Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A Coming Day...

You are in your car driving home. Thoughts wander to the game you want to see or meal you want to eat, when suddenly a sound unlike any you've ever heard fills the air. The sound is high above you.

A trumpet?
A choir?
A choir of trumpets?
You don't know, but you want to know.

So you pull over, get out of your car, and look up. As you do, you see you aren't the only curious one. The roadside has become a parking lot. Car doors are open, and people are staring at the sky. Shoppers are racing out of the grocery store. The Little League baseball game across the street has come to a halt. Players and parents are searching the clouds. And what they see, and what you see, has never before been seen.

As if the sky were a curtain, the drapes of the atmosphere part. A brilliant light spills onto the earth. There are no shadows. None. From whence came the light begins to tumble a river of color spiking crystals of every hue ever seen and a million more never seen. Riding on the flow is an endless fleet of angels. They pass through the curtains one myriad at a time, until they occupy every square inch of the sky.


Thousands of silvery wings rise and fall in unison, and over the sound of the trumpets, you can hear the cherubim and seraphim chanting, Holy, Holy, Holy. The final flank of angels is followed by twenty-four silver-bearded elders and a multitude of souls who join the angels in worship.

Presently the movement stops and the trumpets are silent, leaving only the triumphant triplet: Holy, Holy, Holy. Between each word is a pause. With each word, a profound reverence. You hear your voice join in the chorus. You don't know why you say the words, but you know you must.

Suddenly, the heavens are quiet. All is quiet. The angels turn, you turn, the entire world turns ...and...there He is...Jesus.

Through waves of light you see the silhouetted figure of Christ the King. He is atop a great stallion, and the stallion is atop a billowing cloud. He opens his mouth, and you are surrounded by his declaration : I am the Alpha and the Omega. The angels bow their heads. The elders remove their crowns. And before you is a Figure so consuming that you know, instantly you know: Nothing else matters.

Forget stock markets and school reports. Sales meetings and football games. Nothing is newsworthy..

All that mattered, matters no more....for Christ has come. . .

'When Christ Comes" by Max Lucado
Thanks Denise for sharing this with me...

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Give Thanks, the finale...

Throughout our lives, many people and events will come and go. And as the years pass, most of them will become a faint memory. However, there are those that happen along our path that somehow, someway influence or affect us in a way that cannot be forgotten. It is these people or events that have silently shaped our spiritual paths. I like to refer to these as spiritual mile markers. I would like to encourage you to focus on the people whom you would consider to fit in that category. I hope to address the 'events' category in another post. During this Thanksgiving season, I've asked you to consider the 5 people/things that you are most thankful for, and also the 5 individuals that you have able to begin or strengthen your relationship with. Today, in the finale of this series, I ask you to list 5 of the individuals that you consider to be spiritual mile markers in your life, and say a special prayer for these.

Here are mine...

1.) Mrs. Vivian Burton. My very first Sunday School teacher. In her class, Jesus became more that just a Bible Story Character.

2.) My grandmother, Rose Wheeler. It was through her life that I truly saw Jesus in the flesh.

3.) Harold Heathcott. My high school business teacher. Maybe not the most spiritual man I've ever met. But certainly the one who pushed me and challenged me to be more than I could ever dream of in every aspect of my life. My absolute favorite teacher. The only teacher that really believed in me.

4.) One of my first buddies in the ministry, Jim Webb. The one who opened a brand new door of worship for me. The one who helped me realize that true worship was the autobahn that ended at the throne of God. A pastor who was years before his time.

5.) My father, Jim Whaley, Sr. Without a doubt, the most gifted man and gifted speaker I've ever known. He was the epitome of when Jesus told Peter that "it was on this rock, that I will build by church." The one who personally led me to Christ...baptized me...and taught me the reality of soul winning. (Definitely another post in the making.) One of the true beginning revolutionaries.

And I close with the words of one of Ray Boltz's most memorable songs...

