Sunday, November 30, 2008

Time with family

Thanksgiving is always a great time to be with family and eat too much food. This year, for the first time in many years, we drove to Iowa to spend the holiday with my family. It was great to see them all. It's the only time we can get a photo of everyone because those Iowans who don't move away also don't if we don't go to Iowa we won't see them. (If you're from Iowa you know what I's an Iowa thing.) Anyway, it was great to see my brother, Mitch and my sisters, Peggy and Suzy. No one talked about it, but I missed our younger brother, Marty, who passed away 4 years ago. The photo of us kids just didn't seem right without him.

Quote of the day

While visiting family this week I found an old copy of Francis Schaeffer's book, He is there and He is not silent. I was even more surprised to find that it was autographed. I haven't read this book in years, and was thrilled to have another copy, so I'm working my way through it again. With that brief intro here is the quote of the day from Francis' book:

"There is only one philosophy, one religion, that fills this need in all the world's thought, whether the East, the West, the ancient, the modern, the new, the old. Only one fills the philosophical need of existence, of being, and it is the Judaeo-Christian God- not just an abstract concept, but rather that this God is really there. He really exists. There is no other answer." -Francis Schaffer, pg. 13

Hard labour, guy stacking 20 bricks on his head

Message? You can always handle more than you think you can. It's just a matter of balance.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Front Fell Off

Time for a good laugh. Enjoy.

Saturday's cartoon

We live in a very interesting country where we get to see a peaceful transfer of power from one government to another. It's a very unusual thing in world history for a country to work this way, but this year has been a strange political year. I thought this cartoon expressed our reality well.

Friday, November 28, 2008


We just got in from a long drive back from Iowa after a great Thanksgiving with our family. It was good to see family, but the 800 mile drive home is exhausting! I'm glad to be home, but I am worn out....I think I could sleep anywhere!

The great adventure

Life is an amazing adventure. I often feel I'm in a situation much like this photo....walking a tightrope, risking it all, to simply get through the day.
But to be honest, in my attempts to survive the day, I often miss the beauty around me....all that God is doing, all that he has made. I miss it all because I'm just trying to keep my balance and not fall. How can you enjoy all that God is doing when you're just trying to keep your balance? I think the thing I will regret when life is over is that I have focused so much on not falling I miss the wonderful view and amazing adventure.
I think this is the reality in many lives as I talk to people. They are just trying not to fall off the tightrope they are walking with work, kids, soccer, church, family time, homework, e-mails......and the list goes on. How much we miss when our focus is on keeping our balance.
But then something happens...the rope is cut:
The company downsizes and we are laid off.
Our mate gets sick and we spend the days in hospital.
A child rebels and suddenly we feel as if we are falling,
and all our attempts at balance are suddenly meaningless in the light of the present crisis. The truth is that in those moments we most try to avoid we often find a new passion for God, a fresh relationship with him because we can no longer depend on ourselves, we can't do it without him...we need HIM. Once you find yourself at this time in life realize you are about to experience a portion of the great will discover that you wouldn't trade those difficult times for anything because it's in those moments that you find an intimacy in your walk with will begin to experience the great adventure we will be part of for eternity.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you each
have a wonderful time with family and friends
during this holiday season.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Thankful, part 3

Thanksgiving day is a week away, so I want to take the week leading up to this American holiday to celebrate a few of the things I'm thankful for. I invite you to share your thoughts as well as we give thanks for all that God is and all he has done. This idea of being thankful is a daily practice for many of us, but with a holiday set aside to be thankful this is a great time to talk about all of God's blessings.............
Part 3- I'm thankful that I can talk to God and he listens.
One of the great invitations of the bible is for us to talk to God. We call it prayer, but it's very simply an invitation to come and visit with the creator. He invites us to talk to him anywhere, anytime about anything and he tells us he hears and listens. I'm thankful for a God who cares and listens.
The world is a very lonely place at times. I see so many who are alone with no one who seems to care for them, but God does. Whether you are rich beyond your wildest dreams or homeless and sleeping under a bridge God cares about you and listens when you call. This week is a great time to simply talk to God and thank him. Don't wait for the prayer of thanks on Thursday, but talk to him often. He hears, he cares and he answers prayer.
I'm so thankful that we have a God who listens when we call.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Reference Rainbow

