5 Ways to Love Your Bride Like Jesus

The card for my bride on our 37th Valentine’s Day:

“You make my heart happydownload-2

every single day.”

In front of “every” I wrote “almost”.

Just keeping it real.

About a decade ago, after a dynamic “conversation” with my bride, walking our black lab was my best exit from the dog house. I invited Jesus with us. I confessed, “Lord, I don’t know how to love my wife like You love your bride. Teach me.”

I’m still being schooled but I have notes.

5 Ways Jesus The Bridegroom Loves His Bride

~ The Bridegroom Honors His Bride

Jesus comes from a Bride-honoring family. His dad declined divorce and kept their marriage unconsummated until Jesus was born. Jesus extended the family honor with His dying request of his best friend to care for his dad’s bride. The genesis of His God-ordained union of a man and woman is in creation. His unadulterated view of women respects His bride deeply. His marriage “yes” means yes, rich or poor, joy or sorrow, health or sick until death, and, with Him, happily ever after.

~ The Bridegroom Serves His Bride

Jesus’ love language speaks through selfless serving like cooking breakfast and washing feet. Jesus leads not from a throne but with a towel. As a wedding guest He served the best last. His wedding reception welcomes all His friends.

~ The Bridegroom Purifies His Bride

Jesus’ words purify His bride. He speaks faith in her, peace to her, healing for her. Jesus confronts ignorance that renders a marriage powerless. He showers Shalom.

~ The Bridegroom Prays for His Bride

Jesus prayed early, often and long. He prayed with thanksgiving for her as God’s gift. Her protection is central. He prays not just for His bride but also the next generations.

~ The Bridegroom Dies for His Bride

Jesus gave Himself up to make a holy, radiant bride. He will  pay the full ransom, for there is no greater love than laying down His life for His bride.


In a sea of marriage stats and statutes, data and debates, Jesus the Bridegroom anchors the sanctity of marriage to the plasticity of the heart. A hard heart leads to divorce. A tender heart leads to devotion.

Marriage VowsWedding Rings

I often ask Jesus how He would love my bride if He was me. How is your marriage vowing? Is your spouse honored? How will you serve your spouse in this week, without being asked or recognized? What Scripture can you speak, write, text or post to bless your spouse? What are your spouse’s top three concerns you will take before the Father? What sacrifice at your “end” are you willing to let go of for your spouse?

You Promised

Not long after my stroll with my dog & Jesus, my elderly, godly friend Ed gave me A Promise Kept, an inspiring story of university president Robertson McQuilkin’s resignation to care for his wife with Alzheimer’s. Same love story for Ed & Eliza. May their Bridegroom-like love inspire you as well.

by Doug Webster

My Manifesto

Doug & Robin 7.31.82
Doug & Robin   July 31, 1982

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5 Fears Followers of Jesus Can Overcome

Over twenty years ago after sharing a struggle with a friend, he asked a penetrating question,

“Doug, what are you afraid of?”

His question stirred me to think about what I was thinking about. It still does.

Fear controls too many of us. Fear jacks joy, loots love, pilfers peace. Fear fuels destructive anger. We get sick of fear because fear makes us sick.

Dog - mad

Irrational fears become phobias usually starting in childhood or adolescence and carrying into adulthood. Whether spiders or snakes, looking down or flying high, being alone or in a crowd, common phobias dog (another top phobia) nearly 20 million Americans, twice as many women as men.

What are you afraid of?

     What does it look like to live without fear?

Jesus was never afraid. If Jesus did not master fear, the King of Kings has chinks in His armor and little to offer citizens of His Kingdom.

5 Fears Jesus Never FearedWalking on Water

~ Reputation – Jesus did not fear what people thought about Him because He mastered humility. He was not in charge, He obeyed His Father. Criticism, judgments or opinions never phased Jesus.

~ Loneliness – Jesus did not fear being alone because He mastered solitude. His close relationship with the Father eliminated debilitating loneliness and demanding crowds.

~ Failure – Jesus did not fear failure because He mastered surrender. He knew the Father would accomplish His agenda.

~ Tomorrow – Jesus did not fear tomorrow because He mastered living in Shalom. Jesus spoke from a peace within to a world without.

