Friday, November 30, 2007

comment on a comment

A few days ago, in a comment, a friends wondered if I am depressed.

No. I am not.

I have the ups and downs. I assume that you do to. I talk to alot of people who are on medication for depression. It is different than having ups and downs.

I am reflective, thoughtful, sometimes sad, concerned or melancholy. But not depressed. I believe that we should do everything that we can to help ourselves be in a good mood. Having a positive attitude is such a blessing to others, and it is good for us too.

Not everyone is able to turn the corner, but all of us that can, should. An occasional down in the dumps is normal, but life is too short to be stuck in sadness.

When I am down, I think about the good. I also stay active. It is important to get to doing something. Sometimes just making a small difference or contribution to the world around you will bring you right out of the blues. Sometimes spending time with a friend will put an end to it. Do you have things that you do to pull you out of the blues? I would like to hear your thoughts.

Hello Bob my friend. You are on my mind today. You will be in my prayers today.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

This day

I am awake. I am excited about today. Why? I don't think it is due to content. Here is what is going on today:

I am meeting my boss, the DS for breakfast for my annual review. I have a meeting about what kind of programs will be offered with the new building addition. I have a member coming in to visit about some undisclosed topic. I have an appointment to spend time with a staff person on a sermon that they are working on. I have some reading to get done. I am working on some information for the web site. My wife is in San Antonio today. That is today, the Lord willing.

Well, don't you think that every day should be exciting for a Christian? I had another song stuck in my head when I woke up today. Where do they come from? Its a country song. By the way, I like both kinds of music: country and western. Alabama did this song:

Give me one more shot,
I'll give it all I've got.
Let me open my eyes
to a new sunrise I pray.
Give me one more chance,
I'll learn to dance the dance,
I'm satisfied just being alive,
give me one more day........

I pray that no matter what you may be facing today, you will see the good. It is a great privilege that we have to be alive. To go about sharing God's love.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Christmas heartache

I spoke with a friend yesterday who is facing a Christmas heartache. A member of their family is having trouble and doing some things that they do not agree with. Some have suggested that this person not be allowed to attend Christmas this year.

Dear friends, there is a difference between what we may think or feel, and what we actually do. As followers of Christ, we are called to rise above our feelings and offer grace. It doesn't mean that you have to agree with everything that everyone is doing, but Mercy rejoices over judgment. We can welcome one another and at least be civil.

12Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, 13because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment! James 2:12-13

Do we want to be judged and thrown away for the things that we have done wrong? Is what that person has done really any worse than my sin? In five years will we feel good about excluding them? Is that the message of Christmas that we want to send- "Jesus is born, but you are not welcome because you are misbehaving." I thought the whole point of Christmas was that Jesus was sent to those who were misbehaving.

Mercy is better than judgment. Grace is better than guilt. If we would see the good, we have to offer the same grace to others that we want for ourselves.

Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
Colossians 3:13

Its a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Bells are ringing

Saturday I rang the bell for the Salvation Army. I was at the grocery door at Walmart in Lees Summit. I kept looking at the ringer at the other door....100 yards away. Sure looks like Bill P. No, wait, that is Bill P and his son Tyler. How exciting. By chance, three ringers from Woods Chapel both ringing on the same day!

One of the things that I love about ringing is that it is a two hour period that it purely selfless. Just giving a bit of time to help the truly needy. Well, wait. I guess its not totally selfless. I get the satisfaction of helping. I get the joy of seeing generosity up close. Its a great feeling.

Now the story gets better. I received this email from Jennifer D:

"Devyn [daughter] and I rang the bell at Hy-Vee on Ward road on Friday morning. It was cold. Devyn only made it for the first 45 minutes, then Dave had to come get her. The donations to my bucket took a huge hit after she left. I guess I'm not as cute as Devyn :) Anyway, I had a great time ringing that bell. The only warm part left in my body was my heart. Many, many gracious people. Some not so much. I was thankful that I had a warm home and a hot cup of cocoa waiting for me. I'm sure this will become a family tradition for us."

Look at their picture. Could you pass by that kettle? I wonder if it would help if I took my 6'2" 180lb son with me? I think from now on I am going to borrow someone else's child to help me ring.

