Sunday, May 29, 2011

Taking a break...

Thank you for your encouragement and comments over the last year, but it's time for a break. I'm going to take a couple weeks off to rest, read, and get away. I hope to come back refreshed and inspired, but for today....I'm going on vacation.

Seek to do good...

1 Thessalonians 5:15- See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good for one another and to everyone.

This short verse is in the middle of Paul's closing instructions in this amazing book. The last few verses are all about intentional choices in the midst of a world that doesn't always do the right things. Paul's directions are for us to live with purpose, live intentionally and not live for ourselves. I love the last part of this verse, "but always seek to do good for one another and to everyone." Imagine if this were part of how we lived as Christians on a daily for the good of others. This kind of living puts a sword through the heart of selfishness. It's an intentional others focused life.

One phrase I hear far too often in my visits with people is, "I know God wants me to be happy..." And so they justify their actions to hurt, destroy and tear down someone else. I wonder how our decisions would change if we thought about our choices in this way, "I know God wants YOU to be happy, so I'm going to...." A focus on another, for their good is the very picture Paul is painting here. It's the very picture of a life lived to imitate Christ.

"But, ALWAYS seek to do GOOD for one another and to EVERYONE." It would change the church and the world around us if people saw us focused on one another and not on ourselves. I can hear it now, "The music is too loud in church, but I know it helps others to worship God, so I'm fine with it." If this were part of our lives as we live life together it would change everything! My job, as a pastor, would suddenly become easy! I can hear it now, "Pastor, I am really having problems right now and need some help, but there are others in much greater need, is there someone I can help, someone in need. It will help me see my problems in a different light."

I think I could write pages about this short passage, it is so revolutionary, but let me simply invite you to dream about a church, a community affected by a few who would live out these brief instructions from Paul, what would change in your world if this were true of you? How would your church change if we all did it? I wonder.....what if you and I started to do this right now. Let's see what would happen.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Significant moments

A moment to write, and then to rest. We are in Iowa to celebrate my dad's 85th birthday. He will be 85 tomorrow. It was quite an ordeal getting here on Memorial day weekend, but here we are...all tucked into the motel, the bed is calling, but let me simply say that as I watch my dad age and approach the end of his journey I see how important a single life is. There are significant moments in all of our lives, but the people who touch our lives create those moments, both for good or ill. The murderer is the result of significant moments that made him into who he became, we are all affected by moments and people who touch our lives in those moments. I'm so glad I have had the blessing of knowing the man named Paul Messerli. Although he's frail and weak today it's his life that touched mine in ways that made me who I am. It's his legacy that I live out as I walk with God. I'm excited to live out what he hoped I would be. Tonight I'm very blessed to have been impacted in those significant moments by this amazing man. Happy Birthday, Dad.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


We met for the first time in the fall of 1969. That's 42 years ago if you're counting. David and I met at freshman orientation at university. Today we met again for lunch. We try to get together at least once a year. It's hard because we are both busy with ministry and life. As I drove home I thought about a friendship that has lasted for this long. How blessed I am to have a friendship of 42 years! David and I both went into ministry. He into missions, I went into the pastorate. We have both traveled around the globe to share the gospel. We both seem to have the same mission, although it looks different in each of our lives. We have both taken 2 Timothy 2:2 as our theme for life and ministry. I'm grateful for my friend and thankful that after 42 years we still enjoy a good meal together.

A local tornado

This is a photo from the back porch of one of our families last night. I'm glad they were unharmed, I'm sad for others who were injured or killed in the storms of the last week. This tornado is a beautiful and terrible thing all at the same time.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The beauty of tension

For many years I was a passionate bicyclist. My knees won't let me do it anymore, but I loved riding, the sweat, the exercise, the movement generated by ME! I loved the quiet, the trees, the air as I rode. I loved working on the bike, the gears, the wheels. The interaction between rider and machine is fascinating to me.

