November 22, 2012 Leave a comment
Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you all have a wonderful time with people you love. I am thankful for many things including all of you who read and contribute to this blog.
Reflections on life as a disciple of Jesus Christ
November 20, 2012 Leave a comment
In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Paul wrote, “16 Be joyful always; 17 pray continually; 18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Not only does that make three short and easy memory verses Paul tells us something very important about thankfulness. We aren’t told to give thanks for all circumstances but in all circumstances. The difference is critical.
September 29, 2012
I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you to everyone who reads this blog. This is not fishing for compliments (why comments are turned off on this post . This is genuine gratitude for those of you who read, comment, and pass on what you find helpful here to others. The blog is quickly approaching 1 million views and while it is tempting to feel proud of myself about that, it is honest to goodness humbling to think about it and about what God has done through this over the last few years. In the whole scheme of things that really isn’t any big deal. It is just a number. But that number reminds me of my own need to be appreciative for all of you, even those who have disagreed with me in the comments on this blog from time to time as well.
I am going to express my appreciation with a few giveaways in the near future. Thanks again!
June 23, 2011 4 Comments
I have been reflecting on the connection between worship and real life and I was thinking about two passages in particular. In both of these passages of scripture there is a real event that God works through that results in people singing God’s praises.
The first is in Exodus 15, the Song of the Sea. In Exodus 14 we see God part the Red Sea, the Hebrews walk through, and Pharaoh’s army get crushed by the waters. The result was thanksgiving and song. God delivered them. God worked on their behalf and rescued them. The result was praise specific to that situation. Did they come up with that song on the spot? Did it sound good? Who cares how well it rhymed or if it had a good melody! They were rescued and were expressing their joy to God!
The second is in Luke 1. An angel comes to Mary and tells her she will give birth to the messiah. The result is the Song of Mary. So much joy was flowing through her that it resulted in song.
I am afraid that too often my worship is due to the hour of the week it is and not because of extreme gratitude. I am afraid that too often I sing Thank You Lord because it is in an order of worship and not because it is part of the flow of thankfulness that is coming out of my heart to God because of how God has worked on my behalf. Worship really is connected with real life. Too often we compartmentalize it and make it too small. What is more, our worship services are usually very uplifting and joyful (and I am thankful for that) but it leaves little room for those whose most honest emotion at that time is sorrow or pain. Maybe we need more creativity, more relevance, more spontaneity from time to time so that our worship can express what is truly in our hearts and not be limited to an hour each week!
July 22, 2010 2 Comments
There have been several posts in the last week that several people have had disagreements with. I am really happy about that. The reason is not because I like disagreement but because people have been so kind. Usually when people on blogs or websites disagree there is this kind of slow-motion shouting match that takes place. It would be really awkward in real life but somehow people think it is alright online toward someone you don’t know or will never meet. Imagine disagreeing with someone in person where you shout something at them. They wait a few hours and shout something back. Slowly the shouting match unfolds. Online disagreements usually happen that way and I don’t ever read them and walk away feeling better about things.
So thanks to Dave, Hank, Nick and Theophilus who have been in dialog on several recent posts in the most respectful and caring way. Thank you for your desire to please God. Thank you for your respect for scripture. Thank you for caring enough to try to help me see the light! That means a lot to me. I hope I haven’t said anything in any of it that was taken in any way except with love and respect because that is what I try to do here. Thanks again for blessing me.
January 25, 2010 Leave a comment
This is one of the most moving videos I have ever seen. Flashbacks to elementary school and “where the red fern grows” on this one. I kept wondering what that watery, salty substance was coming from my eyes was…get a hankey ready before you click this one.
August 22, 2008 2 Comments
1. A wife who loves me and is spending 24/7 making a baby for the last 7 months.
2. Our baby boy who we have only seen pictures of but won’t meet for 2 more months when he is born!
3. A church that is genuine, friendly, and seeking God.
4. Friends who would give us whatever is necessary to make sure we are okay.
5. God who is graceful and merciful and who loves me even though I don’t always get it right.
6. Access to things the majority of the world will never have.
7. A Bible translated into English.
8. Godly people who have written about God and His Word in such a wise and humble way that helps me have deeper insights into the things of God.
9. Some really great elders who are servant leaders.
10. A roof over my head that can withstand gusts of wind greater than 80 miles an hour.
It is so easy to get caught up in all the things we don’t have when all around us are thousands of blessings that we haven’t even said thank you for yet. So God, thank you for spoiling me. Please, encourage me to take those things and spoil as many other people as possible.
What are you thankful for?
May 9, 2008 4 Comments
Yesterday was our second anniversary at the Northwest Church of Christ in Saint Petersburg. We have been very excited about this congregation and about how God has worked over the last two years. There has been a lot of growth and a lot of seeds planted that will continue to grow for decades to come. Our young adults are growing closer, leaders are being raised up for the future, and the lost are being reached.
During those two years Missy and I have grown as close as we have ever been. We are again expecting a baby and that is extremely exciting. Missy is going to be an amazing mom and I would like to think I will be a pretty amazing dad (but that is just a guess!). In these two years we have purchased our first house, been able to spend more time with Missy’s family, which she hadn’t been able to do in over four years, and make friends that will last a lifetime.
Looking back on these last two years really excites me and I really wonder what God has in store for the future. Continue to pray for our ministry in Saint Petersburg. This may be a beautiful place to live but there is much work to be done and many people to be reached. There are many Christians who need to grow and mature and many leaders who do not yet know that is what they are going to be.
January 25, 2008 3 Comments
I met a really sweet lady today. She called the church and was needing some assistance. After talking with her I cannot imagine complaining about anything. Imagine having no friends, no family, and no transportation. Add on top of that having cancer and taking chemo treatments she cannot afford. Her credit is shattered due to enormous hospital bills. Her lease is up in a week and she has to move out but she has no transportation to look for a new place. On top of that she doesn’t get any money for a new apartment until three days after she has to move out of her current apartment. And I thought the days when Missy and I were both full time grad students working part time was tough. She is going to take it one step at a time. Keep her in your prayers.
January 18, 2008 3 Comments
We are leaving for Gulfcoast Getaway 2008 this evening. If you haven’t heard of it, it is a wonderful experience where college students from all over the southeast come to Panama City, FL for a huge rally. I won’t really be blogging over the weekend but I hope you will keep this event in your prayers and that you will pray that it will serve to glorify God and help a generation that is so desperately seeking God to find him.
Thank you to all of you who have been a huge encouragement to me over the last several weeks. I look forward to seeing several of you this weekend in Panama City!