I sure hope you are DRESSED FOR SUCCESS

I spent the first four days last week unemployed. It’s not that I didn’t have an employer, I actually have two of them at present. It’s just that neither of them had any work for me Monday through Thursday.

With the end of the month approaching I’m watching my bank accounts extremely closely. One surprise fee or expense could push me over the financial edge.

As it is there ain’t enough to pay all the bills I can foresee.

Sometimes living on a strict manna diet has its own set of stresses. I’m at that stage where God is stretching me big time in that department.

The last three days last week were tied up at the ACFW conference. That meant three potential days without pay and the expense of that event.

Monday was used to send out two requested proposals for Harvest House Publishers. That could prove most beneficial in the long run, but it doesn’t help this month at all.

Tuesday through Thursday were spent on other writing related items and praying for either a painting job or a driving assignment to come in.

With a men’s retreat and another writing conference coming up next month I don’t really need unpaid days to pile up like this. Hence the prayers going up from my little apartment.

Thursday afternoon the apainter Paul finally called to tell me he was powerwashing a fence for me to stain. That was my best-case scenario since a driving paycheck now won’t get to me until next month.

About an hour after I got off the phone with the apainter my dispatcher called with a potential to drive to Louisiana leaving at 3:00 AM. It broke my heart to tell him I had a painting job already.

That’s when I sent up a question prayer wondering why these came stacked on top of each other instead of spreading them out for maximum usage.

This manna diet frequently gets caught in my throat like that.

Being dressed for success means different things at different times.

[Tweet “Wearing the proper clothes at the right time shows wisdom”]

My work wardrobe is showing some serious signs of needing attention. I’ve been wearing a pair of jeans that have been weakening on the right thigh just above the knee.

Painting jeans

I decided to use those for my painting pants two weeks ago. The first time I washed them for that job a designer section of tear showed up in that section of denim. It gets a bit bigger each time I wash them now.

With some paint splashes on that pair of jeans too I appear to be a well-seasoned painter in my own right.

I’ve discovered painting is a lot like writing. You can fake it til you make it if you keep your mouth shut and just do the work.

The fence owner seemed confident I knew what I was doing even though my wardrobe was less than spectacular.

Had I shown up to paint in the suit I wore to the gala dinner at the conference the homeowner would have questioned my integrity to get the job done. If I would have worn those ragged pants to a one-on-one appointment at the conference I would have been laughed out of the hotel the conference was held in.

ACFW Gala 2015

Wearing the proper clothes at the right time shows wisdom.

Jesus told a parable about someone who definitely wore the wrong clothes at the wrong time.

The parable about the wedding feast in Matthew 22:1-14 closes with the king noticing a guy under dressed for a wedding. The result was not only that klutz being thrown out but cast into utter darkness with weeping and gnashing of teeth.

The book of Revelation closes with the wedding supper of the Lamb being thrown in heaven when the last person to accept Jesus as their Savior is included.

Only those of us who have been washed pure white by the blood of Jesus shed at the cross will be invited to that feast.

Make sure you have your white wedding feast clothes on for that shin dig, y’all.

I’d hate to see you cast out into eternal darkness after seeing the light like that.

Keep smiling.   Wade

NO FRUIT

“Do you think they’ll make their move today?” Matthew glanced at Thomas.

Thomas shrugged. “Don’t know. I doubt it, but who knows?”

Jesus led His disciples from Bethany to Jerusalem. Their shadows grew shorter with each step.

Jesus stepped off the road and headed to a fig tree.

“I hope He finds enough for all of us.” Matthew studied Jesus’s every move.

Jesus pushed branches around, then stepped back from the tree. “May you never bear fruit ever again.” He walked back to the road and continued to Jerusalem.

Matthew looked back at the tree. The leaves were wilting. Three of them spun down.

****

The next morning Peter noticed the fig tree’s bare branches. “Rabbi, the tree You cursed yesterday is dead. How did that happen so quickly?”