One of the most interesting things about a bicycle is how the wheel holds together. It's constructed, quite magically, around a hub with a number of spokes protruding out to the wheel in all directions. Each spoke is tightened to a tension that both pushes away and pulls together the wheel to the hub. It's a marvelous invention. It's one of the reasons a bicycle is such a magical vehicle.

As I thought about my own walk with God I was reminded of the bicycle wheel. Such an amazing invention and yet tension is critical for its success. I've often heard, as I rode, the distinct sound of a "ping" from one of the wheels as a spoke gave way. If I didn't address this quickly the wheel would "go out of true" and "pretzel". It's a term we used to describe a wheel that was twisted because of a broken spoke and the tensions the other spokes still maintained on the wheel. The wheel would deform from round or look like a pretzel as you rolled it on the axle.

The tension of each spoke kept everything round and in balance. The tension of both pulling in and pushing away was necessary for the wheel to stay true. Tension is a beautiful thing if you understand its purpose. For a bicycle wheel it is a must.

And, I must tell you, for me to "stay true" there must be a tension working in my life. The tension between a trial and trust. The tension between fear and faith. A tension we all feel between position and promise. There are a number of them we could list, but they all declare that in a fallen world there is a tension that will be part of our lives, a tension that actually helps us grow. It's not IF you will have tension, but HOW will you deal with it? What must you do to keep your life "true" and rolling on.

In my walk there is this tension I'm learning to live with, learning to use for my own walk. My trust is not undermined by my trial, in fact it's strengthened. My love for the lost isn't acceptance of their actions, but a love in spite of them. There is a beauty in this tension we experience. As you read the word watch for's everywhere. Here's just one example of what this looks like as we live out the Christian life,

2 Corinthians 12:9 (New Living Translation)

9 Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Weak days

May I quote my friend Chelsea, for all of us today?

"Even on my weakest days, I get a bit stronger..."

It's exciting to see this great truth lived out. It's true for all of us. Even on my weakest days I am stronger than I was last time I went through this. God is so good to grow us in little steps, little bits, to make us what he wants us to be.

It's the same for the weight lifter. After thousands of reps lifting the same weight they are stronger than when they started...that's why they endure the pain, that's why we endure the gain new strength that comes only from God. Thank you, Chelsea.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Pray for Israel

In light of the events of the day this verse seems appropriate-

Psalm 122:6 (New International Version)

6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
“May those who love you be secure.

Just thinking.....a bit

I have a few moments today. It's my day off, but for me....most of the's just a chance to catch up on other things that I have had to ignore. Tonight, a wedding rehearsal. I'm excited about this wedding. I really love the young lady and her sweetie has passed all my "tests" so I think they will do well. Tomorrow, a men's breakfast. It is an unplanned event that happened because of confusion in the office. Sometimes that happens and we make the best of it. The reason it's on my mind is because, with the quick change, we don't have a speaker, so I will get that task. I love having the chance to speak, but that means I have to prepare, have to think about my heart and life. It's sometimes hard.

As I thought about all of this I thought about a video I saw yesterday by Francis Chan. I really love his heart. He's got a heart and thought process that challenges me. He makes me think and that's always a good thing. I have heard so many sermons, so many speakers through the years that's it often hard to hear something I haven't heard or taught myself. To be challenged is always a surprise and a good thing. This video did that for me....made me think....about heart, passion, the world around me. It's not all sorted as we would often like to think in Christian circles. I know that some I listen to "have it all figured out" and others admit they really don't know as much as they think they do. I like the guy who is honest and realizes he doesn't have it all figured out. I love the guy who is still content with mystery, questions...often unanswered questions. I love the guy who can live with a little uneasiness and admit "I don't really know." I love those guys because they are men and women I can relate to. I KNOW I don't know. This whole thing about God, creation and everything else is much more than our tiny little brains can sort out.

