Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Volcano

A volcano is often noted for its massive explosions and its hot, destructive lava flows. But a volcano is just a small exposed area where we humans can see a tiny percentage of the huge amount of magma below our feet. And its destructive nature pales in comparison to its role in providing the land that we walk on and the formation of new islands and lands.

So the destructive nature of God is so often focused upon, but it is such a small percentage of His actions. His creative powers are often forgotten, because our eyes are so focused on the few times that God has displayed His destructive powers. But there around us, and inside of us, are examples of His creative and loving nature.

If only we would open our eyes.

Monday, January 28, 2008

The Big Boy and the Toddler

Many of my posts are stories that are completely made up, but I saw something this weekend that I feel is just as much a parable, but which actually happened.

My son, who is 2 years old, was walking down the hallway after Sunday School. A bigger boy, probably 10 or 11 years old, walked out of his Sunday School class and nearly bumped into my son. Realizing this, the big boy wanted to be friendly to my son saying, "Sorry. Oh, hi there. Did you have fun in Sunday School?"

My son looked up at him with huge eyes, not exactly sure what to say. So the bigger boy said, "Hey watch this." He then proceeded to blow a bubble with some bubble gum. When it popped, my son laughed hysterically. So the big boy did it again. My son laughed again.

It was then clear that my son wanted to say something to the big boy, but being as he is just starting to put full sentences together and has not grasped the art of conversation, he struggled for a moment to come up with something really good. Finally he said, "I had breaksist!" (his word for breakfast)

The big boy clearly misunderstand what my son had said, because he replied, "Cool! You're in karate?" (I began laughing)

Frustrated, my son said, "No!" He then started rubbing his tummy and said, "Waffle and nanny!" (banana)

The big boy definitely didn't understand this, and he had grown bored, so he said, "Okay, well, bye," and wandered off.

To me, it was a funny story to tell my wife and some of my friends at church. But then I realized that this was a perfect parable about our prayer life. God looks down on us and thinks, "How cute my little ones are," and He has given us all the things in this world to please and entertain us. But we don't really understand Him, or how to communicate properly with Him. So we pray, but our prayers are often just as nonsensical as saying, "I had breaksist!"

He understands what we are saying, but we don't aren't mature enough to understand His full plan, so we communicate the best we can. Our prayers are self centered. They are about the things we are concerned with, which may not be what God is concerned with. And when He doesn't answer the way we want, we get frustrated, and try to explain again, as if He is the one who misunderstood. But we are just to young and naive to grasp the Lord's masterplan. And so we toddlers are left a little bit confused, but still in awe of the Big Boy.

The Short Sea Wall

A man lived in a city near the sea. He noticed one day that the sea was raising, so he built a wall one brick high. The next month, he noticed that the sea had raised to the point that it nearly came over the brick, so this time he added three. A few months after that, he saw that the sea was as high as his wall, so this time he added five bricks. A year later, the sea was ready to overcome his short wall, so he laid down on his lawn to die.

A friend saw him laying there and said, "What are you doing?"

"I have built up this wall to protect my home from the sea, but the sea continues to rise, and it is futile to fight it, so I have decided to lay down and die."

"That is ridiculous!" his friend cried. "Your wall is not even two feet tall! If you are so lazy as to be unwilling to protect your home better than this, you never deserved your home in the first place."

So those who are willing to give up their faith at the first sign of challenge never had faith to begin with. A person of great faith will use truth, belief, and reason to protect righteousness. You were not called to be blind followers, nor were you called to be argumentative. You were called to follow the Lord.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Cornhole: The Movie

I know this is totally out of character for my typical postings, but I had to put it up because it's awesome. My friend, Kent Bernhard, produced this movie, and they are trying to get a distributor lined up right now. Here's the link. It's called Cornhole: The Movie.

Yes, I know what everyone thinks about when they think about the word "cornhole" but it's not about that (thought I'm sure the joke comes up many times...including at least once in the trailert). It's a mockumentary about a professional beanbag throwing tournament. It was done on a low budget, but it is going to be awesome.

Anyway, I know it's out of line with my usual posts, but since I just got back from vacation, I had to post it ASAP.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Red Outfit

A father and his daughter went to the shopping mall. The father told his daughter, "You may have three new outfits."

As they walked through the mall, the daughter saw so many outfits that she wanted. She quickly picked out three that she liked, but before they made it to the counter to purchase the outfits, she saw three others that she liked.

"Dad," she said, "can I please have these three outfits too?"

"No," her father said. "You can only have three."

The girl hung two of the outfits back up but held onto one, looking at it carefully.

"If I can't have all six, can I have four?" she asked, holding up the one outfit. "I really like this red one.

"If you really like it, keep the red outfit and get rid of one of your first selections."

The daughter debated for a moment and then hung up the red outfit. They went to the counter and paid for the three outfits.

Although the girl enjoyed wearing all three of the outfits, she often wondered if she would have preferred the red outfit over all of them.

