Monday, April 18, 2011

Terry's blog has moved.        

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Power of a Whisper

I know it has been a really long time since I lasted wrote on my blog.  I just felt like I needed some time off from writing to refocus on God.  I'm gonna let God lead my thoughts... 

A whisper can be very powerful.  We whisper things when we want people to really listen closely.  I know that God has used the whisper to speak to me and I'm sure He was done the same for you. I’ve tried many times to listen for the whispers of God in my life and in my ministry. I didn’t do it well enough in the beginning, but as I learned to listen for God’s prompting, I must say, he hasn’t let me down yet. That isn’t to say that at times what he told me was easy. No, there have been many times when it was difficult to hear what God was prompting me to do. In the end, the rewards have far outweighed the tough times. And why not put my whole life in God’s hands? Why not trust him fully? “I challenge you to give him full clearance to lead your life, every area of your life, until the point that he proves himself untrustworthy.” Those were the words of a friend of mine who said that to me at a point in my ministry when I was doubting things. God’s whispers can even come from people who are around you. And there will be times when a certain number of whispers that come our way will drive us to our knees and stretch our faith, but so be it. I enjoy hearing people’s stories of God’s whispers in their life. I love know that God is speaking and we, all of us, need to lean in and really listen.  He is talking...are we listening?  What is your whisper story?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

God Longs for More

I've been told to read a book called "Crazy Love".  So I saw the book in a bookstore and opened it up to see what it was about.  This is what I read..."To just read the Bible, attend church, and avoid "big" sins- is this passionate, wholehearted love for God?"  Yeah, that’s the first quote that I got greeted with when I opened up the book, and it’s not even in the first chapter; it’s in the preface. I very rarely read a preface.  I didn’t think there was ever any good stuff in the preface!
Well, what do you think? Is that all there is? I believe if we are truthful, most of us think that’s all there is to this walk OR, are you like me and feel as though something is wrong? How many of you have read the New Testament and wondered if sometimes we in the church are missing it? I hope I’m not the only one, then I will think I’m really crazy! I believe God longs for more from the church. I think many of us, if we were truthful with ourselves would admit that the church as an establishment could do a better job. There’s a whole generation out there that loves Jesus, but not the church. I get an awful feeling deep down in my stomach when I think of how we are missing out on all that God wants for the people God loved enough to die for. Do you? I don’t know about you but I agree that we need to stop giving people excuses not to believe in God! Another way of putting it is this- let’s be known for what we are for rather than what we are against. We just celebrated the birth of Jesus. He was born into this world to be a humble servant, but Jesus never begs us to give Him some small part of ourselves. He actually commands everything from his followers. So, where do we go from here? Do we adjust how we live daily, or do we stay the same?  I can't wait to dig deeper into the book.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…well sort of.  We are in the season of  Advent. You see, we can’t get to Christmas without getting through Advent. But what’s up with Advent? Why all the waiting? Advent is about anticipating the birth of Christ. It’s about longing, desire, that which is yet to come. That which isn’t here yet. Advent is important to go through. We remember that in Scripture there is a natural rhythm to things. When God created the universe, there was a natural rhythm, and then God rested. Our church calendar is set up to create a natural rhythm. Advent also confronts the corrosion of the heart with the insistence that God has not abandoned the world, hope is real and something is coming. Pastor Rob Bell puts it this way ,  “Advent charges into the temple of cynicism with a whip of hope, overturning the tables of despair, driving out the priests of that jaded cult, announcing there’s a new day and it’s not like the one that came before it.” Advent’s purpose is to open us up, to soften us up, and to turn our hearts in the direction of the coming day. And so we wait for that day when the baby cries His first cry . And we, surrounded by shepherds and angels and everybody in between, celebrate that sound in time that brings our Spirits what we’ve been longing for.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Running on Empty

Before technology in vehicles, you had to guess how many miles you had left when the gas gauge was low. Today, we have the luxury to look at the dashboard and see what the computer estimates is left. Knowing that is a good thing. It helps you from running out of gas. How do we know if we are running on empty? Often times we don’t know until it is too late. One of my favorite songs is “Everlasting God”. It’s a song that is based on a passage from Isaiah 40 that reads, “The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.”

Many times we try to see how far we can get, unintentionally, without spending quality one on one time with God. Our egos get in the way of the ever- present Holy Spirit that is beckoning our attention. Many of us try to get through the whole week with just spending one hour on a Sunday morning with God and filling up as much as we can during that hour`. Meanwhile, we remain on cruise control. We try to fill our tank with everything but what is necessary to function: fellowship with friends, insightful books, worshipful music and “drive-by” encounters with God are all things we look for and try to do. While these are all positive activities, they are not sufficient enough for sustained spiritual growth.

In the book of James, we find where our dependence, our source of strength, should come from. We need to be completely, solely dependent upon Him. He is our strength, our fuel. Subjecting ourselves to Him, our motives and our desires to His, leaves us full and confident to continue our journey.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

You Can Do It...He Will Help

I saw this shirt the other week. It was a bright orange shirt that looked like a billboard for the Home Depot. Actually, it looked just like the Home Depot sign. Instead of reading, “Home Depot” it read “Holy Spirit”. For years, the Home Depot has had the slogan, “You can do it, we can help.” Well on this shirt it says, “You can do it. He can help.” And it is true, you CAN do it! Whatever it is. Too often we limit the potential of the Holy Spirit by saying things like, “Oh I can’t do that.” We face resistance and we sometimes give up. But there is a voice that tells you, “I believe God is at work in you!” What would happen if we let go of our need to control? What would happen if we truly relied on the power of the Holy Spirit? What would happen if we truly believed God is at work in us? What would happen to us? What would happen to our churches?  We know what it is like.  We go to a conference, hear other speakers, read about new ideas only to have them squashed by other people. “Oh there’s no way we could ever do that,” some would say. “Oh people won't like that," others would say.  “But we’re Lutheran,” comes the response. So!?!   Why limit what we can do? Why limit the power of the Holy Spirit? Because when we do, we end up declining or happy with "status quo".  We end up being half disciples only producing half of our potential. Because here is the truth found in Scripture- Jesus promises a coming Advocate (The Holy Spirit) and that Advocate is present with us. God has given us a God sized vision and we can’t let the present realities overshadow the possibilities of tomorrow. You CAN do it, and he WILL help!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Show It to One Another

God is doing amazing things. It’s hard sometimes to stop and realize what God’s Spirit is actually accomplishing in our lives. Too often we focus on the negative and let others drag us down. The culture in which we live in always tells us, “It’s not enough.” But when is it ever enough? If we stop and think about it, the more we gain and acquire, the more we demand. Dallas Willard, Professor in the School of Philosophy at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, once said in an interview, “We are designed to be creators and initiators, not just receivers.” What do you have to celebrate? How is God’s Spirit moving in your life? If you need a reminder, read the book of Philippians. Paul reminds this community in this letter about the encouragement, comfort, tenderness, and compassion they enjoyed in their relationship with Christ, and then directed them to show that to one another. I, like Paul, celebrate the good things that God is doing in the lives of others, and am blessed to see others blessed by God.