Tuesday, June 30, 2009

all you need is love

The Beatles said it. All you need is love. I got an email from someone yesterday that was dogging John Lennon. I did not feel good about it. What is the point. Another attempt at illustrating who are the good ones and who are the bad ones. Like we get to decide.

All you need is love. What if all of our questions, worries, and philosophies could all be resolved if we just were better at loving. What if acting out in love brought the joy and circumstances that we sought? Obviously if we act out in hatefulness, it will bring the expected result.

So what if, we just started focusing on love. Acting out in love. Maybe, possibly, we would know everything that we needed to know and have the results that we sought.

God is love. All you need is love. Try to spend all of today just loving people. What can go wrong? It will probably be a pretty good day.

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

Monday, June 29, 2009

God is

I have been thinking about this stuff lately............If God is a circle and you think he is a triangle, he does not become a triangle to accommodate your way of thinking.

God is love. God is not "like" love. God does not "embrace" love. God is love. He is not an old white man who sits in heaven on a throne holding a scepter. God is not a person, nor is he a respecter of persons. God is bigger than our ideas of Him. he cannot be contained in the human mind. All of our ideas come short. Yet he makes Himself known. Awesome. Amazing.

How can it be. Oh, amazing mystery of mysteries. This is why people bend the knee to worship.

How big is your God? Do you have a god so small that you have him all figured out? Or do you think of God and just get lost in the mystery............

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

Sunday, June 28, 2009

does that book belong in the Bible?

Well, now I have your attention. Last week in the sermon [which was from the book of Lamentations] I said something like, "wow, who would pick that one to be in the Bible." I did not mean that Lamentations should not be in the Bible, what I meant was that it is a very depressing book. Lamentations is like many of the psalms. People in pain pouring their hearts out to God. Painful, but needful. I am ok with Lamentations. I am ok with all of the books in the Bible. As if God needed my approval.

Anyway, worry not, I am a big supporter of God's word. Now, today is Sunday and I get to preach again. Hopefully it will all be good, with no unintended bumbles.

On a positive note, yesterday I saw a birds nest up high on someone's porch. Four little babies looking out over the top of the nest. Chirpin, chatterin, "hey, old guy, look at us, we are up here, and you are down there. We are cute and you are.............old, and we can fly pretty soon. How do you like us now?" They didn't really say all of that, but it was really cute.

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

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Michael Jackson

Billie Jean. Bad. Ben. ABC. Thriller. Whatever you thought of Michael Jackson, well, he is, gone. Our sympathy goes out to his family and friends.

It doesn't seem right to me. 50 years old. How can that be? I have already had 1 1/2 years that Michael never had.

Lord, thank you for those years. for every day that you give me to be alive in your world.

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

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Alfred Toll house

Yesterday I got to go to a lunch at the Alfred Toll house. The house is at 3502 Warwick. It is right next door to the Jacob Loose mansion. Loose of Loose park. The Toll house is a 4 story 15,000 sq ft mansion that was built in 1904. Alfred Toll was a lumber baron, owner of Badger Lumber. The Tolls moved out in the 1920's because the neighborhood was changing. The house was leased to the Art Institute for years and then was vacant and abandoned. It was renovated in the 50's and turned into an office building. It was purchased in 1963 by the Catholic Reporter, a newspaper that currently occupies the house.

Alfred Toll was my great great grandfather. They were very important people. They had lots of money. Lots. His son Phillip, lost it all. My Dad never had very nice things to say about his grandfather. I have often wondered what it must have been like for my grandmother to have grown up early in such privilege, and then to see it all go away in her twenties.

Well the moral of the story is this. Everybody probably has a famous relative if you search hard enough. It doesn't matter who they were. You are you. You will create your own reputation and leave your own legacy, good or bad. Today is our day to live. Let's choose wisely.