Jesus spun around. “Maintain faith in your prayers and you’ll do mightier than this. If you tell a mountain to go to the sea it will obey if you don’t doubt. Believe with your heart and you will have what you ask for.”

Matthew’s mouth dropped open as he watched Jesus turn back to Jerusalem. When they entered the city Jesus went to the temple.

A group of priests, scribes and elders were waiting for Him.

A chief priest stepped in front of Jesus. “By what authority do You do the things You do? Who gave you such authority?

Jesus pointed to the group of religious leaders. “First, let me ask you a question. From that I will answer your question.”

The priests nodded.

“John’s baptism, was it from heaven or men?”

The priests stood for a moment, then spun into a huddle. Matthew was close enough to hear their conversation.

“If we say it’s from heaven He’ll wonder why we don’t believe Him.”

“But, if we say it’s from men the people might stone us because they believe he was a prophet.”

The chief priest turned back to Jesus. “We…uh, we don’t know where it was from.”

Jesus nodded. “Then neither will I tell you from where My authority is from.”

Jesus kept staring at the priests. “What do you think? A man had two sons he wanted to work for him. When the first son said he wouldn’t work the father went to the other son, but the first had a change of heart and did go to work. The next son said he would go to work, but never did. Which of these boys obeyed the father?”

The chief priest leaned back. “Why, the first son did because he worked.”

Jesus stepped toward the group. “I tell you tax collectors and harlots will enter heaven before you do. They believed in John’s message and repented. You heard him and never changed a thing.”

********

Wishy-washy–that’s the best term I can think of to describe the religious leaders of Jesus’s day. They had so compromised the foundation of what they believed in they didn’t stand for anything.

That fig tree was an exact representation of them. It had the appearance of being alive, but it didn’t produce any fruit.

They displayed the activity of a vibrant religion, but wouldn’t change for anything. Not even when someone came performing miracles like Jesus did.

They were so into rules and making sure everybody followed their interpretation of them they couldn’t see any other way to live. They were totally blind to anything Jesus taught.

The only thing they knew for sure was this Jesus had to be stopped at all cost. He was upsetting the status quo they established. If He didn’t bow to their terms He had to pay with His life.

After all they were set in place by God Himself. Who did He think He was coming from Nazareth of all places with a questionable parentage to top it all off.

Jesus showed us the example we’re to follow when we know we’re right. Don’t back down to anybody.

[Tweet “Let’s follow Jesus’s example and start a revolution”]

Even if the most powerful people of the land say we’re wrong it doesn’t mean they’re right. It just means they’re so stuck on their power they refuse to see the truth that’s staring them in the face.

What are we to do when faced with someone trying to shut up the truth?

Let’s follow Jesus’s example and start a revolution.

That’s right, we’ve been sitting on the sidelines far too long. We need to get in the game and establish God’s truth back into our society.

Our churches need to teach God’s Word no matter what. Stop watering it down in fear we’ll offend someone. Jesus offended many people in His day.

Let’s get God-fearing folks in positions of decision in public schools. Stop complaining about what’s taught and get the truth back in there.

More carriers of truth need to get elected to public office. Few people in law making positions know what really takes place in society today. The more change we can see the quicker we can re-establish a sense of purpose again.

It’s never too late to do what’s right. It’s only too late if we do nothing at all.

Jesus had John write to the church of Laodicea warning them about being lukewarm toward the truth. He said He would vomit them out of His mouth because of their wishy-washy stance on the truth. I fear we’re becoming that church today.

Nobody could confess Jesus was lukewarm about anything. He stood up to hypocrites, power-grabbers and liars. That’s the kind of revolution I’m getting at here.

At the rate we’re going we’ll be that fruitless fig tree Jesus found that day. With a word He can end our existence.

Let’s not allow that to happen.

People are going to Hell all the time. That’s not why Jesus died on the cross. They need to hear about His sacrifice for them.

Blending into the woodwork isn’t telling them the truth. Being revolutionary will make a difference.

We’re not here to make friends but enemies.

THE enemy is counting on us to stay on the sidelines.

Let’s not let him win.

