Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Calm. It’s such a small word and yet the idea that it represents is of infinite value. How much would you pay for an hour of calmness in your life, or even where it really matters, your soul? To be calm is a good feeling. It brings peace and contentment, at least for a moment. As I get older it also seems to be more and more elusive. It was so much easier to find as a child even though back then I never realized I was looking for it. All I had to do then was turn to a parent or grandparent, someone who loved me and looked out for me, to find it.

Now I’m the dad and my kids look to me for it, whether they realize it or not. For instance, when my 15 year old son who’s learning to drive almost has a wreck and his heart’s pumping adrenaline and panic through his veins and he looks at me with wide eyed terror it’s up to me to talk him through it and bring a little calm into his life. Or when my oldest daughter snaps a screw off of the trumpet her band teacher just sent her home with that day and she knows she’s going to get into trouble. It’s up to me to bring a little calm into her life by giving her a hug and telling her that I’ll try to fix it (which I did by the way). Or when my youngest daughter crawls up into my lap in the evening or calls to me from her room at bed time to come pray with her before she goes to sleep. They look to me to bring a little calm into the craziness that is life.

Wouldn’t it be nice to crawl into the arms of a loving parent and hear them pray over you before tucking you in for a good night’s sleep once again? I think a moment like that would be worth a fortune to most of us. What if I told you you could have moments like those? I think we can. Read these words from Psalm 131 and I think you’ll see what I mean.

1 O LORD, my heart is not lifted up;         

my eyes are not raised too high;    

 I do not occupy myself with things         

too great and too marvelous for me.     

2 But I have calmed and quieted my soul,         

like a weaned child with its mother;        

 like a weaned child is my soul within me.     

3 O Israel, hope in the LORD         

from this time forth and forevermore.

When we take time to crawl into our heavenly Father’s lap He will bring calmness to our souls just like a loving parent. I hope you know that feeling.

A Word to the Wise

Posted: March 8, 2011 in Uncategorized

Have you ever wished you would’ve just kept your mouth shut? Abraham Lincoln once said “Tis better to be silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.” Amen to that brother. There have been plenty of times I wish I would’ve kept my mouth shut. The thing is that during those moments, even though I know better, I just can’t seem to help myself. I know I shouldn’t say anything but I do anyway and afterwards I always end up feeling very foolish. According to Scripture that”s exactly what I am.

Listen to this, “A fool gives vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.” (Prov. 29:11)

I read this the other day in my quality time with God and it really hit home. If you know me then you know I’m not the kind of person to hold a grudge or stay mad about anything. In fact, you would probably say that I’m generally a pretty laid back person, and I am. If you know me well then you also know that I have my moments, and I have them more often than I’d like to admit. It’s true that I don’t usually stay mad about anything for very long but that’s not the same as not getting mad. When I get angry or irritated about something it usually comes on me pretty quick and those are the times I open my mouth when I know better.

Here’s a real life example of how that plays out. A couple of weeks ago I was on a mission trip with a small team. We had a tremendous week of preaching and teaching and had been enjoying a great time of fellowship with each other all week. By the end of the week we were tired and ready to be home but we were still full of joy from a week just serving Godtogether. Then I got irritated (that’s a nice way of saying I was fit to be tied). Here’s what happened. I was missing my family whom I hadn’t seen for eight days and I had spent about nine hours going through airports, security, customs, etc and sitting next to total strangers (one of whom really liked to talk… a lot). We had one more flight to go and it was only supposed to take an hour, I was almost home. Then I find out that we landed forty five minutes late and that we missed our departing flight by fifteen minutes. That’s okay though, because come to find out that flight had been canceled anyway and we had been rescheduled to fly out the following day, a mere twenty-two hours later. The good news is that our luggage had been sent ahead of us AND we would get a discounted hotel rate. Yeah… I swelled up like toad. Needless to say I gave full vent to my spirit. I have to commend the rest of the mission team for being very patient and understanding with me (they were in the same situation after all). I guess they thought I was throwing enough of a fit for all of us. It’s really good to have Christian brothers and sisters who understand grace and will love us even when we’re not lovable.

