Message Archive


In the quiet, push back the darkness with light.

A law enforcement official walks past the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, the scene of a mass shooting, Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017, in Sutherland Springs, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Rising this morning in the quiet and the dark, this thought rolled in my heart and mind.

Conform to the will, plan and purpose of God for your life not the will, plan and purpose of the world.  There is great hope in Christ.  We don’t need to live this way.

Social media, media in general, and group think invade the USA at a deep level that is disturbing. People will respond to the situation of violence and evil in predictable patterns and reinforce calling evil good and good evil. Politics will take the stage and pundits will decry a right to bear arms as bad and others will promote free flow of arms and the core of the issue will be ignored. Because as a society, we seek to conformity to the will, plan, and purpose of self-fulfillment not God fulfillment. We want people to agree with us more than we seek to agree with God. There is great hope in Christ.  We don’t need to live this way.

As a consultant to people and organizations, I’ve always tried to look beyond the visible signs and find the underlying root cause. Lay the ax to the root. Ignore the leaves and branches. They will wither and die when we kill the root.  There is great hope in Christ. We don’t need to live this way.

It is the very self-fulfillment that will fill our media and social posts today that is the root. This fractured man with a gun has been fractured for a long time. He is a strange sign of a present social evil. Laws will not stop him or others that erupt like him. Barriers are useless against base evil and self-fulfillment philosophy. He and others ready to act like him will not be stopped by political drivel or increase of social legal restraint. We have taught our populace that law is relative to self-fulfillment and they are living it out. Laws are irrelevant. Character is of no value. Respect has no place. Self-fulfillment and self-expression is our practical law. At the root, we are flawed.

We have chosen anarchy for order and self as god.  We harvest what we have sown.  God forgive us for our complacency and commonness.  We are called to be different, distinctive, and determined.  As a nation, we have made self-fulfilling choices and now have a society rampant with that fruit.  To continue to pursue this path will continue to see more evil.  We must turn and adjust to God’s truth.  There is great hope in Christ.  We don’t need to live this way.

The scripture that guides me this morning is Psalm 16. Some title it, Confidence In The Lord.   That is what we lack.  We lack confidence in the Lord because we do not live in His will, plan, and purpose. In this Psalm David points a clear path if we would like to dispel evil as our normal.

  1. Confidence in the Lord not in self. Self-esteem and self-fulfillment are destructive forces when pursued against God-esteem and God-fulfillment.
  2. Sorrows will multiply when we pursue the second god of Self.
  3. Connection with God’s people is a must for peaceful and fulfilling life.
  4. Barriers and boundaries are good. Chose to live in God’s portion for your life.  Show restraint.
  5. Depression and anxiety are rooted in lack of hope and worth. Our value should be set in the fact that we are accepted and received in God through Christ.  Those that walk outside that position will cause a rift every moment in social order.  Those that walk inside that position will be a stream of living waters in society.
  6. Even during evil (Sheol or hell) those that look to God’s will, plan, and purpose have gladness and preservation. It will be there.  It will attack.  We are secure in Him and will not see ultimate decay when we keep our trust in Him through the unexplainable moments.  Gladness will win the day.
  7. Seek His presence. Seek His presence.  Seek His truth.  Push back the darkness with light not logic.  Push back the evil by going out and making another disciple of the Kingdom.  Promote the good news in Christ that there would be more with us then there are with them.


Psalm 16

Confidence in the Lord

A Davidic Miktam.


1 Protect me, God, for I take refuge in You.

2 I said to Yahweh, “You are my Lord;

I have nothing good besides You.”

3 As for the holy people who are in the land,

they are the noble ones.

All my delight is in them.

4 The sorrows of those who take another god

for themselves will multiply;

I will not pour out their drink offerings of blood,

and I will not speak their names with my lips.

5 Lord, You are my portion

and my cup of blessing;

You hold my future.

6 The boundary lines have fallen for me

in pleasant places;

indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.

