Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Quote of the day

My wife is reading some teaching material that they are writing for the women's bible studies this fall. She said, "Hey, they quoted you!" I was thrilled! Finally, I said something, although probably said before by someone else, that now has my name on the quote line! How great is that?! Here's the quote:

"God's plan is completely different from what you could ever imagine and much more glorious than you would ever expect."

-Mike Messerli

Quote of the day

“The tragedy of life and of the world is not that men do not know God; the tragedy is that, knowing Him, they still insist on going their own way.”

— William Barclay


I found this article a few weeks ago, and have been thinking about it since...take a moment, read the story, and then allow me to make a few comments.

February 26, 2007—After rumbling for weeks, part of a poor Guatemala City neighborhood plummeted some 30 stories into the Earth on Friday. The reportedly 330-foot-deep (100-meter-deep) sinkhole swallowed about a dozen homes and is so far blamed in the deaths of three people—two teenagers, found floating in torrent of sewage, and their father, who was pulled from the chasm. Rainstorms and a ruptured sewer main may have caused the sinkhole, officials in Guatemala told the Associated Press. After the collapse, the seemingly bottomless depths gave off tremors, sounds of flowing water, and the scent of sewage. Sinkholes can occur when underground rocks that can be dissolved by water—such as salt, gypsum, and limestone—are inundated. The removal of groundwater can also leave gaps underground that can lead to sinkholes. While the cause of the Guatemala City abyss remains uncertain, it's effects are undeniable.

I was fascinated by this story because of the depth and size of this sink hole. It must have been developing for a long time, and then, suddenly (or so it seems) the earth falls, and leaves this huge hole. The reason it caught my attention is because it reminded me of what the Bible describes when it talks about sin's effects. It may not appear that sin has any effect right now, but its erosion is guaranteed- it's gradual and progressive, but there will be a day when we will see its results. There will also be a day when we will see sin's impact in a life, and in a culture. There will be a day when the "earth gives way" and we will see what sin has done.

People think that since nothing has happened so far then all is well, but there's an erosion going on below the surface that may take some time to see, and then suddenly (or so it seems) life crumbles and leaves a huge hole.

Psa 7:15 He has dug a pit and hollowed it out, And has fallen into the hole which he made.

(An afterthought- I realize that this post left something out- the cross of Christ! My thoughts as I wrote, thinking about the sink hole, were meant to deal with the results of sin in our lives apart from the cross. I was not considering the work of Christ in my thoughts, but was focused on the issue of sin in a life not taken to the cross. This whole post looks completely different when seen through the cross, so please understand that the focus of this post is on sin and it's impact apart from Christ's finished work. Thanks. -Mike)

Monday, May 28, 2007

Turning down the volume

Last summer I was in Russia, south of Moscow, with a short term mission team. It was a very interesting week- encounters with the new secret police and all. We developed some great relationships and got to visit with a number of different people. But from this week I learned one thing that stuck with me more than anything else- We had a translator with us, a really sweet Christian lady, Irina, from a city south of Moscow, my lesson came from her. It was a real treat to get to know Irina. But what I want to share is something I learned from her, something I learned from watching her. She had a wonderful, sweet spirit, and it was a real help to us in our visits. I watched her as she translated for us. There were times when the "volume" of the discussion rose with the emotions of each persons passions, and this dear lady did something I had never seen before- she controled the discussion by LOWERING the was amazing to watch. Suddenly everyone would fall silent so they could hear what she said. She calmed the emotions of the moment by lowering the volume and bringing a gentle tone to the moment.

I had to do that today....I learned it in Russia from Irina....I had commented on a web site discussing faith, and was instantly and soundly ridiculed. I have been through this before, so it didn't bother me at all. So I took what I learned in Russia and applied it to this encounter- I lowered the volume, responded in love. Even though all of this was done with a keyboard it was amazingly effective. The tone changed, and I had a great opportunity for a visit with this person.

It's loud out there! I have been following some of the discussions about faith on the internet and the "volume" is way too high for my taste. Those who ridicule faith are hostile, mean-spirited, and angry. Unfortunately many of those who are believers are responding in the same way....and so no one is listening....but everyone is talking. If we want an audience with the world then our dialogue in person and online must be done in love. We must not respond in the same tones as those we are talking only causes them to put their fingers in their ears and stop listening.

