Slave Market!

As I read the account of a slave market my tears flowed in abundance.  Men and women were forced to stand on a block of wood… naked… as buyers examined. As buyers threw insults. As they yelled out prices they would pay.  In my mind I could see it… I could feel the pain… the humiliation.  I then pictured myself on that block.  Naked and afraid and wondering “why me”?  I pictured myself full of sin… full of selfishness and ashamed of who I was.  I could hear the small amounts that satan and his demons would pay for me.  One who worships God but falls so short.  One who loves God but is so full of sin… so full of selfishness.   Then I heard his voice!  Above the noise.  Above the insults. Above the humiliation.  Jesus… standing at the back of the crowd yelling “I will buy him”.  Don’t care what he has done, who he is or what he looks like.  I want him.  Name your price and it is yours.  I love him that much.  He then walked up to where I was standing. With outstretched hands and love in his voice said “let’s go home”.  Slavery was and still is a horrific thing that in the name of Jesus we need to eliminate.  We are all slaves to sin.  Thank goodness Jesus is willing to pay the price for our freedom.

John 8:34

I Love You!

Perry

In A Matter Of Seconds!

Thursday was a day just like any other.  Same routine.  No appointments. A day to laugh and spend time with my work family.  Lunch was relaxing. Then as I made my way back to my desk… in a matter of seconds… life took a dramatic turn.  A young man that has a very special place in my heart was found unconscious in his apartment and then later went home to be with our Savior.  No warning.  No preparation.  No time.  Just one minute everything is good and the next tragedy.  We are a people that are addicted to comfort.  We are a people that are addicted to control.  We work tirelessly to make sure we have everything in order.  We spend day after day in search for peace, that we think is found in order and control.  There is no control.  There is no order.  There is no peace to be found on this earth short of Jesus Christ.  All the plans in the world… all the money in the world… and all the control is but an illusion.  As a people we have to put our faith, our hope, our comfort in one place and one place only.  The Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Anything other than that… is time wasted.  John 16:31-33

I Love You!

Perry

To Be A Child!

She was like a picture out of a magazine.  A little girl all dressed up… sitting with mom and dad enjoying dinner.  As we admired her from afar and then as we were leaving she displayed an unbridled love to us.  Her smile was contagious and the eagerness with which she shown love was heartwarming to say the least.  Then it hit me!!  When Jesus said we should be as children this is what he was meaning.  Children, unless taught otherwise, have an infinite abundance of love and hope. They do not worry about who you are or what you look like, they see love… they see hope.  Children will display the love of our Savior without hesitation, until which time they observe in us, the opposite.  As they absorb all levels of the world around them they learn to be intimidated and scared of others… by watching us.  They lose that level of Gods love that they remember from having been in his presence.  When our Savior said “be as children”  he was telling us to love unconditionally.  To hope without end. To see everyone as a product of God. Made in his image and holding his DNA in their souls.  And mostly, he was telling us not to forget the love that was given to us, by him, when we were created. 

Matthew 18:1-3 

I Love You!

Perry

Living In The Flow!

At an early age I could hear the music. I could see it everywhere.  I could feel it in my soul and hear it in my head.  As a gift from God I learned to play the guitar without lesson. Music is not about notes on a page or theory in books.  You have to feel the music in your very soul and display it in your heart.  Since the age of thirteen I have used the musical talent he gave me to his glory.  As time has passed and I have walked in communion with our God… I have come to learn the same of him.  God… and his Son… and his Spirit… is not something that is simply words on a page.  He is not found in the church you attend or the ministry you are a part of.  You have to feel him in your heart.  You have to experience him in the deepest part of your soul.  He has to become, not just knowledge to you, but you have to become as one with him, to experience his flow.  I have heard it said that you know you’re a writer… if all you can think about it writing.  You know you’re a musician… if all you can think about is music.  When you get to a point when all you can think of is Jesus.  When he is a part, of every minute, in every day, then you will know you are his child. 

Only then will you experience his peace!

1 Corinthians 3:16

I Love You!

Perry

He Is Still Here!

Two days have past.  The presents are gone.  Hugs were given and I love you’s exchanged… but those are just a memory.  For one fleeting moment we forgot about the sickness.  We forgot about the worries.  We put the hatred, the financial woes, the stress and the troubles of this world on hold.  All was forgotten, but for a brief moment, to celebrate the birth of a King.  But in that moment.  In that brief second.  Lives changed and the world changed because of a baby.  JESUS!  He is still here.  Doesn’t matter what those worries were.  He is still here!  Doesn’t matter what the sickness is.  He is still here! The financial woes and stress are not important.  He is still here.  Emmanuel – God is with us.  Christmas is not about family… friends… gifts… food… or trees. Those are good but temporary.   Christmas and the glory of it is about a King that came to save us from ourselves. A King that came to give us more love than we could ever comprehend. A King that climbs into our lives to carry our burdens.  He is still here… He still cares… He still saves…  That makes everyday Christmas!

I Love You!

Perry

Baby Jesus!

