THERE IS MORE TO IT.
I’m a neat freak. A detail freak. I could not stand to look out our windows and see how the ground cover had covered up the large rocks.
It had to be trimmed.
I knew it would take at least half of the day to get it done. Hiring someone to do it was out of the question. So, I walked out of my garage with tools in hand. I prepared for a morning that would find me on my knees, working with newly-sharpened lawn scissors.
During a church Q and A, someone in the group asked the Senior Pastor what his five-year plan looked like.
That has always been one of the hardest questions for me to answer. I was just sure this pastor was about to give an impressive response complete with bullet points, grand dreams, and a process to make it happen.
I remember my first day in the office at what was then Westridge Hills Church of God. I arrived on the scene the Tuesday after Mother’s Day in 1981.
I was hired to oversee the Student Ministry and the Music Ministry. Even though I’d grown up in church, I was not prepared to lead much of anything.
Kim and I were honored to be a part of the 2018 Sandi Patty Cruise to Alaska. I was asked to speak a few times and found myself among a few well-known authors and speakers.
To say it was intimidating is an understatement, but we’d all been on this cruise before, and the friendship there trumps any intimidation I might have felt.
It was a meaningful week.
By now you know I overanalyze everything. This week, I found myself cherishing the earthly joys of family: my wife, sons, daughters, grandkids, and friends who all bring me more joy than words can describe. I also found myself facing the reality of life’s brevity and limitations. The exhilaration of family seemed offset by the reality of not only how sweet the moments are, but how brief they are.
I’m learning to cherish the good times and be ready to trust God in the storms.
Who is my neighbor?
This question was asked by an “expert in religious law” according to Luke 10:25. This lawyer was the kind of legal expert you’d want on your team if you were facing a jury and judge. To him, every word was an open invitation to a debate. According to Luke, he came to see Jesus so He would “test him.” So he posed the question, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?”
Today, the mailman left a box at my front door from my stepbrother, Curt. And inside the box was a bible that belonged to my dad. After reading the blog last month, Curt thought Dad’s bible might find a more appropriate home in my study.
There are no words to describe the shock, surprise, emotion, and gratitude at this most generous act of kindness.
Mission, purpose, and vision statements seem to be critical to the success of every organization, whether they are selling coffee, chicken sandwiches, or describing a church. These statements have always been a challenge for me.
I did not grow up in a world that required such statements. Maybe it was not so much that mission statements weren't around in my teenage or college days; maybe I didn’t notice them. I never knew I needed one.
The Old Testament book of Jonah has always been a favorite of mine. In Sunday school, we could pick up a felt (a fabric similar to velvet or velour), cut out the cast of characters, and, one by one, place them on the board: Jonah getting on the boat, the boat crew navigating the ship, blue felt representing the ocean, a whale waiting in the water to swallow the wayward Jonah.
Jonah heard from God, ran from God, got thrown off the boat, swallowed by the whale, and spit out three days later.
The moral of the story? Don’t run from God.
I have written almost every blog post in the study at my house. It is a special place. It’s a peaceful place. But there’s a backstory.
Let me introduce you to Dr. Gladys Lewis and Greystone Close.