Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Book Order

Just a note that "This Morning with God" devotionals are now in book form and available to purchase!

The book is hardbound, maroon, with gold lettering on the front and spine. It is 8 1/2 x 11 in size and has practically every devotional from the first day, August 7, 2006, to the recent devotional written October 22, 2008. It weighs as much as a small child and can hold down a sizeable stack of papers in a category 2 storm. If you have a sturdy coffee table, it will look impressive...until your guests start reading it.

We are ordering 150 to begin with and will continue taking orders. The cost is $30 plus shipping. This price will cover the cost of the book. Any surplus monies above the cost of the book will go as a donation to either Walnut Creek Baptist Church's building fund or Lake Fork Baptist Church's library fund (please choose one).

If you would like to purchase one or more, please send a check or money order to Lake Fork Baptist Church, 9483 West FM 515, Alba, TX 75410. Make your check payable to Lake Fork Baptist Church and denote "TMWG Book" on your donation. Also please specify the number of books you are ordering and the fund that you would like any overage to be placed in.

Thank you for being a faithful subscriber. May God use this to bless you and others in His name.

Perry Crisp

Monday, November 24, 2008

Mr. G

"They know about God, but they don't honor Him or even thank Him" (Romans 1:21, Contemporary English Version).

A certain village was filled with car-crazed citizens. They drove cars everywhere. Every day. They did everything by car. They were nuts about their cars. And boy, were they cranky when their cars wouldn't crank!

The village had a single mechanic. He alone knew how to maintain, diagnose, and fix cars. He was a genius at work, turning out repaired automobiles like factories turn out shoe laces and bubble gum.

Though the lone mechanic had a monopoly on this service industry, his prices were significantly lower than they should have been. He could have charged ten times as much, but he barely charged at all for his services.

Through the years other mechanics had tried to compete, but none could compare with Mr. Greatwrench. Failed mechanics moved away and set up shop elsewhere. They found normal villages where people expected high prices, long delays, shoddy work, and questionable fees.

Mr. G enjoyed serving the good people of Motorville...until lately. Lately, he noticed a change in the attitudes of his customers. Smiles were replaced by grimaces. Appreciation was absent. No matter how quickly Mr. G repaired and replaced a broken this or a faulty that, the vehicle owners grew more and more impatient.

They checked their watches and paced. They let out deep sighs of exasperation. Mr. G overheard phone conversations that regularly sounded like this:
"I don't know! I thought he would be finished by now. I can't believe it's taking this long!"

Upon overhearing one such conversation, Mr. G put down his ratchet, rolled out from under a car, stood up, wiped grease from his tired, gnarled, and constantly bleeding hands, dropped the grease rag on a workbench, and walked away.

No one ever saw him again.

There's another Mr. G who lives in your neighborhood. He doesn't work on cars. He works on hearts. God.

God does amazing work. He has even absorbed the cost Himself. His Son, Jesus, paid for everything. God can fix a broken heart when we feel it is beyond repair. God can heal a neglected relationship that appears hopeless to everyone else. God works day and night. No one else can compare.

Shouldn't His patrons be grateful? Are we? Am I?

Happy Thanksgiving,
Perry Crisp

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Who Knows?

Really important words get tossed around like a plastic frisbee at a dog competition. We just fling them out there without fully appreciating them.

The obvious one is love. Without attaching any degree of priority, we say "I love God" and "I love your cell phone cover" in the same breath.

The less obvious one is a two-word phrase repeatedly repeated with annoying repetetive repetition:
"I know."

We often say, "I know" whether we do or not. For example:

"The new Air Force One is very comfortable."

"I know!"

Then there are subtle variations of "I know" that are rarely defined. Grandpa says to his grandson, "We used to listen to music on vinyl records." What does the grandson say? "I know."

But does he really? Unless he's at least 40, vinyl is what's on the outside of his house and a record is either something his favorite athlete broke or something his favorite athlete has since his recent incarceration.

"I know" is high atop the list of the most important two-worded phrases of our existence. If I tell you, "God loves you and gave His Son, Jesus Christ, to die for your sins, and He will come into your life if you will accept and trust Him," and you say, "I know" - I pray that you're not tossing me a frisbee.

