Pastor Wrinkles: The Lenten Journey Pt. 15


My meditational question for the day is: What do you want God to help you learn in life?

Again this question comes from :

There are lots of things I would like to learn, but we are not talking about foreign languages and how to fix plane engines here. Flights of fancy are strictly off  the menu and the Lord didn’t point this question at me so I could figure out what major I want to be in college. Maybe the question is, “What do I need to learn in life that God alone can teach?”

God has been burdening me with two deep requests these last few days and they boil down to: being proactive and being celebratory.

 My lead pastor has a favorite saying that I have tried to embody over the decade I have worked with him. That is, “Respond. Don’t react.”

Over time I have become pretty good at this but I think God wants to take this to a new level for me. I believe He is saying “Learn to respond before you need to react.”

To be proactive is to anticipate what is coming and to be ready for it. I know we can’t see every detail of the road ahead but I feel like God is changing me to make me prepare for needs that have yet to be  stated. I think the church has to begin to plan for the needs of the future by faith and as a pastor in the universal body of Christ I have to begin modelling this behavior for the body. I believe this preparation needs to be realized in several areas:

1. In Spiritual health.

2.  In caring for the possessions God has given us

3. In setting aside a surplus so that we can give it away to others in need.

I will talk about the need to celebrate tomorrow but for now let me ask you a question… Has God been saying anything similar to any of you?

Pastor Wrinkles: And They Lived Happily Ever After

“And they lived happily ever after.” Think about this line for a few minutes. Are you living happily ever after? If not, what will it take for you to get there?


I read this prompt from the Daily Post   and I just couldn’t pass it up as a meditation for the day:

Happily ever after is the born- again Christian’s  birth right.  It is not that troubles do not befall us. It is that our eyes are not on the troubles. Our eyes are fixed on the joy set before us…the happily ever after that Christ has promised us. The promise produces hope and hope produces joy in the midst of _____________. You fill in the blank with your current woe because hope tied to Christ is big enough to swallow any sorrow.

Take these words from the Bible with you as encouragement today.

I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry,whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Phil 4: 11-13 NIV

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:1-3

Pastor Wrinkles: The Lenten Journey Pt. 14

I am coming back to a list of five questions I started meditating on while I was in Maine. The questions were posted by Cyndi Lu at

Today’s meditational question: What are you not letting God control?

I have grown by leaps and bounds in letting God have the reigns of my life over the last several years but there are still some areas where I need to surrender control to God. I guess if it comes right down to it we are not talking about a tug- of- war between my control and God’s control. The areas of my life where I am holding out on God are not under my control either. They are just out of control.

For instance, God told me a while ago that I needed to schedule my rest and my Sabbath; It needed to become intentional. I needed to value my rest time as important as my ministry time for my own health. I obeyed Him. I now schedule my days off. I even schedule naps. I don’t take them. But at least they are scheduled 😦

I guess I struggle because I fear negative reactions from men. I think it goes deeper than that though. Admitting I need rest is to proclaim I am weak. There is a lie in there somewhere that I am believing.

As I pondered this question 2 other areas also popped up that I need to spend some time praying about. This is good stuff…life-changing stuff. I thank Jesus that He is transforming my heart.

Do you struggle with guilt over taking a break? How do you deal with it?

True North

God  shared with me a few years ago that my travels needed to be ordered and approved by Him. I sort of concluded that meant I would be travelling less. I expected that I would be shelving my love for wandering… at least for a while. Nothing could have been further from the truth. If anything my journeys have increased in number; But now they are with a purpose.

This week’s trip sent me north to Waldoboro ME, to help out my brother-in-law who was recuperating from surgery. It was not a vacation in the strictest sense of the word. It was something far better.

I arrived at Midnight on the 21st.

Midnight in Waldoboro

Midnight in Waldoboro

I met and chatted with my brother-in-law’s friend, Janet who had been his driver to and from the surgery and who  stayed with him until I could get there. I walked Gideon (the dog), stowed my gear and finally bedded down on the couch about 2:30 A.M.

