Mornin’ Juice (Whatever )

this morning during my time in the gym cranking up the ol endorphins through exercise. A young person not too far away sounded like the ol valley girl in her describing a situation that she was quite put out with and as she is finishing up her monologue to her workout partner you hear..’girl I told him to just whatevveeeer…

you know the drawn out, eyes rolling around the skull fourteen times. Hahaha, it seemed there were some words missing however when that word rolled off her tongue for 14 seconds. Meanwhile Im reading Frank Viola’s recent book Insurgent and he is describing the wedding scene in John chapter 2. Most will be familiar with this scene, Jesus and the gang are whoopin’ it up, celebrating the coming together of two of their friends. And the fruits were flowing to the point where they emptied the vats.


Yet Jesus’ mama, Mary, comes to her son, her savior, her Lord and of all people shares the news with Jesus, ….this writing is not to dissect her motive in telling Jesus. However we do get a glimpse from Jesus’ response that he knew his mama wanted him to help her/their friends out of this awkward situation, when he responds “dear woman this is not our problem”

Then here comes the word. Mary, the mother of the resurrected one! Eyeballs the servants and states “Do whatever he tells you”….hahaha I about jumped off sparky (name for the machine that burns those calories) with laughter. Whatevvveeeeer. But this is a different whatever, not a deflective, valley girl way to dismiss the awkward or undesired situation. Mary is letting the gang know, hey look it doesn’t matter what or how he coaches you up, beLIeVE, trust, heck just do it!

And they do!

The wine that came out was top shelf and the party continued. Do you think just a few eyebrows were raised with excitement, with awe when they followed through with the “whatever” Jesus told em to do? Come on, pretend you are one of the servants, you have overheard the murmurs of who this guy from Nazareth is and now here you are with empty wine vessels, you are listening in eavesdropping and your told to go fetch water in the stone containers and start dipping out the contents. I bet under their breath you could hear yea “whatevveeer” dude whatever you say. And as you dip the water into the cups of the guests, you see smell, hear heck maybe even tasted for yourself that this is the best wine you have ever tasted.

What if we followed through with the whatever’s in our life? The whatever’s that are prompted through us by the Holy Spirit? What if we trusted, beLIeVED the source of the one who created us instead of saying yea whatevvveeeer to the whatever He is prompting us to do. Would we too have raised eyebrow, heart pumping moments of amazement in our day to day?

Yea I think so too.


Mornin’ Juice (What if?)

we received one of those Evites from Jesus?

you know the ones where we send it out it’s communicating an upcoming party,  some kind of event.. a time to get together in this one came from Jesus his email  (jesus@godheals.iam)

The Evite states clearly the time and place to come. Invited to his home , at his party place, it’s his room with the rooms he’s prepared for all of us and we’re just gonna have a big freaking bash.  yet most of the evites especially if it’s gathered around food, we are asked to bring something, but Jesus says everything is taken care no need to bring food or drink, instead Jesus asks that we bring a gift.

What?! a gift, yea no other explanation no other hints, just bring a gift. What would you bring? Does your mind immediately go to something material? Or what about a poem., a song.,

wait wait the gift is us. for us to be present in the time we are together., to put down the cell phones., maybe even turn the traditional football games off for a bit and be alive in the conversation.

This time of year for some is just not fun with the family dynamic, totally understand my prayer is that you picture yourself in the room with Jesus as he scoops out the dressin’, carves the turkey, plops out the taters with a splash of gravy all the while present with you and us. He desires to be our joy, our gift and our gift to HIm is you!


Mornin’ Juice (prepare)

Jhn 14:1-3 CSB 1 “Don’t let your heart be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. 2 “In my Father’s house are many rooms; if not, I would have told you. I am going away to prepare a place for you. 3 “If I go away and prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you to myself, so that where I am you may be also.