~ Death – Jesus did not fear death because He mastered trust in His Father’s love. Even though He predicted His brutal death, He didn’t fear death, He faced and conquered death.

How does the fearless leader Jesus mentor followers from fear to faith?


Hear Jesus saying to you, “My friend, what are you afraid of?” In your conversational friendship with Jesus, His Father and Spirit plus you makes a party of four. Together you can peel the onion so each answer draws closer to the real reason behind your fear.

Is it my reputation? Am I lonely? Will I fail (likely connected to reputation)? What if I can’t control tomorrow’s outcomes? Will this kill me (highly unlikely with nearly all fears)? Is death the end of me?

The great Surgeon will identify, dissect and transplant bankrupt fear with faith in the treasure of His Father’s goodness. In these powerful moments He calls us to “repent”, i.e., think about what we think about. Our practice of timely solitude and thoughtful silence with Jesus is the best prescription for excising fear.

Lion CubsSalt your self talk with plenty of grace and space. Confronting fear is a courageous safari across an emotional Serengeti. Consider inviting on your expedition someone who knows and loves Jesus and you. Maybe you’ll be the friend to walk alongside another friend.



On the verge of Peter’s worst failure, Jesus spoke to Peter the same life giving statement He offers us today:

“I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen others.”

by Doug Webster

My Manifesto

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5 Things Jesus Did Most Never Knew

Most people know of Jesus. Few know Jesus. Fewer know Him well enough to know what He did that most overlook. Reflecting upon the unknown Jesus helps us know Him better. Who we are when no one is watching is more who we are than the who we are we want people to see.

Plane in a carpentry workshop

5 Things Jesus did Most People Never Knew

~ Jesus Paid Taxes – He rendered accounts payable to Caesar and hooked the big fish to cover His taxes.

~ Jesus Cooked Breakfast – Post resurrection, what did the risen Savior do? Jesus served his best friends breakfast after a hard day’s night.

~ Jesus Obeyed His Parents – After His first and only runaway, Jesus went home and obeyed His father and mother. Arguably, it went well with Him.

~ Jesus Got Waylaid – Imagine being Jesus’ publicist. He wasn’t always on time, but He was never late. His pace was perpetually pained by people’s problems.

~ Jesus Did Nothing – Following a celebrated Baby Dedication then a few years in the EWPP – Egyptian Witness Protection Program, Jesus was a kid in Nazareth, handyman for Joseph & Sons, then likely a small business owner.

Jesus led an unimpressive existence for three decades.

Carpenter's Apprentice

For most of His life, Jesus was the guy next door who loved God and loved His neighbors. He was so common, when He became divinely uncommon, His neighbors said, “Isn’t that Joseph & Mary’s kid? Didn’t he make a well fitting yoke for our ox?”

What if following Jesus is as much what He did for His first 30 years as His last 3 years? True, the last 3 afford and activate us to become like Him, but were not His first 30 our more likely resemblance?

What might it look like for you in the next 7 days…or 30 years…to simply love God and love your neighbor? If on Tuesday you preach to 5000 people before you cater their lunch, praise God! But, we don’t have to be miraculous to be like Jesus.

Being an apprentice of Jesus means trusting His Father’s Kingdom for today and not worrying about tomorrow, even if today means paying bills, cooking, following an order, engaging interruptions or being okay going unnoticed.

Jesus gives dignity to daily life.

How a Jesus Apprenticeship Works

Apprentices spend time with the Master Jesus. We think about Him. By His Spirit, we start thinking more like Jesus. We develop ears to hear and eyes to see like Him. In turn, we turn, we act more like Jesus. We might walk on water. Or, we might simply serve a cup of cold water to a thirsty person.

Your Practice Plan

Which of the 5 ordinary Jesus acts will you practice today with a grateful heart and abandoned outcomes knowing you are like Jesus for 90% of His life?

by Doug Webster

My Manifesto

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5 Ways to Prove You Follow Money More Than Jesus


Money ExchangeMoney talks.

What does currency say to you?

Consider listening closely in light of Jesus’ statement,

“God & Money can not fit on the same throne.”

5 Talking Points to Prove who leads – Profit or Prophet.

1.) Financial Furnace – How angry do you get when you are overcharged or lose money? Anger is a torch illuminating a path to our kingdom’s throne.

