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The Obstinate Ones

“But they refused to pay attention; stubbornly they turned their backs and stopped up their ears. They made their hearts as hard as flint and would not listen to the law or to the words that the Lord Almighty had sent by His Spirit through the earlier prophets.” Zechariah 7:11-12

How often do we choose to not pay attention to GOD’s calling? Whether it be large or small, it does not matter. This act of disobedience happens daily.

The word that stands out in this passage is “stubbornly.” The Israelites were not passively ignoring GOD, they were doing it with all they had. They were dogged, inflexible, relentless and tenacious in their desire to want it their way.  All their energy was put forth into opposing GOD and HIS best interests for them.


The more we walk away from GOD, relishing in our season of sin (and those last longer than others), our heart hardens. The passage equates it to a flint rock. These are durable, and tough, fashioned into tools and weapons.

More times we choose to run from GOD, like Jonah did, our heart becomes a weapon we use against ourselves. This is exactly what satan desires. For then, he knows we are traveling the path to destruction. If you are a Christian, it can destroy your witness for JESUS; for the unbeliever, it can secure your place in hell beside the prince of darkness.

We are all the obstinate ones. Will it be to follow GOD’s plan for our life or not? The choice is ours.





“Sweet Lou”

2 Corinthians 12:9 – “But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly in my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

This past weekend, I saw this verse in action.

Lou StrongAlong with my good friend, Jonas Endreson, we visited our dear college buddy, “Sweet” Lou Caruso.

Like Paul, who wrote the passage above, Lou also has a “thorn”. He is battling brain cancer.

Since late last year, so many have been praying, pleading with the LORD, “to take” this thorn away. That has yet to happen, and the disease continues its slow march.

At the same time, GOD’s grace is overflowing.  It always does.

Though Lou is losing sight in one eye, his trademark smile still fills the room.

His short term memory is becoming more consistent, but his laughter is ever-present.

GOD’s “power…made perfect in weakness”.

Lou’s wife, Kim, lovingly “stands in the gap”, meeting this daily battle with dogged determination, and relentless praise for what the LORD has done and is doing.

Watching his father struggle, Lou’s son displays a patience and understanding far beyond his mid-teen years.

The Caruso’s are surrounded by an abundance of love and support. Their neighbors have helped supply meals for months. Friends drive hours to visit. Family members began a #LouStrong t-shirt campaign supported by many.

GOD’s “grace is sufficient.”

Currently, it is evident Lou cannot rely on his own power. Those human abilities have been diminished and continue to be attacked daily. The sting of the “thorn” is felt. It inhibit’s and slows the pace of life down. It makes the doable, difficult.

Yet, it hasn’t stopped Lou or his family!  It hasn’t crushed their spirit or resolve. It hasn’t destroyed their hope.  It hasn’t halted life.

GOD’s “grace” and “power” is sharper than any thorn. It allows us to “soar on wings like eagles”. It helps us to “run and not grow weary”. It makes us “walk and not faint.”

Make no mistake about it, at his weakest point, “Sweet” Lou is very “strong”.

Please keep my good friend in your prayers.




The world’s definition of “new”

Hebrews 13:8 states: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today and forever.”

With that statement of truth, I’m a little confounded as to why Pope Francis (and I’m not Catholic nor have anything against the Catholic faith) would say, in relation to the church’s stance toward homosexuality and divorce, “God is not afraid of new things.” (see the article: Pope Francis: ‘God is not afraid of new things’)

Throughout the Bible, God was never in support of either, but since this is a fallen world, it has, does and will continue to happen. If HE proclaimed that HE doesn’t change, then what the Pope said would portray God as a fraud.

God knew this kind of thing would happen, not only from the secular, but also from within. I’m no Biblical scholar, but Hebrews 13:9 does say, “Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings.” We are here to be His hands and feet, to proclaim His message, not to change it.

But, there is also some truth in what the Pope said (though I doubt he was talking about the following at that moment). In 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV), Paul wrote: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”

God “is not afraid” to make chicken salad out of our chicken crap.

He is also “not afraid” of “a new heaven and a new earth” (Revelation 21:1, NIV) He created for His kids. He “is not afraid” to “give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you” (Ezekiel 36:26, NIV). He “is not afraid” to pour “new wine…into new wineskins” (Luke 5:38, NIV).

God “is not afraid” of anything (when you defeat death, you can say that), but He steadfastly rejects the “new things” of this world that directly oppose His eternal truths!

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