December 20, 2010

The Eye of the Storm

I been through four tornadoes in my life. Four that were close enough to see them in their fury and feel them in their power. It's my legacy having grown up a Kansas farm boy. There is an interesting feeling in the middle of a tornado or sometimes even just a powerful thunderstorm. It's called the "eye" of the storm.

I think "eye" is used in a comparison to the "eye" of a needle. The "eye" is where nothing is, it's the open part, the area you pull the string through. So it is with the "eye" of the storm. You know the storm is not over. You have lived through the first half and now you have a moment to gasp, lift your head up, prepare for the next phase. It's quiet, like nature is holding it's breath for a minute.

Though you can still see the storm all around you, it's at a distance. I have actually danced in the eye of the storm before running back downstairs to the cellar.

I felt that we had one of those "eye of the storm" moments Sunday. The weather outside was ugly- winds, rain and flash flooding. But it was Christmas Sunday and the people of God showed up in mass to meet with the newborn king. It had been a stormy year in our personal lives...with sudden deaths, losses, some dashed dreams, some broken friendships...

But as our choirs began to praise the King, "the hopes and fears of all my year really were met in thee tonight." The eye of the storm was formed. The "silent night, holy night" makes "all is calm", "all is bright" a reality. The wind was howling outside the doors but inside the Holy Spirit was descending "gently like big flakes of softly falling snow".

I was reminded that where Jesus is... there is always "an eye of the storm". As he lay in the manger, every one was in a tizzy in Jerusalem especially Herod. When he went to a wedding everyone was panicking because they were out of wine...a social disgraceful predicament...but he quietly called some servants to get some water. When the storm was raking the Sea of Galillee and the sailors were pleading for their lives...Jesus was asleep in the back of the boat, in solid confidence in His Father.

I know we must go through the storm. As with oak trees it is the storms that deepen the roots. But we also need to look for and believe in the eye of the storm. Snuggle in close to Jesus' presence and listen to your heart beat slow down to match his calmly beating heart.

But the eye of the storm is also the place were your eye can see further. The "eye of the storm" gives you a few minutes to get look back at what you have been through and look forward to what you yet have ahead of you. The eye of the spirit is quickened during the eye of the storm.

Lord are Emmanuel, with us creating an eye in the storms that we can rest in. Thank you.

October 05, 2010

Daddy - Daughter Dance

How do you anticipate and dread at the same time? How do you stand so joyful and sorrowful in the same moment? How do you send the dove soaring and yet know you are silencing the daily cooing you love so much.

For me the final good-bye was the daddy-daughter dance at Lindsey's wedding Saturday night. I bawled like a baby through the whole time and spoke to her through the tears. I had joked with her for several months that I wanted to dance to the song "I Dance With Cinderella" a song by Steven Curtis Chapman. It has a powerful line that says, "Cause I know something the Prince never knew...the clock will strike midnight and she'll be gone".

I felt like the clock was striking midnight. Midnight rings out that a day is done, over, unrepeatable, faded into the annals of history. But midnight also announces a new day....yes there are few hours of darkness but the calendar flips at midnight, the new day has started even though it will be a few more hours till you see sunrise.

I have a few tears to walk through before I fully process the grief and see all the light of the new day. A few minutes ago I walked into Lindsey's room and it had an empty atmosphere....she had already moved out physically so that wasn't it. It seemed empty of her vibrant she had now moved her soul and spirit out of our home.

And that was the essence of our daddy-daughter dance...I told her, "Lindsey we will always be here for you with open arms and hearts...but you can never come back home." You see a person can only have one true place where they belong most completely. This is why God says, "A man shall leave His Father and a woman leave her home and cleave to her husband".

During that dance I said to my dove, "Fly away darling"...I trust you to Jesus and TJ. I didn't really was more like hanging on to my princess for dear life and at the same time setting her soaring. So..."Lindsey, you were made to fly high, my precious girl, fly high!"
We danced to "When you come back down by Nickel Creek. While not all the lyrics apply, some of the lyrics are profound and fit exactly.

"When You Come Back Down"

You got to leave me now, you got to go alone 
You got to chase a dream, one that's all your own 
Before it slips away 
When you're flyin' high, take my heart along 
I'll be the harmony to every lonely song 
That you learn to play 

When you're soarin' through the air 
I'll be your solid ground 
Take every chance you dare 
I'll still be there 
When you come back down 
When you come back down 

September 10, 2010

To Burn or Not To Burn

Jesus lived in a culture filled with idolatry, imperialism, cultism, and occultism. However, he never held a "book burning". However, in Acts 19:19 the converted Christians who had practiced sorcery DID bring their books to a public forum and burn them.