7 I will praise the Lord who counsels me—

even at night my conscience instructs me.

8 I keep the Lord in mind always.

Because He is at my right hand,

I will not be shaken.

9 Therefore my heart is glad

and my spirit rejoices;

my body also rests securely.

10 For You will not abandon me to Sheol;

You will not allow Your Faithful One to see decay.

11 You reveal the path of life to me;

in Your presence is abundant joy;

in Your right hand are eternal pleasures.


Baptism is Power and Freedom

Issues and Answers: Baptism in Water

What is the next step in your faith walk? Is it baptism? When we come fresh to Christ for the first time or as of recommitment baptism is healthy. It is a declaration in a tangible way between you and God that says, “I’m all in, Jesus, I’m all in”.
Baptism is a celebration of faith. Will you join? Is that a good day for you to have that tangible Touch of God in your life? I invite you to come and be baptized on November 19th. Let me know so we have plenty of towels Pastor Phil I love you I appreciate you I believe in you
Lifted. Loved. Linked.


Why do it?

Matthew 28: 18 Then Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Baptism is a part of the Christian faith.
• Jesus asks us to do it.
• It is a key moment in dedication and following of Christ.
• It signals to family and friends and the community that you belong to Christ and His church.
• Power is released.
• Freedom is enabled.
• A most significant spiritual transaction of change happens.

When to be baptized?

Mark 16:16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned

Baptism is a declaration of a fresh start and a fresh life. Now, I don’t recommend people be baptized over and over, but there are significant points of change and faith in your life that make sense.
• When you first come to Christ is a must.
• When you come back fresh to Christ after a period of wandering on your own without a congregation.
• When you join strong to a new congregation.
These are all good moments to consider water baptism.

Acts 8:12 But when they believed Philip, as he preached the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized

What Happens?

Wow. You need to experience this. A baptism done in faith by you and the congregation gathered around you is a life changing experience with God.
• The power of the Holy Spirit is present to ignite fresh faith and freedom in your life.
• Battles you have fought for years can be buried and you can come up clean and ready for a new life.
• You should ask the Father to simultaneously baptize you in the Holy Spirit during water baptism. You should believe in faith for that to happen. Power is available.
• You are set apart into the Kingdom in unity for service and significance.
• You are identified with Christ as being buried with Him and resurrected into a new life. You declare in faith that old life is gone and a new one is in front of you. Faith ignites change.

Luke 3: 21 When all the people were baptized, Jesus also was baptized. As He was praying, heaven opened, 22 and the Holy Spirit descended on Him in a physical appearance like a dove. And a voice came from heaven:
You are My beloved Son.
I take delight in You!

Acts 2:38 “Repent,” Peter said to them, “and be baptized, each of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

1 Corinthians 12:13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.

Romans 6:4 Therefore we were buried with Him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too may walk in a new way of life.

Colossians 2:12 Having been buried with Him in baptism, you were also raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.