Thank You

I dreamed I went to heaven
And you were there with me
We walked upon the streets of gold
Beside the crystal sea
We heard the angels singing
Then someone called your name
You turned and saw this young man
And he was smiling as he came
And he said friend you may not know me now
And then he said but wait
You used to teach my Sunday School
When I was only eight
And every week you would say a prayer
Before the class would start
And one day when you said that prayer
I asked Jesus in my heart

Thank you for giving to the Lord
I am a life that was changed
Thank you for giving to the Lord
I am so glad you gave

Then another man stood before you
And said remember the time
A missionary came to your church
And his pictures made you cry
You didn’t have much money
But you gave it anyway
Jesus took the gift you gave
And that’s why I’m here today

Thank you for giving to the Lord
I am a life that was changed
Thank you for giving to the Lord
I am so glad you gave

One by one they came
Far as the eyes could see
Each life somehow touched
By your generosity
Little things that you had done
Sacrifices made
Unnoticed on the earth
In heaven now proclaimed
And I know that up in heaven
You’re not supposed to cry
But I am almost sure
There were tears in your eyes
As Jesus took your hand
And you stood before the Lord
He said, my child look around you
For great is your reward

Thank you for giving to the Lord
I am a life that was changed
Thank you for giving to the Lord
I am so glad you gave...

I am so glad you gave

Give Thanks Part #2...

Yesterday's post was great, thank you so much for sharing. Today, I would like to do something a little different. Today, I would like for you to focus on 5 people that, over the past year, God has allowed you to begin a relationship with, OR have greatly grown your relationship with. I would pray that our greatest growth in relationships has been with our immediate families. So I want to make to focus of this post those that are NOT immediate family members. List their first names only, then spend a few extra moments thanking God for each of them.

Here is my list...

1.) James
2.) Ron
3.) T.J.
4.) Danny
5.) Dean

"Thank you Father for these 5. Thank you for allowing our paths to cross, if only for a moment. Help them to see You in me...Amen."

Monday, November 20, 2006

Give Thanks Part #1...

This week, as we attempt to somehow, slow down and enjoy an extra day off and ton's of food, I would like to encourage you to join me in focusing on a few specific things that we are thankful for. For most, we've all had a good year and the Lord has blessed us immensely. But for others, the holiday season is the pinnacle of sadness and loneliness. Let us not get so caught up to overlook those that are less fortunate than us. Scripture teaches us to 'be sober, be vigilant'...be alert, watchful for any and everything that satan would use against us. I encourage us to be just as aggressive in being watchful for those that need 'a hand up'...'an extra hug'...'hope'...'a listening ear'...'a smile'...'love'.

Today, I would like for you to list THE top 5 things that you are thankful for...then spend an extra moment in prayer giving a special thanks for those 5. Here are my top 5...

1.) My relationship with Jesus.

2.) My wife, Denise.

3.) My daughter, Tabitha.

4.) Unique ways and the freedom to minister.

5.) Learning to live and focus on one day at a time.

I look forward to seeing your list, and to join you in 'giving thanks'. Have an incredible day...and join me tomorrow for Part #2.

"Give Thanks"
Give thanks with a grateful heart
Give thanks unto the Holy One
Give thanks because He's given Jesus Christ, His Son
And now let the weak say, 'I am strong'
Let the poor say, 'I am rich
Because of what the Lord has done for us'
Give thanks
(Lyrics by Don Moen)

Friday, November 17, 2006


It still amazes me how God uses the most unique ways to speak...

There I was this morning, fixing drinks like a madman, and in walks one of my regular college students. Nothing was out of the ordinary...he grabbed a chair to wait till I could fix his order. We were having a great conversation...nothing of any real importance...just small talk...but it was an answer to one of my questions that froze me in my tracks.

"How's the world treating ______ (and I called him by name) today?"

Now I'm expecting something like:

"Pretty fair."

"Just got out of a test."

