Thursday, July 31, 2008

Two years blogging

Well, it's official. Today I have been blogging for two years. It's been great fun, and I have really enjoyed the fellowship, comments and the opportunity to be creative. I hope I have been creative at times and hopefully interesting, but that will be for someone else to decide. Thank you for taking your precious time to read my thoughts. I hope they have been helpful. I welcome your suggestions for future posts. Thanks for reading....

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

High adventure

I found Scott's blog while looking for another one. I was amazed! Scott is an adventurer pushing the limits of his fears and dreams. Fears and dreams are part of our lives, but few are brave enough to live out their dreams or deal with their fears. What did you dream of doing when you were young that you haven't done yet?


Last night we watched the ABC News special about the life of Randy Pausch. In the last week he died of cancer. He is the professor who wrote the book "The Last Lecture" and impacted thousands with his views of life and death. It's inspiring to watch someone as they finish this life and how they view their life. I hope to fit his book into my growing pile of books I must read. I loved his "Tigger" way of viewing things. He chose to be an "up" person, and he really did touch the lives of many people. If you have time to read more or simply watch the videos at ABC News I encourage you to do so. It's well worth the time. And, I will be praying for Randy's family.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Silly quote of the day

"I'm trying to save the planet." -Nancy Pelosi
I read a number of papers each day to keep up with world events and once in a while I see a headline that makes me smile. So, in honor of this quote I am adding a NEW category to this blog- 'Silly quote of the day." Here's the first silly quote of the day. Good luck, Nancy!

Important things.....

(photo by: Bob Kurt)
What's really important to you? What do you value? You show others what's most important to you by the choices you make, the things you buy, the places you go, the way you dress, what you watch and what you listen to. Everything about us tells others what's important to us. I've heard one pastor say, "people will give you their money, but don't ask for their time!" and another said, "show me your checkbook and I will tell you what's most important to you." We show the world around us what we value in a hundred different ways. And sometimes, honestly, what we value makes us look funny. Why would anyone want a laptop rather than a roof over his head? Why would another put more importance on their own happiness rather than obedience to God? Why do we do what we do, buy what we buy and spend our time the way we do? It's because of what we value (worship). When I put the Lord first, as most important, then my life lines up in a wonderful way, but when I don't it just looks funny. It doesn't seem right. That is often the story of the Jewish people in the Old Testament- they didn't put the most important things first. Instead they would choose their own ways and find that their lives were miserable failures (read the end of Jeremiah). How often do we do the same thing. I wonder how we look to those around us? More important than that how do we look to God? What are your important things?
Mat 6:33 "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you............"

Monday, July 28, 2008

Music recommendation

I don't recommend music often, but here is a recent acquisition that I really like- it's the soundtrack from a recent Cirque Du Soleil show. It's a fun, upbeat jazz soundtrack. If you are looking for good music I think you would enjoy this album.
I must warn you that our teaching pastor tells me that I have strange music taste, but I think you would really enjoy this album.
Music is an amazing thing. We use it to worship God, to relax, to stimulate, to calm us down, and a hundred other things. Music is one of the great blessings God has given us and I'm glad he made it.

Thanks, Nathan

One of our pastors is leaving us. Nathan and his wife, Kim, are taking a position at a church in Pennsylvania. We hate to see you go, but will be praying for you and Kim.
Nathan grew up in our church, literally! He and his family came to CBC when he was just entering his teen years. He's been here as long as I have, and that's a long time.
I'm excited for Nathan. This is a new adventure, and a chance for him to carve out his own path, identity and ministry. But we will continue to see him often....his brother is married to our daughter so he's family! Thanks for all you have given to our church family, Nathan, we will miss you.

Monday's cartoon

Having just taught the book of Jude this cartoon caught my attention. In a time when the wolves have stopped trying to imitate sheep and are trying to imitate the shepherd it's very important to know who you are following. I know the bible says that in the last days false prophets would come, but who could have imagined that they would be so good at looking like the real thing?

Sunday, July 27, 2008


Ok, isn't chess hard enough? Why would anyone want to make a difficult game even more difficult? I have trouble planning two moves ahead....but to add another player would just feel like torture.....