I think that's why I get frustrated by atheists. They are, in my opinion, arrogant and pompous in their declaration, "There is no god!" And I think, how do they know that? Have they traveled to every dimension of time and reality, to every corner of the universe, to realms they can't even know about now and say, with great authority, "There is no God!" I don't think so. If they were honest they would simply say, "You know, I don't see evidence right now for God, but I'm open, I just don't know." Now that's a guy I respect!

Well, as you can tell, this is a post about nothing, just thinking a bit about my weekend, a wedding, a group of men I want to talk to honestly and a video by Francis Chan. My life and head are like that....a hundred scrambled things all swirling around at the same time. In a way I look forward to vacation next week....a time when I can get away and not think at all, but actually just the opposite will happen. It will be a time to spend with my sweet wife and God and let them drive the direction of my thoughts. I can't wait. Well, enough rambling for now. On to other things. I may be back with some thoughts this afternoon. Working through some passages now. I am trying the ESV version for a bit. I really don't care for it. It's awkward, choppy and not that well written. Maybe 40 years in the NASB and more than 20 in the NIV has me comfortable with a certain word order, certain way of saying something. I'm just not enjoying the ESV, but plan to spend a year in it and see what I see.

Ok, enough rambling, have a great day.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


"They forgot to remember." This was a problem for Israel as they walked with God. It's our problem too. We forget to remember what God has done. We forget how faithful he has been and each crisis is then an urgent one because we seem to have amnesia when it comes to God's work in our lives.

God knows this about us so early in the history of Israel he established a habit of remembering. The people of Israel, from Moses on, would set up stone markers at important places to remind them of God's work in their lives. It's a great lesson for us as well. Here's just one of the stories,

1 Samuel 7:12 Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the LORD has helped us.”

From that day on there was a stone marker to remind them of what God had done. These markers were teaching opportunities for their children as well. "Dad, what's that stone for?" And then the stories would follow. They were remembering stones.

We need these remembering stones in our lives as well. Markers to remind us of God's work at key times. We need them because we forget. We need them because we forget to remember. "Oh, I remember.....God took care of me then, I know he can do this as well."

Find ways to establish "remembering stones" in your life and name them so you won't forget to remember all that God has done in the days that have passed.

There's a new popular book about this very idea, it's called "One thousand gifts." We all need places to remember, things to remind us that God has met our needs, he has taken care of us, he has been faithful. Each remembering stone, whatever you use as your places to remember, will give you an opportunity for praise and a place to renew your trust in the God who has always taken care of you.

Find ways in your life to remember how wonderful God has been, they will be markers to remind you of our great God's daily love and provision. I think you will find he has been far busier in your life than you ever imagined.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The gospel

I read a sermon early this morning from a famous pastor in our country. Overall he had a lot of good things to say, but I notice that when spoken words are written down I suddenly see the ideas clearly described. In this message, as I read forty minutes worth of words, I came to this statement,

"The gospel is the story where Jesus is the hero. It's all about Him, what He has done. It has nothing to do with us at all, nothing."

It's often true that when we continue to speak we say things we shouldn't and in these three short sentences I so wish he had stopped after the first two. He spoke well at the beginning, but finished with an error. In fact, the work of salvation, the glory for all that was done goes to Christ. That is true. He is the Lord of heaven and earth, he is the glory of the church, but it's not true that it has nothing to do with us at all. In fact, if it weren't true that we were helpless to save ourselves Jesus would never have come, would have never been needed.

The gospel is the love story of God's amazing rescue plan of the human race. It has EVERYTHING to do with us! We are the reason he came. The gospel is God's wonderful good news for a lost race unable to rescue itself, it's the cruise ship arriving to rescue a race stranded in sin. All the glory and praise for salvation and grace go to Jesus, but the gospel has everything to do with us.....we are the objects of his love demonstrated at the cross. We are part of the gospel story. I'm the reason he came!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

True riches

Often, as I read the bible, my mind is captivated by just one verse, just a few words. This morning, as I read, my thoughts paused on these words,

Mark 8:36 And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?