So it is with the gifts God has given us. We want to be blessed with all of the spiritual gifts and talents God has to bestow, but no one can possess everything. God allows us to choose the gifts we want by the choices we make in life. But often we find ourselves wondering what life might have been like had we chosen a different gift.

But as it is said in Matthew 6:27 "Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?" Take what the Lord has given and be glad for the gift.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Little House

A group of people were hiking through the mountains. The snow was blowing, the wind was howling, and the group was wondering when and where they would be able to sleep.

Suddenly, they came upon a little house. Its windows were glowing brightly with the flickering light of a warm fire. Smoke rose from the chimney and the smell of good food came from the place.

As the group approached, the door was thrown open and the man who owned the house said, "Come in, come in. It is so cold out tonight. There is plenty of space in my house for all of you. And I have plenty of food for all to eat. All I ask is that you be respectful of me and of one another. Come in and enjoy the warmth!"

A few members of the group rushed to the man crying, "Thank you! We are hungry and tired, and we are so glad to see you."

But most of the group remained outside yelling at the man. "Rules?!" they yelled. "You don't get to tell us the rules in your house! We will do whatever we want to do." Then they spat insults at the man.

"What are you doing?" their friends asked them. "Come inside with us. Don't insult this man who is showing such hospitality. It's cold and dark out here. Come inside with us."

But the rest of the group sat down in the snow in protest. So the man ushered in the few who wanted his hospitality, then closed the door behind him. And though he left it unlocked should anyone want to enter, not one of that arrogant group got up to join their friends.

His yoke is easy, and his burden is light. What is the harm in joining him? Consider the consequences of rejecting him.

Sorry About a Lack of Posts

It's been almost a week since my last post, and I have no excuse other than that I have been busy. However, next week I'm out of town on vacation. Although I am very excited, I will not have my computer so all I can do is write down parables as I enjoy the warmth down south and get out of Kansas City's frigid weather for awhile.

I will be back, and I'll try to get some posts up before I leave, but I just want you to know that I haven't dropped off the face of the planet.

Friday, January 11, 2008

The Snowflake

A snowflake drifted down from the sky. "Let me be a blessing to the world," the snowflake thought to itself.

It landed on a mountaintop where it was buried underneath several feet of snow. "I cannot be a blessing here," the snowflake thought.

Then as summer approached, the snow began to melt, and the snowflake turned into a drop of water that seeped down the mountain, into a stream, which fed into a river, which roared through the land, before becoming a small stream leading into the desert.

As the snowflake, which was now a single drop of water finally ended up in a small, murky pool in the desert, it said to itself, "Now I can never be a blessing. I am destined to dry up and disappear."

At that moment, a man stumbled across the arid wasteland, dehydrated and suffering. Upon seeing the tiny pool, he lay down and lapped up every single drop of water. Then he stood up, restored, and walked towards the Galilee and his destiny as the savior for all mankind.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Watering the Flowers

A woman had a pot of flowers placed in good soil that she kept in her house. On a regular basis she watered them, but it was never quite enough. The flower was always just a bit dry, but it did not die.

The woman's daughter noticed this and finally could not stop herself from saying something.

"Mother, you are not giving those flowers enough water," she said. "Just a little more and it would be perfect."

"No," her mother replied. "I know I am supposed to give it a little more water, but I like to leave it always thirsty for more. God does the same for me. He gives me enough of Himself to be nearly filled, but I am always wanting more. In this way, I continue to grow upwards, always reaching for Him, but never quite there."

Then the woman looked up and noticed her daughter in tears.

"What's wrong?" the mother asked.

"I am so dry," the daughter replied.

"Then come and be watered."

Monday, January 7, 2008

The Bible in Rhyme Website

Okay, so I've been working on a project for nearly 2 years now that I call The Bible in Rhyme. It is what it sounds like. I have been working to turn the Bible into a rhyming poem. In early December I finished my rough draft, and a few days later, my brother's agent said she'd take a look at it. (My brother is the author of a suspense series of books, and you can see his website here:

Today I found out that she is still considering it. Now, that doesn't mean anything, but the fact that she is still interested is a good sign, and I hope that if she doesn't take it, she will open some doors for me into the Christian book market.

So I knew I needed to get a website up for The Bible in Rhyme, so I have been working on that at night for a few days now. If you have a chance, please take a look. And feel free to leave me a comment here or send me an email at the site. The site is

I look forward to your feedback. (It's hard to do this and talk up your project but still remain humble in the Lord, so any help you can provide is appreciated!)

Sunday, January 6, 2008

The Atheist and the Believer

The atheist said to the believer, "Why should I believe in God?"

"So that you do not go to Hell."

"What a selfish answer! Is your faith so weak that you only believe so you can avoid punishment?" the atheist replied.