This morning at church one of our men introduced me to a young visitor. He told me this young man had just gotten out of the marines. I shook his hand and said "thank you." I then asked, "did you serve in Iraq?" He smiled and said yes, and I once more told him thank you. What a humble experience to have young men like this serving our country. I'm honored to have met him. So once more for him and all the others serving our country, "thank you for serving us and protecting our country." I'm so grateful for your service.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Some fun for a Saturday

Flying Hamster competition-
A pastor friend of mine, Kris, has been hosting a flying hamster competition with some great distances for the game. Let's compete with their church in Indiana and have some fun.
You can play the game here, and then let me know your results. This should be fun.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Thank you

I just wanted to take a moment to say "Thank you" to the guys from my small group who came to help me with my lawn. Since my accident in February I have not been able to work on the yard at all, and it looked bad! These wonderful men came to help me and I want to say thank you to them for their great kindness.

Here's Dave and his son, Matt, making my yard look good.

From left to right: Mark, Sheldon, me and Kent

A secure love

I was reading in Romans yesterday and came to Romans 8. It's one of the mountaintop chapters of the bible. What amazing truths this chapter holds, but what caught my mind was the end of the chapter....three little verses that I have read hundreds of times, but I don't think I yet fully understand or believe them. I honestly find myself as a Christian who often thinks and talks like an atheist! And then I come to a passage like this, and must stop to ask, "do I really believe this? And if I really did what would change in my heart and mind? How would I live differently? If I really believed this what would I look like?" And, so, without further delay here are the verses that have made me stop and think. If you don't mind I will add a few thoughts at the end...
Rom 8:37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.
Rom 8:38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,
Rom 8:39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Like a child totally dependent upon its parents for everything, completely trusting in the care and love of its parents we are told we have a much better relationship with God. One in which his love promises victory and a security that I cannot have on my own. When I read, "nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" I have to pause and ask, "do I really believe that?" And, sadly, I find that many times I don't live like this is true. In my theological mind, in my good orthodox biblical training I believe it, but in my life...where theology meets the world...I often live like this isn't true. My confession to you moves me to ask once more, "what would my life look like if I really did believe these verses?" I don't know yet, but I plan to find out......I'll keep you updated.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Our lives are the result of a myriad of decisions we make each day. Decisions based on decisions we have made in the past. Each decision builds on the last one and charts a course for our lives that finds us where we are today. I'm fascinated with my own decisions and the fact that they are so different from those of others. We each chart our own course, and that course finds each of us at a different place in our lives. How did I get here? One choice at a time. It happens over a lifetime as we make little turns, small choices that make us who we are and move us to where we are. What do you base your decisions upon? What map are you using? How do you chart your course? All of those questions are important because they determine your direction and course. One man made a series of decisions, a series of course choices that affected his life. I like the choices he made. Here are one man's choices:
Psa 101:1 A Psalm of David. I will sing of lovingkindness and justice, To You, O LORD, I will sing praises.
Psa 101:2 I will give heed to the blameless way. When will You come to me? I will walk within my house in the integrity of my heart.
Psa 101:3 I will set no worthless thing before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; It shall not fasten its grip on me.
Psa 101:4 A perverse heart shall depart from me; I will know no evil.
Where have you choices taken you? Are you where you want to be? If your map is the word of God then you have the perfect guide to steer your life to the right destination. If you follow this map you will never regret your course or the harbor at the end of your journey. All of our lives demand decisions and we are making them each day.....if you aren't where you want to be then change course, get the map that will guide you to the right port. Each day gives us the opportunity to make decisions that will change our course, that will change our lives. Each day our decisions are taking us somewhere. May I encourage you to chart a course that others have followed to a wonderful destination. It's all a matter of decisions.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Anything for an illustration!

Pastor Injured in Dirt Bike Accident During Church Service
Tuesday, July 22, 2008

KOKOMO, Ind. — "A pastor brought out a dirt bike during a church service to demonstrate the concept of unity. Now he's demonstrating the concept of healing.
Jeff Harlow, the senior pastor at Crossroads Community Church, broke his wrist when he lost control of the motorcycle at the start of Sunday's second service, driving off a 5-foot platform and into the vacant first row of seats. He underwent surgery on the wrist Monday.
"Jeff has already laughed a lot, so he's OK. I think his pride was bruised," said his wife, Becky.
Becky Harlow said her husband had recently attended a motorcycle race in Buchanan, Mich.
"He had this idea that he would bring this bike out onstage and show people how the rider would become one with the bike," she told the Kokomo Tribune. "He was going to just sit on it and drive it out. He was just walking the dirt bike out onstage and somehow it got away from him. It was not intended."
No one else was hurt."

