Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Ok, I’m finally back!

Recently, I attended the Fusion event at Great Lakes Christian College. And one of the worship elements we were challenged to do was to write on various poster boards our answers or reflections on different subjects. One of these subjects focused on your “favorite scripture”. As I read over them was deeply moved by the representation of almost every book in the bible and how you could see a message being sent from the collection of different scriptures. Here a few that caught my eye…

Luke 1:37:
“For nothing is impossible with God.”

Psalm 27:5-10:
For he will conceal me there when troubles come;
He will hide me in his sanctuary.
He will place me out of reach on a high rock.
6 Then I will hold my head high
above my enemies who surround me.
At his sanctuary I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy,
singing and praising the LORD with music.
7 Hear me as I pray, O LORD.
Be merciful and answer me!
8 My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.”
And my heart responds, “LORD, I am coming.”
9 Do not turn your back on me.
Do not reject your servant in anger.
You have always been my helper.
Don’t leave me now; don’t abandon me,
O God of my salvation!
10 Even if my father and mother abandon me,
the LORD will hold me close.

Psalm 22:
1 My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
Why are you so far away when I groan for help?
2 Every day I call to you, my God, but you do not answer.
Every night you hear my voice, but I find no relief.
3 Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.
4 Our ancestors trusted in you, and you rescued them.
5 They cried out to you and were saved. They trusted in you and
6 were never disgraced. But I am a worm and not a man.
I am scorned and despised by all! Everyone who sees me mocks me.
They sneer and shake their heads, saying,8 “Is this the one who relies on the LORD?
Then let the LORD save him! If the LORD loves him so much, let the \
LORD rescue him!”9 Yet you brought me safely from my mother’s womb
and led me to trust you at my mother’s breast.10 I was thrust into your arms at my birth.
You have been my God from the moment I was born.11 Do not stay so far from me,
for trouble is near, and no one else can help me.12 My enemies surround me like
a herd of bulls; fierce bulls of Bashan have hemmed me in!
13 Like lions they open their jaws against me, roaring and tearing into their prey.
14 My life is poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint.
My heart is like wax, melting within me.15 My strength has dried up like sunbaked clay.
My tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth. You have laid me in the dust and left me for dead.
16 My enemies surround me like a pack of dogs; an evil gang closes in on me.
They have pierced my hands and feet.17 I can count all my bones. My enemies stare at me and gloat. 18 They divide my garments among themselves and throw dice for my clothing.
19 O LORD, do not stay far away! You are my strength; come quickly to my aid!
20 Save me from the sword; spare my precious life from these dogs.21 Snatch me from the lion’s jaws and from the horns of these wild oxen. 22 I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters. I will praise you among your assembled people. 23 Praise the LORD, all you who fear him! Honor him, all you descendants of Jacob! Show him reverence, all you descendants of Israel!
24 For he has not ignored or belittled the suffering of the needy. He has not turned his back on them,
but has listened to their cries for help. 25 I will praise you in the great assembly.
I will fulfill my vows in the presence of those who worship you.
26 The poor will eat and be satisfied. All who seek the LORD will praise him.
Their hearts will rejoice with everlasting joy.
27 The whole earth will acknowledge the LORD and return to him.
All the families of the nations will bow down before him.
28 For royal power belongs to the LORD. He rules all the nations.
29 Let the rich of the earth feast and worship. Bow before him, all who are mortal,
all whose lives will end as dust. 30 Our children will also serve him.
Future generations will hear about the wonders of the Lord.
31 His righteous acts will be told to those not yet born.
They will hear about everything he has done.

James 1:19:
“My dear brothers and sisters, be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.”

Hebrews 13:3:
“Don’t forget about those in prison. Suffer with them as though you were there yourself. Share the sorrows of those being mistreated, as though you feel their pain in your own bodies.”

Job 38:11:
I said, “Thus far and no farther will you come. Here your proud waves must stop!”

John 1:2-3:
“He was in the beginning with God. He created everything there is. Nothing exists that He didn’t make.”

Job 13:15:
“The light disturbs the haunts of the wicked, and it stops the arm that is raised in violence.”

1 Peter 5:7:
“Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about what happens to you.”

1 John 4:9:
“God showed us how much He loved us by sending His only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through Him.”

Job 21:21-22:
“For when they are dead, they will not care what happens to their family. But who can teach a lesson to God, the supreme Judge?”

