Are You Looking For a McFish Messiah?

fishThe death of our parakeet “Pete” marked one of the most traumatic events of my childhood. You can tell that my childhood wasn’t that traumatic, huh?

Pete was probably smarter than me at the time. He could say a few words and when you let him out of the cage he would fly to your shoulder when you clapped your hands.

He even tried to feed us, by placing birdseed in our ear. Come to think of it, maybe he wasn’t that smart. At least he knew that humans took nourishment through one of the holes in their head.

He was just a bit confused about which one.

Sometimes, when mama decided it was time for one of us to be spanked he would even dive-bomb her to try to protect whichever little bandit had aroused her ire.

I liked that bird. Continue reading

Dog Attitudes … Cat Attitudes … Your Attitudes


Pastor Jeff Henderson highlighted the difference between dogs and cats. “A dog looks at you and thinks, ‘You feed me, protect me, and house me. You must be God.’ A cat looks at you and thinks, ‘You feed me, protect me, and house me. I must be God.’”

One of our problems today is that cats dominate nearly everywhere. Our favorite song is: “Me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me.” I’ve become the reference point for everything. The world revolves around me and my happiness. Continue reading

Gift of Dreams

The young man entered hesitantly into the throne room and fell on his face before the Glorious One seated there. His heart filled with worship and praise and overflowed with love.

Suddenly, he felt the presence of someone lifting him up, then hugging him close. “I love you so much,” the young man responded. “What can I give you Lord Jesus? I don’t have money or possessions but I want you to know how much I love you.”

God responded, “You have one thing, that thing that’s most precious to you—your dreams! That’s the gift that I ask for.”

The young man stepped away in surprise and looked up into that loving face. He wanted to give everything. But his dreams? They were worth more than millions of dollars to him. All he hoped to accomplish. The person he hoped to marry. The place in life he hoped to attain.

His dreams? How could he give that?

Ah, his dreams. He accomplished great things in them. He’s admired by others in them. And yes, he made money in his dreams. They filled him with joy and hope, even when the present seemed monotone or painful.

Could he turn his, “what I’m going to be and what I’m going to do,” over to God?

“Lord, I’ll have absolutely nothing left for myself! My dreams are me!”

“Would you give them to me?” the voice echoed in his soul. “Do you love me that much?”

The young man hesitated. A fear gripped him. “If I give them to God, He might command me to do something I don’t want to. My life would be miserable. But …” and he looked again into that face …

And with tears, he began to pull them out, one by one. They weren’t stored in his pockets but somewhere in his chest. “Lord, here’s my ‘accomplishing great things in my profession.’ And, and…” he hesitated. “And here’s the ‘person I’ll marry dream.’ You may as well have the ‘plenty of money’ dream too and the ‘being admired by everyone’ vision.”

He took them all out and one by one handed them to the Lord. It was one of the hardest things he ever did but one of the sweetest things. Hot tears anointed his gift.

“Lord, I love you even more than I love my dreams. Take my life …”

Flash forward nearly forty years. The young man is sixty now. It would be nice to say that God had taken his dreams and given them back to him and now he was president of the world, admired by all, with tons and tons of money.

It isn’t exactly like that. He never stopped dreaming; he simply tried to let God dream through him. In some areas those dreams had come true beyond his wildest imagination. Most of them, though, were still in front of him and he wonders if he’ll ever see them accomplished.

No regrets though. Not one single one. He would rather feel a bit unfulfilled trying to reach God’s dream for him, than to be tremendously fulfilled by attaining his own tiny dreams. Every life touched, even a little was worth millions to him.

By the way, the fellow’s name was David. Still is.

“The word of the LORD came to me, saying, Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart …  (Jeremiah 1: 4, 5)

Have you dared to give God your dreams?

“It is easier to serve God without a vision, easier to work for God without a call, because then you are not bothered by what God requires; common sense is your guide, veneered over with Christian sentiment. You will be more prosperous and successful, more leisure-hearted, if you never realize the call of God. But if once you receive a commission from Jesus Christ, the memory of what God wants will always come like a goad; you will no longer be able to work for Him on the common-sense basis.” Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

Spider War !

The other night I went into our bedroom and found an enormous spider lurking on the ceiling over our bed. This monster must have measured at least eight feet long and he was nearly as wide as he was long. His nasty fangs dripped venom and his eyes lusted with the desire to jump on me and rip my jugular vein from my body and feed it to his nasty baby spiders.

Okay, I will confess. Maybe he wasn’t that big and maybe that horrible look in his eight eyes was more like a deer caught in the headlights wondering how he was going to escape; but he really was big, as French spiders go. And there is one point in the above story that’s worth mentioning again: he was in my bedroom over my bed. It’s not like he was on the Discovery channel or something. My bedroom over my bed.

This called for action so I grabbed a magazine and with the courage of Tarzan going after a lion, I stepped up on the bed, aimed, swatted … and missed!

He fell onto the bed and scurried under my pillow. Once again the active word here is: “my”!  What to do? If I lifted the pillow and missed my swat, he’d streak off somewhere into the nooks and crannies of the bed and later maybe he would sneak out in the night and sink his hairy fangs into my sleeping neck.

(Just a word of warning to the squeamish, you might want to look away for a paragraph or two. This next part is rated “R” for violence if you’re a spider).

So, I thought quickly and mashed down on my pillow. I squashed and rolled it around to be sure to get him, if he was there. I did it well because when I lifted my pillow, all that was left was a pile of spider.

Of course he had the last laugh because I had spider juice on my pillow and on the sheet on my side of the bed. Actually, I doubt if he laughed because his mouth was probably crooked.

But,  I’ll have to admit, I slept uneasily that night and for a couple of nights afterward, wondering if he had family members lurking somewhere in our bedroom, itching to get revenge.

