Monday, December 31, 2007

Laughter in the House

There was laughter in my house this last few weeks. There was joy and happiness. And that produced laughter. And I think that pleases God.

Psalm 126 says:

When the Lord brought back the captives to Zion, we were like men who dreamed. Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy.

Then it was said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. Restore our fortunes, O Lord, like streams in the Negev.

Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him.

How many times when we see the glorious work of God, it's just like, well... it's just like a dream. It's just hard to comprehend. As we were together as a family this Christmas season, I was like someone who was dreaming. I look at what God has done for our family, and it's like a dream. The reality has not yet sunk in.

And so the psalmist, “When God worked, delivered Zion, we were just like those that dream.” So excited in what God was doing. It is just that the reality of it hardly seems to register in my feeble brain.

“Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The LORD has done great things for them”
Psalm 126:2

Oh, how special it is to just have that kind of joy and freedom to just be able to laugh over the good things that God has done.

“The LORD has done great things for us; whereof we are glad.”
Psalm 126:3

Is that an understatement, or what?

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas!

If I get nothing else for Christmas I will be happy!

I have received the greatest gift that I could have received this Christmas when it became clear that we were all going to be together as a family for Christmas. It is going to take a lot to top last Christmas in terms of material gifts since last year was the Beach House experience with our best friends in the world, the Woods.

But, this Christmas is already shaping up to be more blessed and more precious. We are together as a family and we are experiencing God's blessings and His presence in our lives like never before. We look forward to celebrating the birth of the Babe in a manger and thinking about the impact of the gift of that Child on the world.

As a father I cannot help but wonder about all the thoughts that went through the head of Joseph of Nazareth. There must have been lingering doubts. Even after a supernatural visit from an angel. Nevertheless, Joseph took Mary to be his wife and became the earthly father of our Heavenly Father. Wow! What a responsibility that must have been for Joseph. History does not really record much of Joseph's life. We don't know how much of Jesus' life Joseph was able to experience. There is no mention of Joseph in Scripture at the launch of Jesus' public ministry at the wedding feast. In fact we do not hear anything of Joseph after the trip to the temple when Jesus was still a young boy. Perhaps Joseph died soon thereafter. Again, we don't know.

But, I am blessed with the gift of seeing both of my children loving and serving God as adults. What more can this father ask for this Christmas?

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Fallout from the "Rule of Life"

How is it that I get a homework assignment when I am not even taking the class?

My best friend Dave is taking a Masters of Ministry class at Mount Vernon Nazarene University. As part of his Spiritual Formation Class he was given an assignments to write a paper entitled, Rule of Life. In that paper he was to outline some rules of life that will aid him in cultivating various Spiritual disciplines.

One of the disciplines that he will be cultivating is Spiritual journaling. That's great. He needs to do that. He's a pastor and we all know pastor's need to be doing all kinds of that religious stuff.

So how do I figure in to all of this? Well, part of the discipline is to have someone hold you accountable. That's where I come in. Which is great, because I am really good at holding people accountable for stuff. It's kind of like bossing people around. (Yet another thing I am good at!)

But then the Holy Spirit began to minister to me and speak to me about my level of Spiritual Discipline. He sort of asked me how I would hold someone accountable for something that is so valuable to your Spiritual growth and yet have no real experience with that activity myself? That was a very good question wasn't it? (I guess the Holy Spirit is pretty good at this sort of thing too!)

So, this morning I began a journal. I sat down before we left for church and began to write some things that I felt led to write at that particular point in time. I am not sure if I did it
right or not. But I know I made a start. My goal is to spend some time each day journaling. I don't know where that activity will lead. But I know that something positive will come out of spending more time in a new Spiritual discipline.

I am open to any suggestions or comments about journaling. Feel free to share them with me. Email me or comment on my blog. Certainly it will become more fresh as I am spending more time in the pursuit of Spiritual growth.

Oh yeah, and it will most certainly help me to help Dave as he lives out his newly written rules of life. Dave is my closest friend. We are very heavily invested in each others lives and families. We are brothers in nearly every sense of that word.

Pray for him.

Pray for me.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Favorite Old Hymn of the Church

What is your favorite old hymn of the church? I have posted 5 possibilities. You may have others that are not listed. But these are some of mine.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

If it wasn't for the lighthouse...

where would this ship be?

That is the signature lyric from a Ronnie Hinson song made popular by Greater Vision. I have always loved that song. But it became a little more real to me as my wife and I recently celebrated our 25th anniversary by taking a trip to door County in Wisconsin.

Door County is that little peninsula of land that sticks up into lake Michigan. On the west of the peninsula is Green Bay. On the east of the peninsula is the rest of Lake Michigan. Door County is dotted with lighthouses up and down both coasts and at the tip of the peninsula. They are spectacular in their beauty and an ever present reminder and analogy of Jesus Christ. Here are those lyrics.

There's a lighthouse on the hillside
That overlooks the sea
When I'm tossed it sends out a light
That I might see
And the light that shines in darkness now
Will safely lead me o'er
If it wasn't for the lighthouse
My ship would be no more

It seems that everybody about us says
Tear that old lighthouse down
The big ships just don't pass this way anymore
So there's no use in standing around
Then my mind goes back to that one dark, stormy night
When just in time, I saw the light
Yes, it was the light form that old lighthouse
That stands up there on the hill

And I thank God for the lighthouse
I owe my life to Him
Jesus is the Lighthouse
And from the rocks of sin
He has shown a light around me
That I might clearly see
If it wasn't for the lighthouse
Tell me where would this ship be?