Words from the mouth of Jesus after washing the feet of his disciples around the table where he would eat his last meal. Words he would speak after letting Peter know that he simon would refuse him, Jesus 3 times before the crowing of the rooster. Words he would speak before coaching them up on how and purpose of the coming of the Holy Spirit ( i will never leave you, I must send you a helper) and

I am preparing a place for you!

don’t we serve you Lord? yet your saying you are preparing.

Wow WOW! The word prepare continues to jump off the page for me. I think the reason this word, this scene continues to pop on my radar is, our family most recently went through months of preparing with Madison, our middle child’s wedding day. Daily conversations, delegating, checking, double checking, then week of the wedding, details that can only be done are scurried about with joy, anticipation, yes frustration when details don’t line up. The time, the thought, the making ready for the day the bride will be received by her bridegroom.

So can we even pathom the details that Jesus is making ready, preparing for us in our room. I mean he told the boys, In my Father’s house are many rooms.

Yet do we ever wonder “how many?” or “what will the room look like?”

Can you picture Jesus snappin’ out some sheets and watching them fall on the bed that you lay to receive rest? Or does He just speak the sheets on the bed? hahaha. Hardwood, Carpet, ceiling fans, TV’s no TV’s surround sound? what in the world will our room look like?

let’s take a moment to allow ourselves to see ourselves with Jesus in our room? What are you chatting about? What is he saying to you?

Allow yourself to go a bit deeper than the rote responses we have learned over our years of churchdom.

Our bridegroom who says that He is coming back to receive jesUS his bride and you are in His presence within (holy spirit) and in body in your room.

Holy Smoly Is that not SCREAMIN’ cool and powerful? YES he is. Pretty sure my room will be way more than i could ever imagine, as he is a God of abundance.

Thanks father for your promise of our security through our yes to Jesus Christ, Lord if there is anyone that is reading this that at times doesn’t believe you have a room for them, i pray that spirit of doubt away, you emptied the tomb to show a tangible way of assurance, your dwelling within is the promise the guarantee. Thank you Lord, until you arrive we will continue to beLIeVE


Mornin Juice (party of the Lamb)

The non-stop talk, discussion, debate, of the mid-term elections and then the upcoming 2020 elections on all screens is off the charts. Not sure if it’s my aging, maturing, but is the world ultra-sensitive these days. we are growing more and more leery of one another, we don’t trust the motive of the other just because of the label that is self-applied or one that is shoved on us by another group who doesn’t like what we are saying or doing. Are we even listening to each other anymore?

the answer I believe is a resounding no.

I have a chance to sit in with various men each Friday morning at a local coffee shop. The gathering is referred to as Koinonia, which means fellowship or communion. It’s a beautiful time as men of all socio-economic background start to mingle at 07:00 am just welcoming each other and chatting about any and everything in life. The group can be anywhere from 4 to 13 each week, and yes some of the faces are the same each week yet the beauty is the randomness of the others that drop in and out each week. There are no denominations, no agendas just Jesus. The leader, Michael Jordan, (no not the basketball player but just as tall) will typically lower the roar of the conversations by letting everyone know which verse we will chew on for the next 30-45 minutes. The discussion is wide open, with varying views of how we hear God rolling through the scriptures. And Michael does a fabulous job of centering everyone back on point when the conversations start to dart down rabbit holes and pig trails.

on this particular day, along with each Friday we meet, we will have areas of our lives where we would like others to pray. As we were about to wrap up, I felt led to ask others to pray for our leaders, of local, regional and national. I expressed how most of the folks in the elected positions are on the same team on a given Sunday or whatever day they worship through Christ, so how cool it would be that if we could after Sunday not put on the donkey or the elephant and live with each other from the higher relationship of Jesus…that all of us could recognize the higher power of Jesus….all were in agreement, and then Donny leaned over to me and said.

hey bivo….it’s the party of the Lamb!