4 Faith Actions to Peace and Miracles

4 Faith Actions The Lead to A Personal Miracle

A prophetic declaration. As we entered 2017, I sought God for answers for the I-35 corridor of Texas and Oklahoma. From Sanger to Ardmore and surrounding areas. There were a series of answers for those living in this area delivered. This was one of those. These are all available on youtube along with more. Prophecy declares the heart and design and will of God and His intended intervention should we come alongside. He acts sovereign; however, He always acts with those that come alongside. He puts Himself in the position of working with our agreement. He does not need us, but He wants us, He desires us, He commits Himself to work with us. The text of this message can be read at Take 20 minutes and begin aligning yourself for miracles.
Many will study and study and study and go to Bible groups and prayer groups and find no more answers than if they went to Starbucks. Others sit at home and read a Bible or book and want to understand. Here is truth that will set you free and it will begin to work the day you come into agreement.
One of the great fun miracles we saw recently happened as I spoke in English for 5-10 minutes to a group of over 150 children and adults in Mexico. Everyone heard and understood in Spanish. The interpreter stopped for the entire time as God ministered. In the same meeting, a woman conversed with God over her private situation as I stood beside her. The channel of communication was so personal, she told my interpreter later that she wondered how I knew so much about the details of her struggles. The Father healed deep wounds and depression in His presence.
These moments of miracles are quite common for me. In a room of unbelievers in the Corridor, the Holy Spirit stepped in and spoke deeply to many. We were impressed to stop and pray. This was not a religious but a community meeting and God stepped into the room. A few days later a woman brought her deep issues to me in counsel. God forgave, healed, restored joy, and brought her to salvation in Christ. These moments of miracles come from this practice I am sharing with you today.
A.Read this statement and get it into your heart. B. Then read the text at the evotions link above and then C. listen to the message.
I speak to you as a called and commissioned minister of the Gospel to the Corridor. There is healing for you in these words. You will find immediate relief in obedience. D. Then go to the list of messages of healing and freedom at and let God build a completely new life for you and your family.

Phil, will it work for me if I live outside the Corridor? Yes. Biblical truth is not limited to geography. When you apply right Biblical principles to your life, you will see miracles. God will intervene for you.

When I understand:

1.Of myself, I cannot get it done.

2.God, the Creator, a personal God, made a way in Christ to be forgiven, accepted, and empowered.

3.I can rest in His death and resurrection. He has built a limitless bank of grace and peace.

4.The King of the Universe loves me and that makes me valuable. You cannot take it away. He has poured His Holy Spirit into my life.

5.He gives me a true “church” family that loves me, accepts me and takes me in.

Anger has no hold.

Addictions drop away.

Depression is defeated.

Discouragement dies.

Provision is at my door.

Strength engulfs me for difficulty.

This simple statement has guided me recently in helping others gain faith in Christ and Christ alone. It is simple. It doesn’t encompass everything, but it encompasses all I need to begin a limitless life of freedom in Him.

Posted by Hope Connection Church on Tuesday, September 5, 2017


Celebrate Life: The Power of Optimism

This is the Think Doctor, Pastor Phil. Today, we are talking about another confident route to wholeness and healing.  Our spirit, soul, body, mind, will, emotions, wisdom, wellbeing, relationships, and family are meant to be whole and healthy in Christ. It is the Divine intent of the Creator.  Through walking in His path as His children, we can be confident of these things.

Celebrate Life with The Eternal Optimist

Have you ever considered God as the Eternal Optimist.  Created man rebelled against Him within a short time frame.  This human race, created to be in eternal fellowship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, turns away in the first steps of humanity.  What a disappointment.  But wait.

The Creator knew before He created mankind that there would be a need for restoration.  From before He even laid the foundation of the world, He knew we would turn our heads to destructive lifestyles, imperfect obedience, and mistaken living. He knew.  He saw us doing it. And He created us.  He is the Eternal Optimist. Believing we would turn back to Him when He sent Christ was a big trust, a big optimism.  How could He know?   As unfaithful as we act and think, it took great f

aith on God’s part to believe we would respond appropriately.    Sure, some won’t, but many do.

The Story of Expectancy

Alongside the tall mountain, a monk worked in his field.  A traveler coming from the high part of the mountain stopped for a drink of water. The altitude was hard on him.

“Monk, how will I find the people in the valley to which I travel?  Will they be good people?  Kind?  Generous? Lively?”

The monk replied, “How were the people in the high village from which you travel?”

“Oh,” said the traveler, “They are ridiculous.  They speak a different language and I never understood a word. They eat soup made from yak and dogmeat and it turns my stomach.  The ground is hard and there is no bedding, so I had to sleep on the hard-cold ground.  I will never return.   They are awful.”

“I expect you will find the people in the valley much the same,” retorted the monk.

