As a minister I believe the only true way to study is to look at verses in the context of which they were written.   These HJD messages and the scriptures are done for that purpose.  Each verse listed is a link to the whole chapter.  Simply click on the verse and you will be taken to the whole chapter for further reading.  I chose the translation “The Message” as it is in the language of today so we can relate.  I encourage you to study with passion each verse in many translations.   Enjoy and I pray this blesses you over and over. 

Perry


May 19th, 2024

Happy Jesus Day!

I Want To Get It!

Until we learn to listen and talk seriously about the sermon on the mount and the beatitudes we will never truly know the heart of Christ.  There the primary language is unlearning… letting go… surrendering… serving.  Our western religious ideas are more about climbing and not about descending.  We are fixated on doing it right.  On being what we consider morally superior.  We are obsessed with making sure we follow rules and show ourselves to be “good” people in order to have favor.  The first line in Jesus’s sermon that day was “blessed are the poor in spirit”. “Blessed are those that mourn… are meek…who hunger for righteousness. He likes the merciful… the pure at heart who love… the peacemakers and the persecuted.  Blessed are those that are punished because of his love”. Everything he said in his sermon was upside down, backwards and in the opposite direction of how we live today.  “Love and pray for your enemies. Do not even be angry with anyone.  Do not pass judgement or think you have the answers to salvation. Examine your own sin before looking to the sin you think lives in others.  That is his job.  Do not be showy with your faith but let your life speak for itself”. This sermon and Jesus’s life is about burying your ego and living from a place of humbleness and servitude.  Mother Teresa got it.  Dr. King got it.  Dorothy Day… Clement Kern… Takashi Nagai all got it.  I have studied each and they each exemplified one of the beatitudes.  We should pray that we can live as such. 

Ephesians 3:6-7; 

The mystery is that people who have never heard of God and those who have heard of him all their lives (what I’ve been calling outsiders and insiders) stand on the same ground before God. They get the same offer, same help, same promises in Christ Jesus. The Message is accessible and welcoming to everyone, across the board.

This is my life work: helping people understand and respond to this Message. It came as a sheer gift to me, a real surprise, God handling all the details. When it came to presenting the Message to people who had no background in God’s way, I was the least qualified of any of the available Christians. God saw to it that I was equipped, but you can be sure that it had nothing to do with my natural abilities.

Acts 20:35; 

“I’ve never, as you so well know, had any taste for wealth or fashion. With these bare hands I took care of my own basic needs and those who worked with me. In everything I’ve done, I have demonstrated to you how necessary it is to work on behalf of the weak and not exploit them. You’ll not likely go wrong here if you keep remembering that our Master said, ‘You’re far happier giving than getting.’”

1 Peter 4:10-11;

 Love makes up for practically anything. Be quick to give a meal to the hungry, a bed to the homeless—cheerfully. Be generous with the different things God gave you, passing them around so all get in on it: if words, let it be God’s words; if help, let it be God’s hearty help. That way, God’s bright presence will be evident in everything through Jesus, and he’ll get all the credit as the One mighty in everything—encores to the end of time. Oh, yes!

Galatians 5:13-14;

It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don’t use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that’s how freedom grows. For everything we know about God’s Word is summed up in a single sentence: Love others as you love yourself. That’s an act of true freedom. If you bite and ravage each other, watch out—in no time at all you will be annihilating each other, and where will your precious freedom be then?

Mark 9:35;

He sat down and summoned the Twelve. “So you want first place? Then take the last place. Be the servant of all.”

Philippians 2:1-11;

If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care—then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.

Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.

Because of that obedience, God lifted him high and honored him far beyond anyone or anything, ever, so that all created beings in heaven and on earth—even those long ago dead and buried—will bow in worship before this Jesus Christ, and call out in praise that he is the Master of all, to the glorious honor of God the Father.

1 John 3:17

This is how we’ve come to understand and experience love: Christ sacrificed his life for us. This is why we ought to live sacrificially for our fellow believers, and not just be out for ourselves. If you see some brother or sister in need and have the means to do something about it but turn a cold shoulder and do nothing, what happens to God’s love? It disappears. And you made it disappear.


May 12th, 2024

Happy Jesus Day!

Faith & Love!

My conversation with him was one of listening.  Listening to how he could never do enough, or be good enough, for his parents.  He could never be good enough to please God… or so he was taught.  At which he said “why even try”.  He told me he was estranged from his parents and wasn’t sure about God. Having faith doesn’t have to do with being perfect. It has to do with staying in relationship. Holding on to union as tightly as God holds on to us. It’s not a matter of being correct, but of being connected. It is a matter of loving God, your partner or child no matter what.  That’s true faith.  Faith that says “there is more here than I can understand”. There is more to God than simply being correct about scripture can encompass. God is true love. True love does not need rules.  True love should not be burdened with laws, or membership requirements.  Love is a flow of energy willingly allowed and exchanged.  Love does not require anything in return.  My wife Lorna, and I, have pure faith in each other.  Our true love comes from a place deep within our souls and it reflects the love we have for God. We don’t burden our faith, our love, with rules and laws.  We allow the energy that our faith in each other produces to flow equally between us. This young mans parents, asking for perfection, have driven him away from them and God.  God has never, and will never, ask for perfection.  He simply ask for faith and love.   

I Love You!

 Perry

Hebrews 11:6;

By an act of faith, Enoch skipped death completely. “They looked all over and couldn’t find him because God had taken him.” We know on the basis of reliable testimony that before he was taken “he pleased God.” It’s impossible to please God apart from faith. And why? Because anyone who wants to approach God must believe both that he exists and that he cares enough to respond to those who seek him.

John 14:27;

“I’m telling you these things while I’m still living with you. The Friend, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send at my request, will make everything plain to you. He will remind you of all the things I have told you. I’m leaving you well and whole. That’s my parting gift to you. Peace. I don’t leave you the way you’re used to being left—feeling abandoned, bereft. So don’t be upset. Don’t be distraught.

Hebrews 11:1;

The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd.

Ephesians 2:8-9;

Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.

2 Corinthians 5:7;

That’s why we live with such good cheer. You won’t see us drooping our heads or dragging our feet! Cramped conditions here don’t get us down. They only remind us of the spacious living conditions ahead. It’s what we trust in but don’t yet see that keeps us going. Do you suppose a few ruts in the road or rocks in the path are going to stop us? When the time comes, we’ll be plenty ready to exchange exile for homecoming.

1 Corinthians 2:5;

I was unsure of how to go about this, and felt totally inadequate—I was scared to death, if you want the truth of it—and so nothing I said could have impressed you or anyone else. But the Message came through anyway. God’s Spirit and God’s power did it, which made it clear that your life of faith is a response to God’s power, not to some fancy mental or emotional footwork by me or anyone else.

John 1:17;

We all live off his generous abundance, gift after gift after gift. We got the basics from Moses, and then this exuberant giving and receiving, This endless knowing and understanding— all this came through Jesus, the Messiah. No one has ever seen God, not so much as a glimpse. This one-of-a-kind God-Expression, who exists at the very heart of the Father, has made him plain as day.

Galatians 3:23-25

Until the time when we were mature enough to respond freely in faith to the living God, we were carefully surrounded and protected by the Mosaic law. The law was like those Greek tutors, with which you are familiar, who escort children to school and protect them from danger or distraction, making sure the children will really get to the place they set out for. But now you have arrived at your destination: By faith in Christ you are in direct relationship with God.


May 5th, 2024

Happy Jesus Day!

