Posts by Pastor Skip

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Saturday of Holy Week

by Pastor Skip

Saturday, the day in-between!  From the Crucifixion on Friday to the Resurrection on Sunday lies Saturday…a day of great agony and perceived loss by the followers of Jesus.

They must have  been very frustrated, to have put so much hope into a victorious Savior, only to see Him crucified and buried. All their personal sacrifice of following Him is now being questioned, I’m sure, as to whether it was ‘worth it.’ “Were we wrong?” I’m sure they were asking. “Did we not see the great things He did?” “Wasn’t our time with Him the most glorious time of our lives?” “Were not the Scriptures so fulfilled by His life that left no doubt?” “Wasn’t all this actually foretold to us, and yet we can’t comprehend it?” “What’s going on?” “What now?” “Where will we go, and what will we do now?”

These were not the first to have such questions. Imagine those who believed in a coming Messiah, years before He arrived as Christ Jesus, and who died, whether by normal live cycles or some calamity. I’m sure they were wondering about their faith too! And yet, the faithful, those who held fast and didn’t reject the God of Love Who was calling to them throughout the ages, what happened to them? Where did they go, to await the great Resurrection that was coming?

In the parable of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16, Jesus gives us a bit of information. It talks about a place in the under-world where the departed are ‘kept,’ some in torment, some not. In Ephesians 4:8-10 we get a bit more. Paul tells us that Jesus descended “to the lowest parts of the earth,” which was surely a reference to Hades/Hell.  Whether this is literal or not is up to debate, as some believe that the dead before the Resurrection were ‘asleep’ until the trumpet blows and the ‘dead in Christ’ arise. I’m not trying to be dogmatic. I surely don’t know the absolute answer, seeing as how others in the Faith have differing opinions as to interpretation here.

The point is this: that on Saturday, the day in-between Jesus’ death and Resurrection, time sort of stood still for the believers. Tears were shed. Questions were asked. Doubts were rising within them, even as they do today within us! This is very much like the night Peter had when he denied Christ 3 times, as each believer has to sort through his/her own faith. We can ask ‘why’ to so many questions, can’t we? And yet, time seems to stand still for many of those answers!

On Saturday, in between Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday, one should settle, solidify, make permanent  one’s faith. Even if you don’t get the answer you asked for, that doesn’t mean God isn’t at work. You are not in charge, He is. He is determining the times, and the pauses in between. Let this day be a Glorious Day as you find new strength and new resolve, knowing what happens tomorrow! Jesus said “Remember Me…” because He didn’t want us to forget!

You see, we are not like those of old who didn’t know where they were or what was happening. We DO KNOW. We have the Scriptures, of course, but we also have what the old-timers call A WITNESS, the very action and unction of the Holy Spirit, to Comfort us, and to Confirm in us the truth being revealed ‘tomorrow.’ Jesus Christ DID rise from the dead. Jesus Christ DID fulfill the Scriptures. Jesus Christ DID appear for 40 more days, and release many, as many as 500, to join Him in those days. This is the record of Bible history! And, today, this time-standing-still-Saturday, WE can rejoice, because the ‘secret’ is kept hidden no longer! Revelation has happened, through Christ’s Resurrection, and revelation can happen over and over for us, as we allow it.

I pray for you today, that you will be filled to overflowing with anticipation and joy and confidence. I pray that you will learn that the in-between times are those times when God is up to something so incredible and wonderful that we can’t quite ‘get it.’ This virus attack is just that, and we know that our Lord wins, even if some of us die, and that we have the certainty of life forever with Him. We are those who have enough faith to weather any storm, plague, fire or tumult! We are those for whom Christ died, and that makes us very valuable, in spite of circumstances.

It’s Saturday…..and God is up to something!

Pastor Skip

Good Friday

by Pastor Skip

This is a very unique day for the Christian; very specific, in fact, TO Christianity. Our entire understanding of spiritual things is now rooted in Good Friday, because we believe that God is Good. I’m sure the other faith systems think their god is good too, mostly, well, except for some of the Greek gods of war and terror. But, generally, folks who worship a god tend to think of that god as being there for them, some how.