I’ll see you later.   Wade

My experience at #ACFW2015

Well, it’s over and I lived to tell about it.

Anybody whose been to a big conference knows what I’m talking about.

They told us 465 people paid to be at this year’s convention for writers who center God and Jesus in their reason for writing.

The American Christian Fiction Writers annual conference was held in the Hyatt Regency hotel at DFW Airport in 2015. Being about 24 miles from my apartment I commuted there for three days rather than invest a month’s rent to borrow a bed for a few nights.

2012 was the last time ACFW was in Dallas at the same venue. Perhaps it was because this wasn’t my first go-round at this, but this year’s event felt more laid back.

The meals were scrumptious, as usual. I don’t think I gained much weight though. Not that I checked.

I felt like God was preparing me for future stardom by a certain repeated event. Each of the first two days I had two different people ask me the exact same question from out of the blue: “Are you Wade?”

The first time was at a spotlight session for Bethany House Publishing. Right after I grabbed a seat in the back row a woman at the other end of the row leaned forward and asked me that. Before I thought to ask who was asking I responded with a coy. “Yeah.” I didn’t even have time to check the name tag holder dangling off my neck.

She introduced herself as Becky Wade. No, we’re not related as far as I know. In 2012 I won the silent auction for her critique of part of a manuscript. It took us quite a few attempts to get that accomplished, but we did. It was nice to meet her in person to thank her for her expertise. I didn’t confess that it still isn’t published. Fortunately she didn’t ask, either.

On Friday morning I arrived late for the start of breakfast. They served me anyway. Just as I sat down a gray-haired lady snuck up from behind me and asked the same question. I confessed to being said nefarious  individual. She introduced herself. Unfortunately her name didn’t stick in my head. According to her business card her name is Darlene Baker.

The reason she was interested in talking to me is because she, too, drives a truck for a living. The back of her card says, “18 Wheels in a Memoir.” She drives with her husband across the country. I told her my wife and I thought about doing that together. She said it was probably for the better we didn’t since you can’t slam the divider curtain shut to the sleeper berth to get away from each other. Point taken.

I volunteered to help out at the appointment area. I was given the first hour on Saturday morning as my assignment. I was one of the timekeepers for the 15 minute “speed dating” sessions with agents and editors. I was placed at the end of the hall of eight rooms.

I got to see some of the important folks as they walked in for the day.

Agent Steve Laube sauntered down the carpet–no, it wasn’t red–by his lonesome. The way the ceiling was lit in sections reminded me of an old-time TV show. I told him I pictured doors sliding shut behind him as he approached. He said he had to answer his shoe.

I got to talk to Brandilyn Collins–the MC for the festivities and board member–a bit. Rachel Hauck and I talked a little longer before her appointment. She led the worship times quite well.

Francine Rivers would later receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. I stood in the hallway with her for a time, too. No, I didn’t have any of her books for an autograph. I wasn’t THAT prepared.

I received three different responses at my appointments.

  1. No, we either don’t actually publish that, even though it’s on our website (frustrating)–or, I don’t handle that part of our company with no attempt to pass it along to who does (expected).

  2. I don’t handle that part of our operation, but I’ll make sure the person who does gets your one sheet. It may take a few weeks for them to get in touch (progress).

  3. That’s sounds interesting. Send me a proposal (internal happy dance).

I walked by Harvest House’s table a few times to see if the niggling feeling would go away. I eventually picked up one of their keyrings celebrating 40 years in business on Thursday. Kim was the editor who showed the most interest in what I have. I met her toward the end of Saturday. They publish gift books and middle grade books. Pray for wisdom on both sides of this transaction.

I’ve been through this stage too many times to get overly excited. Optimism still prevails. Eek may find a home yet.

Friends are the best part of a conference of this magnitude. I spent a lot of time with Steve Myers from Arlington. He had one appointment that went very well. That guy who never married may have some romance books with his name on the cover. God works through people’s weaknesses.