“Fire Insurance”

Over the past half century we have reached to the moon.  We have split the atom.  We cloned animals and human flesh.  In the past twenty years we have discovered an endless space.  We use to believe there were six stars for every human.  Now we know there are six galaxies for every human on earth.  Our phone is ten times more powerful than the computer that took the men to the moon.  Imagine what we will know fifty years from now.  Discoveries and new ideas are moving at breakneck speed.  As these things are directed by God, why do we choose to rest on the same understanding of scripture that we did fifty years ago?  The bible is a living document.  It moves… it changes… it grows… with each passing day.  So many times I read a verse that I have studied many times.  Then suddenly I read it again and I see something new.  I discover something life changing. True religion is listening to the spirit that lives within.  The inner God that dwells in our hearts.  Any negative thoughts are from the accuser, as God only lives in a positive space.  Religion is so caught up in sin management that we dismiss the God that lives in us.  Instead of living from a place within our spirit, where God dwells, we insist on following rules laid out in a specific order.  I refer to it as “fire insurance”.  We think by following specific rules, of our choosing, that we are saving ourselves from hell.  Only the love of God can do that.  Ephesians 2:4-5

I Love You! Perry

John 14:25-27;

“I’m telling you these things while I’m still living with you. The Friend, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send at my request, will make everything plain to you. He will remind you of all the things I have told you. I’m leaving you well and whole. That’s my parting gift to you. Peace. I don’t leave you the way you’re used to being left—feeling abandoned, bereft. So don’t be upset. Don’t be distraught.

Colossians 1:15-18;

Christ Holds It All Together

We look at this Son and see the God who cannot be seen. We look at this Son and see God’s original purpose in everything created. For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels—everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him. He was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together right up to this moment. And when it comes to the church, he organizes and holds it together, like a head does a body.

John 1:3;

Everything was created through him; nothing—not one thing!— came into being without him.

Romans 8:9-11; 

But if God himself has taken up residence in your life, you can hardly be thinking more of yourself than of him. Anyone, of course, who has not welcomed this invisible but clearly present God, the Spirit of Christ, won’t know what we’re talking about. But for you who welcome him, in whom he dwells—even though you still experience all the limitations of sin—you yourself experience life on God’s terms. It stands to reason, doesn’t it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, he’ll do the same thing in you that he did in Jesus, bringing you alive to himself? When God lives and breathes in you (and he does, as surely as he did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life. With his Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ’s!

1 Corinthians 3:16;

You realize, don’t you, that you are the temple of God, and God himself is present in you? No one will get by with vandalizing God’s temple, you can be sure of that. God’s temple is sacred—and you, remember, arethe temple.

Ephesians 3:20-21;

God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.

Glory to God in the church! Glory to God in the Messiah, in Jesus! Glory down all the generations! Glory through all millennia! Oh, yes!

John 16:12-15;

“I still have many things to tell you, but you can’t handle them now. But when the Friend comes, the Spirit of the Truth, he will take you by the hand and guide you into all the truth there is. He won’t draw attention to himself, but will make sense out of what is about to happen and, indeed, out of all that I have done and said. He will honor me; he will take from me and deliver it to you. Everything the Father has is also mine. That is why I’ve said, ‘He takes from me and delivers to you.’

2 Timothy 1:5-7;

That precious memory triggers another: your honest faith—and what a rich faith it is, handed down from your grandmother Lois to your mother Eunice, and now to you! And the special gift of ministry you received when I laid hands on you and prayed—keep that ablaze! God doesn’t want us to be shy with his gifts, but bold and loving and sensible.

Romans 5:5;

 In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!

Acts 1:8

He told them, “You don’t get to know the time. Timing is the Father’s business. What you’ll get is the Holy Spirit. And when the Holy Spirit comes on you, you will be able to be my witnesses in Jerusalem, all over Judea and Samaria, even to the ends of the world.”


April 27th, 2024

Happy Jesus Day!

THE LIGHT OF CHRIST

The moon… cold and void… moved in line with the sun.  Our sun.  The source of light and human existence.  The star that shines the light of Gods’ brilliance and provides life energy to everything it illuminates.  On that day recently, and only for a brief moment, the moon covered the Sun.  The feeling was spectacular.  The birds stop singing and the temperature dropped immediately.  In a contemplative moment I thought of how the cold and void of Satan covered Christ for a moment as he died on the cross.  The birds stopped singing… the temperature dropped… the sky went dark…  To those watching, satan had won.  I see today, in so many faces, that satan is winning again.  Lives that have no direction…  no mission… no love.  We call Jesus the light of the world.  But did he not say in Matthew Chapter Five that we are the light of the world.  That we are to shine brighter than the sun with the love of Christ.  Love for others, love for our planet and love for him.  So many say they follow our Savior but have little light.  They do not show love and compassion for those they encounter. If it is someone they know or someone in need, maybe.  What about the girl behind the register with piercings and tattoos?  What about the young man dressed in feminine clothes and wearing make up?

What about the waitress with multicolored hair and different clothes?  The light of Christ, in us, that manifest itself in love, should shine for ALL to see.  Not just those that fit our mold.

I Love You – Perry

Matthew 5:14-16; 

“Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.

1 John 1:7;

If we claim that we experience a shared life with him and continue to stumble around in the dark, we’re obviously lying through our teeth—we’re not living what we claim. But if we walk in the light, God himself being the light, we also experience a shared life with one another, as the sacrificed blood of Jesus, God’s Son, purges all our sin.

John 12:35;

Jesus said, “For a brief time still, the light is among you. Walk by the light you have so darkness doesn’t destroy you. If you walk in darkness, you don’t know where you’re going. As you have the light, believe in the light. Then the light will be within you, and shining through your lives. You’ll be children of light.”

2 Corinthians 4:6;

Remember, our Message is not about ourselves; we’re proclaiming Jesus Christ, the Master. All we are is messengers, errand runners from Jesus for you. It started when God said, “Light up the darkness!” and our lives filled up with light as we saw and understood God in the face of Christ, all bright and beautiful.

Acts 13:47;

But Paul and Barnabas didn’t back down. Standing their ground they said, “It was required that God’s Word be spoken first of all to you, the Jews. But seeing that you want no part of it—you’ve made it quite clear that you have no taste or inclination for eternal life—the door is open to all the outsiders. And we’re on our way through it, following orders, doing what God commanded when he said,

I’ve set you up

as light to all nations.

You’ll proclaim salvation

to the four winds and seven seas!”

Colossians 3:12;

So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.

1 Thessalonians 5:11-14

God didn’t set us up for an angry rejection but for salvation by our Master, Jesus Christ. He died for us, a death that triggered life. Whether we’re awake with the living or asleep with the dead, we’re alive with him! So speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you’ll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind. I know you’re already doing this; just keep on doing it.

The Way He Wants You to Live

And now, friends, we ask you to honor those leaders who work so hard for you, who have been given the responsibility of urging and guiding you along in your obedience. Overwhelm them with appreciation and love!

Get along among yourselves, each of you doing your part. Our counsel is that you warn the freeloaders to get a move on. Gently encourage the stragglers, and reach out for the exhausted, pulling them to their feet. Be patient with each person, attentive to individual needs. And be careful that when you get on each other’s nerves you don’t snap at each other. Look for the best in each other, and always do your best to bring it out.


April 21st, 2024

Happy Jesus Day!

So It Should Be Us!