I saw a short "on the street" video asking two questions- 1. What do you think of Jesus? and, 2. What do you think of Christians? I was surprised by the answers. Everyone had great things to say about Jesus (that didn't surprise me), but were not too favorable about Christians.....we have done something wrong....we have not imitated our master, and because of that many are not listening. If you find yourself in an encounter, in person or online, that is confrontational, take a moment, lower the volume and respond in love. In a post-Christian culture the only example of what Jesus looks like may be YOU.

Happy Birthday!

Today is a special day in another way. Today my dad turns 81! I am blessed. My dad is still alive and well. He's been a great example to me in my life. He taught me how to work. He taught me how to be faithful. He modeled a man who is trying to FINISH WELL. I'm honored to be his son. Happy Birthday, dad.

Memorial Day

Today is Memorial Day in the United States. The day when we remember those who have given their lives to protect our country. For many, it's simply a nice holiday weekend, but I hope you will take a moment to say "thank you" to the millions who have died for this country.

Even today....this Memorial Day...there are men and women risking their lives to protect our country. Pray for them.

Thanks to all of you who are serving our country in the military. Thank you for protecting us.

Monday's cartoon

I don't! -Mike

Friday, May 25, 2007


Jos 24:15 "If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."

Psa 25:12 Who is the man who fears the LORD? He will instruct him in the way he should choose.

Choices matter! Each choice takes us down a road that has many more choices ahead, but the one thing that isn't available to us, when we have made a choice, is the opportunity to make the choices that would have been on the road we DIDN'T take. What I mean is this- If I choose to get angry with a friend, vent my anger at that person, tell them what I think....then there will be other choices that follow that choice...for me and for my friend, but the one choice I no longer have is the choice to not vent how I feel....and I no longer have the choices that would go with that choice... the choices to be quiet, to forgive, to love, to let an offense go....and to be able to see all the choices that one choice generates from the other person as well.

All of those choices are now gone for me...I didn't take that road, so I have no idea what options there are for me if I had chosen that action. My one choice creates avenues for hundreds of others, but the one choice I no longer can choose is the alternate choice to my first choice......I've gone "west", "east" is not an option for me now. Are you confused yet?

I've been thinking about this in my own life. I have choices to make about what I say, what I do, how I interact, how I respond to my emotions, how I respond to situations, how I respond to everything! And all of that, unfiltered, will be a series of choices that eliminate other choices.

I realize that I need a road map, a filtering system, a way to evaluate my hundreds of daily choices because my heart is selfish. I will not choose well without help...and that's why I read and pour over the bible. It's the road map, the filter that will help me make the right choice so that I have the opportunity to make other right choices ahead.

My wife tells the story of traveling to her mother’s home a few years ago, and on the trip she made a wrong turn onto a toll-way. As soon as she made the choice she knew she had made a mistake, but there was no option to turn around, her choice forced her in the wrong direction….and for 25 miles she had to go in the wrong direction (there were no exits) until she could find an exit, turn around and go the right way. Her one choice dictated other choices ahead of her. And she had to pay for her mistake both ways!

I see this in lives around me. When every choice we make is filtered through the “what do I want” filter those choices will lead us down a road with a whole series of other choices, but we will completely miss all the choices that were on the road of “what does God want”. As I think through this in my mind it begins to cascade in my thinking….the choice and the result….what happens next….it’s like the domino competitions I have seen…thousands of dominoes all stacked in a certain way, and then one domino is tipped over…it creates a cascade of responses from the other dominoes…one choice creates a whole series of results.

Choices matter.

How are you making your choices?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Something different

Ok, time for something different. I love visual puzzles, and here's one. Of course it helps that this is a picture of my favorite food group- COFFEE!

See if you can find the hidden "thing" in the picture, and tell me what it is. Also, time long did it take? (Just want to see how smart you guys are.)