I remember vividly what it felt like to hold my daughter… then my son… for the first time.  The amazing deep love, like I had never known before, overwhelmed.  As I admired their face… as I counted their fingers… their toes… as I kissed their face and experienced their wonderful smell for the first time.   I remember the emotion.   I remember the capture of my heart and the sense of responsibility I felt in that instant.  All these memories have rushed back in as I thought about what it must have felt like to hold baby Jesus for the first time.  To not only love him, as we all love our children, but to know that he was the son of God!  To feel the pure love that was given to only him!  To know that he came to save every soul… that ever was or ever will be! 

To know that he was as pure, as pure can be, and would stay that way!  To know that he would sacrifice himself, as the lamb of God,  to save his very mother…  his father…  to save you… to save me…  To reconcile the world to God, as all of our sin rested on his tiny shoulders. To simply be in his presence and know that he is God, he is the Savior and he is the Holy Spirit .   I weep as I think of what that must have been like for Mary… for Joseph…     

Happy Birthday Jesus!!! 

Merry Christmas!!

Perry

Lessons Of The Manger!

I thought I got it!  Every Christmas, I look at and read about the nativity scene but the true deep reality of it never fully came clear.  In that time a stable was simply a lien-to and perhaps the most disgusting structure in town.  Under its’ roof the dirtiest place would have been the manger.  Full of animal saliva… worms… and the stench of uneaten moldy food.  God could have chosen anywhere for his son to be born.  A palace.  A suite at the inn.  In the middle of the synagogue.  Why a manger?  He wanted to choose the lowliest, most disgusting, vile place, to show us how his love works.  I have watched churches turn away people because they do not fit in.  I have watched as people shun those they consider disgusting.  We live in a world where it is believed you should act a certain way,  dress a certain way,  and talk a certain way.  The manger says – I came for everyone!  I was born to love the most disgusting, dirty, vile person you can think of.  Sometimes God hides lessons in the most obvious place.  For me, this one brought a multitude of tears and time on my knees.  The manger teaches humility. The manger teaches unconditional love.  Isn’t it time we all practice that each day in our churches and on the street?

Happy Birthday Jesus!

I Love You!

Perry

Only The Beginning!

This season I have pondered… what it felt like for Mary?  What were her thoughts as she watched God’s only son grow, knowing he was the Savior of all mankind?  How did he act when in the synagogue?  Did you see him with a far away look, as if he could hear someone you couldn’t?  Did he ever play with dirt while peering at his own skin… with a look of knowing?  When he saw other kids giggle during worship, how did he respond?  Did he shutter when he saw a lamb brought to slaughter?  Did he have a smile as you taught him about the world he created?  When you had to scold him did you tremble knowing you were correcting God?  As you held his hand did you weep… knowing you were holding the hand of the creator?  Did his hand bring images to your mind, of what it would go through?  Did you kneel at his bed and pray… knowing you were praying to him?  An ordinary girl chosen by God for a holy task.  An ordinary girl willing to do whatever was needed because of her love.  This time of year we marvel at the birth of our king and Savior.  Just as marvelous was the job his mother did of raising him.  Lest we forget that his birth was only the beginning.  

Happy Birthday Jesus!

I Love You!

Perry

Reconciling Sin!

The love our God has for us is so immense that words can not explain. He created us in his image and shared with each of us a portion of his spirit.  He wanted nothing more than for us to love him back.  For us to be devoted to him.  Pure love is free choice. He soon saw that our love would falter.  Our love would fail. Because of his intense compassion for the people he created he had to find a way to reconcile our sin with his love.  Enter Mary!!  A simple girl… young… normal… and well thought of by some. Because of her dedication she found favor with God .  Still a normal everyday girl with sin just like yours.  Just like mine.  God knew by placing his son in a normal girl he would create a way to take our sin… her sin… and cancel it once and for all.  Gods son, our Savior, sinless and perfect, had to be made one with a normal sinful soul in order for sin to be defeated.  He had to be born of a sinful human… in a humble nature… in order for the pain of the cross to cancel all sin once and for all.  There was no announcement.  No parade. No headlines.  The birth was not even noticed by many.  However it changed all our lives forever.   Our God… our Savior… did that for us.  They did that for you. They did that for me.  What an amazing God!   Mark 2:17

Happy Birthday Jesus!!

I Love You!

Perry

My Daily Prayer!

Father

As I learn… as I grow… you reveal your spirit to me.  As I look into your eyes I have a heart that can not keep.  My greatest of fears is that you will leave me here.  Drowning in this water so deep, when I want nothing more than to walk with you.  I’m just a common man with  common fears.  I don’t like the doubt…  I don’t like the lack of trust, as satan tries to lead me in the wrong direction.  As I pray I want to become one with you.  I want to show the world your love… your heart… your grace.  Father, come into every part of my spirit and use me until you can’t use me anymore.  I give up my very soul, along with all of my heart,  my mind.  Take my life to your service.  Allow me to get out of the way, so the world sees only you.  Give me a faith that is so rock solid that nothing of this world can shake it.  Allow my life to speak of you to others. Father, my whole life is in your hands.  Mold me, as the potter molds the clay.  Turn me into a vessel for your love.

In your great name – AMEN!

Ephesians 1:15 – 19 (MSG)

I Love You!

Perry