an intense love, anxiety, apostasy, bad doctrine, Bible promises, boldness, brokenness, brothers, Bryan's comments, church, church life, coffee, comparisons, complexity, confidence, confusion, correction, covenant, difficulties, discernment, discipleship, dreams, encouragement, endurance, eternal life, evangelism, faith, Father God, fellowship of the saints, fire, first-love, following Jesus, frustration, glory of God, God, grace, helpful, Holy Spirit, hope, intensity, intimacy, Isaiah, joy, kingdom of God, kyrie eleison, lessons learned,, life lessons, love, mercy, ministry, missions, obedience, Open Heavens, power, presence of God, promises, protection, reformation, repentance, revival, servanthood, Serving Mentally Ill Christians, sin, special verses, spiritual lessons, spiritual thirst, storms, taking risks, transformation, trust, truth, Very helpful, waiting, will of God, wisdom, zeal

How Things Happen


31 He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. 32 It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”

33 He told them another parable. “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened.”

Matthew 13:31-33, ESV

These are perhaps the three most potent verses in the entire Bible. And whenever you find “potency” you will find a strong possibility of exponential growth. It may be a steady synergy, or an explosive fission. Either way, it’s going to grow!

Both the seed and the yeast have so much in common. They are two sides of the same proverbial coin. And they represent explosive growth. If they are unleashed, watch out! They are both “pep and power” and now set loose they will take off.

The seed is put in the ground and the yeast in the flour. And the farmer and the baker both do their initial work of planting or kneading, and then they just stand back, their work is pretty much done. They now just let “nature” take its course.

These parables Jesus taught here are small— but hardly less significant because of their brevity. These two can bury you with all they imply and mean. When we think clearly about yeast in your cupboard and that single seed in its package, we should see the “life” that resides in them, and the potential that waits.

I think much about the Church. At times, I admit I get frustrated with it. I get judgmental, and fearful that it won’t survive into the next century.  I truly understand that I can be critical. At times my friends must deal with my “ugliness,” but still they put up with me. (They are true friends.)

The kingdom is growing, and advancing. I love the wonderful promise in Isaiah 9:6, (usually read at Christmas time only. A mistake.) But Isaiah 9:7 is also pretty amazing too,

“His government and its peace
    will never end.
He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David
    for all eternity.
The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies
    will make this happen!”

Let it grow, let it grow! 


ybic, Bryan

kyrie elesion.

affliction, an intense love, attacked, battle, battle wounds, believer, Bible promises, Bryan's comments, C.S. Lewis, comfort, confidence, conflict, crisis, danger, death, deliverance, desperation, devotional, difficulties, discipleship, encouragement, endurance, evil, faith, fire, flood, following Jesus, God, grace, Holy Spirit, hope, Isaiah, Jesus Christ, kyrie eleison, lessons learned,, life, life lessons, lost causes, mental illness, pain, patience, peace, presence of God, refining, sadness, Satan, selfishness, Serving Mentally Ill Christians, sickness, sin, spiritual lessons, spiritual warfare, suffering, taking risks, tangled up, trials, understanding, Very helpful, wisdom

Prepare for Flames and Floods


“But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you.
O Israel, the one who formed you says,
“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.
I have called you by name; you are mine.

2 When you go through deep waters,
I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty,
you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
you will not be burned up;
the flames will not consume you.”

Isaiah 43:1-2, NLT

“YARNELL, Ariz. (AP) — July 1, an Arizona forest fire into an out-of-control inferno that trapped and killed 19 firefighters, nearly all of them members of an elite crew of “hotshots,” authorities said Monday. It was the nation’s biggest loss of firefighters in a wildfire in 80 years.”

“This is as dark a day as I can remember,” Gov. Jan Brewer said in a statement. Firefighters have a dangerous job. They put their lives on the line.

The promises here in Isaiah 43 meant to prepare us, and promise us. Fires burn and consume. Floods keep growing and multiplying. Yet in this world full of fires and floods, we have these promises of His presence in the middle of it all. He intends to be right there when things are going very, very wrong.

And dear broken believer, trials and tribulations are a fact of life for us. Life is often full of badness, but my God, we learn. (Oh, how we learn.) You may be struggling now, but we are being made into something wonderful.

“Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you.” –1 Peter 4:12

No surprises– burning trials– something strange? Hardly, it’s just the life of a saint, as he travels home to heaven. And isn’t heaven is worth just a little temporary pain? (I walk with a cane, so I’ll be behind you a bit.) 

