24/7 support

Hebrews 7

There are 2 history lessons here but I won’t go into them now. The story of Melchizedek and the story of the Judaic priesthood. Great stories, must reads. Maybe later.

I’m excited to share this next section because it encapsulates Jesus’ mission.

“And it was not without an oath! Others became priests without any oath, 21 but he became a priest with an oath when God said to him:

“The Lord has sworn

and will not change his mind:

‘You are a priest forever.’”[b]

22 Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantor of a better covenant.

23 Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; 24 but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. 25 Therefore he is able to save completely[c] those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.

26 Such a high priest truly meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. 27 Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. 28 For the law appoints as high priests men in all their weakness; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever.”

That part, vs 25 Jesus saves completely, and he always lives to intercede for us.

At work we have a tech support contract for our control system. They offered 2 levels. Entry level was support M-F 8-5. We run 24/7. Most break downs for some reason happen in the middle of the night. We took option 2, for the 24/7 support. Jesus is on 24/7 for each one of us. He saves us completely and then is there to support us all day, and all night.

We have 24/7 support. That is good news. He is there to support us and as we saw recently, he understands our situation. He has been where we are, yet without messing up.

Jesus help me come to you with my problems and concerns and junk and yuck and thanks and good reports. I tend to hang onto them too long trying to fix it myself. Help me ask for help.


Worthy is a word I use to describe God. He is worthy, worthy of all our praises. I believe that.

I heard the word used in a different way last night. Someone was talking about how God reached out to them. They were damaged by life. Their story affirmed the phrase that it hurt to be human. But in their story they found wholeness and healing in Jesus. They said that they found out that they, the damaged person, were worthy. They found out that God loves them. That God said about them, you are worthy.

The statement made me wiggle in my seat. No they aren’t, I thought, no I’m not, echoed back in the chamber of my heart. And yet…

This morning I read a Chris Rice poem called grace.

“Ah silly children!

Toss away your measuring sticks and play.

Only measurable things matter, and they have already been reckoned .

The measure is held up against Another

And by no mistake,

You are the ones declared worthy.”

God loves us. He has said “I love you” in the most endearing and enduring way, with his son Jesus.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, so that whosoever would believe on him he gave the power to become the children of God and bestowed upon them eternal life.”

That was from memory. Let’s see how I did.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

John 3:16-17

God says we are worthy of his love. You and me, God loves us. He sent his son to save us.

Worthy. I do not have value in and of myself, however, God has looked at me and said, “I love you this much ” and he is showing me Jesus. God loves me Jesus much.

God help me to receive your love, and to give your love to others.


Hebrews 6


Education is like building a house. You lay a foundation and build up from there. My formal education started at Washington elementary in Pendleton Oregon. Mrs Anderson kindergarten teacher extraordinaire. The things I learned there I take with me everywhere.

As a Christian I also have an elementary education and foundation. It is what the rest of my faith is built on. The depth and strength of this base of knowledge will provide security and longevity to whatever is built on top of it.

“Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death,[a] and of faith in God, 2 instruction about cleansing rites,[b] the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3 And God permitting, we will do so.”

We don’t leave these behind, we build on them.

Why would someone walk away from Jesus? I’d like to do an exit interview of a modern Christian who left Jesus to find out.

It’s different for this group. The group that the writer of Hebrews was talking to was abandoning their faith and going back to Judaism or leaving all together. Why? Because they didn’t want to be tortured and killed. I understand that motivation. We see it today. Not here so much but the day is coming.

Hold on to Jesus.

“is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age 6 and who have fallen[c] away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace. 7 Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. 8 But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned.

9 Even though we speak like this, dear friends, we are convinced of better things in your case—the things that have to do with salvation. 10 God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. 11 We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized. 12 We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.”

We need to hold onto Jesus and support each other. We are the body of Christ and the body needs all of its parts. Let us hold on to Jesus and to each other to the end.

