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The Master's Grip: In His Grip

Complete move...
Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Hey Ladies and Gents!

I have now officially moved (once again, but this should be final) to a location of my own control and power. Visit me now at my site: http://www.themastersgrip.com.

Thanks and good luck!

In His Grip,


posted by James Dasher @ 6:51 AM, ,

Sorry for not updating...
Monday, March 13, 2006

Hey All,

Just wanted to write and apologize for the extended period of not updating...there is much to be said but not the time to say it right now. I hope everyone is doing well...

Take care,

In His Grip,


posted by James Dasher @ 6:20 AM, ,

Tired of sub-culture, tired of hypocrisy!!
Monday, February 20, 2006

Okay...rant time...I haven't done much of this, but I am quickly reaching my limits. Understand as I do this that I know that I can and am part of the problem as well as trying to be part of the solution, but here goes!

I attend Multnomah Bible College in Portland, Oregon and this is in no way supposed to be a complete slam on the institutional culture that is present at this school...but as it is in many ways a "stalwart, foundational" institution for the "conservative evangelical" sub-culture I am irritated with many things.

Please, can you tell me where in scripture Christ told his followers they had to look or act a specific way or anything like that at all (I am not talking about morals)??? For myself what I remember is stories like Jesus told in Matthew 21:
28"What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, 'Son, go and work today in the vineyard.'

29" 'I will not,' he answered, but later he changed his mind and went.

30"Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, 'I will, sir,' but he did not go.

31"Which of the two did what his father wanted?"
"The first," they answered.

Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. 32For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.

For some reason the God that I serve saw it as worth his time to hang out with those who were considered not to be quite "up to par" with society! Take the following passage for example,
36Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went to the Pharisee's house and reclined at the table. 37When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee's house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, 38and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.

39When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, "If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner."

40Jesus answered him, "Simon, I have something to tell you."
"Tell me, teacher," he said.

41"Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii,[d] and the other fifty. 42Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?"

43Simon replied, "I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled."
"You have judged correctly," Jesus said.

44Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little."

48Then Jesus said to her, "Your sins are forgiven."

49The other guests began to say among themselves, "Who is this who even forgives sins?"

50Jesus said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace."

So here is my peeve right now...when did we as "evangelicals" (which, praise the Lord I am counting myself less and less one of!) get the handle on all things Christian??!! You have to dress this way, you have to look like this, that is crap!!

When are we going to quit teaching people the next "systematic doctrine" of blah and start teaching people RELATIONSHIP and LIFE?? You know what it is all well and good up to a point to look big and important because you know words like pneumatology or angelology or christology; but who gives a crap if you can define them if your life is no more a witness then the next person you can cram how knowledgeable you are down their throat??

My Lord, my Christ came for this reason:
I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

Also since when is the Christian life all about "Evangelism" I have talked about this before when did "Conversion" become more important then, RELATIONSHIP? When did the concept of Discipleship and Missions become relegated to the world and life of only pastors and missionaries? Since when did we lose track of the idea of living MISSIONALLY?? Not all of us are to be "missionaries" in the old definition of the term but we are all to be missional!

Our Christian life...is just that LIFE... it is not just theology, it is not just doctrine, it is LIVING. When your Christianity becomes relegated to the world of dusty books and papers you are in trouble, get out into your world and LIVE!

I will be honest I am at this point tired and fed-up with all things "conservative and evangelical" I am trying to remember the good, but it is hard amidst all the hypocrisy and crap! I am tired of Christianity! I am not tired of Christ but I am tired of what we have made him into, he is more than an icon, more than ruler to align ourselves with...he is a living, loving, caring, creator GOD!! He didn't come so that we could define him or so that we could understand him systematically, he is undefinable, he is GOD! He is so far and above anything we can understand, comprehend, or define. He is creator, he is perfect love, he is full life!

Also since when are we commanded to glorify the missionary or the pastor...now praise God for those who are called to that position (though I believe there are many who shouldn't be but are) but they are no more important to the kingdom then the man that God has gifted with the ability to make money, to lead a company, or even to fix a car! People, if all he wanted was the pastor type then why in the heck did he build his church on Galilean fishermen??? Get a grip people if you didn't have your wealthy supporters you wouldn't have any missionaries, neither is more important, both are!

Since when did our call "to the nations" exclude the USA??? Forgive me if I say it but the fact remains that the US is the last world power...do you not think that there is HUGE possibility for work here as well as elsewhere??? Get a grip people...a large number of people in the US are fed-up with church, with Christians, with faith, and they translate much of that into being angry at God! They need our love and help as much as that native in Africa! Not our judging, not our setting up of fences and telling people you have to live in our little "christian world" to be saved, no way in hell do I want that anymore and neither do most people!

People, let's stop judging and start loving...let's stop building up our fences and walls of fear and hypocrisy and start tearing them down and reaching out...let's stop living out our Christianity from a position of disconnection and start living from a position of relationship and being relative to our world!