I hate to laugh at anyone, especially a fellow pastor, but may I say, "what was he thinking?" At least he didn't drive a tank on the stage like another pastor in our area. Illustrations for sermons are funny things. I've seen some amazing ones in my day, but I think this one is near the top. I hope they filmed it......

Would you pray?

I have a busy day ahead. I'm heading for the hospital shortly. One of our guys is going in for serious back surgery. Do pray for him today. His name is John.

I'll post a note later today, but just wanted to ask for your prayers for John this morning.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Time and photos

Joye and I are going to a couples retreat this fall in North Carolina and the retreat sponsors asked for a wedding photo from each couple for the retreat. We had to take our wedding photo to the camera shop near us to get it put in digital format. We also had to do some touch up on the's a really OLD photo and is starting to fall apart! (What does that say about me?) So here is a copy of a cute couple who have enjoyed nearly 35 years together.

Bunny Letter Opener

Here's something every home needs. And you can pet him too! (It's time for some fun...)

Monday's cartoon

Saturday, July 19, 2008

A little blesssing

I am so excited! I found another copy of one of my favorite books, No Man in Eden by Harold Myra. It was published in 1969 and has been out of print for years. I have had a number of copies over the years and have made the mistake of loaning them out. The copies I loaned to friends NEVER came back, and so I would have to search for another copy. I just found a hardback copy and had to pay a premium for it, but I have it and have started to read it again. It's one of the most amazing stories I have ever read. It's a science fiction story of a man who takes a trip with an alien, and escapes the twisted planet, earth, to discover what life is like in the rest of the universe where sin has never happened. I have read this amazing book many times and it's inspiring each time I read it again. So, I'm enjoying a little blessing, and once again reading one of my favorite books. And, no, you can't borrow it......


Today I want to take a moment and just say thank you. I tend to be a negative person far too easily, and have to intentionally choose to give thanks. I think most of us are that way. It's easy to look at the bad, but much harder to look at what we have to be thankful for, so today I want to intentionally say "thank you."
Psa 95:1 O come, let us sing for joy to the LORD, Let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation.
Psa 95:2 Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.
Psa 95:3 For the LORD is a great God And a great King above all gods,
Thank you, Lord for a home to live in. So many have no place to live.
Thank you, Lord for a wonderful family. I know of those who have lost loved ones and so I appreciate mine even more.
Thank you, Lord for a wonderful wife. There are many who would love to have a sweet mate to enjoy life with. Thanks for giving me such a blessing.
Thank you, Lord for a place to serve you. I am so blessed to be part of this church family. How blessed I am to be here.
Thank you, Lord for your word. Daily I look forward to spending time in your word. What a gift you have given us. Thank you.
Thank you, Lord for life! Today, I woke up early and have the great joy of knowing that you have given me this day to live and serve you.
Thank you, Lord for friends. I have so many.
Thank you, Lord for your protection. I doubt that I know how many times you have kept me safe from harm.
Thank you, Lord for my children and their you have written they are a blessing from you.
Thank you, Lord.....thank you for being the wonderful, loving, kind Sovereign of the universe. Your mercy and kindness to us is more than we can ever know. Thank you for being you and all that comes from your very nature. We are richly blessed because of it.
Thank you, Lord for your son, Jesus Christ, who freely gave his life to give me life. Thank you for salvation. Thank you for your promise of life eternal. Thank you for saving me.
It's amazing how much different I feel when I walk through an exercise like this. I read in Psalms that David had to do this often, and so I have followed his example. It's easy to get down and focus on what's wrong, but to take a moment and acknowledge all that God has done changes my focus and my day. Thank you, Lord......

