Maybe God Knows What He’s Doing?

(This is not a final thought on this subject, but for me a string of endless thoughts on just one subject – today relating to the Supreme Court decision.  If I wrote this tomorrow, it very well could take a different direction and tone. For today, this is what I am thinking, which is what I do, maybe too much. But as always it is just something to put in your theological pipe and think about.)

The world is going to Hell in a hand-basket and the Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage in all 50 states is just the latest salvo in an all out attack on morals and values.


And if you believe that you might be having a difficult time right now.

How could this happen? How did we fall so far so fast? Are we really abandoning traditional values at such an alarming rate?

If we dig deeper, the real question being asked is…

What is God doing?

God is in control. God is sovereign. God is all knowing.

The Bible even teaches that God is the one who puts leaders in power (Romans 13:1).

And that God directs them what to do (Proverbs 21:1).

So, if God is in control and God puts leaders in power and God directs them what to do…what conclusion can we take from what the Supreme Court did?

I would say the answer is…

God knows what He is doing.

The decision of the Supreme Court was a 5-4 vote.

When the decision was announced, there was great joy and celebrating for some people and for many Christians there was disillusionment, disgust, and many questions.

How are Christians to react? Do we stand up and shout? Do we voice our displeasure on social media? Do we call down judgment on the people?

Or do we pray? Do we temper our righteous anger and offer love and grace and understanding even in the midst of a world that seems aligned against us?

All good questions that I believe many Christians are asking themselves. Which is a good thing.

For had the outcome been different, had one Supreme Court justice had a different opinion and the court would have upheld the ban on same sex marriages in the states that had voted that way, what would the reactions be?

Homosexuals would be mad, hurt, disillusioned, and angry.

And Christians would be rejoicing. They would be happy. They would take to social media to remind the heathens that God is still God and that homosexuality is a sin and we do not condone sin.

And in doing so, we would not be showing the face of Jesus.

Jesus offers grace and mercy to the sinner.

He did to us.

He still does to others.

So maybe, just maybe Christians doing soul-searching on how to react and how to treat people they disagree with is a good thing.

Maybe Christians praying and seeking God for how to react in a world aligned against them is a good thing.

And maybe, just maybe God in His infinite wisdom knows that He is doing.

Arrogant, prideful, energized from a Supreme Court decision Christians might not have been the best at being salt and light to the world.

Humbled, searching Christians wondering how to proceed might be the best thing not just for us, but also for the world.

Grace and mercy works.

Sinners are sinners…they are lost, hurting, and thirsty. They believe that court decisions or things of this world are the answer.

They aren’t.

Only Jesus is.

God is still God. He is on His throne.

He has offered us grace and mercy though His Son.

And He calls us to show grace and mercy to the world.

Maybe, just maybe He knows what He is doing, because had the decision been different I do not know if grace and mercy would have been the response.

The world is going to Hell in a hand-basket under God’s control and the Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage in all 50 states is just the latest salvo in an all out attack on morals and values part of His plan to bring glory to Himself.

The Thug in Us

(note – this is not a discussion or observation on the facts of what happened and how in Baltimore.  Indeed, more and more facts come out each day.  It now appears that it is possible that the person who died may have intentionally injured himself.  It is also possible that the police did something to cause the injury.  We simply do not know for sure what happened.  This writing is more directed towards the thugs and how we view them, and maybe how we should…as always, just something to stick in your theological pipe and ponder…)

The riots and looting and burning of buildings this past week in Baltimore paint a horrible picture. Anytime, regardless of the cause, people feel the need to steal and destroy other people’s property it is a sad situation that truly is beyond words and understanding. Sure, someone might be able to concoct a scenario where this type of behavior would be justified, but they would have to be very creative.

Do the people rioting and hell-bent on destruction have grievances? Maybe, maybe not.

Are they based on reality? Maybe, maybe not.

But I do believe that these people who throw bricks through windows and who steal snacks and who destroy small businesses in their communities, whatever the reason, are not only wrong, but are ignorant and immoral. There has been some discussion among newscasters and talking heads that calling them thugs is a code-word for some hidden, subconscious racism, but I don’t think so.

Calling them thugs is exactly what they are – thugs. If it walks like a thug and talks like a thug and acts like a thug, it is a thug. Thugs and thuggish behavior are not based on color or race or class or anything other than behavior.

Throwing bricks through windows and destroying property and threatening and injuring other people are the activity of thugs.

The people acting like thugs over the past few days are a small group. The majority of people – whether they be protestors or residents – do not condone or want burning houses and destroyed businesses and do not want to fear for their lives in their own communities.

I have seen countless commentators on the news and on social media commenting on how the small minority of thugs is ruining legitimate conversations and making life miserable for “the rest of us.”