They hate us!  They try more often than not to show their hatred.  It has become a life issue. Why?  Not sure… but it seems to grow and fester as any disease does.  We pray for them, and God has not softened their hearts yet, but hope is there.  So many have said we should hate back!  God is not revealed in retaliation and conquest … in violence and hate. God is revealed in a crucified man—giving of himself to the very last breath. Jesus told us, many times, that God is different from our assumptions. We’ve assumed that God was righteous and pure in a way that makes God hate the unrighteous and impure. But Jesus told us God is pure love, so overflowing in goodness that God pours out compassion on the pure and impure alike. He not only told us of God’s unbounded compassion he has embodied it every day as we study and walked with him. In the way he has sat at the table with everyone. In the way he has never been afraid to be called a “friend of sinners”. In the way he has touched untouchables and refused to condemn even the most notorious of criminals. He has embodied for us a very different vision of what God is like. The traditional Christian doctrine, I have studied all my life, of Christ, does not mean that Jesus is like God.  It’s more radical than that.  It means God is like Jesus. Loving without end.  Accepting without end.  Forgiving without end.  If that is Jesus, than so it should be us.   

I Love You! Perry

Romans 12:17-21;

Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.”

Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he’s thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness. Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good.

Matthew 5:38-42; 

“And don’t say anything you don’t mean. This counsel is embedded deep in our traditions. You only make things worse when you lay down a smoke screen of pious talk, saying, ‘I’ll pray for you,’ and never doing it, or saying, ‘God be with you,’ and not meaning it. You don’t make your words true by embellishing them with religious lace. In making your speech sound more religious, it becomes less true. Just say ‘yes’ and ‘no.’ When you manipulate words to get your own way, you go wrong.

Love Your Enemies

“Here’s another old saying that deserves a second look: ‘Eye for eye, tooth for tooth.’ Is that going to get us anywhere? Here’s what I propose: ‘Don’t hit back at all.’ If someone strikes you, stand there and take it. If someone drags you into court and sues for the shirt off your back, giftwrap your best coat and make a present of it. And if someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously.

1 John 3:15;

The way we know we’ve been transferred from death to life is that we love our brothers and sisters. Anyone who doesn’t love is as good as dead. Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know very well that eternal life and murder don’t go together.

1 Peter 3:9;

Summing up: Be agreeable, be sympathetic, be loving, be compassionate, be humble. That goes for all of you, no exceptions. No retaliation. No sharp-tongued sarcasm. Instead, bless—that’s your job, to bless. You’ll be a blessing and also get a blessing. Whoever wants to embrace life and see the day fill up with good,

James 1:19-20;

Post this at all the intersections, dear friends: Lead with your ears, follow up with your tongue, and let anger straggle along in the rear. God’s righteousness doesn’t grow from human anger. So throw all spoiled virtue and cancerous evil in the garbage. In simple humility, let our gardener, God, landscape you with the Word, making a salvation-garden of your life.

Luke 19:1-10

Then Jesus entered and walked through Jericho. There was a man there, his name Zacchaeus, the head tax man and quite rich. He wanted desperately to see Jesus, but the crowd was in his way—he was a short man and couldn’t see over the crowd. So he ran on ahead and climbed up in a sycamore tree so he could see Jesus when he came by.

When Jesus got to the tree, he looked up and said, “Zacchaeus, hurry down. Today is my day to be a guest in your home.” Zacchaeus scrambled out of the tree, hardly believing his good luck, delighted to take Jesus home with him. Everyone who saw the incident was indignant and grumped, “What business does he have getting cozy with this crook?”

Zacchaeus just stood there, a little stunned. He stammered apologetically, “Master, I give away half my income to the poor—and if I’m caught cheating, I pay four times the damages.”

Jesus said, “Today is salvation day in this home! Here he is: Zacchaeus, son of Abraham! For the Son of Man came to find and restore the lost.”

Romans 15:7

So reach out and welcome one another to God’s glory. Jesus did it; now you do it!


April 14th, 2024

Happy Jesus Day!

Nothing Can Stop His Love

I hadn’t seen her in sometime and to greet her brought joy.  We talked about family and moms. I then asked how her boys are. As we talked about her gay son her comments made my heart hurt.  “I know God still loves him?  I am almost positive that God still cares about him?”  When a child’s own mother has cause for doubt about Gods love, then we have made a grave mistake in our christian teaching!! I have spent two years of study on this subject.  I have read scripture and over twenty two books from every angle possible. I have interviewed people from the LGBTQ community, the medical field, as well as Christians.  I can not justify the viewpoint the conservative Christian movement takes. For many years I held the conservative view. While holding that view, I noticed how fellow Christians disproportionately targeted gay people. Christians I talked with argued against the legalization of same-sex marriage, but had no problem with remarriage after divorce remaining legal, despite biblical prohibitions. I never saw anyone kicked out of church for the “lifestyle sins” of greed… gluttony… gossip.  Evangelicals are content with women in ministry and methods of baptism as “secondary issues,” but turned LGBTQ acceptance into a doctrinal line in the sand.  I worship a Jesus that is unencumbered.  A Jesus who is simple and loving. To my Jesus this was a non-issue. Jesus loves the actual you.  He is not waiting for you to become something you are not. Nothing can stop a mothers love for her son and nothing can stop Jesus’s love. 

I Love You! Perry 

Ephesians 4:32;

Make a clean break with all cutting, backbiting, profane talk. Be gentle with one another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you.

Colossians 3:12;

So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.

Ephesians 4:29;

Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift.

Romans 15:7;

So reach out and welcome one another to God’s glory. Jesus did it; now you do it! Jesus, staying true to God’s purposes, reached out in a special way to the Jewish insiders so that the old ancestral promises would come true for them.

John 3:16-17; 

“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.

Matthew 7:1-5; 

“Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults—unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor.

John 8:7;

 Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger in the dirt. They kept at him, badgering him. He straightened up and said, “The sinless one among you, go first: Throw the stone.” Bending down again, he wrote some more in the dirt.

Romans 3:10

So where does that put us? Do we Jews get a better break than the others? Not really. Basically, all of us, whether insiders or outsiders, start out in identical conditions, which is to say that we all start out as sinners. Scripture leaves no doubt about it:

There’s nobody living right, not even one,

nobody who knows the score, nobody alert for God.

They’ve all taken the wrong turn;

they’ve all wandered down blind alleys.


April 7th, 2024

Happy Jesus Day!

Good and Evil!

I was researching for a topic that puzzles me. I know the bible is a living document.  It moves… it changes… it grows….  So many times I read a verse I have study my whole life, then suddenly I see something new.  Why did I never see this before?  Do you ever wonder why God made a tree that Adam and Eve could not eat from?  Why did he use the tree titled the “Knowledge of Good and Evil” to act as a temptation for Eve and Adam?  God knew that when we became aware that there is good and evil it would lead to pride within ourselves.  We would then make ourselves the judge about what we consider to be good and what we consider to be evil. Instead of looking at others thru Gods eyes we would look at them in judgmental ways.  Because Eve partook of the fruit from that tree we have lived not in harmony with each other, but in confusion.  We spend each day judging others based on whether they attend church.  Whether they look a certain way.  What language they use and how they dress.  What people they associate with and what home they live in.  We judge on choices they make and the trouble they are in.  Our Savior looked beyond that and saw the heart.  He never cared about their past.  He saw their heart and looked to their future. How much better life would be if we could pretend Eve never ate from that tree.  Harmony would be the normal.  

I Love you!  Perry 

1 Corinthians 13:12; 

We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!

Romans 12:2;

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

Hebrews 4:12;

God means what he says. What he says goes. His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey. Nothing and no one can resist God’s Word. We can’t get away from it—no matter what.

John 14:25-27;

“I’m telling you these things while I’m still living with you. The Friend, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send at my request, will make everything plain to you. He will remind you of all the things I have told you. I’m leaving you well and whole. That’s my parting gift to you. Peace. I don’t leave you the way you’re used to being left—feeling abandoned, bereft. So don’t be upset. Don’t be distraught.