(Side note: I have dreams about the end times. Survival and faith seem to be the theme. I had one last night. I was in a concentration camp that was also an auto salvage place. My truck Rusty was not in the dream. I think the culmination of things is about here. It’s Just my thoughts and my dreams though. We know it’s nearer today than it was yesterday).

Jesus, our priest and our defense lawyer

Hebrews 4C & 5

A priest is someone who goes to God on my behalf. The high priest was the guy who went before God to make the annual sin offering. Jesus my high priest.

He has “been there” but he hasn’t “done that”.

“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven,[f] Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

We can be “honest to God” with Jesus. We can tell him what we are going through, say exactly what our temptation or trial is. He is familiar with our situation. He knows how it feels.

“7 During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. 8 Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered 9 and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him 10 and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.”

Jesus is our priest. Jesus is also our sacrifice. Jesus is our intercessor, our lawyer before God.

My goal is to grow up. To be maturing. To be able learn and share my learning.

“We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. 12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.”


Hebrews 4b

These song lyrics terrified me when I was a kid.

“He sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake, he knows if you’ve been bad or good so be good for goodness sake. “

Why did we behave better at Christmas time? As kids? Santa was watching us.

Guess what? God watches us too. All year long. He doesn’t just watch our behavior but he sees inside our hearts and knows our motives.

“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”

Back in James we were told that the word is a mirror reflecting us so we can see ourselves and I suggested it was so that we could wipe our nose. Here the writer says the word of God is an x-ray. Seeing inside our hearts and exposing our motives. God doesn’t expose us to humiliate us. He shows us our hearts so that we can know ourselves and know where we need healing.

After a meeting at work yesterday a friend asked me how I was. I said that I was fine. He probed just a little deeper and exposed a festering boil that caused a 3 minute rant from me. I hate that. But a faithful friend will help us heal.

Jesus is a faithful friend.

We don’t have to be afraid of exposing our inner self to him. He already knows it, he sees our hearts, but waits for us to stop denying, confess and get on with the healing.

Lance my boils Jesus. I’m tired of living with this spiritual infection. Heal my heart. Make me clean.


At-one-ment. Bringing two separated things together.

A broken relationship needs something to repair it. Our sin has separated us from God and we both want that relationship restored. It will take something extra. It will take sacrifice.

Sacrifice. In the Old Testament Jewish priests would make animal sacrifices for sin. Only the life blood of an animal, and it had to be an animal without blemish, could wash away the stain of sin from a human heart.

Jesus has become both the sacrifice and the priest. He offered himself to pay for our sin. He is the only human who ever lived an unblemished life.

“23 Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; 24 but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. 25 Therefore he is able to save completely[c] those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.

26 Such a high priest truly meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. 27 Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. 28 For the law appoints as high priests men in all their weakness; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever.”

Jesus has lived a human life and lived it without error, without sinning, and then laid it down to pay for our sin.

Will you receive his gift today? He has taken my place, he has taken our place, so that we can return to our relationship with God.

Sigh of contentment

Hebrews 4


During the busy holiday season it’s what I crave. A chunk of time to rest. I Just looked over Mary’s holiday schedule. There isn’t much room for rest for her and as her “roadie”, for me either.

“Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. 2 For we also have had the good news proclaimed to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because they did not share the faith of those who obeyed.[a] 3 Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said,

“So I declared on oath in my anger,

‘They shall never enter my rest.’”[b]

And yet his works have been finished since the creation of the world. 4 For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: “On the seventh day God rested from all his works.”[c] 5 And again in the passage above he says, “They shall never enter my rest.”

6 Therefore since it still remains for some to enter that rest, and since those who formerly had the good news proclaimed to them did not go in because of their disobedience, 7 God again set a certain day, calling it “Today.” This he did when a long time later he spoke through David, as in the passage already quoted:

“Today, if you hear his voice,

do not harden your hearts.”[d]

8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. 9 There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10 for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works,[e] just as God did from his. 11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.”