YES YES YES! Donny has flat out nailed this. What if we came together each day under the banner of party of the Lamb….when asked are you conservative, progressive, liberal, and all the other labels, we would say nope I’m with party of the Lamb! dag gum it…IM in….through HIM we can learn to trust the motive of each other’s hearts, it takes time gang to listen and learn to find common ground the strengthens all.

lets rise together under the RISEN LAMB of GOD, Jesus Christ!


Mornin’ Juice (worn out pews)

This morning (July 8, 2018) I had a chance to worship with some friends of ours. It is a smaller setting, one that if you have ever been in and out of worship barns (churches) is one you are familiar with. As you enter the main door you are greeted with two side doors that when opened you see the platform in the front rising a foot or two above the floor, adorned with the pulpit, and to the side crammed into a corner is a place for the keys, drums and guitars to lead the faithful into a place of animated glory! The smells remind me of days of vacation bible school and the visual of the choir loft that housed 20 cherubs was just enough for this day.  The pews were positioned like the seats in a 747 with a center aisle and seats to the left and right.

People filling in with the greetings, hugs, hellos and occasional “who are these people” looks coming at me and my bride, and then to see those same individuals greet us with a huge smile, hug or handshake. We got settled and followed the thumping of the drums, the rhythmic guitar to the voice of the young lady leading the songs that had the cadence and rhythm of ol’ spirituals. One of the choruses rang out with the words

I don’t know what you come here to do

but I’ve come to clap

I don’t know what you come here to do

but I’ve come to raise my hands

I don’t know what you come here to do

but I’ve come to dance

each repeated back to each other over and over and over and then with a momentary lowering of the music to hear the pastor “what have you come here to do?” a spirited, sweat slinging encouragement for more to join. The joyful noise had to be spilling out into the streets!

As we were standing, swaying, clapping, dancing, I couldn’t help but notice the pews. In particular the top rail of each pew,. Pews over the years that have held many hands.


  • hands on the end of an arm that has just stretched it around his bride to nestle her in.
  • the same hand that would come to rest after thumping a youngin’ on the noggin to pay attention.
  • Hands from mama’s and grand mama’s slappin the back of the pew with joy as they belt out the latest hymn of the day
  • hands of an elderly man reaching out in front of him to pull himself up, steady himself only to raise those hands from the pew in adoration of God for giving him another birthday.  we joined together and celebrated his 74th birthday
  • hands from a young single mama handing a dollar bill to each of her children to drop in the benevolent bucket. The same bucket she was able to draw from a few months earlier.
  • hands clutching the pew when one on bended knee praying for who only knows except the one on the floor and the ONE who is listening.

Man if the pews could talk, and maybe they were. It appeared to me, the closer to the front of the room the pew rails were a bit more weathered, a tad bit more seasoned, worn from the constant grip. I don’t know for sure but could it be that the years the folks started to beLIeVE what the folks on the platform were saying and singing. That when life grips us, we are never out of HIS grip. Regardless of circumstance our identity is set in who Christ is and has done. That today I will no longer live as a victim, but beLIeVE in Victory, yes i’m sure that would have people slappin the pew for joy, reaching for it to stand up and praise!

So what about the back of the room?  Maybe the reason the pews in the back are little less “weathered” is because they, like me years ago, just stepped into the water and the only time to reach for the pew was to steady myself from the effects of the night before being filled with spirits not THE Spirit! Maybe some slip in and slip out before they allow themselves to actually reach for the pew to pull themselves up to stand and place their hand in the hand of a man up front telling me I’m not a product of my flaws and failures.

do you beLIeVE?

for me today yes! what about you? If you are unsure we would love to help walk you to a place where the back of the pew is a wonderful place to grab.

