringing. I think grace often does that. One would think that as we reflect on the good news of Jesus Christ, and the grace with which he has lavished upon us, we would be quick to embrace it. Far too often though, that isn’t the case. Sometimes grace is just as hard to accept as it is to give. Most times we Christians talk a good game about grace, but in practice we leave much to be desired. This is just as true of ourselves as it is of others. We know God forgives…but does he really forgive like that? God is full of grace, but even when I’ve done this?

Yes…even then. This is truly the good news. The grace of God poured out through Jesus Christ is even more amazing than we could ever have imagined. Perhaps a cringe is often the proper response to a grace this amazing…it is meant to astound us. But don’t stop there. Meditate on this cringe-worthy grace…this Gospel that is utterly unbelievable…and fall on your knees before a God who loves and forgives in a way that is completely beyond our understanding…

Thank you Brennan Manning for helping me to see this a little more clearly…

“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21

Sunday, February 24, 2013

That's My King

By Dr. S.M. Lockridge

The Bible says my King is a seven-way king....He's the King of the Jews; that's a racial king....He's the King of Israel; that's a national King....He's the King of Righteousness....He's the King of the Ages.....He's the King of Heaven....He's the King of Glory....He's the King of kings, and He's the Lord of lords. That's my King. Well....I wonder, do you know Him?.... David said, "The Heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament shows His handiwork. My King is a sovereign King. No means of measure can define His limitless love. No far seeing telescope can bring into visibility the coastline of His shoreless supply. No barrier can hinder Him from pouring out His blessings. He's enduringly strong....He's entirely sincere....He's eternally steadfast....He's immortally graceful....He's imperially powerful....He's impartially merciful....... Do you know Him?

He's the greatest phenomenon that ever crossed the horizon of this world. He's God's Son....He's a sinner's Saviour....He's the centerpiece of civilization....He stands in the solitude of Himself....He's august....He's unique....He's unparalleled....He's unprecedented....He's the loftiest idea in literature....He's the highest personality in philosophy....He's the supreme problem in higher criticism....He's the fundamental doctrine of true theology....He's the cardinal necessity for spiritual religion....He's the miracle of the age.... He's the superlative of everything good that you choose to call Him....He's the only one qualified to be an all sufficient Saviour...... I wonder if you know Him today?

He supplies strength for the weak....He's available for the tempted and the tried....He sympathizes and He saves....He strengthens and sustains....He guards and He guides....He heals the sick....He cleanses lepers....He forgives sinners....He discharges debtors....He delivers captives....He defends the feeble....He blesses the young....He serves the unfortunate....He regards the aged....He rewards the diligent....and He beautifies the meek....... I wonder if you know Him?

Well, my the King....He's the key to knowledge....He's the wellspring to wisdom....He's the doorway of deliverance....He's the pathway of peace....He's the roadway of righteousness ....He's the highway of holiness....He's the gateway of glory....... Do you know Him?

Well....His office is manifold....His promise is sure....His light is matchless....His goodness is limitless....His mercy is everlasting....His love never changes....His word is enough....His grace is sufficient....His reign is righteous....and His yoke is easy, and his burden is light. I wish I could describe Him to you, but He's indescribable....He's incomprehensible....He's invincible....He's irresistible.

Well, you can't get Him out of your mind....You can't get Him off of your hand....You can't out live Him, and you can't live without Him....The Pharisees couldn't stand Him, but they found out they couldn't stop Him....Pilate couldn't find any fault in Him....The witnesses couldn't get their testimonies to agree....Herod couldn't kill Him....Death couldn't handle Him, and the grave couldn't hold Him. Yea!!!, that's my King, that's my King.

Father..."Thine is the Kingdom....and the Power....and the Glory....Forever"....and ever, and ever, and ever, and ever. How long is that? And ever...and ever...and when you get through with all the forevers, then.... AMEN!....AMEN!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Books Read 2012

A lot of folks have posted top 10 lists of the books they've read this year. I may do that in the next few days, but until then I decided to simply post a list of all of the books I read this year. Take a gander, did you read any of the same books? What books did you read this year that I should check out in 2013?

Generally every month I set the goal to read at least 4 books that month...Sometimes I'm able to read more, sometimes life gets too busy and I can't. Do you have any similar goals when it comes to your reading? When do you do your best reading?
Books Read 2012
1) By Grace Alone - Sinclair Ferguson
2) Gospel Wakefulness - Jared C. Wilson
3) On Christian Liberty - Martin Luther
4) Not A Fan - Kyle Idleman
5) So Beautiful - Leonard Sweet
6) Wordsmithy - Douglas Wilson
7) Veneer - Timothy WIllard/Jason Locy
8) Radical - David Platt
1) The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
2) Radical Together - David Platt
3) Reflections On The Psalms - C.S. Lewis
4) Innocent Blood - John Ensor
1) Friends And Lovers - Joel R. Beeke
2) Jesus Wants To Save Christians - Rob Bell and Don Golden
3) The Story of God, The Story of Us - Sean Gladding
4) Note To Self - Joe Thorn
1) Drops Like Stars - Rob Bell
2) Pursuing God - Jim Eliff
3) Gospel - J.D. Greear
4) Reliving The Passion - Walter Wangerine
5) Who Am I? - Jerry Bridges
6) The Stranger - Albert Camus
1) Lit - Tony Reinke
2) The Plague - Albert Camus
3) The Road - Cormac McCarthy
4) Explicit Gospel - Matt Chandler
1) Summer Wakes The Bear Who Sleeps - Aaron Youngren
2) Let Christ Be Magnified - J.H. Merle d'Aubigne