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

Thursday, June 25, 2009

doing the right thing

It isn't always easy to do the right thing. My Dad used to say, "the right thing to do is the right thing to do, even if you are the only one doing it. And, the wrong thing to do, is the wrong thing to do, even if everyone is doing it."

It takes some guts to do the right thing when life's pressures would lead you to do something else. We always regret mistakes...... make the right choices. you'll be glad that you did.

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

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Last night I had dinner with my sister. She gave me some things that she had of Mom and Dad's that she did not want to keep anymore.

A picture of Grandma Heising [yup we are German]
A picture of Bop. That is: Great Great Grandfather Alfred Toll.
4 boxes of desert rose dishes of Mom's.
An afghan that Mom had crocheted. White with red eagles. It was done when I was in Jr. High School. It still looks to be in great shape.

Pictures of my parents in college. Mom is the Sig Ep sweet heart. Young. Beautiful. Sitting in a chair from the 50's. On the table next to her is a radio that I could have bought for 10cents at a garage sale when I was 14. Dad. Look at Dad. So young. So handsome. Wow does he look like Scott. This is wonderful and painful all at the same time.

They all had their shot at life. They did their best. They left behind a road to follow. Someday, my kids or grandkids will open up a box and see some things from 2009. I hope that their memories are good ones. This is our chance. Let's do the best we can.

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

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

today's post

If you think that the post that follows is a little better than normal, it is. And it is because today's post was made by one of my buds. Although he did not sign his post today, you will come to know him as "the young shepherd." Enjoy!

Connecting Others to Christ

When I was growing up, the offering cards at church had a little point system. 10 points if you brought your offering. 10 points if you read your Bible that week. 20 points if you told someone about Jesus. Thankfully, I have learned that Jesus already fulfilled the point system.

I have also learned that no one wants to be the tally mark on our offering cards, real or imagined.

I heard a lot of descriptions about Jesus when I was growing up. For some reason, the descriptions didn't work for me. It didn't necessarily matter how people could articulate the Gospel. In fact, some people got so desperate to use their words to lead me to Jesus that they resorted to guilt. Choosing to share the Gospel through words can lead to manipulation. They felt like it was their job to seal the deal.

I am a stubborn man. You can't change my mind very easily. But when I met Jesus for the first time, my heart literally melted in his nail-scarred hands.

So what was it that enabled me to be in a place where my heart was open even when my mind was hardened? First, a relationship. Someone took the time to get to know me. He asked questions and listened. I wasn’t a tally mark, and he wasn’t in a hurry to get on to the next person. He was different from me, and I saw that from being around him. This caused me to inquire deeper. I read Matthew’s account of Jesus’ life, and decided that I wanted to follow Jesus.

And of course, after being zapped by the love of Jesus, I began living a perfect life and only did good deeds from that point forward… Yeah right.

I stumbled a lot. There were many days early on when I just wanted to turn around. I didn’t want to call myself a Christian anymore, because I didn’t feel like a Christian and it would just have been easier. So what kept me going? What keeps me going to this very day? Relationships.

I think there’s a reason why Jesus had dinner with the sinners while the religious elite scoffed at him. He was building relationships. We Christians can be so prideful, we think we can just walk up to someone and tell them our version of Jesus and that will be enough. Well it’s not enough. In the real world, we don’t trust strangers to introduce us to other prospective friends. We trust our friends to make the introductions.

I do believe every person needs to meet the real Jesus. But we need a safe place to find Jesus. We need an authentic place to find Jesus. We need help destroying the barriers that others have helped erect between ourselves and Jesus. We need to hear that Jesus does not belong to someone else, but we all belong to him. This is the stuff of relationships – safe, authentic and life-changing.

This is not a ten-step process. It is love. It is prayer. It is patience. It is personal. And it is a celebration when one heart is changed by Jesus Christ. That is real conversion, and that is how we connect others to Christ.