I believe

“I believe”….these are words filled with content. They imply that I have made some choices about faith, life and eternity. It’s easy for the skeptic to jeer from the bleachers at those of us of faith, but to be a person of faith gives me a great place to rest and view the world around me. “I believe” means I have made some choices….I have chosen to trust someone or something. Here are a few of the things I believe-

I believe there is one God in three persons- Father, Son and Holy Spirit, maker of heaven and earth.
I believe the bible is the word of God, inspired and preserved by God, and without errors, conflicts or defects.
I believe Jesus Christ is God, come in flesh to provide salvation for the human race.
I believe there is salvation in no one else other than Christ…there is no other name in heaven or earth that will provide salvation for mankind.
I believe he really did die on a cross to pay my sin debt, and faith in him and his sacrifice will provide eternal salvation.
I really do believe in heaven and hell.
I believe that God actually did make the heavens and earth in 6 days.
I believe in Noah and the ark, Jonah and the whale, and all the other stories of the bible…I believe these people really existed and I look forward to meeting them some day.
I believe that God is who he says he is…he is sovereign, Lord of heaven and earth, the only God.
I believe that God loves the human race, and desires that all men be saved.
I believe there are angels, demons and the devil just because the bible says so.
I believe……

There is so much more, but let me stop here. What I want to say clearly is that I have made some choices….I believe the bible. I believe it’s all true. I have staked my eternity on it, and do it with great joy. I have a sure hope, and look forward to seeing God face to face.

Now, I know that when any of us takes a position of faith we become a target for those who disagree. But to make a stand is so important, to know what you believe and why is vital for each of us….where do you stand? Do you have a list of “I believe” for your life? Are you bold enough to share them? Are they important enough to change your life and eternity?

What do you believe?

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Psa 14:1 To the choirmaster. Of David. The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none who does good.
Psa 14:2 The LORD looks down from heaven on the children of man, to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God.
Psa 14:3 They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one.
I've been reading some comments made on a web site that highlights a project by two atheists called "The Blasphemy Challenge". The comments made by some of those who claim to be atheists are amazing! There is no shame in their comments, there is no fear of God in their vile rage, they are bold fools knowing nothing!
The bible calls these people "fools". Fools because they deny God, and will not bow their knees to him. They are fools because they think they know there is no God, when they actually know nothing at all. Their rage against any word of wisdom is venomous. There is no reasoning with them....
Blaise Pascal wrote these words. I think they tell a lot about these "fools" who laugh in the face of God, laugh at the prospect of hell, and ignore the reality of eternity:
"Imagine a number of prisoners on death row, some of whom are killed each day in the sight of the others. The remaining ones see their condition is that of their fellows, and looking at each other with grief and despair await their turn. This is a picture of the human condition."
And yet, knowing that their turn is coming...that death is ahead for each one...they rage against the God who made them. They deny his existence in hopes that it's not true...but death awaits and eternity too. They dismiss the bible out of hand as a fairy tale, and while waiting for their death sentence they play games and laugh at those who are investing in eternity rather than these few years on this fallen planet.
Fools? Without a doubt! Fools because they risk everything, with their fist in the air, to be "gods" of their own fate...and in the process lose everything.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Quote of the day

“Though no one can go back and make a new beginning - anyone can start from now and make a brand new end.”

— Carl Brand

Friday, May 18, 2007

God's amazing grace

It's been several years ago was late one night...Joye, my wife, was out of town visiting her mother....and I couldn't sleep. I had a cold or something like it. I just couldn't breathe. Most of the time my colds are in my head, but this was in my chest and I just couldn't breathe. For some reason I did something I have never done before...I went to the emergency room at the hospital.

Looking back I know why now, but I have never done this before...I just don't get sick, and haven't been in hospital since I was 9. For some reason, at midnight, I got up, got dressed and went to hospital.

In the emergency room a nurse came in to see what was wrong with me. I told her I had a cold or something like it, and just couldn't breathe. She left the room, and in a few minutes came back with a pill and told me to put it under my tongue. I obeyed....

The next thing I remember I'm on the floor surrounded by doctors and nurses. I had passed out!

Now, mind you, I had yet to see or talk to a doctor...they simply assumed if I had chest congestion I must have a heart problem, and so they gave me a nitro pill. BUT I don't have heart problems, in fact I had been an active bicyclist riding 20+ miles per day for years. This little pill, meant to help those with heart problems, caused my blood pressure to crash, and I passed out, fell on the floor and hit my head. Now I'm really hurt!

Now, suddenly, I'm getting CAT scans, x-rays....etc., and find myself in intensive care! All I had was a cold, now I'm in intensive care! (That's why I don't go to hospitals!)