"When Christoph Römhild, a Lutheran pastor in Hamburg, Germany, sent Carnegie Mellon Ph.D. student Chris Harrison a list of 63,779 cross-references between the Bible's 1,189 chapters, the two became enthralled with elegantly showing the interconnected nature of Scripture. Each bar along the horizontal axis represents a chapter, with the length determined by the number of verses. (Books alternate in color between white and light gray.) Colors represent the distance between references. Graphic by Chris Harrison, Carnegie Mellon University."

"This article first appeared in November 22, 2008 issue of Christianity Today. Used by permission of Christianity Today International, Carol Stream, IL 60188."

You can view the article on their web site here.

Thankful, part 2

Thanksgiving day is a week away, so I want to take the week leading up to this American holiday to celebrate a few of the things I'm thankful for. I invite you to share your thoughts as well as we give thanks for all that God is and all he has done. This idea of being thankful is a daily practice for many of us, but with a holiday set aside to be thankful this is a great time to talk about all of God's blessings.............
Part 2- I'm thankful that God loves me.
John 3:16 "This is how much God loved Mike: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life." (THE MESSAGE edited by Mike)
One of the things we don't know about God is how he looks at us, how he feels about us. We don't know that unless he tells us. This short verse, the most familiar in the bible, tells me how God views me. Note that this verse was spoken by Jesus (God the son) himself. In other words he said, "I want you to know how much the father and I love you....we love you so much that we decided to give the most valuable gift imaginable to demonstrate that love, we decided to give ME (Jesus)." Jesus loved the Father so much that he obeyed and came, and he loved me so much that he died to save I unpack this idea I get overwhelmed by how big God's love is for me. It's more than I can even imagine.
Being loved without qualification, without expectation gives me a comfort, a peace, a hope that changes how I view God, myself and the world around me. I am loved not for what I have done, not for how I look, not for my money, not for my brains....I'm loved because God loves me.....that's it. What an amazing blessing, and I've only just shared with you a few drops from the ocean of his love for us. It's so much more than we can even understand. We are loved by the one who made us, and it's shown in his son who became a man and died for our sins.
Today I'm thankful that God loves me.

Friday, November 21, 2008

born to be blind

Being a motorcyclist myself I wondered where this video was going. It's very cute and I thought you would enjoy it.

Thankful, part 1

Thanksgiving day is a week away, so I want to take the week leading up to this American holiday to celebrate a few of the things I'm thankful for. I invite you to share your thoughts as well as we give thanks for all that God is and all he has done. This idea of being thankful is a daily practice for many of us, but with a holiday set aside to be thankful this is a great time to talk about all of God's blessings.
Part 1- I'm thankful that God is good.
Psa 73:1 A Psalm of Asaph. Surely God is good to Israel, To those who are pure in heart!
In his book, Knowledge of the Holy, A.W. Tozer wrote,
"That God is good is taught or implied on every page of the Bible and must be received as an article of faith as impregnable as the throne of God. It is a foundation stone for all sound thought about God and is necessary to moral sanity. To allow that God could be other than good is to deny the validity of all thought and end ill the negation of every moral judgment. If God is not good, then there can be no distinction between kindness and cruelty, and heaven can be hell and hell, heaven. The goodness of God is the drive behind all the blessings He daily bestows upon us."us."
For me, this is a foundational truth of Christianity. For us to have a good God is an amazing insight into the very core of our faith. Unlike many religions that put the burden on man to please and appease an angry god, our God is good and loves us. It's his goodness that invites us to approach him. His goodness is at the very core of all our theology- because he is good he made us, because he is good he sustains us, because he is good he saved us, because he is good and is always good I can approach him without fear. To say that God is good brings great peace to fearful hearts and great comfort to the broken and downcast. It's his goodness that engulfs all he has made. It's his goodness that is revealed in all that Jesus did and said. It's his goodness seen in the cross. It's his goodness that raised Jesus from the dead, and ultimately it's his goodness that will oversee the final judgment of each one of us.
Later in his chapter on the goodness of God, A.W. Tozer wrote, "Always God's goodness is the ground of our expectation." By his own words he has told us he is good and that he never changes. It's his amazing goodness that I'm thankful for today. As many have said, almost to the point that we lose it's importance, God is good....ALL the time. Forever the God who made us demonstrates that at the very heart of his nature is an ultimate goodness that I want to be close to...that I want to emulate....that I want others to experience.
Today I'm thankful that God is good.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Hangin' with celebrities