I thank God for the lighthouse
I owe my life to Him
Jesus is the Lighthouse
And from the rocks of sin
He has shown a light around me
That I might clearly see
If it wasn't for the lighthouse
Tell me where would this ship be?

The very first lighthouse that we visited was the one on Cana Island. It was very obvious why a lighthouse was needed as we strolled beyond the grounds of the lighthouse and onto the area that led to the water's edge. The entire area was a giant rock shoal that was like a reef that surely had torn up many a ship's hulls down through the years. A careless captain or a captain who was unaware of the dangers present along that shore could use the light shining from that lighthouse to alert them of the dangers lurking in the shallow water.

And like those ship captains, I owe my life to that "lighthouse". Although I was raised in a Christian home, I came to realize that sooner or later I was going to have to navigate the stormy waters of life alone and without mom and dad to steer my ship. Fortunately I saw the lighthouse soon and allowed it to guide me safely home. But if it wasn't for that lighthouse, where would I be?

Where are you today? Are you floundering on the rocks? Are sailing perilously close to a reef and counting on your own expertise to navigate? Jesus stands on the shore and shines the light of His salvation to guide you safely into the harbor. Don't go it alone. It is just not worth it.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink

How many times have you heard that statement? It is an old bit of country wisdom. You can bring your horse to the water trough. But, if he ain't thirsty, then he ain't drinkin'.

Now, consider an update to that piece of rural wisdom.

You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink. However, you can salt his oats!

In days gone by, our forefathers knew that if a horse has been sick and is weak and in danger of going down, you can put a little salt in his oats and that salt will draw it to the watering trough and make it want to drink. This is a great analogy of God's grace in our lives before we actually come into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is active in our lives in such a way that He creates a "thirst" for the things of God in our lives.

Those of us from a Wesleyan heritage would call this Prevenient Grace. Maybe it is even more dramatic than a mere "thirst". Sometimes it is the Holy Spirit making us so miserable that we seem to have no where else to turn but to the Lord. (hey, that's a great old song, isn't it? -- Where Could I Go But to the Lord?)

I am thankful to God who not only sent His Son, but who also sent the Holy Spirit to be active in my life well before I bowed at an altar of prayer and asked Jesus to forgive my sins and make me a child of God.

"God, create in me a thirst for You and a thirst for Holiness every day"

Monday, August 06, 2007

How do you do it?

I read a lot of blogs throughout the course of a week. Most of them are Christian themed or theology related. And most of them are written or updated daily.

My question is...

How do you do it? For those of you who are pastors or in some other full-time ministry, I can see it being a part of your daily ministerial and professional activities. But how do the rest of you do it? How do you manage to keep your blog fresh and hold down a real job?!? I am struggling!

Oh well. If that is my biggest problem, then I am truly blessed!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Thanks to Calvary

"Thanks to Calvary, we don't live here, anymore."

That's the line to a song sung by The Cathedral Quartet that was written by Bill and Gloria Gaither.

The first verse and chorus goes like this:

Today I went back to the place where I used to go,
Today I saw the same old crowd I knew before.
When they asked me what had happened, I tried to tell them,
"Thanks to Calv'ry I don't come here anymore."


Thanks to Calv'ry I am not the man I used to be,
Thanks to Calv'ry things are different than before.
While the tears ran down my face, I tried to tell them them,
"Thanks to Calv'ry I don't live here anymore."

I am struck by the message of God's power to change our lives in such a way as it is though we have completed changed our place of residence. In fact, that is what He does. Thanks to Calvary, His death on the cross, and my acceptance of His Grace and Salvation I have a new home. My home is even now being prepared for me in Heaven.

I don't live here anymore. In fact, I am a pilgrim and a traveler in a foreign land. My customs are different than the customs of this place. My actions and my attitudes are different.

In fact, if I understand the Apostle Paul's writings, I actually died. I was born anew. And the new life I now live I live in the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. John Newton, author of the hymn, Amazing Grace, once said to a friend; "I am not all that I should be or what I want to be, but thank God I am not what I used to be."

Perhaps I should send a "change of address" card to all my friends and loved ones who don't know Jesus. I could tell them that "Thanks to Calvary, I don't live here anymore." Perhaps I should tell them how they can move on up to Gloryland as well.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

I was tagged!

I was tagged by Inheritor of Heaven.

Here is the drill.

1. Those tagged will share 5 Things They Dig About Jesus.
2. Those tagged will tag 5 people.
3. Those tagged will leave a link to their meme in the comments section of this post so everyone can keep track of what's being posted.

Here are my five.

1. Jesus loved me first, while I was un-lovable.
2. Jesus died for me, while I was yet a sinner.
3. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to be my Comforter and Guide.
4. Jesus inspires me to be His hands and His feet in this world.
5. Jesus is coming back for me some day! What a day that will be!

Here is a link back to everyone's list of 5 things they dig about Jesus.

Here are the five bloggers that I tag.

1. Shae's Blog
2. Thirsty Bear
3. Living in the Kingdom
4. One Way -> Jesus
5. Trey

This is what you do on a slow rainy 4th of July.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

I Saw Love Today

I saw love today in the eyes of a man who at 75 years of age and after 53 years of marriage still knelt down beside his wife's hospital bed to pray with her before the nurses wheeled her away to surgery. This is the love of a man for a woman who models daily what it is to have a Christian marriage and loves a woman who continues to be his partner through life.

