One Thing Remains


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So, I was praying this morning. I love saying that. It makes me feel great knowing that I took some time in my Secret Place (Matthew 6:6) with my Creator. I wish I did so much more than I do.

Toward the end of my time with Him, I asked Him exactly what He wanted to say to Livingston First Assembly on Sunday. He gave me a scripture that I pulled up on my computer to research when I was finished. That in and of itself was awesome and amazing, but that’s not “the rest of the story”.

I had a song in my mind all morning and even from yesterday. I had thought about searching it on Spotify and it was the song listed on my iPod to play next, but I decided just to let things play on Spotify and not try to fabricate an emotion or experience because of a particular song. I’m not big on emotionalism in worship and prayer. I want real, and I know that doesn’t always happen because of emotions. I felt like God was being very clear to me on so many levels today so I was loving that just conversational connection with my Father, My Savior, and the Holy Spirit. I sometimes deny my emotions so as not to falsify an experience or have it be all about me. I had even turned the music all the way down so I wasn’t distracted Pokies.

I decided to turn the music back up and just worship for a little while before continuing my study. Within seconds the song One Thing Remains(the song I had been wanting to play all morning)  started to play on Spotify. I couldn’t deny any emotions after that. It was like God was saying that He wanted to bless me and communicate with me on every level today. He has a way of enveloping me in His love. I felt this morning like He was wrapping me up and holding me. It was awesome. He explained to me that He wanted a very real relationship with me too, but this real relationship will be on every level if I will allow it to be.  You have to go listen to the song to understand just what God was trying to say.

I can’t shut Him out on certain levels and expect that He will talk to me just on His terms. I think we do this with God a lot. I think we do it with each other too. I don’t have any complete answers and I don’t know if I can build any huge spiritual teachings out of this, but I know He spoke to me.

I don’t always share super personal times like this, but I just kinda felt like it today. Celebrate with me that God takes time to speak to the least of us. Truly humbled this morning.


My thoughts on James 1:11  This is only the beginning of what one verse can truly mean.  Scripture is so powerful.  I reference James 1:9-11.  Open your Bible and read it first.

He who dies with the most toys, still dies.  I remember seeing the bumper sticker he who dies with the most toys wins.   What do they win?  They still have the same fate to face as the person who died with not one luxury.  In the end the things we have don’t matter.  Only a screwed up individual would ask for his 75″ tv at his death bed.  Life happens and death happens.  Only what’s done in the spiritual will last beyond the dash.

They rich man and the poor man are equalized by their trials (MacArthur).  The trials that we are to rejoice in are what erase the distance between the rich man and the poor man.  I love the word picture of graceful countenance.  I can picture a garden drying up and becoming colorless.  That’s how we need to see our stuff.  It’s nice for now, but there is no need for it in our relationship with God.  I like how the meanings of the word take you from the larger picture to the individual picture.  The garden/field/grass/plants will  dry up.  The blossom with it’s graceful countenance will fall off and die.  We can’t just think of this as meant for someone else.  The wording is a direct challenge to each of us individually.  How do we set our priorities?  We need to count our trials as joy, because they get deeper than what’s on the surface and remind us that before God we are all the same.  Before God our wealth and success don’t matter.  It’s not like when we stand before God all that stuff will be in boxes and suitcases ready to be brought up to our new mansion.  None of it goes with us.

I have this picture of me standing before God with these strings attached to the back of me.  To my head and back and legs.  It’s hard to move closer to Him because all these things weigh me back and pull on me, but the can’t come beyond that invisible  separation between Earth and Heaven.  So I’m standing there and these things are pulling me backward instead of me moving closer to God.  I need God to cut these tethers so I can move into Heaven.  I can literally feel the scripture that it is harder for a rich man to enter the kingdom then a camel through the eye of the needle.  I don’t want to wait until I’m standing before God to have these tethers cut off of me.  God, please cut them now.  Please help me release them and rejoice in my trials because they help me stand before you with humility and honesty.  God, I can’t find glory in what I gain on this earth.  It’s all just wind (Ecclesiastes).  I can’t hold on to it anymore than I can to the wind.  God, please un-tether me today, so I can fall forward on my face in your presence rather than being pulled back into the world.