Friday, July 18, 2008

What happens one day at a time

I was just thinking about how quickly life seems that one day adds to another and soon it's all gone. This afternoon I was thinking about our son as a toddler. He was a really cute kid, but had a strange habit of playing with our stereo. He knew what would happen, but he did it anyway. When, by accident, he hit just the right button the stereo would come on at full volume and he would run away screaming. I'm still not sure what drew him to it, but the results were the same each time.

He's still doing the same thing....he's still playing music at full volume and screaming....but now they call him a musician. Funny how quickly time passes and how things change. How quickly it all passes. How quickly we live out our 70 years if we are lucky. How quickly it's over.

Finishing well for me is a passion because I know that each moment here, each second of time, is part of eternity and will be part of who I become. I hope that as these moments fly by I find that I'm looking more and more like may not notice it yet, but he's working on me, and that's the goal. I've been blessed....with an opportunity to serve God, with an amazing wife and really great kids....and don't get me started on the grand kids, but above it moment at a day at a time...God is working in my life to make a copy of Jesus. I hope I find myself well on the way by the time I finish this life.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Ready to go home

One of our great staff members is anticipating the death of her grandmother. She told me her grandmother is a believer and is ready to go home. In fact, in an e-mail this morning, she shared something her grandmother said as she prepares to exit planet earth. She said, "I know Jesus is preparing a place for me, but why is it taking him so long? I don't need a mansion!"
What a great hope to have. The hope and promise that God is faithful to do what he promised. Because of her faith in Jesus as her savior and her trust in his words she's ready to go home. It's funny that we call it home before we even see it, but it's's the home that will never be taxed, never need repairs, never rust or decay. It's the promise that God has offered us of not only eternal life, but much more....a life with HIM. A life free from the curse and the fall. What a great hope. I'm very excited for this dear saint. Soon she will see how wonderful Jesus really is, and discover that the home prepared for her is more than she could even imagine. It's the hope of everyone who has trusted Jesus as savior, and it's his promise that will prove true very soon for this dear believer who is ready to go home.
Joh 14:1 "Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.
Joh 14:2 "In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.
Joh 14:3 "If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Under construction

One of the frustrating aspects of the Christian life is the realization that we are all "under construction" the process...growing into Christ-likeness. It's frustrating because there is a goal, but the trip will take me a lifetime. I find that I never arrive, but am always on the journey to become like Christ. The world is quick to criticize me for my weaknesses, sins and immaturity, but what they don't know is that this odyssey will take me my whole life. I'm a work in process, and I have to remind myself of that. I want to be like Christ NOW, but know that it won't happen until I cross the finish line....until then I'm being molded into his image day by day....little by little. I'm under construction.
the Bible describes it this way,
Ephesians 4:13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.
Ephesians 4:15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ,
Heb 5:14 But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.
1 Peter 2:2 like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation,
2Peter 3:18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
There are other verses that speak of this odyssey...this walk we are on. I have to remind myself often that I'm still growing, I'm not there yet. My enemy is quick to remind me of my flaws and sins, but I have to remember that God is still working and has promised to continue his work in my life until the day I am complete....completely like Christ! I long for that day!
1John 3:1 See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.
1John 3:2 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Four letter words

Well, it's official.....Joye and I are on a d--t. We are watching the f--d we eat, and trying to l--e some weight. I know we need to do it, but it's h--d. It's no surprise that what's g--d for you doesn't taste g--d. I must make these choices because I can't talk about being a good steward if I'm not a good steward of ME, so we are on our way to smaller clothes.
The hard part for me is not eating what I l--e, and needing to eat what I h--e. Isn't it funny that only bad foods taste g--d? Ok, I just wanted to complain, and invite your encouragement as I venture down the scale to a smaller me. But I will still miss my favorite comfort food- ice cream.

Signs of confusion

Here are some funny signs just for other reason. Have a great day!

(I would be glad for a one year "do over"....)

Monday's cartoon

Sunday, July 13, 2008

It's all about Jesus!

This morning I am reading in Colossians chapter 1. It's a magnificent passage with the highlight in verses 15-20. Take a moment to read these verses. They tell of the place of Jesus in the Christian faith and in the universe as well-
Col 1:15 He is the image of the invisible God (God in flesh), the firstborn of all creation (sovereign of all creation).
Col 1:16 For by Him all things were created (he was part of the Genesis 1 work), both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things have been created through Him and for Him (all of this was made by him and for him).
Col 1:17 He is before all things (sovereign), and in Him all things hold together (he sustains everthing, literally holds it all together).
Col 1:18 He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.
Col 1:19 For it was the Father's good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him,
Col 1:20 and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. (it's through him that we are made right with God, there is no other way but through his cross).