And yet, none of these other gods did what Jesus Christ did. None of them came to earth and lived among them for the specific purpose of taking on the punishment for sin, and dying for them! It almost doesn’t make sense. We are so ‘self’ oriented that to do this kind of thing seems out of balance, this dying for another. And yet, our heroes are the ones who through life do this very thing! Like what the medical practitioners are doing right now for us during this virus crisis. 

Jesus came to take on a virus we all have; a virus that spreads furiously; a virus that knows no boundaries; a virus that is so insidious we don’t even see it coming. In fact, ours is a virus that often is cloaked in stuff that feels good to the body, and very clever at disguising itself in appearance. Ours is a virus that is at its core deceptive, and purposed to kill.

Our virus is not Clovid19, it is Sin. The cure for this sin virus is simply beyond man to administer on his own. We need a Savior, to come and minister and administer to us the cure, the salvation, the purchase for eternity. This is a big deal.

This, then, is why it is Good Friday. On this day in history, Jesus Christ accomplished the task God the Father sent Him to do, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to make it possible for sin to be cured in each individual, by Grace, through Faith IN Jesus Christ. His death for us. Oh my. Can you believe it? Can you comprehend it? Can you allow it to happen, to you, for you, in you, on a daily basis?

Yes, the Bible has a lot of prophecy throughout the Old Testament letting us know bits and pieces of this coming event. It is encouraging to read that God makes promises, and then keeps them. For the O.T. folks, salvation was by faith in a Messiah yet to come. For us, salvation is by faith in a Messiah who has come! We get grafted in, to the Branch, to the Root, to the very core of God Almighty. Can you say Hallelujah! ?

Now let’s fast forward to today, THIS Good Friday, and transact some spiritual business. Take the time to give thanks to God. Take the time to give thanks to Jesus. Take the time to thank the Holy Spirit. Cover all the bases! Let the humility we visited yesterday, Maundy Thursday, get to your soul today in thanksgiving, and awe, and wonder. Focus on Him. Dwell on Christ Jesus. Let your mind leave the Corona news coverage for awhile and concentrate on what God has done for you, even today!

Try to picture in your mind the Cross, and the body of Christ nailed to it. Try to imagine what is going on. Try to remember what He said, and His composure, and His suffering, and even His strength. Try to remember that what was going on was FOR YOU. Oh my, try to appropriate that. This is a big deal.

I love what is happening in different places during Christmas now, where “secret Santa’s” go about paying bills for folks, or paying for the lay-away products at Target, for example, or even just handing out money on the streets or subways. It’s amazing. The joy of giving accrues to the secret Santa, but the joy of ‘receiving’ accrues to the one benefitted. That joy of giving is just what happened to Jesus on the Cross, and the joy of receiving needs to be in us. We need, somehow, to live our lives not just understanding this in a mental way, but in a physical and practical way as well. 

“Give, and it shall be given unto you…” is not just some trite Bible verse used to prop up the Sunday offering. It is Truth we need to appropriate for our daily lives, Monday thru Saturday as well.

I pray you are having a Good Friday. I pray you will discover the joy purchased for us on this day so long ago. I pray you will sense a stirring, a renewal, a revival, even a bit of jolting, if necessary, to live your  life a bit larger today, because of Jesus Christ.

Maundy Thursday

by Pastor Skip

In the more formal Christian churches, where Holy Week is recognized on the Church Calendar, today is called Maundy Thursday. While the less formal Christian churches don’t necessarily ‘follow’ the Liturgical Calendar, they certainly do not minimize the teachings from Scripture which make up the more formalized traditions.

I love traditions that bring me closer to Christ, deeper IN Christ, and help me with my daily life. I don’t like traditions that just try to manipulate me for some ecclesiastical control or purpose of man. This is delicate stuff to sort out, as I’m sure few would ever suggest they were ‘trying’ to manipulate or control us!  Just sayin’…

Holy Week is the week of Christ’s “passion.”  The days leading up to the crucifixion were powerful days in the life of Jesus. The crucifixion is almost incomprehensible for us in this modern age, and yet we have the record of Scripture to inform us. And the Resurrection is surely the focus for our “obtained Victory” by Christ. So this is good stuff! It’s good for us to visit the history of each day, and ask again “What sayeth the Lord to me today” by this story?

This, then, is Maundy Thursday. A strange name for a day; one which we’ve pretty much lost any idea of what it means or why it might be important.  Once a year we get to re-visit it, and ‘remember again.’