How exciting. Think how much help is being provided to the truly needy by Woods Chapel friends who are ringing the bell.

Its a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Steal Away

In the quiet hours of the day, steal away to Jesus.

Sleeping is not going so well for me tonight. Not sure why.

There is a song in my head. Not sure how it got there. I go back a long way with this song. My Dad had this song stuck in his head about a year before he died. He felt like God was calling him home. I miss Dad.

I don't think God is calling me home, but I want to share the lyrics with you. Jennifer, tell Kris that this would be a great song for the gospel choir.

Steal Away. Steal Away. Steal Away.
Steal Away to Jesus. Steal Away. Steal Away home.
I haven't got long to stay here.
Steal Away. Steal Away. Steal Away.
Steal Away to Jesus. Steal Away. (steal home)
Steal Away home. I haven't got long to stay here.

My lord, my lord, he calls me. (calls me)
He calls me by the thunder. (thunder)
The trumpet sounds way down in my sanctified soul.
I haven't got long to stay here.

Green trees are bending. (are bending)
Sinners stand a-tembling. (a-trembling)
The trumpet sounds within my soul.
I haven't got long to stay here.

Steal Away. (in the midnight hour)
Steal Away. (when you need some power)
Steal Away.(when you heart is heavy)
Steal Away to Jesus. (steal away to Jesus)
Steal Away. (steal away home)
Steal Away home. (haven't got long)
I haven't got long to stay here.

My Lord , he calls me. (calls me)
I can hear him calling me by the lightning. (lightnin')
The trumpet sounds within my soul.
I haven't got long to stay here. (its gonna be over after while)

Steal away to Jesus. (oh) Steal away. Steal Away Home
Steal Away to Jesus. I haven't got long to stay here.
I haven't got long to stay here. (hallelujah steal away)
I haven't got long to stay here.

Here it is 4am and my soul is thinking about eternity with Jesus. That's cool. I give thanks for the blessing of his presence in this early hour of the day.

I am thankful for you, my friend. Thankful for your love, thankful for your joy. Thankful for your journey. I love you. We're all a part of God's body. May our good Lord bless you richly this day. In fact, as you read these words, open your hearts and receive the blessing of his words of love to you.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Thank you

The power of thank you.

Hear it. Feel it. I can sense it in the statement. The power of thank you.

Someone brought me a cup of coffee while I was ringing the bell. Thank you. Someone held the door open for me today. Thank you. Someone made coffee at the coffee bar. Thank you. Someone gave me air to breathe. Thank you. Someone gave me eyes that see, ears that hear, and a reasonably sound mind. Thank you.

Ahh, the power of saying "thank you." Give it a try. Its a holy thing.

Its a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Shopping Day 2

Ok, I admit it, I went shopping yesterday morning. It was about 7am and I had two thoughts. 1. Kohls may have some good stuff on sale. My son goes thru clothes. I could pick him up some stuff. 2. My son Scott works at Best Buy and he had to be there at 4am. I want to stop by and see how he is doing.

I watch Johnny Rowlands. Traffic into the mall area is moving. Ok. I am good.

I arrive at the mall and park near Chillis. I walk to Kohls. I look thru mens. No bargains. Lots of 50% off, but that is off of full imaginary retail. Still too expensive. I end up back by kitchen stuff. Must be something going on here. Big crowd............No wait......... This is where the line begins. This is where you stand to begin the long wait to the front. Picture in your brain how long that line is. It would take an hour, maybe two, to get thru it. Silly.

I walked past all of the people in line. Some of them only had one thing. They were going to wait all that time to save $15. Ok. I walked past them all. I snuck in the front and cut the line.

Just kidding.

I headed right out the door. The whole thing just seems silly.

How many shirts do I need? How many pairs of shoes? Well, giving things is a way that we tell people that we love them. Is it? What if we just told them that we loved them? Every day, in one way or another. Wouldn't have to buy the shirt.