Some online friends become three-dimensional. When Sarah Hamaker won a Genesis Award I knew I had to introduce myself. She helped critique Eek a few years back on an ACFW loop. It was good to get to hug someone who was only virtual before then.

Santa Claus won a Genesis, too. Joe Courtemanche looks so much like the imaginary character that he dressed up as Santa for the first dinner. The meal was set aside for people to dress as the genre they write. I guess that’s the only thing he had because he won in the suspense category.

The C in ACFW was really on display this year for many of us. Bill Myers’s keynote addresses were a phenomenal lesson on God using the most unlikely person to get the job done. We discovered the McGee and Me success started out by him winging the ideas behind it during a contest he felt overly-under-qualified for. That’s what he gets for saying “Yes” to God to use him. I want to be like him when I grow up.

Any writers reading this take notice. If you ever see Allan Arnold’s course offered at a conference called “The Wildness of Writing WITH God” (capitalization mine) change whatever you need to and attend every minute of it. It will change your whole outlook, perspective and purpose for being in this crazy business we’ve been called into.

Allan took the time to pray for each of us in that course before the conference. He bought spiral notebooks for each individual and wrote a thoughtful message he felt God led him to write. The messages are designed to be read as if they’re straight from God. This guy who didn’t start writing until the age of 47 received the perfect message.

“You have what it takes to write the stories I’ve given you. Take heart and don’t give up. We’ll do it together.”

ACFW notebook

I’ve always known this whole writing gig was God’s idea. A little confirmation never hurts. Thanks Allan.

Writing conferences are a great way to breathe new life into what’s often a solitary endeavor. All in all this one was a keeper.

Thanks ACFW folks who put this together. You’re the bestest! (misspelling mine)

Keep smiling.   Wade

RIGHTEOUS INDIGNATION

“Here He comes.” Thadeus nudged the fellow scribe next to him when he saw Jesus enter the gate of Jerusalem.

They and the priests with them studied His every move.

They followed Jesus as He led His followers to the temple.

They all froze when Jesus stopped in the outer area reserved for Gentiles.

“What’s He up to now?”

“Just wait and see. He’s bound to cross the line again any time now.”

Jesus stared at the men exchanging money for traveling worshipers. “The Father’s house is not a place to conduct business.”

Jesus grabbed a table and sent it tumbling. Coins rolled across the pavement. “Take this outside.” A second table fell by His actions.

He marched to some men selling doves for sacrifice and pulled a chair out from under one of them. The chair broke against the wall behind them.

“Take this out of here.”

Another chair flew against the wall.

“It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer for all nations.’ But, you have made it a ‘den of thieves.'”

Crowds scattered as the men selling doves picked up their tables with cages on them and carried them out of the temple area. They forced their way past the people picking up coins.

A priest grabbed Thadeus’s sleeve. “Who does He think He is with these actions?”

Thadeus shook his head. “I don’t know, but for a simple Galilean He sure knows His scripture. Those were quotes from Isaiah and Jeremiah.”

After the chaos subsided a blind man was led to Jesus.

Jesus smiled. “What do you want Me to do?”

The blind man grasped his cane with both hands. “I can’t see. I want to see.”

Jesus stroked the man’s cheek. “Go your way. Your faith has made you well.”

The man blinked a few times, then looked at Jesus’s smiling eyes. “Thank You. I can see.”

“Go. Your faith has made you well.”

A woman was carried to Jesus on a cot. Jesus touched the blanket covering her crooked legs. Her legs straightened. He took her hand and helped her to her feet. He patted her back as they hugged.

“Your family needs you. Go to them, mighty woman of faith.”

An echo came from a group of children. “Hosanna, Hosanna to the Son of David.”

Jesus smiled, dropped to one knee and hugged a toddling girl.

A priest stepped forward. “Why aren’t You correcting these kids? Don’t You know what they’re saying?”

Jesus looked up at the priest. “Have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of children and nursing infants You have perfected praise.'”

Thadeus tipped his head to the left. “A Psalm of David, this man knows His Word.”

Another scribe pulled the group together in a huddle. “We must stop Him before everybody follows Him.”