But, what I didn't know was that God had a plan, and it really had very little to do with me.

So, I spend a night in intensive care because of the hospital's mistakes....what's going on? The next day some of our men from the church came to visit with me. One of the men, Eric, owned a business, and had an older man working for him who had become very ill. Eric had shared his faith with this man a number of times, and the man had refused Christ or this man is two rooms down from me in the intensive care unit, in a coma, dying....

After a short visit Eric said, "Since I'm here I should stop and see ____." He didn't see much point to seeing him because the man was in a coma and they didn't expect him to recover...but since he was there to see me he said he would stop by this man's room before he left.

Eric went into the room, the man awoke from his coma, Eric shared the gospel with him once more and this dying man trusted Christ....the next day he died.

Now here's an amazing thing...I was in the hospital by God's amazing plan so I would be in intensive care so Eric would come to lead this man to Christ. What an amazing love God has that he would care for this dying man so much that he would put me through all of that just so this poor man could find Christ!

Now before I finish I must tell you that this man had wasted his life. He was in his 60's when he died. He was an alcoholic, had spent decades in prison and his children were in prison as he lay dying. Like the thief on the cross next to Jesus this man had nothing to offer God but a wasted life and the need for a savior. What an amazing love God has for us that he would die for us when we bring nothing to him but our empty, wasted lives, and in exchange he gives us his life and salvation.

What an amazing love!

Seeing God work in spite of me

Have you ever wondered if you are making a difference, if you are doing anything for the kingdom of God? It is hard at times to keep a clear vision of the goal because of the battles and tasks in front of you. There are days when I wonder, "Am I doing anything for the kingdom of God? Am I making any difference at all???" (I think we all feel this way at times.) Then I read something like this, and I get a glimpse of what God is doing...He's working....and we get to be part of it. Here's my encouragement today:

"Every now and then I post about a great blog I have found. I want others to be able to read and enjoy.
Two blogs that I don't ever like to miss are
Joyeful Things , and Finishing Well .
I think I have mentioned Joyeful things before, I have probably been reading hers the longest. Finishing well is her husband who is a pastor. They are so inspiring to me, they are very real and their posts are very inspiring. I don't know them besides from their blogs, but they have ministered greatly to me just through their blogs. If I am ever having a frustrating day I can go read these blogs and they inspire me to get out of my rut. Even though I have never met them, they are a dear couple to me. They have such a heart for God and people. They are some great role-models on this new path of ministry my husband and I have found ourselves on. I glean so much Godly loving wisdom from them.
I actually found both of them through their daughter. I really enjoyed her blog a lot because I could relate to her life. She was a mother of three who were around the same ages as my three and she wrote about her daily life as a mom. I still enjoy reading her blog too. She recently just had her fourth child, and again I find myself on the same path it seems. Maybe I can get some wise counsel from
Life in the shoe, as I am thinking I am crazy and my life is about to get even crazier adding a fourth child.
But if you ever need to be inspired, want to read some well written, real people, very thought provoking posts I definitely recommend "Joyeful things", and "Finishing Well" and "Life in the Shoe". These are must reads for me. Just wanted to highlight some of my favorite's."


So, be encouraged today...God is working in your life, and at times we will see a little bit of what he is up day we will see it all, and will fall at his feet in worship. What an awesome God!

How great is our God - Chris Tomlin

Songs like this help me get my focus on the right thing- GOD! Take a few minutes to listen...take some time to worship...bow your heart to the great God of the universe and then have a great day!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Just a Thursday morning...

A new day has begun, and I got an early start as well....some reading, some prayer and a few minutes to just think.
It's Thursday. I have a day full of plans, problems and people ahead of me....but I wonder what the Lord has in store for me?
I think I must miss so much of what God would do if I would let him. My calendar is full. The day is busy....meetings, office time, people I need to call, things I must do....but what's on God's calendar for me?
What does he have planned for my day? I will gladly throw out my calendar to do what he wants.
Lord, don't let me miss the appointments YOU have set for me today. Show me the open doors ahead that I might miss because of my busy life.
Let's go by your calendar today!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

A short praise

Take a moment...turn off all the noise around you...and read this shortest of all the Psalms. Then dwell on the words for a minute....I'll share my thoughts at the end.