On a personal note: Scott I did not know you were a reader. Welcome Brother. Also, I am ringing the bell for the salvation army today from 9-11 at Walmart in Lees Summit. If you want to ring, go to

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Friday, November 23, 2007

the big shopping day

This is it. The beginning of the shopping season. Time to collect more stuff that we don't need, and give it to other people who usually don't need anything either. We have stopped trading gifts with the cousins because it had just become an exchange of gift cards.

Everything you own, owns a little bit of you. You have to use it, or dust it, or move it or wish you were doing something with it. The simpler life allows you more room to love that which we should be loving.

What would happen if we stopped wanting things?

What if we wanted to walk with God, and that is all that we wanted? I know that humans are human. I know that they get off track sometimes. I do. But what if we purposed in our heart that we would seek the face of God. What if we chose to be less interested in stuff and more interested in loving God and loving our neighbor.

The world would be a better place. I am going to think about that today. Let's talk more about that tomorrow.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


Whats it all about? Turkey, dressing, potatoes, green bean casserole with durkee onions on top, green rice, rolls, gravy, more turkey, pecan pie, pumpkin pie, pumpernickel pie, pineapple pie. I ate too much. Football. John Madden. Relatives. Togetherness. Too much togetherness. Hard work. Frustration. Everyone is glad when its over. Gosh I didn't think they would ever leave.

Have our traditions robbed us of the meaning of the holiday. Have we made it so busy and so complicated that we don't have time to give thanks?

Today, lets make a deal, you and me. I will not get frustrated with anyone. I will not let the disruption of my routine frustrate me. I will not let wild kids or tired attitudes turn me into a grouchy boy. How about you? Is it a deal.

Now if we avoid the frustration of a busy holiday, then maybe we can pause to do what the name suggests: give thanks. What are you thankful for? Who are you thankful for? Tell them. Tell them. Deal?

I am thankful for my wife and children. For wonderful friends at church. For so many of you who care about me. For my neighbors. For my sisters. I need to tell them. I am beginning to cry. Gratitude is amazing. Find time today, carve out time to take inventory. What are you thankful for. Tell them.

Its a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Or is it the MU-KU game. Last night I met a friend who wanted to talk about some stuff. He is a KU fan, so I wore my KU windshirt.

Now lets be clear about whether I am a KU fan. I have an MU windshirt too. I have a CMSU sweatshirt. I have hats: Missouri, Michigan, K State, Nebraska, Notre Dame, St. Louis Cardinals, Royals, Cubs, You get me some stuff for your school or team and I will wear it.

What is the point? Life is about more than a sports team. It does not shore up my ego by my team doing well. I am not better or worse if they win or lose.

If I know that I am going to visit you and I have any of your teams stuff, I will wear it. I want you to be happy.

So I wear my KU windshirt to meet my friend who is a KU fan. No surprise, he is wearing his colors- KU.

We were minding our own business, talking about stuff that needed to be discussed. A couple of people that I know [not church friends] started giving me trouble. They were disappointed. Mean and hateful, because I was wearing a KU shirt.

Now I am serious. We are taking this too seriously. So seriously that we are forgetting what is important. Here is my point. If we relax about this, and remember that we are all souls, we have time to be nice. We have space in our brains for good thinking. We can share the joy of life instead of being snippy because someone roots for the wrong school.

This game is an exciting moment. Probably never again will it happen in my lifetime, both KU and MU in the top 5.

But. Yesterday I was at the cemetery. In 100 years, all the players and all of the fans will be buried in places like floral hills. This game will mean nothing then. But how we treat each other every day is where the rubber meets the road in the Christian faith.

Enjoy the game, but hug the folks that root for the other team. They are human beings too. Jesus died for them.

Its a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

There is something

There is something, something for me to do. I heard these wonderful words last night from a friend. A couple of years ago, he began to have a feeling that there was something he was supposed to do. Something for God.

He hasn't found the thing yet. That's not necessarily bad. I was glad to hear him say that it does not bother him. He is still looking, still listening.

What a glorious thought! I have a sense that God is leading me, speaking to me. I am not exactly sure what to do or where to go, but I keep listening. There is something.

God's immediate presence. God's hand at work. Let's rejoice with this brother. Let's pray that God will show him the thing.