We have lost the place of influence that Christianity once had...and that is no one's fault then ourselves. In our fear we have setup walls from the world and started praying in our little prayer meetings, "Come, Lord Jesus, come..." I have only one thing to say to that


Do you really think God is coming back yet?? Start reading then there are still things to be done...and still people to be reached!! Quit hiding and start living! Quit cowering in the face of the enemy and saying, "Okay, you win...now God can come back" and start FIGHTING! Greater is He that is in us...when are we going to start living that way???

Okay...that is enough for now...some steam letoff!!

In His Grip (Powerful, Strong, Almighty...He kicks butt!),


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posted by James Dasher @ 7:15 PM, ,

Song: Imagine Me

There is a powerful message in this song for all of us...listen close!

(Kirk: Thank you, for allowing me to see myself the way you see me, thank you)

Imagine me, loving what I see when the
Mirror looks at me 'cause I imagine me
In a place of no insecurities
And I'm finally happy 'cause
I imagine me

Letting go of all of the ones who hurt me
'Cause they never did deserve me
Can you imagine me

Saying no to thoughts that try to control me
Remembering all you told me
Lord, can You imagine me
Over what my mamma said
And healed from what my daddy did
And I wanna live and not read that page again

Imagine me, being free
Trusting you totally
Finally I can...imagine me
I admit it was hard to see
You being in love with someone like me
But finally I can...imagine me

Being strong and not letting people break me down
You won't get that joy this time around
Can you imagine me
In a world where nobody has to live afraid
Because of your love fears gone away
Lord, can you imagine me

Letting go of my past
And glad I have another chance
And my heart will dance
'Cause I don't have to read that page again

Imagine me, being free
Trusting you totally
Finally I can...imagine me
I admit it was hard to see
You being in love with someone like me
But finally I can...imagine me

(Kirk: This song is dedicated to people like me
Those that struggle with insecurities, acceptance, and even self-esteem
They never felt good enough, they never felt pretty enough
But imagine God whispering in your ear
Letting you know that everything that's happened is now...)

Gone, gone, it's gone, all gone

(Kirk: Every sin, every mistake, every failure...it's gone...depression...gone...by faith...it's gone...low self-esteem...it's gone...all gone...all my scars...all my pain...it's in the past...it's yesterday...it's gone.)

This song is copyright Kirk Franklin/Zomba Songs/Kerrion Publishing/Lilly Mack Music from the awesome cd, Hero!

In His Grip,


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posted by James Dasher @ 6:36 PM, ,

Song: At The Beginning

Hey Everyone, my sister (Julie) had this as the background music for her Xanga profile. I appreciated the words and wanted to share it with all of you. So here are the lyrics as well as a link to the .mp3 file!

We were strangers, starting out on a journey
Never dreaming, what we’d have to go through
Now here we are, I’m suddenly standing
At the beginning with you

No one told me I was going to find you
Unexpected, what you did to my heart
When I lost hope, you were there to remind me
This is the start

And life is a road that I wanna keep going
Love is a river, I wanna keep flowing
Life is a road, now and forever, wonderful journey
I’ll be there when the world stops turning
I’ll be there when the storm is through
In the end I wanna be standing
At the beginning with you

We were strangers on a crazy adventure
Never dreaming, how our dreams would come true
Now here we stand, unafraid of the future
At the beginning with you

And life is a road that I wanna keep going
Love is a river, I wanna keep flowing
Life is a road, now and forever, wonderful journey
I’ll be there when the world stops turning
I’ll be there when the storm is through
In the end I wanna be standing
At the beginning with you

Knew there was somebody, somewhere
A new love in the dark
Now I know my dream will live on
I’ve been waiting so long
Nothing’s gonna tear us apart

And life is a road that I wanna keep going
Love is a river, I wanna keep flowing
Life is a road, now and forever, wonderful journey
I’ll be there when the world stops turning
I’ll be there when the storm is through
In the end I wanna be standing
At the beginning with you


Life is a road that I wanna keep going on
Love is a river, I wanna keep going

Starting out on a journey

Life is a road that I wanna keep going
Love is a river, I wanna keep flowing
In the end I wanna be standing
At the beginning with you

Here is the link to the .mp3 file of the song: Click here

From where I got the song lyrics it seems the song was done by: Donna Lewis (whoever that is).

In His Grip,


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posted by James Dasher @ 5:59 PM, ,

Working definition of courtship
Tuesday, February 14, 2006

I posted this as a comment on another's blog...I thought I would post it here...this is definitely a work in progress, but here you go:

I am going to start with the dictionary defintion and then expand from there:
v. court·ed, court·ing, courts:
v. tr.: To try to gain the love or affections of, especially to seek to marry.
v. intr.: To pursue a courtship; woo.

To honestly define "courtship"...I believe that you probably need to be able to define "dating." Why you may ask? Simply put whenever you wander from the cultural norm (which at this time is dating for relationships) you have to know what you are leaving to define where you are going. There has to be something you don't like about the norm that you want to change or pursue in another way...so for that purpose, the definition of "dating"
n. date:
a. An engagement to go out socially with another person, often out of romantic interest.
b. One's companion on such an outing.