So the question, "Is it pleasing to God or offensive to God to burn the Quran?"
Is that really the right question?
Or is the better question, "In our quest to win souls to Christ and fill the earth with the fame of the name of Jesus, is the most strategic move to burn the Quran?"

What happened in Acts 19 is more like converted Muslims throwing out their Quran in the new understanding this it is not the word of God but of a false prophet. For Evangelical Christians to burn the Quran is unnecessary, offensive, counterproductive, and stupid.

Our acts of love and our gentle and clear communication of the gospel, and when necessary our unyielding, courageous stand for the truth of the Bible as God's only revelation, these are subversive acts with great power. Jesus demonstrated that LOVE always trumps HATE, and acts of kindness overcome acts of violence, and declaring truth in love are the most effective weapons against those who disagree and even those who hate us.

Overcome evil with good. Romans 12:21

Don't burn books...rather burn with His love and passion for the lost!

September 04, 2010

A Few Solid Rocks

In the small Kansas church I grew up in, I was known for singing real loud. I just always was convinced that what I was singing about was real and really mattered. One of my favorites was, "On Christ the Solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand". 

The older I have grown, the more I have learned, the further I have traveled, the more doubts I have about many things. I am not as dogmatic about many things as I used to be. I have been asked too many questions and seen too much of life to claim certainty on several subjects that I used to be absolutely persuaded about. 

BUT a corollary reality has developed...a few of my big rocks have grown much larger and firmer than ever AND the sand has become uglier and more treacherous and deeper than I ever imagined. 

Jesus is still THE solid rock...and all other rocks gain their stability from His Word. 
A few of My Solid Rocks are...
1. Life is about eternity. (Life doesn't make sense if it's 80 and out)
2. Relationships count. (How I love really matters.)
3. Marriage is wonderful if centered in Christ. (Wrecked marriages are everywhere but a great marriage rocks)
4. Prayer really works. (It's just tried too infrequently and believed in too little)
5. All is vanity except that which God endorses (The most famous people and accomplishments are vapor)
6. The best way to live is found in the teachings of Jesus. (His words actually work!)
7. The only thing that doesn't change over time is Jesus and His Word. (It's why he's the SOLID rock.)
8. The Church, in all its imperfection, is the only organization worthy of my life's work. 

There are more solid rocks in my life....but these cover much of my reality. 
As the sinking sand around me grows, it's good to know I've got some solid rocks.

July 19, 2010

Wrestling with Demons

I was recently praying with a girl who had a demon who had attached itself (himself\herself\itself? what do you use when speaking of unseen evil fallen angels) to her. She was fearful that she was possessed by a demon because whenever she prayed for deep inner cleansing from the Lord...something that felt like it was deep within her resisted her prayer. She felt something physically and felt as if she needed to vomit. No one had pre-conditioned her to expect's just that she felt it. When this happened she would become fearful and stop praying. She came to me asking, "Am I demon possessed?"

Knowing her genuine commitment to Jesus Christ and that she was born again, I assured her, No, you certainly are not possessed". I explained that when someone is born again it means that the Spirit of God has taken up residence in the spirit and soul of person and that a demon cannot "possess" that territory any longer.

However that doesn't mean that demons can't attach themselves to our thinking, to our emotions. Paul when writing to the Ephesians told us to be very careful not to give the Devil a "foothold" (4:27). "Foothold" is a Greek word meaning "a space that is marked off from the surrounding space". In this context, we are being told to deal with our anger quickly and healthily or we will give the Devil a "marked off space in our lives", a "foothold", or a "stronghold".

When that happens we are certainly not possessed but we have allowed a place where a demon can get its talons into us. We must aggressively take that space back through confession and deliverance.

Another picture is "wrestling". Ephesians 6:12 describes demons as "wrestling" with us. When a demon takes hold of us in certain areas, it does not want to let go. It has grasped us in an aggressive wrestling hold. When we begin to exercise the authority of the name of Jesus against it, it wants to hold on and this can be a struggle. When manifestations take place (writhing on the floor, eyes rolled back, different voices coming out of a person, coughing, vomiting, supernatural strength, death appearance, hissing, drooling and many more which I have encountered) I believe these are efforts of demons to "hang on" resisting the power that is breaking their hold on an area of a persons life.

As the person confesses their sin, confesses the name of Jesus, confesses the defeat of the Devil and his demons through the blood of Jesus and Word of God, the demon must give up that foothold, it must release its wrestling hold on the person.

