My Ceiling Is Your Floor

Passing the baton
Passing the baton

My Ceiling Is Your Floor

For many a year, one of the lines used in ministry was about the generation to come. Any many bought into it. I want to say I believe it.

But here are a couple of thoughts for both sides.

A-If I am to be your floor,

  • I need to be prepared for people to walk on me.
  • I may no longer be visible when you are standing.
  • I may need to be more secure in who I am in Christ and less in others.
  • I need to bear the weightiness.
  • I honor you.
  • Be more I am. Be greater, bigger, higher.

B-If I am to stand on your ceiling

  • I need to stand on that which is in place.(foundation)
  • To dishonor my ceiling can bring shifting, shaking or even destruction.
  • Despite your unwavering life as my “floor”, my life must be in Him.
  • To leave may mean I must start from scratch.
  • I honor your work that you have accomplished.
  • I am thankful for you going before me.

There is one true foundation. His name is Jesus (1 Corinthians 3:11) For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

My security does not come from man. It comes from the Lord. I take responsibility for my life. I take seriously the responsibility of my life for the sake of those that might learn from me. It means my ceiling is your floor.  I don’t want my people, whether they be my children or my spiritual children to repeat my footsteps, but to take what I’m capable of and go far beyond. I am not leaving legacy, but I am in fact creating legacy. In many respects it is like a relay race. The first is just as important as the last.

For my ceiling to be a floor for those to come, they must embrace or stand on that which I have done. Wandering off may well mean that you have to start as I did. It is so much easier to build the second floor of a building than it is the first! Choose wisely those who labor amongst you! If I was younger I would want the best mentor, the strongest and most responsible to learn from.

As a leader, often I may find that I can be creative and innovative, but if I never hand it off, what value is it. I must give it away (If for no other reason than I might get more!) I want my life to be a starting point for those I love. Those I care for and care about. I want the momentum of the goodness of God in my life to be their starting point. To empower people to start from here and develop their own creative ideas and thought processes. I do not want them to run the race I did. (Yes, we had cooler cars, awesome music & lyrics and better hair, but hey!)

Sure you can recreate the wheel…but why?

To you out there I want you to run with my best and then go further, farther and better.


Coding, Operating Systems And Us

Binary Coding
Binary Coding


This morning I had a dream. In the dream I found myself viewing HTML (HyperText Markup Language) coding or the ability of a person to build a web page. For someone such as myself who has been involved in the internet and the building of pages (Well, since Al Gore invented it…) this dream was interesting.

In coding there are a lot of things you do not see. These codes or strings of code, determine everything from font color, style or size, to where a picture or column is located. For instance, <font color=”red”>will give you this 6.

In the dream I saw the hand of the Lord touching people behind the scenes, putting code in lives. There was also code that was predetermined through birth or DNA (a code of its own that determines genetics like hair coloring, size, etc…) and then there is additional code which has a lot to do with what you put in your life.

In many respects, our lives are often like what we may now call a web page. A web page for the most part operates on three levels. The operating system (what you do not see.), the output or page(what you do see) and the “personalized” page that reflects answers you may have given in the past or choices you have made.

Life is a lot like that and I saw it in the dream.

The Operating System or OS
There is a code that runs the whole site. That may be more like what the Lord puts in to “run the whole system. And then there is the individual code of the page that has a lot of similarities to DNA coding. And then there is an additional process that revolves around forms where you may be asked for email addresses, etc.. The information you put in here determines what you may receive in coming days, etc..

One of the things I have noticed is our “operating system” or what goes on behind the scenes, never changes. God died as you and an operating system of God is always at work in your life. Whether you accept it or see it is irrelevant. You can choose never to see the wonder of what He does. You can be content only with what is in your life and what you do.

The Web Page
Then you walk in the DNA or the output of your parents and the generations before you. You may resemble Aunt Tilly or Poppa Don. You may act like your father or smile like your mama. There is little you can change outside of reconstructive surgeries, additions or subtractions. It is interesting that many are concerned with this to the extent that perhaps billions are spent in this area to change the visual or the “page” itself. So many work to get away from the “code.” It is here that appearance is changed, corrupted or distorted.

The data entry of personal information builds a database that becomes uniquely you to even further extent. It can be the result of upbringing, education or culture.

When I gave my life over to the Lord I was given what can only be called a new “operating system.” It was more than an upgrade. Everything became different. (Scripture tells us that once we were “darkness.”) Up until that point my operating system was “corrupt” and my output corrupt. With this new operating system, many things changed. Not all, but many. Instantly it was like the Lord removed my database of profanity. On the hand I would try to reverse or operate this new system from the direction of the old with results that were less than productive.

I still had the DNA of parents and the personalization of experience, but now I had to run it on a different system. I found that some of my favorite “programs” I had used no longer produced or in some cases no longer existed.