Losing my mind…along with a bunch of other things.

So, I misplace things very often.  I think, like most people, that almost every day I have to sit back and say, “Now where did I put that…?”  Maybe I’m the only one.  If so, then I’ll make a ton of money somehow by using this unique quirk of mine.

Lately, though, I’ve not been able to find certain things as quickly.  Here are some contributing factors.

  • We’ve moved from a 3 bedroom house to a 2 bedroom apt. (with the tiniest kitchen on earth)
  • We’ve moved…boxes, boxes, boxes
  • I’m without a permanent type office so I pack up and carry everything with me almost everywhere I go
  • Constantly changing schedule has killed routine…healthy routine.
  • The “I have no clue!!!!” triangle…  It’s a lot like the Bermuda Triangle in the fact that there is just a whole lot of mystery involved.
  • Traveling and not having time to organize
Today I actually was mad and frustrated.  I remember using my iPod and my headphones (for my phone) but I can’t for the life of me figure out where they are.  It’s a tiny apartment, they can’t be too many places.  I FEEL LIKE I’M LOSING MY MIND!!!  It’s driving me crazy.   I have torn the place apart and even tried organizing things, but to no avail.
I think there may be just way too many things going on in my brain.  Fundraising, lack of fundraising, calendar events, speaking engagements, travelling, trying to stay healthy(but not feeling it), and most importantly my walk with God and my relationship with Lindsay.  It’s probably a good thing we don’t have kids yet, I can’t imagine that phone call…Sorry, Linds, I just don’t know where I put them; have you checked your backpack?
I know there is an end in sight, I just can’t see that far.  We haven’t gotten many new supporters lately and feel like I’m spinning my wheels a lot.  This economy has made it tough for people and that kinda maintains a monopoly on my thoughts.  I don’t know how many, “God will provide” comments this might get…and I know He will, but right now I am hoping for some victories soon.  Even a small one, like finding my iPod and headphones, or a huge one like Chris being healed would be awesome right now.
As far as budget goes, I have a lot more calling to do.  I have been able to help a few students since I’ve been up here, but I so desperately desire to get out there and do that full time.  I’m ready to start strategically planning how to bring hope to this young generation and be done fundraising.  There are so many students that need a different choice and they just can’t see that choice because no one has told them it’s there.  God please send people to send me to those students.  Please help me get there before they give up.


Something from Nothing

So, in my head I have this scenario.  I’m picturing a group of intelligent and commonsensical adults sitting outside on the back patio playing card or just roasting some marshmallows for s’mores.  I can almost hear the conversation as they each talk about their jobs and their kids and whatever else comes to mind.  They are all talking about how the Patriots were able to outgun the Giants in Super Bowl XLVI and how it was cool to see Brady set 3 records and Welker, Gronk and Ocho Cinco all get a record number of touchdowns and receptions.  (Hey, this scenario is in my head, so give me a break)

These people are all sharing stories about life and talking about their beliefs.  Have you ever done that?  Have you ever just hung out with people that you enjoy talking to and relaxing with?  I love that feeling.  I love those long days when you can relax without any worries or without any uneasiness.

Now picture that group of adults, remember they’re intelligent and commonsensical, hear an explosion of sorts and seeing smoke coming from inside the house.  First thing in their minds, “The kids are inside!”  They get up to run to the house, but the kids Buy Viagra come out covered with who knows what and all frazzled.  Once the parents have ensured the children haven’t been hurt, they proceed to figure out which child should get the punishment.

Now, all of this is pretty easy to imagine, right?  Now, here is what the kids say.  They claim that they did nothing to cause the explosion.  As they were sitting in the living room watching Monsters Inc. there appeared this ball of something that seemed to just grow and then exploded.  They did nothing, it just happened.