Sometimes the thing is big and special. Sometimes the thing is just to be a dispenser of grace. Everyday in everyway, to share God's love. If we don't know what the big thing is, then lets just trust God and enjoy the feeling of His leading. But while we are searching and praying, lets all, everyone of us, deliver the goods. Deliver the grace. Spread the love. Its something that we are supposed to do.

But I don't do it because I am supposed to. I do it because it is good. Good. Big G Good. I am fulfilled when I share God's love. For this we were created.

Its a beautiful day in God's world. Be sure to see the good.

Monday, November 19, 2007

A passage

I was passed by a motorcycle yesterday. Mine. I sold it.

What a melancholy moment. Great memories riding with the church group, camping trip to Arrow Rock, here and there, around I went.

Why sell it? I have owned it for five years. It only has 3500 miles on it. I think I rode it 4 times this season. Kids in college, ya ya ya.

Sometimes in life we have to make "value neutral" decisions. Decisions that don't seem to strike us as particularly right or wrong, good or bad, its just a decision that you need to make. Your decision. Sometimes I find these to be very difficult. Second guessing myself. Didn't ride the bike much, but I am afraid I am going to miss it.

So, melancholy. Its a bittersweet day. Here, there. Even, odd. Up, down.

These are perfect days for me to remember what this is all about. See the good. Its good. Its all good. It will all work out. I choose my outlook, I choose my day. Hey, I think I will think about God, not the motorcycle. There. The day is already better. Good morning, Lord.

Its a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Good Morning, Lord

There were five deer on church property this morning when I arrived. :-)

When I was in high school and my faith was just coming to life, I used to be annoyed by the fact that I would realize late in the day that I was just thinking of God for the first time. I decided that I should be aware of Him earlier in the day. So I made a little contest for myself. How long would it take me to say, "Good Morning, Lord." Some days it took til the afternoon. Some days til lunch. But little by little, I began to wake with an awareness of God's presence.

Question. Are we really even awake, if we are not aware of God?

Do you go thru entire days without thinking of him? Or do you fall in bed, exhausted from all the important work of the day, and only then remember to thank him?

What if we learned to begin the day with an acknowledgement of God's presence. What if we practiced saying "hello." Good Morning, Lord.

To begin the day with God is to begin the day with perspective. His love, his grace present with us. Enfolding us. Guiding us.

Its a beautiful day in God's world. Be sure to see the good.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Decorating for Christmas

Last year, for what ever reason, I did not want to decorate. Too much work, no one helps, no one helps clean up when its done. I don't want to climb the ladders to put the lights on the house. Ya ya ya.

I did it anyway. It turned out ok.

Well, this year is different. I have a child who has been homesick. She is better now, but she was real homesick for months. About a month ago she started asking about when we were decorating for Christmas. "Dad, I want to help decorate. I miss home."

Wow. Home. I forgot what that meant for a moment. Its the place where I belong. Its a place where the kids feel connected. Its a place of safety. Being home for Christmas, decorating for Christmas is something that reminds them of a time when they were young and secure. Christmas hearkens back to a time before when the big scary things of life appeared.

I know that someday they will have their own families. They may not want to come for Thanksgiving and Christmas. They may have inlaws to visit. They may live in Florida. I don't ever want to force them to show up for holidays. Maybe that way, they will want to. [reverse psychology] Maybe some year they will all want to show up with their kids and Cathy and I will tell them, "sorry, but we will be in Hawaii."

Anyway, this year, we are decorating. Tree. Lights. Ornaments. Dodads around the house. Reindeer, mice, moose, mangers. Lights on the house. I even bought a train to go around the tree. We're gonna celebrate. And why not. We should never forget the gifts of home, the gifts of family, the gifts of love.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Friday, November 16, 2007

who is on your mind today

The gospel choir is singing Sunday in church. That is reason enough to make sure to be there. The sermon is going to be interesting. Some things that I have been thinking about.....a little different. Either very good or very bad. If its bad, don't tell me, my ego is still fragile.

DJ, Todd. Sometimes I think that God puts people on my mind. I don't know why. But ye are bein prayed for. Maybe God is doing something or getting ready to do something for you, in you. Its all good.

