• 'Day One' Blog

    I’d Like to Stop Being Part of The Problem | Reflections on Racism

    I think I’m still part of the problem of keeping racism alive. My heart aches for the plight of black men and women in our nation. My heart grieves for the pervasiveness of racism that still lives. But I’m certain I’m still contributing to it and I don’t want to anymore. Every tumultuous  uprising can be a forum for personal reform (which is how authentic broad-based reform comes to pass) so I’m asking God, “Please reform me.” I’m in love with the diversity of the color of people’s skin. I’m in love with the diversity of people’s unique cultures. I’m in love with the nuances that come with that diversity.…

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    The Trouble With Forgiveness

    For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood,but against the rulers, against the authorities,against the cosmic powers over this present darkness,against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.Ephesians 6:12 (ESV) I can’t imagine there is one of us exempt from invitations to succumb to our PROFOUND fatigue from COVID-life and the pervasive national civil unrest. Let’s guard our hearts against the mounting temptation to engage in peripheral ‘hot-spot’ conversations. They end up dividing Christians when unity is of paramount importance. Unforgiveness can root before we know it, and then we are essentially off the grid-of-effectiveness for the Kingdom of God. The song below reminds me of my…

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    Three Rings of Peace ~

    COVID19 hit and the Lord ignited my heart concerning PEACE. It’s as indispensable to the inner-person as air is to the body. What is this intangible? Where do I get it? Can I lose it once I find it? Are there a variety of sources for it or just one? How dangerous are the counterfeits? Can I live without it… because it doesn’t seem like I can? It sure isn’t easy to get my hands on it, or hang onto it once I do. Never in my lifetime has PEACE been so sought after or so elusive (depending on where you’re looking for it). As I Christ follower, I believe…

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    ZOOM Stones –

    As you come to Him, a living stonerejected by men but in the sight of Godchosen and precious,you yourselves like living stonesare being built up as a spiritual house,to be a holy priesthood,to offer spiritual sacrificesacceptable to God through Jesus Christ.I Peter 2:4-5 I have had enough ZOOM chats since the onset of COVID19 to “see” small squares with faces in them when I close my eyes. That’s a little odd but not unwelcome. I have thrived in this aspect of isolation, being able to meaningfully connect with people in a way that has been surprisingly intimate and comfortable. It occurs to me that I am experiencing an aspect of…

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    Peace Agents

    Peace I leave with you;My peace I give you.I do not give to you as the world gives.Do not let your hearts be troubledand do not be afraid.John 14:27 As the world responds to the life-altering implications of COVID19, Christ-ones have the unprecedented opportunity to be agents of the PEACE of God. We have His PEACE because He gave it to us, (John 14:27), and if we’re going to honor Him as His children, we need to be ready to be agents of His PEACE, (Matthew 5:9). Like innumerable gifts He gives to us, the PEACE of God is ours to steward. It’s meant to grow on the branches of…

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    I Know Too Much About the Lord to Tank…

    I know too much about the Lord to tank right now.” I piped up with that statement in our community group ZOOM chat last week and was encouraged to briefly elaborate. I fall within the majority of the population who has been impacted by COVID19 but is NOT suffering significant hardship. Even so, there isn’t a day that goes by that I’m not invited to embrace fear and anxiety as I look out into an unknown future. Two simple things fuel my “I know too much…” statement. When I look forward to the future, I remember those things that are sure (the promises of God) and try very hard to…

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    In Preparation for Lent – February 26, ’20

    (Each Lent entry will give us a few days to ponder and sit with the Lord surrounding the scripture passages in that entry. The paragraphs following the passages are intended to give some guidance as we draw into the presence of God and dialogue with Him.) Meditation for the Soul ~ I will instruct you and teach youin the way you should go;I will counsel you with my eye upon you.Psalm 32:8For thus says the One who is high and lifted up,    who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:“I dwell in the high and holy place,    and also with himwho is of a contrite and lowly spirit.Isaiah 57:15 Reflection for the Mind…