So for definition sake let's define the cultural norm of "dating" as a "social relationship, often with romantic interest." If that is the case, then it would seem that the large difference between "dating" and "courting" is the commitment level of the relationship...that brings us to another "definition"

n. com·mit·ment:
The state of being bound emotionally or intellectually to a course of action or to another person or persons

Okay, that all said...One part of a definition that I often hear is, "Being committed to helping each other discover God's will for each other. Doing what is best for the other in their relationship with God." While that is important and good, as Christians I would hope that you would be doing that no matter how you defined your relationship stage whether it just be friends, dating, courtship, marriage, or whatever. So while I agree that it is important I believe that courtship is more than that. If it is only the above then probably you should just remain friends or if you find dating acceptable pursue that route. My caution for you on the dating route...social norms can create a considerable amount of pressure on a couple, if you are not ready for a commitment level beyond a "social relationship with possible romantic interest" then make sure you leave it there! Once you enter the "dating game" the pressure to advance the relationship beyond what you are prepared to commit to only gets greater.

So if so far the definition I have given comes down to, the level of commitment in the relationship. As commitment has been defined as "being bound emotionally and intellectually to a course of action/person" the concept of the future plays a large role. Honestly you cannot allow yourself to make a commitment of that magnitude to another person until you can honestly say (via personal belief and input from mentors, etc.) you are prepared for the planned result of the commitment or at least believe you will be by the time you get there. In other words if you can't say you feel you would be ready for the big "M" word, marriage, within the next two years I wouldn't recommend entering into a courting relationship. By defining your relationship as a "courtship" you have agreed to pursuing a level of commitment that goes beyond social or romantic interest. Courtship is the process of committing to pursuing a life-long relationship with another person, that isn't a casual, social commitment...that isn't a commitment to be made lightly.

A couple of questions I would recommend asking yourself...
1. Do I see myself ready for or being ready within the next two years to make a commitment to a life partner/mate within the context of marriage?
2. As far as I currently know this individual that I am interested in do I see him as a person who I would be willing to, yes, marry? I am not saying that is a for sure answer, but as far as you know now.
3. Has our relationship gotten to the point that to continue on we need to deepen the commitment level of the relationship? In other words is the relationship at the point where it would be best to become "more than friends" or is there still more to be discovered at that stage of "just friends" that would better prepare you for the next, you can't wait forever...and you will never be perfect...but be honest with yourself.

So friends, dating, courting...what's the answer...well, first off how is your relationship with God...sounds trite I know. However if you don't have that in place all a relationship will do is make it harder (take that from personal experience). Can you honestly say that you are at a place in your relationship with God that taking a relationship with another person will strengthen and deepen both of your personal relationships with God, and not draw away from? Are you prepared/ready to make a commitment to be bound emotionally and intellectually to the process of pursuing a life-long relationship in the context of marriage with this other individual, or are you just "interested"?

Finally I am not saying that when you enter into a courtship relationship that you are betrothed or that marriage is for sure, it's not. You are entering a relationship with a person who you desire to make deep commitment with, to pursue the mutual goal of a future relationship finally (hopefully) culminated by marriage...so it is not for sure, but definitely understood to be in the plans...if it doesn't happen it should hopefully be because you have both come to realize that God has other plans...not because you didn't try or weren't really interested...but that you did try and in trying God led you elsewhere. Now ideally if the decision is made to part ways it will be mutual...but I will tell you from personal experience (on both sides) that it doesn't always work out that way.

In His Grip,


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posted by James Dasher @ 11:17 AM, ,

Patrick Henry: "Give Me Liberty, or Give Me Death!"

I am doing this speech for the Public Address performance in Oral Interpretation, a powerful speech that was instrumental in the creation of this country:

No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House. But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen if, entertaining as I do opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve. This is no time for ceremony. The questing before the House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.

Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.

I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past. And judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the British ministry for the last ten years to justify those hopes with which gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves and the House. Is it that insidious smile with which our petition has been lately received? Trust it not, sir; it will prove a snare to your feet. Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss. Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of our petition comports with those warlike preparations which cover our waters and darken our land. Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled that force must be called in to win back our love? Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the implements of war and subjugation; the last arguments to which kings resort. I ask gentlemen, sir, what means this martial array, if its purpose be not to force us to submission? Can gentlemen assign any other possible motive for it? Has Great Britain any enemy, in this quarter of the world, to call for all this accumulation of navies and armies? No, sir, she has none. They are meant for us: they can be meant for no other. They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains which the British ministry have been so long forging. And what have we to oppose to them?

Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten years. Have we anything new to offer upon the subject? Nothing. We have held the subject up in every light of which it is capable; but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find which have not been already exhausted? Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves. Sir, we have done everything that could be done to avert the storm which is now coming on. We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and Parliament. Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne! In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation. There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free -- if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending--if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained -- we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts is all that is left us!