I saw love today in the way that a son took time away from his busy pastoral schedule to come and be at the bedside of his mother and secretly slip away and build a new ramp for her so that she will be able to get in an out of the car in the comfort of the garage. This is the love of a man for the mother who brought him into this world and cared for his every need for 18 years and continues to care for him and love him as he approaches his 50th birthday.

I saw love today as the doctors and nurses kindly and gently cared for a woman who was in great pain and who was suffering physically in the aftermath of major surgery. This is the love of a caring professional who takes their life's calling and vocation seriously and who treats human beings with dignity at a very difficult and vulnerable point in their life.

I saw love today as countless friends and neighbors stopped by to check on a patient and dear friend. This is the love of someone who wants to give back some of the love that has been given so generously to them by the one who now lays in the hospital bed.

But I saw another love today. It was the love of a Heavenly Father who hovered above the hospital bed and watched over one of His precious children. It was the love of the Holy Spirit who was the Comforter as the anesthesia subsided and the pain became intense. And it was the love of Jesus Christ himself of whom it was written, “by His stripes we are healed.”

I was fortunate today to be a witness to that kind of love. I am fortunate to be loved in return by that mother laying in the hospital bed. I am even more blessed to be covered by that kind of love myself as a Child of God.

God, thank you for watching over Mom and helping her through surgery. Thank you God for your blessings and for the way that you show me each day the many ways that you are at work in my life.

Get well soon, Mom.

I love you.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Blessed are the Meek

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Matthew 5:5 ASV

God blesses those who are gentle and lowly, for the whole earth will belong to them.
Matthew 5:5 NLT

Can you think of many other passages in the Bible that are so counter to today's culture? I certainly cannot.

This was the text for our Bible Study last Sunday morning. And it engendered a great deal of discussion in the class. And that was a god thing since I was teaching that morning!

But this passage, perhaps more than any other passage in the Bible, clearly demonstrates the difference between what man esteems and what God esteems. So many times we, as humans, place value in and look up to the conquering heroes of history. Men like Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great, Napoleon, Gen. Patton and others are put on a pedestal by the writers of history.

There is even a part of us that, although we abhor the motivation and the inhumaneness of their actions, is somehow intrigued by men of power like Adolph Hitler or Saddam Hussein. These men were driven by blind (and sometimes mad) ambition to conquer the world. They did not let anyone stand in their way. Even their own people!

And the concept of meekness was somewhat foreign to the people of Jesus time. In fact, the Jews were looking for a Messiah who was a conquering hero to ride into their midst and help them to overthrow the evil Roman pagans. But Jesus spouts off with some nonsense like the "meek inheriting the earth." Who could believe or even understand that kind of talking?

So, Jesus himself says that He himself is the model of meekness. Matthew 11:28-30 says:
Come unto me, all [ye] that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke [is] easy, and my burden is light.

Zechariah prophesied about this same Jesus when he said in Chapter 9, verse 9:
Rejoice greatly, O people of Zion! Shout in triumph, O people of Jerusalem! Look, your king is coming to you. He is righteous and victorious, yet he is humble, riding on a donkey-even on a donkey's colt.

The Apostle Paul says in Philippians 2:5-11 (ASV):
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth; And [that] every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

And Peter says in II Peter 2:21-23 (ASV):
For hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that ye should follow his steps: who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered threatened not; but committed [himself] to him that judgeth righteously:

So what does this mean to me?

It means that I am to follow Jesus Christ's example in a way that is absolutely opposite to how the world says to live. Paul knew that when he wrote to the church at Ephesus.
I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
Ephesians 4:1-2

He wrote something similar to the church at Colosse.
Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
Colossians 3:12

He had similar advice to his young helper,Timothy, his son in the faith and partner in ministry.
But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.
I Timothy 6:11

To Titus, another son in the faith he wrote to encourage with these words:
To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, [but] gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.
Titus 3:2

What does meekness look like?
  • The man who is meek is not proud of himself. Instead he glorifies God the Father.
  • The man who is meek is not arrogant and demanding. Instead he is gentle and kind.
  • The man who is meek doesn't assert himself, or demand his rights. Instead he has a servant's heart.
  • The man who is meek is not sensitive about himself. Instead he is sensitive about the needs of others.
  • The man who is meek is not always on the defensive. Instead he is confident that God will watch over him.
  • The man who is meek never pities himself or feels sorry for himself. Instead he is conscious of God's grace and mercy that has been applied in his life.
  • The man who is meek realizes that he has so much more than he could ever possibly deserve!
Needless to say, the Bible Study session last Sunday was a real "gut check" for me. How about you?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Prayer Request for a Friend

I have a very dear friend who is going through a tough couple of days. I am asking any visitors to "Holiness of Heart and Life" to offer up a brief word of prayer for this friend and brother in Christ.

Thank you in advance for your prayers.


Sunday, June 03, 2007

Mountain Railroad or Highway

What is life like?

If you are over 50, then life is probably like a “mountain railroad” and you will hear the old country gospel song playing in your mind.

If you are under 30, then likely you will say that life is a “highway” and you want to ride it all night long and you will hear a song by Rascal Flatts playing in your mind.

If you are somewhere in between... Well, I don't know what you hear.

I have become very interested in reading a fellow blogger lately. His name is Trey and he posted last week about life as a highway and it got me to thinking. If you would like to read his original post, then follow this link. I think he took the highway analogy and did a fantastic job with it. I highly recommend you check him out.