Maundy Thursday was the day in history when Jesus held what we call the Last Supper. So named, obviously, for it was His last meal with His Disciples, but so much more powerful the more we learn about it. The order of seating, the style of seating and placement of things, the meal itself and the cups and vessels used, all have spiritual connection. It’s fascinating stuff even before the ‘words of Christ’ are introduced, or the behavior of His followers is studied.

“Maundy” is a term referring to the practice of washing the feet of the poor. Jesus began this ‘meal’  by washing the feet of His disciples, which produced in them no small frustration, as He should be ‘above’ such demeaning behavior. His teaching was of course just the opposite. He was reminding them again why He came, to minister to the poor, thus their consternation. They wanted him strong and victorious and beyond the powers of this world. They wanted a physical hero who could overthrow the powers controlling them, both earthly and spiritually. His humility, His meekness, His entire approach continued to both amaze and confound them. 

In this current age we don’t do humility very well. We tend to see it as they did….weakness.  We tend to value more the conquering heroes of military conquest, and sports, and business, etc.   When the humble person shows up, that person is easily misunderstood, and that person’s power is too often overlooked.

And yet, when Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount, He surely elevated the value of the humble!  Read again Matthew 5:3-10, called the Beattitudes!

So today, we have the wonder of looking back into history, and learning from this day. We can remember what Jesus said, and how He behaved. We can use these ‘teachings’ of Scripture as a basis for personal prayer, even interceding for our own selves! We can, this Holy Week, not just remember what took place in history, but begin to put into practice these lessons for life today! The foot washing we can practice today, in addition to the literal practice, is the opportunity to change our behavior toward others. To ‘judge not,’ for example. To give hilariously, for example. To ‘choose life,’ which comes only through the Savior, Jesus Christ. And so much more…..

God Bless you this Maundy Thursday,

Pastor Skip

Wednesday of Holy Week

by Pastor Skip

This week is Holy Week…the week leading up to the Cross, the day of enduring the Cross, the pure Victory the Cross fulfilled, and the Resurrection.  Our entire Christian faith is based upon what happened, not to Jesus Christ, but for us!

Our devotional this week points out that the Cross was the very purpose of God, fulfilled by God, to restore mankind into fellowship with God. God, you see, was up to something!  What we count as centuries God counts as but a breath, as He breathes life eternal back into his creature man.

One could say that every day of our lives, today is a battle against sin. We each struggle with certain things, certain temptations, certain weaknesses, and even certain doubts. And then the Word of God comes to us, explaining that Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. HE 11:1    It is faith that rises up against all comers who would destroy us. It is faith that rises up to both protect us and save us. It is faith that rises up to defeat the certain things, certain temptations, certain weaknesses, and even certain doubts. Let faith arise! 

Faith is not some kind of wishful thinking, backed by nothing, like our money today! No, faith is the absolute and solid currency of our eternity! And faith in Jesus Christ is that certain currency like no other. It doesn’t lose value. It doesn’t fail. It doesn’t wear out. Faith in Jesus Christ is eternal faith and faith for eternity!

Yes, there are lots of ‘faith systems.’ Lots of fake currencies. But faith in Jesus Christ is a proven currency, a proven faith, because of what He accomplished for us, that nothing else could. No amount of human thought, no amount of effort, no amount of human works or attempted manipulation of God will do for us what Christ did for us on the Cross. He paid the price. He did the work. He atoned for our sin. Only Christ! 

No other god, you see, lasts. Not the god of money, or the god of sports, or the god of education, or the god of self. No other god lasts to the end, but rather all others gods simply end. They come and go like carved objects we ourselves craft with our own hands or in our own minds. They don’t last.

Jesus Christ, however, was, is, and will be, forever. Jesus Christ, you can count on, lasting forever.

Is it possible, I ask you, that God is up to something?

Is it possible this virus is part of a plan?

Is it possible this virus is a wake-up call of some kind?

Is it possible that God is using this virus to get our attention, and if so, to what?

My Carol likes to say: “When number 1 hurts badly enough, number 1 will change.”  Are we hurting badly enough, and if so what should change? Is this about our economy, our freedom to move about, our physical or health conditions, our ‘state of readiness’ for some plague, or what?

Is it possible this virus has some spiritual purpose?

