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Monday, February 18, 2019

Being Sent

For several years now I've had my phone set up with a recurring message that I get every morning, like a text message from God. It's taken from the text of Judges 6:14: "Have I not sent thee?" I set it up during a time when I was working at a job that was really grinding my gears - I felt unappreciated, and sometimes I even felt like I was thrown under the bus by the people above me, used as a scapegoat to unhappy clients. I started to have minor health problems, and began to feel like my life was really not going anywhere. I started trying to find a new job, but nothing was out there for someone with my specific skill set. For over a year I was job hunting, with absolutely no success. It was looking bleak for me!

Then one Sunday my pastor taught about Gideon, and that phrase from his story jumped out at me. Was I in that job for a reason? Had God sent me there, perhaps, to have an impact on the people around me? Could it be that I had a ministry right there, and when that ministry was completed, I would somehow be released from that job when something else opened up? My brain didn't like the idea, but my heart told me yes.

I do know that I had a positive impact on the people around me at that job. I do know that, finally, God released me from that job when He "sent" me to another job. At that job I had a chance to heal from the wounds I had received at the job before, and then at a certain point, God called me to another job that I love so much that I can't imagine a better situation for me to be in. I know I'm "sent" there too, and I remember that every morning when I get my morning "text message from God".

"Have I not sent thee?"

Yep, Lord - I know you have!

Monday, February 11, 2019

Asking for Trouble

In my last post I mentioned that my new musical/devotional podcast, The Word Go Project, has been a wild ride for me, and I promised to talk about why. The short version is this: when you presume to teach people about something from the Word, you'd better be ready for the Holy Spirit to teach you, too!

The idea of The Word Go Project is that human beings need to hear things a certain number of times before they truly sink in and become parts of our psyche. How many of us can remember a song, or a musical jingle, or even a catch phrase from a TV character, years and decades later, just because we heard it over and over for a period of time? I can remember advertisements from TV that I haven't heard since my childhood. A quick Google returns wildly varying results of how many times it takes, from seven all the way up into the forties, but everyone seems to agree that the more times you hear something, the better you remember it.

Additionally, I discovered by listening back to the online versions of church services that I was actually at that the second and third times I hear the same exact message, I glean different information from it! But how many people follow the valuable practice of re-listening to the same message more than once? I'd guess the percentage is really low.

So I thought it would be a cool idea to wrap a useful message in original music, to make it more palatable to listen to more than once. And that's the genesis of The Word Go Project. Each episode is a short devotional - about ten minutes long - with three songs containing roughly the same information as the three points in the devotional. An entire episode, including the songs, rounds out to about twenty minutes, which I'm guessing is probably about the same amount of time your and my pastor preach on a Sunday morning. Hopefully people listen, and listen more than once! You can always find the latest episode at (mobile-friendly... just click the "Play" button!) and you can listen to older episodes at

I decided that a great starting point for The Word Go Project would be the Fruit of the Spirit from Galatians chapter five. That gave me an instant list of nine episodes to work up without having to come up with separate ideas for each episode. What I didn't realize was that as I was working on each episode, God would start to reveal ways I needed to work on that topic myself! When I did the episode on Love, I started to see ways that I wasn't loving others the way God wants me to. When I worked on Joy, I started to feel a little down and had to reach out to God to help me out of my funk. I started to feel agitated during the time I worked on Peace, and by the time I got to Patience I started to feel like making these things was taking me FOREVER! I've heard Bible teachers say that when you teach a topic, God deals with you on that topic first - even James in the Bible warned against aspiring to teach unless you are prepared to deal with the consequences.

Well, I wasn't particularly prepared for it at first, but now that I've realized what's happening, it's a little easier to let the Holy Spirit teach me right along with my audience. Right now I'm in the middle of the next episode, "Kindness", and I'm looking for ways to be kind to the people around me. I'm generally a "nice guy" anyway, but God's kind of kindness can sometimes cost you something, and it doesn't ask for a pat on the back for it, either. So that's a challenge I'm trying to face!

Please do listen to The Word Go Project! Listen to it several times, and really let the truths from the Word soak in. Then tell your friends about it, and get them to listen as well. The episodes are literally my gift to you. I'm not getting any money for it at all - in fact, I spend my own money every month to get the episodes out there. I'm not trying to be famous or get attention; my real goal is to strengthen the Body of Christ. I hope it makes a difference in your life today!