God is doing a new thing!

Notes From the Vicarage

My motto for this year is SHIFT YOUR FOCUS TO WONDER. In sharing that with my artist’s group back in January one of our artists wondered what God meant by wonder… that is, was I supposed to shift my focus towards looking at awe-inspiring things? Or was I supposed to shift my focus to ponder things more?

Now that I am in my third month of “SHIFTING”, I think God meant a little of both. On January 13th my sister and I embarked on a 10 day journey to The Philippines to attend my son’s marriage to Kristine Bernadette Causing Barrameda.

Those 10 days filled me with awe for sure.

I was awestruck by the fact that I was being privileged to witness such a sacred moment in the life of someone I had actually helped bring into the world.

I could not be prouder of the man he…

View original post 402 more words

Thankful Thursdays 12-7-17

Life has kept me a little distracted.  I am so sorry I have been absent from the blogosphere so often.

In all the changes and twists in life right now I am still so thankful for this season and all He is doing in it.

I feel like these moments are the culmination of  years of Holy Ghost work in my life. This song certainly isn’t Christmassy by any stretch of the imagination but it certainly speaks to where I have been, where I am and where I am going.


Learn more about the artist Nicole Norderman Here

Saulish Worship Pt. 6

We have been having a lively discussion about holiness over the last week.

If you missed any part of our convo you can join it…







Yesterday I asked you to explain the differences between King Saul’s heart and King David’s heart…

Here are some of the differences I see…

Saul started from a standpoint of blessing and worshipped God after his own plan disobeying God and brought a curse.

David started from the standpoint of a curse and worshipped God the way God commanded in obedience and brought a blessing.

Both David and Saul worshipped. Both David and Saul sacrificed sheep and oxen as their style of worship. If  they had been worshipping today they would have sung the same songs; But Saul worshipped his own way. David worshipped God’s way. Saul worshipped in a way that benefitted himself and made him comfortable. David worshipped in a way that cost him personally. Saul gained personally in his style of worship. David sacrificed personally in God’s worship. David was one of the faithful. Saul was one of the unfaithful. David was one whom God approved. Saul was one whom God said, “I never knew you. Depart from me you evil doer.”

It all came down to obedience. Saul wasn’t supposed to offer a sacrifice on an altar he was supposed to offer a sacrifice on the battlefield. David wasn’t supposed top offer a sacrifice on the battlefield he was supposed to offer a sacrifice on the altar. In the end David ended up doing the will of the Lord and was approved. Saul ended up disobeying and even his sacrifices of worship were thrown out.

Christianity is not about us worshipping God in a way that is comfortable to us. It is about God period. When we focus on God in our worship and obey God in our Christianity then He takes care of us. But when we focus on ourselves and make our worship about our fullness and make our obedience to God conditional on our comfort then we block His care and we end up with lack.

We received a prophetic message last week in church  that reminded us everything we needed was supplied in the cross.

You may say, “Pastor J I cannot be faithful. It is too hard.”

Brother, Sister your faithfulness was provided for in the cross. It is not a condition of your salvation. It is a provision of your salvation, but it is a provision you must make use of.

The saved are obedient because they can be and because they must be.

Here is the good news obedience is possible for you. If you have accepted Christ he has provided not just forgiveness for you but the power to be obedient. I am here today to tell you that if you have not used the power to obey up until today you can begin using it today. And you must use it today. Receiving grace is only done when we receive forgiveness and the power to change. Jesus is still supplying the power and He wants you to call on the power to be holy even more than you want to call on it yourself.

He desperately wants to say to you, “Child I know you enter into my joy and be blessed for the righteousness I poured into you.”

Today maybe you have said yes to Jesus and you have asked and received His forgiveness for your sins. But perhaps there is still some sin in your life that you are struggling with that you are afraid might cause you to be called, by God, a worker of iniquity. Today the power for victory lies before you and just like you received forgiveness you can receive holiness and power to overcome your sin. If you need that power in any area of your life would you pray this pray with me?

Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus I thank you for the forgiveness for my sins. I receive it right now and admit I need it; But I know grace is about more than just forgiveness it is about power to change. So Jesus come to me. I receive all of your grace today. I receive forgiveness and I receive the power to change. Thank you that from this moment on I am going to begin to change. A-men!


Not So Pretty Yet

next door brook

My sister and I were driving to the grocery store last night and along the way I got thinking about how ugly the start of Spring can be. The grass is still brown. The trees all look like dead sticks poking out of the ground. The streets are covered with sand from the winter road treatment. What snow is left is black with mud and nothing is left to cover the damage the winter storms have done to the forest. Still, people are outdoors in the evening raking and cleaning up the mess. The stores are filled with pansies and marigolds hoping to be planted and the maples are beginning to bud, promising that soon and very soon beauty is going to return to the Earth.

Seasons of transition in life, like in nature, are not so pretty. They can be discouraging because they leave us feeling naked,  exposed, and feeling incapable. As we grasp to catch up with the next level of life the world around us can perceive us floundering gracelessly to make the leap, or at least that’s how it often feels to me.

Christianity, to me, seems sometimes like one long season of transition where my weaknesses are exposed and challenged and I am called to rise up to higher heights than I think myself capable of. It feels like I am constantly sweeping away last season’s sand to make room for some new planting of the Lord whose outline is yet to be revealed. Can anyone out there relate?

But I have been through enough of these seasons now to know that everything is going to be all right. The upheaval, the challenges, the feelings of being exposed and incapable all just go with the territory, They are things to be grinned at and borne with grace. The plans of God may not yet be fully revealed to us but that is to be expected. It is how God has made faith to work. What we can know in our seasons of transition is that like Spring our seasons of transition may appear at the first deformed and ugly but in a brief time they shall appear glorious!

 With care my flowers tend, But keep the pathway open Your home is at the end.

The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

18I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. Romans 8:16-19 NIV

The Change I’d Like To Make

The Daily post has asked us today…What change, big or small, would you like your blog to make in the world?

Almost a decade ago I wrote my life mission statement. That was to create around myself a culture of worship. The method I felt led to use was the arts. To that end I have tried several things, my blogs Reinventing the We’ll and Lillie-Put being two of those chosen methods.

I would like to see the readers of Lillie-Put encouraged ina positive direction and challenged toward knowing and worshipping God as a result of what I write. Many of my blogs are not directly related to the ideas of worship but are artistic in form and relational in nature. Blogging is a connective art form and I hope in some small way through those connections to draw people into the joyful and loving presence of a living God.

Be blessed!


Find other answers to this question at: