Pastor Wrinkles: The Glory Of Story Pt. 10

The Israeli hero of the Bible Joshua made a famous speech at the end of his life. The times were changing. Joshua saw that the national dedication to God was waning and that questions of faith were rising up among the leaders of the next generation. So before his death he rose up to make one more appeal to the Israelites to encourage and to warn them. In one part of his speech he said:

“So fear the LORD and serve him wholeheartedly. Put away forever the idols your ancestors worshiped when they lived beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt. Serve the LORD alone.  But if you refuse to serve the LORD, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the LORD.”  Josh. 24:14,15

We live in similar times. The generations before us have accomplished great things in this great nation we call America; But questions of faith have risen in our generation. Our nation’s dedication to our Christian heritage has all but failed. Yet God has chosen us to be a part of this chapter of His story. He has not chosen us to hide our lights under a bushel. He has called us to choose this day whom we would serve… to choose this year whom we would serve. God has chosen us to take up our passion and our place in the world and to become the pens with which He would write the rest of Earth’s tale.

Will you choose to be His light? Will you choose to be His bride? Will you choose to let Him do whatever He wants to through your life in order to finish the story?

Pastor Wrinkles: the Glory Of Story Pt. 9

As we have worked our way through this devotional series on God’s story called Earth we have made three points:

1. God is the central figure and hero of every human being’s story.

2. God has created each of us to be important in the carrying out of His story plot.

3. Carrying out our part in the story will be a conscious choice for us. It will cost us something.

We live in very important times. We are living at the climax of God’s story. These are the Days just before the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. Nothing stands to be fulfilled before God’s next big plot twist, the snatching away of the church from the Earth, described throughout the New Testament. While this event looms on our horizon roughly 3 billion people on the face of our planet have no gospel witness about Jesus. They will not have the opportunity to escape the judgment we read about in Revelation 19.

Someone once said “There are always two choices. Two paths to take. One is easy. And its only reward is that it’s easy.“Anon

Many of us today are choosing the easy path in our Christianity. But let me urge you brother…Let me urge you sister… Be brave. Be uncompromising. Do the thing you were created to do for the hour is late.

Have you ever chosen the easy path? What did you have to do to get off of it and onto the hero’s walk?

Pastor Wrinkles: The Glory Of Story Pt. 8

If you have missed any of this discussion feel free to review at

Jim Cymbala preaches at a church in the slums of New York. He tells the following story: It was Easter Sunday and I was so tired at the end of the day that I just went to the edge of the platform, pulled down my tie and sat down and draped my feet over the edge. It was a wonderful service with many people coming forward. The counselors were talking with these people.

As I was sitting there I looked up the middle aisle, and there in about the third row was a man who looked about fifty, disheveled, filthy. He looked up at me rather sheepishly, as if saying, “Could I talk to you?”

We have homeless people coming in all the time, asking for money or whatever. So as I sat there, I said to myself, though I am ashamed of it, “What a way to end a Sunday. I’ve had such a good time, preaching and ministering, and here’s a fellow probably wanting some money for more wine.”

He walked up. When he got within about five feet of me, I smelled a horrible smell like I’d never smelled in my life. It was so awful that when he got close, I would inhale by looking away, and then I’d talk to him, and then look away to inhale, because I couldn’t inhale facing him. I asked him, “What’s your name?”


“How long have you been on the street?”

“Six years.”

“How old are you?”

“Thirty-two.” He looked fifty–hair matted; front teeth missing; wino; eyes slightly glazed.

“Where did you sleep last night, David?”

“Abandoned truck.”

I keep in my back pocket a money clip that also holds some credit cards. I fumbled to pick one out thinking; I’ll give him some money. I won’t even get a volunteer. They are all busy talking with others. Usually we don’t give money to people. We take them to get something to eat.

I took the money out. David pushed his finger in front of me. He said, “I don’t want your money. I want this Jesus, the One you were talking about, because I’m not going to make it. I’m going to die on the street.”

I completely forgot about David, and I started to weep for myself. I was going to give a couple of dollars to someone God had sent to me. See how easy it is? I could make the excuse I was tired. There is no excuse. I was not seeing him the way God sees him. I was not feeling what God feels.

But oh, did that change! David just stood there. He didn’t know what was happening. I pleaded with God, “God, forgive me! Forgive me! Please forgive me. I am so sorry to represent You this way. I’m so sorry. Here I am with my message and my points, and You send somebody and I am not ready for it. Oh, God!”