This young lady met us for prayer, actively engaged the area of demonic stronghold, and agreed with us as we prayed for breaking the hold of the enemy. There were some violent manifestations that could only be attributed to a demon reluctant to release his territory. But after a short while of prayer, the demon left and she felt a tremendous release. She was glowing even several days later. She testified to the difference that she felt in her life. Praise to the one who "ALWAYS give us the victory".

July 01, 2010

Duckies and Horsies and Jesus

I know blogs are intended to be original work, but David Burchett said some things I resonate so strongly with that I had to share them from site too...Read and enjoy the horsies and duckies of God's love

On a recent flight home I spent a fair portion of the time just gazing out the window at some amazingly beautiful clouds. The sun reflecting off of the magnificent formations was spectacular. I tried to make out shapes like I used to when I was a kid. 
The exercise reminded me of a classic Peanuts cartoon when Charlie Brown. Lucy, Linus and Charlie Brown are all gazing lazily at the clouds. Lucy asks the two boys what they see.
Linus Van Pelt: Well, those clouds up there look to me look like the map of the British Honduras on the Caribbean. [points up] That cloud up there looks a little like the profile of Thomas Eakins, the famous painter and sculptor. And that group of clouds over there… [points] …gives me the impression of the Stoning of Stephen. I can see the Apostle Paul standing there to one side.
Lucy Van Pelt: Uh huh. That's very good. What do you see in the clouds, Charlie Brown?
Charlie Brown: Well… I was going to say I saw a duckie and a horsie, but I changed my mind.
I get that "Charlie Brown" feeling when I read many of the other bloggers and theologians that I share space with on Crosswalk. I still can't believe they give me virtual real estate to post my humble ramblings. While other Crosswalk contributers are writing deep theological treatises I feel like I am posting a spiritual version of "duckies and horses". Perhaps we are all simply fulfilling our niche in the body of Christ. I know there is a need for theologians who can wrestle with complex passages and doctrinal issues. I know that men and women who can define and defend sound doctrine are vital to the stability of the church. I have spent many hours reading these deep works and working out my practical theology. I am grateful for the faith and intellect of these scholars. But when I look at my spiritual cloud formations I am very much like Charlie Brown. It is pretty simple.
I see that Jesus loves me.
I see the grace of God.
I see my identity in Christ.
I see my need for the community of believers.
I see forgiveness.
In those spiritual cloud formations I see the brilliant light of hope and love.
I am grateful that there are brilliant scholars who can write about topics like "A Test Case For New Testament Aphorism" and "A Review of Carsten Peter Thiede, The Qumran Fragment 7Q5 and its Significance For New Testament Studies". If the church depended on me to research topics like those then Jesus might as well come on back. My brain would vapor lock and then explode if given an assignment like that.
I take comfort in a story recorded in the Gospel of Luke.
"Let the children come to me. Don't stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn't receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it." (Luke 18, NLT)
Jesus is not saying that I should act childish and immature. He meant that I must have that child-like trust, dependence, surrender to authority and need for relationship. So here's to you theologians and scholars! I am grateful for you and your difficult work. You free me up to look at the clouds and sing my theology boldly.
Jesus loves me,
This I know,
For the Bible tells me so….
Dave Burchett is an Emmy Award winning television sports director, author, and Christian speaker.

June 08, 2010

Walking at 81

Learning to walk at 81 is no fun. After you learned to walk at age 1 you think that lesson is far behind you. But my father-in-law, Bill is learning to walk for the second time. 

Without the ability to swallow, his meals consist of chalky protein drink pumped directly into his stomach. Without the ability to speak, his words consist of grunts and unintelligible vowel sounds. 

The heart is more or less repaired but the brain must be retrained after the major stroke struck out a large part of the processing power. 

I have never been more aware of Jesus' words when he said, "The truth is, when you were young, you were able to do as you liked and go wherever you wanted to. But when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and others will direct you and take you where you don't want to go." John 21:18. 

Is that an infant or an old man that is being spoken of? It could be either, couldn't it? And thus the "circle of life", the grand return to the grand entrance which in reality is also the grand exit; the child who became a parent who ends up being cared for like a child by his child. This is the reality of life. 

Yet in the midst of the misery there is an insuppressible joy to be found. As an infant it's nothing but a blank sheet of life ahead. As an elder, the paper is filled with the joys you have created. The daughter holding your hand, the granddaughter kissing your forehead, your favorite pictures of friends and accomplishments hanging on the walls, the memories of songs, travels, and loves filling your mind.    

If you have lived well, you can smile from memories, as you learn to walk again. 
If you are living well, you can smile at the blank page of eternity which also looms ahead. 

June 04, 2010

Exploring The Cave With A Match

Ever feel like you are trying to explore a cave with only a match for a light? 