Faith in Jesus, trusting in his work that he accomplished when he died for our sins, hearing that message and believing it. That is how we enter spiritual rest.

Again the day we can decide to believe is today. Today is the day we do all the important stuff. It’s the only day we can do anything. We may plan on doing it tomorrow but we can’t. We have to wait until tomorrow becomes today. Yesterday is filled with memories, they may be regrets or joys but today is the only day we have to act.

Jesus died to forgive our mistakes. It’s his gift to us this Christmas season. A gift of forgiveness and rest from our striving. Will we receive his gift this today?


Prophet: a person regarded as an inspired teacher or proclaimer of the will of God.

A very long time ago a man who is gifted in the prophetic gifts gave a bible verse to Mary and me. He gave us more than one but as I was reading through 1 Corinthians 16 I saw it and remembered that day.

The verse is 9 but I will put it in context and add some at the beginning. This is Paul speaking to his congregation at Corinth.

“After I go through Macedonia, I will come to you—for I will be going through Macedonia. 6 Perhaps I will stay with you for a while, or even spend the winter, so that you can help me on my journey, wherever I go. 7 For I do not want to see you now and make only a passing visit; I hope to spend some time with you, if the Lord permits. 8 But I will stay on at Ephesus until Pentecost, 9 because a great door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many who oppose me.”

This verse and this event take me back to a time when my belief was new and exciting and scary. God spoke to me then through this man, a prophet. He is speaking now through the Bible and through other believers but it isn’t as specific as that verse was to me that day.

I don’t know how that verse has been fulfilled in my life, at the time, it made me think of mass evangelism but that isn’t what I have done. I raised a family. I worked and lived and Mary and I stayed married. I haven’t started any churches like Paul did. I served in one, the same one for about 32 years.

This verse though makes me think of another verse that explains my life a little better.

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

This verse makes me think that God isn’t a trophy maker, He is a tool maker. When we are saved he changes us into tools that he can then use to enlarge His kingdom.

As a electrician I know that every job requires specific tools to get the job done.

Father God, May I be one of those in Your hands today.

Radio man

Eph 6:18 “And pray in the spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests…continually keep on praying for all the saints”.

When I was a kid I used to play with green army men. My least favorite man was the guy with the radio. He wasn’t fighting anyone, he was to my mind useless. As I’ve have grown up watching documentaries on war, I have learned how important the radio guy is. He is the one to call for air strikes, to call in more troops, and to call in for medical help. Paul here in this passage is telling all of us that we all need to be radio men. We need to stay in contact with the God who controls the spiritual air strikes, supplies and troops and the medics. I need to pray more because God is my help.


I want to live beyond.

It’s a longing of my soul that nothing here can satisfy, no drink can slake my thirst.

Part of the call is a call to adventure. Mary and I took a trip to Italy, that’s how it looked on paper. What we really did was answer a call to an adventure.

I recently read this quote by Chesterton “an adventure by its nature, a thing that comes to us. It is a thing that chooses us, not a thing we choose”. Mary and I have had many late night talks about going back but if we do, it would be a trip we planned, not an adventure. I keep watching and waiting to hear adventure call again. Two years before that we went on the adventure of recording her album. An adventure has at its core, a greater purpose, a bigger story where even if our role is only as an extra, or a gaffer, (whatever that is, I’ve seen it in movie credits) we are part of a bigger story.

I said that I want to live beyond, not the great beyond necessarily, I would gladly go there, but while I’m still in this body on this planet with all of you, I want to live in the beyond. I want to live beyond hopeful, and be confident. (Right now if my wife is reading this she’s probably thinking “I’d settle for hopeful”, I tend to be doubtful). I think this is new thing.

I want to live beyond thankful and I’m not sure what that is, possibly generous? Generously.

I want to live beyond forgiven. What is that? Forgive-ing? There are more of these than i can think of now, living beyond, and I’m hoping that I live the rest of my days in the beyond.

It starts with feeling like this about God.