Today it was like holding the hand of God! (thanks Pastor Gresham as Providence Missionary Baptist Church)


Mornin’ Juice (throw off)

A few weeks ago we had a blast gathering with folks in our home and their families. We ate, laughed, swam, listened to the rolling thunder get closer and closer, ate some more, especially the banana pudding YUMMY! It was a joy to see and hear folks take a breath from laugh join with others that are like hearted and nourish one another. We took the time to huddle everyone under the carport to place an exclamation point on the nourishment.

We set the scene by reminding folks that at some point when the letters in the bible were written that there were not mass copies handed out to everyone in attendance, therefore the desire to listen, retain then share was the way the encouragement in the letters was distributed to others in the area. Man to have been on the scene to see the raised eyebrows of those hearing for the first time how Christ came to fulfill, to set free, that the Old is gone and the new has come through Christ. To hear the kiddos ask their mama’s and daddy’s “what’s the big deal?” “why are ya’ll so enamored with this reading”?

Since we have screens and books to refer, we read the following

Heb 12:1 NIV 1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,

notice that in almost all translations the hinderance, the encumbrance is along with or joined with sin, giving us the reader a since that we have two things going on here

  1. everything that hinders AND
  2. the sin that so easily entangles

…yes sometimes the hinderance such as the ”biggies” result in the sin that tangles us up in our daily lives. but what about comparison?…could that be a hinderance…could that be that “something” or “someone” that we need to throw off? Don’t we first have to find out why we even put it on?

in my life the answer is a resounding YES….think of the ways we compare, which is to note the similarity or dissimilarity between someone or something

..what is our motive when we do so?

to make ourselves feel better at the expense of the other? doesn’t that then become the hindrance, the pressure, the stress that we create to be like someone else or wish they were more like us?

our DNA is like no other..Go back for just a moment and read the list of folks referred to in chapter 11…what did they have in common, what was their similarity?

their faith!

yet through their DNA they by faith they beLIeVED. Through some of the craziest circumstances they stood firm in their faith and the world took notice!

Man to be free from feeling less than, inadequate, or even the spirit of superiority that may surface when the hinderance of comparison sneaks in.

we sat and listened to person after person describe areas of their lives where comparison had crept in, the voices of 5 to 14 years old along with 54 to 74 and all ages in between shared. Then as we started to close and ignite our week, we asked “what is the word you would want Jesus to speak over you today?” OH MY GOSH this was powerful, too many to list….what is your word?

What if Together in our homes, at work and in our community we beLIeVED? What if like the great cloud of witnesses before us, we moved toward the positive words jesus continues to speak through us. That we would beLIeVE we have the divinity of God through the Holy Spirit roaring through us? having trouble believing?

then join me in throwing off EVERYTHING that hinders from this love? and when you do so, see where and who God takes you to show a world who HE is in your life.


Mornin’ Juice (Dan the Man)

There is this verse in Proverbs that talks about raising your children in the way they should go. Words from Solomon, who asked for wisdom and now thousands of years later we get the chance to drink the same words and heed the very wisdom he asked for. I don’t know if anyone else is like me when growing up, words that came from your parents, were not these nuggets of wisdom. They seemed restrictive, too disciplined, confining when the “advice” given was not lining up with how our young minds and wills were “seeing” a different way we should go. That would hold true for some of the wisdom imparted to me by my daddy, Dan Henry Bivins Jr.

The gold ring, is the ring my bride placed on my hand on our wedding day. It was the same ring my mama placed on my daddy’s hand when they married. In 1989 in Humboldt TN me and my daddy are waiting for our que to come out and stand in front of the friends, and family that filled Central Avenue Christian church. IN my/our nervousness, we are recalling moments in our lives that would bring laughter to help calm and slow down the beads of sweat on our brows. The que came and as I reached for the door to exit, I heard “son I love you”…it would be the first time I recall my daddy saying those words out loud. My knees were already buckling and now the wave of love my daddy poured over me still hold their place in my heart. Now gang, there was never a doubt the love Dan Bivins had and has for his family. I’m not sure why at times these words were difficult for him to say, however there has never been any question in seeing and experiencing his love.

