Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year's Eve

It is kind of hard to believe that 2008 is just around the corner. What are your desires for the new year?
I get quite reflective during this time on the calendar. I really try to consider all that has happened during the last year and how God used it to speak into my life. It is fun, but challenging to say the least...
This past year has seen a lot happen in our lives... Over the next post or two I will share some of what God has allowed me to experience in the past twelve months...

What is the most exciting moment of 2007 for you?

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Forgotten Ways of Christmast No.2

It has been a while since I have written about The Forgotten Ways of Christmas, so here we go again lest you think that I was just going to pick it back up next year.
As I have thought about the Scriptures dealing with the birth of Jesus, I have been struck by the humility of it all. God's way is humble. I have much to learn about this... Jesus comes as Paul says in Philippians 2 "not counting equality with God something to be grasped".
How awesome is this. God is the most humble. Jesus is living out the character of the Father in the Incarnation.
I believe that we all have much to learn about the ways of God. But if I were God, I would have gone to the top of Everest to announce the birth of the Messiah. If I were Jesus I would have wanted to make a GRANDE entrance into this life. But this is not the way of God... No God works in the humility of a vulnerable child.
Lord help us all who are prideful and self-absorbed.
"A man wrapped up in himself makes a small bundle." Ben Franklin

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Great Magnolia State

Julie and I have arrived in Mississippi. We spent the night last night in Oxford, Alabama and then got off early this morning. The trip was good and we ran into something that we have not seen much up in Peach state... RAIN. Bad weather in Meridian derailed us for a while, but we were able to get going again without much delay. It is good to be here in Jackson. We will be Julie's parents for a few days and then up to Louisville to spend a few days with my family.
I am about try out a new French Press coffee maker. I am sure that the home brew will be delightful.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Off to Mississippi

Julie and I and of course our little Yorkshire Terrier will be traveling out to the great land of Magnolias. We will have an opportunity to spend some time with our families for Christmas. Julie's family lives in Jackson and mine lives in Louisville. We only live an hour and half a part so that is nice. We love travel days it is fun especially in these cool days of winter.
Until we arrive, have a great day!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Forgotten Ways of Christmas No.1

As I have been reading the Scripture passages that surround the birth of Christ, several different ideas have just jumped off the text to me. Over my next few post I will share these insights with you and maybe you will find them helpful.

God works in obscurity:
God revealed His plan to the simple no-name shepherds that were tending the flock. These unassuming workers were the ones to observe the angels as they appeared singing of this great Divine act. How stunning it is to know that God did not go to the religious elite in order to reveal the birth of His Son.
Now God could have gone to the Temple with the news, but would they really have believed? I feel quite certain that the texture their heart was such that these "religiousites" would have disregarded the announcement and gone on with business as usual.
This challenges me to be open when God decides to show up in my life. There is no rhyme or reason to the way God works. God can and does show up where He pleases. As I consider different episodes in Scripture, it seems to me that He likes to appear in the obscure places of life. An experience may seem to just be routine or mundane, but quickly it can become the stage for the Divine. I do not want to miss out on these times of grace in my life, therefore I pray that I will be filled with eager anticipation for the presence of the Lord.

How has God revealed Himself or His plans in the Scriptures?
How has God revealed Himself or His plans to you in the past?
Pray that you would have a spirit of openness and expectation as you go through your day.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Unexpected

What are you giving others this Christmas? What do you want to get this Christmas?

Do you have expectations?

I wonder what the shepherds thought when the angels appeared in the field?
I wonder what Mary felt when the angel came to her?
What did Joseph feel as he awoke from his day dreaming?

The unexpected comes to us and we do not know what to think or feel. We assume that we know what we need from God, but He knows best. We think that we have our needs fairly ironed out... but truthfully we lack the insight needed.

How would I respond if I were in the Joseph's shoes? or Mary's? or the Shepherd's? or even the Wisemen? I hope that I would be willing and ready to be obedient. It is hard to be ready for the unexpected.
Lord keep us open to the unexpected. Lord make us aware of your presence? Give us a willing heart to do as you prompt us.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Hope of Jesus

Jesus came into this world to bring Hope. He came that we might envision what might be... what could be... what should be!
Jesus came that we might have life. Isaiah says, "to those living in darkness, a light as dawned."
I can remember going out in the woods with my dad to hunt. He would leave me at a place and go on further to another spot. We would hunt for a few hours and then he would come get me. I always loved seeing his flashlight as he would make his way to me. The light was a sense of comfort and security. When I saw the light - hope welled up in me as a child. The light was a sign that all was well.
Scripture tells us that Jesus is the light of the world. He is a sign to to us that hope has come and that in Jesus... all is well.
This Christmas, may we seek the Lord and know the hope that is in Christ. I pray that each of us will live out the Christ life and be hope in a world that needs to know and experience the hope that Christ offers.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Simply Christmas

I was reading a Christmas sermon last night about how Christmas is for the simple. The shepherds were religious rejects who smelled like sheep dung. They slept in a field most every night and almost never made it to the Temple. While they were not welcome company with "cultured" people, they were the ones chosen to be visited by the angels. These smelly simple shepherds were the ones told of the birth of Jesus and they had the simple faith to believe... and they did! God gave the shepherds a firsthand account of the Messiah's birth. The elite, wealthy, and religious people were left off the announcement list. Maybe they were too busy or maybe they were just too "religious" for their own good. Or maybe just maybe, they did not have the faith to believe.
I believe that God knew what he was doing as he told those simple shepherds that night. The Gospel is for all people. The Good News is available to all... Praise be to God!

Monday, December 3, 2007

It's A Wonderful Life

Christmas movies are the best. I am just enthralled with them. It is one of the ways to just truly enjoy the season.
It's A Wonderful Life is one of my favorite Christmas movies. It must be on TV a zillion times during the holiday's, but I still love it any way. I really do not get tired of it.
It reminds me that I do take much for granted and the life that I long to live, is often right under my nose.
The movie inspires me to make the most of each day and to live each day with a deep sense of wonder and expectation.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Gifts of Christmas

What is on your list to give this Christmas? The other day the radio station was advertising a chance to win a box of the latest toys. Each year there are many new toys and gadgets that are marketed in such a way that you are almost made to feel empty without them. It is like our lives will not be whole without this latest "stuff". But the truth is our lives are empty because we lack the timeless gifts of love, joy, and peace. I want to give more love to those around me. It strikes me as a simple idea, but while we want more love we actually withhold it from those we care so much about. I long to live a generous life.
This Christmas, may we all give the gifts that lead to wholeness not emptiness. Jesus came in love for all humanity that peace might be known and that joy would be a reality to us all.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Incarnational Christmas

I have been reading the Christmas passages again this year and just love them. They are so refreshing and take me back to special moments with my family. My dad always read the Christmas story to the family before we would open all the gifts.
Jesus came into the world as a fragile baby. He came in a vulnerable way to live a life of subversive love. Jesus came as God in flesh. God incarnate. To reveal the Father.
As I once again consider the story of the Christ child, I am challenged again to live in an incarnational way in the world that God has placed me in.

Oh Holy God
Fill Us With Your Glory

Oh Holy God
Incarnate Yourself Anew

Oh Holy God
Descend to Us We Pray

Oh Holy God
This Christmas Day

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Hardwork of Being Refined...

In our lives we are always going through moments that can change us... I have been reading several books lately and portions in each book have spoken to the ways that God shapes his children. I am amazed at the amount of time that God spends making his people the people that he wants them to be. God is so patient with me!
I only wish that I were more receptive...
I mean God takes precision care to shape all the areas of my life. The rough edges must come off... even though it may hurt! God really does long to make me into something new. He does desire that your life and my life would be formed after his heart... That the character of our lives would take on the character of Christ thus forming us into the most useful vessels possible...
I only wish that I were more receptive...
I know that if I am not careful I can go through the times of refining without being open or even aware of the Spirit's work... There is a short verse in Jeremiah chapter six that is kind of behind all of this... and it says that the "refining was in vain..." wow! Now that is not what I want to be the story of my life. If God longs to take me to a new place in my journey with him, then I want to be sure and receive it... It has occurred to me that refining is painful and challenging... The Holy Scripture tells us that God's mercies are new every morning...
And I only wish that I were more receptive... How about you?

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Being Naked

No one likes to be naked. At least very few people. I guess unless you are a porn star or a prostitute, and then if you ask them, more than likely deep down they don't really like it either. They arevjust trying to make a dollar... but they have cheapened what it means. The truth is, none of us want to be bare naked in front of the crowd in life. It seems that we just want to cover up and close ourselves off to others. We spend our days covering up with clothes, titles, and positions trying to posture our life in way that seems all good and important. All of us want other people to think good of us.
But it did not start out this way... "The man and his wife were both naked and felt no shame." Genesis 2:25
More on this later...

