September 20 / Proverbs 20 / John 14


Proverbs 20:9

No one can say, “I’ve never done anything wrong.”

We are all in the same sinful boat. Nobody on earth is holier or more
loved by the Father than anyone else.
It is the same grace that lifts us all, some people have just taken hold
of more than others have, that’s all.


As long as you keep someone on a pedestal, you will not attain what
is totally available to you also.


In the upside-down Kingdom, it is the person who receives the
most help that is the greatest. In the kingdom of this world, that
person is the most pathetic. Go figure.


The branch that stays connected to the Vine bears the most fruit.

John 14:12-14

“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.  You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father.  Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!”

Do any of us honestly believe a word of this???
Let alone experience one quark of it?


The key of course is so that the Son can bring glory to the Father.
[Before you go wondering why you are not receiving that easy, health-filled, money-soaked life you keep asking for…]
“Anyone who trusts in me will do the works the I am doing.”
He said that. I’m serious. Really. That happens.
I’m doin’ this. Watch me. For the glory of the Father.

Continue reading September 20 / Proverbs 20 / John 14

September 19 / Proverbs 19 / John 13


Proverbs 19:11

The wise are patient;
they will be honored if they ignore insults [offenses].
The wise are not quick to respond angrily to someone.
God is slow to take offense [Ex.34:6; Mic.7:18], and we are to become like Jesus, who perfectly showed us YHWH.
If you are easily, quickly offended, and regularly respond in anger, you are not showing Christ, plain and simple. Growing into Christ likeness entails that are growing in “unoffendableness.” If you’ve not grown or are not growing in this area, it would be wise to check yourself. It’s a good signpost that something is off. Growth is stunted somewhere, somehow.
Proverbs 19:20
Listen to advice and accept correction,
and in the end you will be wise.
You do not become wise overnite! And it only comes after much correction. Correction doesn’t exactly feel like a soft, cozy blankey, but it is necessary. Accept this, stay on the path, and you will mature steadily. I always advise people that it’s better to workout for even just 15 minutes a day, everyday, than it is to do the 2 hour mega workout only once per week or so.
Most progress comes from what we do day in day out. Think of how easy the skill of driving a car is! You don’t even have to think about it. The power of habit…What if you read the same passage of Scripture everyday for a month? What if you practiced some discipline like complimenting three people everyday, or wrote down three things you’re thankful for every morning? Or prayed a prayer of committing your day to God upon waking everyday?
Proverbs 19:27
Don’t stop listening to correction, my child,
or you will forget what you have already learned.
We need constant reminding of truth because we are not only forgetful, but truth is snatched from us by the evil one in so many forms.
Becoming like Christ is a continual process over our lifetime.
We do not reach a point where no more instruction is necessary.

John 13:3
Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God.
“Jesus has perfect self-esteem:
he knows of God’s love expressed in his origin and destiny
and therefore can relinquish human status to become a servant.”
John 13:4-11
He washed their feet, the work of a humble servant.
The eternal Word of God who was there in the beginning, creating the cosmos, stoops down to wash people’s dirty feet.
This is beyond words.
And this is what we are to emulate, to follow the pattern of.
An apprentice of Jesus serves people. There is no way around this. Who are you serving? How do you “stoop?”
John 13:35
“This is how everyone will know you are my disciples, by your love for one another.”
Sometimes it is helpful to think of what Jesus did not say here:
Everyone will know you’re my disciples if you judge each other.
…if you condemn one another
…if you resent each other
…if you compete against each other
…if you talk about each other
…if you defame other Christians
and on and on…


September 18 / Proverbs 18 / John 12


Proverbs 18:14

No one can live with a broken spirit.
We can be that catalyst of hope and healing for people with a broken spirit.
Without hope, life doesn’t seem worth living.
Who can you encourage today?
Just a word of hope may be all someone needs today.
Listen to that voice & obey it.

John 12:47
“I came to save the world, not to judge it.” -Jesus of Nazareth
What a great approach we can take, never judging, never condemning, but always providing the truth, the hope that is available for people to grab on and anchor to.
This way is effective, but challenging because we feel the need to tell
people they are wrong. But think about, “What do I really want?” with regard to any given situation. Do I want to prove I’m right? That someone else is wrong? Or do I want hope and healing for the other person?

Continue reading September 18 / Proverbs 18 / John 12

September 17 / Proverbs 17 / John 11


Proverbs 17:17

A friend loves all the time, and a brother helps in times of trouble.

May we never forget that a friend loves at all times, including awkward times, painful times, uncomfortable times. I’m afraid we’re not taught well how to love one another. Many lack a “success model” for this. I guess most people don’t actually know how to be with suffering people. Or they don’t care. Or they’re ignorant of suffering going on around them. Or they’re just lazy and selfish.