The traveler dropped his head and continued down the mountain.  The monk went back to working his fields.  The next day a second traveler came from the high village going to the valley village.  He too stopped to get a drink and talk to the monk.

“Monk, how will I find the people in the valley to which I travel? Will they be good people? Kind? Generous?  Lively?”

The monk replied, “How were the people in the high village from which you travel?”

“Oh,” said the traveler, “They are wonderful.   They speak a different language and I never understood a word, but we communicated from the heart and with signs and got along.  They eat a local soup that tastes unlike anything I have ever had and I enjoyed tasting different food.  The ground is hard and there is no bedding, so I was treated to sleeping on the hard-cold ground and I must say it was invigorating.  I hope to visit them again.  They are a great people.”

“I expect you will find the people in the valley much the same,” retorted the monk.

The traveler lifted his head in good expectation and continued his journey down the mountain.  The monk went back to working his fields.


Note: Optimism reduces risk of heart stress by 50%.

The Good Creation

In God’s story of creation as He closes the work of building us and our world and this universe, He says this positive affirmation.  “Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good.  So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.”

The Creator is the Eternal Optimist.  Foresight told Him how we would treat Him, each other, and the world in which He placed us.  Yet, He called it good.  The pollution to come did not cause hesitation.  The wars to come did not made Him hold back.  The damaged and fractured families of the future are unable to restrain His good action and belief.  He is the Eternal Optimist.  Believe with Him that good is able to overcome evil at every turn and every juncture.

We: The Eternal Optimists


As a Creation, we reflect our Creator, if we so choose.  Given free will and self determination, we certainly are able to choose variant paths.  But the variety of choices does not mean they are good.  It does not mean they will lead us along what He called GOOD.  Yet, we have the choice.

In Psalm 100, written approximately 3000 years ago, we find an affirmation of the exact attitudes and actions present sociologists and psychologists have concluded in the last few decades. That is amazing to me.  A primitive culture, not yet settled into a solid governmental structure, displays great wisdom concerning wellbeing and full health.  And it is done with exactness.

Let’s read the Psalm.

Psalm 100

Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands!

2 Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before His presence with singing.

3 Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;

We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise.

Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.

5 For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting,

And His truth endures to all generations.


The first item to which I want to draw your attention is Serve with Gladness. Picture real service.  In this picture are five young men holding each other as they travel a dusty road.  That is service.  Someone serves the donuts, someone cuts the grass, someone greets at the door, someone sets up a table, someone works with the kids, someone gives in the offering, someone prays, someone sings, someone teaches, someone cleans the tables, all serve and hold each other up with gladness.


True optimism and celebration starts with serving.  Serving opens the windows of heaven to us with blessing.  We become bigger on the inside when we serve and wholeness is released in us.


Research is Huge


Fred Bryant, a social psychologist at Loyola University Chicago, has done good research and documented the results in his book, Savoring, A New Model of Positive Experience.  His understanding of Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Positive Psychology is developed as he watches others become healthier.  Some of the tips we look at today are outlined in his book.  Though, David outlined them in Psalm 100 3000 years ago.

Martin Seligman, Director of University of Pennsylvania Positive Psychology Studies and author of numerous books like Flourish, What You Can Change and What you Can’t, Learned Optimism, and The Optimistic Child, changed the look of modern psychology.  Much of what you might know in Psychology was radically changed under men like Dr. Seligman and Dr. Beck in the 70s, 80s, and 90s.  It is just reaching effectiveness in our culture today and making great inroads in helping people overcome depression, anxiety, addictions, ptsd, and other mental injuries and illnesses.  Prior to their work, modern psychology had taken a dim view of ever seeing anyone healed and recovered to a life free of the pains.  They believed you can never recover, just maintain in your problem.  Wow, what a wonderful reality has been released in the works of these men and others like them.  The Creator has always believed in redemption and restoration.  Men are finding out the same.

note: Optimism affects heart, mind, blood pressure, immunity, and more

Share Your Good Feelings with Others

One of the premises of Psalm 100 is that we are a people.  We are not alone.  Our joys, thanksgiving, singing and living is meant to be shared.  If you want to be whole and healthy, share the joy.  Bring other people along with you.  Find a way to encourage someone else with what you have seen that is good.