Something came over me. Suddenly I started to weep deeper, and David began to weep. He fell against my chest as I was sitting there. He fell against my white shirt and tie, and I put my arms around him, and there we wept on each other. The smell of His person became a beautiful aroma.  (excerpted from

God had a plan for Jim Cymbala.  God has a plan for you. Following the plan was a choice for Jim Cymbala. Following the plan is a choice for you. Following the plan cost Jim Cymbala. He had to put himself out. Following the plan is going to cost you. You will have to put yourself out.

How has God’s plan cost you recently?


Pastor Wrinkles: The Glory Of Story Pt. 7

We have made two points through the preceding posts about God’s glorious story called Earth:

1. God is the central figure and hero of His story

2. He has chosen you and me to be important character in the story. We have important parts to play.

But there is a third point in all this…

               You must intentionally choose to carry out your part of the story and there is a price you have to pay for your part.


Poet, Edgar A. Guest wrote
You are the person who has to decide. Whether you’ll do it or toss it aside; you are the person who makes up your mind. Whether you’ll lead or will linger behind. Whether you’ll try for the goal that’s afar. Or just be contented to stay where you are.

Choose Your Path by JE Lillie

Choose Your Path by JE Lillie

Have you made a decision to play the part God has given you? Have you estimated the cost of that part yet?

“If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. 27 And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? 29 For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you,30 saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’

31 “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32 If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. 33 In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples. Luke 14: 26-33 NIV

Pastor Wrinkles: The Glory Of Story Pt. 6

We have been talking about God’s story and our part in it… If you have missed the discussions they can be found here:


For some reason God has ordained that we should play an essential role in His story…the story that He is writing. He has gone to every length to include us in the story even after we had excluded ourselves from it by sin. You see, the main theme of God’s story is love reaching out personally and individually to you and to me. 

Further, it is not just mankind that it is important it is every man. God has created you personally for relationship with him. You play an important part in the story of God andin the story of planet Earth. God has put you on the Earth for exactly this time and HE has put the gifts inside you that you need to accomplish your part of the adventure.

The Road To the Future by JE Lillie

The Road To the Future by JE Lillie

St. Augustine said “To fall in love with God is the greatest romance; to seek him the greatest adventure; to find him, the greatest human achievement.” 

Do you see yourself as part of God’s adventure?What part do you play in it?

Pastor Wrinkles: The Glory Of Story Pt. 5

We have been talking about how all the world is the playing out of the  story  God. . I have been making the point that God is the central figure and hero of all of our stories whether we recognize it or not; But there is more you need to know…

                God would have you know that He has made you an important character in His story. 

While the story is about God, while He is the hero and central character, while He is the bridegroom, HE has created us to be important players in the carrying out of that story. In the Bible He has called those who believe the Bride of Christ.

Listen to what His word says about you:

When I consider your heavens,
    the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
    which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
    human beings that you care for them?

You have made them a little lower than the angels
    and crowned them with glory and honor.
You made them rulers over the works of your hands;
    you put everything under their feet:
all flocks and herds,
    and the animals of the wild,
the birds in the sky,
    and the fish in the sea,
    all that swim the paths of the seas.

Lord, our Lord,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth! Psalm 8:3-9 NIV

In another place it says this:

You have searched me, Lord,
    and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
    you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
    you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
    you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
    and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too lofty for me to attain.

Where can I go from your Spirit?
    Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
    if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
    if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
    your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
    and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
    the night will shine like the day,
    for darkness is as light to you.

13 For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
    they would outnumber the grains of sand—
    when I awake, I am still with you. Psalm 139:1-18

If all this is true how can we think of ourselves as unimportant or worthless?


Pastor Wrinkles: The Glory Of Story Pt. 4

Rick Warren starts His best-selling devotional ,The Purpose Driven Life, by saying “It’s not about you.”

And the Bible says the same thing this way,

Psalm 24

Of David. A psalm.

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it,
    the world, and all who live in it;
for he founded it on the seas
    and established it on the waters.

Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord?
    Who may stand in his holy place?
The one who has clean hands and a pure heart,
    who does not trust in an idol
    or swear by a false god.

They will receive blessing from the Lord
    and vindication from God their Savior.

All our lives are meant to be about Jesus. Whether we acknowledge Him or not He is the central character in the story of every life. Our very identity will be tied up in how we consider God and His son Jesus. At the end of time we will come to glory and we will be called either friends or enemies of God.But whatever role we choose to play God will get glory from our choices.