I live in a strange place. I live in a community where a number of nationally known Christian leaders live....people you would know if I told you their names. This morning I'm at a coffee shop we all frequent, and several of them have come in, and stopped by my table to say "Hi, Mike, how's it going?" We are all friends because of the ministry and because we run into each other so often. The interesting thing for these comments is not that I know them, but that they are just normal guys following God, serving just happens they are very popular and very visible, but they all have feet of clay just like you and I do. We all struggle with life, kids, money and all the other stuff. They just have the added problem of being nationally known. I know we live in a "celebrity culture" but that's not what God's interested in...he's interested in our focus, worship and adoration being directed towards HIM, not towards a man or woman. I heard a message this week by Francis Chan in which he described a group of girls coming up to him after he spoke at a retreat to tell him that they liked him best of all the speakers at the retreat. In the message he admitted that his first response was to be flattered, and then it hit him....if they are focused on me they aren't focused on God, and he had to repent of his pride...of his sin of enjoying the glory meant for God. After all these years in life and ministry I have met and known many people of note, but the ones I think of most fondly are those who don't like the spotlight, but would rather focus the attention on Christ. Truthfully, when we are done with this life the only "celebrity" will be God himself and all the lights will be turned on him. I long for the day when he gets all the glory both in heaven and on earth....what a day that will be....

Rev 5:13 And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, "To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever."

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Finally, some honesty!

An Australian company recently entered the overcrowded bottled water market knowing that it would be hard to stand out, so they chose the honesty route- it's just bottled water and here's another one.

I love their approach and the product. In the battle for the "water dollar" they would get mine. I just thought their approach was funny and well done....I know I would buy it!

Don't read this book!

Don't read this book.....unless you want to really be challenged in your walk with God. Francis shares his own passion for God and a life lived based on the word of God.
Don't read this book....unless you intend to really pursue God and a life lived out from the word. I will tell you in advance that this book will convict and challenge you. If you want to live a safe Christian life and not be challenged for more then don't even buy this book.
BUT, if you are passionate about God and your life for him then this is a must read. In fact, I think this may become one of the classics of the future.
I loved the book, and am challenged by it. By all means get this book and read it. Then share with me you thoughts.
(In case you can't read the title the book is Crazy love by Francis Chan. I got a copy at my local Christian bookstore.)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

35 years ago today

35 years ago today I met a beautiful young lady who really caught my attention. She had just trusted Christ as her savior, and soon we were talking often about faith, the bible and everything else. We have been holding hands, walking together and talking about the Lord ever since. God is good and I am blessed!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Difficult days