Who is on your mind today? Yourself? Look past self for a moment. See the people that God has given you. Is there someone particularly that comes to mind? Pray for them. See them today. Next time you see them, greet them with love. I believe that the good Lord puts people on our minds for a reason.

I greet this day with joy. I hope that you do as well.

Its a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

greater love

Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

How many friends do you have that you would lay your life down for? I hope some of you dudes are reading. Here is my partial list. All women are worth laying down your life for. Guys have to earn it.

Guys I talked to yesterday: Greg, Dave, Nate, and DJ in the coffee bar. All good men. Eric, Bill, Ken, Vern, Jim, and Ivan.

Other guys from other days whose lives are worth more than mine: Doug, Bruce, Gary, Clay, Bob, Dan, Lions Den Man, Kyle, Rob, Jim, Aaron, Woody, Jeff, Ray, Otto, Phil, Brent, Matt, Kevin, Tim, Jerry, Kris, Brian, David, Andrew, Aaron, Russ, Jon, Gary, Nate, Mike, Greg, Paul, Weber, Steve, and the list goes on.

Sorry if I forgot you, I will not forget you in the moment of crisis.

Sometimes it is difficult for men to make friends, but when they can, there is a bond that is hard to explain. Friendship is so valuable. I hope that you have people in your life that you love so much.

Proverbs says, "if a man would have friends, he must show himself to be friendly."

Its a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

a college student turns the corner

I received the following from my daughter who has been homesick and depressed for ten solid weeks at college. I guess she has turned a corner. If you have been struggling, maybe this will bless you.

Here is what she wrote:

"this stuff is random but i was reading it and thought i would share it with you, i'm sure its stuff you've heard before but it just means something to me.....

Fear isn’t caused by approaching trials, but by weakness of the mind

Feelings follow actions, so change your actions and see what happens

Overcome the pain

It is an act of faith to accept others rejection rather than to fight to prove them wrong.

Change your way of thinking, and you will change you way of feeling

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you are faced with trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” James 1:2-4

“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18

You haven't lost anything. God took something from you to prepare you for what he will give you!

“He gives power to the faint and weary, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary and selected young men shall feebly stumble and fall exhausted; but those who wait for the Lord, who expect, look for, and hope in him shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall life their wings and mount up close to God. They shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint or become tired” Isaiah 41:29-31

“So be truly glad! There is wonderful joy ahead, even though it is necessary for you to endure many trials for a while. These trials are only a test of your faith, to show that it is strong and pure. So if your faith remains strong after being tried by fiery trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.” 1 Peter 1:6-7

"Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything. With thankful hearts offer up your prayers and request to God. Then, because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and feel.” Philippians 4:6-7

“Your weakness becomes my strength because you need me to help you through. Don’t hate your weakness; it’s what gives you access to my strength”

i know that was a lot! just wanted you to know how much i love you! and dont worry no one is taking my joy:)"

Praise God. Dad is a happy camper today. Rejoice with me.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Tell someone

Tell someone that you love them. This is not a boy-girl thing. I am talking about a thing of the soul.

God has given you lots of wonderful people. They are in your life. They are out there, wandering, doing well, floundering. You can help. A good word at the right time is a healing balm.

Take a moment to tell them that you love them. Soul to soul. Hi _____, I sure do love you. I sure do appreciate you. I just wanted you to know.

God is love. If you love them, tell them.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Normal Spirituality

Yesterday, after service, someone said to me, "you really spoke from the heart today." Hmm. What do you do with that? Does that mean that the other sermons of late have been shallow and not from the heart. I don't think so. I thought about what they said. I understand what they meant. I settled on this thought.

You really spoke from the heart today. You always speak from the heart. It's just that sometimes the heart is a little more full than at other times. I can live with that.

Isn't that the truth of normal spirituality. There are ups and downs to life, ebbs and flows. A Christian can't expect to be on top of the mountain every day or even every week. Valleys are needed so that the mountains can be enjoyed. Without valleys, we don't even know what mountains are.