I cannot help but question why these scripture were chosen? What was it that put these scriptures on each person’s radar? Why these scriptures and why now in this present season of life?
Did they encounter their scripture during a time of frustration and adversity? Was it through encounters with other people? Did they find it in the midst of tragedy? Could it have been a simple referral from a friend? Was it in the darkest of corners at the latest possible time? Or was it simply in the small still voice of God in a time of worship?

I don’t know, but the mystery intrigues me. But what I do know is this…as I was looking over the piece of art being used as a tool to honor our God, I found myself being connected to others in the room in a very real way. Some of whom I knew and some who I have yet to meet.

God, through His Word has connected all people for all time. A recent reminder of how I am connected through a spiritual heritage by the obedience of a man named Abraham and a King named Jesus has challenged me to continue this heritage, this ancestry that has been handed to me and includes me without condition. Each time I encounter the Word, I am connected to those who have done the same. We do not have to do our “quite times or study times” at the same time to be united in His Word. God’s Word is sufficient for not only answering life’s questions and struggles, but also sufficient for bringing all of God’s people together.

Today, encounter God in His word and you will be encountering your brothers and sisters also!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


Hebrews 11:3
“By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen.”

Yesterday I finished my personal bible study in the book of Hebrews and I am seeing this book in a different light than before. No surprise here because that is the uniqueness the Word of God brings when you take time to encounter it. God’s Word is applicable any day, any where, any time.

During this study of Hebrews, it became clear to me the power of Jesus’ life in my life. So many times in this book you find the reminder that your faith is not about your effort to have faith, but the willingness of Jesus to provide something of worth to have faith in and then give us the capability to believe.

I love this not because its more “stuff” on faith, but because it sets us with the proper perspective. In my life there have been times in which I have made the effort of “having faith” or even being faithful about myself; my effort, my endeavor, my accomplishment. But faith that comes from not seeing really is about the accomplishment of God. I don’t believe, I would believe in anything or anyone if it wasn’t for the faithfulness and power of God. The things that I put my faith in that I cannot see are believable because of God and His willingness to create such things of worth. I believe or I have faith because God creates purpose in things worth believing. So the ability, the reality, the calling to have faith is once again about God and not about my efforts or convictions.

So today, the rest of this week…when you encounter things that give you hope, things that you believe in with all your heart, thank God for making those things and know they were created for you to believe in!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Then God said, “Let us make people in our image, to be like ourselves…So God created people in His own image; God patterned them after Himself; male and female He created them.”
Genesis 1:26-27


This last weekend some of the area youth ministries gathered at Wolverine Christian Service Camp for a Sr. High Retreat. Our theme was “Rhythm” and we unpacked it by asking 3 questions…
Do you know the song?
Are you in tune with the song?
Can you perform the song?
As I personally experienced this theme and participated in this retreat, I found myself really contemplating these questions. But what captivated me most was the concept that the song of our God is being played all around us. This song does not end and is being played everywhere. Just the reality that we serve a God that is performing for His people and this is born out of a love for us compels me to stop and listen. And not just listen to the song, but embrace this song. Embrace it in such a way as to become one with it knowing the lyrics, the melody, and the overall message. An embracing that places this song in every imaginative location possible…my “computer”, my “iPod”, my pre-set “radio stations”, my heart, and my mind. Zephaniah 3:17 says that Lord sings for His people and that this song is an exaltation over His people. He is excited to offer us a song. According to this scripture, a song born out of love; a love that calms our fears.

Am I in “Rhythm” with my God? Am I listening and even performing the same song as He is? Am I passionate about the very same things as God is? Is my heart breaking over the same things that break the heart of God? Do I invest in the same things and same places as Jesus does?

If not, it is time to get back in Rhythm with God. It is time to go back to basics…listen to the song, learn the song, and have it become your playlist of life once again!!

And if you are in Rhythm with God, then turn the song up as loud as you can and sing it with all you heart, song, mind, and strength!!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

B-day '08

“…put your trust in the Lord Your God, and you will be established.” 2 Chronicles 20:20

"Yesterday I turned 38 years young"
I’m not sure what that means or if there is anything significant about this. But I do know it has been a 38 year Journey of experiencing this thing we call LIFE. This journey has been full of failures, adventures, passions, successes, people, and of course way too much food. It’s ironic that as I write this that there is a song playing on my iTunes (set to shuffle) that played a significant role while I experienced freshman orientation at GLCC in the fall of ‘89. It was a song that captured my attention and really helped me to see that I was not at GLCC by coincidence, but that there was something God-like that would be coming my way very soon. I would never be the same again!

