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Showing posts from December, 2014

A Year in Review: The Story I Had Fun Telling

Well, what do you know, it's another review! 

Luke 8:40-56
They knew she was dead. They knew it!
There was this guy that lived a long time ago. He did things. He did amazing things. And he spoke truth. But the truth was so amazing, people had a hard time believing it. They didn't accept it, or didn't want to accept it. 
But he would do these amazing things anyway. He would do them for free. So word began to spread and people began to call him for help, hoping he would do something amazing for them. 
One such time these parents had a young girl who was dying, so they called this guy. He agreed to come, but as you might imagine, people who can do amazing things often get stopped and distracted by other people who need amazing things done. 
And that happened. He got stopped. By another woman who was in need. She'd been bleeding. Actually she'd been bleeding for a long time. This was in a day and age before reliable healthcare. It was also a day before health insurance…

A Year in Review: The Story My Kids Still Talk About

True story. My kids still talk about this. This is from August of this year. 

Last month, when we had that giant storm come through and cause all sorts of ruckus, I was awoken in the middle of the night by my wife saying, ‘There’s a tornado warning. I have all the kids downstairs. You should come downstairs.’ 

Jen and I have been married for over 17 years. We’ve had discussions on what to do in a storm. Despite my tendency to scoff and doubt weathermen, I went downstairs and promptly fell asleep on a couch next to one of the kids. Jen stayed up for a few more hours on high alert.

After about an hour of the roof not falling in around us, I went back to bed, seeking a spot where a child's leg would not be lodged in my back.

I think we discovered our differences in storm situations back when we were engaged. She was spending some time in Florida one summer, when the people on TV started telling us to evacuate to nearby schools because of impending hurricane-like weather. Jen looked to…

A Year in Review: The Reminder I Need

I'm posting some of my faves from this past year. I'll post your faves if you tell me what they are. 

It's harder than it looks. That's what one of the teens said after a student led night. I wanted to respond with, 'Yeah, that's why it's called a job.' But that might have been misconstrued as harsh. Besides, if we're being honest and nice about things, we could say this about most things. 
If we are to actually look back and consider what high school was like, it was harder than it looks. The other people, to whom we continually compare ourselves to, also have a job which is likely harder than it looks. And it would be nice if someone looked at our responsibilities and realized that we're not sipping lemonade with our feet in the sand. Unless, of course, your job is to taste test lemonade while sitting on the beach. Then your job is not harder than it looks.
And we all hate you.
Having said all this, just because a job is difficult does not mea…

A Year in Review: Understanding Women

I'm posting reviews from this past year, but don't be surprised if I add some new content here or there before 2015. Here's one I could have written last week and just changed the ages on and I would have still been accurate. 

At breakfast one morning, my 10 year old son noted that his 12 year old sister is up before him every morning and yet always seems to be around and ready to leave last. It's a true story. Oh, she tries, she tries. But every morning we have somewhere to go inevitably ends up with me pushing the 12 year old to get out the door. 

Without offering any fatherly wisdom to my son's observation at this point, I smiled knowingly.

He continued.

"I have, like, four main things I do every morning. She has, like, ten and I don't even know what half of those things are."

Honestly, I couldn't say it any better myself.

A Year in Review: When I Looked Back This Year at the Previous Year

I usually end each year by posting some of the faves and best posts from the year. It's fun to look back, plus it gives me more time to focus on Christmas shopping. With that in mind I welcome you to the first of a few faves.

Recently our church had our Annual Society Meeting, a great time of mirth and merriment that makes birthday parties feel like dental appointments. Since I had so much fun writing and giving my report, I thought I would share the joy here. 

Honestly, what follows is close to my heart, and only a portion of what I shared at the meeting. 

I sit before a blank screen each year and think through what I want to say to this esteemed audience. Realizing this is the twelfth time I have done this doesn’t exactly make it easier, wondering how I can keep this fresh, since I am quite certain many of you have taken copious notes from previous years. Obviously there are a few things I want to ac…

True Love Project

I was recently offered the opportunity to review True Love Project by Clayton & Sharie King. The subtitle is How the GOSPEL Defines Your Purity, and the Kings do a fantastic job of laying a great foundation.

