Sunday, April 24, 2022

Being Seen

 Mark 10:46 Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (which means “son of Timaeus”), was sitting by the roadside begging. 47 When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

48 Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
49 Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.”
So they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.” 50 Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.
51 “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him.
The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.”
52 “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.
There is something subtle but so important in this story.  It seems small, but it is tremendously important.  People need to be seen.  What do I mean?  Each of us has the core need to be seen, acknowledged, cared about and valued by others.  It's built into us.  We need to know others see us, engage us, touch us, care about us.  
That's what all the Internet activity is about- people saying to one another, 'look at me!'  We need to be seen, cared for and valued.  
People want you to really see them, care about them, look in their eyes and ask who they are.  
That's why I love this story of Bartimaeus.  The crowd is passing by, telling him to shut up, don't bother us, don't bother Jesus, but Jesus stops.   That's a profound picture.  He stops this huge procession of people to acknowledge just one person.  And when he feels truly seen he himself sees as well.  I know, it's a word play on the picture, but it's a beautiful picture of a man changed by the simple moment in time when the most important person who ever lived stopped to engage a blind man, to say simply, 'I see you.'
In our work the most important thing we do is a sublte, simple and relatively easy thing-  the most important thing we do is to see a man or woman, to stop and spend time with them, to hear them, cry with them, touch them, to say, 'I see you and I care.' 
There is only one eternal thing you will ever encounter in your life.  It's other people.  Cars, houses, money and jewels will all rot, rust or be thrown away, but people will last forever.  Take time and see them.  Your life will be richer than any wealth you could ever acquire!

Wednesday, October 28, 2020


 Death is not the end. It's only the period on the first sentence of your life. 

Sunday, September 27, 2020

You can't be a Christian if.....

 I am seeing numerous posts from people I love to the effect, "You can't be a Christian and vote ________." The party isn't mentioned because I am seeing well written (although flawed) articles from both sides. Let me address this simply- Being a Christian is not about your vote, it's about your relationship with God and others. Jesus made it simple- "Love the Lord with all your heart, soul and mind and love your neighbor as yourself." Those are the requirements for a Christian. All the rest is personal conviction. We each are accountable to God for how we live out those convictions. You and I will each stand before God and give account for how we lived our lives. Live out your convictions, follow the Lord's leading for you and don't get offended when someone sees things differently....just love them and pray for them.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

This world

 This morning these words came to my thoughts. Words of an old hymn that, in years past, we sang until we knew it by heart. Perhaps we have forgotten the message but it is still true. They go like this...

"This world is not my home I'm just a passing through
My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue
The angels beckon me from heaven's open door
And I can't feel at home in this world anymore"
How have we gotten so comfortable here that we so easily forget there? Yes, I'm to work and love, help and encourage, serve and give all I can but this is not the end for me. This is just the place and time God have given me to serve him until that day I do go home. Don't forget where home is. And don't forget why you are here- to love others and tell them about the wonder Christ who provided "home" for all of us....if only we would trust him.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Quote of the day

 "The fashion today is to place God in court and give Him a trial. We have had such a lust for “debunking” every good and useful man in history that even God cannot escape. It is one of the unfortunate by-products of the quest for truth, plus an unlovely hunger in humanity for scandal. It is a species of jealousy. We dislike to believe that anybody else is quite as good as we are, not even God." -Frank Laubach, 1931

Tuesday, August 18, 2020


 "Having it all together" isn't what makes you useful. Being broken but available is what makes you useful to the world around you. Those who are hurting aren't looking for someone who is perfect, they are looking for others who were broken but found hope and peace through the brokenness. It's always through your wounds that others find healing.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Loving well

We are seeing the beginnings of this prophecy:  "But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be..."  These words are from 2 Timothy 3.  I didn't post it all because this is the most important thing to catch from it...the terrible times will come because of how people will act towards one another.  In difficult times when people are our problem be a person who loves like Jesus did.  Love them all!  Overcome their hate, anger, rage or whatever they are going through with simple love.  Just love them.  Then, when they relax a bit and know you really care you can talk about the problems they are struggling with.  Love is the balm that heals every wound.  Apply it liberally!

Wednesday, June 24, 2020


God loves variety.
In fact God invented variety!
He is a wonderful and creative God. He made colors, all of them, and he uses them in sunsets, trees, flowers, birds and animals. He loves color! And God is amazingly creative in the animals he made, giraffes with their long necks, lions with their manes, deers with their antlers, elephants with their trunks…the list is amazing and diverse. And he colored all of them as well! Look at his birds! WOW! The colors he used in making birds is way over the top. He is creative! He didn’t stop with nature or the animal kingdom, he extended his creativity to us. He made some of us tall, others short. Some with straight hair, some curly. He made redheads, blondes, brunettes and a combination of several more (I'm not sure where pink hair came from). He made some with big noses, others with small petite ones. Some have big feet and some cute little ones. Blue eyes, brown, hazel, gray...what an amazing creation. And some he gifts with athletic skills and some (like me) are clumsy. And He used his amazing colors with us as well. Some tan, brown, black, red, etc. All to show his creativity and his design. All of this, all of it, was done by God to celebrate and show off his glory. All of it to be celebrated as a way to worship an amazing God. So, how could we, why would we take just one part of his work of art and say it is less than, worse than, lower than any other? We are not insulting the man we discriminate against alone, we are insulting God who made him! How dare we criticize the artist for the glory of his work! But that’s what sinful men do. We have now become God’s art critic and the outcome is we judge his works of art as well. Whenever a baby is born, no matter the color, God smiles and says, “I made that! This one is special!” How dare we demean or destroy a work of God! We are called by the artist himself to love his work simply because he made it. We are never to be color blind, that’s not glorifying to God, but rather we are to celebrate the handiwork of God and love it because God made it. No matter what color it is. God loves variety….that’s why he made each of us and says, "love one another as I have loved you." And do you know...and this is important...that God sent one of the early deacons Philip on a special trip to share his love with just one black man on his way home to Ethiopia...One of the earliest converts to Christianity was a black man sought out by God. God loves his creation and he loves each one he made. And he invites us to imitate one another!