I know so many people who have unrealistic expectations placed upon them. Often the expectations are place by or at least reinforced by themselves.

Guess what, you can't be happy every minute of the day. You can't be "on" every minute of the day. You can't always see the good. Real, normal spirituality understands the human frame. We are but dust. We are created to be dependent upon God. Our brokenness just helps to reinforce our need for Him.

If we can't feel on top of the world every day, what we can do is do our very best to do the right things and see the good, especially when we are having a down day. It is real easy to celebrate with someone when you are on the mountain top. It is real easy to preach your guts out when your heart is overflowing. I wonder tho, if God doesn't place more value on the gifts that we give when we are down in the dumps, grinding out a day, pressing ourselves to do what we know is for the best. That seems like real spirituality to me.

So, whether up or down, don't judge yourself by how you feel. You are loved and created in the image of God. Put your best foot forward, do all the good you can, to all the people you can, in all the ways that you can. Feelings are fickle. The work of the soul goes on. Savor life, it is short.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Betty's Tree

Awake thou that sleepest, and the light of Christ shall shine on thee.

This is a real tree. It is in Betty's backyard. Are you awake? Are you alive? Look at this tree. Wow, does it declare the glory of God. The colors of fall call us to praise our Creator.

If you can't see the glory of God in this tree, how will you ever hear it in a sermon? Wake up! See the signs. Pull this picture into your computer and make it your background.

On a side note. Betty, you are the best. I don't get to tell you, but I love you. I admire you. What a blessing it is to have you in my life. Thanks for sharing your tree with us.

It's a beautiful fall day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

ring the bell

It's time to ring the bell. Every year I do this. It is one of my favorite things. In addition to the little bell they give you, I have a small cow bell that gets a little bit of playing time. Walmart on 291 in Lee's Summit, 9am -11am today.

I see people walk by the red kettle. I see lots of people walk by. But I also meet many wonderful generous people. I watch them hand their babies a dollar and teach their babies to be generous.

I get to say, "thank you." I get to bless them. Ringing the bell for the Salvation Army is something that reminds me of the deep needs of humanity. It helps me see the good in so many generous hearts. It allows me to participate in a small way, in making the world a better place.

If you want to ring the bell, go to this web site:

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Friday, November 9, 2007

your past

Your past. Think for a minute with me of the worst thing you ever did. You got it? If you are like me, you had to sort thru a file entitled "dumb things" in your brain.
You used someone else.
You debased yourself.
You cheated someone.
You cheated on someone.

Do you feel bad. Yes. Yes. Yes. Are you haunted by bad memories of what you did? Yes. Yes. Yes. Where is this going? I thought this blog was supposed to help me see the good.

ok, just hang on.

What if. What if that particular behavior, bad as it was, was the best that you could do at the time. What if, what if that choice represented the development of your soul at the time. What if, given another chance, even though you know everything that you know now, given the same circumstances as years ago, wouldn't you make the same bad choices?

Your soul, your brain, did what it knew to do at the time. You did not have the tools in your tool box to do any better.

Jesus said, "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do." Well, they did know what they were doing. They were nailing a man to the cross. What they did not understand was the meaning of their choices. Their souls did not understand that they were killing the savior.

Maybe when you were misbehaving, Jesus would have said the same thing. "Father forgiven them, they don't know what they are doing." Ok, you knew what you were doing, but you didn't understand the ramification of your choices. You didn't really see the results of your behavior.

I don't want to minimalize our sins, but if we were doing all that we knew to do at the time, why should we be haunted by the choices later. Lets stop living in yesterday. This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us focus on the now. Father forgive them. Forgive them all.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Orion the hunter

I was 14. My friend invited me to join the astronomy club. Every week we went to a man's house to learn about the universe. The man, whose name escapes me, spent a couple of hours with us every week. I learned alot about the stars which I have forgotten, but I did keep a sense of awe pertaining to the night sky.

For some reason, the story of Orion the hunter has stuck in my head, and his image I will remember til the day I die. Orion is a winter constellation. He rises in the east and falls in the west. He is visible November thru April. He is visible now. Come over sometime and I will introduce you to him.