"Headed to Wal-Mart and I need some caffeine."

Or maybe even a "You wouldn't believe me if I told you."

Not this time.

This young man, with a smile on his face and without any hesitation replied, "Better than I deserve."

Oh my goodness! I was so not prepared for that. The look of shock must have been so great on my face that the young man repeated himself thinking that I didn't hear him the first time. Oh...my...goodness! I had to immediately do a little soul-searching myself.

"Father, thank you for that still, small voice...and eye-opening experiences...amen"

How about you..."How's the world treating you today?"...Think about it...

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Pay It Forward...

For some time, I've been in the pondering and processing stage of a new post that, hopefully, will force you to take real hard look at the topic of evangelism. Without 'letting the cat out of the bag', evangelism, at it's core, is rooted in mathematics, and it all begins with the number 1. Having said that, there was something that took place this morning at Dad's Place (DP) that must be shared. And it all began with the number 1...

"Pay It Forward" is a made-for-TV movie that came out in 2000, and I believe that it should be a staple in every Christian's arsenal. An absolute amazing movie, from such an innocent viewpoint. Here is a plot summary of the movie...

"Young Trevor McKinney, troubled by his mother's alcoholism and fears of his abusive but absent father, is caught up by an intriguing assignment from his new social studies teacher, Mr. Simonet. The assignment: think of something to change the world and put it into action. Trevor conjures the notion of paying a favor not back, but forward--repaying good deeds not with payback, but with new good deeds done to three new people. Trevor's efforts to make good on his idea bring a revolution not only in the lives of himself, his mother and his physically and emotionally scarred teacher, but in those of an ever-widening circle of people completely unknown to him."

Not a 'payback', but a 'pay forward'.

Could be described as mercy in action. And in the instance that occurred this morning, a 'Good Samaritan' action.

Things were hopping a little faster than normal this morning at DP. When the dust was beginning to clear, someone had came in and had make their way up to the counter and wanted to do something that had never been done at DP before. This person said, (and I'll paraphrase) "I've been really blessed lately, and I just want to do something different for others. Take this (and this person hands me a certain amount of money) and let it pay for other people's coffees till the money runs out."

In my astonishment, I vaguely remember asking, "Are you sure?"..."Oh, yeah...spend it all." was the reply.

'Unreal'...was all I could think.

And this person requested to remain anonymous.

An incredible humbling experience for me this morning.

But my biggest blessings came as I looked at each customer when I gave them their coffee, and told them that a 'Good Samaritan' wanted to buy their drinks this morning, and to take care of them...no questions asked. The look on the faces staring back at me was priceless. To most, it was that 'wow' moment. Quite possibly the first 'wow' moment they had experienced in a while. It's so amazing to me to watch 'Jesus in action in a secular world'.

I would really love to know how the rest of the day went for those who received their gift this morning. Some, I'm sure will probably think, "Hey, I deserve this", while others may have forgot about it as soon as they were back in their cars. But I have this feeling that most will reflect back on the morning with that 'hmmmmmmm factor'.

To the person who opened their heart, you opened mine a little bit wider...'Thank you'...and may God Bless you richly because of this small token.

To myself and all others, I encourage you to also show Jesus to a secular world...pay it forward...to those that you 'don't' know...just because...

It really is contagious...

Monday, November 13, 2006


One day a while back, a man, his heart heavy with grief, was walking in the woods. As he thought about his life this day, he knew many things were not right. He thought about those who had lied about him back when he had a job.

His thoughts turned to those who had stolen his things and cheated him.

He remembered family that had passed on. His mind turned to the illness he had that no one could cure. His very soul was filled with anger, resentment and frustration.