Psa 117:1 Praise the LORD, all nations; Laud Him, all peoples!
Psa 117:2 For His lovingkindness is great toward us, And the truth of the LORD is everlasting. Praise the LORD!

This is the shortest Psalm. Some think it should be connected to the next chapter, but take a moment and look at what it is focusing on- God's love and his truth. These are key elements to who he is and what he communicates to us. It's also interesting to me that Solomon said in Proverbs 3:3 "Do not let kindness and truth leave you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart." Is he talking about the character choices of kindness and truth or is he referring to God's presence?

It's interesting to me that these are keys to who God is, and also important to make a part of who we are. "Bind them around your neck", what an interesting wording choice. In other words wear them like jewelry in plain sight to you and others. Make them one the of the first things people see about you. It's fascinating to me that kindness and truth are almost extinct in our world today....what better way for us to stand out than to make the very character of God the first thing people see in us.

Wear kindness and truth like a necklace for the world to will be the most beautiful jewelry you will ever wear.

Monday, May 14, 2007

The battle of kindness, part 2

Saturday morning I came home after meetings at the church. My first thought was- Go over to the neighbors and tell them not to mow, you will do it on Monday.....but as I drove up to the house I hear the sound of a lawnmower, and see my neighbor once more mowing my lawn. Now I'm TWO mowings hard to keep up in these kindness wars! My first thing to do is thank him, and I did. I told him it was my turn...I would do it Monday. He brushed me off, hot and sweating, and said, "It was not a big problem, glad to do it, oh, and by the way...we are looking for a church." We agreed to go out for dinner together and talk more. I'm just amazed to see how God's such fun to see God moving in the hearts and lives of people. Thanks, Lord. Maybe I will sneak over and wash their cars...

Quote of the day

I believe in Christianity as I believe that the Sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.

— C. S. Lewis

Monday's cartoon

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Quote of the day

We Christians must simplify our lives or lose untold treasures on earth and in eternity. Modern civilization is so complex as to make the devotional life all but impossible. The need for solitude and quietness was never greater than it is today. ~A. W. Tozer

Revealer of the heart

2Co 3:18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.

As I grow in my faith two things help me- 1. the bible which teaches me truth, and 2. the Spirit who reveals himself and shows me who I am. Both of these are like mirrors...revealing what God wants and then showing me where I am. When I read the word I see God's goal for me, and then he reveals me to me...and I see how far I am from the mark. When the Holy Spirit works in my heart I hear from him, and what he wants for me....and I'm convicted and must deal with the me that is and the me that should be. Now, I must say that my goal is not to change me, it's to let the word of God and his Spirit do that. What I must do is be available for him to work. I won't be changed unless I'm willing.....and my will and flesh are the big enemies of what God wants to do in me. The more time I spend with God in his word, listening to the Spirit speak to my heart, the more I see my own reflection in contrast to what God wants me to be, the more I see my need for him to make me what I should be.

Years ago I was in Mexico with a missionary. He took me to a potter's house. This potter made pots the way they did in ancient Israel. We watched him work on a vase. It was beautiful. He was almost done, and then with a quick movement he smashed the vase into a pile of clay again. I asked the missionary why he had done that...ruined that beautiful vase. He asked the potter my question and got back a one word reply, "lumps". If he had fired that vase with the lumps in the vase and not worked them out it would have broken in the fire. He had to get the lumps out.
And that's what I'm working on this morning....lumps. As the Spirit and the word reveal me to me, I see lumps....and the blow to smash me into a pile of clay again so he can refine me is painful, but the goal will be glorious....

2Ti 2:21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Deep thoughts, part 6

Ok, now for some deep thoughts from a shallow mind. Realize that profound is just a word to me, and I live in the world of application (so what do I do with that?) So my thoughts will not stir you to great heights, but I do hope they will encourage you.

I don't often deal with current events in this blog, but this is too good to pass up. It caught my attention because it is so strange, offbeat, unusual.