(additions are mine for emphasis)
Now this is Jesus Christ viewed properly! It is, in fact, all about Jesus. He is Lord of all!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

A proud grandfather moment

Ok, this is one of those times when you just have to put up with me. Our kids were in the park this week, and a photographer* was there taking pictures. She asked our son-in-law, "can I take a few photos of your kids?" So, here they are:

*Here is the photographer's site if you want to see more of her work:


Saturday's cartoon

Do you remember the days of letters and stamps? It sounds ancient now, doesn't it?

Friday, July 11, 2008

Trials and God's silence

I'm reading in Genesis and have come once more to the story of Joseph. What an amazing man this was. His story is one that you couldn't come up with in your wildest dreams.
He was one of 12 brothers, loved by his dad, but hated by his brothers. He was thrown into a pit and then sold into slavery by his own brothers. Joseph found himself a slave in Egypt at the age of 17. He served one of the royal officials for a while, but was soon thrown into prison for a number of years. What were his thoughts through all of this? Did he get mad at God? Did he ask why? We have no detail of his thoughts and only a few of his words, but what we do see is a man who feared and trusted God through it all....and through it all it appears that God was silent. He spent these 13 years not knowing why he was there, what God was doing or what God had planned for him. Through it all he maintained his faith and fear of God. Even in the silent years. One thing that Joseph had to have to come through this was a real faith in the sovereign God. A faith that God was in charge of his life. So often, when trials come in peoples lives, their response is if suddenly, because they are having problems, God has lost control! What if this is part of his plan for you? Can you trust him then? The book of Psalms tells us that Joseph's chains disciplined him. His years in prison molded him into the person he was when brought to Pharaoh and then given rule of all of Egypt. This man we see at age 30 was groomed in God's "school" for those 13 years to prepare him for the task God designed him for. He's doing that with us as well. There is preparation for each of us for what God has designed us for. How long before we do it? How long do we wait to serve God as he designed us? Some are in "school" for years, and then the assignment comes. For me it was 18 years in "Egypt" as I was prepared for what he has me doing now. While you are going through the trials, while you are waiting for what God has for you, while you endure his silence....are you trusting him? Do you know he's still in charge when it seems everything is out of control? Will you allow his "chains" to discipline you and prepare you for the task he has designed you to do? God is in the business of preparing men and women to serve him and be part of his kingdom work, but there are times when the preparation takes longer than the work we are to do. While you are going through the trials and enduring God's silence trust him. He has an amazing plan.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


A friend of mine sent this cute story to me, so I thought I would share it with you as well-

Local Bar Sues Local Church:
In a small Texas town, a new bar/tavern started a building to open up their business. The local Baptist church started a campaign of petitions and prayers to block the bar from opening.
Work progressed, however right up till the week before opening, when a lightning strike hit the bar and it burned to the ground.
The church folks were rather smug in their outlook after that, till the bar owner sued the church on the grounds that the church was ultimately responsible for the demise of his building, either through direct or indirect actions or means. The church vehemently denied all responsibility or any connection to the building's demise in its reply to the court.
As the case made its way into court, the judge looked over the paperwork. At the hearing he commented, 'I don't know how I'm going to decide this, but as it appears from the paperwork, we have a bar owner who believes in the power of prayer, and an entire church congregation that doesn't."

It's funny, but rather sad as well that we don't really "do prayer" well. It seems that our God is either too small for the problems of our life or we don't really believe he will do anything for us, so we don't pray.

We miss so much. The great invitation of scripture is for us to come boldly to the throne of grace to find help in time of need. All through the bible we are invited to ask for God's help.

I could list a hundred scriptures with invitations to prayer, but the point is simple: God invites us to come and talk with him about everything. Don't miss the opportunity to spend time with him and involve him in your life. It will change everything.