Standing there this day, searching for answers he could not find, knowing all else had failed him, he knelt at the base of an old oak tree to seek the One he knew would always be there. And with tears in his eyes, he prayed:
"Lord- You have done wonderful things for me in this life. You have told me to do many things for You, and I happily obeyed. Today, You have told me to forgive. I am sad, Lord, because I cannot. I don't know how. It is not fair Lord. I didn't deserve these wrongs that were done against me and I shouldn't have to forgive. As perfect as Your way is Lord, this one thing I cannot do, for I don't know how to forgive. My anger is so deep Lord, I fear I may not hear You, but I pray that You teach me to do this one thing I cannot do - Teach me To Forgive."

As he knelt there in the quiet shade of that old oak tree, he felt something fall onto his shoulder. He opened his eyes. Out of the corner of one eye, he saw something red on his shirt.

He could not turn to see what it was because where the oak tree had been was a large square piece of wood in the ground. He raised his head and saw two feet held to the wood with a large spike through them.

He raised his head more, and tears came to his eyes as he saw Jesus hanging on a cross. He saw spikes in His hands, a gash in His side, a torn and battered body, deep thorns sunk into His head. Finally he saw the suffering and pain on His precious face. As their eyes met, the man's tears turned to sobbing, and Jesus began to speak.

"Have you ever told a lie?" He asked?
The man answered - "yes, Lord."

"Have you ever been given too much change and kept it?"
The man answered - " yes. Lord." And the man sobbed more and more.

"Have you ever taken something from work that wasn't yours?" Jesus asked?
And the man answered - "yes, Lord."

"Have you ever sworn, using my Father's name in vain? "
The man, crying now, answered - "yes, Lord."

As Jesus asked many more times, "Have you ever"?
The man's crying became uncontrollable, for he could only answer - "yes,

Then Jesus turned His head from one side to the other, and the man felt something fall on his other shoulder. He looked and saw that it was the blood of Jesus. When he looked back up, his eyes met those of Jesus, and there was a look of love the man had never seen or known before. Jesus said, "I didn't deserve this either, but I forgive you." It may be hard to see how you're going to get through something, but when you look back in life, you realize how true this statement is.

Read the following first line slowly and let it sink in.

If God brings you to it - He will bring you through it.

"Lord I love You and I need You, come into my heart, today. For without You I can do nothing...Amen"

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Church Football Terms...

I'm sure many of you have seen these before, however, I felt they are worthy of the blogosphere. Enjoy...

Quarterback Sneak - Church members quietly leaving during the invitation.

Draw Play - What many children do with the bulletin during worship.

Half-time - The period between Sunday School and worship when many choose to leave.

Bench warmer - Those who do not sing, pray, work, or apparently do anything but sit.

Backfield-in-Motion - Making a trip to the back (restroom or water fountain)during the service.

Staying in the Pocket - What happens to a lot of money that should be given to the Lord's work.

Two-minute Warning - The point at which you realize the sermon is almost over and begin to gather up your children and belongings.

Instant Replay - The preacher loses his notes and falls back on last week's illustrations.

Sudden Death - What happens to the attention span of the congregation if the preacher goes "overtime."

Trap - You're called on to pray and are asleep.

End Run - Getting out of church quick, without speaking to any guest or fellow member.

Flex Defense - The ability to allow absolutely nothing said during the sermon to affect your life.

Halfback Option - The decision of 50% of the congregation not to return for the evening service.

Blitz - The rush for the restaurants following the closing prayer.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Spilled Paint...

The day God spilled paint...

The east side of the Carrizo plain, in the Temblor Range , about 50 miles due west of Bakersfield , California .

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Biblical Coffee...

A man and his wife were having an argument about who should brew the coffee each morning. The wife said, "You should do it, because you get up first, and then we don't have to wait as long to get our coffee."
The husband said, " You are in charge of cooking around here and you should do it, because that is your job, and I can just wait for my coffee."
Wife replies, "No, you should do it, and besides, it is in the Bible that the man should do the coffee." Husband replies, "I can't believe that, show me."
So she fetched the Bible, and opened the New Testament and showed him at the top of several pages, that it indeed says.........."HEBREWS"