They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable -- and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come.

It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace -- but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!

In His Grip,


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posted by James Dasher @ 11:10 AM, ,

Saturday, February 11, 2006

I remember the moment I first saw your heart. You sat down next to me and said, “Hello, can I sit down?” Who would have known that not only would you be invited to join my table, but that you would be invited in to the deepest part of my life? I remember my bumbling efforts to say, “your beaut...(iful)…wait, you look pretty!” I remember when I first tried to tell you that you were capturing my heart. I remember when you said, “goodbye,” that time to walk out of my life for a year. I remember the pain I felt, the love I fought, the desires I had…I remember the longing to know you, to love you. I remember the brokenness, the lessons, the change; I hated it but needed it, and God used you to achieve it.

That year was hard and long, difficult and painful…being closed out of a life that you cherished, it hurt. Then a year later…you let me back in. Hesitantly at first, unsure of what you were doing, if you wanted to do it. Back and forth the tug-of-war of the heart went in both of our lives, fighting…pushing away, pulling back…running then walking back. I remember the blessing, finally God saw fit to let us love; we didn’t call it that yet, but it would blossom and grow over the following months. I remember the hesitancy, the confusion, “what next,” you said?

Whoever said, “Love is bliss,” must never have loved…no, love is hard, it takes work. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

I wish over the next ten months that I could say that I was “the perfect lover,” that I always loved with the pure, perfect love of Christ, but that is not true. I messed up plenty of times, I made mistakes…I tried to love and would fail at times. Yet there were times of love, of connection of life being lived out of moving forward. It was those times that drew us together, that made our relationship stronger. I wanted so badly to be a man of strength in your life, a rock, a fortress. I wanted to protect you, to help you, to see you grow. In my desire to do that, sometimes I made your life harder; and thereby created pain in both of our lives. I wanted so badly to know who you were, about where you came from…yet, it seems that whenever I tried to see your world…my world collided, I wanted to stop it, but didn’t know how…then in my pride when opportunities would present themselves, I became “too much of a man to take them, to humble myself.”

Pride, ego, sin…why can’t we lose them in relation to that which we love so much…I wanted to be humble, and my pride got in the way…I wanted to be gentle and my ego pushed up its ugly head. I loved and love, you in a deep way…I cared for you, I pushed you to become more of what you could be.

However it wasn’t I guess enough…probably because it became me pushing you and no longer God. In my love I had forgotten what I had been given, that’s the key word…GIVEN. It wasn’t mine in the first place; it was a gift, a gift to me from you and God. So, I lost you, God took back what he had given. He tells me to get my life realigned…to know him as he wishes to be known; before I can know you as I desire. “She is mine, James,” God tells me, “and I am selfish…jealous…of her love.” God shared his love for you with me, but he wants you still. He wants me still.

I have cried so much over the past few weeks, I have felt like I am being torn to shreds, like half of me is gone. Last night, I cried again…now I was angry…at me, at life, at God. I had myself a fist shaking session at God, a screaming session at God…and I drove…I drove through the night yelling at God to prove himself, to prove his love…as he seemed to be really enjoying putting the screws on and seeing me and those I love squirm. “Why should I serve you, God,” I shouted many times,”Why should I love you?” “You have taken away that for which I cared so much, why, I have given you everything, my life, my time, my talents…and all you do is tear me apart.” “Is life really better with you in it?”

You know what God was doing during that time…I sort of wanted him to strike me with a lightning bolt…at least I would know he was listening…do something “God like” already God! He did, he was patient; patient like nobody else can be. He listened, he let me yell and scream at him; he let me call him names. Then he looked down at me and said, “Father, forgive them…for they know not what they do.” I wanted him to kill me; instead he loved me, as I cannot love. I wanted him to prove himself to me; instead he wants and waits for me to know him really know him.

“You say you loved Amy, James, I want you to love me. I want you to love me past the intellectual, past the knowledge; past the facts…I want you to love me from the core. You feel that you failed in your relationship with Amy, James, let me show you how to love purely and completely; to love as I love…learn to love through me, then James, and only then, can you truly love another, can you truly be in a relationship. You feel that I have stripped you of all that you want, of all that you are…that is true; you feel I did it out of hate, but that is because you don’t truly understand love. You may be able to define love intellectually, you may be able to quote the verses, but can you define love, true love, relationally? James, I took from you that which you loved so that you could see that which loved you, he who loved you. James I have to strip you of everything you hold on to, so that when you feel completely unlovable I can show you true love. Only then when you know my love, when you have experienced my love from a position of only having my love, can you then truly love. In your desire to love Amy, James, you did it through your own strength…that strength is imperfect. By loving her in your own strength, you pushed her away, now James that you feel you have lost her, let me show you how to love her my way. I have taken my daughter back, James, I want her with me. I love her, as you will never love her, she needs my love, I want to give her my love. James, your imperfect love got in the way of that, instead of remaining a conduit of my love for her, you became a conduit of your imperfect love for her. Let me show you how I love her, then and only then can you learn to love through me. James I love you as I love Amy, I love you completely and totally...you were so focused on your own love that you were beginning to miss mine, you were beginning to miss the most important relationship of your life, the one you have with me. You think I hate you, James, I truly love you, I truly know you. Let me know you, Let me know Amy...then and only then can I let you know each other.”