Mental Photograph

Pictures are strong reminders.  A memory happens when an event meets an emotion.  Take a mental photograph of those good moments. The Creator did this for us through all of this recorded history.  There are plenty of bad memories that will erupt in us.  We can feed the well of our inner man by purposefully committing the good times and memories and emotions into the imagery of our mind and heart.  Think of a good time.  Think of the smells and feelings.  Think of the temperature and the

comfort of the moment or maybe the challenge and excitement.  Snapshot that into your mind for later retrieval.  Facebook does this so well for me.  It brings back memories with pictures.  We can do the same with an intentional archive of the good memories.  God steps back at Creation, takes a mental photograph and says, “This is good.”  David steps back and looks at the people as quiet and rested sheep in the pasture watched over by a good shepherd and takes a snapshot of the moment.  When time gets tough, these photos will calm us and bring out optimism of a better day.

Pat Your Back

Okay, do it.  Think of one thing you did this week of which you are proud.  Pat your own back.  Feels good doesn’t it.


Amazingly, when I look for pictures of shouting, they mostly look angry and violent.  A teenager once said he did not take anyone seriously until they yelled at him. How sad.  Shouting should be for joy 100 times the time it is used for sorrow or anger.  Shout in the streets.  Sing in the rain.  Enjoy and let it out.  That football and soccer game is therapeutic.  It will build your health.

Get Absorbed – Flow

Everyone needs that hobby or activity that just seems to flow.  You are in the groove.  You are you.   I love it when a band or singing group just flows.  It is a great joy, when a golf shot just lines up and and happens as if there had never been a practice.  Some days, I pick up my guitar and just let some song from decades of meditation come out with no effort.  Do something in which you can get absorbed.

Dr. Seligman calls this, Engagement, and tells us it is one of the five necessities for a sense of wellbeing.  This entire Psalm is a flow. A flow of serving, shouting, singing, thanking, worshipping, and being a people of God full of wholeness and health.

Give Thanks – Visibly

Every day and I mean every day, in front of me is someone in the struggle of poverty and pain. Irrefutably, I can tell you poverty and pain are vacant of thankfulness in the United States.  Something horrible has happened.  Our sense of being entitled to everything that others have, our coveting of the goods of other has reached an all-time high.  Thankfulness, gratefulness, contentment has been abandoned.  We covet instead of thanking.  We are jealous instead of grateful.  Gratefulness is powerful.  It instills well-being, happiness, joy, power, and restores health.  Study after study proves the power of gratefulness.  Be active with gratefulness.  Be visible.  It builds you and the other.

Kill the KillJoy

This is the hard one.  Avoid the negative.  Resist remorse.  Don’t destroy your own joy by pointing out everything that is wrong and negative.  This is one core of depression.  Negatism sees the bad and points it out.  Optimism sees the bad and the good and works to focus on the good.


Walk in Health and Healing

Malachi 4:2 But to you who fear My name The Sun of Righteousness shall arise With healing in His wings

You have to love this promise.  When you place yourself in the position of a child in God’s path of optimism and action, you will find miracle power.  Yes, you will find miracle power.  Your energy is stimulated.  Your joy is jump started.  Your hope is made happier.  Your organs are energized.  Really.  This is proven scientifically and theologically.  Live in both.


Find Provision and Leadership : Where Is Your David?

Sunday Lesson: God Looks With  A Developing Eye
Open 2017, The Age of Adventure, with the resources you need.

Where is your David? Where is your leader in waiting? Where is your answer to your greatest question?

