Monday, November 30, 2009
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
If you were like millions of other people the promise of a bargain drew you to the malls today. I know, we drove by several malls and most of you were there! I'm so glad my sweet wife hates the shopping madness as much as I do. For those who joined the maddening crowd I hope you survived and found that bargain. And, so with Thanksgiving behind us and black Friday nearly over, let me say, "Welcome to the holiday season!"
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
Here are just two of a number of new discoveries from the oceans. It always amazes me when I see how little we know about our own planet. Imagine how little we really know about space and creation itself. It makes the claims of many scientists sound much like a science fiction writer when they tell us how the universe came into being while at the same time they don't even know about all that lives on our own planet....seems a little arrogant to me. I would rather rest on God's claims of origins. His descriptions seem much more plausible, especially since he was the only one there to tell us how this amazing universe came into being.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
This is day 4 in my week long project of thanksgiving. It's amazing how much I have to thank God for...food, provision, family, his love, direction, compassion, patience....I need that one a lot! But today I want to thank the Lord for forgiveness. I am constantly failing, sinning, saying the wrong thing, thinking the wrong thing, not forgiving others, mad about this, prideful about that, selfish, fearful, irritated at someone....well I could go on, but I think you understand. We NEED forgiveness. The load of sin and regret we carry would crush us if not for God's amazing forgiveness. In one amazing act of love on a cross more than 2,000 years ago God dealt with my sins once for all. That phrase...once for all....is a profound one to me. One sacrifice for all people, for all sins, for all time! It's scope and work is beyond my comprehension and I'm blessed daily that God has forgiven me. It's his mercy and grace that makes my relationship with him such a blessing. I never come to an angry God waiting to punish me, but I come to a loving Father who has already forgiven me. Today, especially today, and every day I'm most thankful for God's amazing forgiveness.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
This morning I woke with thoughts of many years ago. Thoughts of hopes and dreams that all of us have as we begin our lives in the world. Like most of us I had hopes of love, marriage, finding that pretty young bride and living happily ever after.
36 years ago I had made some decisions about those hopes...I gave them all up. I remember the time well. My dreams of how things would work out in my life had not happened. I didn't find the girl. I was alone and was starting my career in ministry. I was lonely. But there was a day when God and I had a visit. I came to the end of myself and told God, "Ok, I give up. If you want me to be a single man the rest of my life and serve you I will gladly do that. I give you all my hopes and dreams of what I wanted my life to be like. I give up." And I really did. I let go of my dreams, my hopes, what I thought my life should be like and let God have it all. I gave up.
As one man said, "I feel much better since I gave up hope." And I did! It was a time of really trusting God. I think I rested, for the first time in many of my early years, in God's provision and care for me. It was a wonderful time of peace that came with God's final defeat of my will and what I wanted for my life. I would fight this battle many more times in my life, but for those days the issues had been settled and I had, maybe for the first time, put all of my life in God's hands. I had given all my hopes and dreams to the God who loved me and it brought a wonderful peace I hadn't known before.
It's funny how God directs our paths. He has an amazing route planned for our lives and when we finally let him lead he takes us on a most wonderful journey. Two weeks after my meeting with God I met my wife, Joye, for the first time. It's as if God had all of this lined up for me, but was waiting for me to let him be Lord even over my singleness. He has such a wonderful and tender way of making us smile.
On November 18, 1973, a Sunday morning, I met this beautiful young brunette in church. I was instantly captivated. But I was a pastor. It was Sunday morning, so I shook her hand, greeted her and went on with my morning. Without my knowing it at the time this was a turning point in my life. God has such a great sense of humor. He was waiting for my surrender to bring about the very thing I was wrestling him to get. He wanted to give it to me HIS way. Two weeks after I gave up God gave me what I had wrestled him to obtain. I'm so glad that God determines our steps. He has an amazing way of working in our lives if we will let him lead us down his paths. His paths, twisting as they seem at the time, always tell a much more interesting story in the end....
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
I'm also thankful this morning because I've arrived at another milestone in life. Today is my birthday....59 years old. It's strange to write that down. It really sounds old, doesn't it? But I must tell you that my mind still feels 20. I just wish my old body would agree. So, as Paul writes in Philippians, To live is Christ and to die is gain. I understand more clearly the impact of those words and am beginning to claim them as my own.
I am most thankful that I live in this time, this place and am part of God's work in the world. What an amazing time to live. I can't wait to see what the year ahead brings. Thanks, Lord, for your great mercy and kindness you have given to us who know you. Thank you.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
My friend and fellow pastor, Winston, sent me a photo of his new wheels. God has wonderfully provided the money for him to buy a bicycle which he needed for his ministry in Kenya. I'm so glad to see God work in his life and meet his needs and I am thankful to be his friend.
Would you include Winston in your prayers? He's struggling with some health issues and I am praying for God to heal him. Would you join me in that prayer?
Men like Winston are the unsung servants of God's kingdom who are reaching their part of the world with the gospel and serving God with what little they have. I love these guys! Men like Winston are my hero's of the faith!
Monday, November 09, 2009
Saturday, November 07, 2009
Thursday, November 05, 2009
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
Monday, November 02, 2009
I just finished Donald Miller's book, "A million miles in a thousand years" and enjoyed it immensely! I had tried to read his books before and didn't like his style, but this book was a joy to read and a bit of an eye opener for me as well. If you're looking for a book to read I would encourage you to buy, beg or borrow this one. You will thank me. And, no Donald isn't paying me to say this.