Friday, November 2, 2007

Craving Clarity

We long for and crave clarity in our lives. We want to know where the pieces of the puzzle are. I am not sure that we need this at all, in fact the mysteries of this life drive me closer to the Lord.
They serve as reminder that I am limited and in need of God's wisdom. I know that I must depend on Christ to lead me, my marriage, and the ministry. If I knew it all, I would not live in a state of dependence on Him.
Daniel knew this when he prayed for God to make known to him the mysteries of his times. We too should go before the Lord and pray that he wold give us the answer to the mysteries that we experience in this life.
"...but there is a God who reveals mysteries" Daniel 2:28

May we all live in expectancy of what God can do.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

The Way of Gratitude

Can you believe that it is November? It is hard to believe that the year has moved on so quickly. I love the this time of the year. The cooler weather is so refreshing. Thanksgiving is just around the corner. I can hardly believe that it will be here in a little over three weeks from now.
I wonder... "Am I a grateful person?" "Do I truly understand all that I have been blessed with?" I personally feel that I take so much for granted. I know that I have so much to be thankful for.

my wife...
a simple smile...
a full handshake...
a cup of coffee...
the cool breeze...
a stable job...
infectious laughter...
a good work out...
great friends...
And the list could go on and on...

Now how about in your life? Stop and think about all that you have been blessed with. Be captured for a moment with the blessings that you have been granted by the gracious hand of our God.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Virtue of Patience

i am not sure what is harder to do... to wait for the light to turn green or waiting for the phone to ring when you are in high school or waiting for the cake to finish or for the mail to come on Saturday or for a baby to walk or for football season to start or even for the first frost of the fall... each are times when we want instant gratification... i think our culture's desire for the quick fix makes it hard for us to wait for anything...

the wise one Solomon tells us that to be patient is better than to be prideful... the apostle Paul encourages us to be patient as well, but the waiting is hard... the ache of losing a loved one does not pass quickly... to walk through the pain of suffering is a challenge... i want it to be over quickly... i want to move on with my life & marriage...
to wait for the birth of child is a challenge... patience is hard when you long for a child... to want something and not be able to have it in our time is another lesson in the divine art patience... for God is the most patient... WoW! How can he be so patient with His creation- but thanks be to God for willingness to be patient with us all...

God is teaching me patience... patience is fierce and is the battle cry of the redeemed...
healing is out of my hands. i think that all i can do is put my life in the hands of the Lord and the grace of our Creator to mold at this time in ways that only He can...
i long for the day of peace to reside again in my soul... to feel the cool breeze of the Spirit flowing in me...
i read an interesting line the other day..."I am not a Christian yet, but I have seen them". now i am a Christian, but i must say that i am not where i need to be or where i want to be yet, but i am on my way...
by His grace go i...

Thursday, October 4, 2007

More Rumblings

It has been raining on and off today. I generally like the rain. I seem to like it more when the temperature is down a bit... say around the mid 40's. But today it has been kind of muggy so every thing feels soggy. This is kind of how I feel at times. I saw a friend in his 70's walking with his wife just the other day and made me think about how Dad walked with mom to the pond to fee the fish or to see the garden. It was the first time I had cried sense I have been back in Statesboro. I know that it will take time to really move on. I will never stop feeling the loss, but the pain will subside over time. The reality of it all is so permanent. I can hardly believe that this is happening. I wish that it was a dream, but this not a dream. No, we are not insulated from tragedy, pain, and suffering, but God does redeem. Yes, God is redeeming. I believe that God does His greatest work during times of great pain.
1 Peter 5:10 speaks of suffering for a little while... suffering for the believer is never the final word. I love that God will restore us in time. I believe that he can and does restore now, but at the end of time all things will be set right... RESTORED. I long for this. Scripture says that creation longs for this. This will be a glorious day.
Until later... keep the Faith... pursue Peace... and Love without reservation!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


The past two weeks have been a blurr. Two weeks ago today, my dad had stroke and massive brain hemorrhage that ultimately took his life. I have had so many thoughts and so many emotions over the past week. Dad was healthy and active right up until his death. It is so crazy to consider him being gone, but the reality is continuing to set in. I still want to call him when something neat happens in the ministry. I know that I will want to call him during the MLB the Red Sox go deep. We loved to talk about sports and hunting. I saw dad as he loved my mom with an amazing love. He was a pastor for over 45 years and loved to see people embrace Christ. He got to meet Jesus face to face after proclaiming Him for a lifetime. I wonder what that must have been like? I am kind of jealous...
Over the next few posts I will reflect on my father's sudden death, and all that God seems to be speaking into my life. I pray that you will be enriched and strengthened as I speak out my grief and loss.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Apple Cores