Jesus asked the most amazing questions! It's a question for our culture and time. So, what if you had all the wealth of the world, but it cost you your soul, your eternity, is it worth it? Is it worth having it all for a few short years at the cost of losing everything for eternity? What is true wealth after all? One day all of this will disappear, one day we will die, one day the pleasures we seek so greedily will pass and then begins eternity. Let's see...90 years here vs. eternity.....put them in the scale and let's weigh them. And that's why Jesus asked this profound question that speaks to each heart. What do you value? What's eternally important to you, because we are dealing with eternal decisions.

So, what do you benefit if you gain everything here, but lose your soul? Is it worth the trade? Is the exchange equitable? I don't think so! The exchange rate on this contrast cannot be compared. Would anyone make that foolish trade eternity for a few short years here of having stuff that will one day burn up? Only a fool would make such a trade, and yet all around us is a world running at full speed to "get stuff."

I think it's time to recalibrate, to change our focus from the stuff of this world to the stuff of eternity. It's a question of values, it's a question that goes to the heart of what we think is important: so what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? It's time to ask ourselves Jesus' question because...if you gain the world, but lose your soul you have lost everything!

There Is No Heaven?

Stephen Hawking -- "the world-renowned theoretical physicist -- finds no room for heaven in his vision of the cosmos.

In an interview published Monday in The Guardian newspaper, the 69-year-old says the human brain is like a computer that will stop working when its components fail.

"There is no heaven or afterlife for broken-down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark," Hawking told the paper." (you can read the full article here.)

I'm not surprised by Stephen's announcement. When you have dismissed God from "your universe" then heaven cannot be an option either. It's the logical next step for a man who finds no place for God. It is very sad that such a brilliant man on many levels would dismiss what is so obvious to anyone who is looking.

But I imagine Stephen's declaration in this way- with his face turned to the rear of the cave, refusing to turn around and see the sun coming up over the horizon, he declares boldly, "there is no sun! there is no sun!" For those of us who see it so clearly, feel its warmth and know its reality it is amazing to see him sadly declare that the God who made him doesn't exist. Those of us who know God simply shake our heads in disbelief and sadness. Stephen's declaration doesn't shake my faith, in fact I just feel sad for him. He knows so much and yet understands so little.

I can see why King David wrote these revealing words for us to understand the heart of any man or woman who, like Stephen, would claim a knowledge contrary to reality. Here's David's thoughts on those around him,

Only fools say in their hearts, “There is no God.”

Monday, May 16, 2011


There are moments that demand a photo. There are moments that disappear before we know it. There are times to remember. Today our daughter, Lindsay, has a birthday. Thirty four years ago she came into our lives and we have never been the same since. We love her dearly. Yesterday, while Joye's mom was in town, we had a moment to get a photo of all three....Joye, Lindsay and mom. It's just one of those great moments.

Monday's cartoon

Friday, May 13, 2011

New music

I haven't talked about music in a while, but it is a vital part of my mental well-being. It's often therapeutic, calming, refreshing and an escape from the other noises around me.

I just got Paul Simon's new album, Afterlife. He's not a great theologian, but the album is one of his best since Graceland. It's a different style, but it is very good. Ok, back to the music......

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Quote of the day

"Praise is the culmination of our enjoyment of anything." -C.S. Lewis

I just started reading David Crowder's book, "Praise Habit." His writing is as interesting as his music, but one thing I notice is that he understands praise, worship, and seeking God. It's interesting that our passions mold us. We are driven, molded, changed and challenged by our passions. For David it's clear that worship, and music as its outlet, is important to him. In the early pages he describes his quest to discover "the Giver of good." It struck me as I read those words that from the very beginning God was all about giving and making good things. If we are to find any good at all we have to find it in God. As C.S. Lewis writes, praise speaks to what "the Giver of good" has provided.