“Come and see what God has done, his awesome deeds for mankind! Praise our God, all peoples, let the sound of his praise be heard; he has preserved our lives and kept our feet from slipping.”

Psalm 66:5,8-9

Starting at grateful but living beyond it, worshipful? My acts of worship sometimes focus on the warm fuzzies I get when I touch the heart of God, those are so beautiful, I always cry…then the snot. Being so grateful that worship becomes my normal. But actually focusing on blessing God with my worship, without the hoping and planning for what it does for me.

Anyway, If were going to say how I want this next year to be different, that would be to start living in the beyond, and maybe my adventure will never take me outside the boundaries of my life now, but it will be moving into something new. I can feel spring breezes of change faintly blowing in my soul already, scented with petunias and pines and ocean sprays and I can faintly hear the babble of babies and rivers and i hear the unfamiliar languages of the angels.

Beyond is calling, no, Jesus is calling, he is calling me to begin to live beyond…

Hebrews 3

Are you a fan? A fan of a team or a movie star or an athlete or anything? I am a Chevrolet fan. I own 2. When I talk about one of the two, my 57, my eyes glass over, my lips curl into a smile, my speech speeds up and even gets a little louder. I am a fan of Rusty and I love to talk about him.

The writer of Hebrews is a fan of Jesus. One of the biggest fans. Rightly so. Who else is worthy of our attention and affection? Who else has saved us and who else intercedes for us? There have been great men, great servant leaders, Moses was one. But as great as Moses was as a leader, Jesus is better.

“Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest. 2 He was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful in all God’s house. 3 Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself. 4 For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything. 5 “Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house,”[a] bearing witness to what would be spoken by God in the future. 6 But Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house. And we are his house, if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory.”

We have only one day to do what we have to do. That day is today. All we can do is work in the moment that we are in. If we knew we were dying what would do? Put our affairs in order. What day do we put our affairs in order? Today.

““Today, if you hear his voice,

do not harden your hearts

as you did in the rebellion.””

We get right now. What will we do with it?

Jesus loves us and died to

Prove it. He lives now to intercede for us. Have you accepted his gift yet?

I think I slipped into rabid used car salesman mode. “What’s it going to take to get you into this…?.” Im not selling anything. Jesus is giving us freedom, forgiveness, family and salvation.

““Today, if you hear his voice,

do not harden your hearts

as you did in the rebellion.””

It’s today. Now what?

Our humble master

Hebrews 2

The writer compels us to remember Jesus message and ministry. A ministry that was affirmed by miracles. Blind men seeing, lame men walking, the dead being brought back to life.

Jesus is Lord of all creation, and Lord over all creation. The title Lord means he is the boss. He is the boss of me.

“In putting everything under him, God left nothing that is not subject to him. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to him. 9 But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.”

Jesus, the only Son of God took on human form so that he might experience life like we live it. He suffered, he was tempted and yet he didn’t sin.

“Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. 16 For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. 17 For this reason he had to be made like them,[k] fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. 18 Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.”

We have a savior who can sympathize with us. He is God and yet he became a man. He suffered through temptation, he suffered death all to give us a way out of our slavery to sin and death.

Jesus loves us. He loves me. He loves you. He loves us. How will we respond to this great love?


It’s a brand new year. 2019.

Want to try something new this year? How about being bathed in love and forgiveness? To be submerged in mercy? Graced with a love we cannot fathom or find the ends of?

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

This is what Gods love is like.

The love God has for us is an endless fountain. Giving, giving and giving still more. Someone once said that God’s Love is an ocean, without bottom and without shores. Boundless. The picture of it is the picture of Jesus, who is God in flesh, living a perfect life and the being tortured and crucified for us, that is, in our place.

Who knows what a day holds? Will you receive Jesus gift for us today? Will we begin this year different than any other year? Clean, forgiven and loved….welcomed into an eternal family.

Please consider this gift – Jesus is waiting to welcome us. Yes I will be there too because I have accepted this gift and am now experiencing Gods love, his forgiveness and mercy and am part of this eternal family.