The parents are ready to call the papers right?  Of course not.  The parents will never believe that all of the sudden this explosion just happened in the living room and the kids had nothing to do with it.  It didn’t even come from the wall or tv, but just from the middle of the room.  The parents will punish all the kids for lying.  Remember, they are intelligent and not lacking in common sense and there is no way this just happened.

Now this same group of intelligent and full of sense people in their conversation before the “explosion without reason”, were talking about the origin of life.  Hmmmm….???  Maybe they should punish their science teachers for lying.

Last Post of the Year

Wow, what a year!!!  2011 was so full of changes, both good and hard.  I feel like we should all take a quick minute ot pause and count our blessings from this past year.  I know that sometimes it seems like the terrible and sad things far outweigh the blessings; but in a world where we are not even promised our next breath, every breath is a blessing.  I’m thinking about that even more today as I remember the fire in our apartment building from a couple days ago.

Don’t get me wrong.  This is not a story of us crawling across the floor in smoke filled rooms testing door knobs with the back of our hands and doing our best to encourage each other to prevail while dragging the few belongings we were able to lay our hands on.  It is much less specatcular, which makes it almost that much more sobering.  We were watching TV and about to go to bed when we heard an alarm going off.  It took a couple seconds to realize that this was for real and not just someones TV or something.  We picked up our coats and headed outside to see what was going on.  I even took time to lock the door behind us.  Everything seemed very, normal.

We got outside and people were already starting to gather.  Within a couple minutes the Fire Department was there.  Lindsay said I sounded rude as people were asking if we needed to leave our apartments.  My answers of, “Well, it IS a fire alarm”, and “Your call, but the Fire Department IS here.” probably weren’t the nicest responses.  Can you just hear the sarcasm?  As we stood there for about 45 minutes I realized that there was nothing outstanding about everything that was around us.  There were fire fighters in our building with hoses and stuff, but overall there was nothing fantastic about it. Everything looked Cialis very normal.  Somehow, that seemed to scare me even more.  Now, at that moment I wasn’t very scared, but the more I’ve thought about it I’ve grown increasingly…well, realistic.  Everything was normal, but there was a tragedy going on somewhere.  That somewhere just happened to be the building I was living in.  It was so close to home.  So, now I’m thinking about things very realistically.

What if the occupants hadn’t returned when they did?  What if the fire had found a quicker burning atmosphere?  What if the fire department was much slower?  So, now I have a choice.  What do I do with this?  I can let it go and ignore it so that things go back the way they were.  I can take action and purchase insurance and a fire safe.  I can move because wiring in the walls isn’t supposed to just catch fire.  I think for now the insurance and safe are the options that are the most realistic.
I thought about everything that could have gone terribly wrong that night, but in the end, I was standing outside with my arm around my wife, talking to my neighbors.  God had spared us and them and given us a chance to continue to live for Him in 2012.  As I look forward I can even count those bad and tough times as blessings that will teach me to grow and accomplish greater things for The Kingdom.  God has a plan for my future.  God has a plan for Lindsay’s future.  We stand on our blessings, our failures, and our dreams for the future as we move forward into this New Year.

Happy New Year.  May God Bless you.  May you allow Him to turn your failures and hard times into even greater blessings than you can imagine.  May you be blessed far greater than you ever have been before and may wisdom and love fill your home.

HAPPY 2012!!!

A Very Family Christmas

I’ve been thinking a lot about my Heavenly Father.  There’s a lot to wrap your mind around there.  I know that He has given us parents here on earth that are representative of His love and caring for us.  How do I know that?  Well, I guess it just has always been my thought.  If someone has Biblical reason why I’m right or wrong, I’d love to hear it…I can’t do that study now, because I’m still inching my way through James.  The only scripture I can think of off the top of my head is where Christ says in Luke 11:11-13 “…how much more will your Father in Heaven…”  That’s all I can think of where there is a comparison to earthly parenthood and Heavenly Parenthood.