I have an uncle that claims that there is sufficient theology in the old song that you can find salvation if you follow the words in the lyrics. I am not sure about that. But I think there is more to that song about the mountain railway than there is to the highway. Especially if your highway is like Rascal Flatts describes it.

Now don't get riled up with me. I actually like Rascal Flatts. I think they are an outstanding group. So don't pound me with email and responses about Rascal Flatts! But do you know the lyrics to that song? If not, I will include them for you. How about the old country gospel song? Do you know the lyrics to that one? If not, I will include them for you as well.

Read through the lyrics. Read Trey Morgan's post and then respond back with any of your thoughts about these two analogies of life.

Life is a Highway by Tom Cochrane

Life's like a road that you travel on
When there's one day here and the next day gone
Sometimes you bend and sometimes you stand
Sometimes you turn your head to the wind
There's a world outside ev'ry darkened door
Where blues won't haunt you anymore
Where brave are free and lovers soar
Come ride with me to the distant shore
We won't hesitate
Break down the garden's gate
There's not much time left today

Life is a highway
I wanna ride it all night long
If you're going my way
I wanna drive it all night long

Through all these cities and all these towns
It's in my blood and it's all around
I love you now like I loved you then
This is the road and these are the hands
From Mozambique to those Memphis nights
The Khyber Pass to Vancouver's lights

Knock me down get back up again
You're in my blood
I'm not a lonely man
There's no load I can't hold
Road so rough this I know
I'll be there when the light comes in
Just tell 'em we're survivors

Gimme gimme gimme gimme yeah
If you're going my way
I wanna drive it all night long
There was a distance between you and I
A misunderstanding once
But now we look in the eye

There ain't no load that I can't hold
Road so rough this I know
I'll be there when the light comes in
Just tell 'em we're survivors

Life is a highway
I wanna ride it all night long
If you're going my way
I wanna drive it all night long

Life is Like a Mountain Railroad by Eliza R. Snow and M.E. Abbey
Life is like a mountain railroad, with an engineer that’s brave;
We must make the run successful, from the cradle to the grave;
Watch the curves, the hills, the tunnels; never falter, never fail;
Keep your hand upon the throttle, and your eye upon the rail.

Bless'd Savior, Thou wilt guide us,
Till we reach that blissful shore;
Where the angels wait to join us
In Thy praise forevermore.

You will roll up grades of trial; you will cross the bridge of strife;
See that Christ is your Conductor on this lightning train of life;
Always mindful of obstruction, do your duty, never fail;
Keep your hand upon the throttle, and your eye upon the rail.

Bless'd Savior, Thou wilt guide us,
Till we reach that blissful shore;
Where the angels wait to join us
In Thy praise forevermore.

You will often find obstructions; look for storms of wind and rain;
On a hill, or curve, or trestle, they will almost ditch your train;
Put your trust alone in Jesus; never falter, never fail;
Keep your hand upon the throttle, and your eye upon the rail.

Bless'd Savior, Thou wilt guide us,
Till we reach that blissful shore;
Where the angels wait to join us
In Thy praise forevermore.

As you roll across the trestle, spanning Jordan’s swelling tide,
You behold the Union Depot into which your train will glide;
There you’ll meet the Superintendent, God the Father, God the Son,
With extended hand He'll great us, “Weary pilgrim, welcome home!”

Bless'd Savior, Thou wilt guide us,
Till we reach that blissful shore;
Where the angels wait to join us
In Thy praise forevermore.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Pentecost -- Presence, Power and Purity

There are many days that are celebrated because of their spiritual significance. Christmas - Good Friday - Easter and, in the evangelical holiness movement, Pentecost is of significance.

Consider the following:

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
Acts 2:1-4 NIV

There are a lot of things that speak to me out of this passage. I have hinted at some of them in the title of this post.

The presence of the Holy Spirit was undeniable. The Holy Spirit came in the form of a wind from Heaven and settled on those gathered in the form of little flames of fire.

The Holy Spirit was manifested in the power and ability of those Apostles to communicate to the many gathered in Jerusalem in their own native language. And to do so without the prior training or learning of that language. But there is an even more impressive display of the Holy Spirit's power. That power enabled Peter to rise above the denials and disappointing way that he had acted just a few short weeks ago on the night that Jesus was betrayed. Peter was empowered and emboldened to great things through the infilling of the Holy Spirit.

So what does this mean to me?

The presence and power of the Holy Spirit make it possible for our hearts to be purified. The Bible offers several passages that apply here.

Again, consider Peter the Apostle when he defended his visit to Cornelius's house in Acts 15 7-9 in the NIV.
After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: “Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. He made no distinction between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith.

Titus 2:11-15 offers us great hope and assurance that the Holy Spirit will purify our hearts in preparation for Jesus Christ's return.
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self‑controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope–the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.

James 4:8 is a little more direct and commands us to purify our hearts.
Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double‑minded.

God would not command us to do something that His Holy Spirit will not empower us to be successful at. And that is good news! In fact, God himself wants offer the Holy Spirit to us. Jesus, in Matthew 7 and Luke 11 used parables in His teaching and He tries to describe the love of our Heavenly Father.
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.“Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!
“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for[fn6] a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

Holiness is what I want. And holiness is what my heavenly father wants for me. Hey, that would make great lyrics!