Join us. Join us Today.

I am in process

My personal restoration process.

I work at a chemical plant. My job is in process controls. I create the computer graphics and logic so that an operator can click a button on a screen and a valve will open somewhere in the plant. I always hope it’s the correct valve.

Occasionally There are conditions that I have to insert in the logic. Like don’t open valve X if tank Y is above level Z. It’s called interlock logic.

I have talked and talked about Gods unconditional love for us. He has shown us how much he loves us by giving up his only son Jesus. Jesus died to pay for our sin. He rose again to show that he has defeated death and to give us hope of eternal life.

God has given us his Unconditional love, but there is one small tiny catch. Gods love for us is unconditional as long as it is flowing. His love must flow into us to wash us and forgive us, and flow out of us, for us to forgive others. As soon as his love begins to pool in us, as soon as we stop forgiving others, it stops flowing to us. There is an interlock on God’s forgiveness.

We see Jesus teach this principle at the end of the Lord’s prayer.

“This, then, is how you should pray:

“‘Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

10 your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as it is in heaven.

11 Give us today our daily bread.

12 And forgive us our debts,

as we also have forgiven our debtors.

13 And lead us not into temptation,[a]

but deliver us from the evil one.[b]’

14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

Jesus shared a story to illustrate this point. It’s found in Matthew 18

“Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”

22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.[g]

23 “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold[h] was brought to him. 25 Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.

26 “At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ 27 The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.

28 “But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins.[i] He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.

29 “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’

30 “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31 When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened.

32 “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33 Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34 In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.

35 “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”

I think Gods #1 priority is restoration. Our restoration. In my world it’s my restoration. The fuel of Gods restoration process is forgiveness. When a project runs out of fuel it stops. When forgiveness stops flowing in my life my restoration stops. I cannot have enemies. Not from my point of view anyway. Others can hate me but I cannot hate them back. It goes deeper than that. I cannot hold unmet expectations over someone’s head. I must forgive them, let go of the expectations and love them at ground zero, that place at the foot of the cross where I get my forgiveness. It’s level there. No steps to climb. No podiums to stand on. No hoops to jump through. No bars to leap over or to break through. Free access to Jesus and his forgiveness. As long as I give it away in the same way I receive it.

Father God thank you for beginning my restoration. Thank you for giving your son to die in my place. Forgive me when I fail to forgive others. Help me to keep the flow of your love and forgiveness moving in my life by giving it away in the same manner in which it was given, freely and lavishly.

New Year’s Eve

It is New Year’s Eve. 2018 is almost in the books. Some of this year has been very good. Some of it not so much. We did some amazing things. But some of my bad habits followed me. I tend to focus on my failures because I want to not repeat them. I opened my bible ap and this is what I read:

“This is what the LORD says— he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

I believe in and worship and follow and am lead by an invisible God. I believe he created and sustains everything that exists. The earth will revolve on its axis and the sun will appear on the eastern horizon because a God who can create everything from nothing has said it should be so. God has revealed himself in a couple of ways, through his word, the Bible and through his son, Jesus. This Jesus lived a perfect life, and yet was brutally killed. We sing about his death. I was struck with how odd that must sound to people who don’t know the story. Why do we sing about his death? We believe that his death paid for our sins and we believe that death could not hold this Jesus, that he physically rose from the dead three days later. We believe that since death cannot hold Jesus, that it also has no power over those who believe in him.

This is the eve of a an old year being changed into a new year. Will you give some serious thought tonight about asking God to make changes in your life? I am. I am asking God to help me in how I spend my time and how I spend my money. I have already given him my heart and life and he has forgiven me all of my sin and welcomed me into his family. He will do the same to anyone who will confess with their mouth that he is their Lord, and believe in their heart that he rose from the dead.

Will you let God do a new thing in your life in 2019?


Hebrews 1

Do you believe in Angels?

