Friday, May 29, 2015

day no. 13,367: gazing and galloping into the great beyond‏

Proverbs 4:25-26

25 Let your eyes look directly forward,
    and your gaze be straight before you.
26 Ponder the path of your feet;
    then all your ways will be sure.

Two ways to get to where you want to go.

First, fix your eyes forward and gaze straight before you.

Second, plan where you plant your feet and the path on which you are walking.

If you look ahead, you will see where you are going.

If you consider which direction to point your feet, you will surely run in the direction you aim them.

This all seems rather obvious, right?

So where do you want to go with your life, marriage, career, ministry, family, etc...?

Are you looking to that future and focusing your efforts in that direction?

Are you considering where you money, calendar, priorities at the moment are pointing you?

If you aren't looking ahead or considering where to spend, save, give time, energy and money, you will be in the same place you are now in 5 years.

You won't be where you wish you were going if that place is further out in front of you than your current place.

"Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, Or what's a heaven for?"~ Robert Browning from 'Andrea del Sarto'

Thursday, May 28, 2015

day no. 13,366: grace scene investigation‏

Acts 14:16-17

16 In the past he permitted all the nations to go their own ways, 17 but he never left them without evidence of himself and his goodness. For instance, he sends you rain and good crops and gives you food and joyful hearts.
God NEVER left anyone without evidence of Himself and His goodness.

For example, the food you eat day in and day out.

He has not left Himself without witness.

Have you observed the evidence?

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

day no. 13,365: something the Law of Moses could never do‏

Acts 13:38-39

38 “Brothers, listen! We are here to proclaim that through this man Jesus there is forgiveness for your sins. 39 Everyone who believes in him is declared right with God—something the law of Moses could never do.
The Law of God is perfect, holy and awesome.

But it can't save you.

The Law tells you what you must do to be saved, but it can't do it for you and it can't forgive you for falling short of it.

It's like an MRI that finds cancer in your body.

It can't heal the cancer, but it is a good thing that it can point it out and direct the attention of where help is needed most to keep you safe.

Only Jesus can save you.

Only Jesus can heal what's gone wrong with you.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

day no. 13,364: categorical errors‏

Stan Hayek dropped some knowledge he gleaned from Mark Driscoll the other day and I took mental notes.

1. Die
2. Divide
3. Discuss
4. Decide

There are hills on which we ought to die.

There are things over which we ought to divide.

There are things we ought to discuss.

There are things we must personally decide.

Much hurt, sin, suffering and scandal occurs when we kill others or force them to kill us over things which we could have merely divided, discussed or decided on a personal level.

The same can be said of elevating any issue to a categorical place it ought not to be.

The difficulty can often be in determining which details fall into which categories, but it is helpful, at least on the front end, to perhaps understand that these 4 realms of category even exist in order to understand that EVERYTHING is not worth dying or dividing over.

Monday, May 25, 2015

day no. 13,363: something new or a new place for the same old?‏

Acts 9:23-24

23 After a while some of the Jews plotted together to kill him. 24 They were watching for him day and night at the city gate so they could murder him, but Saul was told about their plot.
Saul spent his last days as a Jew persecuting and cutting down Christians.

Now that he was a Christian, the team he used to play for took over his duties and now pointed their murder at him.

But Saul did not fight back.

He was a NEW person.

He didn't merely keep doing the same thing for the other team, he became something altogether different from what he was.

Baseball teams trade sluggers all the time whose job is to hit the ball as far as they can.  When those sluggers change uniforms they continue doing what they do best, hitting balls as far as they can, for whatever team cuts their checks.

Saul did not become the best assassin on the other side of the coin.

He did not engage in the same activities for a different team.

No, he became something new.

Have you?

Friday, May 22, 2015

day no. 13,360: the beginning and end of all things and Scripture‏ in particular

Acts 8:35

So beginning with this same Scripture, Philip told him the Good News about Jesus.

Philip began with the passage before him and explained the Good News about Jesus.  This can be done by anybody beginning with any passage because the whole Bible is about Jesus and at this point in history available to most who desire to read it, know it and understand that it is all about Jesus.

Can you begin anywhere and end up at Jesus?