I read a great line in book the other day. I am reading about "confessional prayer". It is in a book written by Calvin Miller on Celtic Prayer. I have been reading along for a little over a month. I used to work through a book quickly til I was challenge to pace myself and take a slower time digesting the information.
Here is the line: "The path behind us is strewn with the cast-off apple cores of our indulgence." Miller is speaking of our inability to deal with temptation and ourselves eating from the very tree that is forbidden.
St. Patrick started his prayers very simply, "I am Patrick, a sinner..." My prayer is that I too can humble myself daily to agree with God on my state and let Him raise me up to walk in His mercies that are new every morning.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Wild Ride

It has been a wild ride that last few days. I have been completely swamped with ministry and I feel that I may have ministryitus. I get this when I have been completely unfaithful in my resting. I overbook my schedule...which leads me to waste the time I do have...and all this be completely avoiding the necessary space God provides me to reflect and listen. When this point happens I get stressed, irritable and pushy with others. Right now i yearn for the "rustling of sandal-feet" in my presence.
I don't like this... I get so frustrated that this happens. I am not sure why I allow this to happen. Why can't I slow down and allow the Lord to speak peace into my life? I truly wish that I was able to pull away even for just a few hours to listen to God. Why is so hard for me? I am addicted to activity. God help me intentionally pause... long enough to hear the voice of Jesus as breaths life into me.
Lord, give us your rhythms of grace...

Wednesday, August 8, 2007


Last night Barry Bonds hit the record breaking home run. This is the most cherished of all sports records and last night it was broken. Barry hit the homerun in front of his home crowd, which is where he is most loved. There is no doubt that Barry has a lot of talent, but there are still many unanswered questions about his alleged steroid use. So we will have to see.
Hank Aaron hit #755 during a different era and during a time of much turmoil. Racism was very evident in our country and he gave people a chance to see that all people can excel. Hank Aaron's home run stood for more than just a record and this to me is why I still place more value on Aaron's record than on the Bond's homerun. I can appreciate a record being broken, but at the end of the day I respect the larger meaning of Aaron's homerun record and his life far more.
This challenges me to live my life in a way that is not just totalling numbers, but is a part of the larger picture that is being painted. I want to be a part of something that touches eternity. I am thankful that God enables us to move beyond ourselves and live for the common good of humanity. Jesus calls us not to be self-serving but to serve others with the Love of God.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Football is Coming

I a little over a month we will have football to focus on... I am most excited about the upcoming season. It is so much fun to be around the game... the tailgating...and the large crowds of people. Eagle Nation will see it's third coach in three years. Be easy on the guys it is their 3rd defense and 3rd offense in three years too. I expect that we will have marked improvement over last year and will contend in the SoCon. I look for Foster to have a great year and for him to leave an even greater mark on his time here in Statesboro.
It's about time for Saturdays in the South, where Football rules and grills are the standard cookware. It will be fun as the Eagles soar once again over The Best Little Stadium in America. So get your game face on...take a dip in Eagle Creek...and lets get ready for some FOOTBALL.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Here It Comes...

It is hard for me to believe, but the new semester starts in about 2 weeks. Can you believe it? I am always amazed at just how fast the Summer goes by. With the start of the new the semester, I am excited about the possibilities of the new school year and I believe that the Lord desires to work in us and through us.
I pray that we will listen to God more rather than all of the other noise around us.
I pray that God will give us an opportunity to serve others more intentionally.
I pray that we will thoughtfully consider what it means to live by faith daily.
I pray that we will be led as a ministry by the Spirit as we seek to minister on the Georgia Southern Campus and the Statesboro community.

Let us pray that God will draw us close to His side and give us the wisdom to effectively represent Him on our campus.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

The Hard Work of Trust

Brennan Manning offers a story in his book, Ruthless Trust, about Mother Theresa. A man goes to her and asks her to pray that he will have clarity. Mother Theresa tells him, "No I will not do that. Clarity is the last thing you are clinging to and must let go of. " The man insisted that she had the clarity that he longed for. It is said that she laughed and said, "I have never had clarity; what I have always had is trust. So I will pray that you will have trust." pg. 5 Ruthless Trust
I need to ask myself this question daily:
Do I long for clarity in my life or do I truly long to trust Jesus? How about you?