The reality is this, the Isaiah verses declare that there will be floods, and rivers to cross, and fires and flames. These are going to happen. But, the Lord does promise that He will walk with you, as your Companion, and Protector.

“It is quite useless knocking at the door of heaven for earthly comfort. It’s not the sort of comfort they supply there.” –C.S. Lewis

We are looking to be given comfortable things, naturally easy things. Like lots of money in our bank accounts, bills paid off. A redesigned kitchen would be nice. And one of those huge refrigerators (big enough to hang a cow in.) A new VW Jetta, maybe. But this is not the comfort that God is supplying us.

You may have to shift things in your thinking. But maybe you have already learned this, and might just need a tiny reminder. There is a definite upside to this– the presence of the Holy Spirit. He is standing at your side, and you will know his true comfort and assistance. It is a promise. And it is yours. (But not the VW, most likely).


ybic, Bryan

Kyrie elesion. (Lord, have mercy)
believer, Bible promises, discipleship, Isaiah, Jesus Christ, lessons learned,, life lessons, ministry, personal comments, presence of God, Serving Mentally Ill Christians, spiritual lessons, understanding, Very helpful

God’s Gift to the Broken Ones: Isaiah 61

“The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is upon me, 
      for the LORD has anointed me 
      to bring good news to the poor. 
   He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted 
      and to proclaim that captives will be released 
      and prisoners will be freed.
 2 He has sent me to tell those who mourn 
      that the time of the LORD’s favor has come,
      and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies. 
 3 To all who mourn in Israel,
      he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, 
   a joyous blessing instead of mourning, 
      festive praise instead of despair. 
   In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks 
      that the LORD has planted for his own glory.”

Isaiah 61:13, NLT

Jesus is presently speaking. Isaiah the prophet, has developed an understanding of Jesus’ ministry. Jesus would read from this scroll, and publicly announce that it is speaking exclusively of Himself. He owns it. The kings of Israel had been anointed, and Jesus now wears this anointing. He is the son of David. He is the real King.

There is a unique presence, that has saturated Jesus’ ministry. He is as full of the Spirit as you could possibly get. Jesus has been immersed and soaked in the Spirit. When you touch Him, He spills God all over you.

These verses in Isaiah 61, funnel His presence unto the most unfortunate. There is the poor, the brokenhearted and the prisoner that benefit from His work. The margins of society are suddenly electrified by His presence. He simply lights up those who have been passed over.

These sweet verses in Isaiah 61 carry a gentleness and kindness, to the extent we aren’t used to. But they also carry exceptional authority. The “Isaiah Jesus” declares freedom. A new kingdom has just arrived. An emphasis on “the mourners” here in v.v. 2 —3 gives us a sense of direction. Mourners are sad, they weep over what could have been. All they can really see is a painful loss.

Jesus’ work is “zeroed” into these dear ones who are full of sadness. His work among men will gravitate to these who are in anguish and despairing. But He speaks of a healing or a restoration. Grace has now come, and something quite significant and alive is available. Healing, focused on the “inside” is now actively working us to a wholeness.

There is something more. There is not just a negation of the bad, but a terrific step to what is quite good. His new kingdom has been honed down to work in our confused hearts. This kingdom now enables us to wear crowns. And to be joyous in the middle of sadness.

He really wants us, to exchange our gritty ashes, for beauty. The idea here is elegance, and gracefulness and goodness. He insists on completely removing the darkness and the nastiness. He very much intends for us to become best friends with goodness and kindness.

In verse 3, we are given an understanding of oak trees now planted in good places. We exist now for people to be directed to God’s glory and honor. That dear one, is a great description of us being redeemed ones. We are oaks who declare God’s goodness and healing.

AW Tozer, believer, Bible promises, body life, broken believers, Bryan's comments, challenges, change, church life, contrite heart, disability, discipleship, draw near to God, faith, handicapped, holiness, Holy Spirit, Isaiah, legalism, lessons learned, life lessons, love, mental or physical illness, ministry, my limitations, obedience, personal comments, physical disability, pleasing God, questions, quotes, rascals and strugglers, real holiness, sanctification, secret place, self-righteousness, Serving Mentally Ill Christians, sin, spiritual lessons, struggle, transformation, truth, uncleanness, understanding, watching and waiting, wisdom, zeal

Good Hygiene



”Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes; cease to do evil,”

Isaiah 1:16, ESV

 ”Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.”

