What I Got From Them


        My mother’s parents lived in a rustic brown farmhouse on Route 12 heading to Keene. When my mother was growing up the family  had to pump their water in the kitchen by hand. Gramma never had an electric dryer she hung her clothes summer and winter on the big green clothes line up by the barn. In the summer the Tenney’s had two gardens. One for Gramp and one for Gram. I still remember my grandfather picking carrots, knocking the soil off, and handing them out to the grandchildren to eat.

    The house was heated by kerosene which my grandfather drew from a giant  brown drum next to the house by the root cellar. I can see my grandfather across the years in his black and red flannel €€ jacket filling the little kerosene pot from the spigot of that great big drum. I can still smell the faint residue of the fuel as it burned inside keeping the family warm.

         Sad to say I really didn’t know them very well. We were among the youngest grandchildren in a large sea of grandchildren; There are cousins on that side I have never met.

        Every once in a while I will be sitting in a restraunt and a lady I don’t know will come up to me and say, “Is that little J. Lillie?”

         I feel like replying, “Wait I think he’s in here somewhere under the 250 pound guy!”  

       But I never do. The conversation usually rolls on too fast for my incredibly witty comments.

        It usually flows something like this, “I’m your cousin…. I’m Aunt and Uncle…. daughter.”

        To this I usually reply “Wow, it’s been so long since we’ve seen each other. How long has it been?”

         She says “Oh we haven’t seen each other since you were like three. I only recognized you from the graduation picture hanging on my mother’s wall. You haven’t changed a bit!”

         An awkward silence inevitably falls at this point as we both realize that we are two strangers who have nothing but blood flowing between us. Strangely that doesn’t seem like much of a conversation starter.

          I have often wondered about my mother’s family. Am I like them? How? What did I get from them?

         Five years ago something of them began to appear in me (at least that’s what my mother says). I was sitting on my deck praying late into the night when I suddenly began to look at my property in a different way. I saw gardens. I have always loved gardens but until I turned 38 I never once desired to plan and grow a garden.

     That night, though, it was like a light switched on and I began to grow things. Every year since I have expanded, learned, and organized my garden a little more.Oh I’m not a great vegetable gardener like my grandparents were but I do really well with herbs and berries.

       Here’s a list of what I grow in my garden.

1. Tomatoes

2.  onions

3. peppers

4. lettuce

5.  red raspberry

6.  red currant

7. blackberry

8. plums

9. grapes

10. strawberry

11. rhubarb

12. mint (spearmint, applemint, peppermint)

13. rose

14. sorrel

15. horseradish

16. American Ginger

17. bay

18. oregano

19. thyme (lemon, and great)

20. parsley

21. loveage

22. chamomile (Roman, and German)

23. valerian

24. bee balm

25. yarrow

26. lady’s mantle

27. lemon balm

28. butterfly weed (pleurisy root)

29. echinacea

30. marsh mallow


33. lavender

      Each year I live I learn a little more about myself and who I am. I think if my grandparents were still alive we would have a lot to talk about. I’ve found something I got from them.

   What did you get from your grandparents?

    What do you grow?

Coffee Shops, Christ, and Cannibals

     Have you ever wondered what day pastors get off? Now I know some people think that pastors don’t really work (to those of you who may have espoused this thought I stick out my tongue in obnoxious indignation). I also know that others think pastors shouldn’t get a day off but should always be on call (to those of you who hold this mindset I thumb my nose in like obstreperosity). Both ideas are wrong!   

     I get Mondays off. So while  the rest of the world is cursing the dawn, my Mondays have become a ritual day for travelling to coffee shops far and wide to sample the gourmet bouquets from the various cafes around our fair countryside. I LOVE COFFEE!!

    My wife and I have found a place in Keene NH that we particularly like.

      She always gets a skinny vanilla latte (with a cream heart done in latte art) and a scone; Blackberry-almond is her bite of choice. I try a different variety of coffee every week (Ethiopian yirgacheffe is my fav so far), along with a breakfast sandwich.

      A few Mondays ago my wife and I journeyed the hour up, for our caffeinated libations. It was a warm cloudless day. So we decided to get our coffees and sandwiches and eat at one of the tables on the sidewalk.