“In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. 3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. 4 So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs.”

At the perfect time God sent his son to provide purification for our sins.

Our sins are paid for. Nothing else need be done. Jesus did it all and he he did it for all of us.

Angels exist. Jesus is their superior.

“5 For to which of the angels did God ever say,

“You are my Son;

today I have become your Father”[a]?

Or again,

“I will be his Father,

and he will be my Son”[b]?

6 And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says,

“Let all God’s angels worship him.”’

The Angels have work to do among us. Maybe not so much like the Hallmark Channel portrays but they do serve us Christians.

“Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?”

They are not genies. They work on our behalf, not for us. We don’t control them, Jesus does, but they are there.

Do I believe in Angels? Yes. I also believe in their master and my savior, Jesus.


I’m shopping. It’s the season right? I’m shopping for which book of the bible to read next. I’ve read the first chapter of Titus, Hebrews and 1 Thessalonians. I’m hoping for a spiritual nudge but so far none has come.

I’m leaning towards 1 Thessalonians but I wonder if a day or two on vocabulary would be helpful?

The bible and those who live by its texts use words that are unfamiliar to our culture. The most basic Christian principle and word that is misunderstood and misused and maligned is sin.

I am not a theologian so check what I say out. Don’t take my word for it. Investigate.

This is what I’ve been taught and how I understand it. Sin is anything less than perfection. The word means Missing the mark. In other words, Not a bullseye. If we shoot a million arrows at a target and miss one, it doesn’t matter if we shoot another million arrows and hit bullseyes every time. We missed one. We are not perfect. We sinned. We can’t erase our bad shot with more good shots. Like that, Our spiritual record is based on our lifetime encompassing all our actions and thoughts over our entire life.

Sin is anything less than a perfect score. A sinner is one with a score anything less than perfect. Perfect in thought word and deed. Things we have done- and things we have left undone.

I’m out. Out of perfection. I’m in the group called sinners. We are all in the same boat, sinners separated from our father God.

“As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.” “Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit.” “The poison of vipers is on their lips.” “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.” “Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery mark their ways, and the way of peace they do not know.” “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

Romans 3:10-18

In contrast:

God is absolutely perfect. We have trouble conceiving that. Nothing around us is perfect or pure. I think about it this way; God is like a diamond. He has many facets but no matter how I turn and twist Him it’s still him, solid, pure, transparent, dazzling.

God cannot associate with sin but he loves us sinners. What to do?

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

John 3:16-18

He sacrificed his only son, whose perfect life and undeserved death covered over, paid for, redeemed, forgave our sin. God sees us now through the lens of Jesus substitutionary death. He sees us as perfect. All we have to do is accept Gods gift of Jesus and we are made clean.

“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.”

Romans 5:6-11

Sin: it’s ugly. It’s pervasive, everybody has it and does it. Jesus death, his blood that he shed washes us, all of of us who have accepted it, clean.

God’s favorite

I’ve had this nagging problem that I’ve hinted at but I am prompted to share it and add what God is doing to help me.

The problem is that I don’t feel like God really loves me. I believe that I am saved by Jesus, but it feels like it was like a person at a yard sale who buys a box of junk because he sees in it some treasures. He has to buy the entire box just to get the treasures. I feel like the junk in the box that gets bought because God has to take all of us.

I was thinking about this yesterday and wondering if I should post about it, I was driving in Wenatchee at the time and just then a large truck drove past me, with large letters that read, “the junk man”. It said something about taking all your stuff or something to that effect.

As I Started to write this down I felt if God asked me what it I wanted? My brain didn’t have an answer but My heart yelled out, “I want to be your favorite!”

My brain was embarrassed by my hearts outburst. I expected a rebuke from God or at least an explanation by God of how he can’t have any favorites. Instead I felt like God Said “oh Peter, don’t you know, you are my favorite! My favorite Peter Loeffelbein” and then in my mind I saw a picture of God at the garage sale searching through the box, looking for me, I was the treasure he was seeking.