I wonder...and so I ask....what do you have today that "the Giver of good" has provided? What would you praise him for today? I invite you to praise this wonderful Giver for the good things he has given you. What would you praise him for today?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Relationships, part 2

Yesterday I wrote about relationships. I wrote, "ALL of life is about relationship."

Today, may I take that idea a little further. As I thought about it through the day yesterday it struck me that all of eternity is about relationship! We were designed by God for relationship, first with him and then with others. Etern
ally we will be in relationship with him and with those who follow him. It seems that much of life here is about learning how to simply get along with other people.

There is another aspect to this as well. The only eternal things on this entire planet are the people who live here. All the material things we work so hard for will rot, decay or fall apart, but the people are eternal! Somehow we have valued the temporary and devalued the eternal. As I watch those around me (I include myself here, so don't assume an arrogance on my part) I notice we put high value on the stuff and a low value on the people around us. We will hoard the temporary and throw away the eternal. How confused we are!

It appears we need a values adjustment. God values people and will finally burn up all the stuff. We value the stuff and will burn
relationships and people to get the stuff. I wonder how we got so confused. Here's the one thing I want you to take away from this- the only eternal things on this planet are the people. If we ever got that it would dramatically change how we interact with each other, wouldn't it?

My thoughts go to Paul's words in 1 Corinthians 13, where he describes love. Here is a portion of this passage,

1 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hards
hip that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8 Love never fails.

Do you realize that love only works when it's focus is another person? Imagine me inserting into these verses, love is patient with my stuff, love is kind to my car, it just doesn't work. It doesn't make any sense. God did place eternal things on this planet and they are not the things that will break, rust or fall apart. The only eternal things around you are the people. If we suddenly changed our value system to love the eternal things and use the temporary ones how would our days chang
e? How would our thoughts adjust? How would our words be different?

There isn't going to be a day when I won't be in relationship with someone...for all eternity I will be in relationship with God and with the eternal ones he has made. It's vital for me that I prize those eternal ones and love the things that God loves because the only eternal things on this planet are the people you deal with each day.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


As I work my way through life, through marriage, through parenting, and through God's word I am keenly aware of one thing....

ALL of life is about relationship.

Relationship with God.

Relationship with my wife.

Relationship with kids, and grandkids.

Relationship with PEOPLE! People are everywhere and if I'm going to survive well I have to deal with them, get along with them and care about them,

But there is a problem. You know the problem well, don't you? People are selfish, mean, frustrating, prideful, hard to get along with and just messy! People make life hard!!! Isn't that funny? People around us are our main source of joy, frustration and struggle. And it's just plain messy!

Today I'm working on a passage of scripture I will be teaching this week and it's all about to get along with PEOPLE. You would think we would have this figured out by now, but we don't tolerate each other very well. We can't seem to get along with others well at all. The ongoing wars on our little planet tell the tale of our inability to exist together. We seem better able to kill than to care.

Anyway, the passage I'm working through is all about relationships and the key word for these relationship to work is the word "submit." It's this idea: "put under, subdue unto, (be, make) subject (to, unto), be (put) in subjection (to, under), submit self unto." Now you see why we don't do this well, don't you? We are in a ME world with instructions from God's word to make this an OTHERS world. It's something that we can only do as we imitate the only one who ever did it perfectly- Jesus.

Submit to one another, in other words put others ahead of you...put them about them more than you do about you. That's the solution to our world's problems, but it can only happen as I allow God to live it out in me. He did it perfectly and he can do it now through me....if I will let him. It would be really easy if it weren't for all the people I have to deal with.....

Sunday, May 08, 2011

One glass of milk

One day, a poor boy who was selling goods from door to door to pay his way through school, found he had only one thin dime left, and he was hungry.

He decided he would ask for a meal at the next house. However, he lost his nerve when a lovely young woman opened the door.