     It is a generational blessing, which flows down from her mother, that anywhere my wife goes she can make a friend.  God sends her people all the time and usually they are those in need of an inner and sometimes outer healing.

    My wife has found a friend at this coffee shop. I will call her “Fleur”. She has lost her hair to leukemia and wears multi- colored bandanas and loose-fitting clothing bright enough to light the dawn. She smokes cigarellos and will never shake your hand without pulling her sleeve down to protect against the germs. She has a voice like Selma from Night Court and looks at the world through a lens of shockingly hysterical cynicism which stems from her disability.

     As we sat drinking our coffees that day, Fleur approached and greeted my wife warmly. My wife bought her a coffee and shook her hand (Tina has evolved into one of the few germless humans evidently. Meanwhile I remain an untouchable) .

    Tina explained that  she was going to Maine on an overnight fishing trip with her parents.

      Looking at Tina’s red top Fleur cocked a disparaging eye, “Well you’re not going to wear that are ya’?”

       “Thought I might.” Tina returned “Is there something wrong with it?”

     “No… no. It’s just that fish don’t like red. You need to wear white.” Fleur explained.

     We passed a few more pleasantries and then my wife tried to bring the conversation around to the spiritual.

     “Fleur do you know Jesus?” She asked.

      “Oh sure I know him.” Fleur said. “But I don’t really like him.”

      “Why not?” Tina asked.

     “Well because he’s a cannibal. So’s his wife Barbara.” Fleur explained.

       When we’d finished picking our jaws up off the ground we tried to explain to Fleur that we were talking about a different Jesus. She wasn’t having any of it. In her world Jesus eats people and that’s that.

       There are some walls that we will never be able to tear down in our own power.  Some people’s view of God is so skewed that nothing we say or do is going to be able to convince them that God, the real God, is a God of love.

    I have learned though, in working with so many of my friends, that convincing them that God is real, or loving, or good is not really my job. That is God’s job and just between you and me He can hold His own in the convincing department.

     My job is just to be wherever God chooses to put me and  to tell whomever God sends to me that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. That message doesn’t change whether I am in church or in a coffee shop. It doesn’t change whether I am talking to another born again Christian or to Fleur who believes Christ is a cannibal.

     The truth is the truth and as they say regardless of the situation “the truth will out.”

Vicious Victor’s

      Midnight has come and gone here at the Lillie house and I am still up, not even in my pajamas typing this blog and wondering, “Is it worth it all?” The day started at 5 A.M. and tomorrow is coming only too quickly.

      I got home from Ignite (our church’s youth ministry) tonight and set myself up to pray. I read a few chapters of Scripture and bowed my head. The next thing I knew my Bible was on the floor and the front of my shirt was all covered in drool.

     My head snapped back and I thought to myself, “Good grief! I forgot to send the worship service out to the worship team for practice this Thursday!”

    Then I thought, “Double good grief! I forgot to write the worship service for practice this Thursday!”

    These thoughts came on the heels of an hour-long lecture to my intern about the glories of organization in the ministry.

    So I have just come from a worship writing session which was spent largely second guessing myself. Am I cut out for this job?  Is this beyond me? Do I have what it takes?

     A little voice at the back of my head says “No you don’t have what it takes. You might as well give up. You will never get ahead. Do you really think that worship service is going to be any good?”

      I have walked the Christian Highway long enough to know what is probably coming next.

      “You might as well give up.” Satan will say. “In fact you might as well give in to temptation.” Who knows what he will offer. He always seems to have a full bag of tricks. “Just relax. Compromise with the world a little. This world of sin is too powerful for you and you are too weak to resist it. You must give in to my demands.”

     Anyone who has walked with Christ for any serious length of time at all has heard this lie more than once. Satan would have us believe that not only is the world beautiful and not only are weak but because of these two things we all are entirely unable to resist the temptation he brings into our lives. He would have us believe we will never be free. He would have us believe we have no choice but to obey the desires of the flesh.