A Facebook post I read made a soothing point to let the readers know that the large majority of people in Baltimore and indeed around the world are not thugs. The media fixates on the thuggish behavior because it makes for higher ratings, but the writer said that the majority of people are basically good people and we should all remember that. We should remember that as the media focuses on the worst of us, the rest of us are good people at heart.

Soothing and poignant.

And completely false.

It is very easy to compare ourselves to the thugs as they destroy property and burn buildings and say, “I am a good person.” Well, of course you are when compared to the thugs.

But, if we think truth is important, the reality is you are no better than the thug. In fact, you are a thug too.

No. You are not a good person.

No. You do not have a good heart.

No. You are not so different than the people running the streets at night destroying, burning and looting.

But, but, but…but nothing.

Truth –“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)

More truth –“For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come – sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance, and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile a person.” (Matthew 7:21-23)

Now you may say, “But that is not talking about me. I worship God.”


“The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based merely on human rules they have been taught.” (Isaiah 29:13)

So, this idea that the huge majority of people in the world are basically good is a nice thought when we come face to face with evil people doing evil things, but in reality – in truth – it is wrong.

We are all bad. We are all nasty.

We are all throwing bricks.

We are all destroying things.

We are all setting fires.

We are all thugs.

All of us.

“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.” (Romans 3:10)

The ONLY thing that sets anyone apart from being a thug is Jesus. He, and He alone, can take a thug and transform him into a different person, into a Child of God.

Christians who have gone to church for any length of time have probably heard the discussion about who they would be during the time of Jesus’ crucifixion. Would you be one of the disciples who ran away? Would you be like the women who remained with Jesus until the very end? Would you be like Simeon who carried Jesus’ cross for him?

No, you are the crowd. You are the mockers. You are the ones who spit on Jesus and laughed at him, defying him to show miraculous signs. You are the sinners – you are the very ones who sent him to the cross.

Today, you are the thugs.

You are the ones looting.




It is who you are.

It is how you were born.

It is in your nature.

Your thug-nature.

The only thing that changes the thug in all of us is Jesus.

So as we watch the scenes unfold on TV. As we watch countless videos of the destruction and devastation. And as we shake our heads at the evil nature of these thugs and then marvel at our own perceived goodness. It might be good to remember –

We are thugs – and the only thing that has changed and can change us is Jesus.

And maybe instead of offering only prayers for the afflicted and derision for the thugs. We can remember that we too were once thugs and we can pray for them as well.

My Prayer?

Just a new writing. Don’t read too much into it, or do. Of course, I like it, because I wrote it – which isn’t true, cause usually I am my own worst critic.  And even as I read this, I notice some things I could/should/might change.  But I won’t.  For now.  For example, the ending stanza was going to end with – I think – , but I didn’t want to leave it there, so I added the next few lines.  It gave it a happier ending – but even now I don’t know if it needed the happier ending considering what was said beforehand.  But oh well, nothing’s perfect.
It is what it is…a piece called “My Prayer? I Think”. Hope you like it, or hate it, or it makes you think…let me know what you do think…


What I see
I don’t like
What I hear
Is inane babbling
The focus is wrong
The message is twisted
The substance a mere whisper

And yet I smile
I want to say give me poor
Dirty masses
Longing to be free but struggling to make it through a day
I want to say

I keep quiet though
Cause I don’t know if I really mean that
Truly mean that

Or do I say that so someone will look at me
And smile
And marvel
At me
Because of what I say
Only because what I say

Poor, tired, and dirty
Who likes that?
Who wants that?
Give me that and I become poor, tired, and dirty
(Or should I say I become poorer, tireder, and dirtier)
Who longs for that?
Who wants that, really?
Do I?

I may be wrong, completely wrong, lying to myself
You may be right
But I believe that I don’t like what I see
I don’t like what I hear
To me it is surface deep pragmatism leading to nowhere
But I may be wrong
So even if my desires are simply desires to be different
And are not based on any higher calling
So be it
Let me be different, I think

I think
I would rather be different and alone
Than assimilated with a bunch of ear-tickled friends
Congratulating ourselves on what we have become
And what we have done
When all we have done is what everyone else has done

So this I pray…I think…

Lord, let me be different
Even if it means being alone
I think
Or better yet, because I am weak
Let me be different, surrounded by others who are different
And let those who are different, myself included
Make a difference
A difference that is dirty, messy, tired…
And real

Saying You Are a Christian is Easy

Saying you are a Christian is easy.

It is easy because you didn’t do anything to make it happen. Not one thing.

God, through His Son, did it all. Every single bit of it.

Christians are saved by grace through faith in Jesus. The grace comes through Jesus. Faith is a gift of God through Jesus. Jesus is Jesus. So the saving that happens is all done by God through His Son.