"LONDON, England -- Pedestrians all over the world are moving faster than a decade ago, according to scientists who have conducted a study into the pace at which people walk.
Psychologists say walking speeds have increased by an average of 10 percent in the past 10 years.
People in the greatest hurry live in Singapore, according to the study of cities in 32 countries. Following in their footsteps are residents of Copenhagen in Denmark and Madrid in Spain.
Researchers in each city found a busy street with a wide pavement that was flat, free from obstacles and sufficiently uncrowded to allow people to walk at their maximum speed.
The speed of each city's walkers was then timed by a team researchers, armed with stopwatches.
The pace of life in our major cities is now much quicker than before. This increase in speed will affect more people than ever, because for the first time in history the majority of the world's population are now living in urban center," Wiseman said.
The biggest changes were found in the Far East. In Singapore, walking pace had increased by 30 percent and in Guangzhou, China, the pace was more than 20 percent quicker.
Here is a list, in order, of the cities ranked by the speeds at which people walk:
1) Singapore (Singapore) and lastly.... 32) Blantyre (Malawi)" (I left out the middle 30 to shorten the list.) "

So here's what I'm thinking....this is much ado about nothing! We are rushing around, so busy with our lives that we have to increase our walking pace to just get everything done. We have become a world in a hurry going nowhere!

The place on the list that was most interesting to me was the city with the slowest pace- Blantyre, Malawi. I got online to research this city I have never heard of. It's in East Africa.

Which end of this list is the winner? Which place is the most appealing? Why am I even asking?

I'm curious....why are we in such a hurry? What are we accomplishing? We are so busy, with noise all around us, that we never get time to stop, be quiet and think. We rush through our lives with no idea of what we are doing or what our purpose is. At least at our funerals we can encourage the family, "he was busy!"

Psa 46:10 "Step out of the traffic! Take a long, loving look at me, your High God, above politics, above everything."

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Are we there yet?

When do we get to a point in our lives when this "Christian life thing" is easier? When do we get to the point when we can easily live this Christian life? As I age I'm convinced that there is never that day ahead of me. Moment by moment I must allow Christ to live his life through me, and live my life in him. My sin nature never gets any better, so it's a daily walk of trusting Christ to live in and through me. There are days that this frustrates me. I am one who wants to master get good at something, but you can't get good at living the Christian life, you can only get good at letting Christ live through you.

That reality, at times, frustrates me. I want to "get good" at this, but that is not an's a daily walk of letting Christ walk in and through me as I walk through my day. It's a daily dependence upon him...trusting him to do in me what I can't. Today I must do it again. There is no pill that I can take to cover the whole week, I must do this daily, walking with Christ in the moments of my day. What a great life.....

Rom 7:22 I truly delight in God's commands,
Rom 7:23 but it's pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.
Rom 7:24 I've tried everything and nothing helps. I'm at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn't that the real question?
Rom 7:25 The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Church in America...

This is a funny video that hits at the heart of our consumer driven culture. What are your thoughts on this video in light of what you have experienced?

Monday, May 07, 2007

The battle of kindness

Yesterday I called home after church, and my wife said, "You won't believe it, the neighbors are mowing our lawn again!"
Yes, I'm once more behind. Two weeks ago I mowed our yard and theirs, and hoped to do it again today, but they beat me to it....they must know by now that Sunday mornings are a good time to mow, because I am not there to protest, so the battle of kindness continues....
This has turned into a very funny situation. We seem to be looking for ways to be kinder to each other than the other one is. Yesterday the neighbors even mowed some of my back yard. So far the battle of kindness has been isolated to the front yard, but now the war has been taken to a new level.
They are very sweet neighbors. I look forward to an opportunity to engage them in a more personal way. So far the battle of kindness has been fought with lawn mowers, but I'm looking for a way to "bring in more troops."
How can I extend grace and kindness to them that will really demonstrate the love of Christ? What fun this is to see God working, and getting my lawn mowed as well!
I'll keep you updated on the war....

Monday's cartoon

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Faith walking

I love the way a friend describes the Christian life. She calls it "faith walking." What a great word picture for the Christian life....walking by faith, trusting the God who is, but can't be seen with the human eye.

As Francis Schaffer said, "He is there, and He is not silent" but you can't hear him with the ear, you can't see him with the eye, you can't touch him with your fingers. You must come to Him by faith alone.

Now, you may ask, do you ever doubt God? Do you ever doubt whether he is really there or not? Does your faith ever waiver? I think the honest answer from any human heart is "YES!" Faith walking is contrary to everything in us, and is highly ridiculed by our flesh and our culture. I have been called foolish, gullible, stupid...and other names given by those who are spiritually dead and cannot see what I see…so they scoff. I don't resent them, in fact I feel sorry for them...if they could only see with the eyes of faith....if they could only see….