     But the word of God says, “Sin shall not be your master because you are not under law but under grace.” Romans 6:14

     And Paul writes, “No temptation has taken you accept what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” I Corinthians 10:13

     It is time for us to begin believing the promises of Scripture, to begin taking the way out that God has promised for us with every temptation. When the enemy comes in to wear us down with life’s circumstances and then tempts us to embrace the world in thought word or deed we must remember we are not his servants and we do not need to obey!

     The time has come for us to be vicious victor’s.  We have to stop pussy-footing around with the Devil’s lies. We must take our faith by the horns and shake it until the promises of Scripture fall out.

    Let the weak say I am strong! Let the redeemed of the Lord say so and live so! Let the baptism in the Holy Spirit flow again in supernatural gifts, signs and wonders!

    Let us stop being attracted by the world and the things of the world. Now I am not suggesting that we should become so heavenly minded that we are of no earthly good but being a little  less “earthly good” wouldn’t hurt most of us.

     Let us believe that Jesus has really made us sons of God who have overcome the world with its passions and lusts. Let us be vicious victors. vicious in faith, in hope, and in love!

My Precious

    Who are we really? Most of us struggle with the definition of ourselves all our earthly lives. At the root most of mankind has failed to understand what men were made to be. Somehow we think we have an ability to define ourselves by what we are not realizing it is not this but what is in us that truly defines us. We are by nature vessels made to carry spirit and serve what we carry. Men are worshippers at heart. We worship whatever has our heart. That is why idolatry is such a big deal in Scripture. We are defined by what  we worship. We become like what we worship.

     The enemy of our souls has spent eons making his world order look appealing. He has created a spider web of enticements that will consume our insides making us by nature like what he would have us worship: weak, whining, entitled, malicious, deceitful leeches that suck the real joy out of every room we walk into.

      John said: “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world- the cravings of the sinful man, the lust of his eyes, and the boasting of what he has and does- comes not from the Father but from the world.” I John 1:15,16

     Christians have failed to utilize the great power that is at their disposal largely because they have believed the lie that the world we live in and its treasures are more precious and valuable than the presence and kingdom of Heaven.

    C.S. Lewis said,

“If we consider the unblushing promises of
reward and the staggering nature of the
rewards promised in the Gospels, it seem
that our Lord finds our desires not too
strong, but too more weak. We are
half-hearted creatures, fooling about with
drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy
is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants
to go on making mud pies in a slum because he
cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a
holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

     Like Tolkien’s Gollum we are willing to trade real life for a split life of madness so that we may have baubles of this world that have insinuated themselves into our souls. The devil works hard to make us believe that beauty, fame, power, fortune, and pleasure will bring us happiness.

      Many have forsaken the service of God for the pursuit of career and fortune.

     “We will serve God once we are rich!” They say.

     “When I am financially secure, then I won’t have to work. I will be able to do all the missions work I desire.”

     The problem of course is that missions work is not about our desire or calling it is about His and we must answer the call when it is laid out not at our discretion.

     So many have opted out of ministry in order to pursue fame in the world’s eyes. Many live their lives for pleasure.

     Yet the Bible says:

     ” Charm is deceptive and beauty does not last…” Proverbs 31:30

      “Riches won’t help you on the day of judgement, but right living is a safeguard against death.” Proverbs 11:4

      “Those who love pleasure become poor; wine and luxury are no way to riches.” Prov. 21:7

     Paul warned that in these last days many would  give up their God-given power in pursuit of the world.

     “For many walk of whom I have often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.” Phil 3:18,19

      So many Christians have bought into the lie that earthly things are worth minding. But it is a trap brothers and sisters! The world is not wonderful. The things of the world are not worth forsaking prayer or study of the Word or worshipping God for. Do not forsake church for the pursuit of riches. Do not forsake prayer for frivolity!

       In the end beauty has saved no one. Money has never rescued a marriage, and even the most famous men without the saving grace of Jesus Christ will stand before God one day and hear him say “I never knew you.”

       But those who pursue God will say with the Psalmist “In His presence is fullness of joy. At  His right hand are pleasures evermore.” Psalm 16:11

       They will hear God say, “You are my precious!”