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    One Year Mark

    If you’d like to view a montage w/ audio, click here:One Year Mark – Youtube Thousand Oaks has been home for my family and I for more than thirty years. A year ago our individual and collective lives were severely shaken, and for some of us, the unimaginable had occurred. Triggers have come sporadically all year long for everyone I know, including myself. But they are coming more frequently and more intensely as the year mark approaches. 11/07/’18 is our 9/11. There is a strange glob in my psyche containing bits that ordinarily would have no connection to each other at all. But they are forever connected for me. ~…

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    HOPE for Real – Pt. 3

    I can’t thank you all enough for climbing into this conversation about HOPE. Thank you for helping shape these final thoughts as you shared your insights. Below are a handful of truths that emerged over these many weeks. As they have gained entrance into my thinking, they are now working their way into my responses to life. I believe in having them at the ready (like mental flash-cards); to draw upon when my own soul would be tempted to despair, or to apply as a balm to someone who might be battling discouragement. And of course, these are but a smattering of all the Bible offers to reinforce the reality…

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    HOPE for Real – Pt. 2

    HOPEתִּקְוָה tiqvâh,ἐλπίς elpís, For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,for my HOPE is from him.He only is my rock and my salvation,my fortress; I shall not be shaken.Psalm 62:5-6 I’m pretty sure that HOPE is a commodity I have not seen for the true RICH (and possibly rare) thing that it is. If it is hewn as the Apostle Paul suggests in his letter to the saints in Rome, it comes by rugged means. But the thing is, I can’t live without it… and neither can you. And it’s not just HOPE we’re talking about. It’s mainly about the object of that HOPE. Christians (Christ Ones) HOPE in God. The pursuit of HOPE…

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    HOPE for Real

    How is your HOPE meter registering these days? And how about your people? These days I’m finding there’s a major HOPE deficit no matter where I turn, (which of course means that people are despairing at an all time high). Do you wonder why? Why so much hopelessness? The Word of God is very specific about the necessity of having HOPE. And it’s very specific about the Source of HOPE. The picture is of a human soul metaphorically anchored to GOD, (Hebrews 6). There is no other reliable place to anchor our souls. Any other anchoring will fail. Anchoring to GOD cannot fail. No new news here for Christ followers……

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    Shifting Awareness

    How AWARE would you say you are, right in this moment, of your NEED of GOD? In general, would you say you have a pervasive awareness of your needfulness, or not so much? This has been on my mind for many years, especially as I live in the aftermath of some of my “not so great moments” in life. The thing is, I’m certain as I read the Bible, that my need of God is comprehensive, whatever my awareness. If I slip into the template Jesus established when He walked the earth, I would do NOTHING of my own will or in my own power. The idea is that God…

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    Face to Face

    What words would you, as a Christ Follower, use to describe how you relate WITH God? Distant – Intimate – Contentious – Familial – Fractured – Friendly – Cool – Seasoned… I ask because too many of us seem to be starving from a lack of meaningful relationship with God. I would wonder how on earth that’s possible for children of God except I’ve lived my share of years unable to bridge the invisible chasm I FELT between myself and my Maker. The thing is, without doubt the LORD is offering His sons and daughters a highly personal connection with Himself, even friendship. That’s where the lifeblood flows from, so…

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    Paying MERCY Forward

    I had never noticed the details in the exchange between God and Moses when God sent him off the mountain to deal with the rebellion of the people, (Exodus Thirty-two, The Golden Calf). God was incensed, ready to consume His “stiff-necked people” and start all over through Moses offspring. The Lord’s desire in that moment was to allow His wrath to “burn hot” against Israel. Moses made a bold plea on the people’s behalf, and God “relented of the disaster He has spoken of bringing.” So there you go. Moses’ intercession worked and the people were spared. Moses then headed down the mountain to face what God has just informed…

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    The Golden Calf and Beyond

    There are scads of tragic stories in the Bible that illicit an uncomfortable familiarity when I read them. Does that happen to you too? Air-drop pretty much anywhere in The Book and you’ll see evidence of a narrative that repeats over and over again; a narrative that humankind has continued to repeat right up to the present. I have done my part as a “faithful” contributor… Inevitably then, as I sit in the Word with God, I do a lot of apologizing on behalf of my own sorry self, and my fellow humans that have gone before. The upside of that is the opportunity that is always there to be…