Tuesday, January 31, 2017


I didn't decide to be a pastor.  
It just happened.
I'm not sure when it
became part of my identity
but it did
Now, after all these years,
I can't imagine any other

But there are parts
of this job
that I never anticipated
Tasks I've always dreaded
Painful days
Difficult words
Tear filled moments

For you see
in my job
death is part
of my work

Today I will
be part of a memorial
for a member of
our church, a friend

It's always hard
we avoid death
we don't want to deal 
with it
think about it
experience it
we all

And so
once more
I will
be part of the story
of one who 

Family and friends will gather
tears will be shed
laughter will happen
but will feel odd and uncomfortable
Memories will be shared
hugs exchanged

And then
all go back to our "normal" lives
and as quickly as possible
put death out of our minds

But we will each meet our end
we each will face death
we each will come to the end of our days

And then we will meet God
The question today is this-

Will you meet him as Father
as judge?

It's your choice

Death will find you one day and the very next
thing on your calendar will be
your appointment
with God

Are you ready?

Saturday, January 28, 2017

It's your choice

It's your choice
You get to make it each morning
Each moment
In each event of life

You get to choose
whether you will be 
mean or
at peace

It's your choice

You need to know
that the choices
you make soon
become habits
soon become YOU

It doesn't take long
It's not hard to do
It only takes a few choices
to imbed
into your face
and heart

It's your choice

But know each choice
forms you
molds you
the YOU
you will be in 
20 years

Choose happy!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Creating an upside down, inside out world

These are words from the master of how to live in a world of broken and hurting people. In these simple instructions he turns everything upside down, inside out and offers us a vision of life that would change the world. I wonder...what would happen if a few of us tried it? What would happen if you really lived them out?  Why don’t we try it and see….

“To you who are ready for the truth, I say this: Love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer for that person. If someone slaps you in the face, stand there and take it. If someone grabs your shirt, gift-wrap your best coat and make a present of it. If someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously. Here is a simple rule of thumb for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you; then grab the initiative and do it for them! If you only love the lovable, do you expect a pat on the back? Run-of-the-mill sinners do that. If you only help those who help you, do you expect a medal? Garden-variety sinners do that. If you only give for what you hope to get out of it, do you think that’s charity? The stingiest of pawnbrokers does that. I tell you, love your enemies. Help and give without expecting a return. You’ll never—I promise—regret it. Live out this God-created identity the way our Father lives toward us, generously and graciously, even when we’re at our worst. Our Father is kind; you be kind. Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults—unless, of course, you want the same treatment. Don’t condemn those who are down; that hardness can boomerang. Be easy on people; you’ll find life a lot easier. Give away your life; you’ll find life given back, but not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity.”  -Jesus

Monday, January 23, 2017

What can I do?

In days like this I ask simple questions.  

I ask myself, "What can I do?"  What can one person do that will make a difference?  I know many are going to Facebook and other social media to proclaim the solutions we all must believe, but that really solves nothing!

So what can I do?  In my world, in the place God has put me, what can I do?  As I think about that it becomes rather simple...at least it seemed simple as I worked through these thoughts at 4AM this morning.  I can do one thing well, but it demands I do something else first.

Jesus described it this way when asked what is the most important thing to do.  He made the one thing into two because you can't do the second until you do the first. Here are his two things that will change the world-  1. Love God, and 2. Love others.

Some will tell me they can love others without God, but Jesus would tell them you can't even understand loving others correctly until you love God first!  Love for others must flow out of a love for God. It's the overflow of loving and being loved by the God who made you.

Only after you have done the first can you do the second well.  And, to be honest, we are loving one another badly these days. I could outline the list of things we aren't doing, but that would only produce more guilt and I'm sure you have enough to deal with. Instead, let me suggest you daily pray a simple prayer and begin to live out the results of it in your world.

Here it is-  Lord, help me to love you with all my heart, soul and will.  Show me your love for me as well. I need that!  And would you give me someone each day to love as you have loved me.

It means a phone call to a lonely person, a meal for a homeless person, a kind word for a weary waitress, it means a smile for a mom dealing with kids out of control.  It means seeing others with the eyes of love.

What can I do?  I can love others.  So can you.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Today's bumper sticker

On my drive back to church this afternoon I saw this bumper sticker on the car in front of me.

It made me wonder.....

....how do they know that?


"Normality for a human being is when God can be seen by anything and everything which that person does and says and is." -Major Ian Thomas

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Thoughts on a Wednesday morning

I must admit I'm finding it hard to write these days.  My thoughts wander and I struggle to find my passions.  Before I began these thoughts this morning I stopped by Facebook.  It seems thoughtful discussions, photos of babies and stories of good things are gone. Now all I read are words of fear, anger, hatred. What happened?  Were those thoughts and feelings always there and just now erupting?  I think that is probably the truth of it.  In days past these were thoughts reserved for a personal journal, but now they are vomited on Facebook for the world to read.  I do wish the false words of "we must love one another" were really lived out, but I fear few even know what that would look like in our day today.  What would it look like for me to love well? It sure wouldn't include angry words or thoughts that cause fear. It would be an intentional desire to encourage, help and support others.  But I find that in few places in our culture.  It seems we use the words "love one another" but have no idea what that looks like lived out.  It makes me reflect on Jesus' profound question,  "When the son of man returns will he find faith on the earth?"  It seems we are quickly losing the very threads that have woven us together as a human race!  With fear dominating our culture love and faith fade.  Next stop?  Anarchy.  I guess it's time for more prayer.  May I be one person who looks for ways to love and care for others well. May I, as Paul invited us all, be an imitator of Christ and walk in love.

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Once upon a time

Once upon a time
in days
distant future
I woke
to realize
the world had changed

In 2017 I never imagined
it would be so

We talked about these
days back then
we had no idea

How could we?

But now
here we are
in this amazing
this amazing eternity

Long ago we stopped
counting days
and years
days and nights

Long ago we stopped
dealing with 
sorrow and death

Hospitals are gone
we don't need them

Police don't exist anymore
They aren't necessary

Everything is so different
so amazing
so peaceful

People stop on
the sidewalk to visit
and linger
for an hour

There's no hurry
No watches anymore
No need for a schedule
a calendar

So much has changed
So much of what we needed
in the old days was
needed to deal with
the results of sin

But now
that's all gone

Now sin
and death
are distant memories

Most of us can't even remember
those days

It's as if the pain and tears of the past
The sorrows and grief
of bitter days
bad decisions
broken promises
are all gone

As if they have all been wiped away

we know one another
we care for one another
no need for jealousy

All that is gone
none of us miss it at all

our dreams
Once upon a time
have all come true

the fairy tale
of the old days is
the reality 
of eternity

it is
as it
was always meant to
and it's wonderful!

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

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 adventure.....you 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 God.....you will begin to experience the great adventure we will be part of for eternity.