Homeless man

2.) Pitiful Poor – The last time you saw a homeless man, did you talk with Jesus about him? Do we extend the kindness of Christ, if only a warm, “Hello! How are you today?” Now, picture a wealthy friend arriving in an expensive car to buy you a nice meal. Money affords preference.

3.) Their Success – Think of someone who makes more or inherited more money than you. Does it bother you, honestly? The ease to rejoice or impulse to envy the wealth of others speaks about what’s inside us.

4.) Break Down – Did your last car problem start the engine of habitual seeking Jesus for guidance or did it backfire financial worry? Was it an unsolicited invitation to walk with Him or did “the other shoe drop”?

5.) Gilded Generosity – “Am I generous?” can lead to rationalizations. Don’t ask, do the math. What percent of your income did you give away last year? A typical 2-4% is nice, not generous. This last talking point has a ledger full of rebuttals, “But…but…but…”

Money can be a direct path to our worship center. We choose treasures all day long. But spending money, like following Jesus, is rarely totally bankrupt or filthy rich. Simply following Jesus as His apprentice is an integration of His way of life, sometimes well, other times poorly, often in the same day. Obedience to Jesus is the vehicle of knowledge. Knowledge is the discovery of truth. Truth is the revelation of reality. Reality is the foundation for trust. You can trust what is real. Trust is the vehicle on the King’s highway between Jesus and money.

Four Investments to Profit from Following the Prophet  Jesus

~ “Measure Treasure” Do I love God and my neighbor? Sure. Is my spent money a corroborating witness? Use emotional, experiential terms, not “housing” or “transportation” to prompt heartfelt answers.

“How much of my spending is on my comfort, my image, my appearance?”

~ “Mammon Mindset” More math. Count how often in the next 48 hours money comes to mind. Then, think why you think what you think about money.

~ “Gratuitous Generosity”  Risk increasing your giving 1% monthly for 10 months. Generosity throws a coup on cash as king. In practicing this, you learn God’s got you covered.

~ “Internal Audit” Drill deeper praying, “Jesus, why does money uncap anger, contempt, envy, worry, stinginess in me? Help me learn to trust and manage money in your Kingdom truth, “Don’t’ worry. Seek first the Kingdom of God and He’ll take care of you.”

Kingdom of God graphic

Money talks. Jesus whispers. What we hear maps our buried treasure.

by Doug Webster

My Manifesto

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5 Resolutions of Jesus for a New Year

What will a “Happy” year look like for you? Finish this statement, “In this new year, I will…” Typically, New year resolutions have a 1 in 12 success rate.

How will this year be different? Consider the success of history’s greatest motivational speaker and life changing friend.

Five Resolutions of Jesus

Jesus resolved…

1.) …it was never about Him.

Jesus was not WIIFM driven. He obeyed with a whole heart – Thy Kingdom, not My Kingdom. His agenda was not His agenda.

2.) …to focus on the goal.

Smart Phone GPSJesus’ selfless purpose had a place. With Jerusalem as His destiny, He dialed His mental GPS, turned toward the holy city and resolutely pressed on, never lost along the way.

3.) …to not be sidetracked by critics.

Jesus did not let a conniving ruler derail Him. He vouched, “I am not stopping today or tomorrow and on the third day, I will reach my goal!” Come day three – Sunday – He delivered on His promise.

4.) …to persevere.

Resolutions only demand resolve when they get difficult. The agony of His purpose buckled Jesus. He yearned for another way. Willingly, He persevered courageously because it was never about His will, His way, His wants.

5.) …He was never alone.

When the skubala hit the palm fan, Jesus knew his friends would abandon discipleship.Jump Ship His unwavering resolve was fueled by truth – He was never alone. He knew first hand the words He taught, My son, you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.”

Your Resolution Will

How will this new year be different if you are mentored by One who fulfilled His resolution devoid of self-absorption, silent of detouring voices while full of focus, tenacity and collaboration?

Do you feel like you a floundering fish?

     Jesus offers significant purpose when you follow Him.

Do you struggle with delayed results?

     Jesus told his family when they, like us, were driven by their timing – His time was not their time. It is powerful to hear Jesus say, “For you, anytime will do.” Ouch! I often evaluate, “Is this His time or my time?”

