Sunday, June 26, 2011

Humble Times

Wow, the house is different. Alan left for South Dakota last week with a group from Auburn. Amy left the week before for Ireland and Northern Ireland on a 17 day venture. And for three days last week I was gone to New York City on a video job leaving Carol and the two youngest home. After getting home and working a shift at the station and then preaching this morning, the house is so... different. The girls room is, for the week, a girl room and the boys room has but one camper. It's been a few years since Carol and I have seen such things around the house; however knowing that my older ones are serving others the way Jesus would have them, gives me is consolation.

This short time to have alone with the younger two is special. We went to eat, because we could afford two children's meals and included fried ice cream, then returned home to play. No grown kid issues, no kids leaving going to other places, listening to Carol read stories, relaxing under the ceiling fan and sharing thoughts. Carol and I shared together how fast the years have flown by and are aware of how fast they will continue to pass.

Love your children, teach them by leading them, setting the example, reading scripture, praying with them and for them, and playing knights and princess with them when they want you to be king; someday these things will pass. New things will come about allowing you to serve them even more, but as this day ends, I'll never get it back. I hope God used me today ,in some way, to attract all four of my kids closer to Him; all for His glory.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Inspiration for the future

I'm not old, yet, but I found myself wondering about who is going to be leading the way with the cross in generations to come. Tonight as M-Town met, missing many of the usual faces, and with new ones in their seats I have begun to see that there are young people that are so much more on fire for Jesus than I was. They take doctrine seriously and have a heart to learn. I am encouraged and why should I have ever doubted? God is sovereign over the issue and has His plan. He was God yesterday, and is today and always will be.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Fear of Man vs Fear of God

Solomon wrote in the Book of Proverbs that "fear is the beginning of knowledge." His talk is in reference to knowing God and coming closer to Him. Matthew 10 says we should fear the one who has the power to send us to hell rather than men, that can't do anything with any long term affects; and even then every action is done with God's sovereign will allowing it.

So why fear God? first He created us and He did so with full intent of us being the exact way we are. There were no mistakes or anything in our creation that just occurred by chance. With this, He is our Father, both physically to every man, and spiritually to everyone chosen. His love for us is the perfect image of fatherhood as he loves us, has mercy on us and disciplines us as we need. He also gives to us generously, but He also takes away as He wishes (Job 1:21). The heavenly Father also knows everything there is (omniscient). He knows what we're thinking when we speak to others, He know our heart when we make a choice to perform some act. He sees us when we're home alone sitting behind the computer screen, thinking no one will know or see me. God also is everywhere (omnipresent). He is with you wherever you are; no matter your ground, He is there. God is also all powerful (omnipotent). He's the only One that can do whatever He wills. If this isn't enough to have a respect and awe for the one that loves you more dearly than your own father or mother, then I pray for your heart to be softened to see the love that God has given to each of us.

We tend to allow ourselves to fear the very ones we have no reason to fear. Man can do nothing when compared to what our real Father does for us. Ecclesiastes 3:14 lets us know that everything man tries is small and insignificant. We so often fear man's words of disapproval or his chastisement; however it is God's approval that we should seek after and no one else's. Peter knew this fear more than anyone else. Matthew 26 tells us that Jesus told him that he would deny Jesus three times before morning. Within the same chapter, Peter is confronted by a little servant girl accusing him of being a follower of Jesus. Peter said no. When approached the second time, he maintained his denial, someone noticed that he even spoke like a follower; so Peter cursed and swore that he was not a follower of Jesus. Then the rooster crowed. The guilt that Peter must have bore.

Each time we fear what man can do to us, and we don't trust God for His great love and promises, to give to us what we need, we are denying our relationship with Jesus. If someone accuses us falsely then we respond with truth and love. If someone threatens us we should look for a way to love them and trust that God has a way for this to work out. When trials come, we must look to God for help rather than trying to fix it ourselves.

God works things for His Glory and for His good. That is because He is in control and we are not. If it were not for our Father's love and mercy we would each get what we deserve, hell and no grace at all. Thanks be to God, all glory to Him. May I always know that no matter my job status, social standing, financial level, family reputation or physical abilities, God has me right where He wants me for His good. I like that feeling.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Here it is. That time of year that I love and hate. I love the thought of Christ coming to earth for me, my family, my friends and so many I don't know; I hate that Jesus has been removed from the thoughts of so many that know why it's called Christmas. I love teaching my kids to give freely and receive gifts humbly; I hate the frenzy surrounding the idea of giving gifts and why we even give gifts at all. I love that many are so joyous this time of year, even with the cold and busy schedules; I hate that so many are alone in their world, even with so called friends and family. I love having a redeemer that makes me right before God; I hate sin, especially when it's sin that has stared me in the face before.