Christians are saved by Jesus through Jesus in Jesus.

So it is very easy to say you are a Christian. Sure, sometimes Christians get it wrong when they say they ‘found Jesus.’ No, Jesus found you.
Or sometimes when they say they gave their lives to Jesus. No, Jesus allowed you to understand your weakness and the need for a Savior and He is the one who gave you the ability to understand and the ability to turn your life over to Him.

Jesus did it all. So it is very easy to say you are a Christian because you had nothing to do with it. It is all about Jesus. He did it all and that is why He is worthy of endless praise.

Living the Christian life – not so easy. We have all read the Bible and have been convicted during different times, wondering why we don’t love more, or give more, or serve more, or still struggle with the old nature that Jesus took away from us. So while saying you are a Christian is easy, living the Christian life out, as described in the Bible, is not as easy…and maybe it is because we expect the ‘living out’ part to be as easy as the salvation that we obtained through Jesus and because of this we don’t work at it like we should.

The Bible tells us to die to ourselves. The Bible tells us to put to death the old nature. The Bible talks about spiritual battles and struggles that we must undergo to be sanctified and transformed. Is it possible that we as Christians are under the impression that this sanctification will simply happen the same way our salvation did?

Dying to ourselves, putting to death old natures, being involved in spiritual battles is not a passive endeavor. It requires our participation. It requires sacrifices on our part. It requires us taking up our cross and dying to ourselves each and every day.

Now don’t get confused. We aren’t battling, we aren’t praying, we aren’t reading our Bibles, we aren’t worshipping, we aren’t serving others, we aren’t telling others about Jesus to gain anything…our salvation was given to us as a gift entirely by the work of Jesus…we are doing these things as a result of our salvation to be sanctified and transformed.

Our obedience, our battles, our working through our sanctification is a result of our salvation, not a requirement of it.

Put that in your theological pipe and smoke it…

Jesus is Enough?

We all say it, at least Christians do – Jesus is enough.

Why then, do Christians (pastors, teachers, followers) all jump at every chance to inject pop-culture into Christianity to make it more accessible and palatable?

Yes, we use any means necessary to save as many as possible, but it appears, at least to me, that Christians have forsaken the Gospel and created a quasi-Gospel based on what’s current in culture with a little Jesus sprinkled in rather than preaching the Gospel and using culture only as a hook or guide to point to and shine the light on Jesus.

If Jesus is enough – then preach Jesus.  Make it all about Jesus.

He is enough after all, isn’t He?

Put that in your theological pipe…

I Will Follow

Christians are to follow Jesus, not His church.

I had just got done writing about 5 or 6 paragraphs explaining and diving into the above statement.  I went to a lot of different places, had a bunch of Scripture references and quotes, but in the end everything I wrote was summed up by the above statement.  So I highlighted what I wrote, hit delete, and think I’ll just stick with a simple statement…

—Christians are to follow Jesus, not His church.—


Put that in you theological pipe…



Just Say Jesus

Previous post – reposted cause it’s about Jesus and if it’s about Jesus it has to be good…

It is all about Jesus.

The saying is – We are saved by grace through faith in Christ.
This is not only a well-known saying, it is indeed Biblical. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8)

But if we break it down, we can take this well known, short, succinct saying and make it even succinter. In fact, we can shorten it to just one word.

We are saved by grace through faith in Christ.

We are saved by grace. Grace is a gift from Jesus.
“For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” (John 1:17)  Grace comes through, from, and is found in Jesus.

So we can change our saying to We are saved by Jesus through faith in Jesus.

So, we are saved by Jesus through faith in Jesus.
Let’s look at faith. We are saved through faith. Where does faith come from? You guessed it, Jesus.
“Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith.” (Hebrews 12:2)
Jesus is the author of our faith. He is our faith. He designed, created, He authored it.
So our saying now becomes – We are saved by Jesus through Jesus in Jesus.

So, as you can see. It is all about Jesus. It is only about Jesus.
It is Jesus.


That’s all that needs to be said…


Hype Man

I see it all the time.  Maybe too much.

And yes, maybe I am jealous that no one famous comes to my small church.  Maybe I wish LeBron James or Stevie Wonder or Bono would attend my church.

And yes, if one of them did I would be probably be star-struck and take selfies and plaster them all over social media.

Or maybe I wouldn’t.

Of all the things that a church, that the church, should be known for hyping – it shouldn’t be stars or athletes that attend their church.  It shouldn’t be the latest and greatest program.  It shouldn’t the the fact that the church is involved in the current fad and is therefore hipper than most (hipsters anyone?).

The church should hype Jesus.  Always Jesus.  Only Jesus.

That said…if Bono were to show up at Apostles Church Broken Arrow tomorrow, that would be all right (he would just take a backseat to Jesus).