2 Timothy 2:21

A Christian’s life should never be boring or mundane. For us who are disabled we are challenged in ways that others will never understand. As if normal life wasn’t enough, we’ve got issues that exceed the norms. Perhaps the most basic are areas of hygiene and cleanliness. I once went without a shower for five weeks when I was clinically depressed. (Somehow letting water pelt me seemed too violent of an ordeal.)

We are responsible for not only physical cleanliness but of a mental or an emotional one as well. I think we’d all agree on the essential need to maintain a certain level of physical health, but what can I do to stay mentally together? Are there standards there as well?

A soap dish can keep our hands clean after using the bathroom, but what of our hearts? It would seem to me that certain levels of being truly healthy apply to not just clean handsHygiene-Health but a healthy soul as well. Isaiah spoke to his generation and declared they needed a spiritual bath. The people needed to become clean again. ”Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean;”

This is a path of a ‘holy hygiene’ that we are all on. We are each responsible for keeping our hearts clean before the Lord. One of the principles of being  spiritual hygienic is that of separation from things that contaminate or defile. We are to be a distinct people. This is challenging.

Holiness is often misunderstood. It’s rare to find a believer who has something other than a legalistic idea of what it means to be holy. (This is a grievous thing.) We should be holy and loving at the same time. “A pharisee is hard on others and easy on himself, but a spiritual man is easy on others and hard on himself” (A.W. Tozer). It seems that holiness, like hygiene is not ever attained, but only maintained.

“Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you,”

2 Corinthians 6:17

Staying clean and becoming clean should be a realistic pursuit for the broken believer. We are to be sanitary people that can touch others without contaminating them with our personal sin. You were meant to instill holiness to others for God’s glory. The Holy Spirit can do this.

“Let it be your business every day, in the secrecy of the inner chamber, to meet the holy God. You will be repaid for the trouble it may cost you. The reward will be sure and rich.”

Andrew Murray

bry-signat (1)


advice, believer, Bible promises, broken believers, Bryan's comments, church, church life, devotional, discipleship, encouragement, faith, fellowship of the saints, following Jesus, glory of God, grace, Isaiah, Jesus Christ, lessons learned, life lessons, love, mental illness, personal comments, pleasing God, rascals and strugglers, real holiness, Serving Mentally Ill Christians, spiritual lessons, theology, trust, understanding, Word

Chosen People of Faith

Shepherd of Hermes, (catacombs c. 160)

The Shepherd of Hermas, written c.125 AD, repeatedly declares that the Church has always existed, since the beginning of creation. The Old Testament believers are joined by those in the New Testament Christians in one single community of faith. Paul asserts that this faith unites us with each other; that we all have a common calling. (Hebrews 11.)

It seems you share a familiar bond, perhaps closer than you think, with Abraham, Noah or Isaiah. All of the OT saints are welded to us as we walk out our faith in Jesus. Personally I find that comforting.

God has always had a people who have been “chosen.” As a broken believer I will take all the godly encouragement I can. We are pulled in so many different directions; it’s hard sometimes to cope. Knowing I walk in an “unbroken line” of the faithful gives me “vim and vigor.”

I can now more deeply relate to guys like Joseph, who faithfully followed God from slave-to-prince. Or the three Hebrew children who walked around in the fiery furnace. By faith we possess the same hope as they did, we have the same God and Father. I believe it wouldn’t be off-base to call them family.

The nuances become clearer as we reflect on our mental illnesses. Noah built an ark. I’m constructing a sane mind. He went through the jeering abuse from his neighbors. I have to decide to get out of bed. All must be done through faith. Faith in God unites us. Faith is that which gives us “a sound mind” (2 Tim. 1:7.) Faith in God connects me with Noah.

“Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. Through their faith, the people in days of old earned a good reputation.”

Hebrews 11:1-2, NLT

Hebrews 11 connects our faith with theirs. It even hints that our own faith enhances their own.

“All these people earned a good reputation because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised. 40 For God had something better in mind for us, so that they would not reach perfection without us.”

Hebrews 11:39-40

I didn’t mean to dump a load of “dry theology” on you. But I suspect that there could be healing for us if we venture to take it up. Good theology can be like good hygiene, if you don’t have it you will notice. (So will your friends.) I have come to see that the things we believe, affect us in significant and profound ways.

Your 21st century struggle of faith is as significant as David’s own battle with Goliath. It’s something to consider anyway. Read Hebrews 11.

“Faith makes all things possible… love makes all things easy.” 