Monday, June 22, 2009

a story from the sermon yesterday

There is a story that the pastor told in the sermon yesterday that really struck me. Here it is:

A story is told of a rabbi in a European village, who one day summoned the townspeople to the village square. He said he had an important announcement. The people gathered, but not without much grumbling at the inconvenience. The merchant resented having to leave his business. The wife complained because she had so many errands to run. But, out of respect, they went unwillingly to the town square. Each had to interrupt some part of their lives in order to make themselves present for the Rabbi. When the appointed time came and all were present, the rabbi said, "I wish to announce there is a God in the world." That was all he said. But the people understood. They knew they had been acting as if God did not exist.

The more I think about that story, the more profound I think that it is. Many many people that believe in God, live as if God does not exist. They go about their lives, making plans, entertaining themselves and their children, with no recollection or awareness that the God that they profess to believe in, even exists.

Hey friends, there is a God in this world! Let's live like we know this.

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

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day

It's Father's Day and I am thinking about the soul. What if 80% of what we spend our lives on doesn't matter.

We are all worked up about how our sports teams do. How much money do I make? Do I drive a car that makes me feel good? Am I getting my fair share? Can I control my daily living? Is life fair? Am I getting appreciated? Does my religion fit nicely into my little theological box? Do I look good?

What if God doesn't care about most of that. What if His message to us was simple. "Every day you see other living souls. See them as souls. Love them. Help them. Care for them. That's all folks."

Happy Father's Day God. We will keep working on this.

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

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Orbiting the Giant Hairball

I have started a new book titled, Orbiting the Giant Hairball. It comes recommended by the Bishop. It is supposed to be about finding and staying in touch with your creativity in the midst of a world that has some very defined and unyielding paradigms.

There is a quote in the front of the book that I really liked. Here it is.

Wean yourself.
Little by little, wean yourself.
This is the gist of what I have to say.

From an embryo, whose nourishment comes in the blood,
move to an infant drinking milk,
to a child on solid food,
to a searcher after wisdom,
to a hunter of more invisible game.

The author goes on........

Think how it is to have a conversation with an embryo. You might say, "the world outside is vast and intricate. There are wheat fields and mountain passes, and orchards in bloom. At night there are millions of galaxies, and in sunlight the beauty of friends dancing at a wedding."

You ask the embryo why he or she, stays cooped up in the dark with eyes closed. Listen to the answer [from the embryo]

There is no "other world." I only know what I've experienced. You must be hallucinating.
[the end]

Well, isn't that interesting. Kind of reminds me of what my mother used to say to me, "there is more Horatio than is dreamt of in your philosophy."

It's a beautiful day in God's world, don't stay cooped up in the dark with your eyes closed. Be sure to see the good.

Friday, June 19, 2009

weeds again

You know I have been working on the weeds in the back 40. Last night I worked on them some more. There is a section of sedum about 4 feet long that is just infested with grass. So, grass won't grow where I want it to grow, but it is unstoppable where I don't want it to grow.

Last night I did major surgery. I dug up the whole area and pulled the grass and the sedum apart. By the way, is it sedum or sedem? Ground cover.

I was impressed at how hard the grass had worked to infiltrate the flower bed. Sending its tentacles up underneath and then through the barrier. As expensive as that barrier is, you would think that it would do a better job at being a barrier.

The grass and the sedem were very difficult to separate. I finally got it done, but I wonder if some of the grass roots are still intertwined with the sedem. If they are, then the grass will be back eventually.

Jesus talked about separating the wheat and the tares [weeds]. Easy for him, harder for us. The constant struggle to remove the things from the flower bed of our lives that don't belong there. Sometimes the bad things come out easily, sometimes it takes major surgery.

Don't give up. Keep working on growing the good stuff and removing the bad stuff.

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

Thursday, June 18, 2009

baby robin

Last night I saved a baby robin. Actually I guess it was an adolescent robin. Out of the nest, too big to stay in the nest, it is yet unable to fly. It is running around in our back yard. Our dog who is not a bird dog, does not even see the bird.