1) On the Incarnation - Athanasius
2) On Writing - Ernest Hemingway
1) Pastor - Eugene Peterson
2) Story - Steven James
3) Preach - Mark Dever, Greg Gilbert
4) Knowing Scripture - RC Sproul
1)Welcome To The Story - Stephen J. Nichols
2)Andrew Fuller - John Piper
3)Godspeed - Britt Merrick
4)Sacrilege - Hugh Halter
Many started, none finished
1)Wrecked - Jeff Goins
2)You Are A Writer - Jeff Goins
3)The God Of The Mundane - Matthew Redmond
4)The Writing Life - Annie Dillard
5)You Can't Go Home Again - Max Andrew Dubinski
6)The Fullness of Christ - John Preston
7)Harry Potter:The Chamber of Secrets – J.K. Rowling
8)Dimensions Of Prayer – Douglas V. Steere
9)Reverting To Type – Alan Jacobs
10)Notes From The Underground - Fyodor Dostoyevski
11)Five Smooth Stones - Eugene Peterson
12)Gilead – Marilynne Robinson
1)The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Silver Chair – C.S. Lewis
2)The Chronicles of Narnia: The Last Battle – C.S. Lewis
3)The Five Dilemmas of Calvinism – Craig R. Brown
4)Touching Wonder: Recapturing The Awe of Christmas РJohn Blas̩
5)Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Christmas Sermons – Edwin Robertson
6)Grace – Max Lucado

Friday, December 7, 2012

Give us this day...Jesus

Pray then like this:
    “Our Father in heaven,
    hallowed be your name.
    Your kingdom come,
    your will be done,
        on earth as it is in heaven.
    Give us this day our daily bread,
    and forgive us our debts,
        as we also have forgiven our debtors.
    And lead us not into temptation,
        but deliver us from evil.
~Matthew 6:9-13 

Over the past several months I have fallen more and more in love with what I believe is the shining jewel of Christian prayer. Many of us know it as the Lord’s Prayer. Many good and sincere Christians debate this prayer and its meaning. Are we to recite it verbatim? Is Jesus simply giving us an outline of a good prayer? Is Jesus just telling us essentially what prayer is to be? I think perhaps all of the above is true.

We cannot go wrong if we take any of those things to heart, and pray keeping those things in mind.

As I’ve spent more and more time over the last several months praying this prayer and meditating on its meaning, I’ve become convinced of this truth. Perhaps I’m slow and it is perfectly obvious to everyone else…but I have become convinced that at the heart of ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ is this: Surrender/Submission…and Jesus. Ultimately Jesus is at the heart of all things Christian, but hopefully you guys know what I mean.

“Our Father in heaven,
  hallowed be your name.
  Your kingdom come,
  your will be done,
  on earth as it is in heaven...”

As we say those words, what are we saying but that, “Lord we acknowledge who you are…we acknowledge your greatness…we stand in awe of your holiness, your might, your power, your beauty, your majesty…may we see that here, now, on earth…visibly and physically.” We can’t do it. As we see who God is, and meditate on that reality, we realize our utter helplessness.

“…Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

I’m struck immediately as I see the words, “Give us this day our daily bread…” by the fact that Jesus tells us time and time again that He is the ‘bread of life’ and the ‘living bread that came down from heaven’. (See John 6) So when we pray these words, yes we are praying for God to provide our needs for the day, but even deeper than that, especially deeper than that, what we are essentially praying for is Jesus. Now when I say these words, in my heart I say, “Give us Jesus…Give me Jesus.”

What more do we need? What is more essential to our lives and our daily living, and our walks of faith, than Jesus? As we pray through the rest of the prayer we essentially see what Jesus does, and through the power of His Spirit, what He does through us, in us, and with us. He graciously forgives our sins, and grants us the grace to forgive others. He allows us to overcome temptations, and ultimately He delivers us from all evil…both daily and eternally.

This prayer is drawing me closer to my Savior daily. As I say this prayer and meditate on its meaning daily I am more and more in awe of God, and fall more and more in love with Jesus. I am learning about surrender. I am learning more about Jesus. Nothing is more essential and at the heart of the Christian life more than those two truths. Surrender and Jesus. Christianity in two words.

Many Christians do not recite this prayer on a regular basis…for years neither did I. I suppose some feel it is too elementary. This attitude is dangerous. Regardless of your thoughts on what the meaning is behind this prayer…”Should it be recited? Is it simply an example?” The fact is saying it, and reciting it, and most importantly meditating on its meaning is a good exercise, and one that I believe will build you up, equip you, and help you love God more. I’ve even began reciting this prayer with my oldest son each morning before school, and slowly I am trying to talk to Him about what it means. Sometimes he wants to, sometimes he doesn’t, sometimes he’s just indifferent. That’s okay. I think all of us approach prayer like that. He is learning the importance of all prayer…as am I.

There are many great Christian and theological minds out there. They have said, and observed things about this prayer, and spoken about it much more beautifully and in depth than I ever could. More than likely what I’ve said is nothing new…But perhaps as I pour out my heart as to the importance this prayer, and all it means to me and my faith…you will be encouraged and drawn to explore and meditate deeper on this prayer, and ultimately Jesus Himself..which I believe is the embodiment and ultimate fulfillment of ‘The Lord’s Prayer’.