It is written:

“‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,
‘every knee will bow before me;
    every tongue will acknowledge God.’” So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God. Rom. 14:11,12

As author Isaac Bashevis Singer says, “Life is God’s novel. Let him write it.”

Pastor Wrinkles: the Glory Of Story Pt. 3

God is all about story! In fact all of Earth every big and little act of mankind is the writing of  a divine story the plot of which God laid out before HE ever said let there be light.


If you have been following the last  posts right about now you might be saying “That’s nice Pastor J. Life is a romance an adventure a war story a mystery a story. What does that do for me?”


There are three things God wants you to know about this story we call life.

Here is the first:

                God is the Hero and central figure of your  story.


Men have done their best to write God out of the story. For instance, in place of the story of creation our race has posited evolution in order to call into question the accuracy of Scripture as a whole. Moses. David. Even Jesus are being written out of the world’s copy of history.

A young man recently commented on my blog People should use reason to determine right and wrong and not some vague description of a man in the sky (that really seems to more a state of consciousness (like nirvana) than an actual being) nor MYTHICAL stories like Noah’s ark and Adam and Eve. .. I believe that these myths were really an attempt to explain the events in the phenomenal world that seemed miraculous. So the texts really had minimal value in and of themselves in the grand scheme of things because the information they provided was actually false.” 

But here’s the truth, Christian, while men may have set themselves up as the editor’s of history. God is the writer of HIS STORY and He holds the right to decide the final cut. We have been taught that the world is our oyster and we were given life  as a tablet upon which we can write our own story. We have been taught that we are the center of our universe and that we can call all the shots. We are told truth is whatever we believe. Most of us add God on to our lives if we acknowledge Him at all. But the Bible tells a different story and raises to the stage a different hero.

That hero…the hero of your story whether you know it or not is Jesus!


Pastor Wrinkles: the Glory Of Story Pt. 2

When God wanted to reveal himself to man he started by telling a story. Though today we know much of God through the theological teaching of the apostles Peter, John and Paul all of their teaching is tied to the stories told in the Old Testament and by the gospel writers. When God wanted us to understand prophecy He did not give us doctrinal lessons about the future. saying things like:

“The second advent will not be like the first. Where Christ came the first time through human gestation coupled with Holy Spirit Incarnation the second time He will come by a divine act of miraculous teleportation from the dimension of Heaven to the dimension of Earth. Further he shall teleport a large army with him and at the second advent Christ shall engage in a battle of monumental proportions.”

That’s how we teachers of the Bible make the way God taught it boring; But when God chose to relate the prophecy of  the end of time He chose to tell us a story. He gave us word pictures seen through human eyes translated by human understanding.

11 I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. 12 His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. 13 He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. 14 The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.”[a] He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written:

king of kings and lord of lords.

17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun, who cried in a loud voice to all the birds flying in midair, “Come, gather together for the great supper of God, 18 so that you may eat the flesh of kings, generals, and the mighty, of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, great and small.”

19 Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to wage war against the rider on the horse and his army. 20 But the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who had performed the signs on its behalf.With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped its image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. 21 The rest were killed with the sword coming out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh. Rev. 19:11-21 NIV

Now you tell me which method provides a more powerful punch?

Pastor Wrinkles: The Glory Of Story Pt 1

Here is the first excerpt of Pastor Wrinkle’s New Year sermon.

When I first learned I would be preaching this baptism service I prayed and sought God as to what he would have me bring as an offering to this service. I heard the words “the Glory of Story” and that has become the title of my message today.

This morning as each of the baptismal candidates entered the water they were asked to give a brief testimony or story about how they had gotten to the place of deciding to follow Jesus with their lives. At every baptism my understanding of how real God is becomes renewed. The stories shared do something deep inside of me that reinvigorates my faith.

We humans have a fascination with story. We each like different kinds of story: Some like adventure, some romance. Others enjoy a good mystery and some like the rhythmic cadence of war stories. Whichever genre is our favorite we learn best from the examples encased within its words and the pictures it draws.


Activist and theologian Robert Mcafee Brown said “

Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today.


And Dr. Pamela Rutledge of the MediaPsychologyResearchCenter says,


Stories are how we think. They are how we make meaning of life. Call them schemas, scripts, cognitive maps, mental models, metaphors, or narratives. Stories are how we explain how things work, how we make decisions, how we justify our decisions, how we persuade others, how we understand our place in the world, create our identities, and define and teach social values. ”

What stories have most influenced you?