Friday, June 27, 2008

The Dog Days of Summer

Julie and I drove over to LaGrange today for a wedding that we are a part of this weekend. The drive over was quite beautiful. The sky was full of those fluffy white clouds. The colors today just seemed to be exploding as we drove. Once we got to Macon and took Hwy 74 just to the south on Interstate 75 and got out in the rural countryside the scenes were just breath taking... Julie and I really did have a wonderful time visiting together as we drove through all of the little towns. Just about as long as we have been in Statesboro, Julie and I have had the privilege of being a part of student's weddings that have been in our ministry. It is such a blessing to see them grow up and move on to a new season of their life. Julie and I were talking tonight as we left the rehearsal dinner about how blessed we have been over the years by so many wonderful students. They have helped shape and change us as we have shared part of our lives together. I believe that is one reason ministry is so rewarding - the people that you meet and the way God uses them to impact our lives.
Tomorrow Brittany Bartley and Steven Tanner will be married... their lives forever joined together... as a friend of mine says, "Two Points Jesus!!"

Friday, June 20, 2008

Pilfering The Pages

Mom has stacked all of dad's library in our dining room. There are stacks of books two & three rows deep around the walls... book after book... old books that he collected over the years... commentaries, classics, as well as contemporary writings fill the room... I love the smell of an old book(one of my favorite smells) - The smell of an old book store is something to behold. Just walking in makes you feel smarter. I wish it worked this way!
Getting back to the point, when I was home I began to sort through the books. A day will come when I will gratefully add them to my own library, but for now they will just stay at the house. Except those that I randomly pick up on our visits home...
I brought one back by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison, which recounts many of his experiences in a German concentration camp during WWII. One of the best parts of looking through dad's books is to see the pages he has marked and dogeared.
One like this:
"Who stands fast? Only the man whose final standard is not his reason, his principles, his conscience, his freedom, or his virtue, but who is ready to sacrifice all of this when he is called to obedient and responsible action in faith and exclusive allegiance to God - the responsible man, who tries to make his whole life an answer to the question and call of God. Where are these responsible people?" Dietrich Bonhoeffer
I have never, nor will I ever face circumstances near what those in the camps were dealt... I wonder... What would have been my thoughts? How would I have acted? How would I have lived out my faith? How about you? For me, a brattish and selfish young American, would have more than likely buckled at the mere thought of the suffering...
God gives Jeremiah and us this advice...

"If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, who will you manage in the thickets by the Jordan?" Jeremiah 12:5

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Long Time No Blog

It has been a while since I have blogged. Julie and I left for Mississippi last Thursday. While we had a wonderful time with our families it was a challenge to get near a computer for very long... I was unable to give any attention to serval thoughts that I had along the way, so I plan to blog on them over the next few days...

The timing of our trip was perfect for me to be with my family on our first Father's Day without dad... The weekend was not as hard as I thought it might be, but being at church without dad preaching was a challenge... It just did not seem right to be there and not hear His voice and the encouraging-challenging words that I remember from sermons past...

As I think about my family... each one of them, I feel so blessed! God has given us just a great bond that I know is grace gift from our Lord.

I have an excerpt from an article that I published in a local magazine...

"The moments I remember most vividly with my dad are the simple, subtle ones. These are the moments that seem to mean the most. I think the moments that make the best memories are those quiet experiences that we often overlook only to remember them after a person dies. "

To read the article in its entirety log onto:

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Engaging Culture

What does it mean to engage culture? How are we to live life within the context of our everyday existence? I am asking myself, "Am I helping shape the culture that I live in?" How is our community different because of my presence? How are you are making a contribution to the world we live in? Is our community a better place because you live here? Are people glad that our church is a part of this community? I read the other day that certain words come to mind when a person thinks of or hears of any organization. What do others think of when they hear your name, my name, our church's name, etc. My prayer is that we can live for Christ and make a positive contribution to the world we live in as we engage the world around us rather than remaining sheltered huddled in our little "holy mass".
"Christianity begins to shift its sheltered reputation when Christ followers are engaged, informed, and on the leading edge, offering a sophisticated response to the issues people face." UnChristian - David Kinnaman

Sunday, June 8, 2008

What's Going On Here?

So I read a quote just today by Oswald Chambers that made me really stop and think. Here is what is says, "Do not harken back to who you once were, when God wants you to be somtehing you have never been before." Where is God leading me/you? What is God shaping my life into? I love the mystery of it all. I pray that I never get satisfied with mediocre life that I would form. The Scriptures tell us that we are like clay pots, very common every day elements, so that the Lord gets the glory. May our lives be clay in His hands... to make of our lives what He desires.

Monday, June 2, 2008


I read a quote the other day by C.S. Lewis, "Obedience is the road to freedom..." Often we think of walking in obedience as something that is actually keeping us from the freedom that we long for and were actually made to experience.
In Psalm 119 we actually find that the Psalmist says in verse 32 that to follow the commands of the Lord sets us free.
"I run in the path of your commands,
for you have set my heart free."
Psalm 119:32
To walk in the truth is to find the freedom that we so desperately desire. God longs to lead us to freedom. He does not want us to be held back but set free to be all that He created us to be.
I know that often I rebel against the Lord. In action or thought or even in speech. I need to be aware of how the Lord is leading me daily into the life that He longs for me to have. Each of us must realize that each day the Lord's desire is to lead us in a way that is most fulfilling. I don't want to miss out... Do you?