Thinking Like God Thinks



Thinking like God thinks… a few years ago, I had a “day of prayer” on the beach in Joao Pessoa, Brazil. And to answer your question, yes, that is a very easy place to be still and listen to the voice of the Lord. The warm ocean waves lapping over your toes, the warm breeze, and the vast expanse of beach all made it very easy to just quiet my heart and listen. There were many things on my mind… past, present, future. I needed direction and help with decisions I needed to make. At one point as I walked the beach, the Lord spoke very clearly to me and simply said, “you need to learn to think like I think.”

At first the words of Paul came to my memory, “Let this mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 2:5. I am currently doing more of a study of what does that really mean? What does it really mean to think the way God thinks? How do I wrap my puny mind around the thinking process of the creator of the universe? Well, I’m still working on that, and will post more about that here as things progress.

However, there was one thought that came to me recently in the midst of some very difficult and painful circumstances. A situation I never thought would be a part of my life, yet  here it is. Unwanted, unwelcomed, un-enjoyed, but smack dab in my face. How do I react? How do I conduct myself in this situation? How do I think the thoughts that God would have?

When we are in such circumstances, our first and best option is to turn to the Word of God for direction and counsel. I found myself reminding myself of all of who God is to me. He is my savior, my strength, my redeemer, my wisdom, my protector, my shield. So many more I could recount, and then… this thought: “He does not have to remind Himself of Who He Is.”

WOW! He does not have to remind Himself of Who He Is! The depth of that began to seep down into my spirit like golden honey. I, in my struggle to try to understand my circumstances, needed to remind myself who He is. But He never has to do that. He is always totally aware of all of who He is. In every moment, in every circumstance, in every disruption, every trial that comes our way, He is constantly and totally and fully aware of all that he is. He does not have to go and search the concordance to find a character to meet today’s need. He is “I AM” totally and eternally everything I need Him to be.

As I pondered this thought, and brought it before this idea that I need to think like God thinks, WOW!  What a revolution that would be in my life, in our lives, if we could come to that place in our walk and our relationship with Him so that in any situation, every circumstance, we would know who He is for that particular moment.This is profound for my daily walk. This requires not simply a study of theology (the study of God), it requires an intimacy with Him, so that in any circumstance I don’t need to search around, I will know who He is for me at that moment. It takes a knowledge and intimacy born out of time spent together. It brings a familiarity with Him and who He is for every situation. He who goes with me and lives within me desires that I come to such a place in my knowledge of Him that in any given moment I walk in the assurance of His sufficiency for that moment, that challenge, that crisis, that obstacle because the sufficiency is in who He is, and I know Him to that point I no longer have to stop and search… at that moment I know.

May the Lord grant that we come to know Him with that kind of intimacy and purity, that like Him, we will not have to remind myself of who He is, I will simply “know” and walk and rest in the character of who He is.


Share this

Turn Your Eyes…



Turn Your Eyes…

It’s been a long time since my last blog on this site. My life has had maybe more than my share of changes and challenges in the past couple months. I have started some blogs, but then got interrupted, or didn’t want to continue that particular train of thought for various reasons. It did however get me thinking about the truth of an old tune that has been playing in my head lately; “turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in his wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of his glory and grace.”

So I want to scribble down here some thoughts on “turn your eyes…” Yes, I know, it’s obvious, where we are looking makes a big difference in where we go and how we get there. But what am I turning my eyes to? I have to admit that lately I have been turning my eyes to the circumstances that have been challenging me. To be honest, starting a new life in a new culture with a new language and a new family, and new habits and customs is not exactly the easiest thing in the world to do, and when you are my age, it makes it even more difficult to adapt. Add to that the challenges of an accident that results in a broken leg… I now have a place and eight screws in my right leg, the removal of my gall bladder, double pneumonia and a weakened heart muscle, and a burn on my hand from hot bacon grease. All of that has kept my eyes pretty much focused on my circumstances, I admit. If I were to change that little tune to the other side, it might go something like this: “turn your eyes on circumstances, look at all that is challenging your life, and the things of this world will overwhelm your soul, and you’ll be sure to despair every day.”