Instead of a meal he asked for a drink of water! . She thought he looked hungry so brought him a large glass of milk. He drank it so slowly, and then asked, How much do I owe you?"

You don't owe me anything," she replied. "Mother has taught us never to accept pay for a kindness."

He said .. "Then I thank you from my heart."

As Howard Kelly left that house, he not only felt stronger physically, but his faith in God and man was strong also. He had been ready to give up and quit.

Many year's later that same young woman became critically ill. The local doctors were baffled. They finally sent her to the big city, where they called in specialists to study her rare disease.

Dr. Howard Kelly was called in for the consultation. When he heard the name of the town she came from, a strange light filled his eyes.

Immediately he rose and went down the hall of the hospital to her room. Dressed in his doctor's gown he went in to see her. He recognized her at once.

He went back to the consultation room determined to do his best to save her life. From that day he gave special attention to her case.

After a long struggle, the battle was won.

Dr. Kelly requested the business office to pass the final bill to him for approval. He looked at it, then wrote something on the edge and the bill was sent to her room. She feared to open it, for she was sure it would take the rest of her life to pay for it all. Finally she looked, and something caught her attention on the side of the bill. She read these words:

"Paid in full with one glass of milk"

Dr. Howard Kelly

Tears of joy flooded her eyes as her happy heart prayed: "Thank You, God, that Your love has spread broad through human hearts and hands."

There's a saying which goes something like this: Bread cast on the waters comes back to you. The good deed you do today may benefit you or someone you love at the least expected time. If you never see the deed again at least you will have made the world a better place.

Note: Dr. Howard Kelly was a distinguished physician who, in 1895, founded the Johns Hopkins Division of Gynecologic Oncology at Johns Hopkins University. The story is true.

Quote of the day

   “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
-Maya Angelou quotes

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Pop Quiz

Ok, time for a quiz. I know you don't stop by here to be tested, but let me use this little exercise to generate some good discussion and thinking. Ready?

Ephesians 5:1 says, "Therefore be imitators of God as beloved children."

Q: What are the two things, two behaviors, that would best demonstrate this imitation lifestyle to the world around us?

(hint- the verses before and after this amazing invitation give the answers.)

Why a quiz? This verse has been bouncing around in my head for weeks now and I can't think of anything better than that I make it part of your "brain worms" as well. It's such an amazing invitation, such a bold one, that I have been stuck on these 8 words for weeks now. It is the pinnacle of the book of Ephesians, it is the high calling for any Christian, it does give us the answers to whether our choices are right or has huge content for our lives and how we live them out in the world around us.

The question for me now becomes, "does this choice, these words, this action imitate God?" With that simple question I have a filter for anything I face. Now someone might say, "Well how do I know what God would choose? How do I know what he would do?" The answer is surprisingly simple....just watch Jesus in the gospels. As he invited the first disciples he also invites us, "follow me." And with that invitation he shows up in real time what God would do in almost any situation. The bracelet that was popular a few years ago was not far from our goal, WWJD? The question was simple, what would Jesus do? With that question we find the guide for living out lives which imitate the Father.

Now, back to the quiz....what two things, two behaviors, best demonstrate this imitation lifestyle to the world around us?

Ready, discuss...

Wednesday, May 04, 2011


This cartoon caught my attention today. You see, I'm on a diet. It's interesting that when you are trying to lose weight the only thing you can think about is all the food you can't eat. I will succeed, but I look forward to the day when a diet will no longer be necessary. Sigh....but until's a diet for me.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Not good enough

This morning, as I prayed, my mind flashed back to a specific day, a special moment as a young kid sitting on the bench. I had my uniform on, I had the perfect new glove and I wanted to play, but I just wasn't good enough and so my position on the team was bench warmer. This morning I thought about that specific moment when I realized I wasn't good enough to play. The coach had dismissed me from consideration and no matter how hard I tried I would sit on the bench.