A priest looked at the crowded temple area. “We can’t now. With this many people around we’ll just start a riot. Then the Romans will put a stop to everything we hold dear.”

A chief priest stood. “Just be patient. We know He’s here. Our time will come by God’s timing.”

********

The cleansing of the temple was a dramatic move by Jesus. His passion for God’s house of worship could not be contained.

He didn’t let the opinions of the religious establishment of His day stop Him from doing what was over-due to be done.

Have you ever searched for the reason behind Jesus’s rage that day?

It wasn’t the business these men were conducting. Worshipers needed someone to exchange their foreign currency into something they could give to the temple treasury. Few doves would survive the journey of several days in a cage as they came to Jerusalem for the annual sacrifice. Doves and lambs would have to be sold for them.

No, it wasn’t the business that was the problem, it was the place of business that got Jesus’s temper stirred up.

The temple was divided onto sections for various worshipers. The inner-most place was the Holy of Holies. Only a selected priest could enter there.

Outside of there Jewish men could come, but not women. Women could come to the area walled off for them.

Between the outer wall of the temple Herod constructed in Jesus’s day and the area where women were allowed was the section devoted to Gentiles who wished to worship God at the temple. This is where the business had crept into.

The religious leaders apparently felt it was appropriate to let doves and coin exchange conducted in the place non-Jews came to.

Jesus’s heart was for all people. Gentiles could not worship well while money was changing hands and haggling was going on. That distraction needed to be taken beyond the outer wall.

[Tweet “Erosion is a silent stealer of priorities.”]

Is there an area of your life where something has crept in to distract your worship of God?

Do you need to make amends to someone for your prayer life to flourish again?

Can you make improvements toward your spouse and/or family members to bring your mind into full communion with God the Father?

You may have to step back to see the distractions in your life. Erosion is a silent stealer of priorities. Its gradual efforts are difficult to detect without direct observation and confrontation.

Pray for wisdom and discernment as you attempt to uncover what you’ve been burying all this time.

Enlist the help of godly people who use the Bible as a guidebook.

Read the Bible to find examples and instruction for the best ways to worship unobstructed.

This week of Passover was a time many people would finally have an audience with this miracle worker/healer. Jesus took the time to give them His attention and focus. Their lives would forever be changed.

Give Jesus your attention by focusing on your priorities to others.

He’s waiting for you to get right with them so He can have your undivided attention.

That’s an intimacy everyone should strive for.

Take drastic measures if you need to.

Jesus wants your all.

I’ll see you later.   Wade

Tex’s 10 Commands fer writer folks

Boy howdy, I’s so escited. My writer friends fixin’ ta come on back to Dallas and sit a few days. Tickles me a pretty color just thinkin’ bout it.

Now, these folks are kinda speshal to me. They like to read some a what I write. So I’m fixin to give somethin’ to read up on afore the big shindig.

Ben rollin’ thoughts around my noggin for what ta write. Took a bit to come up with a idee, but I got me one ta foller.

I think we need ten writers’ commands to foller just like the Good Lord give us ten commandments to live by.

[Tweet “It be good by the Good Lord. That should be good ‘nuf fer y’all”]

Here goes…

  1. The Good Lord God done bought us outa slavery with the blood a Jesus, so don’t y’all go putting nothing afore the Good Lord that don’t aughta be there. Ya hear? Y’all ain’t honorin’ God escept ya put Him first. That writin’ y’all’s doin’ counts, too.

  2. Don’t y’all go makin’ nothing to take the place of the Good Lord now. Not even any a yer writin’. That shiny A-ward counts, too. If’n y’all go writing to git one a dem things ya done gone off the deep end of the holdin’ tank. There’s a audience a one y’all need ta concentrate on. That’s right, the Good Lord is who y’all need to keep happy. Now git to it!

  3. Don’t y’all go usin’ the name of the Good Lord in a way that ain’t right now. Ya know what I mean here. Shoot it strate and y’all’ll be fine.