In His Grip,


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posted by James Dasher @ 8:14 PM, ,

Reclaiming the past...
Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The below is from my friend, Grant Conley, I appreciated what he had to say and wanted to share it with you all!

Everyone experiences failure right? But what about failures that leave us inhibited. Failures that are still active in our minds, painful reminders of what we have done that keep us from moving on. Sometimes they can even haunt us; causing us to lay awake at night thinking about them, surfacing a wide range of negative emotions (anger, regret, lust, etc.)

It is because of these past failures and mistakes, whether little or small, that our shortcomings have left us scarred, wounded, and hurting. They have taken a toll on our manhood and our spirituality. With this in mind, we know that the core of our identity has been shaken and abused.

Each failure sends us a particular message, and it is these messages that contain information which keep us from realizing our potential in our personal walk with God, ministry, goals, dreams, and relationships – including our relationship with self. If these messages then are crippling our relationships and potential, what should we do about them? How do we even know if we even believe these messages?

It is time to uncover the lies that are keeping us bound. It is time to acknowledge the work of the enemy and destroy it. It is time to acknowledge the truth of the past, and accept the truth of the “now” and of the future to come. It is time to accept who God has determined us to be. It is time to move forward.

In His Grip,


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posted by James Dasher @ 3:26 AM, ,

I am a friend of God...

Friend of God (Live From Another Level: Israel Houghton & New Breed)

Who am I that You are mindful of me
That You hear me when I call
Is it true that You are thinking of me
How You love me it's amazing

I am a friend of God
I am a friend of God
I am a friend of God
He calls me friend

God Almighty, Lord of Glory
You have called me friend

(Repeat Chorus)
He calls me friend
He calls me friend...

An amazing truth, that I am still learning to comprehend...that the almighty, creator, God would love me...would care about me, that he wants a relationship with me, not that he needs it but that he wants it. He hears when we call, he answers when we call...he is faithful, he is good. I know some of you won't like calling God your "friend" it's to 'personal' or not 'reverant' enough (I have thought the same thing), but truly, when you are broken, is that not exactly what he wants to be: the loving father; the caring friend; the wise counselor; the everlasting, ever-faithful God. He loves you, like nobody else will ever love you...completely, entirely, always...

God never fails!

He beckons you to call upon him, to seek him always.

In His Grip (ever faithful, everlasting, strong),


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posted by James Dasher @ 2:59 AM, ,

I have my laptop up and running (finally)...
Saturday, February 04, 2006

Well, friends, visitors, and family

I finally have my laptop up and running I haven't used it for quite a while as it needed to be reworked (reformatted, etc.) but I finally got it going. I am able to access the internet wirelessly from most of the school so hopefully we will be seeing more posts here as I can post current discussions from class quickly and efficiently. I hope all are doing well!

For myself it has been an interesting semester in so many unexpected ways. God has seen fit to not give me an "easy" semester since I have come here, however he is faithful. He is making me into the person he desires.

I have the opportunity to give my first performance in Oral Interpretation this coming Monday, I will be reciting Ephesians 6:10-20, one of my favorite biblical passages.

I also am going to start taking more responsibility in relation to the group of Destiny as Mark hands over much of the reins in relation to infrastructure, setup, administration, etc. I will also get to conduct/direct one song this semester, should be interesting.

Well, that's all for now, take care all!

In His Grip,


posted by James Dasher @ 8:20 PM, ,

Well, I am typing this mobile!
Friday, January 20, 2006

Well, I am typing this on my new phone. Yep, I can now send mobile, get ready for more posts.

In His Grip,


posted by James Dasher @ 2:57 AM, ,

The Painful Adventure of Love
Thursday, January 19, 2006

Wow, love...it hurts, something you want but it scares. I have been dating a girl for about 11 months and just the past few days we broke up, rather unexpectedly at that. It is amazing over 11 months how much your lives become entwined, how much another person is involved in your life. Love, is it worth it? Pain, is it worth it?

Does anyone like crying themselves to sleep at night, but is it not part of the growing pains of an active life? You can't live under a rock all the time, you have to taste the world, experience the thrill, experience the fall. You have to make sacrifices so that those you love can continue to grow, to find out who they are. You hate it, but it is necessary.

Love, pain: life...it hurts, it continues, it goes on...you can't stop it, but you can change with it. God is a patient God, a good God, a loving God...a God of hope but at the same time a God of change, when you entered this planet you started a painful process...but the hope is that it is a process, you won't stay the same...you're going somewhere.