Holiness, holiness is what I long for
Holiness is what I need
Holiness, holiness is what You
want from me

Holiness, holiness is what I long for
Holiness is what I need
Holiness, holiness is what You
want from me

So, take my heart and form it
Take my mind and transform it
Take my will and conform it
To Yours, to Yours, oh, Lord

Faithfulness, faithfulness is what I long for
Faithfulness is what I need
Faithfulness, faithfulness is what
You want from me

Brokenness, brokenness is what I long for
Brokenness is what I need
Brokenness, brokenness is what
You want from me

Thank you Scott Underwood for writing that worship chorus that expresses my desire and God's desire for me.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

"Putting off the old man"

I remember growing up in the 60's and 70's. It was very popular to refer to your dad as "the old man." That is to say, popular in every house but ours. We were told very early in our teen years about that phrase and that it was analogous to man's sinful nature. And that was definitely far from the representation or description of our father.

But what does "putting off the old man" mean to me?

Let's first look at a passage of scripture that brings up that phrase.

Now this I affirm and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds; they are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart; they have become callous and have given themselves up to licentiousness, greedy to practice every kind of uncleanness. You did not so learn Christ! -- assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus. Put off your old nature which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put on the new nature, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore, putting away falsehood, let every one speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil. Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his hands, so that he may be able to give to those in need. Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for edifying, as fits the occasion, that it may impart grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, in whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, with all malice, and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:17-32 RSV

Putting off the old man sounds almost benign in this passage, doesn't it? You get a somewhat different picture in Romans 6:6. That passage says this:
knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. Romans 6:6 NKJV

Crucified -- that's not quite so benign is it? That sounds downright painful in fact. And it is painful. Or rather, it was. It was painful when Christ died for our sins. It was painful when He willingly gave His life that we might live. And that brings me back to my original thought when I started writing this.

How should we then live?

I think the best way to live is to focus not so much on what we are putting off. But rather we should focus on what we are putting on. Put on a new Spirit for your mind as noted in verse 23. And put on holiness and righteousness as noted in verse 24.

Is it easy? -- Yes and No

It is easy in that we don't have to do anything in our own strength. We have the Holy Spirit to lead us, guide us and empower us to live a Holy life.

It is not easy in that we are often tempted to try to handle it on our own. We listen to the voice of the world that tells us that we need to be self-sufficient and rely on our own abilities. Self-reliance is an open invitation to letting the devil get a foothold in our lives as we are warned in verse 27.

Here are some practical words right out of our passage.
  • Speak truthfully to your neighbor
  • Be angry, but without letting that anger drive us to sin
  • Work hard and do something useful for the Kingdom
  • Share with those who are in need
  • Watch your mouth for unwholesome talk
  • Use our words to build each other up
  • Don't grieve the Holy Spirit
  • Get rid of socially unacceptable and disruptive behaviors
  • Be kind and compassionate to one another
  • Forgive each other as Christ forgave us
I am not sure why I wrote this today. But it came to me during the worship service this morning. Perhaps I wrote it because I needed to read it.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Mount Vernon In Spring

This past week was spent in central Ohio. Wow! It was beautiful. There were gently rolling hills, farms, small towns, and dear friends. We were in Ohio picking up our daughter from college. We also met some new friends. It doesn't get any better than this!

We will be back at the end of the summer!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Encouragement for Those Making Decisions

I was sitting in church yesterday morning (a good thing to do, I might add!) And the pastor read a passage of Scripture that went along with what he was going to preach about later in the service. But, the Holy Spirit meant it for me for a different reason.

Someone I know and love very much is facing some decisions about their future. The words in the text encouraged me. Perhaps it will encourage you, too.

So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and in his good time he will honor you. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about what happens to you. Be careful! Watch out for attacks from the Devil, your great enemy. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for some victim to devour. Take a firm stand against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are. In his kindness God called you to his eternal glory by means of Jesus Christ. After you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation. All power is his forever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 5:6-11 NLT
There are a couple of things that jump out at me from this passage.
  1. God cares about me and about what happens to me.
  2. Satan is prowling around looking for someone to devour.
So what does that say to me?
  1. The very God of the universe knows me and He cares about me. He knows what I need and He wants to meet my needs.
  2. Satan (the roaring lion) is opportunistic. The lion often lies in wait in the tall grass until the unsuspecting or weak prey wanders by too close.
So what does that mean to me?
  1. I should cast all of my cares, questions, concerns and burdens about the future upon Him. He is Sovereign. He is Love. And that is a powerful combination.
  2. I should stay strong and focused on the God who has brought me along thus far. Even though times may be good, do not forsake Him. Do not be proud and self-sufficient.
I don't know if this will help anyone this week. I know it helped me yesterday!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

And now I lay me down to sleep

And now I lay me down to sleep.
I pray the Lord, my soul to keep.
If I should die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take.

The little prayer that you and I may have prayed before we went to bed each night may be very similar to the one written above. It seems to me that it was somewhat self-serving, wasn't it? We prayed for ourselves. In our limited view of ourselves and of God's grace and mercy, we prayed that we would somehow make it to heaven if we died in our sleep.

But our parents went to bed later that night also. I was very fortunate to have Godly parents who prayed for me every day. And as apparent myself now, I wonder what my parents were praying? What were the things going through the minds of our mom and dad as they lay their heads on their pillows each night?

How are my kids doing in school?
How are they doing working at their jobs?
Is their job rewarding?
Are they making friends?
Are they making the right friends?
How are they getting along with their friends?
Are these friends helping them become more Christ-like?
Are they involved in a love relationship?
Is it a healthy relationship?
Does that person bring out the best in my son or daughter?
What is God's will for their future?
Are they open to the moving of the Holy Spirit in their lives?
Are they becoming young men and women of God?