What should Holy Week be about for us, as we determine to “Remember Me” in the Sacrament of Communion? Should our remembrance go beyond just the mental, into some kind of actual and intentional change of behavior on our part?

I know I’m asking a lot of questions, because I have a lot of questions. I am seeking the Lord. I am looking to Jesus Christ for His leadership of my life, my family, my church. I want to be a good citizen, but especially of His Kingdom, not just this earthly one.

Join with me during this Holy Week; in Communion, in fellowship, in Biblical study, in prayer, and of course in Worship.  We can “be together” in spirit, joining in pursuit of Holy Spirit guidance, comfort, strength, and power!

We can say ‘no’ to the enemy of our souls! We can say ‘no’ to the rulers of this realm, if need be, because ours is an eternal realm not of here. We can exercise our faith, and see it grow, and experience new depths of Grace, Mercy, and relationship with Jesus Christ.

We can….

May Magnificent Blessings Overflow you,

Pastor Skip

Feed My Sheep

by Pastor Skip

We read in yesterday’s My Utmost For His Highest John 21:17, the almost easy-to-skip-over words: “feed my sheep.” Jesus’ words to Peter are not just for Peter, are they? Everyone who reads this Word of God, the Bible, needs to be open to the Holy Spirit to speak, individually, regardless of ministerial status, for we are “a royal priesthood.”

This business of ‘feeding’ is pretty simple-it’s providing nourishment. So when we ‘nourish’ another, we are ‘feeding’ them. Obviously the Bible teachers of our faith are the ones we think of first, as we ‘expect’ them to feed us, by teaching us the Scriptures. Whether we ‘take and eat’ the food provided is another thing entirely! But there are many other ways we Christians can provide nourishment to one another, by the power of the Holy Spirit.

And, amazingly, the Holy Spirit can ‘speak’ to us through other people, even in a so-called non-Christian environment or way. This is what I want to share about today, as I encountered such a wonderful ‘word from God’ from a totally unexpected source.

In planning an overseas trip, which requires both airline tickets and hotel reservations to be paid for in advance, one is wise to purchase trip insurance. This insurance covers a multitude of possible problems one might incur, like lost luggage, medical costs, even emergency evacuation.  It’s not too expensive and I’ve purchased trip insurance several times, counting myself fortunate for not having to use it.

Having committed to a trip this April to Portugal/Spain, and having purchased the trip insurance, I was feeling like a seasoned traveler. And then the Corona virus thing hits the fan! Folks all over the world are generally concerned, and a bit of panic is in the air, as the media seems to sound the alarm on every station and outlet. People are getting infected, and people are dying, and warnings are everywhere.

What is one to do? So, I called my insurance company to find out the particulars of my coverage; the fine print that really determines what is covered, and if I could just cancel my trip. I realize that insurance is a product that only makes money for the issuer based on what they DON’T pay out from premiums collected, so I was prepared for a bunch of legalese explaining to me how I couldn’t collect.

I wasn’t prepared for what happened next, when I called and talked to a Representative. I wasn’t prepared to hear a ‘word from God.’ I was expecting a bunch of negative, but received the most amazing declaration of truth I could imagine! Obviously this company is getting a lot of calls right now, as so many are wondering the same things I am. Certainly they have coached their Representatives on how to answer these not-yet-happened events! Dealing with all the what-if’s must be complicated, which is why they have the fine print in the first place.

So here it is: the Representative simply said, “Mr. Heiney, fear is not a covered item.”

Bang. A Truth explosion.

The Rep didn’t quote Bible to me, but he quoted truth nonetheless. You can apply this to so many areas of life, in addition to my travel plans! He didn’t say “In Jesus’ Name,” and he didn’t invite me to prayer. 

This is how God works, don’t you think? He works all day long, through many different sources, to try to teach us His truth for our lives; to show us HOW to live in a spiritual way vs a worldly way. 

While the world is going fearful right now, in many areas, The Lord shows up to say things like “Be at peace,” or “I’m in control,” or “It’s going to be ok,” etc.