Matthew 7:1-5

A Simple Guide for Behavior

“Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults—unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor.

James 4:11-12;

Don’t bad-mouth each other, friends. It’s God’s Word, his Message, his Royal Rule, that takes a beating in that kind of talk. You’re supposed to be honoring the Message, not writing graffiti all over it. God is in charge of deciding human destiny. Who do you think you are to meddle in the destiny of others?

Luke 6:42;

“It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this I-know-better-than-you mentality again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your own part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor.

Philippians 4:7

Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.


March 31st, 2024

Happy Jesus Day!

Resurrection Is Dirty!

They all call.  The churches our company cleans, all call to prepare for Easter.  Easter is a time when they feel like they need to shine.  It is a time when they know people will come, that don’t always attend.  Kids will be dressed in their best new wardrobe and their shoes will be shined.  Ladies will pull out their best dress and men will put on a suit.  We have taken Easter and made it into something it is not.  We have turned it into a show, instead of a resurrection.  When Mary saw Jesus she didn’t recognize him.  She thought him to be a gardener.  As I pondered that I realized a gardener would be covered in dirt.  A gardener would have dirt under his nails and smudges on his face.  Jesus had spent three days battling satan and even though the women had cleaned up his lifeless body he would still have the wounds from the cross.  Resurrection is never pretty.  People who come from a messy past to a new life in Christ still carry with them the dirt and memories of a bygone time.  They may have dedicated themselves to a new life with Jesus, but the dirt does not automatically go away.  Resurrection changes you but doesn’t always clean you up and give you a new wardrobe. Christ meets us right where we are.  Dirty clothes, dirty life, and dirty past.  He worries first about our heart then shows unbridled love. Shined shoes, not so much. Wardrobe, no.  Heart full of love, you bet!

I Love You!

Perry

1 John 1:8-9;

If we claim that we’re free of sin, we’re only fooling ourselves. A claim like that is errant nonsense. On the other hand, if we admit our sins—simply come clean about them—he won’t let us down; he’ll be true to himself. He’ll forgive our sins and purge us of all wrongdoing. If we claim that we’ve never sinned, we out-and-out contradict God—make a liar out of him. A claim like that only shows off our ignorance of God.

John 20:14-15;

“They took my Master,” she said, “and I don’t know where they put him.” After she said this, she turned away and saw Jesus standing there. But she didn’t recognize him. Jesus spoke to her, “Woman, why do you weep? Who are you looking for?” She, thinking that he was the gardener, said, “Sir, if you took him, tell me where you put him so I can care for him.”

2 Corinthians 5:17;

Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life emerges! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. 

2 Corinthians 3:18;

Whenever, though, they turn to face God as Moses did, God removes the veil and there they are—face-to-face! They suddenly recognize that God is a living, personal presence, not a piece of chiseled stone. And when God is personally present, a living Spirit, that old, constricting legislation is recognized as obsolete. We’re free of it! All of us! Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face. And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him.

Mathew 11:28

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”


March 29th, 2024

Happy Jesus Day!

Torture And Love!

We tend to glamorize it.  We even make beautiful jewelry out of it.  We don’t want to face the truth.  The whip had metal, and bones, in the ends.  As Jesus was struck, flesh was torn from his back… his sides… his neck.  This would continue until near death.  Our Saviors raw muscle, tendons and bones would have been exposed.  His wooden cross was made to have splinters.  As he carried it on his shoulder and back the splinters would lodge in his open wounds.  The nails driven through his wrist, were placed as to touch nerves. Any movement was excruciating.  As he was lifted upon the main pole his shoulders would have been dislocated from his own weight.  Then both of our Lords’ feet were held together and one large nail driven through them.  Breaking bones in the process.  Then the suffocation starts.  The only way to breathe, was too push up on the nail through his broken feet, so his diaphragm could expand.  His legs would have been bent at a 45 degree angle, meaning all of his weight was on his thigh muscles causing excruciating cramps.  The cramps would worsen as he pushed up to breath.  Amidst all this he still had the heart to forgive.  He still had the heart to love. He still had the heart to talk to his Father.   Why did he not call his army of angels? Only one reason.   He loves us that much!! 

I Love You!

Perry


Matthew 26:53;

Jesus said, “Put your sword back where it belongs. All who use swords are destroyed by swords. Don’t you realize that I am able right now to call to my Father, and twelve companies—more, if I want them—of fighting angels would be here, battle-ready? But if I did that, how would the Scriptures come true that say this is the way it has to be?”

Matthew 26:63-68;

Jesus kept silent. Then the Chief Priest said, “I command you by the authority of the living God to say if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.” Jesus was curt: “You yourself said it. And that’s not all. Soon you’ll see it for yourself: The Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Mighty One, Arriving on the clouds of heaven.” At that, the Chief Priest lost his temper, ripping his robes, yelling, “He blasphemed! Why do we need witnesses to accuse him? You all heard him blaspheme! Are you going to stand for such blasphemy?” They all said, “Death! That seals his death sentence.”Then they were spitting in his face and knocking him around. They jeered as they slapped him: “Prophesy, Messiah: Who hit you that time?”

Luke 24:26;

Then he said to them, “So thick-headed! So slow-hearted! Why can’t you simply believe all that the prophets said? Don’t you see that these things had to happen, that the Messiah had to suffer and only then enter into his glory?” Then he started at the beginning, with the Books of Moses, and went on through all the Prophets, pointing out everything in the Scriptures that referred to him.

Romans 8:3;

God went for the jugular when he sent his own Son. He didn’t deal with the problem as something remote and unimportant. In his Son, Jesus, he personally took on the human condition, entered the disordered mess of struggling humanity in order to set it right once and for all. The law code, weakened as it always was by fractured human nature, could never have done that.

Hebrews 9:26;  

But instead he sacrificed himself once and for all, summing up all the other sacrifices in this sacrifice of himself, the final solution of sin.

2 Corinthians 4:8-10

We’ve been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we’re not demoralized; we’re not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we’ve been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn’t left our side; we’ve been thrown down, but we haven’t broken. What they did to Jesus, they do to us—trial and torture, mockery and murder; what Jesus did among them, he does in us—he lives! Our lives are at constant risk for Jesus’ sake, which makes Jesus’ life all the more evident in us. While we’re going through the worst, you’re getting in on the best!


March 24th, 2024

Happy Jesus Day!

A Glimpse Of Heaven!

I could stay wrapped in your arms forever!  Do you ever feel so close to our Savior that it feels like he is wrapping you in love? You feel as though you have become one with him. His heart is yours and you are known by him from the deepest part of your soul  There are days, after intense prayer,  I feel so close to him that everything else seems to fade away. Most earthly care loses its importance. I can feel his presence…  I can feel his warmth…  I can feel his love.  During these times, as troubles dim and are replaced with his amazing love, I wonder why would I ever want to leave. Father, let me hide in your embrace as close as a mortal heart can be.  Even if it is just on the fringes of your perfect love in this fallen world.  As I pray… as Christ and I become one in the spirit… I know in my heart the trials of this earth will try to take me from him.  The problems of daily life will pull me in different directions.  At times I fall and his embrace slips from me.  Then I pray with fervor and his embrace comes back as if time stood still.  His light surrounds me as the world rushes by.  As I become closer… as I feel his love…  as I realize that no matter what this world does, his love is always there.  I start to catch a glimpse of what heaven will be.

Matthew 6:6 (MSG)  “Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace.

I Love You!

Perry

James 4:8; “Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.” When we seek God with all of our hearts and draw near to Him, we will feel His presence once again.

John 16:33; I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

1 Thessalonians 5:17; Pray without ceasing,

Philippians 4:6-7; Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

1 Peter 5:7; Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

2 Thessalonians 3:16; Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.

Isaiah 26:3; You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.