I said all that to say this, what’s the point? Having a bad attitude and swelling up didn’t change anything. It didn’t get me home any sooner and it sure didn’t bless the people around me. I guess my point is this. There may be wisdom in words sometimes, but there is most definitely wisdom in knowing when to be silent. God certainly has a way of teaching us these things doesn’t He? I just wish I wasn’t such a slow learner.

Getting Caught Up

Posted: February 16, 2011 in Uncategorized

A couple of days ago a good friend of mine called me and asked “What’s going on?” I replied, “Just trying to get caught up” to which he said, “You’re always trying to get caught up.” Hmm, he’s got a point. As I’m writing this it’s early in the morning, my wife and kids are still warm in their beds, I have a fresh cup of coffee and I’ve just finished writing an article for next month’s church newsletter. Tomorrow I’m leaving with a team of missionaries from my church to begin a new work in the Dominican Republic and it seems as though there are a million things to get done between now and then. Lines from a couple of old songs come to mind right now. One from a country song that goes like this, “I’m always running, but I’m always running behind” (I can’t remember who sings it, I’m not really much of a country music fan) and the other is an old Bob Seger tune that goes, “What to leave in, and what to leave out, against the wind, I’m running against the wind.” I guess I am always trying to get caught up. The problem is I can get so caught up in trying to get caught up that I miss what’s happening all around me.

In Ecclesiastes 1:3 Solomon asks the question, “What does man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun?” It’s a good question. What do we (I) gain by all my busyness? Or more importantly, what do we miss? I think if you read through the book of Ecclesiastes you’ll find that that’s really Solomon’s question. You see, work isn’t a bad thing. God has given us work to do and we should apply ourselves to it and do it well. We just shouldn’t get so caught up in trying to get caught up that we miss what God is doing right now, in, through, and around us. I know it’s difficult sometimes because there’s always so much that needs our attention. Don’t neglect your responsibility but remember to put first things first. Even Jesus would withdraw from the crowd to spend time alone with God and to be with those close to Him.

“But now even more the report about him went abroad, and great crowds gathered to hear him and to be healed of their infirmities. But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray.” Luke 5:15-16 (ESV)

Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the sea.” Mark 3:7 (ESV)

“And he went up on the mountain and called to him those whom he desired, and they came to him.” Mark 3:13 (ESV)

Don’t get so caught up in trying to get caught up that you miss out. Now, I’m going to try to take my own advice. I’m going to get some work done today but I’m also going to enjoy time with my God, my family, and my students and youth leaders. Please pray for my family while I’m gone this next week and for the mission in the Dominican Republic.

Jesus

Posted: December 26, 2010 in Uncategorized

As the holiday season comes to a close and another year is coming to an end I am ever reminded of those things that I am most thankful for. As I have written about over the past few weeks I am truly blessed with friends and family who love, support, and encourage me through the good times and the hard times. I am blessed to have several true men of God believe in me and the ministry that God has called me to also. They have and continue to love, teach, support, and invest into my life and ministry.

As I have reflected on these blessings over the last few weeks, and especially the past few days, I am of course reminded of the one blessing that I am most thankful for. Jesus. Why should I be so blessed? Why did God become a man and offer Himself in my place? Why did He choose to save me? Why does He love me so? Why does He still choose to fill my heart and life with His presence and joy? In moments of happiness, contentment, and excitement I know Him. In moments of sorrow, weakness, and depression I know Him. There have been times when I have turned away and all but ignored Him. There have been times I have had to simply rely on the promise of His word, that He would never leave or forsake me, to know He is here. There are times that I cry out to Him through prayer whether in thanksgiving, petition, brokenness, or repentance. Then there are those times that His presence is so strong that I think my heart may burst and all I can do is praise Him. Why? It has everything to do with who He is and nothing to do with who I am. That’s why I’m so thankful.

This week I will be on the mission field in Mexico with a team from my church as well as from several other churches. We have only one task this week; to share Jesus. I can think of no better way to end the year than to tell others about what God has done for them. My prayer is that as we begin a new year, those of us who call ourselves by His name would make it our task to simply share Jesus with others, through our words, deeds, and attitudes.

I wish everyone a happy new year, filled with the joy of knowing Jesus, and the blessing of sharing Him with others. See you in 2011.