Friday, June 19, 2020

What can the righteous do?

"If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?" 
Ps. 11:3

That is a great question!  It's the question asked by the author of this Psalm.  It's a question being asked in many ways today. What can we do?  How do we navigate these days in a way that honors God and helps rather than hurts those around us?  

Here's my short list of things we can do when the foundations are destroyed:

1. Pray.  We have a really BIG God who is sovereign over the affairs of men.  I'm sure he is interested in being part of your solution...why don't you ask him?

2. Don't fret.  In the midst of chaos and destruction we easily become fearful, fretful, worried, scared....add your own words, you know what I'm talking about.  Out of prayer should come on thing very clearly- peace.  It comes from trusting a big God with the worries of your life.  See Psalm 37, Mat. 11:28-30 and Phil. 4:6-7.

3. Love.  Look for ways to show love and compassion to those around you.  Really look for ways to love others.  The ways are everywhere if we would simply look.  John 13:34-35 and Eph. 5:1-2 come to mind.  In the midst of anger and fear a person who loves well will change the emotional environment around him.

4. Take a nap.  That sounds strange, doesn't it?  But remember when Jesus and the disciples got in the boat to go to the other side of the lake?  Jesus went in the back of the boat and fell asleep.  He trusted himself to God.  Trusting God looks strange in a storm but that's when. you most need him.  Prov. 3:5-6

5. Keep your "eyes" on Jesus.  Another storm story illustrates this.  The disciples in the boat, Jesus walking on the water, Peter asking if he can do it and he does.....but the text follows with these insightful words about Peter, "but seeing the wind he became afraid and beginning to sink he cried out...."  Did you see Peter's cause of fear?  He focused on the wind instead of the creator of the universe right in front of him!  Watching the wind will make you afraid.  Keeping your eyes on Jesus will give you peace.  The situation may be no different but you are.  No matter what, focus on Him!

What can we do when everything is crumbling around us?  Start with these and let's see what happens.

Wednesday, April 08, 2020

A God dependent system

It is interesting to me that God made a system totally dependent on him for what it needs. Every creature but man lives as if that were true. Somehow man thinks it depends on us. That's why we're fearful.

God has a plan

You and I have been placed where we are, when we are, to be who we are on purpose and by design as part of an eternal work of a sovereign loving God.  You were designed for these days!  Don't be fearful, be excited.  God knew what was coming and prepared you for it, designed you for it and equipped you for it.  It will be exciting to see what God does with us in the days ahead of us.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

The truth is....

The truth is that life isn't about whch side you're on, which candidate you support, which views you hold on an issue but how you treat one another. Are you kind, do you see others as more important than youself? Do you yield at the light, open the door for an elderly person, say thank you, tip well, help those who are struggling, encourage those who are down? Life is not a competition to see who wins. If any of us lose we all lose. My favorite verse is hidden at the end of 1 Corinthians. It's verse 16:14- Do everything in love. That's it. Four words. And they sum up a life lived well. Don't live in fear, live boldly, love well and see those around you. If they don't finish well then neither do you.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

The tragedy of abortion

I've been thinking about the abortion problem and it is tragic and terrible, but it's actually much worse than many describe. Not only have more than 60 million lives been taken but 10's of millions of mothers have willingly killed their babies and are living with the guilt of it. I can't imagine the weight of such a decision and the burden they carry for their choice every day. They desperately need our love and prayers.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

God's amazing provision

I have been reflecting on life. 

I'm old enough that I get to do that. 

As I look back on my life I realize I have not been qualified for any of the jobs I have ever gotten. I was given positions I was not qualified for, should have never gotten, but God opened doors I never saw, provided for us in ways I never imagined and led in paths I never knew were there. And, as we have wandered through our days here I realize that although it looks like a series of accidental encounters they were all divine appointments. 

God had his fingers in everything. 

How could I ever worry again as I look back and see God involved in everything that has ever happened? When he says, "My grace is sufficient..." he means so much more than we could ever imagine.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Fear and anxiety

Fear and anxiety linger at the fringes of our lives waiting for the opportunity to overwhelm us. These emotions are constant reminders of how thin and fragile our faith in God really is. I think this is why God has to constantly remind us, "Do not be afraid!" Why? Because there is a God who is fully in control of the events of our lives. He has never lost control. Everything that comes to us has to pass through his hands.