March 10th, 2024

Happy Jesus Day!

Only Love!

We had to agree to disagree. After much discussion and no middle ground, my friend and I have agreed to disagree.  Your interpretation of scripture and mine might be two different things. More often then not, that is the case.  So who do you listen to.  The Catholic priest?  He was trained to look at scripture from the Catholic prospective.  The Baptist or Methodist minister?  They were taught to look at scripture from that religions view point. There are 45,000 Christian religions in the world and over 200 just in America. So who is right and who is wrong? Does it matter… as long as we look to Jesus for our faith? Remember we are loved by a God who is too big for one-dimensional truths. It’s not that we hold paradox… it’s that paradox holds us. We are held in a deep place. A generous place. A loving place. Though we might fear paradox, God does not.  Only by surrendering to the deep mystery that is God can we truly know his heart.  Scripture may lead us in a direction but it is only through communion with our father that we can see the way.  Gods’ bible is not a text book to be studied for a final exam.  It is a recipe to fill your life with love and  compassion.  Nothing else matters. Nothing else leads to our God. We can never get it right.  We will usually get it wrong.  Only love is always right and will never be wrong. Only love leads to God!

I Love You! Perry

John 14:6;

Jesus said, “I am the Road, also the Truth, also the Life. No one gets to the Father apart from me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him. You’ve even seen him!”

2 Peter 1:20-21;

We couldn’t be more sure of what we saw and heard—God’s glory, God’s voice. The prophetic Word was confirmed to us. You’ll do well to keep focusing on it. It’s the one light you have in a dark time as you wait for daybreak and the rising of the Morning Star in your hearts. The main thing to keep in mind here is that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of private opinion. And why? Because it’s not something concocted in the human heart. Prophecy resulted when the Holy Spirit prompted men and women to speak God’s Word.

1 Corinthians 2:13;

We don’t have to rely on the world’s guesses and opinions. We didn’t learn this by reading books or going to school; we learned it from God, who taught us person-to-person through Jesus, and we’re passing it on to you in the same firsthand, personal way.

1 John 5:20;

We know that none of the God-born makes a practice of sin—fatal sin. The God-born are also the God-protected. The Evil One can’t lay a hand on them. We know that we are held firm by God; it’s only the people of the world who continue in the grip of the Evil One. And we know that the Son of God came so we could recognize and understand the truth of God—what a gift!—and we are living in the Truth itself, in God’s Son, Jesus Christ. This Jesus is both True God and Real Life. Dear children, be on guard against all clever facsimiles.

Ephesians 2:8-9;

Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.

1 Thessalonians 2:13;

And now we look back on all this and thank God, a geyser of thanks! When you got the Message of God we preached, you didn’t pass it off as just one more human opinion, but you took it to heart as God’s true word to you, which it is, God himself at work in you believers!

John 13:34

“Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.”


March 3rd, 2024

Happy Jesus Day!

A Wonderful Father!

My wonderfully beautiful father in law passed away this week.  In the glory of getting to be with him, as he transitioned into the presence of Christ, leaving his earthly vessel behind, sadness set in but holiness prevailed.  I saw in that moment that all the rubbish we deal with somehow does not matter.  The arguments we have over policy, religion, your way, my way, conservative, liberal, gay, straight, black, white.  ALL THAT MATTERS… IS LOVE.  As a family we spent time feeling the love that surrounded him and the love he had for each of us.  I then thought of, in a split second he experienced more love in the presence of Jesus, then we could have shown him in a hundred lifetimes.  I watched and could tell when Jesus grabbed him.  Took him to his side.  I could envision Jesus saying “welcome home my child.  I have longed to hold you again and show you my immense love.  I could care less about your sin. I could care less about your beliefs.  I could care less about your lifestyle.  Like the prodigal son you are home and the celebration of the saints will begin.”  We spend so much time and energy on shouting at the rain.  Trying to control that which is non-important.  To be with my beloved father in law, as he passed from one life to another, brought deep conviction.  It brought clarity that the rain is inconsequential.  Love is the center of it all.  It’s the only thing that mattered as he met his Savior. 

I Love You!

Perry

John 11:40;

Jesus looked her in the eye. “Didn’t I tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?”

John 17:4-5; 

And this is the real and eternal life:

That they know you,

The one and only true God,

And Jesus Christ, whom you sent.

I glorified you on earth

By completing down to the last detail

What you assigned me to do.

And now, Father, glorify me with your very own splendor,

The very splendor I had in your presence

Before there was a world.

Hebrews 9:23-26;

That accounts for the prominence of blood and death in all these secondary practices that point to the realities of heaven. It also accounts for why, when the real thing takes place, these animal sacrifices aren’t needed anymore, having served their purpose. For Christ didn’t enter the earthly version of the Holy Place; he entered the Place Itself, and offered himself to God as the sacrifice for our sins. He doesn’t do this every year as the high priests did under the old plan with blood that was not their own; if that had been the case, he would have to sacrifice himself repeatedly throughout the course of history. But instead he sacrificed himself once and for all, summing up all the other sacrifices in this sacrifice of himself, the final solution of sin.

1 John 4:12;

My dear, dear friends, if God loved us like this, we certainly ought to love each other. No one has seen God, ever. But if we love one another, God dwells deeply within us, and his love becomes complete in us—perfect love!

Matthew 25:23;

“The servant with the two thousand showed how he also had doubled his master’s investment. His master commended him: ‘Good work! You did your job well. From now on be my partner.’

Mark 1:11;

At this time, Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. The moment he came out of the water, he saw the sky split open and God’s Spirit, looking like a dove, come down on him. Along with the Spirit, a voice: “You are my Son, chosen and marked by my love, pride of my life.”


February 25th, 2024

Happy Jesus Day!

Prayer Of A Weary Heart!

God I pray with a weary heart.  Weary of this world, and the ways of your children.  Seeing so much hate and wondering why so many struggle with loving others.  I ask that just like Peter, you give me the wisdom to keep my eyes on your ways.  I ask that you lift me up to a level of understanding and peace of the world we live in.  Allow me to be in complete union with you.  That we may become one in a intimate and mysterious sense.  I know that you created our souls in the very image of you, so that we could be as one on a deep and incomprehensible level.  You created in me the image of you so that through time we may be intertwined in our relationship.  That through that oneness I may come to see all others as you do.  I may come to see you in each of them, and look past the parts I don’t truly understand.  As with the deep love I have for my wife… I see her soul.  I feel her spirit… and I move as one with her.  So I know that you see me.  Give me the wisdom to see you, your spirit and your soul.  That we may move as one and I may see others as you do.  That through my words and actions your very essence is seen and heard.  I ask that you use me until I am complete. Complete in the image of you and complete in the love of others.  That we may go forth sharing in your love.  

I Love You! Perry

Ephesians 5:15-17;

Wake up from your sleep, Climb out of your coffins; Christ will show you the light! So watch your step. Use your head. Make the most of every chance you get. These are desperate times! Don’t live carelessly, unthinkingly. Make sure you understand what the Master wants.

James 3:17;

Real wisdom, God’s wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterized by getting along with others. It is gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings, not hot one day and cold the next, not two-faced. You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor.

1 Corinthians 1:5;

Every time I think of you—and I think of you often!—I thank God for your lives of free and open access to God, given by Jesus. There’s no end to what has happened in you—it’s beyond speech, beyond knowledge. The evidence of Christ has been clearly verified in your lives.