Turn your eyes…. Friends have asked me, “what is the Lord saying to you?” and I had to say that in this season, the heavens were bronze, and I was not hearing anything. Once I started a blog entitled, “Insights from the backside of the dessert.” But I thought it might be a little too negative. I was stuck… all I could turn my eyes on were the challenges, the difficulties, the disappointments. Not a good place to be. Not a healthy place to be. The stresses of my new challenges were taking a toll on my physical health resulting in a weakened heart muscle, and another change in my lifestyle.

Then there’s the other old song; “Where could I go, oh, where could I go? Seeking a refuge for my sould?” “Where could I go but to the Lord?” Hebrews 12:1- 2 says:Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne

OK, Lord, I am turning my eyes to you, I want to look full in your wonderful face, because I know you are beautiful, and merciful and gracious, and in your face I find the acceptance and love that you proved on Calvary. I want you to perfect my faith because I am not able to do that myself. I do not have the power. I turn my eyes to you who are in heaven, and I await the day when I will be able to look into your face in person. You have to help me because I cannot keep my eyes on you without your power and your help. It’s too easy for me to turn my eyes back again on my circumstances. Help me to strip away everything that hinders me from turning my eyes upon you, and looking full in your wonderful face. I’m looking, Lord, and I am fascinated. I’m looking, Lord and that is enough for this moment because that it all I have.


Share this

Lessons from my Accident – part 1


Clique aqui para ler este artigo em Português

On Sunday, October 27th, in our church, I opened the prayer time by running down the isle of the church saying, “The Word of God is Running!” based upon 2 Thess. 3:1, Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified, just as it is with you.


On Tuesday, October 29th, as I was riding my bicycle home, I was struck by a hit and run motorcycle driver. The accident left me with a severely fractured tibia, and assorted contusions and bruising. I was taken to the local trauma hospital here in Joao Pessoa, Brazil.

What follows are some reflections on things the Lord has been speaking to me about this incident, and lessons for myself and all of us.


It is the most common response, and the least answered question in times of tragedy and pain… “why?”  Because God made us as rational beings, with reasoning powers, our first tendency when faced with overwhelming circumstances is to ask why. What caused this to happen to me? Or my loved one? Did they do something wrong? Is this a result of some sin or poor choice?  The best response to these kinds of question is found in the incident with the man born blind in John 9:1-5. Jesus response to the question of why by the disciples was to point them to the work of God, and the power of God at work in the man’s life.

Certainly being hit by a motorcycle and fracturing my tibia and being laid up for weeks of recovery was not something I ever thought would happen to me.

head - smAnd, to be honest there were those times when I asked that unanswerable question of why. Why now? Why me? Why here in a foreign country so far from everything familiar? What’s happening to my life?

But in the midst of the confusion and the tragedy, God was showing that He was in the midst of the situation. My fiancé, Crizelania was on the scene almost immediately, and became my life giving advocate. The pastor of the church was there to help and to advocate at the hospital, members of the church  became involved and were touched by how God was working in the midst of this difficulty.

kika2-smPersonal stories were written on the hearts of those who got close to our experiences. God was showing up and working, and as Jesus said to His disciples… so the power of God might be seen in him.

This saga is not yet finished. God has spoken to our hearts that He can use this for His glory on into the future. When I came to Brazil, it was with the call of Psalm 71:17-21 on my life. Verses 17 – 18 say: O God, you have taught me from my earliest childhood, and I constantly tell others about the wonderful things you do. Now that I am old and gray, do not abandon me, O God. Let me proclaim your power to this new generation, your mighty miracles to all who come after me.

One of the things the Lord spoke to me after the accident as I was reviewing this call on this season of my life, was that God reserves the right to decide HOW that will be fulfilled. His calling is still in effect, and He can decide how he wants to demonstrate that power in and through us. Our part is to be a willing vessel.

I do not know if,  in the Lord’s presence He will explain to us the “why’s” of our lives. But I suspect that when we are there in His presence, we will no longer have a need to understand why, because He will be all the answer we need.

’till next time…

Share this

The Power of Encouraging Words


I was struck today by the power of simple words of encouragement. As you may realize, most of the time these kinds of reminders come in the simplest forms. So it was today.

IMG_1928[1]I was folding some T-shirts that had dried in the warm Brazilian air. And as I was folding my T-shirts, the words of my wife echoed in my head. A few weeks before she died, I was doing the same chore… folding my T-shirts, and she made the simple comment, “You fold those so nice and narrow.” It was a simple statement, but now eighteen months after her death, her words come to my mind. Seven simple words. She could have told me I wasn’t doing it right. She could have said I need to do it a different way, but she simply said she like the way I folded them “nice and narrow.” Simple positive words that actually come to my mind every time I fold my T-shirts.

