Jarring Change

Nope, this isn’t a financial post. Although that’s a good subject too. This week I’m writing about change. Okay, timeout. The picture is of a jar of change, and you’re writing about change, but you’re not writing about money? Exactly, and consider reading this an investment. Stop!

If you’re like me, you come home with some extra coins. None of us like standing in line, and the extra time it takes to fish change out can require some patience, both from ourselves and maybe the other folks in line. “Did you say 38 cents? Okay, here’s a quarter, a dime, and three pennies. Wait, I want to use the rest of these pennies. Make that a quarter, a nickel, and one two three four five six seven… Oh, shoot. Do you have a penny?” As Charlie Brown would say, “AAUGH!” Or maybe you just like saving your change. Sort of a rainy day or vacation fund. It all adds up, and voila! One day you have some real money.

But this is about another kind of change, the change God begins in us from the moment we begin to follow Jesus. You may have heard, “God loves you just as you are, but he loves you too much to leave you that way.” While that may be true, the changes he puts us through are not always big ones. He made you, after all, and he knows sometimes the best and most lasting changes we can make are incremental ones. Dropping small habits might represent a few coins. A bigger issue might be worth half a jar! While you may be going through a season of painful change, or a relatively quiet time, it’s worth remembering you never have to go through it alone. Jesus, your advocate, knows you better than you know yourself, and he will see to it that the changes you go through will never “break the bank.”

And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
2 Corinthians 3:18 ESV


Our relationship
with Jesus Christ,
is not predicated
on our ability
but on surrender
of sin gravity
that holds us down

All glory and honor
to the Spirit
that empowers
our journey
that nourishes
and refreshes
our souls


© Joel Tipple 9/21/2019



One Voice

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Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God and there is no other.
Isaiah 45:22 English Standard Version

The Summer of 1972 I was 13-years-old, and in between falling in love with girls, I managed to fall in love with Jesus. It was the height of the west coast Jesus movement and the week-long church camp I attended that August was infused with joyful gospel music and the promise of an exciting life following the Lord. In the Fall several members of our church youth group formed a lunchtime Bible study and we experienced misguided pushback when the school told us we couldn’t hold our prayer meeting on school property. Looking back, I think this only served as encouragement for me. After all, didn’t this reaction from the adults in our life prove we young people were doing something daring and rebellious? Whether we fit the classic mold of rebels or not, God used those early experiences to bring many of us to what would become a lifetime commitment to seeking God’s way. I may not have felt like a revolutionary, but, as my faded blue jeans jacket with “Jesus Is The Way” on it indicated, I wanted everyone to know where I stood. In the years since, my devotion to God has waxed and waned, but true to His Word, the Lord always sought me out, drawing me back to Jesus, where I belong.

Today is truly a concerning time for those committed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In some countries, societal pressures and trends have led to the watering down of God’s message, while others have taken a more direct approach by simply outlawing the gathering of Christians altogether, even threatening with death Christ followers who persist. However, attempts to marginalize, politicalize, or weaponize the Church have always ultimately been overcome by the simplicity of Jesus’ message. The power of the Bible lies in its mind-blowing resistance to change and misinterpretation, its ability to bring redemption to fallen man, no matter the forces arrayed against it.

They didn’t know, God,
when they drove you to the cross,
that the message they considered
as so much dross
would change the world.

They might have read, Lord,
their own prophets had preached,
but they lost their ears to hear
and shortened their reach
instead of taking hold
of the only lifeline that mattered.

But as the years continue,
Lord, we’re forced to ask,
how long our world has
before it’s taken to task?
We know you are patient
but now call for us to decide
to be gathered up
as your flock and bride.

For God says, “At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.” Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation.
2 Corinthians 6:2 New Living Translation

© Joel Tipple 5/18/2019

You Know Me

Even the darkness is not dark to You.
And the night is as bright as the day.
Darkness and light are alike to You.
Psalm 139:12

“Not everything that is faced can be changed,
but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”
James Baldwin

Sing to the Lord the new song He gave.
Sing to the Lord, and be amazed.
Oh ohh, never let go.
Sing to the Lord when the battle seems lost.
Sing to the Lord when the cost seems too high,
and you want to cut and run.

It’s easy to give up on supernatural.
It’s easy to abandon what isn’t naturally known,
even when the known is getting you nowhere.
We cling to familiar like a broken-down car,
sit in the seat though we can’t get far.
allowing our lives to be run by fear and regret.

Since you are with me wherever I go,
since you know my every thought,
I might as well get to know you.
I can’t run so fast as to get away.
I can’t stop the sunrise by holding down the curtain.
Of all these things I’m certain.

You formed me, designed me,
made me unique for a purpose.
When I was still an unformed substance,
you saw me, you knew me,
you knew where my piece fit in the puzzle.
Lord, help me find my way in the puzzle.

© Joel Tipple 11/23/2018

Wake Up And Breathe

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My friend, like a lot of people
you are searching
and searching’s not a bad place to be

to the light
point me to the light

but neon signs of false gods
masquerade as reality
their garish promises mislead
and leave you empty

to the light
point me to the light

truth strikes a chord when you find it
just like God designed it
you thought your heart was locked securely
but Jesus has the key

wake up and breathe
wake up and breathe
you were made to be one with the Father
where he leads, you can learn to follow
wake up and breathe
wake up and breathe

trade in those superficial dreams you thought were so fantastic
back before you had eyes to see
throw away your calendar
full of yesterdays
wake up and breathe

instead of marching in place
move
instead of waiting for someone
move
instead of trying in vain to reinvent yourself
let Jesus reveal who you were always meant to be

wake up and breathe
wake up and breathe
you were made to be one with the Father
where he leads, you can learn to follow
wake up and breathe
wake up and breathe

This is the most important decision you will ever make.
Are you ready?
Okay…
now breathe.

© Joel Tipple
#23/14