Mighty Weaklings-2

       An enemy has made its way into the church and filled our minds with a lie of weakness. Yet Scripture reveals that Christians have amazing strength  through their unbreakable connection with Jesus Christ. Through that connection we are being given power to rule in the earth. Sin has lost its power to command us. Even Satan is thrown into confusion when God’s people praise.

      The source of our power flows from the presence of God in our hearts in the person of the Holy Spirit according to Ephesians 1:13,14. The Holy Spirit living in us sanctifies us and works through us and comes upon us at certain moments to do miracles when needed. This is the experience of every born again Christian. Yet there is an even greater level of power that is available to all Christians, one that most of Christendom is making no use of. I am speaking about the baptism in the Holy Spirit.

     John the Baptist introduced the baptism in the Holy Spirit when he foretold the coming of Messiah. He said ”  I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and [with] fire:” Mat. 3:11 KJV

    Jesus spoke of the baptism again after His resurrection when he said,  “Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you what he promised. Remember, I have told you about this before. John baptized with [fn] water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” Acts 1:4,5

    So what is this baptism in the Holy Spirit?  According to Scripture the baptism in the Holy Spirit is an experience that comes after salvation which fills the believer with power for living and sharing the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. This power manifests in nine supernatural gifts which should begin to flow regularly after a person is baptized. Those gifts are outlined in I Corinthians 12 as: word of knowledge, word of wisdom, prophecy, tongues, interpretation of tongues, healing, miracles, discernment of spirits, and faith.

     Jesus desired that all of his servants would be baptized in the Holy Spirit. It was so important to him that he even commanded his servants not to begin their task of preaching until they had received the baptism (Acts 1).

      In explaining the baptism on the day of Pentecost Peter said, “In the last days saith God I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh.” (Acts 2) indicating that the baptism in the Holy Spirit was available to all who lived in the last days.

     We need this baptism today because it is power that is sorely required to carry out the work God has for us in these last hours. For those of us who have the baptism it is time we started operating in it as the Holy Spirit intended.

      The difference between having the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit and the baptism in the Holy Spirit is the difference between drinking a glass of water and being thrown into a lake and never getting out. The problem comes when a person has been thrown into a lake comes up soaking wet and still acts as though they have only had an eight ounce glass of water to drink. This is what most of us are doing. We receive the baptism and then after the initial experience has faded away we think we have to wait for some special unction to come on us before we can operate in power. This is an unbiblical mindset. Once we have the baptism, the Holy Spirit intends that we should operate in His gifts everyday in every situation we come to.

     The hour demands it. Our lives require it. Let us be baptized in Holy Spirit. Let us operate in His gifts on a regular basis!

Scriptures to ponder:

Mark 16/ Luke 24/ John 16/ Acts 1,2,3,8,10,19/ I Corinthians 12,13,14

Mighty Weaklings

    In Pentecostal circles we sometimes get a little carried away with “power encounters”. If you’re unfamiliar with the term it means an encounter with a devil in which a Christian overcomes by the superior power of Christ inside of him (short definition that doesn’t really cover the whole meaning but it’s all I have space for now). Power encounters are good. Jesus had power encounters and brought great liberation to many souls through them. We need more power encounters throughout the church as a whole. Too many of our people are left sitting in their pews molested by spiritual forces of wickedness in high places because pastors are afraid to let any weird manifestations start in the church. Just a quick note here, Jesus had lots of weird things happen in his ministry. Isn’t he our model? 

    While I am of the mind that we should have more power encounters I am also with Neale Anderson (The Bondage Breaker Victory Over the Darkness). We need truth encounters even more. Now a truth encounter is simply an episode where a devil who has a grip on a person’s life is faced down by a Christian who fights not with power but with the truth of Scripture. The devil is defeated because the lies he has used to control his subject are broken by the truth of God’s words.

    Today we are going to have a truth encounter!

     There is a devil ruling in a high place in America who has gotten control over large portions of the church with the use of lies. Today we are going to destroy one of those lies and so liberate some from that devil’s control.