Why Bop Spiders?

I’m sure some of you are wondering why I killed him. “Oh, he was probably only a harmless Tasmanian Vampire Spider. They look mean but they won’t hurt you. You should have just grabbed him, then released him in the backyard. They’re wonderful for the eco-system.”

Great, next time I see one I’ll call for you. For me there is only one kind of spider. It’s called a “s-p-i-d-e-r” and if it gets close to me it’s dead.

My idea of spiders is similar to a young fellow, whose web name is Bubun who gave his definition of a spider on Yahoo! Answers.

“A spider is not an insect. It is an arachnid, which includes scorpions. All spiders are carnivores. The have fangs that come out of the mouth. Many species use poison to paralyze their victim. They inject the poison and turn the prey into a kind of soup which it sucks with its mouth, and discards the outer husk.”

Need I say more?

If I hadn’t assassinated my spider, bye bye sound sleep. I would have taken the bed apart to get him.

Spider Hunting

I wonder though, if we are as careful to kill dangerous spiders in our spiritual lives. Let me explain.

There are all kinds of venomous beasties that threaten us each day. Lust, pride, selfishness, inordinate desire for things, hatred of certain people or other races. The problem with these eight-legged spiritual enemies is that they hide behind masks.

They look cute, cuddly and desirable.

At work, it’s just flirting games that we play. It’s not serious, though we find ourselves thinking about that person when we’re home in the evening. Our wife (or our husband) sure seems tame compared to the electricity we feel when this other person is around.

“ Just a game, not real, spice in my life … though it’s funny, but I’m hesitant to share what the Lord Jesus has done in my life with my colleagues as long as I’m playing this game.”

And when we get close enough the spider drops his mask. The last thing we see are his venomous fangs sinking into us. Poisonous spider bites take a long time to heal. Some never do.

Others tinker with cheating to get ahead while others offer up family, friends and even their relationship with God to get what they want, only to find an eight-eyed adversary when they arrive.

Our temptations come in all shapes and forms. We swat at them half-heartedly, but honestly they’re so desirable that we often just keep them around to tickle our imagination–without really doing anything mind you.


And then, one day, the mask drops and “pow!” And what you thought you wanted is not nearly as good as what you had, or what you gave up to have the spider.

If you find yourself spider-bitten, why don’t you STOP! right there, ask God’s forgiveness, and quit trying to make an impossible situation work? Repent and get back in God’s plan for your life.

And if you’re playing with spiders, QUIT THAT! Squash them! Have no mercy because behind that mask, there is enough poison to ruin you life.

“The temptation to give in to evil comes from us and only us. We have no one to blame but the leering, seducing flare-up of our own lust. Lust gets pregnant, and has a baby: sin! Sin grows up to adulthood, and becomes a real killer.” (James 1:15, 16, The Message)

” … and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” says the NIV.

It’s time for Christians to declare all-out war against spiders.



“In times of great change the learner inherits the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.”—Eric Hoffer

Three-legged Sacrifices

Check out the audio podcasts on the right of this page.
I nearly offered the Lord a three-legged sacrifice the other day. Let me explain.

My wife and I were in a church in southwest France for services. Saturday morning the program called for a service in a retirement home. I was a bit tired (I was born tired, I suspect) and I was tempted to do some spiritual coasting—take it easy in other words. Don’t sweat it.

After all, I’ve preached for 38 years. If need be I can speak without preparation or provocation and continue on for a long time after you wish I had quit.

So part of me was whispering, “Don’t worry. Be happy. No problem. You don’t have to get so serious because being serious takes energy.” But, you know what? Preaching God’s Word, whether you’re in front of a handful or preaching to thousands of people is much too important to do it half-heartedly.

I decided to give my best.

The people surprised me by their reaction. Many of these brothers and sisters had served the Lord a long time and they prayed powerfully during prayer time. I felt that God wanted me to tell them how important they were to Him and that their earthly life was valuable until they drew their last breath.

We’re on earth to serve Him and He watches over us from the womb of our mother until we enter eternity.

It was a super time with some people who are particularly precious to the Lord. If I had treated the service as unimportant, I would have missed the blessing that the Lord gave me through their lives.

If I hadn’t done my best, I would have been offering a “three-legged sacrifice” to the Lord. Leftovers don’t interest God.

“When you bring blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong? When you sacrifice crippled or diseased animals, is that not wrong? Try offering them to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you?” says the LORD Almighty. “Now implore God to be gracious to us. With such offerings from your hands, will he accept you?”-says the LORD Almighty. (Malachi 1: 8, 9, NIV)

These three-legged sacrifices hobbled up to the altar alongside blind and sick animals. Those people offered that to God, knowing full well that the governor would never have taken those sorry critters in payment for their taxes.

They treasured the best for themselves.

Sleep Or Service—Passion Or Oof!

Have you ever found yourself coasting during prayer and worship at church? Your mouth works by itself while your heart and thoughts fly elsewhere. Does catching catfish inspire you more than getting together with brothers and sisters in Christ? Do you have to wrestle your wallet out of your pocket when the offering plate passes?

Do you do your job for the Lord without enthusiasm because you’ve done it a thousand times and you can do it with your eyes closed? Does your heart sleep during your personal devotions? Do you find yourself more passionate for other things than for God?

God requires the best of His people, because He gave the best of Himself for us. He still does. Lukewarm people are wasting their time at Calvary.

If you’re sleeping in your life for the Lord, I have a word for you …

Wake up! Repent! Be serious and sincere ! Let the Holy Spirit make you alive in Jesus once again so you can serve Him with love and passion.

God has no place for three-legged sacrifices.

Hmmm …
Someone said that at the age of 20 we have the face that nature gives us. At the age of 50, we have the face we deserve.