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“Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus”


The Lord sent me a gift while I was sitting in church yesterday.

I noticed in the bulletin that the first hymn was a favorite of mine, "Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus".

Not only do the words speak to my soul, this is also the song during which my bride strode down the aisle on the first day of our marriage.

As I stood there at the altar, listening to the hymn 35 years ago, I couldn't help but imagine what Jesus must feel like when he thinks of his bride, the church, coming for the wedding feast that will end creation as we know it.

So I thought I would include the hymn in this blog. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do:

Come, Thou long expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.

Israel's strength and consolation,
Hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.

Born Thy people to deliver,
Born a child and yet a King,
Born to reign in us forever,
Now Thy gracious kingdom bring.

By Thine own eternal Spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone;
By Thine all sufficient merit,
Raise us to Thy glorious throne.


Spring Ride


Beth and I have had a hard three years, including the passing of two parents, personal challenges, and relational struggles. Yet the other day, as I was riding my bicycle on a glorious spring afternoon, I realized that perhaps I was coming out the other end of our various tribulations.

Though hard to describe, my condition took on a glorious sunny side while walking in the light, and seeing things more clearly.

John quotes Jesus as saying: "These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me, you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation,  but take courage; I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)

So here's my take-home thought: if we can just trust, and wait and wait and wait, and perhaps wait some more, He will overcome the tribulation and carry us with Him.


© Revolworks 2019

The Reminding God


God remains a God of reminders.

This is the week we remember Jesus’ passion, and my mind is trained to perform various gyrations during Holy Week. I was asking the Lord to reveal something new for me, something fresh and inspiring.

As I was driving west on Highway 50, it hit me. Literally millions of buds, some open and some closed, encompassed me in every direction. A short month ago, no clue of life in the trees existed. Then almost suddenly, every tree erupts, triggered by spring, into beautiful and fresh new life. In a way, each bud is like a tomb. It's there holding the potential for life inside.

At the proper time as if cued by the heavens, spring explodes with vibrant colors everywhere. I thought, my goodness, I'm surrounded by millions of mini-models of Jesus springing forth from death and the grave.

Paul wrote this: “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)

No seed can grow until it dies, being buried in the dirt. There is no proof that life exists. Then a stem bursts from the seed. The seed thrusts it toward the surface. It is then that we see the new life, a plant.

What a great reminder that Jesus died, was buried, and was resurrected to a new, Heavenly and eternal life. and since he has already traveled that path, we are able to follow Him there. Hallelujah. He is risen indeed!


© Revolworks 2019

A Letter to My Sons


I have three sons that live in different parts of the country. A few months ago, I wrote them a letter while considering the impact of a president’s life:

To my three amazing sons,

Gentlemen, today I was reflecting on the life of a US President, and was struck that there are so many lessons for us all. He was truly a man of his generation, influenced and molded as we all are by our surroundings and situations. Yet when he was faced with decisions that could have led to a life of more ease, less pain, more popularity, or less criticism he stood firm for what he believed. He was a gentleman, gracious and humble, yet confident enough to stand up and advocate. He valued service and duty, but he was also known for loving with a tender heart.

All of us have been blessed by the Lord with an amazing family, good minds and strong bodies, financial security, and top notch educational opportunities. Each of you has excelled and also become outstanding young men of integrity and grit. Just like this man who served as president, we need to accept that not as our birthright or privilege but as a blessing to then use to help others.

Make hard choices even if it means putting yourself last. Be willing to stand up for justice and for right causes, even if you have to stand alone. Look out for those disadvantaged or bullied, and be their voice or protector. Be a leader wherever you are. Love your family and friends well, and always let them know how important they are. Write notes of thanks and appreciation. Be Roosevelt’s “man in the arena” — dare to dream big dreams and chase them. Succeed with humility and gratitude. Fail with honor and own it, but use it to motivate you to overcome.

You already have shown that you will be great men. I am honored to be your dad, and grateful to each of you for the blessing that you are to me. In it with you…




© Revolworks 2019

"To Remain Awake"


Earlier this week, I mentioned that God promises to love our children for thousands of generations. It was a strong reminder of how much God wants to know and love us, as we are His children.