I’ve read somewhere that cards bought and sent for Mother’s Day far exceeds those bought and sent for Father’s Day. The reasons are various, and this is not the place to wonder or try to determine why. A couple weeks ago I sent a tribute out to my mama, ( today is my tribute to my daddy.

daddy or as sometimes referred to as Pap…
thanks for teaching me how to tie a line on a hook and not going crazy bonkers when a i stuck a hook in danny’s noggin
thanks for working hard and showing a world what it looks like to start out pushing a broom and one day becoming general manager.
thanks for listening to the grand ol’ opry on wsm 650
thanks for the many trips to Atlanta to watch our Braves, especially the July 4 game in 1985 when we sat through many rain delays only to drive back after the marathon game.
thanks for showing me what it looks like to negotiate as we purchased my first car, the vintage 1964 pontiac lemans with spoke hubcaps (note hubcaps, not rims haha)
thanks for showing me how to keep a car clean
thanks for standing with me in the crazy accidents in the Toyota celica, then helping me find the RBM (rubber band machine)
thanks for taking a loan out to pay for first year of junior college baseball, thankful that second year garnered a scholarship
thanks for trying to get me back in church in my college years
thanks for speaking words of your wisdom even when i didn’t want to listen
thanks for those same words becoming truth later in my life as children and now grandchildren enter my life.
thanks for allowing me to be a man alongside with you in our differences

Pap I could keep on but I will close with this one.

My biggest thanks is you showing me how to love your bride, my mama across the finish line. Seeing you each day go and be with mama, to help quiet her tears when the disease of Parkinson’s is ravaging her mind. Thanks for being her advocate with the nursing staff to make sure her fingers aren’t stretched, to make sure she is placed down for a nap at 2:00 pm, then back up to enjoy her dinner at 5:30. Thanks for knowing how much lantus to give when her blood sugar levels are whacky. thanks for showing up each day and beLIeVING out “I love you” with your “pooky”.

thanks for showing me the way to go

you’re a warrior!

thanks daddy, i love you too!


Mornin Juice (mama’s hand)

Say hello to Joann Bivins, my mama for almost 54 years. She first became a mama when my brother Danny was born Oct 15, 1958. Then a mama to me on June 8, 1964. I have waited on purpose before sharing this in order to let the moment i felt on mother’s day completely soak in.

On Mother’s Day we paid a visit to my mama in her new dwelling place, Life Care Center. Sitting beside her, she will at times think she is placing something in your hands. As she did her hand landed in mine. I took this moment to gently rub the underside of my mama’s right hand. The fingers curled from years of diabetes and Parkinson’s still had strength, yet I couldn’t remember the last time I held my mama’s hand. And gang, the more I rubbed, the more I fought back tears, as memories came crashing into my being, memories I haven’t thought of in years. I’ll share a few.

This hand, these hands, once washed and clothed my body, combed my hair. Yes, hands that licked fingers to give spit face baths. These hands that held vocabulary words on maple hill street as I laid in the floor learning from rote how to spell. Hands that cut whole chicken, dipped em in buttermilk, rolled em in flour and then placed in an oily skillet. Hands that served that meal before she ever thought about sitting down. Hands that kept dishes full of m&m’s around the house.

These hands now are curled and yellowed dingy nails, yet they once cupped around her mouth to yell to the top of her lungs GO MICHAEL GO as the baseball that just left the bat from my swing was hurled into sky and over the fence. Those hands would drive me and others to celebrate the victory or console the loss. Hands that just sat and watched as a rugged attempt of a pine box car finished last in the cub scout races. Hands that placed her hand on top of mine while learning to drive stick shift corolla only to see us pop the clutch out to fast and crash the car door on the side of the garage door. It was the hand that calmed her man, my daddy down in the commotion. Hands that washed, folded, placed countless number of clothes in drawers and in baskets and yes one year by the door when this 20 yr old stayed out a bit too late, only to have those same hands set out food for her hungover son.