He is my friend. Every year since the days of the astronomy club, Orion has greeted the turn of the season. Year in, year out, he is always there.

I see him, and I think about the millions of ancients who gazed upon him in their lifetime. I imagine myself flying thru the stars. Someday I am going to do that. I think about the God who hung the stars. The God who owns the cattle on 1,000 hills. I stand in awe of him.

The heavens declare the glory of God. I am listening. I ask this God my questions. Sometimes he answers. Always, he comforts me. And the beat goes on. Year after year, he is there, he is constant. The God who put Orion into the sky. He always shows up. You can depend on him. Put your trust in him. He is faithful. Come over sometime and I will introduce you to him.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


What if. What if the hand of God swept down on our church. We didn't make it happen and we don't control it. But what if.

What if people didn't just feel God's presence inside the sanctuary, but what if. What if they were driving by on 291 and they were suddenly gripped by the Holy Spirit.

What if right now, for reasons that you can't control, God speaks to you. He tells you that He loves you. He hugs you. You feel His love. You begin to weep.

In a real revival, you don't need a sign outside announcing it. In a real revival people forget their differences. God takes over.

What if today is a turning point for you. What if today is a turning point for our church. What if people who have had doubts are inexplicably filled with faith. What if those who were filled with insecurity are suddenly filled with holy confidence.

What if. What if.

Come Lord Jesus. Touch each person who reads this today.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, may He just take over. Grip you. Embrace you so that you have no choice but to see the good.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

a song in the night

This is exciting. I woke up with a song on my heart, in my brain. How do they get there. Its like your soul is singing while you sleep. I don't deserve to wake up to this. Maybe I am experiencing a visitation. of those periods of life where God seems close. Immediate. You don't know how or why, you don't make it happen, but He just draws near. It sure beats the dry valleys.

Oh yes, back to the song. One of our praise bands used to do it.

He is exalted The King is exalted on high, I will praise Him. He is exalted forever exalted and I will praise His name. He is the Lord forever His truth shall reign, heaven and earth rejoice in His holy name. He is exalted the King is exalted on high.

I wish you a song in the day today, and tonight, a song in the night.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Gospel choir ladies

Ladies of the gospel choir..... I was surprised to hear that so many of you read this blog. You all made me feel really good. You asked for some names of Fernando Ortega songs. Here are some of my favorite of his albums. I have listed the title of the album first, then the names of the songs on the album. I put an asterisk * by my favorites.

this bright hour 1997
1. Angel Fire*
2. Children Of The Living God
3. Anita's Heart
4. Don't Let Me Come Home A Stranger
5. How Firm A Foundation
6. Jehova, Senor De Los Cielos
7. I Will Sing Of My Redeemer*
8. I Will Praise Him, Still*
9. All Creatures Of Our God And King*
10. Grace's Waltz
11. If You Were Mine**
12. Hear Me Calling, Great Redeemer
13. I Will Wait For My Change
14. O Thou, In Whose Presence**

Breaking of the dawn 1998
1. Creation Song (Glory To The Lamb)*
2. Lord Of Eternity*
3. Sweet Grace
4. Don't Take Me Far From Home
5. Be Thou My Vision*
6. When All Thy Mercies*
7. Margee Ann
8. Road Song
9. The Breaking Of The Dawn*
10. If I Flee On Morning Wings*
11. Jesus, King Of Angels*

home 2000
1. This Good Day*
2. Old Girl
3. Lonely Road
4. On The Line
5. Pass Me Not**
6. No One Else
7. Virginia Rose
8. Prayer For Home**
9. Beyond The Sky*
10. Winter Song
11. Give Me Jesus*

Storm 2002
1. Traveler
2. Come Ye Sinners, Poor And Needy*
3. Light Of Heaven*
4. Storm
5. Cristina's Dream
6. Our Great God*
7. Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silent**
8. This Time Next Year**
9. A Place On The Earth
10. City Of Sorrows*
11. Sing To Jesus*
12. Jesus Paid It All**