The more I think about my earthly parents and the legacy they’ve given to me the more I wonder at the way God has set up everything.  The fact that now I’m an “heir of God and joint heir with Christ” seems almost incredulous.  This time of year is so full of memories and emotions for so many people.  I think of all the things my family has done for Christmas and Thanksgiving  over the years and the memories I have of my father reading the Christmas story from the Bible before we pray and then share gifts with each other and the times around the table with my brothers and sisters and family.  I remember those things more than any gift I was ever given.  In fact, so many gifts I’ve received over the years are either no longer in use or taken for granted by now.  Unfortunately, some of those memories and relationships are taken for granted at times too.

We are called the family of God and, like I said, I can’t help but compare that to the Family on earth that God has given me.  As I look back at the years of being a part of God’s family, I can see times and memories and moments and remember and still feel the same emotions from those times.  I don’t remember so much all the individual times He has provided or helped as much as I just know His overall protection and provision and grace and mercy.  Sometimes I take those things for granted.  Sometimes I forget those gifts He has given me and treat them as if they weren’t bought at a price or as if I now have a special claim or ownership of them.

I know that if I have kids someday and they get all spoiled rotten for a moment and take a video game controller away and say, “Mine!” that I’ll have the attitude some have.  I’ll say, “Um, who paid for it?” and I’ll take it back and probably spank them or send them to their room.  I’m glad God doesn’t do that.  What does He do though?  If I get an attitude about forgiveness that expects it even when I’ve intentionally missed the mark, what is His response to that?  Being a part of God’s family is an honor and a privilege, not a right.  People who treat it as a right are so ignorant.  The problem is, we all do that at some point.  I’m not going to try to combat the idea or theology of Eternal Security or anything, but we are adopted into Christ’s family and even on this earth, when someone is adopted they can (well even some who aren’t adopted) remove themselves legally from their family.  It’s a choice that has to be made, but it doesn’t mean we were never a part of that family.  We can remove ourselves from the family of God too.  We can choose to take ourselves away from any claim to the inheritance and birthright of that Family.   Hebrews warns us multiple times to be careful not to drift away.  Anyway, I’ve digressed.

Christmas is coming and we need to take a look at our families.  We need to figure out if we are taking any of them for granted or worse, intentionally ignoring and mistreating them.  We also need to look at our relationship to God and to the Family we’ve been adopted into.  Are we taking any of our brothers and sisters in Christ for granted?  Do we need to make some things right?  Do we need to talk to our Heavenly Father and make things right with Him?  I know that I must search my heart daily to make sure that I don’t take His blessings and my loved ones for granted.

Father, please search me and know my heart?  Show me where I’ve placed myself higher than You or higher than any one else.   Please help me to push down my own selfish desires and be an example of Your love to those close to me and anyone who is watching.  Thank you.  I love you. Amen.

James 1:8

James 1:8

NASB –  being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

NIV- he is a double–minded man, unstable in all he does.

ESV- he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

Original Language

NASB – using  Strong’s Concordance

being a double-minded- G1374 δίψυχος dipsuchos dip’-soo-khos From G1364 and G5590; two spirited, that is, vacillating (in opinion or purpose):—double minded.

man, – G435 ἀνήρ anēr an’-ayr A primary word (compare G444); a man (properly as an individual male):—fellow, husband, man, sir.

unstable – G182 ἀκατάστατος akatastatos ak-at-as’-tat-os From G1 (as a negative particle) and a derivative of G2525; inconstant:—unstable.

in all – G3956 πᾶς pas pas Including all the forms of declension; apparently a primary word; all, any, every, the whole:—all (manner of, means) alway (-s), any (one), X daily, + ever, every (one, way), as many as, + no (-thing), X throughly, whatsoever, whole, whosoever.

his ways. – G3598 ὁδός hodos hod-os’ Apparently a primary word; a road; by implication a progress (the route, act or distance); figuratively a mode or means:—journey, (high-) way.