1 Corinthians 6:16-20;

There’s more to sex than mere skin on skin. Sex is as much spiritual mystery as physical fact. As written in Scripture, “The two become one.” Since we want to become spiritually one with the Master, we must not pursue the kind of sex that avoids commitment and intimacy, leaving us more lonely than ever—the kind of sex that can never “become one.” There is a sense in which sexual sins are different from all others. In sexual sin we violate the sacredness of our own bodies, these bodies that were made for God-given and God-modeled love, for “becoming one” with another. Or didn’t you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? Don’t you see that you can’t live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body.

1 John 4:11-13; 

My dear, dear friends, if God loved us like this, we certainly ought to love each other. No one has seen God, ever. But if we love one another, God dwells deeply within us, and his love becomes complete in us—perfect love! This is how we know we’re living steadily and deeply in him, and he in us: He’s given us life from his life, from his very own Spirit. 

John 17:20-23;

I’m praying not only for them

But also for those who will believe in me

Because of them and their witness about me.

The goal is for all of them to become one heart and mind—

Just as you, Father, are in me and I in you,

So they might be one heart and mind with us.

Then the world might believe that you, in fact, sent me.

The same glory you gave me, I gave them,

So they’ll be as unified and together as we are—

I in them and you in me.

Then they’ll be mature in this oneness,

And give the godless world evidence

That you’ve sent me and loved them

In the same way you’ve loved me.

Galatians 2:20;

So I quit being a “law man” so that I could be God’s man. Christ’s life showed me how, and enabled me to do it. I identified myself completely with him. Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ. My ego is no longer central.


February 18th, 2024

Happy Jesus Day!

Love And Happiness!

All my adult life I can’t pass a homeless person on the street and not help.  It’s not just money they desire, but many times it’s wanting someone to care.  Truly homeless, down trodden people, care more about being noticed, than they do about money.  Money is helpful, but if you take the time to talk to them it brightens their day. In Hebrews Paul talked of entertaining angels!  You can not know, and will not know, if one is so. Love of God, and of humanity, are not two separate things. As if one could love God but shun humanity. Compassionate action reflects, and mirrors, the divine image. Love is not an emotion or obligation but is God present in the soul.  I witness so many people who profess Christianity, and yet shun the very people who are looking for shelter and refuse from their troubled lives.  Who among them could be angels?  Who among them could be Jesus?  Was Jesus not a refugee at the age of two to escape sure death?  Everyday I work with people who work hard, ask for nothing other than a paycheck.  They are the most productive people I know, and they love their families just as i do. I help anyway I can, but as it turns out all they want is to be given a job.  Love and happiness does not live in a secure society or bigger houses.  It doesn’t live somewhere else.  It lives in us.  God simply asks that we give it away to ALL his children.  Hebrews 13:2

I Love You!

Perry

Matthew 5:42;

If someone drags you into court and sues for the shirt off your back, giftwrap your best coat and make a present of it. And if someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously.

John 13:34-35;

“Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.”

1 John 3:16-20;

This is how we’ve come to understand and experience love: Christ sacrificed his life for us. This is why we ought to live sacrificially for our fellow believers, and not just be out for ourselves. If you see some brother or sister in need and have the means to do something about it but turn a cold shoulder and do nothing, what happens to God’s love? It disappears. And you made it disappear.

When We Practice Real Love

My dear children, let’s not just talk about love; let’s practice real love. This is the only way we’ll know we’re living truly, living in God’s reality. It’s also the way to shut down debilitating self-criticism, even when there is something to it. For God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves.

Matthew 25: 37-40;

“Then those ‘sheep’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?’ Then the King will say, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.’

1 John 4:16;

Everyone who confesses that Jesus is God’s Son participates continuously in an intimate relationship with God. We know it so well, we’ve embraced it heart and soul, this love that comes from God.

Galatians 6:9-10;

So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith.

1 Peter 4:8

Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything. Be quick to give a meal to the hungry, a bed to the homeless—cheerfully. Be generous with the different things God gave you, passing them around so all get in on it: if words, let it be God’s words; if help, let it be God’s hearty help. That way, God’s bright presence will be evident in everything through Jesus, and he’ll get all the credit as the One mighty in everything—encores to the end of time. Oh, yes!


February 11h, 2024

Happy Jesus Day!

God + Relationship

Our conversation was about growing spiritually. So many are caught between how they were raised, and the truth of knowing a God beyond that. I hear people say “the bible does not change”! The words don’t change, but our understanding should. Hopefully, we live, grow, and study in an effort to look beyond the words.  Only by growing mentally… and spiritually… each day, do we truly live.  So many accept the role of their raising as the answer to everything.  I myself was raised in the Church of Christ.  I have a deep love for that religion and its people, but as I matured my heart and mind knew there had to be more. People I talk to were raised in so many different religions. Many who send me notes are looking to a relationship with our Father that is beyond their childhood teaching. Why do we as people, believe the teaching of our tribe… and then believe it to be a sin to question it?  Humans as a species, are not attracted to change. We like things the way we like things. And yet the first words out of Jesus’ mouth tell us that he came for change: “Repent,”—translated change your mind—“for the kingdom of heaven has come near”. Change for the sake of change is not always good.  However, do not question your relationship with God because it is what your ancestors did, and is not what God wants of us. God wants relationship! NOT RELIGION! Look beyond the words on the page and listen with your heart.  Matthew 3:2; His message was simple and austere, like his desert surroundings: “Change your life. God’s kingdom is here.”

I Love You! 

Perry

2 Timothy 2:21;

In a well-furnished kitchen there are not only crystal goblets and silver platters, but waste cans and compost buckets—some containers used to serve fine meals, others to take out the garbage. Become the kind of container God can use to present any and every kind of gift to his guests for their blessing.

James 4:7-10;

So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him make himself scarce. Say a quiet yes to God and he’ll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field. Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over. Get serious, really serious. Get down on your knees before the Master; it’s the only way you’ll get on your feet.

Colossians 2:8-10;

Watch out for people who try to dazzle you with big words and intellectual double-talk. They want to drag you off into endless arguments that never amount to anything. They spread their ideas through the empty traditions of human beings and the empty superstitions of spirit beings. But that’s not the way of Christ. Everything of God gets expressed in him, so you can see and hear him clearly. You don’t need a telescope, a microscope, or a horoscope to realize the fullness of Christ, and the emptiness of the universe without him. When you come to him, that fullness comes together for you, too. His power extends over everything.

2 Peter 3:17-18;

But you, friends, are well-warned. Be on guard lest you lose your footing and get swept off your feet by these lawless and loose-talking teachers. Grow in grace and understanding of our Master and Savior, Jesus Christ. Glory to the Master, now and forever! Yes!

Colossians 1:9-12; 

Be assured that from the first day we heard of you, we haven’t stopped praying for you, asking God to give you wise minds and spirits attuned to his will, and so acquire a thorough understanding of the ways in which God works. We pray that you’ll live well for the Master, making him proud of you as you work hard in his orchard. As you learn more and more how God works, you will learn how to do your work. We pray that you’ll have the strength to stick it out over the long haul—not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the glory-strength God gives. It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that he has for us.

2 Peter 1:5-9;

So don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others. With these qualities active and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet, no day will pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus. Without these qualities you can’t see what’s right before you, oblivious that your old sinful life has been wiped off the books.

Ephesians 4:15-16;

No prolonged infancies among us, please. We’ll not tolerate babes in the woods, small children who are easy prey for predators. God wants us to grow up, to know the whole truth and tell it in love—like Christ in everything. We take our lead from Christ, who is the source of everything we do. He keeps us in step with each other. His very breath and blood flow through us, nourishing us so that we will grow up healthy in God, robust in love.

3 John 1:11;

Friend, don’t go along with evil. Model the good. The person who does good does God’s work. The person who does evil falsifies God, doesn’t know the first thing about God.