Yesterday we had to make a difficult announcement in church- we had to let two of our great staff members go because of the tough economic days we are in right now. It doesn't make it any easier that other churches have had to do the same thing, but it is a reality that people are giving less to the church and that has affected what we must has affected these two families.
I know that God will provide for each of us, and he does, but choices like these are really hard to make because they affect the lives of people you work with. This same thing is happening in our business culture as well. The economy is in a downturn and things are tough. People are scared. Times like this are great for Christians because we are forced to stop trusting ourselves and really trust God.
Trusting God....what an interesting thing in a person's life. It doesn't happen for most of us until we are forced into it by our situations, and then we will get on our knees and ask for help. It's the very place we should be all the time, but in our culture we are so self reliant it takes a time like this to make us God dependent. I wish we were more dependent on him than we are, but our society has created a culture that is so self reliant they rarely ever pray because they can take care of things themselves, thank you very much. And yet, that asking for our daily bread is the very kind of dependent life God wants us to live. How many have done that in recent years? How many have asked, "Lord, would you provide what we need for food today?" Instead, in most homes in America the cry goes out, "Mom, what's for dinner?" We are indeed blessed, or are we? We have so much we don't need to ask for God's provision. We have missed the opportunity to see God work in our daily supply. Bart Simpson's prayer for dinner is the prayer of our day, "Lord, thanks for nuthin'. We bought all this stuff ourselves."
But now, in this time, there is a sense again of our need for him. So, in the midst of difficult days I'm excited to see what God will do in our lives. It will be great to once again see faith and dependence on God for all we need become part of our lives. I love a short passage in Proverbs, it speaks to this very thing. Let me close these thoughts with those two verses:
Pro 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own
understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.

Don't tell anyone....

Can I share a funny story with you? Oh, and don't tell's just between you and me, ok? Last week one of the guys in our church saw me late Thursday evening...we had a meeting with a family in the church and he was there...and he said, "Oh, Mike, I work with a newspaper in our area on a regular article written by pastors. The pastor who was supposed to write this month backed out at the last minute. Could you write something for the newspaper? It has to be 300 words and the deadline is tomorrow noon. Could you do something?" And I replied, "sure, no problem." So when I got home at 10 pm that night I pulled out my old blog pieces and found one for this time of the year. With about 5 minutes of rewriting it was ready and I sent it to him by e-mail. I didn't know if they did anything with the piece until last night when one of our ladies in the church told me, "Oh, I read your article in the paper and I really liked it." And then, someone gave me a copy of the paper as well. It's funny, but these little times to share our lives together have been a real help to me in more ways than I realized....but don't tell anyone, ok?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

What I'm reading now....

I just got a copy of a book by Francis Chan. My wife, Joye, is reading it and loves it, so I got a copy to read it myself. I knew about Francis from a video he did a few years ago. He's a pastor in California and has a passion for God. I am just getting started, but will keep you updated and give you a review when I'm done.

The body of Christ

I saw this photo and immediately thought about the body of Christ....the church....OUR church. I love the way our church works together to meet the needs of the body. Our ladies cook meals for those in need, help one another, pray for one another and our men will gather to mow a lawn, fix a roof, or help a family with things they can't do alone....for no other reason than the love of God working through them. When you see the love of God flowing through a group of believers it's a place you want to be. I'm glad I'm part of a church family like this. There's nothing more exciting that caring for one another for no other reason than we are loved by God and invited to imitate his love and share it with others.
(Here's a story that shows what the church should look like to those around us.)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Alex Astilean - SPEEDFIT - Treadmobil

For all you fitness nuts this may be just what you need to get some exercise AND some fresh air. This is fitness gone crazy!

Best of World

Here are just a few of the beautiful works from the best artist in the world. You should see some of the things he has done in the rest of the universe! He's awesome!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The waning authority of Christ

A. W. Tozer wrote an amazing article that I am thinking over in my mind right now. Here is a brief portion of the first few paragraphs and some thoughts to follow. You can read the entire article here.

