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More Useful

Marshall Young went to the same Christian college I did.  He has a degree in one of their newer majors that helped him win a Dove Award for egineering an album by the group Canton Junction.

Marshall gave his golden trophy to the school.  He said, “I figure it’d be much more useful for inspiring the students and getting the attention of potential students than it is at collecting dust on my dresser.”

Jesus has a lot to say about us doing more than “collecting dust,” as Marshall put it.  In Mathew 25:14-30 Christ tells a story about using our gifts rather than hiding them.

What’s “collecting dust” in your life, and what could you do today to change that?


Living, Loving, and Led Zepplin

“Living what you’re selling” is one of the keys to a highly successful St. Louis company, says its founder.  It’ s also significant for Christians: we use the phrase “walk your talk” to emphasize the importance of consistency  between our verbal witness and those actions that speak louder than our words.

“Loving what you’re selling” changes only one vowel, but yesterday I said that it’s a corallary to “Living what you’re selling” as we share our faith in Christ.  Like an old song says, The Gospel in a word is love.

Putting those two verbs together, and reaching way back into the recordings of classic rockers Led Zepplin for a simple melody ( gives us this chorus —

[guitar riff:

dah, da-da dah da-da dah,

dah dah da-dahhh, dah]




dut, dut, crash]

Yes, I’m a Christian

May that be true for you and me today; may Christ make us fully alive and full of love.

Let the Church say Amen.

Now let’s get going, Church — whole lotta love and whole lotta life awaits!

Loving What You’re Selling

Yesterday we thought together about what rising St. Louis CEO Jim Eberlin stresses: “Livng what you’re selling.”

Change the vowel in that first word from an “i” to an “o” and maybe we’ve just tripped over another reason why so many people have a hard time telling about their Christian faith…not quite living it, and not quite loving it.

People can tell if we’re not living what we say we believe.

Even more painfully, people can tell if we’re not loving Christ.

Take a moment today for some prayerful self-assessment.  Let The Holy Spirit address you about this.

Serious stuff, for real.



Living What You’re Selling

“Living what you’re selling,” says Jim Eberlin, is the key for a successful business like his.

As reported in various business media this week, Eberlin’s St. Louis software firm TopOpps is rapidly collecting both clients and awards.

And his quote I cited is a good reminder for people wanting to share their Christian faith: “Living what you’re selling.”

Quakers admonish one another to “let your life speak.”

Jesus says, Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)

“Living what you’re selling.”  Let’s do that this week, fellow Christ-followers.  Ready?

Eternal Life

“Real and eternal life”  is what it’s all about.

That’s what Christ says he wants to give us, according to The Message version of John 10:10.

“Eternal.”  Like a middle school student to me at church camp, “Eternity is a really, really long time, Joe.”

And like a seminary professor who’s a hero of mine said, “God’s idea of eternity is already happening.  You’re already in it right now.”


What’s stopping you and me from savoring that gift of “eternal life” right now?

Not far from where you are right now a community of faith is gathering.  I invite and encourage you to join them.

It’ll be a good time to sing and think together about “real and eternal life, more and better life than we ever dreamed of.”


Real Life

Christ’s goal is to give us “real and eternal life,”  says The Message version of John 10:10.

Savor that with me: “real and eternal life.”

“Real.”  Time to stop pretending.

Right now, what’s stopping you and me from living in Christ’s reality?

What can you and I change today so that we can relish the experience of “real and eternal life, more and better life than [we] ever dreamed of?”


For Your Mayor and….

Cathy Oberneufemann, a real life friend and an online prayer team partner, gave me permission to share this with you —

Pray for your mayor,

your police force, your firefighters,

your community leaders and influencers,

your churches & pastors – in both your community

and those in Ferguson.

Pray that they would work together

if not in unison, then in harmony

(to borrow musical terms).

Pray that we see the gifts in each other

rather than the faults,

and that everyone truly strives

to do what is right in the eyes of the Lord

and in the best interests of the people.

Ask God what your role is.

Joe here again, adding only this: …and all the people of God say, “Amen!”


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