Consider the Source

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My wife and I are opposites in many ways, but I guess it’s one of the things that keeps our relationship interesting. Consider how the two of us eat and read. When I’m finished eating, Lori will often be only half way through her plate. However, while she can read a book in a day, I’ll take weeks to plod my way through the same tome. Of course, those are inconsequential things in the bigger context of a marriage. Right at the top for both of us in a list of priorities for maintaining our relationship would be our faith. Our goal individually and as a couple is to check our attitudes toward every aspect of our lives through the prism of how God sees it. God is our most reliable source. Hebrews 13:8 ESV says, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. In our lives, where so much is uncertain, we can always count on the teachings of Jesus to be our solid and reliable guide. If Jesus is your source, if he is your rock, in a game of rock, paper, scissors, rock should win every time.
Although currently the reputation of the news media as a whole is under fire, ideally, professional journalists should rely on multiple sources when the truth of a story may come into question. Reliable sources are a news organization’s life blood. The reason is if a story is proven to be untrue, it can cost that organization readers or viewers, which will translate into lost business. While we’re on the subject, remember that “the media” relies on advertising dollars to exist. When you click, view, and read you are telling advertisers what you support. In that sense, the media is us. It will live or die based on the attention it receives. But even if selling news isn’t your business, other people are judging your credibility every day. We’ve probably all had conversations with others regarding whether we can believe what someone else has said. If something that person said didn’t ring true, we might say, “Well, consider the source,” meaning the person in question didn’t have a reputation for telling the truth. When it comes to our relationships with — I guess just about everyone, trust has to be at the top, and once you become known as someone who lies, mishandles information, or is in other ways untrustworthy, you can expect that bond of trust to become broken. Truth and trust help to bind us together and free us to be the men and women of God we were always intended to be. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. John 8:32 NIV

Since I started this post off by talking about my wife, and thinking about the racism and hate that’s been so present in our national discussion lately, I thought I would mention something she taught me about the subtle racism that can infect our everyday speech. Let’s say you’re relating a story to a friend. The story involves a person of color, let’s say, black. When you tell that story, is the fact that the story involved a black person relevant? Would you have mentioned their color if they were white? Our descriptions of people can play into all sorts of stereotypes designed to divide into categories of inferior and superior without our being aware of it. When we allow racism and hate to become part of us in even subtle ways, we are pulling away from the source of love, truth, and eternal life who is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I don’t have to tell you who the source of hate, division, and the father of lies is, do I?

“Laundry is the only thing that should be
separated by color.”
Author Unknown


Be the change.
Reflect the source that flows through you,
perfect love that casts out all fear.
Be the hope,
the good news of salvation,
of changed lives,
and dried tears.
Strength doesn’t always
reflect expectations,
and soft words
can turn away wrath.
Offer to kneel with another,
an other.
Encourage a better path.


©Joel Tipple 5/31/2020






Helpers and the Helper

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The wonderful host of “Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood,” Fred Rogers, who died in 2003, has often been quoted for these particular words of wisdom and reassurance he was given by his mother.

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Following the 9/11 attacks in 2001, Rogers himself was especially troubled, as he was a native of Pennsylvania and a long time resident of New York City. His last show had aired just the month before, and he was then asked to do some public service announcements. In one video, Rogers said, “No matter what our particular job, especially in our world today, we all are called to be ‘tikkun olam,’ repairers of creation.” The Hebrew words, “tikkun olam” refer to actions taken to improve society, including caring for others. Fred Rogers took seriously the responsibility of helping children interpret an often troubled world during his lifetime. Once again, during the covid 19 crisis, we would all do well to both point the way to and be those helpers Mr. Rogers described.

The helpers we look to, like doctors, nurses, public safety, and military personnel, step up every day to care for and protect us. Jesus Christ also promised to leave a helper to advocate for His children. This helper is the Holy Spirit.

Role of the Spirit

 I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever;  that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.

 “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also.  In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.  He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.”  Judas (not Iscariot) *said to Him, “Lord, what then has happened that You are going to disclose Yourself to us and not to the world?”  Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me.

 “These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you.  But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.  Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. 
John 14:15-27 NASB

God, bless the helpers,
weary at their post,
give them energy,
protection,
for their task.
Give each of us
no matter who we are
the drive to help as well.
Show us how,
that is what we ask.


We invite your Holy Spirit,
dove, comforter, intercessor,
to work your will through us your children.
Burn so brightly,
the world can’t help but see.
Turn this night to day, Lord,
so the world will know,
then use us as you will
to increase your kingdom.


© Joel Tipple 3/28/2020








Not Too Far From Grace


I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
John 15:5 ESV


For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.
John 1:17-18 NIV


If you think your sin’s too great
and God can’t look you in the face
all he sees is Jesus
you’re not too far from grace


Works alone won’t take you home
to stand before his throne
Changing power’s God’s to give
if you’ll claim it


You’ve never been too far from the Father
the cross has followed you all these years
Not a moment’s been wasted
searching for his presence
God would never
let you drown in your tears


The more we cling to each promise
you have given
and surrender to your loving face
the more unified and sanctified
you make us
and this all due

to your astounding grace

“If people do not like the doctrine of grace, give them all the more of it.”
Charles Spurgeon

©Joel Tipple 9/7/2019

Centerpiece

For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?
Matthew 16:26 NASB

Centerpiece, oh Centerpiece,
you have the narcissist disease.
On the table set for everyone and thing,
you must be the middle,
the centerpiece.

Centerpiece, oh Centerpiece,
everyone’s estranged.
You used to share the focus.
You used to share the stage.
Now you bore of the stories
when they don’t feature you.
You don’t even care
if the tales told are true.

Centerpiece without a center
is it you against the world?
Is your’s the only side that matters?
What will be left
of the name you’ve been building
when your reputation’s all in tatters?

Before it’s too late, Center,
move over and let God
take His rightful place in your life.
Turn from selfish deceit
and empty values.
Build a solid foundation
on His Holy Word,
a center worthy of holding on to.

Give away your worship of self and things
Stop collecting and hoarding
every valueless thing.
Give honor and dignity to every being,
all you used to think were beneath.
Instead of trying to be you’ll find who truly is
the centerpiece.

© Joel Tipple 10/16/2018