Do you think you’re all alone?Brain Red

     Think again. Literally, think again.

         You’re not alone.

The wisdom of history’s most productive, purposeful and prolific mentor will make you S.M.A.R.T.

S – Selfless for God’s Kingdom

M – Motivated by one purpose

A – Avoiding distracting voices

R – Resolved to hang in not walk out

T – Together, never alone

ScaleAs you weigh this year’s resolutions, be it health, organize, live fuller, new hobby, save money, career, school, time or love God & your neighbor, find a life coach who was very good at accomplishing what He set out to do and become His Apprentice.

I highly recommend Jesus.

by Doug Webster

My Manifesto

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5 Types of Hydropower Jesus Pours Out on His Followers

Water is life.

Newborn babies are 78% water. Water makes up nearly 3/4 of the human brain and heart. Carbohydrates and protein are carried through the body by water. We can understand why health experts suggest 8 glasses of water daily.

2000 years ago on a planet made up of 70% water, history’s wisest teacher offered of a spring of water welling up to a life that never ends.  A thirsty, desperate woman pleaded, “Give me this water that I may never thirst again.”

Consider 5 types of hydropower Jesus pours out on His followers.

Water into Wine1) Lord of Water 

As the Creator of water and land, Jesus mastered matter to walk on water and turn it into the finest wine.

2) Life Water 

We are born of water in the womb. Jesus brings about a new birth from above that is both of Spirit and water.

3) Liberating Water

The water that poured from the speared side of Jesus purchases the water of baptism opening Heaven.

4) Living Water

Life is sustained not only by H2O for which we will thirst again, but by the living water rendering thirst obsolete.

5) Loving Water

Jesus used a bowl of water to exemplify servanthood and a cup of cold water to express love.

Jesus offers divine refreshment to those who follow Him. Now available is a life freed from unsatisfied desire. The key question is, “How can I find this water?”

LEAP – On two occasions Peter jumped in the water to be with Jesus – once by fear, then by faith. You and I will never encounter the Living Water from a self-deified dry distance.

Walking on Water

DRINK A lame man at the feet of Jesus complained of his untimely immobility to enter the stirring water. He discovered the water did not heal, the One who made water did. The man walked away. Drinking the river of life through continual encounter with the Living Water restores the heart, mind, body & soul.

Water Pour

A PRESCRIPTION – Drink 8 glasses of water today. Your body will thank you. With each glass, recreate Ezra at Jerusalem’s Water Gate reading the Word of God to the Israelites as you focus on the hydropower of Jesus. Imagine your health, spiritual & physical, if you did this for one week let alone a new formed habit.

“Let me have a swig” my Dad use to say. Today we call that a “Big Gulp”. Thirsty people drink deep. If you want to guzzle godly hydropower, you can’t sip Jesus. He does not teach, “Blessed are those who nibble and sip for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” Your level of thirst channels the floodgates of Living Water.

Swig Jesus.

by Doug Webster

My Manifesto

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5 Types of Peace on Earth Jesus Gives His Followers

In C.S. Lewis’ Magician’s Nephew, Polly asks Aslan to help Uncle Andrew.Aslan

    “Could you say something to…to unfrighten him?”

How do we “unfrighten” those we love…or ourselves?

Enter the Professor of peace who not only professed peace, he possessed it. His peace syllabus was not fortune, fame, position or power, none of which he had. Before He was born, an angelic choir declared his God glorifying arrival with, “Peace on Earth”. He purveys an impenetrable peace rendering circumstances inconsequential. The Teacher states, I give my peace to you; not as the world gives. Do not let your heart be troubled, don’t be afraid.”


Here are five A+ peace courses available to students of Jesus.

~ Peace with God – When we put our confidence in Jesus dethroning our self-will opposing His plan, we gain unshakable peace with God.

~ Peace of Mind – Who reigns over your kingdom/queendom? If the ruling force you trust causes dread and anxiety, a peace-full mind governed by the Spirit of Jesus is fully available.

~ Peace with Self – An internal civil war cease-fire will grace you with joy and peace from which hope overflows.

~ Peace with Others – The hopeful overflow of God’s peace changes the quality of our relationships. We can learn to live at peace with others as far as it depends on us.

~ Peace to the World – Jesus moves followers from knowing peace inside to being forces for peace in the outside chaotic world.