That list above is a very different set of thoughts than what went through my head as a child. The thoughts and prayers are no longer quite so self-serving. In fact, it is all about someone other than ourselves. It is completely focused on those lives that God has entrusted to us to raise, to train and to live before as examples of what it is to be a mature person and, more importantly, what it is to be a mature Christian.

So what does this mean to me?

I think it means that my job as the primary prayer warrior for my children is no where near over! From the perspective of a 46 year old, I can more clearly see the impact of the things that are on the list of questions above.

But, let me say very quickly. I am very blessed. Both of my kids are growing and maturing and making great decisions. Both are actively seeking and following God's will as it is being revealed to them.

Be encouraged you parents of young children. Keep praying. God is still on the throne!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


We have been studying the book of Genesis in our Bible study class at church. And we have just crossed over from Abram to Abraham. There have been several instances of "laughing" or "laughter" that have caught my attention. Most of it revolves around Sarah and her response to hearing that she will bear a child. Or it revolves around her joy at the birth of Isaac as she acknowledges that it was God who brought forth this laughter.

Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised. Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him. Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him. When his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him, as God commanded him. Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.” And she added, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.”
Genesis 21:1-7 NIV

I am not sure exactly what I think about this passage. But I think that God is amazing in that He turned what was a gentle rebuke at Sarah's (and probably Abraham's as well) disbelief into an occasion for joy for the present time and for years to come.

Isn't that just like our God?

Monday, April 09, 2007

So what are we to “teach” our children? And, why should they listen?

In my last post I made a brief mention of teaching our children. And that got me to thinking. Admittedly, that may be a dangerous thing.

If your kids are anything like mine, it is entirely possible that they might have some questions. Look at verse 20 in chapter 6 of Deuteronomy.

“In the future your children will ask you, `What is the meaning of these stipulations, laws, and regulations that the Lord our God has given us?”

Tell them this.

Everything that comes from God has a special meaning. And further, there is a specific purpose for it. Otherwise, God would not have told it to us.

Tell them that our job is to first of all obey. Then, if we have time, figure out the “Why?”.

I would also make this observation to parents. A good healthy (yet reverend) inquisitiveness is a good thing. If children are curious about such things then it is a good sign that they are concerned about the things of God. Capitalize on that teachable moment and recount some story from your own life about how you saw God's hand at work in your life or in an important situation.

Again, if your kids are like mine, there is still another “Why?” coming. Why should we even obey God's laws and commandments?

We teach them to obey them out of gratefulness to God for all that He has done for us. The people in the story in Deuteronomy were not all that far removed historically from the great exodus out of Egypt. They certainly had much to be grateful to God for. See verses 21 to 23 for more on that.

We teach them to obey so that God would sustain us and continue to grant us favor in His eyes. see verse 24. This verse seems to indicate that our very life may depend upon it.

We teach them to obey so that we may be righteous. See verse 25. Now hold on. Don't get nervous. Any of you who know me well know that I am in no way indicating a works based theology here. Far from it. But there are some things required of me by a Holy God. And obedience is just one of them.

I John 3:7 says,
“Dear children, don't let anyone deceive you about this: When people do what is right, it is because they are righteous, even as Christ is righteous.”

Thursday, April 05, 2007

I am blessed

Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.
Psalm 127:3 NLT

I am not a big fan of some of the more modern translations of the Bible. I am an old KJV kind of guy. But, the New Living Translation really expresses what my heart feels today better than any of the 13 other versions that I looked at.

Today is my birthday. That's no big deal. What is a big deal to me is that my son called me at 6:45 Am this morning as we were both in our cars on the way to our jobs. He just called to say "Happy Birthday" and to tell me that he loves me.

My daughter texted me as soon as she got up this morning and before she went off to class at college. She said that she loves me and that I am "fabulous!" Not just good or great. But, fabulous!

My kids are truly a blessing from the Lord. I see that more and more each day as they continue to mature and become the man and woman that God is calling them to become.

Another verse comes to mind...
Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are away on a journey, when you are lying down and when you are getting up again.
Deut. 6:7 NLT

We are charged to instruct our children in the commands of God. Not just so that they might in their young and formative years they can join us in praise and worship, but that afterwards they might also, in their day, keep up “religion” (but more importantly, Relationship!), and convey it to their own children and those that should come after them.

On a day like today, I feel that I am blessed to be seeing that being lived out in my children's hearts and lives.

Thank you God.
Thank you JR and EH.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Combining Business with Pleasure

It is not often you get to combine business with pleasure. But we got to do just that recently as I attended RFID World at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center on Lake Grapevine.

Check out the Gaylord for yourself. It was very nice. We had a few problems with our room. So, we ultimately ended up in a suite. Even it had a few minor issues. But, we decided to live with it. ;>)

I'll post something a little more "spiritual" later this week or over the week-end.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Ready to preach, pray or die at any given moment

I have used that phrase for so many years now that I don’t even remember where I picked it up first. I think I first heard it from Reuben Welch, author of the best selling book, “We Really Do Need Each Other”.

My best friend, Dave Woods’ called me on it recently when we were visiting his church in Ohio. And my friend, Billy Long called me on it last week in Bible study. So what does it mean to me?

Ready to Preach?

Paul said in Romans 1:15, “So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.” KJV

The NASB says, “So, for my part, I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.”