How easy it is for us to forget the power of our words. Especially if we happen to be task oriented kind of people. We have a certain way of doing things, we know how things need to be done, and we have no problem telling other people how they should handle this or that task to be more efficient. And in our desire to “do things right” we often miss the golden opportunities to enrich someone’s life. Countless stories are told my people who had just one teach in school who spoke encouraging words to them and made all the difference in the direction of their lives. The simple power of encouraging words.

Scripture is full of reminders of this. Proverbs 25:11 tells us, A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold In settings of silver. (NKJV)  Paul reminds us in Philippians 4:8-9 (NKJV)  Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy–meditate on these things.  The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.  Even the Lord Himself is an example of this. Psalm 85:8 (NKJV)  states: I will hear what God the LORD will speak, For He will speak peace To His people and to His saints;

positivewordsEvery once in a while it is good for us to stop and take inventory or our lives. How is it with your words? Are you speaking words of encouragement to those around you? Are you focusing on things that are true, and noble, and pure, and lovely, and praiseworthy as you relate to your co-workers and your family? As you speak to the clerk in the grocery store? You never know what effect simple words of encouragement can have in the lives of those you encounter.

Start today to keep a watch over your words, and ask the Holy Spirit to help you to be a person of peace and encouragement. There is power in those simple words.

Share this

November 23, 2011Nitty Gritty Reminders

I’m here in Columbus, Ohio with my son, Jonathan, his dear wife Carol, and my mother who flew in from St. Louis. Enjoying having time together… It’s a special treat to spend this holiday together.

This is one of those firsts. The first Thanksgiving holiday in Forty Years where Marilou and I are not together. The first Thanksgiving of being a “widower.” The first Thanksgiving where I don’t have this all to share with her.

And then there were those nitty gritty reminders, like the movie we saw today. It is a good movie. It is “THE WAY by Emilio Estevez. It’s about a successful Ophthalmologist whose son dies in a terrible accident in the mountains of France as he was just beginning a pilgrimage on a route from France to Northern Spain. Martin Sheen, as the father, has his sons remains cremated, and decides to finish the pilgrimage his son had started. All along the trek, he has the ashes of his son, and stops at certain points and spreads the ashes, finally ending at the sea, where he empties the plastic bag of ashes into the sea.
There were a couple times I thought of almost walking out…. it was a good movie, I would recommend it, but every time Martin Sheen, as the father, placed or flung those ashes of his son, my mind went to my task now just two weeks away. And imagining how I will feel as I travel to Brazil where Marilou and I spend July of 2010, on prayer mountains in Brazil seeking the presence and face of God. I pictured and wondered how I will feel when I stand on that hill in Sabara, where we pitched that prayer tent and spent two different days on the hill in prayer and worship. How will I feel? How will I do it? I don’t have a plan, I’m just going to do it…somehow.  How will it be when I stand on top of that mountain in Algodao de Jandaira, and throw her ashes to the wind in the spot where we stood. The place where in 2008, I was on my knees being prayed for by these dear Brazilian brothers and sisters.
How will I feel when I go to the beach in Joao Pessao and walk on the beach where my camera was drowned and I scatter her ashes to the sea… how will it be?

The nitty gritty reminders are those sand in your teeth kind of real elements of life that remind you that something is different about you now. YOU ARE ALONE.

Yea, I know… I’m not really alone, I have God, I have family. Absolutely, Absolutely!!!! Amen and Amen, …  BUT…. there is a sense that I am still alone. No one else in that theater knew the stinging pain that was coursing through my body as I watch him scatter his sons ashes into the sea and empty that plastic bag. Only those who even know what that bad of ashes is really like, can relate, or know.

An yes, absolutely, I know that the Lord is with me. As I have written previously, He is so much closer now than ever, very before. Abba and I relate on a whole different level now. It’s hard to explain. Even today as I was reading about the Father giving up His Son to bear the crushing weight of our (my) sin, I related to that in a whole new way. Abba, “Daddy” is a lot closer to me, and I to Him. But there are still those little nitty gritty reminders that…with all of this I have…. I still don’t have…her…

…Till next time

Share this