I then came across this passage by CS Lewis. He writes, regarding Exodus 20:18-21:

“We may ignore, but we can nowhere evade the presence of God. The world is crowded with Him. He walks everywhere incognito. And the incognito is not always hard to penetrate. The real labor is to remember, to attend. In fact, to come awake. Still more, to remain awake.”

— from Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer

I need daily reminders that the presence of God is all around me, just as the Kingdom of God, according to Jesus, is “at hand.” I have found that when I am observant, I can easily bust through into the presence of the Almighty, and it is there that I find everything that satisfies.


© Revolworks 2019

Generation to Generation


Reading through Exodus this morning, I noticed something I had never seen before.
In Exodus 20:5-6, God tells Moses that He “punishes children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject Me, but showing steadfast love of the thousandth generation of those who love Me and keep My commandments.”

Somehow, the punishment of generations of children has been made ever so clear to me by teachers of the scriptures, although it seems unfair. Yet somehow I never really focused on the idea that God blesses the children of those who love Him for thousands of generations.

So let’s say a generation is 20 years. Multiplication would tell us that 10 generations would be 200 years. A thousand generations then would be 200,000 years. In other words, a very long time — even an unimaginable  amount of time.

I can’t imagine a more lavish gift than God telling me that He will love my offspring for 200,000 years. Once again, God reveals another way that He blesses His children, not the least of which is me, Beth, my four children and their spouses, in my brand new two granddaughters!


© Revolworks 2019



If you haven’t been within earshot of me recently, you might not know that I recently became a grandfather. This milestone sparked some thoughts on the term.

Grossvater (gros’ fatr) means grandfather in German. One can only imagine the difficulty when an infant attempts to pronounce it correctly. It rarely happens.

So, I presume, somewhere down the line, a frustrated child blurted out the word “Opa.” It stuck. Opa is now widely used across Germanic peoples as the shortened form of Grossvater.

Last December, my two dearest German friends sent me a greeting, “Happy Opa, Brad!!!” to congratulate me on becoming a grandfather for the first time. My son Ben, and his wife Libbie bore a new daughter into the family, the first child in the next generation. Wow.

Georg, one of my German brothers, asked me how it feels. These words crept into my consciousness:

“I wish I had words. All I know is that, as I held this tiny little girl, the first of the next generation, I felt an amazing connection to those who passed before and to those who will come in the future. Joy is still overflowing in my heart.”

What is it about grandchildren that drives full-grown adults gaga? With a field full of older friends, I have watched each one succumb to grandparent fever.

They require others to look at stacks of photos. They excessively purchase every imaginable piece of child paraphernalia. They talk baby talk in public. Yuck.

Yet I, holding this now addictive child, have discovered the need to indulge. I can’t get enough of her. Time races by as I stare dumbly into her face. Any sound, gesture, blink, sprinkle or toot must be divinely inspired. The more I observe her, the more I enjoy her.

The Lord has granted me yet another glimpse into His mentality.


Ⓒ Revolworks 2019

New Post - God Is Love?


Depending on the nature of our Sunday School training, we may have been left with deep-seated notions about an Old Testament God and His holy retribution. If we didn’t encounter God early in life, we still may have formed beliefs about His nature as a supervisor, doling out punishments or rewards based on merit.

A new post, God Is Love?, in our Commentaries section, hones in on the significance of Jesus rooting His identity in love. It’s a lesson that can never lose potency.


© Revolworks 2019

Peeking Skyward - More from "Les Mis"


Despite the aversion to formal religion that permeated France at the time of its upheaval, the unwaveringly human tendency to look skyward peeks through in the following thoughts on faith:

“We bow to the man who kneels. A faith is a necessity to man. Woe to him who believes in nothing. A man is not idle because he is absorbed in thought. There is a visible labor and there is an invisible labor. To meditate is to labor; to think is to act.” (p. 521, “Les Miserables”)

“We are for religion, against the religions.” (p. 522)


Two New Posts - Mo' Money & Activation


This week we’ve made two new additions to our Commentaries page, with some thoughts on cash and career in Mo’ Money and an inquiry into the relational impact of owning the phrase, “Bloom where you’re planted,” in Activation.

I never imagined we’d see the day that Revolworks would endorse a commentary quoting the Notorious BIG, but here we are. Hope you enjoy.