Prayer, the food of the spiritual life, the lifeline...our connection to a living God.
Pain, that which changes and molds, that which moves us forward.
Hope, that for which we strive, why we continue, why we live through the pain.

In His Grip (Loving, Pure, Strong),


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posted by James Dasher @ 9:51 PM, ,

First assignments of the year
Monday, January 16, 2006

Well, I am doing my first homework assignments for the new semester and new year. My first was for PSY354: Introduction to Counseling out of the textbook Modern Psychotherapies. I read the introduction, it looks like it will be a good course (with a good textbook).

The second reading was for PT301: Homiletics out of one of the two textbooks Biblical Preaching This also looks like a good course (get ready for some discussion on the topics I will be preaching on later in the year: Ephesians 6:10-20 and James 5:19-20

In His Grip,


posted by James Dasher @ 11:39 PM, ,

Happy New Year To All
Saturday, December 31, 2005

Hey just wanted to wish everyone a happy new year here in MST!


In His Grip,


posted by James Dasher @ 11:10 PM, ,

The Power of Knowledge
Thursday, December 29, 2005

Hey all, went and visited the United States Air Force Academy today (along with several other places). Wanted to share a quote with you that was on a statue at the academy:
Man's flight through life is sustained by the power of his knowledge.

Knowledge my friends...never stop learning...what are you reading, are you? Keep learning, keep growing, keep changing; then you will be prepared to answer with knowledge what you believe and why. You are instruments in the hands of the master, stay sharp!

In His Grip,


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posted by James Dasher @ 8:29 PM, ,

Know Thy World
Wednesday, December 28, 2005

So I was reading the latest (Fall 2005) issue of Leadership: Real ministry in a complex world a journal/magazine for Pastors/church leaders...there were a few things I read that I wanted to share with you and comment on.

What Are You Still Reading?: A mentioned Barna Group survey (link to survey) of what books were on Pastor's reading lists made the statement:

When the books designated as the most helpful were categorized, there were three types of books that pastors found to be most profitable. A majority of pastors (54%) listed at least one book regarding discipleship or personal spiritual growth. Books about church growth, congregational health or ministry dynamics were the next most prolific, listed by 23% of pastors. Leadership books were equally valued, identified by 22%. No other category was cited by at least 10% of the sample.

Less influential types of books included those about theology (9%), evangelism and outreach (6%), pastoring (6%), and prayer (5%). Books regarding charismatic perspectives (5%), trends and cultural conditions (4%), and preaching (3%) also generated noteworthy interest.

Now, here is my concern...while I applaud those who read books on discipleship and spiritual growth (see my below post if you don't believe me) and the other types that were popular, it bothers me that "trends and cultural conditions" made only 4% of the reading lists. Maybe it is just me, but all the discipleship ideas, personal growth ideas, etc. put together how much good can they really do if you don't know about the world you live in and where it is headed/what it is doing.

Combined with that was a later article entitled "Doing Church at the Metro Stops" about a Pastor Mark Batterson and the church he pastors (National Community Church: http://www.theaterchurch.com/, Washington D.C.). One statement he makes in the article is:
Another core value is that "irrelevance is irreverence." According to Batterson, "Anything less than relevant is being irreverent to the Holy Spirit, who speaks more than six billion dialects in calling people to God."

I am glad that someone gets it...it would seem that this would be a trend of the younger generation of ministers/church leaders, a stronger focus on relevancy and culture. It is one of the primary values of the Postmodern movement. I must say I agree...to minister effectively you must make an effort to understand those who you minister to and what influences them. As a church leader there is no excuse for not being aware of what is going on in your community, etc. Just because it is "political" or "business" or another topic that "you aren't part of" as a church leader who is active in setting doctrine and theology for your flock you better be aware of what is going on.

Continue to learn how to better disciple your flock, how to spiritually grow, but if you can't help those of your flock with what is going on, they will find help elsewhere.

In His Grip,


Quotes from articles copyright either Leadership/ChristianityToday Int. or The Barna Group.


posted by James Dasher @ 9:19 PM, ,

Multi-Dimensional Christian Life

Hey, all...I had an interesting conversation with Amy that led into a discussion about the dimensions of Christian life and relationships. Often I think the Christian world puts such a heavy focus on the point of conversion that our outlook on relationships become quite one-dimensional. Amy made a comment last night that sort of describes what I mean:
I struggle with the things I learn in class because I feel that I know everything I need to lead someone to Christ (share the Gospel) and that the information I am learning in class is sort of pointless.

The conversation continued as we discussed timelines of life, the multi-dimensional makeup of people, and how that plays into relationships. What I mean is this...If you look at the timeline of someone's life with the "salvation/conversion" experience as the key point:

Often times in our focus on the conversion experience we filter our relationships with people in the Spiritual sense around that point so much that once we have the amazing opportunity to lead someone to the Lord we are not sure what to do after that so instead of a continuing timeline of discipleship like above we have something like below:

Which leads back to a conversation I was having earlier about knowledge and continuing to learn. If everything we learn and work on is with the goal of leading others to Christ (which is not in and of itself bad) then after a while our lives will feel shallow or empty. We hear people say,
How many times have you shared the Gospel this week?