The Word of God is FOR us, not against us. This God can use any source He chooses to speak into our lives, if we are listening…

Fear is not a covered item in a travel insurance policy, but it is so completely covered in a Spiritual Policy! Make sure you have one…

Christmas 2019

by Pastor Skip

In 2010 a movie came out from Emilio Estevez called The Way. Not being a big Hollywood production it didn’t really get much traction, but steadily gained a sort-of cult following, due to the powerful story and marvelous on-location sights in France and Spain, not to mention a terrific ‘acting job’ by his father, Martin Sheen, and a few other notable characters one won’t easily forget from other countries. Then it got ‘discovered’ by Christians beyond just the Catholics, and the growth spread to Protestants and others as well. Carol and I got to see this movie in January of 2013, and something happened to us, something rare, in that we BOTH were impacted with the desire to go follow in those steps.

Over the ages literally millions of people have followed this path, this Camino. In the Dark Ages though it began to dwindle, and the troubles of life and cares of this world diminished the Pilgrimage to just a few, and practically none from the USA. Most of us in the US don’t even identify with “Pilgrimage” at all, not knowing its power or meaning, much less its ‘calling.’ I don’t really know how Emilio Estevez discovered it, or how it compelled him to write and make a movie, but I’m beginning to understand why.

In 2013 (and 2015) Carol and I walked the Camino de Santiago, following the path (camino) of St. James, from the Pyrenees Mountains bordering France in the east, to the city of Santiago in western Spain.  In 2017 we walked an ancient trail in Ireland, The Wicklow Way, and in Scotland, The Great Glen Way, following a course frequented by William Wallace. This year, 2019, we walked another ancient trail in Ireland, The Dingle Way, part of the larger, longer Kerry Way. To say that these adventures have impacted us is to miss the real import. We have been infected! We have been Blessed! We have been able to encounter God and our faith in new ways, which make us hungry for more.

“Why tell us this?” you may be thinking, as many of you already know about our compulsion. Forward to now…to Christmas time…and to all the gifts you want to give to those you love. The very best gifts are personal ones, and the best personal ones are those that connect our lives, not just add more stuff. Ever since we finished our first Camino we’ve been immersed in stories, pictures, songs, home-made videos and even some pretty good small-time film productions by others with the same experiences, same passions, same ‘infection.’ Facebook is alive with lots of Camino stories, and websites abound. Even Youtube is in the mix, as are many others I’m sure.

The ‘gift’ I’m trying to give you is encouragement to learn, and to experience this Blessing even if you can’t go in person. Check out and tour around the site and learn about the Camino. Go to and search for Camino songs, or Camino films, and enjoy the tour!

Once you enter the Camino ‘Zone’ you will be a bit like St. James was when he walked across Spain telling the folks about the Christ, Jesus of Nazareth. Christian ‘missions’ should include so much more that just quoting Scripture; it should include personal testimonies and urging others onward. In fact, once you’ve been on a ‘mission’ yourself….well, it changes you. You get dangerous. The infection wants to spread …

Merry Christmas, and Buen Camino to all!

Halloween and Being a Christian

by Pastor Skip

I’m not writing to be a ‘basher.’ I’m writing to encourage being a ‘believer in/follower of… Jesus.’

There are so many things in this world that we Christians actually do participate in that are not God-honoring that we should pause from time to time to re-examine our ‘walk.’

Halloween is a gross thing when you think about it. The world therefore tries to make it seem like it’s harmless fun, and has lots of support from our enemy the Devil. Some take a very strong position here and assess Halloween as purely Demonic, such that those who participate are giving themselves to that enemy.

Others just brush it off as they do everything else the world has to offer that is not ‘of God.’

This, then, is the actual issue as I see it. Once we become aware, we become accountable, and after that we become responsible, and then we become a part of the thing, complete with consequences. Sometimes the process moves quickly, sometimes very slowly, but the fact that the ‘world’ is affecting us as Christians is undeniable.

I think the behavior we should be pursuing is that which is Godly. I think that if we concentrated on pleasing the Lord we would avoid displeasing Him. Some say this as “being IN the world but not OF it.”

Jesus said He was the Way, the Truth, and the Life. If we actually follow Him, with intentional pursuit, the Way that He takes us will be the right way, and the Truth that He speaks to us will strengthen and guide us, such that the Life He offers will be ours. Problem is, this seems to begin with our denying self and allowing the exchange of natures to take place….IN us….His nature for ours.