Php 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
Php 4:7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

The nature of man

Tonight ABC News broadcast a program on the slave trade. They flew from New York to Port-au-Prince, Haiti and within a few hours had made a deal to "buy" a 10 year old girl. It's sad to see how bad we can be when money is on the line.
Having been to Haiti many times I know this country as a desperately poor nation with more than 85% unemployment. They have nothing, and live day to day. It is the saddest place I have ever traveled to.
What will we do when we are desperate to live, when we are willing to do almost anything to eat? History has shown that we will do anything to live and be fed....even to the death of our own children! (Read 2 Kings 6 in the Old Testament) I'm not surprised that they could find the slave trade in Haiti. When you have nothing then everything is for sale....even your own children. It simply shows the very heart of man....the nature of man at its worst. It's our dark side that none of us want to admit we have, and yet any one of us could do the same thing in the right situation.
Jeremiah described it this way,
Jer 17:9 "The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?
What makes a good news story for ABC is simply an up close look at the heart of each of us at our worst. The only solution for Haiti or for us is a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Paul described this change well,
2Co 5:17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

My favorite sport

I must tell you that I am not really a big sports fan with one exception- the tour de france. I look forward to the 4th of July each year because it's the beginning of the tour. The race is 3 weeks of torture and tactics. It's the ultimate team and individual sport. I love it, but I must admit that it's not the same without Lance....

Monday, July 07, 2008

Well done, boys, well done!

I had heard about this story yesterday, but just read the article this morning. Makes me think of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. I won't print the entire article, you can go to the link and read it yourself, but let me say to these two young men,
"Well done, boys, well done!
Here's part of the article:
Schoolboys disciplined for 'refusing to pray to Allah'
By Nick Britten
Last Updated: 12:37AM BST 05/07/2008,
"Two schoolboys were allegedly disciplined after refusing to kneel down and "pray to Allah" during a religious education lesson.
It was claimed that the boys, from a year seven class of 11 and 12-year-olds, were given detention after refusing to take part in a practical demonstration of how Allah is worshipped.
Yesterday parents accused the school of breaching their human rights by forcing them to take part in the exercise.
One, Sharon Luinen, said: "This isn't right, it's taking things too far. I understand that they have to learn about other religions. I can live with that but it is taking it a step too far to be punished because they wouldn't join in Muslim prayer.
"Making them pray to Allah, who isn't who they worship, is wrong and what got me is that they were told they were being disrespectful."
"The teacher had gone into the class and made them watch a short film and then said 'we are now going out to pray to Allah'.
"Then two boys got detention and all the other children missed their refreshments' break."
The alleged incident, at the Alsager school, one of Cheshire's top performing schools, happened on Tuesday afternoon. The teacher, Alison Phillips, the school's subject leader in RE, is understood to be staying away from the school until the furore dies down, although she has not been suspended.
She is said to have gotten prayer mats out of the cupboard and also asked children to wear Islamic headdresses........ "
You can read the rest of the article if you wish, but this will give you a flavor for the situation. This is not new. It's been done many times in history. This doesn't surprise me at all. It will happen again, and with more zeal and authority. There may soon be a day when the experiences of Daniel's friends will be ours as well. I wonder how many, like Daniel's friends and these two young men, will say, "I will not bow down." Although a small incident by itself, I wanted to applaud these young men for their stand. It's difficult to stand for what you believe in a time when faith is under attack from every side, so to these young men I say, "Well done boys!"

Monday's cartoon

Very funny! I thought this would be a perfect cartoon for a Monday. Hope you have a great day! And guys, listen to your wives....wives, he's not going to be perfect....get used to it!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Feeling challenged

I'm about half way through a biography of George Muller. I had always wanted to read about his life, but simply hadn't done it until now. I must tell you that I'm very challenged by his life and choices. Even at a young age he made choices to trust God and walk with him that would seem daunting for most of us even today. I'm sure that's why he has become such a figure in the Christian world. Men like Muller are rare in the church or the world. He started ministries and asked no man for anything, but simply went into his closet and prayed. God met each need, and thousands of orphans were cared for and taught the word of God. How do men and women like this happen? What is it about a man that sets him apart from those around him? What do I need to do (that I haven't done already) to be a man completely sold out to God and his work in my life? I must tell you that I'm very challenged and convicted by this book, and working through what I need to in my life. I don't really want fame in this world, but I do want to be, like king David and George Muller, a man after God's heart.
“The less we read the Word of God, the less we desire to read it, and the less we pray, the less we desire to pray.” - George Muller quote