One of the greatest and most unusual descriptions of leadership appears with the reluctant prophet, Samuel, walking out an obedient selection of David. Samuel did not want David.  Samuel wanted Saul.  Samuel, who had been dedicated to God’s service from a young age, wanted to walk a different path than God’s way. Samuel, like us, wanted a king, he wanted his choice. God had completely different plans.

1 Sam 16:7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

1 Samuel 16(NIV) Samuel Anoints David

16 The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king.”

2 But Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears about it, he will kill me.”

The Lord said, “Take a heifer with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’ 3 Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what to do. You are to anoint for me the one I indicate.”

4 Samuel did what the Lord said. When he arrived at Bethlehem, the elders of the town trembled when they met him. They asked, “Do you come in peace?”

5 Samuel replied, “Yes, in peace; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Consecrate yourselves and come to the sacrifice with me.” Then he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.

6 When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord.”

7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

8 Then Jesse called Abinadab and had him pass in front of Samuel. But Samuel said, “The Lord has not chosen this one either.” 9 Jesse then had Shammah pass by, but Samuel said, “Nor has the Lord chosen this one.” 10 Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, “The Lord has not chosen these.” 11 So he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?”

“There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered. “He is tending the sheep.”

Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.”

12 So he sent for him and had him brought in. He was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features.

Then the Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.”

13 So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David. Samuel then went to Ramah.


Let’s take this piece of the story apart.

Saul was the type leader we all like.  He was big, strong, manly, a commanding presence. He would have his way no matter what resistance stood up to him.  We like that in leaders.  We like that forcefulness, that presence, that persona, that charismatic flair.  Such leaders are forgiven for walking over people.  They are forgiven for breaking the law.  They are forgiven for hardships of not listening and sometimes not caring.  We idolize them. God has a different criterion for leaders than commanding personality.

In the media, we don’t care if they violate every moral law. They can be sexual outside of marriage with the same sex or another, but we approve as we are entertained.  They can be violent with dog or man if they can lead a football team.  They can be alcoholic and drug addicts if the music and energy is what we want.  That attitude flows over into the kingdom.  God has a different criterion for leaders than performance and excellence on the platform.

It is okay with us for leaders of our thoughts and hearts and actions to be full of pain and problems.  They just need to make us feel good.  Then they fall.  They are flawed in the foundation of character and we did not care. We got what we wanted, a full house and a fun ride. When they fall, and cannot give us what we want, we turn on them.  We crucify them.  We kill them.  We turn into angry Romans and Jews at the foot of the Cross screaming, “Crucify Him, Crucify Him.”  We are no longer getting what we want out of them and are ready to throw them aside.  God has a different criterion for leaders than giving us what we want.

Samuel, God’s chosen prophet, let Saul take a place in his heart.  That happens. We let family and friend be leader because we love them. They appeal to our heart and emotions.  That makes them okay for a leader. We do that.  We like to like our leaders.  God has a different criterion for leaders than those we like as friends and family. God picks David.  Where is your David?  Where is the one God choses for you?

Samuel, God’s chosen leader, let Saul take a place in his heart. The nation needed solutions. The people needed provision.  Samuel was looking to a specific solution instead of God’s solution. We do that.  We tell God what He is supposed to do, who we are supposed to marry, what car we are supposed to drive, what house we should live in, what job we should have.  Where is your David?  Where is the house God selected, the car, the job, the position?


Look for the David, when you look for a leader. Look for the David when you look for provision.  David was not a perfect leader or a perfect solution, but He was God’s selection and anointed for the task.  Sure, David tripped and fell, but he got back up.  David continually pursued God.

Why did God pick David?  Why did God pick Abraham?  Why did God pick Moses? Why did God pick Paul? None of these fit the logical match for the position.  David, a cast-off shepherd for king. Abraham, an idol worshipper and foreigner, for the father of faith and beginner of nations.  Moses, a proud, arrogant Egyptian ruler, for a team builder and army builder of slaves.  Paul, a religious fanatic murderer, for taking the gospel to the hardest places.