This verse makes me think about my college time.  Theater, Biblical Studies, Missions, Criminal Justice; Evangel, SAGU, Evangel…still have 2 classes left.  That’s where I was.  I was double minded.  I vacillated back and forth so much that it cost me years and relationships and has, up until I finish, cost me my degree.  I doubted God and His plan for me.  In reality, I just didn’t spend any time with Him gaining wisdom.  I never asked for it properly.  I asked in a very non committal type of way; “God, what should I do?’ and then did whatever I wanted to anyway.  I didn’t listen to His wisdom.  I bounced around so much.  I’m very happy with where I am now, and I wouldn’t trade it, but I truly wish I wouldn’t have had to go through all that I did in order to get here.

I was definitely double minded, of two spirits.  I was inconsistent and unsteady at every decision.  I preferred to have others make my decisions for me so that I didn’t have to bear any of the responsibility.  How weak?  I asked for wisdom, but I didn’t follow it.  I chased many other things hoping to just land in God’s will eventually.  How gracious and merciful He has been to me.  God, I have spent years forming terrible habits of laziness and dodging responsibility.  Please help me to seek out Your wisdom and follow through with it.  I need Your strength to obey and follow Your Wisdom.  Thank you, God.

James 1:2

Consider it all joy,  my brethren, when you encounter various trials,

Strong’s Greek Dictionary

Consider G2233 ἡγέομαι hēgeomai; from G71; to lead, suppose:—chief (1), consider (3), considered (2), considering (1), count (4), counted (1), esteem (1), governor (1), leader (1), leaders (3), leading (1), led (1), regard (5), regarded (1), Ruler (1), thought (2).

it all G3956 πᾶς pas; a prim. word; all, every:—all (731), all the things (7), all…things (1), all kinds (1), all men (14), all
people (4), all respects (3), all things (126), all *(1), always *(3), any (16), any at all (1), anyone (3), anything (3), anything *(1), continually *(6), entire (4), every (128), every form (1), every kind (9), every respect (1), every way (2), everyone (71), everyone’s (1), everyone *(1), everything (45), forever *(1), full (2), great (2), no *(15), none *(1), nothing (1), nothing *(1), one (4), perfectly (1), quite (1), whatever (3), whatever *(1), whoever (7), whole (18).

joy, G5479 χαρά chara; from G5463; joy, delight:—greatly (1), joy (54), joyful (1), joyfully (1), joyously (1), rejoicing (1).

my brethren, G80 ἀδελφός adelphos ad-el-fos’ From G1 (as a connective particle) and δελφύς delphus (the womb); a brother (literally or figuratively) near or remote (much like [H1]):—brother.

when G3752 ὅταν hotan hot’-an From G3753 and G302; whenever (implying hypothesis or more or less uncertainty); also causative (conjugationally) inasmuch as:—as long (soon) as, that, + till, when (-soever), while.

you encounter G4045 περιπίπτω peripiptō; from G4012 and G4098; to fall around:—encounter
(1), fell among (1), striking (1).G4012 περί peri; a prim. prep.; about, concerning, around (denotes place, cause or subject):—about (103), about *(1), against (4), all around (1), around (12), around *(1), because (2), behalf (4), case *(1), cause *(1), circumstances *(1), companions *(1), concerning (48), condition *(1), connection (2), followers *(1), help (1), neighborhood (1), over (1), over…about (1), refers (1), regard (3), regarding (4), vicinity (1).G4098 πίπτω piptō; from a redupl. of the prim. root πετ- pet-; to fall:—beat down (1), fail (1), fails (1), fall (15), fall down (2), fallen (8), falling (3), falls (8), fell (46), fell down (6).

various G4164 ποικίλος poikilos poy-kee’-los Of uncertain derivation; motley, that is, various in character:—divers, manifold.

trials G3986 πειρασμός peirasmos; from G3985; an experiment, a trial, temptation:—temptation (12), testing (2), G3985 πειράζω peirazō; from G3984; to make proof of, to attempt, test, tempt:—did (1), put (1), put to the test (2), tempt (2), tempted (13), tempter (2), test (6), tested (2), testing (7), tried (2), trying (2).trial (3), trials (4).G3984 πεῖρα peira; a prim. word; a trial, an experiment:—attempted *(1), experienced *(1).