  4. Foller the Good Lord’s esample by keepin’ a day a week holy. Rest yer feet and yer hoss now. If y’all keep up a city kinfolk pace y’all die young. Yer warned now. Settin’ aside from yer writin’ be good fer yer soul, too.

  5. Honor yer Paw and yer Maw. They done brought y’all into this world. Keep ’em high on yer list of ‘portance. But, not above the Good Lord.

  6. Don’t go killin’ nobody. That don’t mean just the shootin’ kinda dead neither. Words can kill just as well. Build up the body with those words. The Good Lord done give y’all a gift here. Don’t use it wrong now.

  7. Don’t ya go cheatin’ with nobody ain’t yers. That body you got is the Good Lord’s temple now. Y’all’s life ain’t yers now. It belongs to the Good Lord. Make Him proud by what ya do and don’t do.

  8. Don’t y’all take nothin’ don’t belong to ya. If y’all didn’t put it there leave er right there. Same goes with words, too. Don’t go tellin’ ever’one y’all wrote somethin’ ya didn’t. There’s a high-falutin’ word fer that. Pagerisim, er plaggermist, er somthin’ like that. I told y’all it be high-falutin’ now. If y’all didn’t write it it ain’t yer’s.

  9. Don’t y’all go sayin’ stuff bout someone else ain’t so. Watch fer that computer talk, too. Things gits put on there that ain’t right. Folks be watchin’ y’all. So be the Good Lord. Just play fair.

  10. Don’t y’all go wantin’ what some other writer got, now. Don’t y’all want their story. The Good Lord give it ta them. Y’all got yers to fix. So just go to fixin it right fer the Good Lord. If’n they got them a shiny A-ward don’t y’all hanker fer it. Just write for the best reason and the Good Lord’ll reward y’all His way. Might not be here and now, but it’ll be good by Him. That should be good ‘nuf fer y’all.

Thar tis, my Ten Commands fer writer folks. I hope they help y’all keep yer feet on the right trail to foller through that narrow gate to see the Good Lord, now. If’n they don’t then work on gittin’ better at it. I know I needs to work on ’em all the time.

Now let’s be fixin fer that git together acomin’ up. See y’all there with a smile.

Keep smilin’ y’all.    Wade

THE COLT

“Why in the world did you bring that to Jerusalem today? You can’t sacrifice it. The streets are going to be too crowded as it is. The last thing anybody needs is a donkey to stumble over.”

Simon tied the young donkey to a post. “I thought maybe somebody might need help in carrying stuff to the Temple. Maybe I’ll make some money with my friend here.”

The first man laughed. “You think in the strangest ways, Simon. Last year you ended up giving your whole cage of doves to a large family that didn’t have any money. You’ll never make it in the business world. You’re heart is too soft.”

Simon sat on a bench. “Even if we don’t do anything I like this little fella. He’s the calmest colt I’ve ever seen.”

Two other men walked over. “What are we doing today, setting up a petting zoo?”

Simon shook his head. “Just wait and see. He’ll be useful to somebody.”

When Simon looked back at his donkey two men were untying it. “Hey, what are you guys doing.”

One of the men looked at him. “The Lord has need of him.”

Simon swallowed. “Okay, feel free to use him for the Lord.”

When the men walked away with the donkey the first man laughed. “I told you you’ll never make in the business world. You didn’t even begin to haggle a price for renting your beast.”

Simon followed the two men and his donkey.

A crowd was gathering at Mount Olivet. Simon stopped at the foot of the hill. Thomas draped his cloak over the donkey before Jesus sat on it.

The crowd streamed down the hill and gathered along the road to Jerusalem.

When Jesus approached Simon removed his cloak and laid it on the road. Others did the same. Some cut palm branches to line the path for the Messiah.

Jesus nodded slowly at Simon when He passed.

Simon followed as closely as he could. He joined the chant.

“Hosanna to the Son of David. Blessed be the King of Israel.”

A Pharisee yelled. “Make Your disciples be quiet, Jesus.”