At times life feels like that to me. Once in awhile the darkness is stifling. 
Your questions gang up on you like storm clouds obscuring the sliver of moon. 
Why now? Why them? Why this? Why his pain? 
The bronze and health-filled teen who killed the young girl in Aruba flits around the world waiting for justice to catch up. The 20 year old servant-leader, scholar, nice Christian guy, dies of brain cancer yesterday. 

My mom fighting cancer, my dad-in-law stroked out without speech or even swallowing, my friends mom withers to her death of Alzheimer's. "It's just our season," other boomers tell me. True, but incomplete. It's more than our season, it's our world. Our sad and darkened world that is groaning as it awaits the return of the one who called himself, "The Light". (Romans 8)

However, we must remember in the darkness, in the mystery, in the night, that outside this cave called "LIFE"...there is a brilliant sun that is shining. The small match we hold onto can light a candle and the darkness can never extinguish the candle...and soon we will step into the LIGHT where our candle will be consumed by the SON. 

Meanwhile, I am going to shine. By His Spirit I am going to shine...that is my determination. 
Adlai Stevenson (1900-65), praising Eleanor Roosevelt in an address to the United Nations General Assembly in 1962 said - 'She would rather light candles than curse the darkness, and her glow has warmed the world.' 

I want my GLOW to warm the world and the world to see HIS light! 

May 07, 2010


I just returned from Borneo and I have TB...TIRED BUTT syndrome.

Imagine riding 4.5 hours on the back of a motor scooter...then do it behind a small Dayak tribal leader through dense jungle on a path marked by dips, hills, bumps, and narrow planks across marshy areas.

At one point when we had left the other scooter far behind, a thought hit me squarely. Here I am in the middle of a jungle with no one except a man I met last night and his father ate people. I thought to myself, "I just hope he's not hungry!" Not really...but I did know I was way outside the safety zone of life.

Most Americans live a TB lifestyle. They have Tired Butts from sitting on the sofa of life, watching their wrinkles grow. They have TB mouths, that is they TALK BIG but take such little action.

Now I don't believe everyone needs to go to they jungles of Borneo to really live. But you do have to try something new, do something that is a little scary, you do have to do something that is hard, uncomfortable, challenging, unselfish, creative, caring or daring.
You do have to get your Tired Butt off the couch and go for the gusto!

It's not really Faith until you feel a little Fear!

I like the quote, "It's not how many breaths you take that make up your life, but how many moments in life that take your breath away." You don't just wait for those create those moments!

For too many people life is just TB - TOO BORING and that's really just TB- TOO BAD!

May 01, 2010

This blog has moved

This blog is now located at
You will be automatically redirected in 30 seconds, or you may click here.

For feed subscribers, please update your feed subscriptions to

April 19, 2010

5 Today!

5 Years ago today, I was anxiously waiting for my wife to emerge from major Cancer surgery. A radical, rare, and deadly cancer had attacked her uterus and the prospects were bleak. The whole church was praying. People around the world were praying. A pastor friend with a gift of healing had called from England minutes before they rolled Deb into surgery.

We were pleading for God for a miracle. And God answered in amazing ways. After surgery they came back and said, although it was quite "surprising" they had found "no cancer", although the diagnosis had been so clear that they had shipped tissue samples to Cancer Society.

They told us, while this is good news, don't get too excited as the cancer cells will show up in the pathology reports...after three different pathology reports of finding no cancer, they finally gave up looking. At that point they had to admit, "well maybe all that praying worked".

But they said, "Don't get too excited. This kind always comes back". Every 3 months for the first three years Deb went back to see the specialist. Finally after four years, he said, "Well perhaps this isn't going to come back".
And today is 5 years...and absolutely NO CANCER! So we praise God today on this 5th anniversary of his miracle working mercy. Jesus is Lord of my life and Lord of my wife!

April 01, 2010

An Announcement Based on a Lifetime Prayer

Do you have a few prayers you have been praying for years? The kind you know you won't see the answer to for a long, long time? Do those prayers matter? Are there some things so big that you just must keep praying for them until you see the outcome?
I just had one of those kinds of prayers answered and I must say...."How sweet it is!"; "Thank you Jesus!"

When Deb found out she was pregnant we were thrilled. We were ready for kids and our determination was to take parenting as the most serious call of our lives. We knew we must immerse our new child in faithful prayer. 
So we began before we even knew what gender our child would be. 

One of the primary prayers we prayed was: "God grant our child a godly spouse, who loves YOU and loves THEM deeply". 

When Lindsey was born and miraculously survived being "dead on arrival" and especially when we discovered we would have no more biological children, we prayed that this girl would have a divine hand upon her life.