I guess my question for you would be,
Is your life an easel upon which God can work as he would will, are you allowing the master craftsman to work his art, are you displaying his glory--his multidimensional glory?

God is not one dimensional but multi-dimensional. He has imprinted his human creation with his image,

Genesis 1:26-27 26Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness..."

27So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.

Our Christian walk should be multi-dimensional both internally and relationally. As we seek to conform and become more like Christ:
Ephesians 4:14-16 14Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. 15Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. 16From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

Those who we meet and develop relationships with truly desire real relationship...that is multi-dimensional, that which meets them on multiple levels (my point is not to argue about dichotomy, trichotomy, or other groups)...
Praise God for conversions, but that is not the end, only the beginning...
Regeneration: 1. transitive and intransitive verb recover from decline: to return from a state of decline to a revitalized state, or cause something to do this; 2. transitive verb religion restore somebody spiritually: to restore and renew somebody morally or spiritually

We desire to be regenerated...that is a process not an event, but a series of events.
Relationship: 1. connection: a significant connection or similarity between two or more things, or the state of being related to something else; 2. behavior or feelings toward somebody else: the connection between two or more people or groups and their involvement with one another, especially as regards the way they behave toward and feel about one another

Relationship continues to and through the salvation/conversion point...relationship is a significant connection/similarity...I would say that being a Christian is significant...even more so if you played a part in the conversion. You do not enter into a true, lasting relationship with the goal of just "getting something out of it" so why do we do that in our "evangelistic relationships?"

In His Grip,


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posted by James Dasher @ 7:05 PM, ,

The world of web development
Monday, December 26, 2005

After having taken such an extended break from web development/design...I am now back at it. One of my major projects while I am visiting Colorado is a rehaul of my father's company site (http://www.scoolservices.com). While for the most part fun, much of the beginning work is quite slow (probably why I didn't stay with it).

I love the management and idea part of things, but the technical mumbo-jumbo after a while gets a little frustrating. I am bouncing several ideas around in my head right now about what to do with it. Often I find my problem is translating what I want from my head to the screen; often caused by limited skill/knowledge. I am reminded everytime I do this how much we need different types of people: those who enjoy spending time tweaking the smallest thing and those who enjoy the big picture ideas and the planning. I think I fall quite a bit in the second group.

I do feel like I have gotten quite a bit done today though. Well, I have been working for several hours today, so I am going to sign off.

Update: Well, we are coming along...I am going to be working on colors and such...Oh, why, oh, why couldn't I have known about CSS when I first developed this website? Now I have to edit every single page, ugh! I am redoing colors to base them around the new S'Cool Services logo (see it below):

Well, that's all for now...take care!

In His Grip,


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posted by James Dasher @ 7:18 PM, ,

Monologue: Simon of Cyrene
Wednesday, November 09, 2005

I created this monologue for a class assignment in Bibliology/Theology Proper. If you would like to make use of this monologue please contact me via comments. Thanks!

In His GRIP,


Sorry, I don't use this blog really anymore, this has been several years. Anyway, in the future if someone would like to use this, you have my permission! All I would ask is that you leave a comment here or email me (james (at) jdasher dot com) about how you used it, I would love to hear the story and that you acknowledge where it came from.