Saturday, July 05, 2008


It's funny what we will this moment there is a man, Kent Couch, in a lawn chair attached to 150 balloons floating over Idaho and Oregon hoping to set a record of some sort. It's a funny concept- to be able to fly and do something no one has done before. I think we all have dreams of one kind or another...dreams of what we would do with a million dollars, dreams of what we would say if we could just have "that moment" over again, dreams of greatness or simply of better days.
I think we were designed for more than we have experienced, and thus our dreams kick in to tell us, "there is more....still more." We were designed for more than we will ever achieve here on this planet, and so God has prepared eternity for us to enjoy him and discover what we were designed to be. I hear from so many, "I wish I would have," "If only I could," and then their voices fade off quietly to the dream they have cherished for so long. Dreams of more. Dreams of what God designed us for.....and it's so much more than a lawn chair and balloons! We were designed for eternity. We were designed to have intimate fellowship with the God who made us. We were designed to be and do much more than we will see here, and yet "here" is not all there see, dreams do come true. Often they are glimpses of the "more" God has designed us for.
I dream of that day when our dreams will become reality, and we will be and do all God designed us for. Those hints of more, our dreams, give us a taste...just a taste of what God made us for, so don't get discouraged about what you haven't done yet. You aren't finished yet....there's eternity ahead where dreams do come true.

Saturday's cartoon

Friday, July 04, 2008

Christian the Lion - the full story (in HQ)

Here's a fun video for your enjoyment. Maybe this is how it will be when all is set right....I'm looking forward to it!

Have a great 4th of July!

Today we celebrate the birth of our country. We are blessed to be part of this great experiment, and I'm very grateful to be an American. I hope you have a great 4th of July.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Celebrating what remains

I had the chance to spend some time with one of our older couples this afternoon. They are in the later years of their lives. She has lost most of her sight, and he has a chronic, and ultimately fatal disease. It was a very interesting time with them both. The reason for my visit was her request to talk to him....he's very angry because of all that he has lost. He used to hunt, skydive, parachute, backpack, hike, motorcycle....he was the ultimate adventurer and he's angry because he will never do those things again. We had a great visit, and I encouraged him to celebrate what remains....he is still very bright, and his mind is as sharp as ever. His sight is good, and he can talk. I asked him to tell me a story and he told me about his expedition to hunt bear with a bow and arrow! He told the story a grandfather fabricating a fairy tale for his grandchildren, but this was all true! I encouraged him to not be angry over what he has lost, but to celebrate what remains- his sharp mind, his wit, his sight, his home that they still live in, a wonderful wife, kids that love him and support him, friends that care....and there is so much more. How often do we grieve over what we have lost and forget to celebrate what remains. Let me encourage you to be thankful for all God has done in your life, to thank him for it. This dear man said, "I lost the photo of the bear that I shot with the bow. I wish I had it so I could show you." But he had shown me...I saw it in brilliant colors painted with words from the one who lived it. How sad that we miss all that God has blessed us with and choose to be angry over what we have lost. Let me encourage you to be one who celebrates what remains. God's lovingkindness is everlasting, and he will give us great hope and joy in our times of loss celebrating what remains.......

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

What a day!

This was a very busy day! I just got in a few minutes ago having spent the evening at hospital to be with one of our families. The man of the house was in for emergency surgery, but he made them wait for surgery until I got there and had a chance to pray with him. I was honored. We prayed together, then he said, "Ok, I'm ready now." It's funny how a day goes for a pastor. Some have asked me at times, "what do you do during the week?" I'm far busier now than when I spent a few years in the corporate world. In the corporate world the day is done at 6pm most days, but for a pastor it may be an 18 hour day full of people and needs. I love it. I was designed to be a pastor, and I thrive when I can care for and shepherd people in our church family. There's nothing more fulfilling for me than to be able to serve God and be part of eternal transactions. It was also nice to have doctors wait on me for once....that has never happened before. Usually I'm waiting on them! Well, I'm tired and have an early start tomorrow. Good night........