D.L. Moody

bry-signat (1)


believer, Bible, Bible promises, blood of Jesus, compassion, discipleship, following Jesus, God, Isaiah, Jesus Christ, kingdom of God, life lessons, Linda Kruschke, pleasing God, poetry, prayer, psalms, Serving Mentally Ill Christians, shepherd, sons and daughters, unconditional love, understanding

The Lord Is Our Shepherd

This is what is called a “found poem,” which means that every line of the poem was found in some other writing. In this case, all of  the lines of this poem are found in the Bible, from the Old Testament prophets, the words of Jesus, and all the way through Revelation.

The lines of the poem do not appear in the order they do in the Bible, but are arranged to illustrate how Scripture maintains a consistent Biblical theme of the Lord as our Good Shepherd watching over His lost and straying sheep.

Lost sheep, may you find yourself in the arms of our Shepherd today.


The Shepherd

We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to his own way;
Hear us, O Shepherd of Israel,
You who lead Joseph like a flock;
You who sit enthroned
between the cherubim.

Like a hunted gazelle, like sheep
without a shepherd,
each will flee to his native land.
Save your people and bless
your inheritance; be their shepherd
and carry them forever.

He had compassion on them,
because they were harassed and helpless,
like sheep without a shepherd.
This is what the Sovereign LORD says:
Woe to the shepherds of Israel
who only take care of themselves!

Should not shepherds take care of the flock?
The LORD is my shepherd,
I shall not be in want.
“I will place shepherds over them
who will tend them, and they will
no longer be afraid or terrified,
nor will any be missing,” declares the LORD.

Then I will give you shepherds
after my own heart, who will lead you
with knowledge and understanding.
They will follow my laws
and be careful to keep my decrees.
And David shepherded them
with integrity of heart;
with skillful hands he led them.

For you were like sheep
going astray, but now
you have returned to the Shepherd
and Overseer of your souls.
And when the Chief Shepherd appears,
you will receive the crown of glory
that will never fade away.

For the Lamb at the center
of the throne will be their shepherd;
He will lead them to springs
of living water. And God
will wipe away every tear from their eyes.
So the LORD’s people will not
be like sheep without a shepherd.

But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
out of you will come a ruler
who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.
“I have other sheep that are
not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also.
They too will listen to my voice,
and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.”

He will stand and shepherd
his flock in the strength of the LORD,
in the majesty of the name of the LORD
his God. And they will live securely,
for then his greatness will reach
to the ends of the earth.

“I am the good shepherd
who lays down his life for the sheep.”
He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

announcement, Bible promises, Christmas, encouragement, following Jesus, forgiveness, glory of God, God, grace, hope, Isaiah, Jesus Christ, Linda Kruschke, love, poetry, presence of God, promises

God with Us – A Poem of Love


I often ponder the wonder of “God with us,” but especially so at Christmas time. I am in awe of the fact that the God of the Universe, the Creator of all things, He who is omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent, would desire to be with me. It is an amazing thing that Christ has seen fit to dwell in me, and the hearts of all believers, because of His great love for us. Of all the wonders of the world and the blessings in my life to be thankful for, it is this truth of God with us that I am most thankful for.

From a logical perspective, it all seems quite preposterous. If you were God, would you do such a thing? I’m not sure I would. I think I might leave sinful man to his own devices. But thankfully, I am not God; and God is faithful, merciful, and loving in a way I can scarcely comprehend. It is only when I seek Him with all my heart that I can even begin to fathom what He has done, and find hope in what He will do when He returns.

Do you know the Holy One, who longs to be with you? Are you in awe of His majesty? Do you ponder His great love? He is not some distant deity who desires to judge and punish you. He is “God with us.” He is God with you. He alone is the greatest gift you will ever receive.

God with Us– A Simple Poem

Glory of the Holy One, robed in majesty
Omnipresent King of kings, deserving pageantry
Deity incarnate be, because of love for you and me

Willingly He came to earth, left His throne behind
Immanuel, Son of God, seeking to redeem mankind
To leave mankind dead in sin was not what He designed
His love and mercy, on the cross, there with grace combined

Understanding His great love is for us what Christ desires
Sinners to trust in Him alone is all our God requires

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).

Matthew 1:22-23 (NIV).

“He was created of a mother whom He created. He was carried by hands that He formed. He cried in the manger in wordless infancy, He the Word, without whom all human eloquence is mute.”

St. Augustine


your sis in Christ,

Linda K.

To get the full effect of Linda K. check out her site. It’s amazing.