Jesus smiled. “If they were silent the rocks would cry out this moment.”

Simon worked his way next to Jesus half way up the hill to the capital.

Jesus was staring at the wall of the city. “Oh, Jerusalem, if only you knew who was coming to you today. But, it is hidden from you. No stone will be left on top of another. Even your children will be taken down with your fall.”

Palm branches were carried up the hill to line the road into Jerusalem. The chanting became deafening.

Jesus stopped short of the Temple, dismounted and handed the donkey’s rope back to Simon.

When the crowd dispersed a woman came next to Simon. “Who is that?”

Simon smiled. “Jesus of Nazareth, the prophet from Galilee.”

He bent down and hugged the neck of his donkey. “He needed you, my friend. He needed you.”

********

Have you ever felt like a nobody who doesn’t have a purpose in life?

Every day is the same. You go to work, or you look for work, or you stay home caring for kids. Hum-drum is your battle cry. Average would be a step up for you.

Remember this donkey who carried Jesus into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.

He wasn’t good looking or spectacular in any way. A beast of burden was his title.

Yet, his mission was recorded many centuries earlier by Zechariah. He would be ridden by the Son of God into Jerusalem at the height of His popularity.

You read that right. A donkey had a key role in scripture for Jesus’s passion.

This wasn’t just any donkey. No, this little fella had never been ridden by anybody according to Mark and Luke.

His time in the limelight came while he was young, but he was ready for it when it came.

[Tweet “Are you ready and willing to be used by God in some way?”]

It may not be a significant event in the grand scheme of human history.

It may only require a short amount of your time.

You may be relegated back to obscurity when it’s over.

I ask again, are you ready and willing to be used by God in some way?

I don’t know what God has in store for you. It’s different for everybody.

It may be inviting that new family from your neighborhood to church. One of those kids may go on to become a preacher because of your obedience.

You might teach that children’s class you’re burdened for. Your attention could turn a destiny 180 degrees for good.

A quick word of encouragement to your pastor about how his message spoke to you could give him the hope he needs to carry on another week.

God’s Holy Spirit lives in you to direct and empower you to step out of your comfort zone to accomplish God’s will. Every time you stuff that urging to step up and do something you know needs to be done the Spirit is saddened.

The job will get done. Will you be the one to do it when God calls you?

Why did Jesus use a little donkey for this significant event in His journey? Humility

He wanted to show how humble He was in obeying the Father’s plan. A work animal carried Him that time from the Mount of Olives.

A white stead of victory will carry Him back to that same spot when He returns to establish His kingdom.

The time is closer than it’s ever been. He said He’s coming back. Let’s do all we can to prepare for His kingdom.

Tell as many others as you can about His grace and love.

Invite them to accept His offer of salvation given on the cross.

Guide them in their spiritual journey into the family of God.

You see, you do have a role to play in this life.

Step up and do it.

I’ll see you later.   Wade

Why are some miracles easier to believe than others?

Miracles are miracles because they don’t happen every day. But, I’ve found certain miracles are more believable depending on where a person lives.

Watch my video to see a New Testament example and its Old Testament counterpart.

I need to thank my new friends at Dreamstime.com for help with the pictures you’ll see.

Keep smiling.   Wade

DINNER INVITATION

“He’s coming. He’s coming. I need to get closer to see Him.” Zacchaeus tried to push between people on the outskirts of the crowd.

An elbow came down on his forehead, knocking him to the ground. “Back off, buzzard. Jesus isn’t here for you of all people.”

Zacchaeus stood up and brushed himself off. The sound of the crowd told him Jesus was almost to were he was.

He looked down the road to see if there was a way in there. A fig tree caught his eye. “That’s it.”

He ran at the tree, jumped at the lowest branch, grabbed it and swung his legs to the next branch. From there he pulled himself up above the throng of flesh by the road.

All attention was on the man leading His disciples to Jerusalem. Anticipation was running at an all-time high.

Zacchaeus was unimpressed with his first sight of Jesus. Nothing made Him appear regal except His confidence.