"Let me state the cause of my burden. It is this: Jesus Christ has today almost no authority at all among the groups that call themselves by His name....It is a basic doctrine of the New Testament that after His resurrection the Man Jesus was declared by God to be both Lord and Christ, and that He was invested by the Father with absolute Lordship over the church which is His Body. All authority is His in heaven and in earth. In His own proper time He will exert it to the full, but during this period in history He allows this authority to be challenged or ignored. And just now it is being challenged by the world and ignored by the church." -A.W. Tozer
I was personally challenged as I read this article. It challenged me because it made me think about my own life- am I ignoring Christ's authority and rule in my life? It's obvious that the world is challenging the authority of Christ....that is all around us, but when he then said the church ignores that same authority it stopped me....made me I doing that? Have I bowed to his lordship in my life? Do I really believe he's "in charge" of everything? Do I act like it in the world or do I live in fear and panic at what I think is looming in front of us as a country and race? What authority does Christ have in my life? What authority have I given to the king of the universe? What a strange thought....what authority have I given to him....the whole idea is so contrary to the rule of kings, but for now that is how he has allowed it to surrender to the king is a choice I must make. Someday everyone will bow, but what a shame that the king does not seem to be king in the lives of the very ones he died for.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Why believe in God?

Here is a campaign that I have been hearing about for weeks, but has now finally arrived. Below is part of the story and then a few thoughts. You can read the whole story at

WASHINGTON, D.C. — You better watch out. There is a new combatant in the Christmas wars.
Ads proclaiming, "Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness' sake," will appear on Washington, D.C., buses starting next week and running through December. The American Humanist Association unveiled the provocative $40,000 holiday ad campaign Tuesday.
In lifting lyrics from "Santa Claus is Coming to Town," the Washington-based group is wading into what has become a perennial debate over commercialism, religion in the public square and the meaning of Christmas.
"We are trying to reach our audience, and sometimes in order to reach an audience, everybody has to hear you," said Fred Edwords, spokesman for the humanist group. "Our reason for doing it during the holidays is there are an awful lot of agnostics, atheists and other types of non-theists who feel a little alone during the holidays because of its association with traditional religion."
To that end, the ads and posters will include a link to a Web site that will seek to connect and organize like-minded thinkers in the D.C. area, Edwords said.
Edwords said the purpose isn't to argue that God doesn't exist or change minds about a deity, although "we are trying to plant a seed of rational thought and critical thinking and questioning in people's minds."
The group defines humanism as "a progressive philosophy of life that, without theism, affirms our responsibility to lead ethical lives of value to self and humanity."......
There are pages to be written on this ad campaign, but I won't do it here. Let me ask an important question at the beginning- Without God to determine good from bad, right from wrong, truth from lie how do you determine good? I do understand their desire to encourage goodness, but why? On what foundation? Who decides? What does "good" mean apart of a good God to tell us what it means?
The whole campaign is a serious attempt to encourage a goodness apart from God, but what would that look like? It would be like trying to describe color to a blind man. How would you tell him? It's funny, but a very simple thing, like the idea of goodness, has no meaning apart from a good God to define it. There are a few more questions I would like to address, but for today I thought I would just share with you the new holiday campaign in a city nearby. I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic as well.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Quote of the day

"When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, 'I used everything you gave me.'"-Erma Bombeck

Today is a good day to say "Thank you"

Today is Veteran's day. Each year, on November 11th, we celebrate and remember our veteran's. To all of them we say "thank you." Throughout our history as a country there have been millions who have willingly gone to war to protect our freedom. If you are currently in the Armed forces or have ever served our country to protect us and our freedom may I say "thank you."
So, today, if you have an opportunity, thank those you know what have served our country. This is a wonderful day to celebrate their service to each one of us.
Oh, and on a much less important note, it's also my birthday. Today I have the joy of being one year older. I still remember the many parades we went to on November 11th in celebration of Veteran's day. It sure makes it easy to remember your birthday! Have a great day, I know I will, and if I you have served in the Armed forces would you leave me a quick note so we can say "Thank you"? Tell us when you served and in what branch of the military. I look forward to honoring you for your service to our country.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Frustrating detour or divine interruption?