Blessed be the Name that when it is all said and done, the rich and poor, the strong and the weak, the healthy and lame, saved and lost, will all bow down too. Happy Jesusmas.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Where I Am

Over the past few weeks, as my home fills will young people whose desire is for a deeper understanding of God's word, the message has changed each week, yet returns to one particular point: be satisfied with with where I am. A wonderfully loving wife and four outgoing, physically abled children fill my suburban home in a neighborhood cul-de-sac populated by friendly neighbors. My job allows me enough to pay for what we have had and what we have now.

I am humbled when I spend times with friends whose wives and walked out on them, leaving children with no mother to love on them. Then there are wives whose husbands have abandoned them and the kids, even if he remains in the house. There are dear parents of children with special needs that require incredible amounts of time for care and the financial strain it places on them is immense. Some are caring for their aging parents and the parent don't even recognize their own children. I hurt for my neighbors and and friends battling cancer, leukemia, crones, lupus and so forth.

There are those I know and love that somehow get by with so little that I wonder how God does it. Some I know and see everyday work so hard and put in so much time to do their mission in life that it would seem they couldn't possibly have any joy. Yet they do.

Two years ago I spent seven days walking around the New Mexico wilderness, sleeping on the ground, carrying my necessities on my back, and dodging rattlesnakes. It was a joy. I wondered how different it was for me then, compared to someone in Pakistan or Northern Africa. On other trips I've been so soaked from rain I've wondered who in Brazil or Ecuador I could relate to. When my mother died and I felt that loss, how was it that there was peace and comfort?

There are many people in my life that God has so graciously put into my life to teach me the joy I should have. Not any joy I should have because of the things I have, or even the people in my life; but the joy I should have because God has put me where I am with my abilities and disabilities, my things and my empty pockets, the quiet, easy days and the noisy, chaotic, sleepless nights.

I do realize how good I have it in the eyes of some, and also how little I have in the eyes of a few. God has blessed me, and I know how quick it can all disappear. Job in the Old Testament had it all, and it was all taken away, and he was left with nothing except, it all. What God gives us here on this planet is nothing but tools to glorify Him. We should us it for that purpose. It can all be gone, but if we have Christ, we're left still with it all. Hope is what we have. An eternal inheritance is the promise and it will not fade, nor rot, nor be used up. We're only here for a little while, and this is where I am.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Spread your wings, son

This evening is a night I had expected to be trying to ease the concerns of my wife as our oldest son has left the nest of home for college. I thought that she would be expressing her concerns and talking of an empty place in the home. As we walked into the house the weight of the events began; but it wasn't my bride, it is me. I'm not concerned about him as much as I just miss my bud.

The past few months have been full of events that have comforted my heart and given me peace about where his relationship is with Christ. He has earned his eagle scout, received numerous scholarships, been recognized for his character and graduated as valedictorian. However, these things are not the real things that have impressed me the most about him. Our daily conversations had become more mature in nature and the subject matters became deeper each time we had a discussion. His knowledge of scripture increased so much that at times God would use him to humble me with his correction of a quote I would make or something of that nature. I saw my son engage in healthy debate of scripture and recently realized that he was listening to sermon podcasts on his ipod from the likes of Matt Chandler, Elliot Greene and Mark Dirscoll, because he wanted to.

Spread your wings, son. This is your time to fly into this world without me. Yes, you will be injured and wounded by the world, and also by fellow brothers and sisters. You can endure with God's help and the Holy Spirit will speak through your lips. Do as you have learned and have openly expressed yourself about what the church should do. Go,God's speed.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Good Times

Last night I said goodbye to the earthly life of my mom. She spent years doing what she felt was in her boys best interest. She force marched us to church, whipped us with a fly swatter and couldn't play football worth a toot; but she was there. Mom selflessly would not be hungry when we were short on desert. She would advise us what her gut feeling was telling her, then she would let us go and make our mistakes. She wouldn't take the blame or pay our debts; but she would teach us not to do the same thing twice.

Thanks God for using my mother to shape and mold me and my brothers and sister. Mom was good, life is better, life with moms will always be best. Catch you on the flip side of Jordan Mom!