Replace the temptations of the world with the opportunities God provides in Christ Jesus, and you will be busy indeed! Instead of worrying about being dead to self, concentrate on being ALIVE in Him. When anything that is not Love shows up, go instead the Way of Love. 

Just a thought …

On Being Aware

by Pastor Skip

This blog entry is the beginning of a thing, not the final word on it. This subject is too BIG for a short summary, although it can be grasped for further chew!

What does it mean to “be aware” ?  The dictionary tells us it means to know something, and to be conscious about it, but these can be two very different things if you think about it!

I know a lot of things that I’m not particular conscious about , at least not at this moment. And THAT is a problem for us spiritually. For painful example, we can say we ‘know God,’ and yet go through our day completely apart from His leadership. He may be in our head, but not in our feet. 

My mind may contain information about Jesus Christ, but my consciousness is devoid of His influence in the ‘right now.’  Get it? See what I mean?

To be aware of something is to have it active, and be participating in our life. Often we are aware of something and CHOOSE to ignore it, or go a different way.  We are aware, but not guided. Our Christian walk is full of these contrasts, and I’m sure you can develop your own list occurring in your own life.

In some theological circles this is called the ‘walk of the flesh vs the walk of the Spirit.’ We’ve heard about this conundrum our entire church-going lives, and we certainly struggle with it daily. The thing is, are we AWARE? We may agree with the technical principle, but are we CONSCIOUS of it during the day? 

What hope is there for us when we realize that we agree about God’s ways of living our lives and then keep ignoring them?  “The devil made me do it!” may be the most accurate reply, but it’s really a defensive response to try to get us off the hook, which we jumped upon ourselves!

There has to be a way for us to gain victory, for us to become AWARE of Him in our daily lives, to be changed! Our faith has to be more than concept, knowledge, sets of facts and such. Our faith has to be a POWER in our lives, to CHANGE our lives, and this power has to be accessible to us in the now! The Holy Spirit of God has to be more than a Pentecostal term separating believers into ‘have and have not’ categories. We ALL need to have this have. 

As you ponder these questions, and I do hope you will, don’t hesitate to send me any comments you wish. Agree or disagree, but do engage. As a final piece of meat to chew upon, consider this:

One of the major Doctrines in Christianity is Original Sin. The ‘fall’ of man is central to his ‘restoration,’ and much of what church teaching is about is how to overcome the ‘fall.’ But something came before Original Sin. First came Original Glory! First came the actual manifestation of God, by His acts of Creation! He made us in His image, right?, and gave us dominion.  Jesus Christ came to provide the Victory for us, through His sacrifice, etc. So, are we AWARE of this? Are we allowing Holy Spirit to be a part of our consciousness? Our daily walk? Our thought life? Our foot steps?

Be aware.

Be conscious.

A Wednesday and Thursday Night to Remember!

by Pastor Skip

Some people keep Journals, writing down important happenings in their lives, or epiphanies they have. This is kind of like that for me, and I want to remember it.

First, a little groundwork, or foundation. Do you remember a time when you were really on fire for God? A time when you just couldn’t get enough of reading the Bible, or going to studies, or church several times a week? Do you remember a time when you spent hours with other seekers, discussing the Lord and His ways in your lives? Was there a time when you would rather be with other Christians searching for the big answers about life and the clock didn’t matter, you couldn’t get enough? Did you used to go to Christian camps, Christian movies, Christian conferences, Christian Bible studies, Christian home groups, even Christian restaurants, because you just couldn’t get enough? Do you remember a time when you were immersed in Jesus, almost continually baptized by His Presence? Do you remember a time when a friend would call you, and be so excited about a new book they just read, full of new discoveries of some kind about the life of faith, and you could talk for hours about…..the Lord? Do you remember a time when you were desperate about something and God showed up, just in time, leaving you breathless and amazed? Do you remember a time when someone asked you something about life, revealing how troubled they were and how lost they felt, and somehow, out of somewhere within you, you helped comfort them and leave them in peace, and you wondered “where did THAT come from”? Did you ever “experience God” in a way so real that no voice to the contrary could even approach you?

Did you ever have a time when the bullets of life were flying overhead, ready to hurt you, but you found the ‘peace that passes all understanding’ ?

Four questions may help make this personal instead of theoretical:

  1. Are you growing in your spiritual life?
  2. Or, are you treading water?
  3. Are you excited by and about God, and the life you have?
  4. Or not?