This idea seems very strange.  Looking at the original language for this verse just seems to shout, duh, can I be any clearer?   brothers and sisters, count it, check it off, know it to be a delight, a joyful thing, something to rejoice about whenever, every time, you fall into, are surrounded by, stumble upon, various, all sorts of, motley, and many trials, temptations, testings, proving
grounds.  I know James goes on to say why we should do this, but just the idea of this has to be grasped before we can
understand the why.  Every time we are in trial, we are to count it as a good thing to rejoice about.  We complain about getting out of bed and that’s not the hardest trial we will face for the day.  Some days it seems like it is, but there are so many things out there that we can stumble into, or light upon that instead of complaining and worrying and getting overwhelmed, we should rejoice about them.  That is a very difficult concept to wrap my mind around.

Dennis Whaley.  Teena said that he never wished a moment of a day away.  He never said that he wished this day or week or hour was over so he could move on to the next.  He lived each moment as a moment that God had placed him in for a purpose.  He was an amazing example of purpose.  He lived with purpose and vision.  I miss him dearly.  His example will always challenge me to find and live out God’s purpose for me.  That is how I can count every moment, trial or not, as a thing to rejoice about.  He was my adopted father while I was away at school, but my Dad is a lot like that too.

Dad may not say as much, but he literally just keeps going no matter what.  I’ve only seen him get frustrated to the point of anger maybe a couple times.  He just keeps working toward the goal in front of him.  He laughs all the time and loves being around his family and friends.  He doesn’t let a long drive or hard work or even annoyances distract him from his purpose.  I’ve worked on cars with him and when I would get mad and frustrated and want to (and sometimes actually do it) throw the wrench or screwdriver he would just keep going. Every time a bolt that we were struggling with would break loose he says, “Praise the Lord.”  He just never gives up and gives God the praise for victory.

I guess if we look at every day as a day with purpose and desire to fulfill that purpose then we can count the trials we face as part of what is necessary for that end.  The trials are a joyful thing, because the end of them gets us closer to achieving the purpose God has for us.  I’ve just jumped into verse 3, so I’ll be done for today and continue tomorrow.

God, please help me see the purpose in my life.  Doing your best TODAY is the best way to plan for your future. Knowing that God will guide you and direct you TODAY means that when TOMORROW becomes TODAY He’ll do it again.  That gives TODAY purpose.  God, I love you and pray that I will have your strength when I light upon and am surrounded by trials and temptations.  I need you today.  You are my strength and in my weakness you are strong.  Father, you are the Potter and I am your clay, please make me into what you want me to be.  Thank you.

In the name of Jesus, amen.


So, you wouldn’t think it, but coming up with something to say on a regular basis has proven harder for me than I thought.  I’m pretty certain that people who know me well are now astonished and amazed.  I will say that Lindsay and I got a chance to go to The Big House the other day.  It was a very interesting/historical day.  Supposedly it’s the first time a Michigan Football game has ever been rained out.  The day started out very hot and uncomfortable.  The rain took away some of the heat, but then we were still uncomfortably wet.  The actualy game time was very cool to watch.  I’ve only ever seen HS or Evangel football from the stands.  It was pretty neat on the 50 yd line.  When I visited UT Austin I was down on the field by the end zone so it was a completely different experience.

Lane change.  As I spend my days connecting with people and seeking monthly support and finding churches that are willing to let me come speak, I find myself getting so focused on activity that I miss out on some solitudinal time with God.  God is the one who gave the call, so I need to get His input every step of the way.  I definitely don’t want to get too busy doing what I think should be done just to spin my wheels in what He wants to see me accomplish.  It’s like stopping and praying with that kid in Wal-Mart the other day.  I saw him at the mall later in the week and was able to talk to him a bit.  He said things were going much better.  Now, maybe I can build a relationship that allows me to speak into his life more.  He works at the mall so I should run into him from time to time.  I’m glad I listened that day, but have I missed other opportunities.  Yes, of course I have.  We all have.  I find that I miss more opportunity to minister when I miss the time where God can minister to me.  The worst is finding opportunity and knowing I would have more to give if I had taken the time myself to refuel in the morning.  Somehow God always comes through, but how nice would it have been to give something fresh.  When I spend the time in the morning to get something fresh from God, it always tastes better throughout the day when I have the chance to share it.  So, all of this being said…I’m going to go be alone for awhile.  God bless you today.