Here God picks David. Where is your, David?  Abraham did not know the land but was to inherit it.  Moses did not know the people or the language. Moses required Aaron to interpret for him not for the Egyptians but the Hebrews, the ones he would lead.  Paul, a full Hebrew, is sent to Greeks and Romans.  Each seems ill fitted to the task.  Yet, God selected and equipped them.

Where is your David?

Are you making Samuel’s mistake?  Do you have a list of item that have no ultimate bearing on God’s selection?  Do you want a super preacher?  Do you want someone who is bilingual in speech but Hispanic in family and culture or Euro in family and culture?  Do you want someone who eats what you eat? Do you want a leader who will hold you back or lead you forward? Are you asking out of fear and selfishness or looking for a better life forward for your family and friends and neighbors?  Are you asking for yourself or for the hundreds, who have not joined? Do you want someone who has a wife and son and daughter who can sing and wow you?  Make you feel good and visit you in the hospital? Are you looking for a leader who is only able to lead 100 people, so he must be available whenever you call?  Are you looking for your leader or God’s leader?

Listen to God’s selection.  Isaiah 53 Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. 

This is Jesus. Ugly, simple, single at 30, uninterested in getting married, a hated human.  Misinterpreted?  Hangs out in bars and with prostitutes and thieves. How is that for a leader?

Are you making Samuel’s mistake with your needs?  Have you boxed God into a specific car you want or home or job?  Are you treating God like He is Santa Claus?  Give me what I want, God. I want to be God.  I want to tell God how to think and what is best.

Let me tell you a story.   26 years ago, my wife and I were looking for a house.  Our family was growing.  Four children filled our small house.  Our house would not sell.  For three years, we could not sell our house.  The frustration was huge.  We found houses we loved, but could not sell ours to buy them. One house really spoke to us. God gave us specific verses related to that house.  And we could not buy it. Finally, I made a deal with God.   God if the house won’t sell by this date then we will take it off the market and just live here.

The date came.  We had been on vacation and arrived from a long trip late in the day. At 10:45pm the realtor called and told us she sold the house.   I told her if she had waited to the next morning the deal would have been off.  We had an agreement.

What would we do?  We had no house to buy.  While we were on vacation, a house with the same floor plan as the house we loved came on the market.  We paid 20% less than what it cost to build. We have lived in that house for 23 years and still enjoy it.  Our children were raised in it.  We celebrate holidays in it.  It is the house God selected not the one we selected.

What about a David? What about a leader?

David is found out in the field with the sheep.  He is a shepherd.  He is a servant.  Maybe he is down at the local car shop doing paint and body.  Maybe he is a school teacher, who really loves families.  He cares. He works hard and alone most of the time.  He is not the most people friendly person you will find. Look for that kind of leader.  Does he stay with the task when everyone else goes home?

David is found singing to God and talking to himself. His parents and brothers don’t want anything to do with him.  Maybe he is a troublemaker.  But he is unloved.  But he worships God despite hardship. Look for that kind of leader.  Does he stand under hardship? Does he work for the ungrateful and continue to smile?

But God goes and gets David and pours His spirit on him for the task ahead.    David goes from the sheep field to a fight with the biggest, nastiest giant in the land.  David is not a fighter except for when his sheep are threatened.  It is this same motivation that moves him to attack Goliath.  The giant comes against the people and David rises just like over the lion and the bear that come against his sheep. David will fight to protect.  You need that kind of leader.  Has he a reputation for protecting the fatherless, the single parents, the poor and hungry?

God goes and gets David and pours His spirit on him for the task ahead.  One day he is a shepherd and then he kills a giant and then he becomes a leader of an army.  He does not have warrior training.  He does not have a master’s in business administration to lead a large organization.  Yet, he learns quickly.  Soon, Saul is worried this upstart will overtake his kingdom.  David is a quick learner and submitted to God’s Spirit. You need that kind of leader. You need someone who is a quick learner, can change tactics with the needs of the community, and knows how to organize.   You don’t need someone to fight with the tactics of yesterday.  You need a visionary.