To this day I can still hear the cries echoing through my head. The crowd shouting and sneering, voices dripping with anger and hatred, “Crucify him! Where’s your power now Jesus? Why don’t you save yourself?” My back still carries the scars of the Roman centurion’s whip as he tried to make us move faster up that horrible hill. But above all what I remember most, as if it were yesterday, are his eyes; I have never seen such sadness, such forgiveness, such remorse in any one man. As the crowd screamed and cursed at him, as his body dripped with his own blood, his eyes shouted back with ever growing intensity, “I love you, I forgive you; I do this for you!” I should know too…I was there…I was there, right beside him, staring into those eyes only inches away as together we struggled up the path to Golgotha, up the path towards his certain death.
When my son, Alexander, suggested that perhaps my story would help the church better understand what Jesus had meant when he told them that, “anyone who does not take up his cross and follow me is not worthy of me,” I agreed to tell it. I am Simon, but I hope you will soon forget my name as I tell you about one who is so much greater; as I tell you my story, about the small part I got to play in God’s plan of forgiveness and redemption for his children.
For many years I had dreamed and saved for the opportunity to celebrate the time of Passover in the holy city of Jerusalem. It was a long and dusty trip from my home in Cyrene, but that year I had finally saved up enough to make the journey. I had arrived on the 13th of Nisan the day before the Passover lamb was to be slaughtered in order to find suitable lodging and a place to celebrate the meal.
Late that evening while finally having a chance to rest from the long journey, my host came rushing home with the news that the man Jesus had just been arrested and delivered to the High Priest’s palace for questioning. “Who is Jesus,” I asked not having heard of the man before? My host explained to me that there had been claims that Jesus was the Messiah; he had heard stories from people claiming they had seen him perform miracles of all sorts from curing the sick to even raising the dead. Knowing better than to get involved with local problems I stayed inside that evening resting up and enjoying my host’s hospitality.
The next afternoon I had almost completely forgotten about the events of the previous evening. I had decided to walk around for a few hours and enjoy the sights and sounds of the city before having to return to the house that evening for the start of the ceremonies. For some reason however, instead of the humming busyness that had been the city’s atmosphere the day before that afternoon there seemed to be an almost oppressive silence and stillness to the air.
I had just made the decision to return to my lodging when I heard what sounded like the shouting and jostling of a large crowd quickly approaching where I was. I tried to move out of the way, but the swell and strength of the approaching mob quickly overtook and carried me along. At first not knowing what was going on I watched as I saw three men carrying huge beams of wood come struggling down the road; they were being pushed along by several Roman soldiers carrying whips. I quickly realized that I was watching, what I had only heard of, the horrific Roman tradition of a crucifixion.
As I watched I realized that the shouts of the crowd were directed primarily at only the second of the three men. As this man struggled toward me I noticed what looked like a woven band of thorns shoved down on his head like a cruel joke of a crown. Listening to the crowd I realized that they were calling this man Jesus. “Why don’t you save yourself, Jesus,” one shouted? Another yelled, “Where’s your power gone to now?” I quickly realized that this must be the man my host had been talking about, this Jesus; this supposed “Messiah.” So this is where the proceedings of last night had led I thought.
As I watched Jesus slowly make his way toward me, stumbling under the weight of the wood and from the pain of the many cuts on his body, I couldn’t help but feel pity for this man. Could this kind of punishment really be deserved? When he finally reached where I was standing I had become absorbed in watching him. Even among the many epithets and sneering remarks thrown at him, there seemed to be only a gentle response of love coming out of him. At times he would look into the eyes of members of the crowd as if to say, “for you.”
Several times along the way Jesus had almost fallen under the weight of the beam he carried, and finally he did. Almost directly in front of me his feet slipped out from under him and he fell to the ground. As a Roman soldier hurried up and begin to whip him trying to force him up, we all quickly realized that this man was going nowhere by himself.
Suddenly I felt myself being roughly grabbed…I had been so absorbed with the man in front of me, I had not noticed another Roman soldier approaching. As the soldier grabbed at me he shouted, “You! Help this man carry his cross!” At first I tried to resist, but it was no use. I was told to lift the large beam of wood that Jesus had been carrying to my own shoulders. At the same time Jesus was forced to his feet to stand beside me with the cross lightly resting on him as well. In this way we were forced to continue the long trip up the path toward what I quickly realized was the place that had become known as Golgotha, the place of the skull.
As we struggled up the hill the blood of the man beside me mingled with my own sweat. I looked over at Jesus to see him staring right back at me; what I saw in that glance changed me forever. Through the intense pain he was experiencing I saw something I had never seen in any man before. I saw a look of complete love and forgiveness. It was a look I cannot describe, only to say that it penetrated you like a knife to the heart. That was a gaze I did not want to break or ever forget.
My host had said that this man had claimed to be the Messiah, now somehow for myself I knew. This was no criminal, this was a completely innocent man being killed; not for anything he had done, but for everything we had. I had come to take part in the sacrifice of a lamb for Passover; instead I was taking part in the sacrifice of the ultimate lamb, the perfect lamb.
When we reached Golgotha I watched as Jesus was nailed to the wood we had carried. I watched as he was hoisted up to die. I watched as the Roman soldiers gambled for the few items Jesus would leave in this world. I watched as Jesus breathed out, “It is finished!” As he cried his last breath, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” I watched as he died, as he died for me and for you.
My story ends here, but his story continues. He beckons you daily to make it your story. He calls you to join him in death, to join him in taking up your cross and following him. “Why must I die,” you might ask? I can answer that simply and directly, “so that you may truly live.”
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posted by James Dasher @ 6:51 PM, ,

In His Grip
Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Psalm 139:9-10

9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.

I decided to setup a new blog that wasn't based around my name or Multnomah. I went with "His Grip" as it is what I sign most of my letters, posts, emails, etc. with; well to be precise I sign with "In His Grip" but that was taken as a link. I haven't finished with this blog setup so it hasn't gone public yet. When I do go public I plan on making this blog a little more "idea" filled instead of just life updates. If you know me, you know I normally have about a hundred different ideas and concepts running through my head this will give me a place to put some of the them.

In the meantime, remember, you really are secure in his grip. He created you not because he had to, but because he wanted to. He is a God who cares about you, not just as a part of his creation as a whole but you as individual.

Luke 12:24-31

24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! 25 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? 26 Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

27 "Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 28 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! 29 And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30 For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

In His GRIP,


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posted by James Dasher @ 6:55 PM, ,