Thursday, Friday, and Saturday were spent walking the dog, making meals, visiting with Cliff and making sure he was taking his medicine. I am the mean nurse :). We did shoot out to the bank and the store on Friday to make sure he was stocked up for the weekend storm. We shared faith and watched a lot of movies. I finished my sermon and kept tabs with my office by cell phone. All in all it was a quiet three days in Maine farm country.

Here are a few photos:

I left Cliff much recovered on Saturday morning and headed down the coast stopping in Haverhill MA to see my daughter and her beau for lunch. Not to worry folks I kept it limited to veggies and fruits in keeping with Lent! Can I just say, travelling for God’s purpose is so much more fun than just going on vacation!

James Franklin and Melanie Lillie

James Franklin and Melanie Lillie

What have you been doing for excitement this winter?

Pastor Wrinkles: The Lenten Journey Pt. 13

Why do we do the things we do? Why do we go to church? Do daily devotions? Fast? Serve in the church?

Do we do them for the praise of men? Do we do them to enlarge our congregations? Do we do them to sway our countrymen to our way of thinking? Do we do them in order to grow closer to God?

For me I think that all of these answers are true depending on the day. Sometimes I also do all of these things only to please myself and to make me proud of me. I guess that last one sounds kind of terrible but it is what the Spirit has been showing me during this journey. We have been going deep into the motivations of my life and HE has been bringing me inner healing with the understanding.

Last night we had an evening of praise, worship and prayer planned at the church. The worship band was larger than the congregation. For just a moment as I began the service I was despairing of the size of our congregation…err…small group.

Then God said to me, “I have released you from the need to perform for others. You and this band are here for Me…for My pleasure alone. Will you worship with as much abandon as when the whole congregation is here?”

I realized then that if I could not worship with as much excitement, if we could not worship God with the same abandon as when we were in a crowd of hundreds then our worship was not for God but for men; So we worshipped and God showed up as though there were a thousand people there. He is getting to my roots. It is uncomfortable but oh so worth it!

Pastor Wrinkles: The Lenten Journey Pt. 12


Every year our lead pastor takes a winter vacation to Canada to visit with his family. Usually  he leaves the day after Christmas and is gone through the New Year. I am usually left to fill the pulpit and make important decisions like if church needs to be cancelled due to inclement weather.  It always and I mean every year snows on the first Sunday of January. I have seldom cancelled preferring to meet with a few of the brothers and sisters for edification rather than miss out all together.

This year Pastor Risto did not leave after Christmas. He waited until this week the last in February to get outa Dodge.

Guess what?

No snow on the first Sunday of January.

Guess what else? …You got it right!

We had a weird snow storm this morning that decimated almost two-thirds of our church population today!  So even though the winter vacation was off by about a month and a half I felt right at home with a number of seats empty and a frosty white blanket covering the out-of-doors.

I find God a humorous teacher. He used this event to remind me in a sort of tongue-in-cheek manner that He is not reliant on large crowds or kicking programs to get His plan accomplished. We had church. The kids joined us since our Kids Church teacher couldn’t make it in. A baby cried in the back. I think the nursery staff was snowed in as well.

But God met us as He always does. People wept at the altar at the end of service and His presence was sweet with healing. He is the point and I am learning He is not only the point…He is the only point! We are but vessels for Him to ride upon the wind, ships in which he sails upon the flood and oh what a privilege that is.

What points of your life are being swallowed up by Jesus today?

Pastor Wrinkles: The Nations Rage Pt. 5

We have come to the last verses of our Psalm today and they are the point of the Psalm really.

Therefore, you kings, be wise;
be warned, you rulers of the earth.
11 Serve the Lord with fear
and celebrate his rule with trembling.
12 Kiss his son, or he will be angry
and your way will lead to your destruction,
for his wrath can flare up in a moment.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him. Psalm 2: 10-12

The whole Psalm has been about the second coming of the Lord in power and judgment. In light of that second coming the psalmist warns the rulers of the Earth (and frankly people everywhere) to be wise and to serve the Lord with reverent fear.