Yesterday I got a b-day call, in the morning, from a very special person in my life, whom God placed in my life via Rock Lake Christian Assembly. God has chosen to keep her in my life and once again as I look on my journey I see the importance of connections in the community we call the Kingdom of God. In fact when I just recently checked my email, I encountered an onslaught of emails, as well as, Facebook and MySpace messages that were from people in my life, both past and present. I was in awe of the love and goofiness that I read and was impacted by. That is a special gift from God…a gift that proves to me the investment in people should never be underestimated nor ignored. People matter. Who matters in your life? Tell them…show them!

Yesterday, I set apart to just simply spend time with God all day. Sounds silly doesn’t? But as I approached my b-day a week away, I decided to take it off and to do something I have not done in a while…spend it with Him entirely. I went to one of our metroparks and did some hiking. Not rough hiking; more like a rugged walk. I chose one of the trails and went for it!. WOW!! The beauty, diversity, and symbolic messages God spoke as I walked, or should I say worshipped, was nothing short of empowering. I saw Him, heard Him, and even sang to Him as I encountered the grace of His creation. Once again another wonderful gift given to me by my Lord & King…

“My thoughts are completely different from yours. And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the Heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”
Isaiah 55:8-9

As I walked many things caught my attention, but one was overwhelming. The trail turns to the right and what I thought was a mistake by me became a special moment. The trail turned and I thought maybe I had lost my way and was in the wrong place, but the trail climbed for a brief moment and then led me to a field or you could call it a “cove” of brush, small & large trees, and bushes. There was no organization to this area. Everything seemed to be randomly placed and there seemed to be minimal tree line to give it shape. But there was a beauty about this random scene. Everything was healthy and seemed to hold its location. It was a peaceful spot. I spent probably 5-7 minutes at this location just soaking it in.

There are times in life when things don’t line up and there seems to be no order. But within this there can be a hidden beauty we often miss because we want structure and order and everything in its proper place. I was reminded at how creative our God is and how random the Kingdom Life can be. But in all of this God is still in control and all of creation is to honor Him no matter where it is placed.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

I'm New I added another blogging site to stay in touch with a number of people in my network.
So I will be blogging here as well as at and myspace at EricJChristian.
“He sustains the universe by the mighty power of His command.”

My personal bible study time has led me to the book of Hebrews. And the timing could not be more precise. In the past 2 months it has been busy, but not necessarily any busier than any other year at this time. But what I have been feeling inside is what makes this season standout. A heaviness or maybe I should say an intensity about this season of life weighs on my heart and mind. It’s busy and there are things to do, but my “To Do List” is not the problem. My heart has been heavy with the hearts of others. It seems that Satan has really targeted MCC this year to distract us, frustrate us, and even defeat us. Lately we have had a swarm of people struggling with health and recent diagnosis. These people are leaders in our ministry and therefore this news and these circumstances are impacting MCC families and our community. Ministry development and planning has been tough and at times exhausting. Leaders are seeking direction as well as trying to lead existing ministries. Many of our people are burdened with financial needs and therefore struggling with doubt and insecurity. Our Youth Ministry who is filled with great kids and willing adults needing direction, time, and investment that seems to only come with a sacrifice from some other part of my life.

It just seems that many people in my network and community of life are hurting and it is impossible as a friend, brother, and partner to remove my self from this. And then I look at my schedule and see upcoming things that are not completed or prepared. And then there is my family. Recently dealing with a virus my daughter had which is fine now, but it was taxing on all accounts. A wife who is fatigued and needs “rest”. A son who looks to me each day to be your teacher, friend, and provider.

And so with all of this I wonder…

And then I am reminder whose life it really is. Who really is in control of my life? Who is it I am living for?

And I read the above section in Hebrews…

Jesus sustains all things. It may not go the way I want it to or would like it to, but it goes according to the commands that come form the mouth of the One who died for me. As I look at everything that needs my management, my leadership, and me…I must trust in the sustainment of my Lord & King. He will not fail me now. He will not leave me now. He will not forsake me now.
He is here. He is at work. And He will complete what He has started!!

Be still and know that I am God…