"No, but yours is," the believer responded. "When a child is young, you tell him not to do something or he will get in trouble. But when that child is older, he understands that it was to protect him and others. Your faith is young. And God understands that you need to grow into it before you can understand God's complexity. But to start, just believe in Him. For whatever reason. More will come when you are ready."

Saturday, January 5, 2008

The Inmates in Solitary Confinement

A convicted felon was in prison for a violent crime. A fight broke out between the felon and another inmate. The warden came and said, "Throw them both into solitary confinement for three days. Keep these two away from one another."

It was a horrible three days for both men. However, as soon as the two men were out of solitary confinement, immediately upon seeing one another they began fighting again. After the fight was broken up, the warden went to the men and said, "It seems you both like solitary confinement. So this time you'll each be in for seven days."

The men were placed in solitary confinement again. The seven days were even worse than they had imagined. At the end of the seven days, the two men were placed back in the prison with the other inmates. Once again, they immediately began fighting each other.

When the fight was broken up, the warden came and said, "If you two like fighting so much, why don't you both go sit in the same solitary confinement cell together. And you can fight all you want for the next three days!"

So the men were placed in the same cell together. When the three days were over, both men emerged laughing and joking. The three days had flown by because they had not been alone. And after three days together in that situation, the two men had become extremely good friends.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

The Wayward Wife

A husband and wife threw a dinner party. The house was crowded with their friends. But the wife began gossiping about her husband. She cursed him, calling him names amongst their friends.

When he realized what she was doing, the husband pulled her aside and said, "What are you doing? Not only are you embarrassing me, you are bringing disgrace to yourself. Are you drunk?"

"I'm sorry," she said.

"I forgive you. Now don't do it again."

But not five minutes had passed before she was gossiping about her husband again. She began to get drunk and the things she said were disgusting lies.

Again the man pulled his wife aside, saying, "Stop it! I already told you this. You are bringing shame upon both of us."

"I'm sorry," she said.

"I forgive you. But I will not forgive you a third time."

So she went back to the dinner party, but was soon inviting other men up to her bedroom, seducing them and sleeping with them. Having had enough, the husband took her roughly by the arm and threw her out of the house naked into the dark.

So the Lord will forgive you many times, but if you continue to disparage His name, cast drunken lies about Him, or lie down with false gods He will treat you as the wronged husband must treat his wayward wife. For He loves you, and will be embarrassed for and by you many times before He rejects you, but do not test the Lord, for when He acts it will be swift and it will be fair and just.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

The Wicked King and His Slave

A wicked king whipped a hardened criminal, and few took notice of his action. However, when the king whipped his righteous slave for a trivial matter, all who witnessed it marked the injustice and remembered it in their hearts.

A few years passed, and the people, tired of his tyranny, rose up and overthrew the king, placing him into prison. Remembering the good slave, they went to him and made him a duke of a land.

Later, these same men saw the new duke, who had once been a slave himself, whipping one of his own slaves over a minor fault, they immediately seized him, threw him into chains, and put him in the deepest and darkest of prisons.

“Why did you do this to me?” he asked.

“Because we saw you when you were oppressed, and we freed you. Here you are doing the same thing that your wicked master was doing.”

“But this was only one act of injustice. My master was far more cruel than I have ever been.”

“But you lived under his tyranny,” they told him. “You above all others should have understood the mercy that was shown to you. And you should have sought to show mercy to others every day of your life. But because you ignored the gift you received, and chose to use your new power to repress your former brothers, you will be treated worse than the tyrant.”

So the Lord has given you a gift of salvation from the wickedness of your former life. But if you choose to use this gift as a seat from which to judge others and cause others pain, then not only will salvation be stripped from you, but you will be treated worse than if you had lived every day in wickedness, never having known salvation in the first place.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

The Myth of Disorganized Religion

Men complain about the ills of organized religion. But what person wants to live in a city, a state, a province, or country without government? And who plays a sport without a set of rules? Do not businesses conduct themselves with contracts to lay out the responsibilities of all involved?

A man said to his friend, "I love God, but I do not love His religion. I will worship in complete anarchy."

"Very well," his friend replied. "How will you do this?"

"I will pray to Him everyday," the man said, "but I will not go to church. I will honor Him in all that I do by living a good and honest life. And I will try to spread this to others, so that they too abandon organized religion for the freedom of my type of worship."

"I see," said his friend. "So you have told me where you will worship...anywhere but church. You have told me how you will praying to God each day and living a good and honest life. And you have stated that you will evangelize your type of worship to others. How is this not organized religion?"

Humans find meaning in laying down rules. Even atheists set rules for themselves on what they will not believe, how they will not worship, and how they will evangelize their message to others. Such an organized religion against God not only mocks them secretly, but their rules bind them to godlessness in a way that saddens the Lord.

Organized religion has not caused the ills of history. Misguided men and women following their wicked leaders blindly have caused these things. Do you want to prevent mankind's atrocities? Then question your leaders, doubt those who call for blood in the name of God, and think! But do not turn from the Lord, for that is a sure path to darkness.