© Revolworks 2019

Believing We Are Loved


One of the most difficult things we are tasked with is not a physical chore, but an acceptance of a fact:

“The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved; loved for ourselves — say rather, loved in spite of ourselves.”
(p. 167, “Les Miserables” by Victor Hugo)


Three New Posts - The Poor, Father, & Presence is Requested


In the last two weeks, life has been a blurry transition from a seemingly-endless January into a fast-forward February.

In case you missed them, we’ve posted 3 pieces of new content in the Commentaries section:

The Poor - Caution: The title contains a spoiler alert. This piece offers a reminder of just how important the “least of these” were to the heart of Jesus.

Father - For better or worse, our parental figures on earth shape our concept of our Heavenly Father.

Presence is Requested - The concept of ‘daily bread’ and its sufficiency is enumerated and applied.

Hope you find something that sparks some fresh thought.


© Revolworks 2019

Les Miserables


The French Revolution marked a unique firestorm of social and political turmoil. One might wonder if our current national rhetoric resembles the climate of that time more than our ideal of a civil discourse. Regardless of what the culmination will look like, the insights into human nature Victor Hugo makes in “Les Miserables” remain relevant. Over the next few posts, I’ll share some of my favorites.

“If the soul is left in darkness, sins will be committed. The guilty one is not he who commits the sin, but the one who causes the darkness.” (p. 14)


© Revolworks 2019



As the interns gave their Christmas talks before the holidays, I was reminded just how important nonverbal behaviors are to communication. As we continue into the new year, I’d like to share a short thought from the author Gregory Spencer on our senses and how they affect our ability to connect:

“As silly as it sounds, we might improve authenticity by counting the number of human senses available in our communication — and "lean toward" the choice with the higher number. Face-to-face has the potential to include all five. A video phone call loses touch. A regular phone call loses sight. Voicemail  loses hearing. E-mail loses tone of voice. For all its benefits, e-mail has been the cause of untold confusion and conflict. Real presence understands that we are sensory creatures. The likelihood of misunderstanding grows exponentially with each sense lost.” – Gregory Spencer

The full article can be found here.


Ⓒ Revolworks 2019

Outside the Pressure Cooker


Beth and I just returned from a trip to Jamaica. It was heavenly.

Each day the temperatures would reach 85 degrees Fahrenheit in the afternoon and retreat to 72 degrees in the evenings. It would be difficult to find better weather conditions. While there, food and beverages were all-inclusive with a waving of our wristband. We both brought some terrific books. We soaked up the sun’s Vitamin D.

On three of the seven days we were able to take out the sailboat and enjoy whisking across the warm Caribbean waters. We loved every minute.

Yet perhaps the most surprising discovery was how well we got along with one another outside of the rush and pressure of city life back home.

We simply enjoyed one another in a way that we hadn’t in some time. We both commented about how we would love to stay longer in this Caribbean Nirvana.

Unfortunately, at the end of the week, we had to fly home. Reentry was a challenge, to say the least. Several conflicts broke out. I couldn’t help but wonder what changed from one place to the other.

The scriptures exhort us to “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:6-7).

I recently discovered that when I am anxious, my Parkinson’s notifies me with tremors in my left thumb and left leg. (Don’t ask me why.) Since that started, I’ve become aware of things that make me anxious that I never noticed before.

So now that I have a warning light, so to speak, I should easily be able to battle anxiety. Right? Wrong.

Paul’s prescription for this anxiety issue is prayer and thanksgiving. I believe he is right, but although his advice appears simple, it is entirely difficult. It’s a good thing that we have an entire lifetime to work this out.


© Revolworks 2019

Grace or Justice?


“Give me a break.”
“Cut me some slack.”
“Why don’t you just lay off a little bit?”

These are the pleas that we utter begging for grace from our fellow humans. Grace is so attractive, so forgiving, so life-changing, so freeing… We all crave it from the bottom of our hearts. And when we are given grace, or forgiveness, it is a feeling of freedom like none other.

I have heard grace defined as unmerited favor. How nice is that? That we could get favor, or reward, without having to earn it.

“I guess he got what he deserved.”
“I hope somebody knocks him down a couple pegs.”
“It’s so great that that guy got caught.”