Friday, July 27, 2007

Spiritually Speaking

So I have been reading this book and it has been very challenging. The books title is, Ordering Your Private World, by Gordon MacDonald. It is a classic that has been re-released. Early in the book MacDonald asks the question, "How are you doing spiritually?", which stopped me dead on the page. I needed that question. It is a pointed question and very helpful, because I could not get around it and I had to deal with the state of my hidden world. I have been doing well, but this put a new twist on it. Gordon says that our lives are spiritual and just merely logging in a "quite time" is not going to cut it. We must allow God to order our private world in a way that completely renovates our hearts. I am still reading the book and have been significantly challenged by each page. I encourage you to grab one from and begin the process now.
It is so easy to be defined by our outer props. We are known too often by what we do or how active we are. It seems that in my life I have easily allowed myself to be defined by the multiple hats that I wear. How about you? Are you known for you job? Do you consider yourself successful or a failure because of the outer crutches you have?
In your spiritual life, if all the "stuff" was taken away, what would be there to sustain you. I have to ask myself this question and remember that it is the Lord that sustains my life. Habakkuk 3:17-19 reminds me that all of life is not 5th Avenue.

"How are you doing spiritually?" Gordon MacDonald

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Back Home

It is good to be back in the Boro. I can hardly believe that I have only been gone two and half weeks. I feel like I have been out for about six months.
It is fun to travel, but there seems to be nothing quite like home. It is always good to see my wife ans other familiarities. It is interesting how distance really does make the heart grow fonder. I wonder why this is. Do we become so used to something that we have to be away in order to actually appreciate it? I am not sure, but this does seem to be the case. This is a sad reality to me...
I looking forward to the beginning of the Fall Semester. I am praying for the Freshmen as they move to town. The year will be a challenge for us all, but it is especially hard when you are just learning the ropes and testing the college water.
I pray that we will be available to God to use us in ways that will impact the others for Christ. May we stay in step with the Spirit.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Lessons of Life

I have so enjoyed my time here in the San Francisco area. The time here has been so refreshing. I really cannot believe that I have just about finished my second year in school. I am so thankful for the work that I have been able to do. I have been pushed and challenged. At 35 i must say that i really am a different person. I have found life and vigor once again. I cannot believe all that Jesus has shown me over the last 18 months of my life. I am so blessed and so grateful for all that the Lord is doing in my life. I find it hard to believe that I am at this place today. Just about a year and a half ago a friend of mine told me about the program here at Golden Gate and I thought, yeah I think that would be something that would be good. Little did I know that in the process of earning a degree, the Lord would completely change my life.
Over the next few days I will journal about what God has shown me. First, I am too driven. I need to slow way down and let the Spirit speak to my soul. I need to listen for the words from the Savior who loves me. I need to know that I am valued, because at times I feel useless. I need to know that my God gives grace to the downcast, because I am often ashamed of my actions. I need to know the discipline of God, because too often I just want to hear the easy words from Him. I am thankful for the relationship that I have with Jesus, for he has changed my life. I am a new person. I want to love more fully and embrace life with the strength that he affords me to take each day as a gift from His hands.
"Godliness with contentment is great gain." 1 Timothy 6:6

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Write It Out

i have picked back up an old habit. no this not a bad habit as you may have thought. it is a good habit, but not really a habit just a part of my daily routine. it's funny how we go in and out of phases. i seem to land on something that is good and then drift away from it...
kind of like when i picked up cycling. i wanted a road bike and had to have one. now I'm a runner and love to run every day. but i am not a cyclist, although i am cycling for my first ever triathlon this June 23. anyway, after a few months of wanting a road bike the urge for one just kind of left me. i have been running for about twelve years now and hope to for the next few decades... cycling not so much.
back to my original thought, i am writing in my journal again and loving it. i am not sure what made me stop or even pick it up again, but i know i need it. i will journal my thoughts and prayers, just about life. i don't make it long, just enough time to know that i have expressed what is on the inside of me. stuff that is on the inside of all of us, but we never access. most of us need an outlet to express our hearts and mine is best on a blank sheet of paper.
i encourage you take some time over the next few days and write it out... a prayer, a thought, a verse from the Bible... just take some time and write it out.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Something New

I have many random thoughts and so I thought that blogging would give me a way of actually putting them down on paper.(or on a wall) So, this is my first...
Today is a new day. I long to make the most of this day. To be content and urgent at the same time. To walk through the day and to know that each moment is a gift.
I rarely do this. I am sure that you know what I am talking about. It's the race... the old grind... the challenge to see beyond the obvious into the hidden. May today be a day that you find the Eternal in the midst of the mundane and revel in the blessed mysteries of Life.