26
Jan
15

Deflate Gate vs Worship

The news has been rampant with a story that has gone crazy, “Deflate Gate!” It has not just led the sports world but , Good Morning America, The Today Show, The Evening News. Who would have thought a football would stir up so much angst in the hearts of people? But maybe that says more about our culture than we want to admit. Some may say, it was just a slow news week yet the Super Bowl is one of the biggest events of the year in sports. There will be interviews this week, guesses as which commercials will be the most popular, comments about ad cost, who is the best offense and best defense and the list goes on and on. All for one event on a Sunday night that the next day every mind will start to focus on next year and who are the teams that people speculate will have the best chance to return.

This all sounds like a week preparing for a Sunday morning! Well, maybe not. I always looked so forward to Sunday when the people gathered to worship together. Some came so prepared, some came obviously just glad to be there. Some came early, some came late, some showed up disheveled, some came looking like a million bucks. Some sang with hands lifted up, some stood and watched. Some had tears in their eyes, some kept looking at their watches the closer we would get to ending and sometimes a peak in between. It always amazed me how people came and what their expectations were. They would leave and all of a sudden the building was empty and I knew most of them would not be back until next Sunday morning. Some of them would live in the Word all week, some would not even think of the Word until confronted the next Sunday. People will gather in homes Sunday night whether they are football fans or not to watch the Super Bowl. Maybe deflate gate was a ploy to get a bigger audience…….who knows! All I know is that after the game next Sunday, life will go on and people will still need to hear good news from you as you prepare for the biggest event of the week, Worship at your gathering place. Prepare well, listen with your heart and mind as you connect with the One who wishes to pour Himself out on your life so when you speak it will be His words and not your own. Enjoy the week and learn as you watch a sporting event capitalize on one evening of the year.

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25
Nov
14

What would you be Thankful for if…………..

It’s Thanksgiving week and I hope your week is a wonderful blessing of sharing and realizing how truly blest we are. So many in our world have so little and we have so much. I have often thought that I have a roof over my head, a warm bed in which to sleep a family who truly loves me, a God who loves me unconditionally, how much I have to be thankful for.

Yesterday, Kayla and I were at the Gagetown church with Rev. Kyle, Amanda, Micah and Isaiah Boils. It was a wonderful service and we sang songs of thanks and praise to our God! On the screen at the beginning of the service was this statement: “What if when you woke up today, all you had was what you gave thanks for yesterday?” I wrote this down because it caught my heart. Am I thankful everyday for all I have been given? Am I thankful for the way God has been and is at work in my life? Am I thankful as I look at the past and realize not just what God has done in my life but what He has kept me from in my life? Am I thankful for my family and friends who love me and enjoy drinking coffee with me even when I am struggling with life and the stress it brings? Am I thankful that I have been given the gift of a spouse who has stood by me all these years in good times and unpleasant times yet loves me unconditionally? Am I thankful for my children, my grandchildren and the sweet memories we make together all the time, even a world apart? I have SO MUCH to be thankful for!

As you gather round your table this Thursday whether with family or a few close friends, Give Thanks, with a grateful heart! What if when you wake up tomorrow, all you have is what you gave thanks for today?

22
Nov
14

Missive

The news today was interesting. A list of business that would be attacked if the Fergusson situation doesn’t go against a police officer, ongoing debate about healthcare, the new beheading of another victim of ISIS, climate change, Charles Manson has been granted a marriage license, (you have to be my age or older to know this name) women can now be bishops in the Anglican Church, Gay marriage issue going before the Supreme Court and my favorite of the day, World Trade Center window washers speak out! (I hope they get paid REALLY good money.

On any good Sunday these issues and others monopolize the conversation of many around tables of coffee and conversation before and after worship or Sunday School. I was wondering this morning, how many of our people had a conversation on whether anyone came to Christ through the ministry of our churches last week? Just a question, not a comment or indictment. Maybe we should be asking “When was the last time someone came to Christ as a direct ministry of our churches?” Could it be the reason it is not the main conversation piece is that it has been so long our people do not expect to see transformation? I think they long for it and think about it, I just don’t think they really talk about it as if it could happen anytime.

NOW, I want to be sure your not feeling depths of guilt at this time because that is not what this is about nor do I want you to respond to this email about someone coming to Christ because that was not the intent. I just found myself wondering today what people talk about in your church? Then when I looked through the news on the internet I began to wonder what would be the lead story people would talk about at work today? Then I wondered what was the lead story people talked about at the church you pastor or are a staff pastor with yesterday?

I had a great conversation with the good people at Merritt Road Church of the Nazarene about how to reach lost people following lunch yesterday. I am not sure I helped them much but the conversation was healthy and real. They talked openly and honestly about the need to find a way to reach people in their community. I think the beginning of conversation is not only healthy but the beginning of good things to come as long as the conversation doesn’t die or doesn’t become a finger pointing moment.