     Brothers and sisters, nothing could be further from the truth! Christians have immense power available to them on this earth that non-Christians do not have. Listen to the Scripture:

Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or are hungry or cold or in danger or threatened with death? (Even the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.” [fn])No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels can’t, and the demons can’t. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can’t keep God’s love away. Whether we are high above the sky or in the deepest ocean, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:35-39 NLT

     I love the fact that as Christian we are told “overwhelming victory is ours”, no matter what we face. Look at the list Paul gives in verse 35. He says even when we face these things we still come out as victors!

    Listen to the song that the twenty-four elders in Heaven sing about Jesus and about those who follow Him.

“And they sang a new song with these words: “You are worthy to take the scroll and break its seals and open it. For you were killed, and your blood has ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. And you have caused them to become God’s Kingdom and his priests. And they will reign [fn] on the earth.” Rev. 5:9,10 NLT

     Look at that last verse, Christian. You weren’t made to be a weakling. You were made to rule on the earth. Christ has given you great authority and when you pray things are supposed to happen on the Earth!

    Did you realize you even have power to throw the devil into such confusion that he cannot speak?

“You have taught children and nursing infants to give you praise.  They silence your enemies who were seeking revenge.” Psalms 8:1

    Now that’s a powerful truth. Even little kids who praise God with abandon can shock Satan into silence. Kind of gives you a new perspective on what we are doing when we sing on Sunday mornings doesn’t it?

     Even sin and addiction don’t have power over the Christian.

“Our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin….So you should consider yourselves dead to sin and able to live for the glory of God through Christ Jesus. Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to its lustful desires.” Romans 6:6,11,12 NLT

    The NIV says do not let sin reign in your “mortal” bodies. Christian we aren’t supposed to wait for Heaven to be free of sin. We are able to exercise power over it here in this world. That’s how powerful we are. Drug addiction no longer has power over us. Alcoholism no longer has power over us. Pornography no longer has power over us. Hatred no longer has power over us.

     The truth is we are so powerful because of the God who dwells inside of us. All across the face of this planet there are people who are possessed by demons. They are exercising great supernatural power by virtue of their spirit possession. They are the witches, and mediums, shamans, and witch doctors that we read and hear so much about. Just as they are demon possessed every Christian is God-possessed according to the Scripture.

“And now you also have heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago. The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us everything he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. This is just one more reason for us to praise our glorious God.” Eph 1:13,14 NLT

    Christian you actually have a Spirit living inside you. He is the Holy Spirit. The One who was with God the Father in the beginning. (Ge 1:1,2). In age He is far older than any other spirit for He was before time. In wisdom He is greater than any other spirit because he invented wisdom! In power He is mightier than any other spirit because He is the power source. Even Satan has only managed to temporarily steal from the Holy Spirit’s supply ( don’t ask me how that works it drives me a little loopy).

     We are indeed mighty and even mightier than this!

     Christian you are not weak and there is even greater power available to you! I urge you, to no longer believe the lie of the enemy which has told you that you are less than…

    It is time we became more!

“The Sleepy Time, She Comes”

     My title today is a quote from the movie “Master of Disguise”.

Pistachio Disguisy after a long day of transmogrification says to his dog, “The sleepy time, she comes.” Sometimes I feel like I am living in the church of Pistachio instead of the church of Jesus Christ. I feel like I am spending a pretty good portion of my time lately fighting off spiritual somnolence in myself and my fellow Christians.

    But I know this should not surprise me. The prophetic word the Lord has warned us with again and again of late is from Matthew. “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.” Matthew 24: 12,13 NIV

    Do you question where the spiritual lethargy you see all around you is coming from? According to Scripture it is coming from the increase of wickedness in our land. Wickedness in a nation is like spiritual ether; It numbs, and stupefies those who breathe it in.

     Listen to what Scripture says:

“Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin [is] a reproach to any people.” Proverbs 14:34

    Sin does not just effect an individual. The sins that individuals participate in effect those around them and when enough people within a nation practice sin then the whole nation is effected. Spiritual somnolence is only one manifestation of that wickedness. ( See Deuteronomy 28:15-68 and Ezek 14:13-23).