For these reasons mentioned in the preceding verses, he was ready, if he had an opportunity, to preach the gospel at Rome. Though it was a public place, though it was a dangerous place, where Christianity met with a great deal of opposition, (remember, the Roman Emperor was fond of dipping Christians in tar and impaling them on pikes and then lighting them on fire to light his parties) yet Paul was ready to run the risk at Rome, if the opportunity came to him:

Charles Haddon Spurgeon, one of the best known preachers of the late 1800’s wonders if Paul didn’t use the words “I am ready” as his motto. Almost the first words out of his mouth when he was saved were, “Lord, what do you want me to do?” (Acts 9:6)

Ready to Pray?

Matthew 26:41 says, “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed [is] willing, but the flesh [is] weak.”

Mark 13:33 says, “Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.”

Mark 14:38 says, “Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly [is] ready, but the flesh [is] weak.”

Luke 21:36 says, “Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.”

James 5:16 says, “Confess [your] faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”

But, I caution you. Praying is sometimes the easy part. The hard part is often the “taking our hands off and letting God deal with it in His timing” part. Or the “patiently waiting upon the Lord” part.

Ready to Die?
For to me to live [is] Christ, and to die [is] gain. But if I live in the flesh, this [is] the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless to abide in the flesh [is] more needful for you. And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith; That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again.
Philippians 1:21-26 KJV

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, so that through my being with you again your joy in Christ Jesus will overflow on account of me.
Philippians 1:21-26 NIV

We all have a somewhat natural fear of death and dieing. I suppose it is partly because of the reluctance of leaving our loved ones. God has given to us beautiful and loving relationships, and the thought of being separated from these relationships is difficult. We are never ready it seems to let them go. We hear the phrase “hang on for dear life”. Often we are hanging on too dearly to this life.

Part of the fear comes from the unknown. There is always a certain fear of the unknown. For the unsaved, there are many unknown factors concerning, death that if they were known, they would have an even greater fear of death. For the believer, if we only knew all of the facts, we would have no fear at all. Rather, we would be like Paul, willing to be absent from this body that we might be present with the Lord.

In Philippians 1:23 Paul speaks of his mixed emotions, he had a desire to depart from this body and be with Christ, which he said was far better, yet he felt a necessity to live a little longer because of the loving relationships and he felt that they still needed his spiritual guidance.
In his letter to the Corinthians he mentioned how that we who are in these bodies often groan, earnestly desiring to be freed, not that we would be unbodied, but we longed for our new bodies in heaven.

So what does this mean to me?

I address this post primarily to men today. And the message to us as men is this. You and I are called to be the Spiritual leaders of our homes. I can think of no better way to live before our wives and children’s eyes than like Paul writes about in the passages that we have looked at in this blog post.

Paul was ready to preach – And maybe that is just a poor choice of words. What he is saying to us that we are to be ready to proclaim the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. To give a reason for the hope that lies within us. “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,” 1 Peter 3:15 NIV

Paul was ready to pray – There is nothing more important that we can can do than to pray. Pray for ourselves, lest we fall into temptation. Pray for our family and loved ones. Pray for our leaders in the Church and in the government.

Paul was ready to die – He says late in his life that he has run the race. “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness,” 2 Tim. 4:6-7 NIV

Are you ready for whatever God will put in your path today or this week?

Are you ready to meet Him if He were to call you home right now?

Would you like to be?

You can be! By the authority of God’s Word and in the power of the Holy Spirit you can be ready to “preach, pray, or die” at any given moment.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Living in a Tent, Worshipping at an Altar

In Genesis 12, Abram goes down to Egypt for legitimate reasons. After all, there was a famine in the land. But that sort of begs the question as to whether or not God could have or would have provided for Abram back in the land that God had promised him? But, we can deal with that in another post.

So what does Abram do after his little jaunt down into Egypt? In Genesis 13, he comes back to the fertile land of the promise and he builds an altar. Abram finds himself in a situation that is very familiar to many of us. He finds himself in a location, and a spiritual condition, where he does not feel God's presence as near as he once did. So Abram does what makes sense. He goes back to the place where he last felt close tot he presence of God. And further he returns to the lifestyle that he was living prior to his sojourn in Egypt.

Abram did what he should to rekindle the fire of God's presence within him. He did not beat himself up for his recent sin. Instead he got busy by getting back on the journey and adventure that God had called him to. He went back to living in a tent as a pilgrim, back to worshipping at the altar that he had built before, and back to calling upon the name of the Lord.

Here is a model for you and I to follow when we find that we too have wandered from God's presence and found ourselves mired in sin. First, get out of the place of sin. Second, return to the place and the activities where we last felt God's presence.

This I know for sure. If we are feeling afar off from God, rest assured it is not God who has wandered from us. It is always us who have wandered from God.

Weak and wounded sinner
Lost and left to die
O, raise your head, for love is passing by
Come to Jesus
Come to Jesus
Come to Jesus and live!

Now your burden's lifted
And carried far away
And precious blood has washed away the stain, so
Sing to Jesus
Sing to Jesus
Sing to Jesus and live!

And like a newborn baby
Don't be afraid to crawl
And remember when you walk
Sometimes we
Fall on Jesus
Fall on Jesus
Fall on Jesus and live!

Sometimes the way is lonely
And steep and filled with pain
So if your sky is dark and pours the rain, then
Cry to Jesus
Cry to Jesus
Cry to Jesus and live!

O, and when the love spills over
And music fills the night
And when you can't contain your joy inside, then
Dance for Jesus
Dance for Jesus
Dance for Jesus and live!