Have you ever known those moments that changed your life? Do you remember a specific time, a special event that was life changing for you? I think it happens to all of us, I know it happened to me on that day. I suddenly realized that I wasn't good enough. From that moment on I was on a quest to prove to the world that I was good enough! Profound moments of life are not all good moments. This moment for me was ego destroying and my quest from that day on was to make sure I "got in the game," whatever the game might be.

One of the best weapons of the enemy is to tell you that you're not good enough. It has disastrous consequences for how we view ourselves and it affects how we live into the future. I knew a classmate in school who had a "not good enough" moment in life and I still remember watching him wither and die before my eyes. He never recovered. He's lived his life a bitter man. That commentary became true for him and destroyed him.

But God....don't you love it when those two words show up in the bible? But God made me and that makes all the difference. As I read Psalm 139 this morning I thought about God's perfect design of each one of us. We are designed by God to be just what he wanted us to be. We are the perfect result of his design and now our task is not to try to be good enough, but to simply let him look good through us. He made us and we are exactly what he wanted us to be. Some are horrible baseball players (like me), others are great at the sport. Some are brilliant thinkers, designed by God to be that way, and others do better with their hands. Each of us is a piece of art designed by God to glorify him.

Don't believe the world's lie that you aren't good enough. You are God built, you are perfectly made to be and do what God designed you for. Enjoy his creation of you, thank him for it and celebrate being what he made you to be. You are priceless to God!

Monday, May 02, 2011

Celebrating death

I watched the news last night with a sense of disbelief. As the news reporter talked about the death of a Muslim radical leader the footage of cheering crowds in front of the white house told the story of how many felt. It made me think of a story I thought unlikely to be possible until last night. Here's a portion of the story from Revelation 11,

Rev. 11:7 Now when they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the Abyss will attack them, and overpower and kill them. 8 Their bodies will lie in the public square of the great city—which is figuratively called Sodom and Egypt—where also their Lord was crucified. 9 For three and a half days some from every people, tribe, language and nation will gaze on their bodies and refuse them burial. 10 The inhabitants of the earth will gloat over them and will celebrate by sending each other gifts, because these two prophets had tormented those who live on the earth.

Until last night I couldn't imagine how people could celebrate death as the author John describes, but now I understand. Honestly, I do understand the relief felt when an enemy who killed so many is finally defeated, but celebration? I may be an isolated voice here, but I'm not celebrating the death of any man who doesn't know Christ. His death is an eternal loss for him and for us. I grieve for those who lost family members, for those who live in fear, but to celebrate death? May I pass on this and simply say that a sad, angry lost man has begun a horrible eternity and that gives me nothing to celebrate.

Sunday, May 01, 2011


It's such a noisy world right now. All around, all the time there is noise. The noise of politics, of countries in chaos, angry people, frustrations over gas prices, and literally a thousand other things bring noise to our lives. It's everywhere!

What I need most is some quiet! Could everyone just be quiet for a moment? Give me a few minutes of silence. Could we just push the pause button and have some quiet for a few moments? The answer is "NO!" The noise will continue, the volume goes up and we all become frustrated, tired and angry.

We weren't designed for all this noise, at least I'm not. I need some quiet time. I need some time when all the noise is somewhere else and I can listen to God speak to my heart and my mind. With all the noise around us he has to shout to get our attention, but if we could just get away, just find a few moments of quiet, we would hear God speak.

I think that's why a motorcycle is so enjoyable to me. I put in some earplugs, put on the helmet and off I go. Silence....sweet silent and a real isolation from the world around me. It's life giving to have a few minutes of quiet.

Even God has to tell David in Psalms, "BE QUIET and know that I am God." Sometimes we just have to find some silence, calm our fears and listen to God.

Now, this post isn't life changing, it isn't really that interesting, it's just a real need I have and I know others do as well. As you can, with all the noise around you, find a place to be quiet each day. It's a needed part of life.