Jesus stopped in the road and looked right at the man in the tree. “Zacchaeus, come down here. I must eat at your house today.”

How does He know my name? Doesn’t matter now. Zacchaeus dropped to the ground and brushed himself off. “Right this way. I’ll have the best meal set for You.”

The house had never been so full of people. Jesus came with His disciples. Some others came in behind them. Zacchaeus closed the door before there was only room for everyone to stand.

The meal wasn’t as exquisite as Zacchaeus had hoped, but it was good. He thought he recognized the man with disheveled hair. Soon a man who looked much like him stood behind him. “Bart, I’ve been looking all over for you. They told me you left to follow Jesus. Who led you here?”

Bart smiled so broad food fell out of his mouth. “I can lead myself now. Jesus made me to see. I can see you. I’m going to my first Passover with Jesus, the man who gave me sight.”

Food now fell from Zacchaeus’s mouth. He stood. “Jesus, I give half of all I have to the poor and will return anything taken wrongly with interest.”

Jesus smiled. “Salvation has come to this house today. I have come to seek and save those who are lost.”

A cheer rose. Jesus sat and faced the crowd. Silence filled the house.

“A nobleman prepared to go to a distant land to receive a kingdom, but before he left he gave ten servants a talent each. He was gone a long time. Upon returning he summoned the servants. The first one produced ten talents from his profits. ‘Well done. You shall rule over ten cities in my kingdom.’ A second servant brought five talents to the nobleman. ‘You shall rule over five cities.’ A third servant came and bowed at the nobleman’s feet. He unwrapped his talent and handed it to the nobleman. ‘You worthless servant, you should have at least drawn interest with this. Take it from him and give it to the man with ten talents.’ ‘But,’ some protested, ‘he already has ten.’ ‘To those who have more will be given to them while those who don’t have it will be taken from them. Now, bring the other seven and have them executed before me since they don’t want me to rule over them.'”

********

A funny thing happened on the way to Jerusalem. A man who found himself vertically challenged climbed a tree and found himself feeding Jesus and His disciples. True story.

A glimpse is all Zacchaeus was after. A life change is what he received. Jesus has a way of doing that for those who seek Him with their whole might.

An after dinner parable was offered to quell suspicions of an imminent kingdom being established.

Jericho has an interesting past. The first city conquered in the promised land was won in the most unorthodox way: marching and yelling. God did the heavy part of the conquest.

The city was rebuilt under a curse from Joshua. The first-born son of the man building it would die at the beginning of the project, the last-born at the end. Hiel, the Bethelite, fulfilled that curse.

Jericho was used by both Elijah and Elisha, as well as other prophets. Jesus was baptized by His cousin John, then tempted by Satan near here.

The good, the bad and the ugly occurred here. God was glorified through it all.

What extent would you go to just to see Jesus?

Zacchaeus wasn’t a young man. His wealth meant he likely wasn’t physically fit. That tree was his only hope at a once in a lifetime opportunity.

He didn’t mean to, but he got Jesus’s attention. It changed his life and eternal destiny.

[Tweet “A glimpse is all Zacchaeus was after. A life change is what he received”]

What tree do you need to climb today?

Do you need to stand on your accomplishments that keep your family on the back burner of your life?

Should you conquer that pride of yours as a means of looking past yourself to see God’s Son?

Is there a chemical dependency that’s keeping you from getting just a glimpse of your only hope of recovery?

When you search for Jesus with all you’ve got He will come to dine with you. He will ask you to open your life to His opportunity for a new start.

A new life awaits you. Are you willing to take that step toward Jesus today? He’ll stop everything to attend to you.

If it takes a miracle He’s fully capable of that. If you require a story He’ll come up with the best one to fit that bill. He’ll make others uncomfortable just to meet you where you are so He can change you.

Perhaps you feel like you’re out on a limb right now. Jesus is about to pass you by. What will you do when He stops and calls your name?

Zacchaeus had few friends in Jericho. Jesus became one of them.

Let Him be yours today.

I’ll see you later.   Wade