If you can't, ask someone who can to help you to grow in this as He is the end of all things and the target of all Scripture.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

day no. 13,359: identified with death‏

Acts 8:2

Some devout men came and buried Stephen with great mourning.
This is a profound step of faith considering they are carrying and identifying themselves with the dead body of a man the leaders just had murdered.  They identified and aligned themselves with his death, which was for the Name of Jesus.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

day no. 13,358: it's about time to travel‏

"One of these days, I'm going to travel back in time." ~ Chelsea Larsen

My friend, Chelsea, jokingly said this the other evening during our social time at Connection Group.

I found the irony of the statement delightful.

It's like saying, "It's only a matter of time before I go back in time."


I responded by saying, "Better not take too long or you might just find yourself back at this moment." 

And then I thought a while and added, "Or you could wait longer and then you'd have more time to go back into."

Either way, it made me chuckle.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

day no. 13,357: identity theft‏

My friend, Josh, wrote this to me in response to our New Testament Bible read through.  I thought it was insightful.

Acts 6:11

Then they persuaded some men to say, "We heard him speaking blasphemous words against Moses and God!"

Isn't this like us all? If we are bested, we are persuaded to do something that tears that person down. No one could dispute with Stephen and the wisdom that was given to him, and their response is to tear him down. 

When we find our identity in some title rather than Jesus, we are lacking and find the need to hurt those that have "stolen" our identity. The pharisees were the knowledgable ones of the law, it was their life. Stephen is owning them in disputes. They couldn't take it, so they take him to court to have some false witnesses. 

When we identify ourselves and find our identity in being the best at something, we are easily threatened by those who best us.

So we can either change our identity by conforming the way we see ourselves with the reality that we aren't the GOAT (greatest of all time) OR we can tear down the other person in attempt to best them and reinstate ourselves as the GOAT!

It's like a status-driven version of King of the Mountain.  Everyone's trying to knock you down so that they can be king.

Monday, May 18, 2015

day no. 13,356: to whom do you turn?‏

Acts 3:19

Now repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away.
While your sins and my sins may be different in their specifics, they are the same in their essence.

All sin is essentially honoring yourself before others and looking first to your interests instead of others.

That, in essence, is the heart of each and every one of our sins.

Repent of this.

Agree with God that it is wrong to orient your life around your life and livelihood alone.

Demonstrate you agree by voluntarily setting yourself aside and looking to the interests of others.

Turn from your usual programming and turn toward God.

Receive instruction and obey His commands, particularly when they rub up against the way you USED to do things.

Do you have a "former life" or does your current life look a lot like the way life has always been for you?

Repent, Turn, Be Forgiven.

Friday, May 15, 2015

day no. 13,353: from time to time‏

Acts 1:3

During the forty days after he suffered and died, he appeared to the apostles from time to time, and he proved to them in many ways that he was actually alive. And he talked to them about the Kingdom of God.
What an amazing statement for so many different reasons.

After He suffered and died, He appeared to the apostles from time to time.


That is a crazy thing to say.

He proved to them in many ways that He was actually alive.

He would have to I suppose being as how He recently had been DEAD!

He talked to them about the Kingdom of God.

For 40 days He convinced them that He wasn't dead anymore and also talked to them about the Kingdom of God.


Thursday, May 14, 2015

day no. 13,352: the reason he wrote it all down‏

John 20:30-31

30 The disciples saw Jesus do many other miraculous signs in addition to the ones recorded in this book. 31 But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name.
John did not write everything Jesus did.

He wasn't trying to.

That wasn't the reason he wrote this book.

He wrote it so that you would believe that Jesus is the Christ, God Himself and that by believing in Him you may have life by the power of His Name.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

day no. 13,351: king james' court jester‏

I delight in finding King Jamesisms that are long lost on our modern English. So it was a VERY pleasant surprise to come across a brand new favorite to add to my growing bank of old English hilarity.

Thus I submit to you the following:

Luke 11:27
And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked.
Lord love those dead white dudes for making my day a little brighter by calling breasts something I can honestly say I have NEVER heard them called.
And that's saying something for a GUY who wasn't a Christian until I was 23.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

day no. 13,350: telestai (it is finished!) is one of my favorite words of all time

John 19:30

When Jesus had tasted it, he said, “It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and released his spirit.
Jesus finished the work He came down to complete.

On the Cross, it was completed.

When He was done, He bowed His head and surrendered Himself to death.

He was in charge of all of it and this is what He chose to do in order to earn a righteousness He could lend to us and to pay a price for sin we could not pay.

