I’ve had enough

Have you had a committed relationship end? Have you reached the point where you finally said, “I’ve had enough, no more”? Have you been on the other end of that statement? Did your loved one slump her/his shoulders, drop her/his head and quit? “I cannot forgive this. Please leave. I don’t love you any more.”

I hope you’ve never endured this kind of heartbreak. The wound is long to heal. Sometimes never.

Even if you’ve faced that situation, I bet you’ve loved (or will love) again. We’re created for relationship, you see. You’re programmed for love and companionship. Both to give and to receive.

If you’ve been hurt, I want to offer you new hope. Listen: You are already loved and that love will never be rescinded. This relationship will never end, your heart is safe. Here’s what Jesus has to say to you today:

Jesus said, “I am the Bread of Life. The person who aligns with me hungers no more and thirsts no more, ever. I have told you this explicitly because even though you have seen me in action, you don’t really believe me. Every person the Father gives me eventually comes running to me. And once that person is with me, I hold on and don’t let go. I came down from heaven not to follow my own whim but to accomplish the will of the One who sent me.” (John‬ ‭6:35-38‬ ‭MSG‬‬)

Run to Jesus. Right now. He’s waiting with open arms that will never let you go!


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A logical AND

When learning to program a computer, a fundamental lesson is logical comparison. This enables decisions to be made in the code based on the user’s input. This comparison can take one of four primary types: AND, OR, NOT, and XOR (exclusive OR). These are referred to as logical operators and their comparison rules are summarized in truth tables that include two options: true (T) and false (F).

Let’s consider the AND operator. When comparing two inputs that may each be either true or false, the result is also true or false. Here’s the corresponding truth table.

The first vertical column gives the value of the input P. The second column lists the value of the input Q. The third column provides the result of their logical comparison using AND. We see that the comparison is only true when both inputs are true. The first horizontal row says: if P is true and Q is true, then P AND Q is true. We also see that if either P or Q is false, then the result is false.

Here’s a practical example of AND. If I am outside and it is raining, then I will use my umbrella. If I am inside, I won’t use my umbrella. If it is not raining, I won’t use my umbrella. Both conditions must be true  for me to open my umbrella.

I say all this because I noticed a very important AND in Matthew 5:3 (NLT). Matthew 5-7 gives Jesus’ sermon on the mount, where He provides instruction for living this new Christian life. The first statement Jesus makes is:

3 “God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him,
for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.

We can interpret poor to indicate a deficit, specifically a deficit in things spiritual. The poor are those who don’t have it quite all together (you know, like you and me).

…poor and realize…

This is where I found the important AND. This AND requires humility. If I am poor in spirit (sorry, this is true for all of us) AND I realize my need for God, then I am blessed. I cannot live in the kingdom of me (this is the state of pride) and realize my need for God at the same time. However, if I admit my weakness in my inherent state of weakness, then I open the door for God to bless my life.

Because I am poor (P is true in the truth table), I must choose to admit my need for God (Q can be true or false) for blessings to be possible (if P is true and Q is true, only then is P AND Q true).

Choose God over self. Choose true. May blessings rain down on you!





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Stephen Hero

I’ve been reading Stephen Hero by James Joyce. It’s an early version of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Joyce, not surprisingly, uses the main character Stephen to demonstrate his own love of language and words. He was a famous author after all.

He describes being a college student and growing in his appreciation for language when used to its full effect. He draws a clear line between proper (literary) and mundane (everything else, it seems) uses for words.

Words, he said, have a certain value in the literary tradition and a certain value in the market-place — a debased value. Words are simply receptacles for human thought: in the literary tradition they receive more valuable thoughts than they receive in the market-place.

I concur with Joyce that words have inherent value. I also agree that, when properly used, they carry a weight that transcends syllables and sounds. I believe that words are, indeed, “receptacles”, or containers, for thought.

Joyce describes Stephen’s daily walk from the tram station (Amiens Street Station in Dublin) to college (University College Dublin) each morning [1].

As he walked thus through the ways of the city he had his ears and eyes ever prompt to receive impressions. It was not only in Skeat that he found words for his treasure-house, he found them also at haphazard in the shops, on advertisements, in the mouths of the plodding public. He kept repeating them to himself till they lost all instantaneous meaning for him and became wonderful vocables.

What Joyce is saying is that he spent his walks deliberately seeking inspiration through words and phrases. He emphasizes that it was not just literary sources (Skeat studied word origins and published the Etymological English Dictionary in Joyce’s time), but everything he encountered. Shops, advertisements, passersby. When he found these choice morsels, he tasted and savored them until his appetite was temporarily satiated.

Why does this intrigue me? Take a look at John 1:1.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

This verse introduces Jesus. It marks Him as timeless, separate from God the Father, but also God. It defines Jesus as the Word.

This places inestimable value on words properly used. It teaches us that Jesus is the incarnate communication of God’s love to us. As Jesus spoke, truth was shared. When we study the Bible, God’s word to us, we learn truth and love. There is, without question, inherent weight to this collection of words, inherent weight to Jesus’ teachings. This weight is called glory. [Kabod is the Hebrew word for glory; it means weight or heaviness.]