There's a verse in Proverbs that you need to know. It's a verse that has helped me with direction many times. Solomon writes these words:
Pro 20:24 Man's steps are ordained by the LORD, How then can man understand his way?
I wonder how often we think about this as we go through our lives. We are not on an uncharted route. There is a navigator for our journey and he has each life's route mapped out.
When I find myself at a frustrating detour I have to stop and remember this verse. Why am I so frustrated to be on God's route for my life? Why do I get irritated when things don't go the way I want them to go? Why am I angry over an apparent detour? What I consider a detour may really be a divine interruption, a God encounter, a chance to trust the Lord with what I think is a change of course. That's hard for us, as humans, to do. We have our lives charted, the route marked out, everything planned nicely; but then God interrupts our plans and we have to change directions.
"Man's steps are ordained by the LORD, How then can man understand his way?" Do you realize how exciting this is? God is involved and interested in my life! He's an active part of how my life works out. He's designed a life for me that will glorify him and make me fulfilled. He's involved in my life for the very best results! When you really understand this a hundred other questions will arise, but don't worry about those right now. Now is a great time, especially if you find yourself at what you think is a detour in your plans, to thank the Lord for having a route marked out for you. It's so much easier when the navigator really does know where we are going.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Butt Prints In The Sand

This morning, one of my teachers, Stephan, was teaching through Galatians 5. In the middle of the passage, after reading the verses on the deeds of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit, he read this poem. The whole class died, and I thought it would make you smile, so here is a new version of "Footprints in the sand".....enjoy.
Butt Prints In The Sand

One night I had a wondrous dream,
One set of footprints there was seen,
The footprints of my precious Lord,
But mine were not along the shore.
But then some stranger prints appeared,
And I asked the Lord, "What have we here?"
Those prints are large and round and neat,
"But Lord they are too big for feet."
"My child," He said in somber tones,
"For miles I carried you alone.
I challenged you to walk in faith,
But you refused and made me wait."
"You disobeyed, you would not grow,
The walk of faith, you would not know.
So I got tired, I got fed up,
and there I dropped you on your butt."
"Because in life, there comes a time,
when one must fight, and one must climb.
When one must rise and take a stand,
or leave their butt prints in the sand."
author unknown
(disclaimer: it's not good theology, but it is funny!)

Saturday, November 08, 2008


This morning I'm reading in Revelation 2. Chapters 2 and 3 are letters to 7 early churches in Asia. They are penned by John, but are dictated to him by Jesus. It's fascinating to me each time I read them. Each letter deals with what the church is doing now, what they are doing right and wrong, and finally the letters close with a promise.

The promise is this, "To him who overcomes I will....." There is the promise of reward for endurance. To simply be faithful and do what you know to do will be rewarded. Sometimes the simple, basic things of the Christian life seem boring, but they are the little things that produce a life that overcomes....a life of endurance that will be rewarded.

Last night Joye and I attended a conference for those wanting to finish well. The theme is basically this- How do I use my retirement years for the glory of God? What is the best way to finish this life? Today we will go back for part two, but the speaker last night was the founder of Operation Mobilisation. He's a dynamic man, now 69, who is zealous to use every breath and moment for the glory of God. Guys like this are very motivating to listen to, but core to a good finish is a life of little faithfulnesses.....a life of endurance.

It doesn't seem like a big thing to get up early and spend time in the word of God, but for me, over 45 years it has permeated my whole being and now is woven into every pore of who I am. Each of those short times in the word seemed like small things by themselves, but added together over a lifetime they produced much more than I ever imagined. It's the same with prayer....a few minutes a day and over a lifetime of faithfulness there is an endurance that has developed in a person's life that will be rewarded with the overcomer's prize.

Don't take the little things of your walk with God lightly. It's the little things, done every day, that will bring you to the day when Jesus will say, "Well done, good and FAITHFUL son."

Friday, November 07, 2008

You write the story....