Nothing in your existence could be more important than "knowing" the truth of that statement personally, intimately, and experientially.

It needs to be knowledge that doesn't just sit in a manila folder in the file cabinet of your brain, but knowledge that brightens the darkness of your mind, soul, and heart, and stirs the blood of your soul to flow throughout your whole being.

Jesus had some fellas say, "I know" after they saw Him do a few miracles. But Jesus "knew" them way better than they knew themselves or Him.

"But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men...for He knew what was in man" (John 2:24-25).

Notice it says, "He knew" twice. John used two different tenses in the Greek language when he scratched these words on a pith of papyrus. The first one means that Jesus is currently and forever knowledgeable of man. The second means that Jesus has always known man and now knows what is "in man" by experience.

If Grandpa sat the kid down and lowered the needle to the turntable, then the grandson would know by experience what his grandfather experienced at his age.

Jesus has always known us. But once He became one of us, He knew us on a new experiential level. And once you turn away from your sins, accept by faith what Jesus did for you on the cross, and invite Him into your life, you will truly know Him.

THEN...you can say,
"I know!"

Do you?
Perry Crisp

Monday, November 17, 2008

All Growed Up

Have you ever met a full grown adult who met the requirements of adulthood solely on the basis of age? If you haven't, let me introduce myself - I'm Perry. I'm 46 years old, and I'm still a kid.

Sure, I can maneuver my way through the adult world, making important decisions and sounding knowledgeable on politics and the economy like other taxpayers. But inside, I'm just a kid. Beneath my button-down business shirt is a kool-aid-stained t-shirt with a big "S" scribbled in crayon. Not Superman. Superkid.

I'm not alone. I've seen the child in others. I've heard grown-ups giggle and I've seen old folks play kids games. I don't know why we try to hide it. I think we ought to be both...as long as we know when to be which.

This morning I was filling bookshelves in my new office at Lake Fork with my old books. Books from college, from seminary, from friends, from former pastors, and from my dad's library (yes, he knows I have them).

I came across a book from seminary days. A philosophy professor of mine had assigned his book for our reading pleasure. Here's an excerpt:

"One may in epistemological faith hold an interpretation of a thing, person, concept, or spiritual entity to be ontologically valid to the extent to which the 'reality' creates in one's experience the conditions which appropriately correspond to one's conceptual understanding of that which is claimed to be 'real.'"

I am a living testimony that miracles happen! I passed that class by the grace of God. Or maybe it was drop-and-add. Either way, I passed philosophy without ever understanding my own personal connection with existentialism.

After I read that sentence and slammed the book shut, I rubbed my eyes and pondered my thoughts. I had mixed emotions. I was torn between the shock that I could pronounce "epistemological" and the frustration that I should be able to understand what that sentence means by now!

I put that book on a shelf and opened God's Word. Immediately, I found a fellow kid in David:

"God, I'm not trying to rule the roost, I don't want to be king of the mountain. I haven't meddled where I have no business or fantasized grandiose plans. I've kept my feet on the ground, I've cultivated a quiet heart. Like a baby content in its mother's arms, my soul is a baby content" (Psalm 131, The Message).

David is saying what I'm saying. Sometimes I'm just content to be a kid. God is my Father. I'm His child. I can go to the playground of life and take an occasional recess because I know my Father has all things in His hands.

I can relax. I can rest. I can recreate. I can sing "Hakuna Matata" and enjoy a problem-free philosophy. So can you. The world will not fall apart if you take time to enjoy what your Father has provided. But you will fall apart if you don't.

You can't be Samson 24/7. God can. God is. Hear Him say,
"I've got this...you go play with your friends until I call for you."

Thanks Dad,
Perry Crisp

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I am currently in a time of transition, moving from one church and community to another. The demands of selling a home, moving, buying a home, and getting settled into a new ministry make it impossible to post devotionals at this time.

I plan to resume posting devotionals next week. Thank you for your patience. If you are a subscriber to my mailing list or the blog, nothing will change. You will continue receiving the devotionals as before.

Thank you for your patience, prayers, and continued encouragement and support.

And thank you, Veterans and current Service Personnel in our nation's military, for your generous and exceptional service throughout the world. Happy Veteran's Day!

Perry Crisp