Images of God

What’s more important, the way I see God or the way He sees me? 

For several weeks, I’ve had this thought running through my mind, “Images of God”. I’ve even done an internet search for “images of God.” GOOGLE had 212,000 images. 

Angry God. Laughing God. A punishing God.  Far away God. Vengeful God. A Loving God. Non-existent God. A God “who keeps attendance/score”. A “vice principal” God. Allah. Buddha. A socially-conscience God. A political God. 

I was born knowing God loved me. Thx, Mom! ThkQ, Dad! But I thought He kept score. I thought He loved me more when I behaved myself. AND – was ready to punish me when I didn’t. 

About 9 years ago, I prayed: “God, teach me to trust you more.” That began an almost decade-long journey that has changed how I view God. It began with a change in my understanding of how God sees me. He taught (is teaching) me – He Loves Me!! He’s my “ABBA – Daddy,” NOT my Judge! 

More to come…


ThrowBackThursday #14

Recovery Step 3 – “We surrendered our Lives and our Wills to the care of God…

Monday night I listened as a guy explained the difference between the two. He said we first surrender our Life to God – we do that once. But then, on a daily basis, we need to surrender our Will. Makes sense to me!!! So how come it gives me so much trouble?!?

Yeah, don’t laugh, I bet it does for U, too! If Not, give me a call, let’s talk!! I need to know what U know!

P.S… I must say, since I started this journey, I’ve learned that I (and other people) worry more about my times of failure than God does! So many times, I’ve seen Him turn my failures into important changes that brought great blessing into my life – and to others.


I posted this about a year ago:
Check it out…


“I Asked God…”

I Asked God to teach me to Trust. Him
He taught me about His Love. For me

I Asked God to teach me to be better so He c/would Love me more
God said He already Loves me and that He can’t/doesn’t do “More”

I Asked God to help me love my fellowman.
He taught me how to love myself in Him and to let His Love flow through me to others

I Asked God to make me good so I could stay in His Presence more
God said: “My Son, Come. To me. Just Come, as U.R. – Now”

I Asked God to light my path
He said He’s with in the dark and that I can trust Him there. 

I Asked God to help me solve my problems
He used my problems to change me

I told God I needed to preach
He told me He made me a writer

I Asked God to let me see Him more clearly
He taught me He’s (my) God – even in the fog   {I was the one in the fog}

I Asked God; “But what about my sins?”
God said: “My Son already paid the price for that! Come to me – sin and all!”

I Asked God to show me the plan He has for me
He taught me to seek to know more about Him

I Asked God to help me understand
He said if I understood I would not need to trust – Him!

I told God I needed to be strong
He said He is strongest in my weakness

I Asked God
He showed me His Grace

I Asked God – “Where R.U?”
He said: “I am in U, I will be with U… Always!”

I Asked God…
He taught (is teaching) me to Praise – HIM

What If? #2

Way Back in May, 2014, when the movie “What if – God’s NOT Dead” was in theaters, I posted “7 What Ifs“. You can read them HERE.

This summer’s theme for the pastoral staff at New Life Church has been The Lord’s Prayer. You can listen/view their sharing HERE. They’re addressing it phrase by phrase. I’m finding it to be illuminating, challenging, thought – provoking and even life-changing.

The past two weeks have been amazing as they have unwrapped :

Forgive us our debts as / we forgive our debtors.

Perhaps, partly because of this series, or perhaps just because God tends to work in my life byasking me a Q, lets me ponder it for awhile, then helps me find His answer I’ve been thinking a lot about this What If:


Perhaps a better, corresponding Q might be this one that was #1 on the original list of
7 What Ifs
(U did go there and read them, right??)

What if we are ALREADY as forgiven (by God) as we will ever be?”   

How would the knowledge and belief of that change my life? But first, can that even be true? Can it be possible that God provided (complete) forgiveness through the sacrifice of His Son at the cross? Remember – the last words of Jesus were “It Is Finished!” I’m not sure I’ve ever fully understood what He meant by that.

In the past 26 months or so since I posted that first list of 7, it seems like I’m learning more and more about how God’s GRACE and how He views me because of it. As I’ve learned more about how God sees me, It’s changed how I see Him. Perhaps the most important is how it’s changing how I see others. It’s challenged some long-held beliefs I grew up with, argued about discussed by the hour, and related to God and others by.

Lately, as I write new posts on this writing thingy I’ve been doing for the past 3 years or so, I’m seeing more and more how “themes” are fitting together. In the next few days, weeks, (who-knows) I want to look back and see how this thought fits into my musings:

Because I am completely forgiven by God,
I can therefore choose to walk in forgiveness with ‘YOU’

In the meantime, I would LOVE it if you would chime in with your comments, thoughts, Q’s and yes, even your musings. Argue with me about it if you want!! We’ll learn together.

P.S. Join my “Tribe” – click on the “Follow” button and type in Ur email


You can read part #1 HERE

Part #2 HERE Part #3 HERE

There’s this guy that likes to live in my head. In AA they call him “The Committee of one” I call him Sir James. I introduced y’all to him HERE. And HERE

One of the favorite tricks of Sir James is to get me to Compare. I’ve said it before, and I come to believe it more as time passes: 

Comparison is a Thief of Joy! 

AND Gratitude. 

Comparison is such a part of our natural way. It’s what makes us feel better (or worse) than others. It’s what drives us to build bigger, buy more, to plan ahead for greater tomorrows. It’s also a huge part of the reason I occasionally find myself in a pit. Fortunately, not as often nor as deep as in past times. 