Sometimes all you need to start a good story is a great picture. Here it write the story. When we have done this in the past you have come up with some great stories. I'm looking forward to what you come up with.....have fun!

Blind pilot lands safely....

Pilot blinded in mid-air guided to safety by RAF jet

A man who had a stroke and went blind while flying a plane was guided safely to the ground by an RAF jet scrambled to come to his rescue.

Last Updated: 9:22AM GMT 07 Nov 2008, The Telegraph

Jim O'Neill was flying his Cessna plane at 15,000 feet when he suddenly lost his sight while suffering a stroke last Friday.
The 65-year-old, who had taken off from Prestwick airport and was on his way to Colchester in Essex, radioed for help and the RAF responded, sending a jet to his aid.
The military aircraft flew alongside Mr O'Neill and guided him down to land at RAF Linton-on-Ouse in north Yorkshire.
He was taken to hospital where doctors discovered that the stroke had caused blood the back of his head to put pressure on the optic nerve, blinding him.
Mr O'Neill, who is still receiving medical attention, said: "I should not be alive. I owe my life to the RAF, it was terrifying.
"Suddenly I couldn't see the dials in front of me. All there was in front of me was a blur. I was helpless at the controls."
Group Captain Mark Hopkins, station commander at Linton-on-Ouse, said: "Shepherding aircraft in this way is something we do from time to time, but this is a very strange case.
"I'm proud we could get him on the ground safely."
This story really caught my attention because it's often how I feel as I live this life with God. There are times when I simply can't see where I'm going, and then, without knowing exactly how, God leads me, guides me, helps me to arrive safely at the goal. Each time this happens, and it happens often for a Christ follower, it feels like a miracle. How did I get through this? How did I find my way through this situation? It was God working...God leading....God speaking to bring me safely home when I would have crashed and burned if left to my own way. It's that amazing leading of God that makes this flight home such a wonderful miracle....such an exciting adventure.

Random thoughts on a Friday morning

It's been a busy week and I haven't had time to think or write much this week, so today will simply be some random thoughts on the last week. Ok, ready? Here we go.....
1. After a crazy election process we now have a new president. Reality will dictate that not much will really change. Having watched this happen many times in my life I know the reality that "CHANGE" is minimal and promises made are almost impossible to keep.
2. I'm surprised at the e-mails I am getting....."Oh no! The anti-Christ has come! The end of the world is here!!" or, on the other side I've seen this.... "Now we have hope and peace will come. A great new day has dawned." It's interesting that neither will prove to be true, but life will go on as it has....some encouraged, some discouraged, but the fears that people express in their zeal rarely prove true. We are a race that wants stability, but our hopes, emotions and passions are easily ignited to extremes that rarely prove to be reality.
3. For me, as a Christian, my task is the same as it was a week ago- walk with God, talk to him, read his word and love people. The government ruling my country doesn't change any of that. I am fascinated by the fact that Jesus only talked about government one time, and that was in response to a statement made to him about King Herod. He was not in the business of government, at least not the first time, he was in the business of salvation....providing the solution to our core need. Our task, as the church, is to continue what he started...the mission of reaching people with the message of salvation and God's love. Soon enough Jesus will return and then he will establish his own government, but until that day who rules my country isn't a cause of fear or worry for me.
4. When "CHANGE" is the word of the day I find myself asking a really basic question...will we be happy when change really does come? I think this election proved, more than anything else, that we have not really voted for a new man as much as we have clearly voted against the old man. Whatever change we get will be as much a result of our passions against one man as they seem to be for the new man. It will be interesting to see how long the "romance" lasts for our new president.
5. Whatever the government of the day my governmental structure- Jesus as Lord of my life- does not change, and so for that one stable reality I can deal with all the changes around me much easier. Standing on this rock is a great place to be. HE never changes and I'm glad for that reality.
6. One truth remains, one that Solomon spoke of, the whole human race lives for its stomach, and the stomach is never satisfied. It's amazing how much bravado and fervor we demonstrate when all most people want is to have a place to live and something to eat. Life really is pretty simple.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Something you NEED to hear.....