Well, I found myself wondering today about your church and what people talked about. I hope it was more than football and weather, I hope it was about how much God is at work all around us in more ways than we can even understand. I hope it was more than personal agendas and disgruntled parishioners who love to talk more than pray. Anyway, gather some good people around you and if you haven’t been having the conversation, start talking about what transformation looks like in your community and how your church can get involved.

20
Nov
13

Power

Last night about 8:00 our power disappeared. We got out candles (kind of romantic), lit the fireplace (really romantic), and slept on separate couches (not romantic at all). When we awoke this morning we still were without power. We got dressed went out for a hot breakfast and did some shopping. Why would we sit in a cold house all day without power? While at the restaurant we re-charged our phones, amazing what happens when there is no power, and set out to do somethings to keep out of a cold house. Periodically, we would call our house hoping our answering machine would answer meaning the power was back on. Sure enough, at 3:00 pm we called and my voice answered. Whooppee! We had power and could go home. What a wonderful sight, the garage door opened with the push of a button, every time we flipped a light switch a light came on, and the house was warm. We had to reset all the clocks on every appliance and throughout the house but life was back to normal.

I began to think, “How desperate am I for Holy Spirit power in my life?” Am I always checking, listening, waiting, hoping that I will discover that the power is in my life or am I experiencing the power of the Holy Spirit at work every day? When it seems to have gone out or has cooled down am I desperate enough to move to a different position in order to find out what I need to do to re-establish the power outage back to a “on” position? I sense that so much of what can be done today can be done in human form and not much need of Holy Spirit power. Then, when we really need help, its been so long since we connected that it is missing from our life. Well, it is never too late to reconnect, thank the Lord. I have found along the way that I could function pretty well on my own because much of what I was doing was simple everyday kind of stuff. As long as the power is on in my house I take it for granted, then, it goes away and I realize how vulnerable I really am. It’s in those dark moments when no matter what you do you have to depend that someone will show up and fix the breakdown so power can be restored. I am so glad I can ask God to restore what can be taken for granted. I am so glad He will restore and reignite that which I might have taken for granted. God is in the restoration business of utter lostness and simply taking for granted that which is to be kindled and stoked on a daily basis. Hope your looking deeply in your heart today as to how the Spirit is at work.

02
Nov
13

Today

Today is Kelsey’s birthday. Seems like yesterday the nurse handed Kelsey to me to change her first “dirty” diaper. From infant to toddler, pre-school to Jr High, Sr. High to College, what a joy to watch.

I often wonder where did that time go? She has grown up, received a BSN and finished a Masters in Public Health. She married the best son-in-law we could hope for and has birthed two of the greatest grandsons in the world.

If I would have drawn out a plan for her, not sure I could have done as well as her life has turned out. Only down side, she and her family live too far away.

Today is a special day, full of memories. I am thankful to re-visit life today, and with a smile!

10
Oct
13

Time and Celebration

It has been some time since I have posted anything on my blog. Time flies when your having fun, some say. I’ve been having fun and staying as busy as I have ever been. Since I received this role as DS to Eastern Michigan I have attended General Assembly, Campmeeting, China, DSLSP (DS mtg in Seattle, Wa.), new DS orientation for a week in Kansas City, Pastor & Spouse retreat, Seminary Trustees meeting, Olivet Trustees meeting and I am preparing to go to Virginia for a two day meeting for DSAC (District Superintendent Advisory Committee). Altogether, this represents about 8 weeks of time. Hard to get work done when your gone that much. Thanks to Dr Mike Kitsko, things were done and completed without missing a beat…..so to speak. Time, where does it go? It fly’s by and before you know a year has past or 2 or 3 and wow you’re older and wondering what happened. 

We’ve celebrated so much during this time. Gideon’s birth and Gardner getting older and more fun than I can even express. Last night the St Louis Cardinals won the division championship from the Pittsburgh Pirates. I was born across the river from the ball stadium, less that half a mile and grew up 7 miles from the ball park. All I can say is this, you can take the boy away from the country but not the country out of the boy. In other words, I am a Cardinals fan. My NL team is and will always be the Cardinals. I watched last night with excitement and joy as the hometown team won and won handedly. And the celebration, my how the team celebrated and the fans celebrated. Which made me wonder, what will celebration in heaven be like where there is no such thing as time? The old song says, “Such singing there will be, never heard by mortal ear, twill be glorious I do declare and God’s own Son will be the leading One at the meeting in the air.” I am looking to a “time” when there is no time and a celebration will only be about one thing and one thing only – The King of Kings and Lord of Lords. 

28
Jun
13

Dependent

Today June 28 in US, June 29 where Kelsey and Jeff live, a new life was born, his name is Gideon. I would say welcome little one, but at 9.9 lbs. little seems the wrong word, yet he is little. He is new, smells fresh, he can’t feed himself, cloth himself. He can’t speak to explain his view or where or why he hurts. He is absolutely dependent on two people in his life.

You and I are absolutely dependent on God. He is the source of all of our life and needs. We can’t breath, move, think, dream, see without His allowance. His prevenient grace is amazing in your life and mine.

Welcome Gideon and thank you God for being the ultimate source for us all.