Tears and snot came next.

This is how God feels about me.

It also how God feels about you. We are each one of us, his favorite, His treasure.

My hope is that you read this and feel in your heart, God’s great love for you. I hope it brings hope and joy to you, that it breaks the crust off your heart like it did mine. God loves us all. Truth. But God loves me. You can say that too. God loves me, he sent his son to seek me. Seek you.

Now you say it.

God loves me. It’s true.

Itchy much?

Is it an itch or a hunger?

There’s a restless soulish urge that continues to plague me. I want to say it is spiritual in nature, or at least soulish. It comes from somewhere beyond my rational mind’s control. It is a longing but it doesn’t go away when I administer what should be relief measures. The more I attend to it the greater it becomes.

When I was in 7th grade I started to get some itchy spots on the back and side of my calves. I didn’t like the itchiness, but I loved the satisfaction of scratching. The harder and more intensely I scratched the more pleasurable the sensation, up to a point. Then it started hurting. It went on for what seemed like months. The bumps where the itching started grew in number, and as I scratched, they spread. first they were dime size, then quarter size, then half dollar size. They started oozing, and forming scabs.

The style in that day was to wear long white tube socks, all the way to the knee if you could find them. They were made of some type of acrylic fiber and they had two or three bands of color at the top. The half dollar size sores on my calves were covered by my socks. The scabs that would form on the sores sometimes would get stuck in the fiber of the socks. pulling the socks off or down tore off the scabs. (Sorry this is so gross). It became a cycle of itching, scratching, oozing, scabbing, spreading. What started as a sore on a leg became multiple sores on both legs. I don’t remember how my mom discovered what was going on, she worked full time and wasn’t home very much, but eventually She saw the sores and I was taken to the doctor and given some cream and antibiotics and the itching and infection went away.

I don’t remember how annoying the itch was. I do remember how pleasurable the scratching was. This plague of soulish unrest that I am experiencing is like that itch. And to answer the original question I asked, It is an itch, not a hunger. If you feed a hunger, it goes away, it is satisfied. If you scratch an itch, the itch only gets stronger the next time, and bigger. It covers more area and the scratching brings with it other problems, like infection and other ills.

The problem, the itch, is soulish. It lives in area beyond my intellect but under my spirit. I can’t think it away. I can pray it away. There are issues that my brain power can overcome, but soul issues live outside the realm of my intellect, like in an orbit that my brain cannot reach, but my spirit, now inhabited by the Holy spirit absorbs the orbit of my brain and my soul with its emotions and longings and itches.

My solution for the itch is to say NO to the urge to scratch, and then honestly pray to my Father in heaven about both the itch, and the urge to scratch. If I have scratched and caused an infection in my soul, God offers me salve. He offers me the salve of forgivenss in Jesus.

I have written this down so that I can share what I think might be a common problem and offer a solution that I am clumsily learning to use. I hope it helps. Jesus saves, he also salves.

God’s word- the scalpel

Doctor God, report to surgery. Doctor God, report to surgery.

I quote large chunks of scripture when I post. I want to show what I’m reading so it can be seen in context.

The Bible is no ordinary book. It is the very words of God. It is alive and powerful. It can heal. It can save.

“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”

By reading his word we open ourselves up to being changed by them, changed by him, made better, healed and repaired by God as we read his word.

Who is this Jesus? He is both fully God and fully man. In the Christmas season we will sing about Emanuel, which means God with us. This God whose words can heal us has sent his son to us to be with us, live as one of us, experience our life, and live it without sinning, and then die for us to pay for all of our mistakes, misdeeds and failures.

“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven,[f] Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

So far I’ve only read four chapters of Hebrews and the writer has already quoted Psalm 97 3 times. It may be become my anthem.

““Today, if you hear his voice,

do not harden your hearts.”

Guess what day it is? Correct! It’s Today. What will we decide to do about Jesus today? Will we accept his gift of forgiveness today?