One of my favorite bible teachers is Alistair Begg. He's a great bible teacher, and is always challenging me in my walk with God. This week he is in the middle of a series on 1 Peter. Today's program is especially good, so let me invite you to listen to his program from today when you have time. I think it will really encourage you. You can hear it here.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The people have spoken

The people have spoken, and have spoken loudly. Congratulations Mr. Obama, or should I say President-elect Obama. You are about to enter the toughest job on the planet. I will be praying for you.

One of my favorite books in the bible is the book of Daniel. It's written by an amazing Jewish man who was taken into captivity as a youth and lived the rest of his life in a foreign country under an often hostile government. In this book he encounters one of the most wicked leaders of history and through his influence in the king's life and prayers for the king you see a king who changes completely. In the midst of a government opposed to his faith he prayed and saw God work in this ruler's life and in this foreign country.

Whatever your views of our next president I encourage you to pray for him. He needs our prayers.

This is an exciting time to be a Christ follower and to trust God to work in our country and world. Soon the Lord will return to rule and reign on planet earth, but for now our task is to continue to serve him, pray for our leaders, and to share the good news of the gospel with a world that desperately needs to hear about God's love and message of salvation.

Mr. Obama, I will be praying for you.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election day 2008

Today is the day. By the end of the day someone will be "king of the mountain." Soon we will have a new president. By tomorrow morning half of the country will celebrate and the other half will be depressed. Either way it's great for the liquor distributors....half of the country celebrating the win and the other half drinking to drown their sorrows. So, whichever side you are on I hope you voted so you have a reason to cheer or weep. Either way, it's good to know that God is in charge of it all.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Monday's cartoon

Thoughts on the election ahead

Tomorrow we get to be part of something that most people in time and history have never done...we get to decide who will be our next leader. This, in our country, has been part of our history for so long that we consider it a right when it's really a rare priviledge. As we get ready for election day tomorrow let me ask that you do 2 things:
1. Vote. You have a rare opportunity to make your choice known. Be sure you take advantage of this rare priviledge and vote.
2. Don't worry. I know the politics of each of our candidates is vastly different, and the course of our country can change depending on who wins, but don't worry. It's important to remember who is really in charge. When you have time read Romans 13. It will help to keep a proper balance even if you find yourself in despair over who wins the election.
And one more thing....just a quick word from God.....
Isa 2:22 Quit scraping and fawning over mere humans, so full of themselves, so full of hot air! Can't you see there's nothing to them?

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Part of a family

Today was a great day at church....just being with the family of God is great fun, but today was extra special. Today we focused our day on missions and had a number of our missionaries here from around the world. What a great treat to see them and spend time with them. I have been able to spend some time with one of our former staff members, Dave, who is now on the mission field and heading overseas in a couple days. It was great to see him again.
The family of God is such an amazing shows up in places you would never expect. Tonight, after the church service, I had to stop by Wal-Mart to get a few groceries. The errand took much longer because I had to stop and visit with so many from our church family shopping there as well. In fact, as I checked out and visited with one of our men in front of me, the sweet cashier said, "I'm sure you don't know me, but I go to your church too and read your blog." It struck me again that we are part of a family conceived and birthed by God himself and held together by the love of Christ. It's such fun to run into members of our family everywhere. What a great adventure....meeting new family members we will spend eternity with. I love meeting and talking to people because you might just run into a member of the family.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Lost in translation

When officials asked for the Welsh translation of a road sign, they thought the reply was what they needed.

Unfortunately, the e-mail response said in Welsh: "I am not in the office at the moment. Please send any work to be translated".

How often does this happen in our relationship with other people? We think we understand, but what comes out is completely different from what was said. I wonder if this happens with our relationship with God too?