James 2:26

The very moment you separate body and spirit, you end up with a corpse. Separate faith and works and you get the same thing: a corpse.


February 4th, 2024

Happy Jesus Day!

The Bible – Sword or Peace Treaty?

We have taken a set of stories, a group of directions and so many letters and turned them into an idol.  I myself am in love with Gods’ word.  Only to the point that it shows me how to love. I have read it through many times.  Studied it in different translations and spent time even trying to understand the original language it was written in.  As much as I have spent my life studying, I have come to believe it has become many things other than what God intended.  We use it as a sword of judgement to oppress those we don’t understand. We pick and choose which parts of it to believe while dismissing other teachings to suit our needs.  Through out history it has been used to oppress woman, to judge certain behaviors and to degrade many races of people.  Many use their own interpretation to single out people with homosexual lifestyles while looking past other lifestyles with careless regard.

Unless and until we understand the biblical concept of God’s grace, God’s unaccountable love, most of the biblical text cannot be interpreted or tied together in any positive way. Grace, without a doubt, is the key to everything in the Bible. People who have not experienced the radical character of grace will always misinterpret the meaning and direction of scripture. The Bible will become a burden, obligation, and weapon more than a gift.  I have been asked by young people I mentor “who do we listen to? So many interpretations and so many religions”.  My answer.  The Holy Spirit.  She is the only one that truly knows his heart. 

1 John 4:8;

My beloved friends, let us continue to love each other since love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and experiences a relationship with God. The person who refuses to love doesn’t know the first thing about God, because God is love—so you can’t know him if you don’t love. 

Acts 17:29;

One of your poets said it well: ‘We’re the God-created.’ Well, if we are the God-created, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to think we could hire a sculptor to chisel a god out of stone for us, does it?

1 John 5:21;

And we know that the Son of God came so we could recognize and understand the truth of God—what a gift!—and we are living in the Truth itself, in God’s Son, Jesus Christ. This Jesus is both True God and Real Life. Dear children, be on guard against all clever facsimiles.

James 2:10-20;

You do well when you complete the Royal Rule of the Scriptures: “Love others as you love yourself.” But if you play up to these so-called important people, you go against the Rule and stand convicted by it. You can’t pick and choose in these things, specializing in keeping one or two things in God’s law and ignoring others. The same God who said, “Don’t commit adultery,” also said, “Don’t murder.” If you don’t commit adultery but go ahead and murder, do you think your non-adultery will cancel out your murder? No, you’re a murderer, period.

Talk and act like a person expecting to be judged by the Rule that sets us free. For if you refuse to act kindly, you can hardly expect to be treated kindly. Kind mercy wins over harsh judgment every time.

Faith in Action

Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, “Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!” and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you? Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?

I can already hear one of you agreeing by saying, “Sounds good. You take care of the faith department, I’ll handle the works department.”

Not so fast. You can no more show me your works apart from your faith than I can show you my faith apart from my works. Faith and works, works and faith, fit together hand in glove.

Do I hear you professing to believe in the one and only God, but then observe you complacently sitting back as if you had done something wonderful? That’s just great. Demons do that, but what good does it do them? Use your heads! Do you suppose for a minute that you can cut faith and works in two and not end up with a corpse on your hands?

Romans 6:12-14;

That means you must not give sin a vote in the way you conduct your lives. Don’t give it the time of day. Don’t even run little errands that are connected with that old way of life. Throw yourselves wholeheartedly and full-time—remember, you’ve been raised from the dead!—into God’s way of doing things. Sin can’t tell you how to live. After all, you’re not living under that old tyranny any longer. You’re living in the freedom of God.

Ephesians 2:8;

Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role.

Romans 3:23;

The God-setting-things-right that we read about has become Jesus-setting-things-right for us. And not only for us, but for everyone who believes in him. For there is no difference between us and them in this. Since we’ve compiled this long and sorry record as sinners (both us and them) and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us, God did it for us. Out of sheer generosity he put us in right standing with himself. A pure gift. 

John 14:26

“I’m telling you these things while I’m still living with you. The Friend, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send at my request, will make everything plain to you. He will remind you of all the things I have told you. I’m leaving you well and whole. That’s my parting gift to you. Peace. I don’t leave you the way you’re used to being left—feeling abandoned, bereft. So don’t be upset. Don’t be distraught.


January 28th, 2024

Happy Jesus Day!

It’s A Mystery!

As I spoke with him I could tell he was concerned about understanding scripture. There are thousands of interpretations of the bible. “How do we know what or who to believe?  ”Too be unsettled about God, faith, and scripture puts most people in a state of stress.  Because we will never fully understand the bible, or God, we have produced a bad habit of creating God to look like ourselves.  By doing so we have distorted Yahweh. We don’t like feeling uneasy so we interpret scripture and we manufacture a God that fits our mold, and makes us feel comfortable about who we are and what we believe. I have known great men of theology who knew scripture front to back, but don’t truly understand the heart of Jesus. I watch as people argue over their interpretations of verses and dismiss the human factor.  Methodist believe one thing.  Baptist another.  Church of Christ has their traditions and Catholics follow what the Pope says.  The discussions will continue until Jesus comes back, and that’s good.  So many things influence our direction from the people we call our tribe, to the preacher we listen to on Sunday.  Do you think God and his son made it so hard to understand to lead us to discussion?  To lead us to moments of pondering and self awareness?  I think he was leading us to a life of dependency on the indwelling Holy Spirit.  In the end what matters is not how right we get it.  What matters is how much we love.

I Love You!

Perry

Romans 8:5-6;

Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life. Those who trust God’s action in them find that God’s Spirit is in them—living and breathing God! Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life. Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what he is doing.

Romans 8:11-14; 

When God lives and breathes in you (and he does, as surely as he did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life. With his Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ’s!

So don’t you see that we don’t owe this old do-it-yourself life one red cent. There’s nothing in it for us, nothing at all. The best thing to do is give it a decent burial and get on with your new life. God’s Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go!

1 Corinthians 2:14;

The unspiritual self, just as it is by nature, can’t receive the gifts of God’s Spirit. There’s no capacity for them. They seem like so much silliness. Spirit can be known only by spirit—God’s Spirit and our spirits in open communion. Spiritually alive, we have access to everything God’s Spirit is doing, and can’t be judged by unspiritual critics.

Romans 8:9;

But if God himself has taken up residence in your life, you can hardly be thinking more of yourself than of him. Anyone, of course, who has not welcomed this invisible but clearly present God, the Spirit of Christ, won’t know what we’re talking about.

John 14:26;

“I’m telling you these things while I’m still living with you. The Friend, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send at my request, will make everything plain to you. He will remind you of all the things I have told you. I’m leaving you well and whole. That’s my parting gift to you. Peace. I don’t leave you the way you’re used to being left—feeling abandoned, bereft. So don’t be upset. Don’t be distraught.

Romans 8:26-27;

Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.

John 16:7

So let me say it again, this truth: It’s better for you that I leave. If I don’t leave, the Friend won’t come. But if I go, I’ll send him to you.


January 21st, 2024

Happy Jesus Day!

It’s Not About The Chocolate!