     It is the increase of wickedness which opens the door to so many of the trials around us. This makes sense on a practical level. For instance, divorce is rampant in our culture because we have embraced a wicked definition of love that has to do with sex and romance rather than I Corinthinas 13. I am not against sex or romance; Both are wonderful but they are not the basis of married love.  Putting them as primary definers of a healthy marriage rather than the dictates of Scripture is wickedness.  Yet so many people are ending their marriages because they “don’t love the person anymore”. What they are saying is the romance is gone. I’ve got news for you romance is like a rainstorm. It blows in and blows out and often in a drought you have to seed the clouds a little before you get any.

      Our example from marriage, though, is only one of the many cultural issues that is creating our national spiritual weariness. So much wickedness on so many levels causes so many trials.: trials in the home, trials in the church, trials in the world around us. It’s no wonder we just want to escape and sleep, shut our spiritual eyes to the truth.

    I fight the slumber everyday. In me it manifests in a desire to skip daily prayer, shut my Bible without reading it, or just read the Word without even thinking about what I am looking at. I find myself not wanting to go to church, and often going with no expectations of being met by a Living God. Some days I have trouble believing God is going to do anything in my life and I just want to give up the whole Christian thing altogether.

     I believe these are feelings many of my brothers and sisters share. But here’s the thing and the victory over the thing, these feelings are JUST FEELINGS.  Further,I am not my feelings nor am I subject to my feelings!

      I have come to a conclusion. This lukewarmness I feel is not self-generated. It is a spirit (and by that I mean a real ectoplasmic, demonic, satan-inspired entity). This spirit is working through the promotion of wickedness in our culture to produce a numbing and stupefying effect on all our people, Christian and non-Christian alike.

    Here’s the good news. Because it is a spirit we are facing, we have power to conquer it according to the Scripture. If we choose to fight then we can beat the “sleepy time” every time it comes on us. My testimony is that though the enemy constantly attacks me with the wickedness I see all around me and tries to weary me, though he makes me feel like giving up, he never succeeds! Always I go to the Lord and I “get salve for my eyes, buy gold refined in the fire, and get my linen robe” (Rev. 3:18). When I do the fires and joy of my salvation always return.

    This enemy, who has spawned such wickedness in our society, like every demon, does his work on the foundation of lies, false suppositions that weaken the minds of those he attacks. He has formulated three lies in particular against the church. Our victory is in defeating these lies with the truth.

We will talk about these lies and their corresponding truths in the days ahead. For now it is enough to state them:

1. Christians are weak

2. The world system is powerful and beautiful and should be pursued.

3. Because Christians are weak and because the world is so desirable, Christians cannot resist and have no choice but to accept  some worldliness in their lives.

I leave you to dwell on the words of Romans 13:11,12

“Another reason for right living is that you know how late it is; time is running out. Wake up, for the coming of our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.The night is almost gone; the day of salvation will soon be here. So don’t live in darkness. Get rid of your evil deeds. Shed them like dirty clothes. Clothe yourselves with the armor of right living, as those who live in the light.”

 Brothers and sisters, I hope you don’t sleep well tonight!

Great Defender

      The police came knocking at my door at 3 A.M. yesterday morning. Someone had broken into our mini van and strewn clothes all over the street.

     Apparently there is another rash of car break-ins running through our neighborhood. We weren’t the only ones robbed. However I think we were the only ones who didn’t lose anything.

    My daughter had left money in the front ash tray open to public viewing. we had lent the van to friends the day before. Their kids had left money all over the back seats of the van. Yet not even one dollar was missing! Get this, even the clothes that were thrown around our yard were not ours. We brought them to the police station hoping someone would claim them (those clothes though were the only things that made the police stop and alert us).

    I have been praying the blessing of God over my household a lot lately. Do you know what blessing is? Blessing is the protection, provision, and prosperity of God. We certainly had the protection of God over our van.

     The people of God need the blessing of God on a regular basis. Without it the trials of our lives threaten to overwhelm and conquer us. The blessing, understand, doesn’t take away trials. Nothing short of the complete destruction of the present universal order will do that. However the blessing does give us victory in our trials and over our trials. I am victorious today because of the blessing.

    There is a song often on my heart of late. It says,

                            “You sing over me in the night

                              with melodies from Your heart.

                             though I’m unaware that You are there.

                              You watch over me through the night

                               Protecting me in the dark. While I’m resting

                                You are covering me.