Because we have all heard, and maybe even taught, that purity should be the goal, which means waiting for sex until marriage. But I hope Christians can agree that purity is so much more than that.

What I received was 3 separate books. There is the classic book, which could be read by anyone, regardless of which boxes you check when asked about age, beliefs, married or single. The book has follow-up questions after each chapter, lending it to use by a leader in a group setting. Like I said, Clayton and Sharie do a good job laying the foundation on what purity looks like and why it is important.

The other two books are more devotional style, one for guys and one for the ladies. I would recommend you get copies of these into the hands of your teens. 40 Days of Purity is the time…

What Do We Expect?

What do we expect? I mean, what do we really expect?
I was looking at this info-graphic recently. You can click on the image if you want to expand it. Go ahead, I'll wait. 

In it they show how very little even Evangelical Protestants agree with what has historically been perceived as absolute truth. Perhaps you've seen and read info-graphics like this before. Sadly, I can't say I was surprised by most of the numbers.
What did catch my eye was the statistic that showed only 47% of Christians strongly agree that Heaven is a real place. While it is disturbing to actually consider that half of all Christians don't actually believe Jesus is preparing a place for us, did you catch the wording?
Strongly agree?
This tells me the question was: Do you believe in heaven? And the possible answers were; Strongly Agree, Agree, Disagree and Strongly Disagree. I'm going to go ahead and assume Neutral was a possible response to keep survey-takers happy. 
How do you strongly agree w…

God's Public Relations Guy

I could be the public relations guy for God. I'm smart. I know what looks good. I'm not saying God doesn't, but who couldn't use a P.R. guy every once in a while. Someone to explain why the Flood was a good idea. Someone to extrapolate as to why Pharaoh had to go. Someone to talk to the press when things get a little out of control.

Or perhaps someone to kindly suggest things to God. Listen, I work in a church. I see things. I watch the ups and downs of lots of lives. I see how it impacts the lives of others and how the general mood of an entire church family can move.

There have been moments when I believed it would have been a perfect time for a miracle. Yeah, a nobody-could-do-this-but-God type of miracle. I'm not talking about a Lifetime Movie kind of miracle where the bad boy decides to make a good decision. I'm talking proven, walk-on-water, heal-the-sick, turn-water-into-wine, there's no way that could happen, kind of miracle.

I'd even coordinate …

The Bronze Shield That Made Me Sad

A bronze shield. Who would have thought so much discouragement could come from a bronze shield? But when I read 2 Chronicles 12:10, which tells us King Rehoboam of Judah put bronze shields in the royal treasuries, I immediately thought of how discouraging that must have been.

You wouldn't think so, would you? After all, a bronze shield would defend. It would protect. It would do what it was made to do.

And yet...

If you flip back a few chapters, to the description of King Solomon's reign, you read of excessive opulence. We read of vast riches and people living in the lap of luxury. Foreign Queens visit and swoon over the organization, the ritual, Solomon's wisdom and yes, the riches.

For a few chapters we read of all the wealth Solomon had, including a fleet of ships which seemed to have no other purpose than going around getting Solomon more stuff. 2 Chronicles 9 tells us the ships would come back into port every 3 years loaded "with gold, silver, ivory, apes and pea…

Just the First of Many Christmas Devotionals You Will Read This Month

The last two weeks of November have been quite the struggle for me. But to properly share this struggle, I have to go back a couple of know....when big box stores began putting out their Christmas decorations and playing Christmas music in certain parts of the store. You know the stores.

I can be counted along with all those complainers, the self-righteous (and self-appointed) judges who criticize our society for stuffing ourselves with Halloween and then immediately start the gorge of unneeded things for Christmas, all while ignoring the one holiday that celebrates contentment.

Then people...people you and I know, started posting Christmas music videos. I watched it. I enjoyed it. But it wasn't time. You don't listen to Christmas music until the day after Thanksgiving, when it is also acceptable to decorate your home. I've held this standard for a few reasons down through the years:

1. A lot of Christmas music can get annoying if played more than 4 week…