Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Tweet Lord...

Pope Benedict launches the Vatican's new news and information portal, 28 June

Something about The Pope tweeting, let alone from an iPad, makes me happy- for 2 reasons.
One reason: He is adorable.
Even more importantly,
as my favorite teacher, Ray VanderLaan has taught me to ask,
how can we change our culture, if we don't know the language?

Jesus was not afraid to use secular pictures to teach God's truth. In His day, He saw images from the theater and ancient politics as an avenue for him to reach people who would not understand "religious" language.

The "church" communicating in a way that "the world" communicates?
I believe gives Jesus something to smile about.

We know that Jesus understood Hellenistic culture.
We know He knew the daily experiences and concerns of people who lived in a pagan world.
We know He used word pictures and stories that people would easily understand.

Jesus frequently used the word "hypocrite," a word describing actors. In one case, he encouraged people to avoid praying and fasting like "actors", who put on an exaggerated face and performed for the audience's applause.

“When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full." ~Matthew 6:5

Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting." ~Matthew 6:16

Jesus used, spoke and taught about and with the language of His Culture.
Which leads me to think, He just might very well be Tweeting, Blogging and Facebooking His Father's Message today.
Being that He is not physically here, it might very well just be up to us.

Pope Benedict XVI tweeting from an iPad, "Dear Friends, Praised be our Lord Jesus Christ! With my prayers and blessings, Benedictus XVI."
is a great example of how to change the culture by speaking it's language.

God, Thank You for the many opportunities You give us to show You to the world.

In His Dust,


Monday, June 27, 2011

God Using Us???

Ever wonder what in the world God could possibly use you for? Me too. I was thinking about this on a pre-sunrise walk this am.

As I questioned and doubted, I was reminded of countless examples in The Bible as well as on
this very day, that God most certainly, without a doubt- does use each and every one of us. We are His Powerful Instruments in this broken world. We are also surrounded with other powerful instruments. What a great reminder of God's forgiveness and His belief in us!

I came across some thoughts from Max Lucado on the subject. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Abraham- God took what was good and forgave what was bad
and used “old forked tongue” to start a nation.
Moses- would you call upon a fugitive to carry the Ten Commandments? God did.
David- his track record left little to be desired, but his repentant spirit was unquestionable. Jonah- God put him in a whale’s belly to bring him back to his senses. But even the whale couldn’t stomach this missionary for too long.

On and on the stories go: Elijah, the prophet who pouted; Solomon, the king who knew too much; Jacob, the wheeler-dealer; Gomer, the prostitute; Sarah, the woman who giggled at God. One story after another of God using man’s best and overcoming man’s worst.

The reassuring lesson is clear. God used (and uses!) people to change the world. People! Not saints or superhumans or geniuses, but people. Crooks, creeps, lovers, and liars–he uses them all. And what they may lack in perfection, God makes up for in love.

Jesus later summarized God’s stubborn love with a parable. He told about a teenager who decided that life at the farm was too slow for his tastes. So with pockets full of inheritance money, he set out to find the big time. What he found instead were hangovers, fair-weather friends, and long unemployment lines. When he had had just about as much of the pig’s life as he could take, he swallowed his pride, dug his hands deep into his empty pockets, and began the long walk home; all the while rehearsing a speech that he planned to give to his father.

He never used it. Just when he got to the top of the hill, his father, who’d been waiting at the gate, saw him. The boy’s words of apology were quickly muffled by the father’s words of forgiveness. And the boy’s weary body fell into his father’s opened arms.

The same open arms welcomed him that had welcomed Abraham, Moses, David, and Jonah. No wagging fingers. No clenched fists. No “I told you so!” slaps or “Where have you been?” interrogations. No crossed arms. No black eyes or fat lips. No. Only sweet, open arms. If you ever wonder how God can use you to make a difference in your world, just look at those he has already used and take heart. Look at the forgiveness found in those open arms and take courage.

And, by the way, never were those arms opened so wide as they were on the Roman cross. One arm extending back into history and the other reaching into the future. An embrace of forgiveness offered for anyone who’ll come. A hen gathering her chicks. A father receiving his own. A redeemer redeeming the world.

No wonder they call him the Savior." -Max Lucado


Still wondering if God can use you?

Look around, I bet He just did.

God, Thank You for believing in us. Please, teach us to follow Your Lead.

In His Dust,


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Puzzle Pieces...

I am type A.
I like puzzle pieces to fit together.

From our view point in life, sometimes they fit...and sometimes they don't.

It looks like there are pieces shoved where they don't belong.
And all too often, pieces that are suddenly missing.

Our tight knit community is in the midst, again, of a missing piece.

What can we do about it?

We can remember and remind each other, that we belong to LOVING God. The Bible is packed with this truth and promise, all the way from Genesis to Revelation.

"His unfailing love fills the earth." -Psalm 33:5b

“We know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” -Romans 8:28

We can rest assured, that from where He sits, the puzzle makes sense.

We can remember, that He loves us with a love that is incomprehensible to our human hearts.
We can be certain, that He hears each prayer and catches each and every tear.

God, Please continue to blanket The Dibrell Family and Sam's buddies with your love and peace.

In His Dust,

Monday, June 20, 2011

Hurricane Jesus...

It's quiet this morning...very much unlike last week...
during which, about 400 kids blew through here like a hurricane.
I refer to it as Hurricane Jesus. It was Vacation Bible School 2011- the theme was "Pandamonium."It's a nationwide curriculum. Many of you are, or soon will be, very familiar with it.
It's my favorite week of the year-to work in the church.Within each corner's turn-
there was a strong reminder of what Christ is focusing on.
In our sanctuary were over 400 shorties,
singing and dancing their hearts out to Jesus. While right outside those same doors...sat many homeless and hurting families-
waiting in line to receive help from our "Hope Center."