And with your final heartbeat
Kiss the world goodbye
Then go in peace, and laugh on Glory's side, and
Fly to Jesus
Fly to Jesus
Fly to Jesus and live!
Chris Rice - Untitled Hymn (Come To Jesus)

Sunday, March 11, 2007

God's Covenant with Abraham

This was the topic in our Sunday School Class (er, I mean, Bible Study) this morning. We studied Genesis chapter 12. The Abrahamic Covenant may offer more questions than answers. I know it certainly does for me. Here are some of the questions that I have:

  • Does it promise Israel permanent existence as a nation?
  • Does it promise Israel permanent ownership of the promised land?
  • Is the covenant conditional or unconditional in nature?
  • If it is conditional, then the fulfillment of its promises is dependent upon the obedience of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and their physical descendants, the people of Israel.
  • If the Abrahamic Covenant is unconditional, then is the fulfillment of its promises dependent upon the faithfulness of God to His word, or upon man's obedience?
Do you need a refresher on the basics of the covenant between God and Abram (Abraham)? If so, turn in your Bible to Genesis 12 and again in chapter 15.

There are three main features to the Abrahamic Covenant.
  1. God promises Abram land (lots of it!). The promise of land is found in Genesis 12:1. God called Abraham from Ur of the Chaldees to a land that He would give him. This promise is reiterated in Genesis 13:14–18 where it is confirmed by a shoe covenant; its dimensions are given in Genesis 15:18–21 along with the dead animals and the stroll through the carcasses.

  2. God promises descendants (lots of them!). God promised Abram that He (God) would make a great nation out of him. Abram, who was 75 years old and childless at the time (Sarai is barren at this point), was promised many descendants. This promise is further explained in Genesis 17:6 where God promised that nations and kings would descend from the him. This promise leads to the Davidic Covenant of 2 Samuel 7:12–16 and would lead to King David's throne and ultimately with King Jesus.

  3. God promises blessings (again, lots of them) and redemption (final, full and free!). God promised to bless Abram and all the families of the earth through him. This promise is further defined in the New Covenant found in Jeremiah 31:31–34 as well as Hebrews 8:6–13, and has to do with “Israel’s spiritual blessing and redemption.” Jeremiah 31:34 anticipates the forgiveness of sin and points us ultimately toward the cross and Easter.
I cannot escape the "unconditional" nature of this covenant. In fact, Abram is sound asleep during the covenant ceremony. God, and God alone, in the form of fire and smoke walked among the animal carcasses. This is a divine indicator that there was really nothing Abram could have done any way. At least not at this part of the process.

Now, does that mean that Abram did not have a real and active part in living out the covenant? Absolutely, Abram had a part. His part was to walk with God and follow where He led. His part was to keep his eyes on God as God led him out of Ur of the Chaldees and into a land that Abram knew absolutely nothing about.

His part is just like our part. We are to walk with God on the same sort of "faith walk" that Abram went on. We are to walk with God daily. And daily we are to commit to upholding our part of the covenant. But, we like Abram, do not have the power and ability to do even our part on our own. Fortunately we have the Holy Spirit to empower us to live a holy life, a covenant life.

There is much more to be said about the twelfth chapter of Genesis. I particularly like the last few verses where we see pharaohs and plagues and deliverance out of Egypt. What an incredible foreshadowing of events that would take place some 430 years later. But, I will save that for another blog post.

What are your thoughts about this chapter and story of Abram's life?

Thursday, March 08, 2007

What is your favorite Holiness passage?

Mine is probably I Peter 1:13-16

Wherefore girding up the loins of your mind, be sober and set your hope perfectly on the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as children of obedience, not fashioning yourselves according to your former lusts in [the time of] your ignorance: but like as he who called you is holy, be ye yourselves also holy in all manner of living; because it is written, Ye shall be holy; for I am holy.

For me, being holy is the opposite of being “common” or “worldly.” God is holy in that He is utterly and completely different and distinct from His creation. We must also be different, distinct, and separate from the worldly attitudes and actions that are so prevalent in today's society and that characterize the unbelievers.

I also like the KJV for a passage in chapter 2 and verse 9, in that it conveys an idea of being separate:

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9, KJV).

I have some more favorite passages on this subject (as you might imagine.) But this will do for now.

So, what is yours? And why is it your favorite?

Monday, March 05, 2007

Life Has Settled Down

It is hard to believe that my last post was January 9th. But, that was the last one. Since then there have been many things that have happened in my life. And God deserves all the praise and glory for what He has done. And life is settling down.

I am very grateful for those of you have have stopped by my blog from time to time to see if I was still "on the air." Some of you even wrote me personal emails and I am thankful for those as well.

I have nothing profound to say on this my first post in quite some time. I will just say that I am still captured by the words of one of the songs that we sung yesterday in church.

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

He has been my strength!

He has been my hope!

Great is Thy Faithfulness!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Maybe the Best Christmas of ALL Time!

Christmas of 2006 may have been the best of all time for me. There are a lot of reasons for this. Some of them are too personal to share in this forum. But God really has blessed my family in recent days. I am grateful for all that He has done and all that He is doing.

Here are some photos from Christmas 2006.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Happy New Year!

I trust that you all had a great and glorious Christmas Season. And my prayer for each of you is that this year will bring you closer to God and that you will experience His good, pleasing and perfect Will. And I pray that you will be greatly blessed in this new year.

Updated Blog Layout

I updated the blog with a new layout and some new content. What do you think of the layout? For those of you who are using Blogger, what do you think of the changes from the author perspective?