This is how we talk about other people. We demand justice. Our words say that everyone should get his or her just reward.

But is this what we really want? Do any of us really want to get what we deserve?

What if we turned these two thoughts upside down? What if we actually wanted to give grace to other people, and absorb justice ourselves? Clearly this is counterintuitive. And personally, I like the first idea better than the second.

We all want grace. None of us really wants justice. So how can we become better at extending grace?


Ⓒ Revolworks 2019

What It's Not About - New Post


“Love God, and do whatever you want.” — St. Augustine

We think much and talk some about purpose, mostly in an abstract sense, mostly in a mysterious tone of voice. We’re all trying to understand what we were meant to do on this earth. One of the new commentaries, posted today, offers a thought on what purpose is not about. It can be found here.


Ⓒ Revolworks 2019



“Where there is no vision, the people perish.” - Proverbs 29:18

Sifting through the pieces written in the past few decades, I’ve found a few that stand the test of time. Here’s a thought on the questions that still arise in my life when considering my purpose:

For at least a few years, my questions have remained essentially the same: what do I want to do?  Where will my life go? What is my personal sub-purpose within the larger framework of God’s grand narrative?  What do I have to offer? What should I do? Where do I belong?

Only in the last few weeks, and really in the last few days, have I realized two things: the first is that I haven’t looked into myself to find my passions. They’ve remained on the margins of my mind, though the catalyst for my heart.  This is dangerous because I know somehow my life is driven by passion. Maybe the name “Adam,” man of the earth, indicates this piece of me. My life depends, in some ways, on this discovery of where my passions lie.

The other thing I am realizing is that I really haven’t done much in the way of visioning or dreaming.  I can dream for a few years from now, but why not 15, 20, 50 years from now? My focus needs to rest on finding the larger picture that surrounds the details I’ve only glimpsed in my mind and dreams.


Ⓒ Revolworks 2019



This is something we wrote to kick off the Revolworks blog way back in 2006, but thankfully the words all still hold their meanings today.  The message remains pertinent as, in 2019, we attempt to breathe life into this project once more:

Words remain those magical little things that contain so much meaning. Each collection of symbols evokes a certain image, tone or emotion. They are the basic building blocks of communication.

“Oh, that’s just semantics,” people say as they write off someone’s thought. Well truthfully, everything is semantics. Words make a difference. And when we speak (or write) a word that is a second cousin to the intended one, we risk misunderstanding.

Enough of the sermon. Please pardon me. I’m a recovering newspaper editor.

The Old Testament stories reveal the importance of words to God. He spoke creation into existence (see Genesis, chapter 1). He asked Adam to name the creatures (Genesis 2:18-24). This was somehow important in the mind of God.

As we (once again) kick off the blog, we are reminded of the importance of words. Here are a few things to remember:

Not everything we read is true, especially on the internet, and including our website. I learned this very clearly in the newspaper and radio industry. Even with the full integrity of the writer, people sometimes get things wrong. So don’t believe everything you read or hear.

Some words mean different things to different people. The word “Christian” stands at the top of this list. So we’ll try to explain everything we can. If you still don’t understand, don’t hesitate to send your question to the writer.

As important as doctrine is, we don’t advocate any particular doctrine here. Some of our writers may discuss their particular views. We encourage this, as well as any healthy disagreements that may result. Be we adopt no particular doctrine here, save the words we read in the scriptures.

We ask our writers, as well as those of you who will respond, to write using inclusive words and to avoid man-made doctrines.

Thanks for tuning in.


Ⓒ Revolworks 2019

Post-Holiday Thoughts from Halverson


I hope you all enjoyed good holidays. I realize that not all do. If the holidays have been difficult due to loneliness, or the loss of a loved one, or another difficulty in life, our hearts go out to you.

I was reminded last week of a great quote from one of my heroes in the faith, Dr. Richard Halverson, former chaplain of the Senate. I tried to locate the original, but couldn’t. So here’s my paraphrase:

“What started in Palestine as a relationship, went to Greece and became a philosophy, then went to Rome and became a religion, went to Europe and became a culture, then went to America and became an enterprise.”

As we move into the new year, the quote begs the question: “What has Jesus become in my life?”


Ⓒ Revolworks 2018