Mama’s hands were open and wrappin’ around any and every one that her brown eyes locked on to! Hands that would purchase some of largest, bodacious, delicate, intricate, Christmas ornaments. Oh hands that would continually buy all sorts for goodies at the Cracker Barrel store for the 5 grandchildren that called her nanny or nanny b. Hands that would wave in fever pitch as you pulled from their home, hearing her scream BYYYYYYEEEEEEE, walking around to other side still waving and still shouting BYYYYYYYEEEEEEEE……ah those hands

In this state of Parkinson’s, one ever wonders when she is coherent. We didn’t have to wonder long when her great grandchild made her first visit. As I placed Everleigh on her lap, arms and hands did what they knew to do and that is to reach out and hug this child. It was a light in her eyes that lit when as she said Oh Michael she is beautiful!

How, one may wonder? What keeps that engine of hers firing even in this stage of life she is in? LOVE

The driving force of the hands is love gang!

They are hands I forgot that I trust and trusted until I started rubbing hers. I think we forget that we too were infants who needed that caring touch of mama’s and yes daddy’s to love us through life. That today we still need that loving hand. As we become parents we are continually learning to live through the various stages of life where our own kids may forget. Today I remember. I pray you will also.

Thank you mama for loving me like Christ!


Mornin’ Juice (map)

Can anyone relate? Early in my “walk”, my learning how to navigate the bible, when the preacher man would bark out the place, the book, the letter we would be reading on this particular morning, i would hesitate a bit to see where others were heading in their book. I knew the biggies Genesis (front of the book), Psalms and Proverbs in the middle, then the gospels on the right-hand side of the book. Its when those crazy one’s like Habazabaraakuk would pop up, that i finally swallowed pride and went to this day one of my favorite places in the bible, table of contents! Yeppers, can find em’ alphabetical, Old Testament or New Testament. Then one day the ol boy got a good one on me. We were going to be looking at some of the travels of Jesus, the miles, the going to and from he and the boys took during the 3 years and he referred us to the book of maps…..

uhhhhh…..head down, book of maps?…..table of contents even let me down…nothing….reading plans, concordances, alphabetical or by order, nothing, (this is embarrassing, face probably starting to turn red) where is this book of Maps, is it an acronym?…heck with this I’m looking….ah crapadapa  …. you slippery little rascal, in the very back of the book, is where you will find those colorful topography style maps that display the various stops and timeline of Jesus and in some bibles the journeys of Paul.

I have several men that I get the chance to hang out with during the week, on this particular week, Michael Jordan who leads a wonderful time each Friday morning called Koinonia was prepping for Galatians. His prep time included piecing the place and times throughout the letters where Paul’s journey was taking him, and the timeline associated with his travels. Interesting and empowering conversation as we flipped pages, scrolled through screens to get a visual of his map.  We continue to be awestruck at his faith, his ability to persevere as those around him would try to add “something” to Jesus and his ability to encourage em’ back to the truth of Jesus and Jesus alone is our source of eternity and daily empowerment. As we started to pray it hit us,

We have a map?

Yea, no different than Jesus, Paul, Luke, Matthew, and all of the writers included in the book, we have a map. A map filled with adventure, heart ache, joy, excitement, excruciating pain, sadness, elation, pleasure, periods of life that we would just soon forget, and those we never grow weary of telling. Our map, our journey has purpose and meaning.  As walking temples (1 Corinthians 6:19) our journey is holy! It’s as significant as Paul’s, do you beLIeVE? Our lives able to do more than Christ (John 14:12) do we beLIeVE?

Today’s technology has us dropping pins on a particular point to share our location, we want people to know where we are. We share photos and events on Instagram, tweeter, facebook to ask a world to notice me, it’s part of your map. If you find yourself in a time that seems no one knows your location, no one is responding with thumbs up or like’s, we would love to help. Let us know and maybe we can share maps.

love em’ up!