Which one(s) do you long for today?


How can I practice peace?

…with GodConfess through prayer and journaling to identify what keeps God away.Hand of God to Man

…of Mind – Memorize and think Romans 8:6 every time fear controls your cerebrum.

…with Yourself Joy robbers run rampant in our mental dark alleys. When you become your worst enemy, hear Jesus, “I give you the gift of my peace” to disarm self destruction.

…with Others – How will you make every effort to “pray then say in the next day” for peace sake to someone you’re battling?

…Making Jesus’ siblings work peacefully on purpose. What Jesus like peace-able moment will you seek & find today at school, work, in social media, at large?

Picture peace like…

  An anger-free home. Engaging a homeless person with love not fear. Being kind not rude when stuck in line. Work with less conflict, more cooperation. Peace officers and citizens with mutual respect.Homeless man

The Prince of Peace makes Peacemakers.


As the story goes, as Aslan breathed on Polly’s Uncle to unfrighten him,

“Uncle Andrew immediately rolled over with closed eyes and began breathing peacefully.”

May you sleep in heavenly peace tonight and tomorrow, may you & Jesus bring peace on Earth as it is in the highest Heaven.

by Doug Webster

Jesus College

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Pope Francis pontificated, “One is not a Christian if he speaks about walls not bridges.” Donald Trump testifies, “I’m an Evangelical, a Presbyterian.” The central question for any Presidential candidate who claims to be a Christian is this: Are you a disciple of Jesus?

Trump and Bible

The question unveils two more: First, are “Christian” and “disciple” synonymous? Second, is Jesus more than Savior but equally mentor, teacher and #1 campaign advisor? Consider the questions in reverse order.

Jesus declared, “Teach them to do all that I commanded.” He repeatedly correlates love for Him with obedience to Him. Is Mr. Trump a good disciple or student of his teacher?

Jesus the Master                           Trump the Apprentice

“Turn the other cheek.”             “Punch him in the face.”

“Love your enemy.”                     “Bomb the hell out of them.”

“No anger & contempt.”             “Crazy Bernie…Crooked Hillary”

“Forgive me as I forgive.”           “I never asked for forgiveness.”

“Can’t serve God & $.”                 “I’m really greedy.”

“I am meek & humble.”               “I built a great company.”

Question #2 – Is public profession in Jesus enough or does an “Evangelical Christian” by definition prioritize and practice the teachings of Jesus as a disciple? Is Jesus’ exhortation to the religious, “Get away from me you evil doers” relevant to Christians who believe in but don’t behave like Jesus? Will a believer receive the Master’s welcome into the Kingdom of Heaven without living out His words?

Professed faith does not produce practiced faith. “Un-Christlike” Christians are rampant across American, consumer Evangelicalism. Mean Christians populate pews. Righteous indignation is praised if the anger furthers a partisan agenda. A Trumpvangelical is one who endorses the Teacher but ignores the teaching, a guest in His house on Sunday who disregards His directives Monday through Saturday. NY Times Douthat calls them the Christian Penumbra who are “Christian-ish“.

When the life of Jesus is not disciplined into the fabric of our character, our words and actions tear back the curtain. Sincere yet fundamentally unchanged believers do not resemble the One we claim to follow. Daily habits give the impression Trumpvangelicals dozed off during the Sermon on the Mount.

Are the Pope & I too judgmental? Is my log eye blinding me from removing Mr. Trump’s speck? I am not indicting Mr. Trump, I am inviting him and pews full of Trumpvangelicals to follow Jesus with me and learn His cheek-turning counsel is more than advice for the antiquities.

Who is missing the mark? Mr. Trump and I. We preachers often present a gospel as divorced from discipleship as Donald is from Ivana and Marla. We seek bigger churches not bigger Christians. We offer discipleship as an elective not core requirement. Thankfully, an amazing grace-full invitation to become apprentices of Jesus stands with no fear of being fired. Attendees can become followers when someone walks with them. In addition to a promised, eternal Miralago after life, our next POTUS, if he or she wants to, can learn from the One who shoulders the government how to serve like Jesus if He called the White House home.

by Doug Webster


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New Jesus College resource: Artist in Residence Tim Timmons‘ blog, “10,000 minutes”