Hymns of worship 2003
1. Pass Me Not*
2. Creation Song (Glory To The Lamb)*
3. Children Of The Living God*
4. Be Thou My Vision*
5. I Will Praise Him, Still*
6. All Creatures Of Our God And King*
7. Jesus, King Of Angels*
8. I Will Sing Of My Redeemer
9. How Firm A Foundation
10. When All Thy Mercies
11. Give Me Jesus*

The shadow of your wings 2006
1. Grace and Peace*
2. All Flesh is Like the Grass*
3. Let The Words of My Mouth
4. Open My Lips
5. Come, Let Us Worship
6. All Creatures of Our God and King
7. Great is Thy Faithfulness
8. Oh God, You Are My God
9. I Heard The Voice of Jesus Say
10. There Is Power in The Blood
11. Sing to Jesus*
12. Crown Him with Many Crowns
13. Savior, Like A Shepherd Lead Us

I am sure that these albums are available at any Christian bookstore. I purchased many of them thru an online music club. They also appear to be available on the web:

Here is his web site:

Although I have no guarantees that you will like his music, it has been a huge blessing to me. My wife even likes it.

You were all great at the Terry Tekyl event. Thanks for singing. Bless you all.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Sunday, November 4, 2007


Today is the first of four sermons on thanksgiving. I think I could talk for 52 Sundays about thanksgiving. If you are a Christian, you have plenty to be thankful for. Take a moment just now and count your blessings. Really, stop and take the time, try to think of at least eight things that you are thankful for. Don't close this blog until you do.


Did you count them?
Being grateful should be one of the core values of every Christian. To ponder on things to be thankful for will change our outlook on life.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Good things

Good things that I am going to do today. If the Lord allows me to live the entire day.

1. go to the workday and help plant trees at church. I love trees.

2. meet a 10 year old boy and his father. The boy raised $75 for missions and wants to present it to the pastor for a particular mission project. It is great to see how parents are teaching their children about the joy of missions.

3. perform a wedding.

4. attend a funeral.

5. go to the Hillcrest ministries dinner.

6. finish the sermon

Big day. lots of good stuff. Exciting stuff. We should never take life for granted. Every day is a gift from God. We get so busy we forget him. Our life is not our own, it is a gift from him.

13Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." 14Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that." 16As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. 17Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins. James 4:13-17

Its a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Friday, November 2, 2007


Today I awake with joy.

It's not always like that. Sometimes there are worries, sometimes there are problems. Sometimes for no apparent reason, I am stressed. On days like that, I need a preacher to remind me to see the good.

But not today. I love days like today. Today, everything that I have learned has come to bear on my brain. I am at peace. I have joy. I have a few problems too, but that just makes it all the better. Peace and joy in the midst of problems. Cool. Good.

When I can, when we are able to see the joy and find the peace, it is good. It is pure. It is like we are existing in the state for which we are created. On days that I struggle, I am gripped by my troubles and by efforts to release myself from them. But on days like today we can be consumed with God's love and be determined to extend his grace to others.

If you woke up with worry, I wish you the ability to grip the trouble and manage it. To see the good thru the pain. If you woke up with joy, then celebrate. And may all of us have more days filled with love, filled with good, filled with peace and filled with joy.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Westboro Baptist Church

These folks give the Christian faith a bad name. They are the ones that protest at the funerals of service men and hold up signs that say terrible things. "God is your enemy." "God hates fag lovers."

Well yesterday they were successfully sued for 11 million dollars. Maybe the good conscience of the community is finally finding a way to silence their hatred.

Life is too short to hate. There is nothing Christian about hating someone. The fact that we need to hate someone says a lot about the brokenness inside of us. Hatred is our heart saying, "how can you hurt me this bad, how can you do this to me. I am wounded. You are a jerk. I hate you." Did you hear all of the "me" in that?

I don't mean to make light of the pain that may be in your heart, but I do believe that when we begin to become whole, resentment and hatred begins to dry up. Love and understanding begin to come into the places once occupied by hate. That is a good thing. Its one of the byproducts of having the Holy Spirit at work in our hearts.

Replacing hatred with love begins when we choose to see the good. "you mean person who hurt me, I choose to see you as God sees you. I choose to understand that you are a broken carcass of a person. I begin to pray that God will bless you."

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Its a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.