In the dream the hand of the Lord was giving not just “upgrades” but new systems of operation. I felt the Lord saying “this is a day of great harvest. The corruptions of this world are not what you are to be concerned with. Be concerned with the newness of the operating system.” Too often we bring people out of their culture and encourage them to do what they have always done…but differently! We need to put emphasis on Him and not the output or the result. Christ and Christianity is not self help. The best “coding” in the world will not and cannot run without a proper operating system.

I am not being disrespectful or irreverent of Christ. He is the “system” that made way for my corrupt ways to change. It was not for lack of trying I had been unable to accomplish these things before Him. Let us stop trying to change the person. That job belongs to Christ and Christ alone. Let us not see conformity to a system of “proper” output but let us seek the transformational change that comes with Christ.

Encourage the operating system change and you will see the results. Stop focusing on the output of people and concentrate on He who can change.

When They Come – The Power Of Grace

Just a thought?
Just a thought?

When They Come

This may be more for our friends where we gather as a fellowship, for our region, but overall I think the principles and the truth behind it are true for many.

When I first came through the doors of Christianity I am not sure what I expected. Probably not what I saw or even where I ended up. I know in retrospect, the idea of women in dresses and men in suits and that all had to “look the same” might have been tucked in there. My difficulty was I identified with those who could not afford a suit or had never been out of jeans and t-shirt. I have been in the services where people have been asked to “cover up.” (I once had friend who was told he had to wear a tie to church and someone gave him one. He was young black man sporting an Afro. When he showed up at “church” the tie was wrapped around his Afro! He died while doing missions in Tanzania some years later.) Where all the men looked the same, all the women in the flowery dresses and big hair and yes I have been irreverent about it. I do apologize for some of that. Not all, but some.

My walk was orchestrated by Him and no other. I remember falling in love with an album by Steve Taylor and thinking “I don’t want to be a clone.” I remember taking flak over it and my thinking. When I first started in church, I ended up in an “inner circle” of sorts. I began to look the part. But there was always a part of me that hungered for the life of being with those less fortunate. I began to bring them to church. Why? Because He loved me and I loved Him and I wanted to spread it around.

My first two weeks as a believer 23 young people came to the Lord. The man with Tourette syndrome (TS) and his verbal outbursts and crazy mannerisms. Rick got saved in our living room. My former “body guard,” a refrigerator with a head screwed on who was a blackbelt. He gave his life to Jesus in my store as the presence of God filled the room and a “mist” began to manifest. A young army veteran gave his life to the Lord, moving out of his girlfriend’s house and in with us.  A practicing homosexual who while buying a gift found himself shaking under the power of God in our store.  A man who “found” me, showing up at our home after a truck accident with one leg shorter by nearly 5 inches than the other. He was headed to the Social Security office when I encountered him. The Lord miraculously healed him and he began pounding nails with us that summer. Prostitutes, porn stars, thieves; men and women convicted of all sorts of debauchery. Continue reading When They Come – The Power Of Grace

July is Here!

The Blur Of July

As we hit the first day of July I am reminded of what it was like in my youth. My parents often planned our vacations to Schroon Lake and later our camping trips in the first few weeks of July. My birthday on the 3rd was always celebrated with nights of fireworks, it seemed. (Hey, one day later and they would have named me Samuel….think about that!)

drum cake
This was the cake my mom made for my birthday one year. .

When I was a child my mom often experimented with specialty cakes. One of my favorites was a drum cake she made. (Sometimes she made those ice cream cone cakes.) But whatever she made it made little difference! Sometimes we went to Frontier Town, Ausable Chasm, Catskill Game Farm and one year while in Connecticut, we celebrated on Powers Pond in Wallingford with the paddleboats.

July was always a month for vacations, boating, water skiing and more. When I was older I went to Keewaydin and celebrated on the shores of Lake Dunmore. Now, not only do we celebrate my birthday but also my daughter Amy and my wife Tina’s birthday. (My wife celebrates in the aftermath of my party with a quiet day on the ocean’s beach.)

I am excited not because it is “my birthday” but for many a year it has been a day of gathering friends and family around the barbecue. This year will be no different. From 10-4 this Saturday I will be blessed with the friends I have come to cherish and the family I adore. This year one of my greatest “presents” will be seeing my newest granddaughter Hannah Lynn. Over the years friends have visited from about the nation planning ministry and vacations that have included this day. I have friends that show from church and others who never have been in a church. They all are my friends. Over the years some have gone on to their reward and each year I reflect on the goodness of God in my life and the friends and family I do have.

I often sit and watch the conversations, the interactions and the relationships that are started or revisited.  I believe this week to be no different. Friends and family, I look forward to seeing you.