There is so much to see. Have you ever gone out with a friend, sat on the hillside and just looked at the clouds? "I see an elephant" one says, and the other replies, "I see a bull." The clouds can stimulate our imagination, and we all need that. But faith is not imagination, it’s not a belief in a fantasy. It’s not pretending something is true contrary to the facts.

Faith walking is a response to the God of the universe who made an appearance in time and history. He became man, proved who he was by what he did, then died for sin, rose from the dead and returned to heaven until a day coming in the near future. That touch of God in time and history has given us a “rock” to tie our faith to. It has provided us with all we need to trust the God who became a man and told me about himself, what he wants me to do, how he wants me to live, and proved it all by his miracles and resurrection.

Faith walking is not tied to my imagination, it’s tied to time and history. It’s my response to the appearance of God on planet earth. And because of the fact of the life of Jesus Christ I can live a life KNOWING that what I believe is true. Millions have taken this walk to the very doors of death for their belief. You wouldn’t do that for a dream, a good story, or a fantasy.

I love this walk of faith…this opportunity to trust the God who is there….I have often described it this way- imagine you are 40,000 feet in the air on a little 1 foot by 1 foot platform (dizzy yet?), and there in nothing else around, no other place to stand…you are on the only safe place to be 40,000 feet in the air! Then, quietly you hear a voice say, “take a step.” You immediately look for the source of the voice, but you know it’s God speaking, and you reply, “where do I step?” The Lord says, “trust me, take a step…” and with great fear, you do and there, suddenly, unseen to you before is a 1 foot by 1 foot platform awaiting your arrival! You are thrilled! But you quickly look back and discover that the platform you were standing on is gone. Once again, you are on the only place to stand. Then, again you hear the voice, “take another step”… with faith growing you do, and find the air is ready for your foot, the platform is there for your arrival, but the one behind you is gone….and soon faith grows and you are running in mid-air, not worried about where you will step because you KNOW that God will provide, and he always does….that’s faith walking.

Enjoy the journey, there’s nothing more exciting that trusting the God who is there!

“People despise Christian faith. They hate it and are afraid that it may be true. The solution for this is to show them, first of all, that it is not unreasonable, that it is worthy of reverence and respect. Then show that it is winsome, making good men desire that it were true. Then show them that it really is true. It is worthy of reverence because it really understands the human condition. It is also attractive because it promises true goodness.” --Blaise Pascal

Saturday, May 05, 2007


I am amazed by the reach of this community called blogging. It is constantly fascinating to me that people from around the world stop by this blog, if even for a moment, and may read words that could change their lives.
My goal in my life is to make an eternal difference. I wonder.....what will God do with the words written on these blogs that speak of faith and Christ? Who will read this and other blogs like it, and come closer to faith through these words?
I wonder...and it's exciting to think touch a life on the other side of this little planet in a way that will change their eternity. The thought of all of this is exciting to me. I think about those from China, Russia, Greece and south America who come by this blog....where will they spend their eternity? Did I make a difference?
My goal in starting this blog was to share my own passion and faith, and I have done that, but I'm not writing simply for my own gratification. I'm writing to speak to others I may never meet about faith and Christ.
So, why are you reading this blog? What made you stop by?
And, if you are blogging yourself, why are you writing? What's your goal?
Just some thoughts.....

Friday, May 04, 2007

A great find

I couldn't believe my luck! My wife and I were at the bookstore today, and I found a book that I have wanted to read for only $5.00!

The author, Blaise Pascal, lived in the 17th century, but is still considered one of the world's great thinkers. I'm really looking forward to some time to sit down with a cup of coffee and begin to read this great work.

I'll keep you updated...

Thursday, May 03, 2007


I am waking up to a coffee roaster died last night! Now, I's not the end of the world, but you must understand that fresh roasted coffee is the stuff they will serve in heaven, it's wonderful. So I'm having some angst this morning over my new reality...I will have to buy my beans ALREADY ROASTED! Woe is me! What will I do?