I doubt that I have ever felt grateful because of comparison. Oh, I’d be glad that didn’t have “problems like other people.” But, I’ve discovered that feeling was usually based more on PRIDE than GRATITUDE. The major problem with being glad you have a better life than someone else is because none of us are at the top. There’s always someone else that’s “glad they don’t have a life/troubles like mine”. 

So… How/Why am I grateful? To a large degree, it’s a matter of choice. It’s a choice that I can CHOOSE to make. I do not have to listen to The  Voice of Sir James.  

My friend Matt once told me: “Jim, you need to write a book about Sir James, because EVERYBODY has a Sir James in their life.”

Q for YOU – What’s the name of the man / woman that lives in YOUR head? Does {S}He bring you to a place of peace and gratitude? 

This prayer is one of the thngs that helps me cope with Sir James:

The Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference. 

Living one day at a time; Enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; Taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will; That I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him Forever in the next. Amen



Open and read the link above, before reading the rest of this post.


I wrote that post a year ago today. It helped me then, and has helped others since. This morning I used it as a comment on FaceBook to a friend whose sister just died. The one who passed was not only her sister, but had been the recipient of her kidney transplant. My friend’s grieving not only the loss of her sister, but also the loss of that very special physical and emotional connection between donor and recipient.

FYI – 26 years ago, my son was my recipient. He still is. 

We’ve all heard, and sometimes used the phrase: “A part of me died that day.” For my friend, it was extremely literal. We all face grief in our own very personal ways. I’ve learned not to judge how another person grieves. I can’t determine how long it should take to grieve, nor can I measure the pain someone experience because of it. I’ve also learned the difference between grieving with and without regrets over things that “should’a” been taken care of while there still was a chance to do so.

That person whose name just came to your mind… The one you love but have aught against… The one with whom you need to talk and work it out… while you can…

Take (make) time today – send a card, an email, a letter, make a call! Send a text – or a flower! Reach out and touch! Perhaps, even by FaceBook. Take (make) a Baby Step!! That’s all you need to do today – take a Baby Step! You may find it’s enough! It will be, Today! When tomorrow becomes Today, take another (Baby) step.

By the Way, you can’t take tomorrow’s step from where you are today!

“Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭12:18‬ ‭NLT‬‬



“There is a war between guilt and GRACE!” 

The other day, as I walked into our bedroom, I noticed these words written on the notepad next to the dual recliner where my WW sits. They come from the song by Matthew West, “GRACE WINS

Lately, I’ve been pondering the effects of GRACE in my life. I’m beginning to realize that I have greatly undervalued what GRACE DID, what GRACE does, what God wants GRACE to do in, for and through me.

Matthew West continues his song with these words; “GRACE WINS!! Every Time!! For the woman at the well, GRACE WINS!! For the beggar on the street, GRACE WINS!! For the prodigal son, GRACE WINS!!

This morning’s “Daily Verse” from “YouVersion” was Psalms 139:23,24

‭‭“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” ‭NLT‬‬

This morning, I’m saddened to think how many times I’ve prayed that from a place of guilt and shame, standing (or kneeling, as the case may be) before God but seeing him as my Judge. It makes me want to run away. Sometimes I do.

This is not the prayer of a guilty man waiting to hear sentence passed for his guilt and shame. It’s the Q posed by the prodigal son to his Faithful Father at the breakfast table the morning after the party as they enjoy steaks leftover from the fattened calf and eggs  the servants gathered that morning from the free-range hens in the yard. (Luke 15:11-32)

It’s the Q from the heart of a recovering, wandering son who has once again been embraced by “Abba-Daddy”

Let me see if I can put this in my own words as I picture myself sitting at that table:

Dad, I came back yesterday because I knew you are a man of compassion. All my life I’ve seen how you treat your servants. You’ve always treated the men and women who work for you better than most of my friends were treated by their fathers. 

Last month, I remembered that about you. Someday, maybe I’ll tell you where I was and what I was doing when I remembered, but I think I’d rather just forget about it. But let me simply say that I woke up in the blackest, darkest hole of my life. 

Then I remembered!


Dad, I came back to be your servant. I came back to sweep the dung out of your stables. I came back to clean the hen house on my hands and knees. I came back to… 


NEVER in my wildest thoughts did I think I would come back and be your son!! I fully expected to grovel. I fully expected to spend the rest of my days trying to pay penance for the way I hurt you. But you… You!!!  Dad, You put the family robe around my shoulders. You embraced me!! You put your ring on my finger. You brought out the finest wine, and Oh! Wow!! This steak…!!!

Dad, (by the way, it feels strange to call you ‘Dad’)…  Let me take this moment to ask you, from the depth my heart, with all the gratitude I can manage; “Teach me. This morning, Dad, search my heart; test me and show me my hurtful ways. Daddy, I want to spend the rest my life letting you teach me how to be your son.”

THAT is the war between guilt and GRACE. The battle in my life between guilt and GRACE is fought at the gateway to the homestead. Because of my guilt, I hesitate to respond when He calls. The Father beckons me forward. I hesitate. The Father says: “Come, my son, all is ready. For you. I’ve been waiting. For you. Too often, I’ve turned away. In shame.  “I’ve been watching every day. For you. But… I’ve done all can can do. For you. Unless you come home. The Choice is yours. I chose you, but I cannot make that choice FOR you.”



Broken ‘n Unworthy



But What about my sin?

My Judge? or “Father”!