Excerpt from one of my daily Bible studies – James 1:1


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I reread this today and was convicted and challenged again. I love when scripture does that to us.

James 1:1 James, a bond-servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes who are dispersed abroad: Greetings.

James was the brother of Jesus the Christ. At the same time he called himself the Servant (δοῦλος; doulos)a slave (literally or figuratively, involuntarily or voluntarily; frequently therefore in a qualified sense of subjection or subservience):—bond (-man), servant. of Jesus. The word means slave.
From: δέω deō deh’-o A primary verb; to bind (in various applications, literally or figuratively):—bind, be in bonds, knit, tie, wind.
James was bound to his brother as a slave.

The English definition of Slave is ”
1: a person held in servitude as the chattel of another
2: one that is completely subservient to a dominating influence
3: a device (as the printer of a computer) that is directly responsive to another
4: drudge; toiler
(Merriam Webster online dictionary)

Wow! If James was held in service as if owned by God and Jesus Christ what does that mean? He considered himself owned by his own brother. I would do anything for my brother if he needed it, but it’s not the same as me considering myself a slave to him. I don’t ask his permission to carry out my daily activities, or his blessing. I live my life and he lives his and if he has a need, I can then decide to step in and help. I am definitely not completely subservient to his dominating influence.

Can you imagine if we lived truly subservient to God’s influence in our lives? A dominating influence means that He has more influence than anyone or anything else in my life. Can I say that? Could I write this simple greeting? Jason Forsman, slave to God and to our Lord Jesus Christ… Wow! Just the depth of really being able to say that.

Am I really a device that as soon as God sends the command, He can expect results. If my printer is slow I get frustrated, but how many commands do we as the secondary device completely ignore, or mess up? How many sheets of paper have we shot out that were not clear or splotchy? Have we even been able to get any of them right? Wow! Intense!

What has the dominating influence in my life? Our lives have so many influences. Some we choose and others we can’t choose. When we continue to pile things on it makes us fickle. We never stick to anything because we don’t know what to choose. There are so many options. There are people pleasers who never want to say, “No.” to anyone so in the end they end up wearing out or going back and forth so much that they find themselves in situations where they can’t please anyone because they are spread so thin. If we were able to truly give God dominance in every situation and decision we may at times have to say, “No.” to people we used to try to please all the time. Wow!

A slave to God. Some would say the hardest part about obedience to God is hearing His voice. I think the hardest part is not in hearing, but in not ignoring. We hear His voice and His prompting all the time. The issue is we so often choose to drown it out with all the other things and people of this life. God, please help me hear and be obedient as one who is your slave, without hesitation.

James as the slave of God and Jesus Christ writes to the 12 tribes who are scattered in the dispersion. Israelites around the world are the audience. διασπορά diaspora dee-as-por-ah’ From G1289; dispersion, that is, (specifically and concretely) the (converted) Israelites resident in Gentile countries:—(which are) scattered (abroad). (Strong’s)
G1289 διασπείρω diaspeirō dee-as-pi’-ro From G1223 and G4687; to sow throughout, that is, (figuratively) distribute in foreign lands:—scatter abroad.(Strong’s)

Not sure if he meant the Christian Jews who had gone out missionally or who had been scattered by force and persecution. Historically it was scattered by persecution, but I believe some went out by choice too. This letter is for Christians though. This is not for people who don’t know God, but for people who have made a decision to be slaves to Him. To these people he simply starts by saying, “Greetings.”G5463 χαίρω chairō khah’ee-ro A primary verb; to be full of “cheer”, that is, calmly happy or well off; impersonal especially as a salutation (on meeting or parting), be well:—farewell, be glad, God speed, greeting, hail, joy (-fully), rejoice. (Strong’s)