Many evenings after Lindsey was fast asleep we would pray, "God grant our daughter a godly husband who deeply loves you and will honor our daughter." 

We, of course, did more than pray. We sat boundaries, we taught, we built relationship. As she matured we had the big "promise ring" talk in which she pledged her virginity til marriage. We had discussions about the kind of man she should marry. 

We held our breath through several "crushes". She had a couple of false starts of exploration in which we just prayed all the more. But then seemingly out of nowhere, at a point when Lindsey's heart was grieving and wondering what, if anything, was going to happen--TJ TAYLOR arrived on the scene. 

Friends at first. Deeper friends. Dating. Commitment. Then that morning in our den when TJ asked Deb and I if we would give our daughter to him in marriage. 

And there it was, the answer to a lifetime prayer...A young man (25) who highly valued our daughter and was committed to her spiritual, emotional, and physical welfare. For 25 years we had not known the name or the face of the man we were praying for...but it was his, TJ's. 

Is TJ perfect? No. But he is God's man for our daughter...prayed in with faith, drawn in by love and wisdom. We are honored to announce their engagement, their promise to marry one another and serve God's purpose for their lives in their generation. Now that's worth praying a lifetime for!! 

March 07, 2010

Mr. Frost Goes to Washington

One of my favorite movies is Mr. Smith goes to Washington...a classic movie about a bumpkin who goes to Washington D.C. only to be confronted by the twisted morals of money grabbing bankers and politicians.

Although decades removed from the farm I often still feel like a country bumpkin, so it was with both excitement and reluctance that I went to Washington. When I arrived, I was confronted with the spiritual morals of sincere Senators and humble servants of Christ.

The other folks are still there and continue to pull many proverbial strings in their own self-interest. Truth is often a rare commodity with some who are in power. But weaving in and out of the halls of rulership are the few, the brave, the good.

Men like Dan Frost, my friend who has walked holes in his shoes, walking the halls of Congress. Every ministry day he puts on his suit and tie, climbs in his SUV that has 275,000 miles on it, drives 45 minutes, parks beneath the Senate building, and starts walking for Jesus. His mission? To be a friend to people in power; to be the one man who wants nothing from anybody, to be the one person who is willing to listen from the heart, to be an encourager to those who are simply overwhelmed with the complexity of the D.C. lifestyle.

Almost invisible, which is hard at 6'7", Dan is simply there...available for those who may suddenly sense an urge for a friend...friends are hard to find in D.C. Dan is there for those who are open to trust him to pray for them. He is a burden bearer with some of the most burdened men and women in our world.

Having a backstage pass to the halls of Congress, following Dan through the underground tunnels of Congress, greeting his friends in the hallways, weaving our way between flocks of lobbyists, ascending back staircases little used except by the most knowledgeable D.C. insiders, eating the famous bean soup that's been served for nearly 200 years in the Senate dining room, praying in the small backroom chapel that Lincoln prayed in, these were my  joys in our nation's capitol.

Mr. Smith stood for integrity and for service to others and he impacts Washington D.C. and leaves you cheering for the good guys. Mr. Frost stands for integrity and service to others and for the good news of God's love; he also is impacting Washington...and leaves me cheering for this good guy and for God. Cheer with me!

February 18, 2010

How to Be GREAT

Yesterday, we took the staff to hear some of the great leaders of our time. Condolezza Rice, Colin Powell, Microsoft's President, Zig Ziglar, athlete Michael Phelps, and others. It was inspiring to hear their tales of sacrifice, hard work, lucky breaks, dedication, and climbs to greatness.

Two common themes I heard were these: Focus and Passion. Focus yourself on the goals that really matter and then passionately pursue them. People who accomplish extraordinary results have a clear focus and a tenacity to take enthusiastic action in the direction of their dream.

I love these kind of presentations. It's in the way that I am wired. BUT I think they need to be always with the wisdom of 1 Corinthians 13 and with the words of Mother Teresa. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 reminds us that we can do great things but if we don't do them with great love then they are actually NOTHING. It's how much loving for God and for people that you put into the DOING that creates the GREATNESS of the deed.

Also I think we miss the "greatness" of our ordinary lives if we are not careful. Mother Teresa said, "There are no great acts, only small acts done with great love". And Martin Luther King Jr. said, "Anyone can be great because anyone can serve". To see Christ in the people we meet everyday and to reach out to love them as we would love Christ...this is the greatness attainable by all people.

I want to be a GREAT MAN in God's eyes. "Lord, help me to simply faithfully love with your great love today and let my greatness be determined by you!"