In the movie Wonka’s mother had written: “It’s not the chocolate that matters.  It’s who you share it with”.  So it is, with the love of Christ. The point in the gospels is not that Jesus can work miracles. It is not for us to be astounded that Jesus can turn five loaves and two fish into enough for five thousand. That is amazing, but what Jesus does is feed people’s immediate needs, which is even more amazing. He doesn’t talk to them about spiritual things, or churchy things. He doesn’t point a finger and tell them how wrong they are. He doesn’t give a sermon about going to church. He doesn’t tell us what we are supposed to be upset about. He knows that we can’t talk about spiritual things until we take away people’s immediate emotional needs. When so much of the world is living at a mere survival level, how can we possibly talk about spiritual things?  The important thing God wants us to do is to create a community of compassion where people care about one another. It’s not the feeding that matters, it is mostly the caring. Jesus never once talked about attending church services, but he talked constantly about loving others regardless of lifestyle. That is what it means to be a follower of Jesus.  Being like Jesus is about loving others and not preaching about how we think they are wrong. It is not about having all the answers.  It’s about loving the people. Colossians 3:12

I Love YOU!

Perry


1 Peter 4:10;

Be generous with the different things God gave you, passing them around so all get in on it: if words, let it be God’s words; if help, let it be God’s hearty help. That way, God’s bright presence will be evident in everything through Jesus, and he’ll get all the credit as the One mighty in everything—encores to the end of time. Oh, yes!

1 John 3:17;

This is how we’ve come to understand and experience love: Christ sacrificed his life for us. This is why we ought to live sacrificially for our fellow believers, and not just be out for ourselves. If you see some brother or sister in need and have the means to do something about it but turn a cold shoulder and do nothing, what happens to God’s love? It disappears. And you made it disappear.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4;

All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. We have plenty of hard times that come from following the Messiah, but no more so than the good times of his healing comfort—we get a full measure of that, too.

1 Thessalonians 5:11;

So speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you’ll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind. I know you’re already doing this; just keep on doing it.

Romans 15:5;

God wants the combination of his steady, constant calling and warm, personal counsel in Scripture to come to characterize us, keeping us alert for whatever he will do next. May our dependably steady and warmly personal God develop maturity in you so that you get along with each other as well as Jesus gets along with us all. Then we’ll be a choir—not our voices only, but our very lives singing in harmony in a stunning anthem to the God and Father of our Master Jesus!

Galatians 6:1-3;

Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day’s out. Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ’s law. If you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived.

Colossians 3:12-17

So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.

Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.


January 14th, 2024

Happy Jesus Day!

Watch Your Heart Change!

My heart weighs heavy.  My emotions run high. Tears fill my eyes and pour down my cheeks.  This question fills my mind… invades my heart.  WHY DO WE HAVE ENEMIES?  For many years I lived a life of judgement.  Judging others based on lifestyles…  As Christ has filled my heart to the brink, new insight has taken over my life.  The question that haunts my heart is: “Why do we consider anyone that differs from us our enemy?”  What gives us the right to believe that our way, our beliefs, our morals are right, and those of our enemies are wrong.  There was a day when I looked at those with tattoos and those with piercings as morally wrong. I considered those with lifestyles different than mine morally wrong.  I thought of some sins worse than others and considered my sin not as bad as theirs.  Now I look upon everyone with love and understanding.  Knowing that my life should not be the moral compass that is used to judge others.  My oneness with Christ allows me to look at others, thru his eyes.  Knowing that because we are different doesn’t mean they are wrong.  Those that crucified our Savior, most of us would consider to be an enemy. Christ however loved and forgave them and looked upon them as Gods’ children worthy of his salvation.  I have put aside the desire to point fingers.  Instead I try to open arms.  Who did Christ dislike the most?  The pharisees who spent their days with fingers pointed. Put down your finger and open your arms. Then watch your heart change.   

I Love You! Perry

Hebrews 12:14;

Work at getting along with each other and with God. Otherwise you’ll never get so much as a glimpse of God. Make sure no one gets left out of God’s generosity. Keep a sharp eye out for weeds of bitter discontent. A thistle or two gone to seed can ruin a whole garden in no time. 

Romans 16:1-4;

Be sure to welcome our friend Phoebe in the way of the Master, with all the generous hospitality we Christians are famous for. I heartily endorse both her and her work. She’s a key representative of the church at Cenchrea. Help her out in whatever she asks. She deserves anything you can do for her. She’s helped many a person, including me.

Say hello to Priscilla and Aquila, who have worked hand in hand with me in serving Jesus. They once put their lives on the line for me. And I’m not the only one grateful to them. All the non-Jewish gatherings of believers also owe them plenty, to say nothing of the church that meets in their house.

Galatians 1:10-12;

Do you think I speak this strongly in order to manipulate crowds? Or court favor with God? Or get popular applause? If my goal was popularity, I wouldn’t bother being Christ’s slave. Know this—I am most emphatic here, friends—this great Message I delivered to you is not mere human optimism. I didn’t receive it through the traditions, and I wasn’t taught it in some school. I got it straight from God, received the Message directly from Jesus Christ.

Matthew 5:43-47;

“You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the supple moves of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that.

Luke 6:35;

“I tell you, love your enemies. Help and give without expecting a return. You’ll never—I promise—regret it. Live out this God-created identity the way our Father lives toward us, generously and graciously, even when we’re at our worst. Our Father is kind; you be kind.

Proverbs 18:2; 

Fools care nothing for thoughtful discourse; all they do is run off at the mouth.

Romans 15:7

So reach out and welcome one another to God’s glory. Jesus did it; now you do it! Jesus, staying true to God’s purposes, reached out in a special way to the Jewish insiders so that the old ancestral promises would come true for them.


January 7th, 2024

Happy Jesus Day!

Look! See The Love!

Come with me… and you’ll be… in a world of pure love.  If you want to see paradise simply look around and view it. If you want to change the world, there’s nothing to it.  There is no life I know to compare with pure love. Living there you’ll be free, if you truly wish to be.   It’s all around us.  Surrounding us.  Moving thru us.  It speaks to everyone, but only a few can hear it.  Only a few can feel it.  Only a few can understand it. Our world is filled with wonder… with awe… with unimaginable love… you can simply choose to see it.  A friend paid me one the greatest compliments I could have ever received.  Her comment was: “with you everything is an adventure”.  In a world of so much negativity…  So much hatred… So much narcissism… I choose to see love.   I choose to see the glass as half full, not half empty.  When you ask me how I am I will tell you “terrific”.  On other days I am “wonderful”. When you choose to live in a world, filled with the pure love of Christ, the possibilities are endless.  I long to teach it to others.  To show it to those that see the glass as half empty.  It’s not about wealth, health or status.  Its about a way of life that allows you to see and feel Christ in everything. To see him in each person no matter who they are. Anything you want to do you can.  You simply have to want it bad enough.  LISTEN! LOOK! SEE THE LOVE?

I Love YOU!

Perry


John 1:9;

The Life-Light was the real thing: Every person entering Life he brings into Light.

Matthew 5:8; 

“You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.

Romans 1:19-20;

But the basic reality of God is plain enough. Open your eyes and there it is! By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can’t see: eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of his divine being. So nobody has a good excuse. What happened was this: People knew God perfectly well, but when they didn’t treat him like God, refusing to worship him, they trivialized themselves into silliness and confusion so that there was neither sense nor direction left in their lives.

Matthew 6:25-26;

“If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don’t fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds.”

Acts 2:17;

When the time comes, I’ll pour out my Spirit On those who serve me, men and women both, and they’ll prophesy. I’ll set wonders in the sky above and signs on the earth below,

2 Peter 1:3; 

Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately, the One who invited us to God. The best invitation we ever received! We were also given absolutely terrific promises to pass on to you—your tickets to participation in the life of God after you turned your back on a world corrupted by lust.

1 Timothy 1:5

The whole point of what we’re urging is simply love—love uncontaminated by self-interest and counterfeit faith, a life open to God. Those who fail to keep to this point soon wander off into dead ends of gossip. They set themselves up as experts on religious issues, but haven’t the remotest idea of what they’re holding forth with such imposing eloquence.