I have a few suffering people in my life right now, and it pains me to hear how few come through and are really there for them in a tangible, ministering way. It’s not fun, it’s depressing, at times awkward, yet it is an entrance into the manifest presence of God in an amazingly unique way. And is it not exactly where we should be? With those who are struggling?

If we simply hang out with those with good lives and who make us feel good, how different are we than the world? Is that the healing of the nations?

Are we not called as Christ followers to be with the widows, orphans, sick, imprisoned, homeless, lonely, hungry, and naked.

John 11:48

If we allow him to go on like this, soon everyone will believe in him. Then the Roman army will come and destroy both our Temple and our nation.

Jesus replaces Temple and nation. Jesus replaces Torah and family for that matter.

This is not an arbitrary removal of cherished possessions from our lives. Rather, this is the bestowing of something so much better that, if we are open to it, brings us great joy and authentic experience of a life of significance. In the process, the things replaced drop to their proper position and level of importance within our lives. Everything the world and religion has to offer is trumped and transcended by Jesus and what He offers.

Fear of losing something shows you are holding on too tightly to it. How ridiculous it is to be encountered by God Himself, my loving, omnipotent Creator, and at the same time be worried about losing my church or country! Yet this is exactly how we live many of our days.

We have the Ultimate, the Source, the best possible, but fail to see it or to recognize it. We want “more” when there is no possibility of more because we already have ALL. Because we have God, we can afford to lose anything and still have everything.

It truly is in how we see–in what we choose to look at, isn’t it? Losing things, especially people or health, is very painful, but it doesn’t destroy us, unless of course we let it. There is a difference between sorrow and despair. We may experience great sorrow and yet hold on to who we really are in Christ. So much of life really does depend on what we choose to focus on–what we have or don’t have. And this goes far beyond the cliche gratitude for a car that runs or a closet full of clothes (though it is good to be thankful for these temporal blessings).

We have the love of God for Christ’s sake!

And nothing can possibly ever separate us from that [Romans 8:35-39]. Therefore, if what you fear to lose is God because you’re holding on to dear life to Him, good! Because you can’t lose Him. So there’s nothing to fear there.

This I choose to focus on, to make my “go to” right now, in this present moment, today, and everyday. This is what we remind each other of daily so that we will live a full life of abundance. We help each other to live into our life of significance that is already there waiting for us to acknowledge and take hold of.

But we need reminding of it, constant reminding. For everything “out there” seeks to distract us from this beauty that always is. So much attracts us to take hold of that which is far less than what we can and in fact already do have.

It is deceiving.

And we try desperately to wring the world’s offer of a lasting, fulfilling significance that is not even there to be wrung.

I will remind myself that I am at every minute loved by that which is perfect, condition-free, eternal Love.

What more could I possibly want than that?


September 16 / Proverbs 16 / John 10

A Palestinian inspects a destroyed building at a soccer stadium after an Israeli air strike in Gaza City November 19, 2012. Hostilities between Islamist militants and Israel entered a sixth day on Monday as diplomatic efforts were set to intensify to try to stop rocket fire from the Gaza Strip and Israeli air strikes on Gaza. International pressure for a ceasefire seemed certain to mount after the deadliest single incident in the flare-up on Sunday claimed the lives of at least 11 Palestinian civilians, including four children. REUTERS/Yasser Gdeeh (GAZA - Tags: MILITARY CONFLICT CIVIL UNREST TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

Proverbs 16:3

Commit your acts to Yahweh, and your plans will be established.

As important as human planning is, the ultimate outcome depends on Yahweh. All planning should thus be done with the idea that God can and may indeed overturn it. We don’t simply ask God to honor all of our plans, but rather submit all of our actions to Him, getting to the point that even if something doesn’t “work out”, we are able to see a deeper plan at work, and rest in it. We have peace because of our trust in Yahweh.

Proverbs 16:24

Pleasant words are liquid honey, sweet to the taste and healing to the bones.

Our words hurt or heal. The old saying “Sticks and stone…” would have sounded like complete BS to the sages. Our words penetrate to the core of people (“the bones”), and affect them. Other Proverbs indicate that healing words are those spoken at the right time. The more tuned in we are, the more we will be aware of what needs to be spoken when, and then act upon that knowledge.

It never ceases to amaze me how powerful encouraging words are. I received some affirming words yesterday that totally lifted my spirits and countenance for the rest of the day.

Don’t hold back an encouraging word. It’s more powerful than you probably realize. If someone is on your mind, tell them. If you have a word, share it. Make it a point to encourage someone everyday.

John 10:10

The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.

Jesus came to awaken us from the sleepwalking, pathetic, shallow excuse for a life that the world offers us.

If you want a fulfilling, adventurous, unpredictable life of depth, then follow Jesus. It is safely dangerous and will not disappoint anyone who takes it seriously. It’s free, as it’s already been paid for, but it will cost you.

Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried.