My hope for us is that we share Joyce’s passion for not just words, but the Word. Jesus. My desire is that we spend our days on the “morning walk from the tram to the college hall” seeking Jesus in all we see and experience. Like Joyce’s example, I pray that we use our everyday, walking around life to:

Taste and see that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8).

Peace and joy to you, friend.

1. Apparently, Joyce was quite the walker if I have the geography correct. The route from Ameins Street Station (now Connolly Train Station) to University College Dublin takes over an hour on foot.


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Walk with me

I was thinking while walking my dog this morning. [He’s a Shih Tzu. He’s delicate and stubborn. It’s embarrassing.] My thoughts were focused on trust because I’ve been pondering a verse I recently read.

Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. (Ephesians 3:17)

God wants us to trust Him. It’s the cornerstone of faith. Trust is essential to relationship. In fact, I’d argue that without it relationship is impossible (or at least severely limited).

Here’s the thing with trust. Listen. It takes time. Here’s a related truth about God. He’s not in a hurry. He’s the author of time.

I know I can trust God because I have a lifetime of evidence. He’s shown me grace and mercy and blessings far beyond anything I deserved. Over and over again. I’ll bet that if you look carefully, you’ll see His strong hand in your life as well.

As we walk with God we learn to trust Him, our faith grows. We experience deeply-rooted unconditional love. God is whispering to you right now. Right this minute. “Walk with me.”



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Keep away, monkey

Did you ever play Keep Away (also referred to as Monkey/Piggy/Pickle in the Middle) as a child? It’s a game in which two or more players pass a ball back and forth, while the “monkey” in the middle attempts to intercept it.

I was reminded of Keep Away when reading 1 John 5:21 (NLT). Old John, the disciple whom Jesus loved, ends his letter with this gently delivered wisdom.

Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.

Keep away.

We are too often playing a dangerous game of keep away. We’re in the middle and spend all our time and effort trying to get the ball, but when we finally capture it we find that we’ve caught nothing but trouble. You see, a focus on the things of this world means misplaced priorities. Directing our energy toward growing a deeper relationship with our God in Heaven, the I AM, however, is our intended path.

Paul said it so well in his letter to the church in Colosse:

1Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. 2Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. (Colossians 3:1-2)

Just keep away friend and, above all else, guard your heart (Proverbs 4:23). Jesus offers you so much more than this world’s monkey games.




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To know me is to love me

“To know me is to love me” is cliche, but points to a basic truth. No, I don’t think I’m inherently lovable.  However, I do believe that if I don’t know someone, then I have no opportunity to love them.

The Bible tells us that God is love.

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. (1 John 4:8)

I believe this. Everything I’ve experienced supports that God is indeed love. There is an important “if” to follow this truth, though.

If I don’t take the time to get to know God, how can I love Him? If I don’t know Him, how can I trust Him? If I can’t trust Him, then I must trust myself, or another, with my peace and joy and security. I can only speak for me, but I’ve learned from years of experience that I’m not sufficiently reliable. Not nearly.

The same disciple who wrote “God is love” also understood what is not love. He wrote about that too.

15Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. 16For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. 17And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever. (1 John 2:15-17)


  • physical pleasure
  • everything I see
  • pride in achievements and possessions.

Check. Check. Check. Temporary and empty.  Everything we see we want to possess. — Sting

What now? Where do we go from here? We become a friend of God. We speak with Him through prayer. We read His word, the Bible. If you want to learn about God and love, start with John. Read his Gospel, then read his letters (1, 2, and 3 John). There is one unifying theme: true love.

If you’ve been hurt before, you may be reluctant to trust. Relationship may be difficult for you. Here’s the amazing part of this particular love story, though. With God, there is no risk. He already knows you and He already loves you. Completely. He won’t abandon you. Ever. All you need do is open your heart to Him and you’ll experience love that you didn’t think possible.

Let’s rewrite the cliche: He knows me to love me.

I leave you with Paul’s assurance to the church in Rome.

38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)

Happy Valentine’s Day!




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Remain (10 = 7 + 3)



  • continue to exist, especially after other similar or related people or things have ceased to exist
  • stay in the place that one has been occupying
  • continue to possess a particular quality or fulfill a particular role.

The word remain appears 10 times in John 15:1-17 (NLT). Jesus uses it seven times to encourage us to remain in Him and three times to remain in His love [1]. I’ve been thinking about this for days.

What does it mean? To remain.

I have two thoughts. First, remaining is not instantaneous. I cannot remain in a moment. I remain over time. Jesus wants relationship. Relationship with you. This takes time. He wants to be intricately woven into the fabric of your day and life. He wants to teach you love. Just as He was taught by His Father.

Second, we have a model for remain. We are each a son or daughter. With my children, I see me in them. In their preferences, their outlook, their decisions. I see this because I taught them through both my words and actions (some good, some bad). They’ve watched me to learn life. I am in them because we share relationship. They are also in me. I think of them first and always.

So, …

How do I remain in Jesus, in His love? I think the answer is straightforward, but not simple. I remain by deciding to do so. I go to Him each day, high or low, good or bad. I invite Him into my life and give Him the run of the place. I study His Word and learn His ways. When I love others as I am loved by Him, I remain. I continue. When I fail, I remain. I accept correction. In all circumstances, I remain.

Remain, friend. I know you can.

1. The numbers 10, 7, and 3 are all used to represent completeness in the Bible. Jesus and His love are complete.

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