Now, you may say what's the big deal...but if you only knew. It's amazing...fresh roasted coffee is great. Ok, enough pouting. I must do as they do in Haiti....make do. The Haitians have an expression, "Degaje!" It means make do. In Haiti everything is broken, so they must make do with what they have. So, for me, this is a degaje day...I will make do and get my coffee the old fashioned way...from the store...until I can get another roaster. So, if you see me, give me a pat on the back and that understanding look.

I am in "degaje" mode today.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Don't worry!

Mat 6:31 What I'm trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God's giving.
Mat 6:32 People who don't know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works.
Mat 6:33 Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.
Mat 6:34 "Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.

This passage in Matthew 6 is an "old friend" to many. It's the "don't worry" passage in which Jesus basically says, "trust God, he will take care of you...doesn't he take care of everything else? what are you so worried about??"

I come here often to rest and refresh.....God is in charge, I don't have to worry. He knows what I need, I don't have to worry. He can help me, I don't have to worry. He loves me, I don't have to worry.....well, you get the idea. I could go on with this, but what I want you to get from Jesus words are the keys to a good life. Basically Jesus is saying, "God is sovereign, so relax."

So, today I'm relaxing....resting in the God who is big enough. I'm rested and refreshed after reading this passage....I have my compass set again....The God who made me and loves me will take care of me....all will be well (even when I think it isn't!)

People matter!

I'm up early this morning praying for people...people I work with and others I care about. They are each important, and their problems and worries are real. Their struggles and concerns affect them. I know of one person dealing with a lot of issues right now. They have put on a good game face, but the real heart of it came out yesterday....I'm praying for that person this morning...they have a lot to deal with. Lord, help them to truly trust you and rest in your care and love for them.
We had dinner last night with another couple going through a lot in their lives...a sister near challenges, and I'm praying for them.
I'm praying for our church as's going through it's own problem and challenges. Six months ago I described it as an earthquake, and it was....still is. We are in the "aftershocks" now, and although they are not as destructive they continue to shake us all.
6 billion people on this planet right now...all of them loved by God...all of them with problems and issues. I pray for those I know, but there are so many more who are without God and without hope in the world....and each one matters to God. Each one is important.
I guess my problem is that I really do love people, that's why I became a pastor. I care about them. But there are days when the weight of all the people, the problems, the conflicts, the just too much.
So I pray. Lord, glorify yourself amidst all this mess called planet earth. Work mightily in the lives and hearts of the people you died to save. Care for them, open their eyes to see you and your love for them.
I guess I would just wave a magic wand, if I could, and fix it all...but that's not the solution we need...we need a savior. We need God's solution to the problems, and it's to trust Him. With all the problems I hear about each day I must come to the throne room often, and fall on my face to simply say, "Lord, help! We need you so badly! Help are our only hope!"

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Theology matters!

Our staff, here at the church, has been discussing some of the trends and theologies we are seeing in our culture. It is amazing to hear and read some of the theologies of our day. Theology matters! (This has become our new battle cry.)
In other words what you believe about God, who he is and what he is like, are some of the most important truths you will know.
As A. W. Tozer wrote in "Knowledge of the Holy"- "What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us. The history of mankind will probably show that no people has ever risen above its religion, and man’s spiritual history will positively demonstrate that no religion has ever been greater than its idea of God. Worship is pure or base as the worshiper entertains high or low thoughts of God. For this reason the gravest question before the Church is always God Himself, and the most portentous fact about any man is not what he at a given time may say or do, but what he in his deep heart conceives God to be like. We tend by a secret law of the soul to move toward our mental image of God. This is true not only of the individual Christian, but of the company of Christians that composes the Church. Always the most revealing thing about the Church is her idea of God, just as her most significant message is what she says about Him or leaves unsaid, for her silence is often more eloquent than her speech. She can never escape the self-disclosure of her witness concerning God."

Why is this so important? Because what you believe about God influences all of your life and choices, it molds your thinking and who you molds what you do and influences how you react to society and the people around makes you into the person you are.

Theology matters! Is your God the God who created everything with a word? Is your God big enough to handle the problems you face? Is the God you worship the God of the Bible?

Here are the questions for discussion- Can you trust God with your life? What are you facing in your life that demands a big God to handle it?

I must tell you that it is my ongoing challenge to think rightly about God and then to live out that knowledge in my really trust God in my life moment by moment, day by day....

I read the bible daily to get to know this God I worship because.....Theology matters!