Mornin’ Juice (rooftops)

There is a song that is a favorite for many maybe even including you! Rooftops by Jesus Culture, is one that will get you up outta your seat, raising hands and desiring

…shout out Your name
That I am yours, I am yours
All that I am
I place into your loving hands
And I am yours, I am yours.

When my bride, debby, was preparing for a worship night we most recently had on Good Friday, this song was on the list, almost immediately the thought of the boys who carried their friend, their companion, their comrade who was paralyzed to see Jesus. You will see the scene in Mark chapter 2. Jesus has just returned to Capernaum and is hanging out where does the most, a home. The teaching and healing that Jesus is flowing is drawing large numbers of people, word of the one who is the Word is flying through the neighborhoods.

We aren’t privy to the conversation beforehand, but ponder for a moment. You are hanging out doin’ whatever it is you do on a given day, sure you may have heard of this guy, Jesus before, but maybe you haven’t given it much thought or maybe you were one, that has heard and told yourself and others, “if that dude ever comes to town, I’m chasing him down, I want to hear and see this man”. That day comes and you and 3 of your buddies bring your paralyzed friend to the one. The ONE ou have hope, this Jesus, the son of God who can and will heal. yet upon arrival at the scene the crowds are massive.

Mar 2:3-4 NLT 3 four men arrived carrying a paralyzed man on a mat. 4 They couldn’t bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, so they dug a hole through the roof above his head. Then they lowered the man on his mat, right down in front of Jesus.

Good grief i love this scene. They see the crowd, the men don’t respond i do when i hear the wait at one of my favorite restaurants is 40 minutes and bolt outta there. No these guys get their buddy on the roof, that in of itself would be a site, (wonder if others helped?). They make it to the roof and then claw their way through the roof. Look gang, the noise of hacking, punching, scraping at the roof would have been a disruption, wouldn’t it. Would our response be “what the hell?!?! and who is up here causin’ all of this”….”HEY WHAT ARE YA’LL doin?” I mean we honk at folks who hesitate a millisecond at greenlights. But not Jesus, maybe some in the room would have and were distracted, but look at the response of Jesus.

Mar 2:5 NLT 5 Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “My child, your sins are forgiven.”

Are you kidding me? Jesus sees their faith. Sees their faith!

Wow to have been in the room to look up at the faces of the ones who lowered their buddy down into the room, to see these huge smiles on their faces, their hearts pounding with excitement and then they hear “My child your sins are forgiven” Uh Lord, teacher, rabbi, uh son of God, our buddy is laying on a mat paralyzed…uh that’s kinda well uh why were risked it all to be here…Jesus knows this doesn’t he? Of course, yet Jesus does what Jesus does, and he always addresses the heart first. Jesus was making sure that everyone, including the religious leaders of the day knew that he was after healing hearts first and foremost, he was on the scene to set captives free and did he ever. You have to go read this interaction between them….(Mark 2:1-12)

Life at times paralyzes us doesn’t it? Unexpected death of loved ones. Marriages falling apart. Relationships with people within your inner circle that have gone sour. What is yours? What is that something or someone that for the moment has you doubting, has you temporarily on the bench wondering what your next steps are. The illustration of the 4 buddies just hits home in how we are to live life in community and when life has knocked us on the mat, and we just might be living in a place of unbelief, we need trusted friends who will lower us into the room with Jesus and hear Jesus empower/remind through the Holy Spirit within us to RISE UP from your unbelief and beLIeVE…

over 40 days this year we chatted about fasting from unbelief It’s a fast i will continue, one that will take buddies to remind, to carry, to rise up with. a journey that is open, transparent, vulnerable for us to readily admit when life is grand and when life has us momentarily paralyzed. one that will keep us shouting from the rooftops

all that i am i am yours!