-G.K. Chesterton

September 15 / Proverbs 15 / John 9


Proverbs 15:4

Healing words give life.

Do your words give life to those with whom you speak?

Do your words encourage?

Proverbs 15:22

Plans fail without good advice, but they succeed with the advice of many others.

It’s amazing(ly sad) how many try to succeed on their own great ideas without seeking the wisdom of others. I’ve seen many fail year after year because they do not learn from their own mistake of going at things alone. They do not learn from others because of pride.

Knowing it all, succeeding in nothing.

Wisdom is characterized largely by looking at one’s mistakes and making the necessary corrections. Humility involves being open to listening to correction. Doing this improves one’s ability to properly navigate reality and therefore leads to glory.

Proverbs 15:26

The Lord is pleased with kind words.

Proverbs 15:33

The fear of Yahweh is wise discipline, and humility comes before glory.

Talking with a wise friend yesterday, he painted a great picture of the pile-up at the gate of heaven due to the humility of everyone there saying, “You first. No, you, please. You. No, really, go ahead.”

John 9:39-41

“If you were blind,” replied Jesus, “you wouldn’t be guilty of sin. But now, because you say, ‘We can see,’ your sin remains.”

Jesus seemed to be most condemning of those who thought they knew it all and looked down on others.

These references to “blindness” are interesting. What I take from this is that it is important to come to God empty. It is when we empty ourselves of our own thoughts and false narratives from our family, culture, and religion that we are most open to God and the truth He would like to fill us with.

It is those who come to Him blind that He gives the ability to see. When I come to Him professing to know nothing is when I receive the most from Him.

That which can be most filled is that which is most empty.

This is tough though. We have so much in our heads, so much history. So much potential blockage. It’s like YHWH wants to provide the most perfect of food for our body from His own garden that He created especially for us. But we just stuffed ourselves with so much McDonalds that we can’t even take a bite. We’ve gotta stop eating that pseudo, non-fulfilling food, crap it out, throw it up, maybe get our stomach pumped for some of us, and make room for that which gives true life and health.

The best meal is the one you eat when you’re famished. My best time with Jesus is when I come to Him starving for Him. Like an old friend use to say to me when I wanted a Mountain Dew, or “poison” as he called it, “If water doesn’t sound good to you, then you’re not really thirsty.”

September 14 / Proverbs 14 / John 8


Proverbs 14:13

Even in laughter the heart is sad, and the end of joy is grief.

Some of us use humor to mask what is going on inside, to keep people at arm’s length from our heart for it is too painful or embarrassing to let people in.

Look past people’s defenses to see if there is more going on; they may actually be crying out for help, just beneath the surface.

This of course can be taken too far. Sometimes I say ridiculous things simply to make people laugh in pants-wettingly shockitude. I am not ALWAYS hiding something. As we get to know people, we will grow in our discernment.

John 8:58

“Before Abraham existed, I AM.” -claim of Jesus the Nazarene

Jesus was more than a great teacher or good example.

He was the incarnational Word of YHWH…listen to Him.

Jesus is the forever present LOGOS.

He is the love of YHWH embodied.

September 13 / Proverbs 13 / John 7



Proverbs 13:3

Those who are careful about what they say protect their lives, but whoever speaks without thinking will be ruined.

Just shut up and try to listen once in a while. You’ll be peasantry shocked at how peaceful it is.

[New Roop Version or NRV>>Tagline: “Oh the NeRVe of this translation!”]

John 7:16-18

“My teaching isn’t my own,” replied Jesus, “it comes from the one who sent me! If anyone wants to do what God wants, they will know whether this teaching is from God, or whether I’m just speaking on my own account. Anyone who speaks on his own behalf is trying to establish his own reputation. But if what he’s interested in is the reputation of the one who sent him, then he is true, and there is no injustice in him.”

John 7:38

“Anyone who believes in me will have rivers of living water flowing out of their hearts, just like the Bible says!”

Remember, we pursue God Himself, and not the Bible. As great as it is, it merely points us to YHWH.

The same goes for a good teacher, pastor, or leader. They will only point us to God and the pursuit of Him directly, never to themselves or their own teachings.

What matters most is that you love God from the inner most private places of your heart. Perhaps we can be a catalyst for each other to that end, like the Bible is, but that’s all we are–> Empowered Powerless Pointers to the Power.”

Or EPPTTPs as we like to call them here at The Ripple Effect.


September 12 / Proverbs 12 / John 6


Proverbs 12:1

Anyone who loves learning accepts correction, but whoever hates correction is stupid.

Oh this one never gets old to me.

John 6:26

This was Jesus’s reply. “I’m telling you the solemn truth,” he said. “You aren’t looking for me because you saw the signs, but because you ate as much bread as you could.”

Why are you seeking Jesus?

For what you can get from Him?

To make your life a little better?

Or to follow Him, out of love and trust, through whatever He takes you?