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.
Mother’s Day 2018 seemed to be different than many other Mother’s Day Sundays in the recent past. In my 32 years as a pastor, I have given--well, most likely--32 Mother’s Day messages. For most of those years, I rarely returned home to Ohio to spend Mother’s Day with my mom.
Mom was always very understanding about the day being a very important day in the life of a church, a day that called for the pastor to be present. I found ways to make it up to her, either by going to Ohio in the weeks prior to Mother’s Day or in the weeks after. Honestly, I wish I had taken more of those weekends off, flown to Cincinnati, and spent Mother’s Day with Mom.
Life teaches you one of its most significant lessons: life is short. It is unpredictable. There will be highs and lows, good and bad, joy and pain.
The only consistent part of life is following Jesus to and through each moment.
I’m in a sermon series on the “one anothers” of the Bible. When I began preparing for the series, I knew for sure that it would be interesting, spiritually stimulating, and a great reminder to the church of how Jesus calls us to live.
I wasn’t ready for the gut-wrenching, tear-jerking, mind-blowing impact that it has brought to me and our church.
Easter has always been the most special day of the year as a Christian. While Christmas is vitally important, Easter completes the story. Easter provides the evidence: they’ve never found His body, and they won’t. He is risen.
The tomb is empty.