In verse twelve the psalmist uses an interesting word that our Bibles translate as “Kiss” the son. That word “Kiss” is actually the Hebrew word Nashaq.  understanding it is important to understanding  what we are to do in light of the Lord’s second coming.

Nashaq is to-

1) to put together, kiss

a) (Qal) to kiss

b) (Piel) to kiss

c) (Hiphil) to touch gently

2) to handle, be equipped with

a) (Qal) to be equipped

So as we look to the Lord’s second coming we must come together with the Son or the heir of God’s kingdom (Jesus). We must be close intimate with Him. We must be mindful in our dealings with him and most of all we are to be equipped with the Son.

You see it is not by our own works of righteousness that we will escape the wrath that is to come. We can never stand before God on our own merit. If we try we will only receive judgment. But we have the choice of  “Kissing the son” which is being equipped with the righteousness of Jesus.

“But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” Rom. 3:21-24 NIV

So let me ask you, have you kissed the Son?

Pastor Wrinkles: The Lenten Journey Pt.11

These last three days have been wonderful times of prayer and study. Thank you to those who prayed for me.  I had a four-hour drive up the Maine coast on Wednesday night after Bible study and a four-hour journey back down the Maine coast today. In between those two drives I was helping my brother-in-law who is recovering from surgery. In between changing dressings. making meals. walking the dog and doing dishes I prayed and read some more.

I took  five meditational questions with me given by Cyndi from  Here is the first of them that I worked on.

1.What has God given you?

This is a question pre-loaded with a very large answer. I could go on and on about what God has done, but tonight I am just going to list seven things God has given me recently:

1. God has given me an inner healing that was keeping me from moving forward.

2. God has provided for a trip to Holland.

3. God has given me an invitation to go to Seattle.

4. God has answered a prayer for my daughter Amanda in giving her a God-sized dream.

5. God has been leading my daughter Melanie and my son Joe in their next steps after college

6. I had been praying that God would lead me in the best way for my life in an area of great uncertainty and He has given me a clear direction and joy in the journey.

7. God has given me direction for the next steps in ministry.

As I said I could go on and on but I won’t I am just filled with thankfulness to a God who has been nothing but good to me! The more I list His doings the more thankful I become.

What has God given you ?

Pastor Wrinkles: The Nations Rage Pt. 4

6 “I have installed my king
on Zion, my holy mountain.”

7 I will proclaim the Lord’s decree:

He said to me, “You are my son;
today I have become your father.
8 Ask me,
and I will make the nations your inheritance,
the ends of the earth your possession.
9 You will break them with a rod of iron[b];
you will dash them to pieces like pottery.” Psalm 2:6-9

As we look at this next portion of Psalm chapter 2  we come to an interesting description of the rule of Christ upon the Earth. Psalm 2 tells us that when Jesus reigns from the throne in Jerusalem he will rule the nations with a rod of iron. Rev. 2:27, 12;5 and 19:5 reiterate this truth.

What does it mean that Jesus will rule the nations with a rod of iron? Why do you think this will be necessary?

Pastor Wrinkles: The Lenten Journey Pt. 10

“Sometimes I go to God and say, “God, if Thou dost never answer another prayer while I live on this earth, I will still worship Thee as long as I live and in the ages to come for what Thou hast done already. God’s already put me so far in debt that if I were to live one million millenniums I couldn’t pay Him for what He’s done for me.” 
    A.W. Tozer

Today’s leg of the Lenten journey leads us through a meditation on worship. The questions I am pondering today are:

On a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being I am just at the beginning and 5 being I am well-developed in this)

How am I doing with joining myself to a body for corporate worship renewal and refreshing?

Where am I in my personal plan to achieve my God-given goals and dreams?

How is my heart  growing in love for praise and worship to God?

How well am I honoring God with my physical and personal health?

How am I honoring God through a balanced  life?

How can I better live for God’s pleasure?

I am interested in hearing what God has said to you today.