Exclamation point!

Monday, May 11, 2015

day no. 13,349: coming down to step forward‏

John 18:4

Jesus fully realized all that was going to happen to him, so he stepped forward to meet them. “Who are you looking for?” he asked.
Jesus was not ignorant to His situation.

In fact, He CAME DOWN for this very purpose.

So since He came down for this, He STEPS FORWARD.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

day no. 13,348: to the mothers

Happy Mother's Day!

To the mom that gave birth to me: Thank you!

To the mom that gave has played guesthouse to my 5 children: Thank you!

To the mom that gave birth to my wife: Thank you!

I am thankful today for the mothers God has used in my life.

Friday, May 8, 2015

day no. 13,346: completed works.‏

John 17:4-5

I brought glory to you here on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. Now, Father, bring me into the glory we shared before the world began.
Jesus finished the work He came to accomplish.

Each and every last bit of it.

Praise the Lord!

He paid it all, achieved it all and grants ALL of it to us.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

day no. 13,345: so that you may have peace‏

John 16:32-33

32 But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when you will be scattered, each one going his own way, leaving me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me. 33 I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
Jesus just told them that they were going to abandon Him in His greatest moment of need.

Why did He tell them that?

So that they would have peace.


Peace IN HIM.

He knew they would flee. He knew they would abandon Him. He knew they would deny Him and leave Him to face His greatest temptations and trials on His own.

And He still chose to go through it all FOR US.

He didn't even have to. It wasn't His cross to bear per se.  It was ours.  And the very ones who should have been cheering gratefully for their champion failed to show up to support their Hero as He went into the battle for their lives.

In all of this, Jesus had His Father with Him.

Jesus had PERFECT faith and never strayed or wandered away.

He prevailed.
He persevered.

And He offers that PERFECT record to us who believe in Him.  wandering, abandoning, scared, petty disciples.

He told us all of this so that IN HIM we would have PEACE.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

day no. 13,344: unguarded strength is double weakness‏

"Unguarded strength is double weakness." ~ Oswald Chambers

A fire is strong.

It can accomplish a great deal of good or bad depending on where it is and how it is handled.

But it IS strong.

Either way.

Harness it and you can heat homes, cook food, light the dark, etc...

Leave it unguarded or unprotected and it can destroy homes, burn food, blacken the earth, etc...

You'd be better off NOT having fire than having fire that you don't guard.

It is the same with any strength you may have.

Physical, mental, emotional, etc...

Whatever time, talents, treasures you may have that possess in themselves power can be harnessed for great good and glory to God.

But ignored or left unguarded they can burn others and yourself down to the ground.

It would have been better in the end to not even have the money, talent, gift, etc.. than to have it and have left it unguarded and ignored.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

day no. 13,343: one, two, three, four, five, six, voorst

So because I am who and what I am, I come up with stuff like this:



Sevan Voorsts

Either way, come October 31st (Deo volente) there will be 7 Van Voorsts living in our humble abode.

Very excited!

Can't wait for ultrasound time.  It's been a while since I flexed my "naming things" muscle.

Monday, May 4, 2015

day no. 13,342: living to die or dying to live?‏

John 12:24-26

24 I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels—a plentiful harvest of new lives. 25 Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity.26 Anyone who wants to serve me must follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And the Father will honor anyone who serves me.
If the only life you care about is the one that involves making the best and most of this life only, it will be taken away from you.

You've seen it a thousand times.

People die.

It's what they do best.

No one has ever lived who has not died.

If they lived only for this life, this life was certainly taken from them and it will be taken from you if you do the same as well.


Those who live for the life that is to come and spend their lives as citizens of a better country, that is, a heavenly one, they will inherit life everlasting and be honored by God Himself.

Friday, May 1, 2015

day no. 13,339: dance of the dead‏

John 11:43-44

43 Then Jesus shouted, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 And the dead man came out, his hands and feet bound in grave clothes, his face wrapped in a headcloth. Jesus told them, “Unwrap him and let him go!”
The dead man came out.


Dead people, not sure if you know this, don't DO anything.

They are actually defined by what they are NOT doing: living.

That is the essential characteristic of someone who is dead.

Jesus can make even the dead move and the dead live.

He can unloose the bonds of death and dying and sin and suffering.

He gives freedom and life to dead slaves of sin like us.