I got a call from a dear friend I hadn’t seen for some time. Dear friends are the ones that you can “pick up right where you left off,” and time doesn’t seem to matter. He lives in another city but was here for a conference and wanted to get together, so we did, on Wednesday night!

For a couple hours we just chatted away, like dear friends do, each of us ‘remembering’ a time past that we enjoyed together. What sort of overtook us was talking about a book, and then more books, about the Lord and His Ways, and about life and its ways. We experienced that feeling so hard to describe where you get excited about how God works, and you hunger to learn more, and you each remember one time after another or one book after another or one epiphany after another…..each one and all of them Glorifying God and giving Him praise, all the while rejoicing not only in The Lord, but in each other! That was Wednesday night!

Then, on Thursday night, it was time for our weekly Bible study at church, a continuation on the study of Spiritual Warfare. It’s a 12-week video study which we completed in the Spring, but so amazing, for me at least, that I had to have it repeated a 2nd time, and invited any who wished to “come again” and re-visit this so needed study. I’ve told several folks that the study should be re-named “Essential Christianity” because the title “Spiritual Warfare” makes some folks uncomfortable, almost wiggy, and what it really is about is the Power of God in our lives, ie: Christianity!

We may live in terrible times, and certainly terrible things are happening all over the place, but we have an Awesome God, Who is able to do exceedingly above what we can ask or even think! Ephesians 3:20.

These times are really no different than the times of history, except that these times are OUR times, and WE are the ones crying out to God! We have the same questions as the ancients had, and we try the same ways they did to get God to do what we want Him to do! Until, of course, we ‘get it,’ and begin to yield, or surrender, to the Lordship of Jesus Christ!

And then something happens: we have an experience; or an awakening; or an epiphany; or a happening. God shows up. Jesus becomes real. The Bible becomes like food we can’t get enough of. Church even seems worth going to!

The lesson this Thursday night was on angels, and it wasn’t goofy or weird in any way. It was Bible. It was reassuring us that God is on the job, all the time, and that He has His messengers and attendants working on our behalf. On our behalf! After the video lesson several folks shared about personal encounters with angels and you could ‘feel’ the tension in the room, as each person tried to relate, even to ‘believe’ that this could happen. I realized that my own personal encounters with God are real to me, for me, but that YOUR encounters with God may seem mighty strange! Instead, we should “rejoice with them that rejoice,” and let God have His way with each of us.

I do pray that each of you can have a dear friend to share your faith with; to search together and to ponder things with; to get excited with and remember the times when God showed up! I also pray that church can become so much a Blessing to you that you hunger for it, and can’t wait for Sunday, because God shows up!

Calm is a Super Power

by Pastor Skip

It’s something supernatural. That is, it is something that is natural, in that it is about us, and yet it is so needed that we all crave it, all try to muster it up, and in doing so often repel the very thing sought.

We need divine intervention. We need the natural to be energized by the Lord God, thus ‘supernatural.’ Just the mere thought of the thing makes us pause and exhale in wonder and agreement. We then breathe in again, hoping we get it. It’s sort of a constant prayer we lift to Jesus, albeit more of a hope than a certainty, and yet we know it is part of our faith so we pray anyway, knowing He hears us, knowing He answers us, just not sure of how to ‘discover’ the answer.

Scripture presents this to us in several ways, using several words, and if we’re not careful we make the thing into a ‘work’ somehow, and that sort of defeats the entire concept. God is at work, we know, but we sure love to try to help Him out. We seem to believe that our effort will somehow move the mountain, even if it’s a shovel by shovel attempt.

And along come the super heroes, with their super powers, entertaining us with their ability to do the impossible, defeating all enemies with their strength and grace. Well, sometimes not so graceful. I haven’t seen most of these movies, and not because I object on spiritual grounds, it’s just I don’t like the comics so much. But I do like the idea of super heroes and super powers. We all like to dream of being a hero with incredible power to go out and do good! It’s all about the super power!

And so, all of this, to share with you a saying I saw on the back of a car the other day, sort of like a bumper sticker. Because a picture is worth a thousand words, and I’m not supposed to write a thousand words in a blog, make these words into a picture and ponder the thousand words! Here it is…for you to ponder….to study…to embrace: