Coffee with Christ

20161004_150844 (2)You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. -John 1

Coffee and Christ are a constant theme in my life.

In a day of 24/7 media saturated bad news, I chose to have a positive imagination. When God captures it, it’s allthemore wonderful.

I woke up one morning with an image of Christ sitting with His Father over a cup of coffee talking about their Kingdom and the subjects who live there.

“Father, there is a sister who has lost some precious things, could you help her find whatever she needs to continue her journey”?

“Yes, son. Because you asked, I will do it.”

After another cup, I can hear Christ say, “Father, did you see the humor in that brother’s misstep? He humbly sought to do good. It backfired and he laughed it off. I can so relate. Remember the time on the mountain, it was just the two of us. I was walking as I spoke to you and was transfixed by the sunrise. Then I was sideswiped by that branch. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard at how strange and wonderful it is to be human.”

“Yes, son. Without your perspective and wounds, I would never know what my own creation is feeling or suffering. I am glad to give the gift of comfort, humor and anything else to those who ask.”

I don’t know a thing about what God and Christ really talk about, but I do know Christ speaks up for His own. The most beautiful union is between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. By His grace alone I know He is speaking up for me. He also looks out for everyone in the world; those bearing His image.

I imagine the Holy Trinity caught up in laughter in their perfect Heaven, the place where pure happiness resides and is awaiting the gathering of all of God’s family home one day. I also see God wiping away our tears in this realm and forever in the life to come, empathizing with our sorrows.

Won’t it be marvelous to enjoy the Heavenly delights with our Father and big brother Jesus in the Spirit in which life was created from the beginning to be…


And it’s still all good!


When I Look Around to Look Up—God Smiles

GodReflection: What Make God Smile?
gary portraitI hinted at this in my last post in the declaration that God smiles when I love others as God has loved me.

It is a verse I’ve known since I parked my tricycle. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, Love your neighbor as yourself (Luke10:27).

At the same time, it is not simple. I still work toward it. It’s a contract I commit to while it is a desire of my heart that I grow toward. Truthfully, it is now more of a lifestyle than conveyed by its initial expression the first time I became aware of God’s desire.

others7With that said I recognized I’m a far cry from where the Father wants me to be. To be right with God is to treat others right. I can’t walk in integrity with the Creator if I treat His created ones with dishonor. To walk in integrity with God and self I must walk in integrity with each person I encounter.

To grow toward my love for God with my heart, soul, strength and mind, I need to habitually treat ever person I meet in the service sector of life with the same love and respect I have for myself.

Let me shift gears.

If I were asked to describe the entirety of the Genesis to Revelation I would express it somewhat like the following:

Holy2Holy God came to earth in His Son Jesus to live, die and to conquer death to show me how to live, die and conquer death so that God can restore my sin stained brokenness to eternal perfection that I might live with Him forever.

Once I have submitted my life to His Kingship in Jesus He uses the remainder of my earth walk to grow my love toward the Holy through the way I treat others.

So, life boils down to the simple, but once again not to the simplistic. My task is to love God (Mark 12:30) with total allegiance, love my neighbor (Mark 12:31) and do that guided by the compass of Jesus’ example Love one another. . . As I have loved you, so you must love one another (John 13:34).

others3In the words of the apostle John, Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another (1 John 4:11).

Can you imagine how God must react each time He see us gain consistency as we learn to look to others who cross our paths with expressive love? By so doing we look up in honor of the One who treated—and treats—us with love.

I can not only imagine His reaction, I can see His Holy contentment wrapped in a smile.

Stay tuned.

Dr. Gary J. Sorrells
A GodReflection: God Smiles When I Look Around to Look Up


God Smile When He Gives Grace

GodReflection: What Make God Smile?

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them (Genesis 1:27).

Gary 2015You’ve had the sensation. You know what it is like to give a gift to someone you love. Where did that sensation of fullness and joy that warms the insides come from?

Our first parents created in the image of God experienced His fullness. The spirit of Creator God filled them one hundred percent. Their joy buttons, purity buttons, and integrity buttons were set to the maximum volume. He created man and woman in the likeness of His smile.

At some point Satan messed with the Garden and perfection was locked in while humankind was locked out.

And so, even today we continue to follow the storyline of God’s restoration of the perfect Garden.

Here is what I think.

grace9Each of us are born with all of the original genes created by Holy God. God’s purpose for us on earth is to focus on the Holy so that our God wattage—dimmed to a flicker by the Garden fall—can grow to eventually glow in His likeness.

Let’s return to the inward joy created through the act of gifting.

Recently, my wife and I experienced this emotion when we celebrated the forty-seventh anniversary of our marriage.

grace7Each of us picked out a unique card that carried an outline of the love and thankfulness we felt on the special occasion. We both enhanced our chosen card with our own words and expression of the depth of gratitude.

In pure joy we gifted each other with our chosen card. My soul smiled throughout the process of selection, composition, gifting, and the joy caused by her gracious reception. And yes, even my face glowed with a smile.

I contrast my low human wattage of God’s images with that of Perfect Creator God.
He too gave a gift. In God-only fashion His gift was so perfect that the same present grace1uniquely crafted for you is also specifically tailor made for me. And even more incredible, His gift is designed as a one of a kind gift for anyone who speaks any language and lives in any culture across the face of the globe.

As Father God offers His gift of grace through His Son Jesus, He must smile ear to ear each time He witnesses one of His creation reach out and accept His grace gift.

He wants to walk with us from gift to eternity to see everyone of us transformed into a perfect and restored wattage of Himself. In the next reality I will join God and again we will both smile in awe of the ultimate result of His gift of grace.

You can count on it. God smiles when He gives grace.

Stay tuned.

Dr. Gary J. Sorrells
A GodReflection on God Smiles When He Gives Grace

God Smiles When I Honor Him as Holy

GodReflection: What Make God Smile?

Gary 2015In my last post I attempted to paint the picture of intimacy with God that is made available through Jesus. I affirmed that Holy God smiles when we reach for His open arms and crawl up into His lap.

However, I dare not dethrone our Holy Father to colleague status. He is not human. He is sinless. He is the author of every breath. He is still the God above all and through all. He is God Creator. He is Justice God who immediately ended the lives of Ananias and Sapphira when they disregarded His Holiness. Sin cannot stand in the presence of the Holy.

Holy8Just after the Creation Song, the Genesis author introduces God as Holy Friend of Adam and Eve. He was the God who seemingly was recognized by the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day (Genesis 3:8).

It is as if prior to the Satan-provoked sin, the two new humans were perfectly at ease in the presence of Holy God.

Through the stories of Noah, Abraham and Joseph I learn bits and pieces of God’s Holiness. But it is with the introduction and witness to the life of Moses where the demand to respect the nature of Holy God is revealed. Moses must remove his sandals when he walks on Holy Ground in the presence of Holy God.

Holy1Without God’s permission neither man nor animal can set foot on God’s Holy Mountain and live.

In a tent and in a temple God’s presence resides behind a curtain. Tainted with Adamic sin humans, only by rare exception when designated as priest and carefully cleansed, could a person enter behind the curtain into the Holy Presence. In all other cases Satanic stained humankind could never enter into the direct presence of God and survive. Sin and The Holy cannot coexist. Sin cannot stand in the presence of God.

For hundreds of years the Temple curtain stood witness that God was present behind the curtain but His Holiness could not live among the people. Eternal Good could not coexist Holy12with the sin filled bad of His creatures until their creation in the image of God was restored.

Then it happened. With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last. The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, saw how he died, he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!”

With God placed the gift of His Beloved Son on the cross-altar to atone for our Adamic-sin and defeated Satan and death with eternal resurrection He could step from behind Holy6the torn curtain and now through Jesus and His Sprit walk hand in hand with His children.

Without the curtain I can enter His presence with confidence. As I do so, I not only see Him as Loving Father but I also see Him as Holy God. I smile at the thought of the embrace of Holy God and I think He must smile at the thought that I honor Him as Holy and can still climb into His lap as Father. Holy3

I am amazed that by our gift of honor to Creator God, He gifts us with His hand. We not only survive in His Holy Presence we thrive as His children. Pretty amazing don’t you think?

Can you see Him smile?

Stay tuned.

Dr. Gary J. Sorrells
A GodReflection: God Smiles When I Honor Him as Holy

What Makes God Smile?

GodReflection: What Make God Smile?

gary portraitGod is the Eternal Paradox. My little human brain cannot wrap itself around the contrast poles of God’s love for His created ones and His DNA of justice. On the one hand He loves eternally AND on the other hand, with the gavel of justice He will sentence those who refused His love to eternal damnation.

The Great Awakening of the eighteen-century spawned men like the Puritan Jonathan Edward’s who reverberated the sentiments of the period through his famed sermon Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God. Similar sermons rang out from the smile5eighteen-century down to the 20th-century that encompassed the first five decades of my life.

Since the human pendulum seemingly never stops in the middle it is probably safe to say that at times the God of Judgement has received more press coverage than the God of Love.

Yes, I know God with His infinite wisdom will bring every last person that ever walked upon earth to final judgement. However, because of the trust I’ve placed in Jesus my place in God’s eternal home is secure.

smile2Over the next few posts I want to explore the soft tenderness of Creator God. The God who wants me to call Him, Father. The God who understands my humanness. The God who loves me. I want to circle around the concept of what makes God smile?

Jesus, who reflected God’s image shows me the tender side of Father God. In the Jesus who called the children and walked with disenfranchised women and men I see God’s smile.

When I read Luke’s summation, Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man, I hear Luke’s affirmation that people liked Jesus. As I go through the Gospels I cannot help but envision times when Jesus smiles—sometimes in exasperation and other times as he extends a hand in care.

Jesus must have smiled in a big way as he walked on the water and reached for the sinking disciple Peter. In the Lord’s question, “why did you doubt?”, I see a smile that encompassed understanding. Jesus was not caught by surprise. In loving relationship both Jesus and Peter were ready to move forward to the next lesson.

Surely Jesus smiled with compassion as he laid out the hope of living water to a woman with the riddle, everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst.

smile6As I begin these post in an attempt to draw on the nature of a Holy God as Father I plan to circle around various scenarios that must bring a holy smile to His face.

I invite you to join with me and provide your own input as together we explore the image of the tender side of the Creator.

Stay tuned.

Dr. Gary J. Sorrells
A GodReflection on What Makes God Smile

Called to Follow

GodReflection: When God Calls
gary portraitIf you have been reading along with me you might recognized I have addresses today’s reflections at times on previous blog posts.

I explored His call upon my life rather extensively in the book Make Your Vision Go Viral under the chapters titled The Call and Desert Formation.
So today, I will begin with a disclaimer. Each time I reflect on my call from God I am again humbled. This morning I am reminded of the statement of Jesus as well as the statement of Paul.

Jesus teaches:

From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked (Luke 12:48).

And Paul reminds me in 1 Corinthians 4:7:

For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?

follow8In reflection, I don’t believe I am too far off the mark to declare that my call from the Holy started at birth and came through family and church.

With age it becomes clear that no family is perfect and all families are wired dysfunctional with the difference in each family tree being only the degree of dysfunction.

Thus, my birth was not into a perfect family but it was a family tree where God was grafted into the bark.

Extended family were Christ followers traceable to grandparents. A notable influence was my great uncle Dr.Owen Puckett our county health officer. His home was always open “to stop by” for a visit.

Dr Pucket

Dr. Puckett

To a little boy it was parallel to the apostle John being my great uncle. He loved God, Jesus, the church and people in his community. He brought his medicine and his heart into our home on many occasions. Each time at our place of worship, even when I was a little tyke we would shake hands, he would smile and give words of encouragement.

Obviously, my Christian parents served as formation guides and were a 24/7 influence in my life. A maternal grandpa and a paternal grandma played roles almost daily in my formation. Siblings, uncles, aunts and cousins were also weaved into the fabric.

Then there was church.

band10My church was like extended family. We worshiped together, ate together and they too were hand shakers, teachers and encouragers.

The leadership maintained a vibrant pulpit from which Scripture was proclaim every week. Periodically morning and night instruction flowed daily through what we called Gospel Meetings.

Is it too strange to conclude that I was born into the family of God at birth and His call through that family shaped my answers each time He called for obedience?

No doubt about it, the silent voice, the doors and the nudges were orchestrated by God. I was called to follow.

Obviously, God uses factors unique to each life as He calls across the face of His globe. Have you thought about your story? How has God called you? Perhaps a tougher question, how did you answer? Might be worth putting on your thinking cap for this one.

Stay tuned.

Dr. Gary J. Sorrells
A GodReflection: Called to Follow

When I Worship—God Smiles and I am Warmed

GodReflection: Is Worship for God or for Me?
The LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love (Psalms 147:11). For the LORD takes delight in his people (Psalms 149;4).

gary portraitOver a lifetime I’ve met countless people from diverse nations. At any given time throughout my walk many of them have joined with me under the canopy of community.

As I think how that community has fluctuated with its ebb and flow there is a special group that comes to mind. It is a cluster of lifers who have walked with Jesus for enough years that his traits shine through their expressions.

All harshness has vanished. Warmth, twinkling eyes, insightfully appropriate smiles and a dash of humor combine to make up their presence.

smiles9When I interface with these people I recognize Jesus and catch a glimpse of Father God.

There are occasions when the combined orchestration of a worship assembly has connected me to such an image of God. Unfortunately, not every time when I enter a public worship does the ideal picture come to mind. Most likely, I failed to properly prepare my heart.

Here is what I think.

What if during the worship of the church I would envision God as the ultimate image of the Good Father. He is absolutely dependable. He is Just and above all He is Holy Love. He delights with His children.

smile14Some of my fondest dad and mom memories flow from their presence in their recliners.

When children or grandchildren were in the room the presence of others brought delight.

They didn’t have to be  vocal participants in all that was going on around them. Their delight was evident by their demeanor.

Warmth, a twinkle from their eyes, an insightfully appropriate smile and a dash of humor from time to time stood witness to their delight. The room was warmed.
That is an image I need to bring with me into the Throne room when I assemble with believers to worship.

smile11One brings a song and another brings a need. Someone reads from Scripture and another leads the assembled in prayer. An exhortation is brought to the believers. Encouragement trickles and flows from fellow disciples. Children animate. AND God smiles.

I am often impacted with the words of Psalm 103:

The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love . . . he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust . . . But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children—with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.

How could I leave an assembly of the Saints without warmth flowing from my soul to the bottom of my feet and knowing I made God smile?

Stay tuned.

Dr. Gary J. Sorrells

A GodReflection: When I Worship—God Smiles and I am Warmed.