                                 You are my Great Defender

                                  I live within Your shelter.

                                  You rescue those who put their trust in You.

                                  You are my Great Defender.

                                   I will not fear disaster.

                                   You are my God before and after

                                    My Great Defender!” “Great Defender”/ Leann Albrecht, Carl Albrecht, Jeff Slaughter/ High Hill Songs copyright 2007

     As Americans we are facing some monumental cultural changes. I believe that in a few years our way of life here in the States will be very different from what it is now. But that does not have to alarm us. Whatever change is coming will not undo the defenses of the One we rely on ( if indeed we choose to rely on Jesus). His blessing will keep us if we only refuse to give up our faith in the Great Defender.

       Over the course of the next few days I am going to be writing about the mindset Christians need to face the changes that lie ahead.

    Be strong and of good courage Christian. You can live in the blessing. You have a Great Defender!

Throw Momma From the Plane

     So today was the big day. 

    When I called our friends Bill and Pat to see if they could come and help our roommates for the day I explained to them I needed four or five hours to throw my wife out of a plane. They said they would come if I promised to bring her back (they always did like her best).

     Anyway we arrived at Jumptown USA in Orange MA for our appointment at 1 P.M. Just a side note I learned while we were waiting that Jumptown was the first commercial jump company in the U.S.A. Who knew?

     It was hot. We waited. We got right down to the edge of the field where visitors were allowed to watch the jumpers load and the plane take off. All day long load up, take off, jump out, land, reload.

     Tina took her jump class at 2:30. Her turn to load came at 4:00. She flew. She jumped. She landed.

She lived!

      We have another item on the bucket list checked off! Though she had to admit she doesn’t know if she’ll ever want to do it again. She said she felt like she’d been on the “spinny thing” at Six Flags! So I got her a drink and let her sleep on the way home.

Enjoy the pics!

     Tina loading onto the plane with instructor Keith

I want a pair of these goggles!

                                                    Umm O.K. that’s a long drop!

Now Keith looks scared.



 I love you alllllllll! Up Up and Awayyyy!

 I am sure Tina will be loading the video and the full gallery on her Facebook page.

Be blessed fellow adventurers!

You’re Peculiar, Brick

     You are “…an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: I Peter 2:9

     I have always liked this verse. Somehow whenever I get to the part about being a peculiar people I am strangely comforted.

    I never really fit the mold growing up. Do you know what I mean?

    My wife recently went to that movie “Diary of a Wimpy Kid.” I couldn’t go with her. Just the previews had me almost breathing into a paper bag because of the flashbacks to childhood.

    I was the last kid picked for the sports team in every gym class. I was the kid whose date to the eighth grade prom had to go home early because she got belted in the face by some other kid who thought he was John Travolta in “Saturday Night Fever.” I was the kid whose mom made him dance to Lawrence Welk with his sister at every family gathering. I was the peculiar person.

      So for years every time I felt a little “less than”, I would go to this verse. read it and tell myself “You are supposed to be weird it’s in the Bible.”

     I was so ruined when I learned what the Greek word really meant.

     The word peculiar is actually the word “peripoiesis”. It is the condition of being preserved or set aside because of being owned for a specific purpose.

     An example of a peripoiesis is a wedding gown owned,worn by a bride on her wedding day, then preserved in a garment bag with mothballs until the day her little girl can wear it at her wedding.

    It is the idea of a thing being made holy. A holy thing is a thing that is set aside for God’s purposes. It cannot be used for anything else.

     By deciding to live the brick that God has created for me I have stopped living for everything else. I am not my own. I am His. He gets to call the shots. When God says I am a peculiar person He means I am special and that I have a special purpose and that there is no one else like me created for exactly what I have been created for. I am unique, peculiar!

      Because I am unique I have to fulfill the role that God has set for me, because there is no one else who can. If I don’t do the things I was made for some of them will never get done because I am set aside for those works and no one else can do them for me without leaving behind their own special work.

    This is true of you too Christian. Live the brick. Be peculiar!

   Oh and by the way, even though it’s not in the Bible I’m still pretty sure it’s O.K. with God if you’re a little weird.