As the VBS kids left the sanctuary- I watched as they each waved, smiled and made eye contact. I do believe if they had understood what these people needed, dare I say,
they would have given it to them. It reminded me beyond the shadow of a doubt- EXACTLY why Jesus said...
"Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." ~Matthew 19:14 It was a visual buffet of who and what Jesus wants us to focus on.

the hurting and/or
Jesus, in His Own Words, says,
“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me." -Matthew 25:40

God, I pray that we will have the focus and passion of the kids towards the least of these.

In His Dust,

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Who Gets Credit...

Sunday Night TV was a toss up between The NBA Finals and The Tony awards.... while both were entertaining, I found more of a Biblical lesson in the game.

Lebron, don't you know, have you not heard, did you not pay attention??

"First pride, then the crash-
the bigger the ego, the harder the fall" ~Proverbs 16:18

Taking your talents to Miami? A they aren't your talents, they are God's.

As I sit here in judgment, I am suddenly aware of my own pride.

Where am I taking credit for my talents and successes?

Oh, make no mistake, we all do it. It sounds like this:

"I got the job...I got rid of my cold...I worked it out with my spouse...I got in to UT!...I have beat that addiction...The chemo is working..."

Is our language giving credit to God, or man?

God, Please remind me when I am taking the credit.

In His Dust,

P.S. Congrats to the Mavs on a well played season and a well deserved win.

It's still 4-1.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Airtime and Dirt....

"Who you become depends on what you give the most air time to;
be picky"
-Bob Goff

Over it....sick of hearing and discussing...Weiner and.....his.

The sermon yesterday was on Jesus' parable of the sower.

The title was "How's Your Dirt?"
I gave the children's sermon which means I got to translate the Scripture for minds that think more like....well, mine.

Jesus says that there are different types of soil and each type receive the seed differently.
He then goes on to explain that the seed is The Word of God and the soil is our hearts.
So, I've been thinking about my dirt...aware of what I am giving my "air time" to.
Stress? Negative comments? Judgemental thoughts? Busy-ness? Worry?

I need to be much much pickier.

God, thank You for continually planting in me and giving me fresh dirt to work with.

In His Dust,

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


"All combined together we make one really cool person.

Monday, June 6, 2011


Jesus Himself said -"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’
The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
There is no commandment greater than these.” -Mark 12:30-31

Dear William, (aka Number One, MoMo)

I went to your 5th grade graduation last week. As always, before you had done anything I thought you were perfectly wonderful.
I was proud as a peacock.

Then the students started walking across the stage-
as they cringed at their middle names being made known to the world....a teacher read their best memories of Woodridge Elementary.

Most kids said their favorite memory was "a day trip to TBarM" or "Field Day" or "winning a contest"...No one person, was mentioned as being a best memory.

You were not on the stage yet, so I may or may not, have been playing Words with Friends when I heard her say these words:
"John's Best memory of Woodridge was that "he had Will Dehlinger for the very best friend he had ever known, all this time."

Time stopped.

My eyes swelled.
My heart matched my eyes.

I must explain, I was not the slightest bit surprised to hear that someone thought you were a great friend- what I was blown away by, was who had said it.
I had never once in 5 years, seen or heard of this little boy. I had not heard you brag or even mention being nice to a lonely boy who didn't necessarily "fit in."

You, my precious Godson, have impacted someone's life so greatly, that the way you treated him was the best thing he will remember from 5 solid years.

As you walked across the stage- your humility and character were unmistakeable.
(As were the tears of your mom, your dad and me.)

You have been The Hands and Feet of Jesus to that little boy, just as you were to Robin.
Thank you for teaching and reminding us how to treat people.It does not go unnoticed. It never has. It never will.
God is watching you.
God is guiding you
God is applauding you.
As am I.

God, Thank You for putting this precious life in mine. Please, Bless Him and Keep Him, make Your Face to shine upon Him and be gracious unto him. Turn Your Face to Him and give Him peace.

In His Dust,

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Fresh Shot...

"We have a shot at honoring God today by what we do rather than just flattering him yesterday by what we said" -Bob Goff

So.....yesterday, I was driving through the Quarry.....the speed limit is 20 or 25 mph.
Which would have been fine if the person in front of me, didn't seem to think it was 10 mph.

Naturally, I did not have time for this.
Those of you that know me, will not be surprised to know, I may or may not, have passed her.
Let me be clear, this was not a "rude-fast-passing"...but rather a "slow-waving-how ya doing-sorry, gotta get somewhere-kinda passing."

I got to Wolff Camera, got out of the car and began talking to an elderly, but sharp as a tack, lady from church in the parking lot. We were having a nice chat- discussing my grandmother, etc...

when all of a sudden....
she, that thought the speed limit was 10 mph,
drove up and appeared right next to us....
Me: (To myself) "Do not engage-smile- keep conversation going with Mrs C."
Me: (to myself) "I said- ignore her- you are talking to a friend of your grandmother's - be a lady.
Me: "Actually, yes. Sorry to bother you."
Me: (To myself) "Ignore her- do not interact. Mrs C is talking to you and listening to your response. Pretty is as pretty does."
Me: "Hmmmm.....I have been called one of those words- but not both."
Her: ......zooooooooooooooommmmmed off!!

My response to this maniac - was controlled and calmer than usual, for one reason, and one reason only, Mrs C. sitting there-smiling at me-just watching and listening. She knows full well, "who I belonged to"
I thought to myself as I walked off- I wish I had her following me around everyday-
Better yet...and even scarier- I have Jesus.....watching....listening....leading and defending

God, Thank You....for holding me accountable and being my Great Defender at the same time.

In His Dust,