God goes and gets David and pours His Spirit on him for the task ahead.  David is faithful.  For years, he must live away from his designated spot.  He must go into hiding to stay faithful.  He will not speak badly of others.  He will not gossip.  You need that kind of leader.  You need a man of integrity and faithful positive heart in the most impossible of situations.

Where is your David?  He is in the field with the sheep waiting for you to get ready. He is ready to have the Spirit of God poured on Him from a praying, supportive team of people. It does not take many.  Nobody believed in David when he started. God believed in David. David believed in David.  His own father and brothers did not believe in him.  Where is your David?


A man of integrity.

A man after God’s heart.

A man of vision for today and tomorrow.

A hard worker.

A persistent worker despite hardship.

A man of strong morals.

A man who protects the needs of all.

A man of positive action.


Quit looking for the handsome man, the perfect speaker, the perfect family, the one who makes you feel good, and the one who looks like you.  Look for God’s man and God will anoint Him to be all you need when you need it and all the new people need when they need it.



The Full Kingdom and A Broken Churchianity America

If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.
I John 1:6 nkjv

Rantings cover social media.  In the name of Christ some decry one politician or agenda over another. But is something deeper broken in Christian churchianity than politics or social agenda? It is hard for me to talk about Christianity any more. Our churches as a norm have veered too far off course for Christianity to be the right term. Churchianity fits well. There is something deeply broken in Churchianity America.

This morning two women wriggled in their chairs in my office. The one introduced the other as an alcoholic and drug addict looking for community service. The other just wanted to “do the hours” and avoid jail time. I know them both and have had interactions over the last two years.

Pressing for some response and desire to change, I asked why they came on Monday and avoided Sunday? After a few diversions to get me off course, the woman looked directly at me for the first time and honestly told me she had a problem coming to church because we have Blacks in the cogregation. She is ok with alcoholism and drug addiction culture, just not a different racial based culture.  Sunday morning is the most segregated hour in America.  There is something deeply broken in our Churchianity America.

A few weeks ago I spoke at a gathering of unbelievers, prebelievers, believers and churchianity. The churchianity believers denied there were Black and White churches in their community. In their eyes everything is ok. Everybody is going to church together. There is no divison. I looked up a few traditional Black churches in their neighborhood and referred them to go visit to help expand their view. Denial is a hard master. These are good hearted people with a narrow scope of reference and aversion to other cultures.

How can we go to Walmart, look at the mix of people, and them go to churchianity services that are decidedly out of proportion racially and culturally with our community?

In conversation with a Latino family the subject popped up.  “Is that Black congregation still worshipping with you.” I’ve been to pinata parties and celebrated birthdays in full Mexican cultural expression with this family.  But they won’t come and celebrate with my other friends because they are Black. I weep.

A few Black families have quit coming to services because we don’t do everything as they have been culturalized. There is something deeply broken in Churchianity America.

 We embrace everyone and offer an open culture worship with an expressive and inclusive singing mix from many traditions. Our service team is completely intermixed from male to female to young to old to male and female to Black, White, and Latino. We did not plan it that way, it is just who we are.  We reach people. They come in diversity.

Churchianity America is a dead and irrelevant sack of old bones ready to be buried.  A fresh kingdom church is ready to grow.  It must run from self serving White, Black, Latino and other cultural based expressions and be something new.  On the day of Pentecost a church was born multicultural. It can happen. It can happen here. Excuses not accepted.

Remember Jesus is a multiracial middle Eastern day laborer on one side of the family and parented by the Father of all cultures on the other side. He is not welcome at the front door of Churchianity America.

Take a good look around next Sunday.  Does it look like Walmart? McDonald’s? There is no 90% in America today.  If you see 90% anything, you might need to flip a light switch and chase out the darkness.