Anytime I get close to this bird, the momma and daddy robins come flying out of nowhere to try and run me off. I coax the little robin to the back gate and he hops out into the field. No longer confined by our fence, I hope that he/she finds wings real soon.

I find it so interesting that even when the bird is out of the nest, the parents are still very concerned about it's well being. A harbinger of things to come for the Brinkmans. At least this bird will get another chance to sing.

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

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Are you dating? Are your children? Your grandchildren? Nieces, nephews, neighbors? All of us know someone who is dating. Silly me, I have some advice for anyone who may be willing to listen:

You can't change them. Forget it. It won't work.

If you want to marry a Christian, date a Christian.
If you want to marry someone with a sense of humor, then date people with a sense of humor.
If you want to marry someone that knows how to manage money, then date people who know how to manage money.

If you want to marry someone that knows how to work for a living, then date people who know how to work for a living. If you want to marry someone that will treat you with respect, then date people who treat you with respect.

If you want to marry someone who shares the values that you were raised with, then date people who share the values that you were raised with. If you want to marry someone that your parents will enjoy, then date people that your parents enjoy. [yes, they are out there.]

If you want to marry someone who attends church, then date someone who attends church. If you want to marry someone who will talk with you about common goals and working together in a relationship, then date people who will do so.

Don't marry someone who helps to fix the broken things within you. One day you will be whole, then you will see them for what they are and be done with them. Play to your strengths. See who you are now, and date people with common values.

I have said it before, the divorce rate is not the problem. The problem is that people are getting married for all the wrong reasons. May these simple words of advice be of help to someone who is on the journey of relationships and life.

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

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

to apologize

Yesterday, someone apologized to me for something that they had said. Evidently they had been worried about that. They made a point to find me and say they were sorry.

Well, that was very nice, but I told them that the thing that they were worried about did not really even register on my radar screen. No problem at all. All is forgiven, but no offense was taken.

Something else that I heard in the interchange yesterday was that this is a good man. A good man or woman, for that matter, a good person will apologize when needed. Even once too often. It is far better to say that you are sorry one time too many than one time too few. To not apologize when it is needed is arrogant. To apologize when no offense was taken shows that you have a caring heart.

As always, I am surrounded by some pretty wonderful people.

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

Monday, June 15, 2009

God gives you people

I believe that God gives you people. People that just show up in your life. You can't exactly explain how or why they are there, but they show up. You are introduced by a mutual friend, you meet at a restaurant, you just see them and there is some connection.

How many of you can I say this about? Hundreds. Brad, we spent some time together at the golf tournament celebration. What a blessing to have had the opportunity to get to know you.

Friends, I hope that each of you are giving thanks for the people that just sort of "show up" in your lives. People that God gives you. They are a blessing. Maybe there is something that you are supposed to do together.

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

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Olathe friend

Dear Olathe Friend,

I looked back on the days that you mentioned and if I am looking at the right day, there is no comment posted from you. I am sorry that I missed your comment. I would love to have the chance to dialogue with you. Be sure to follow the sign in instructions when you want to post a comment.

Again, I am sorry for that we missed each other.

a pretty good thing

I have some friends who tease me and they tell me that preachers have a pretty good gig. They only have to work one day a week, and they get all that vacation!

Although there are some painful things that happen, this is a great job. I used to say, about my job, that M-W-F you want to quit. T-Th-F, its the best job in the world, and Sunday, well on Sunday you just have to get up and preach. It doesn't matter how you feel. On Sunday, good or bad, you just have to preach. 4 weeks vacation and 2 weeks for continuing education, well, that is so pastors don't burn out or go crazy.

As the years go by, I have fewer days when I want to quit. I usually feel like the most fortunate preacher that you know. And I tell you this if you ask. But Sunday always comes, and you have to be ready to preach. That is one of the hard things about being a pastor of any size church. Every week there are people that expect you to say something meaningful, joyful, spiritual. Every week! For preachers, sometimes Sunday feels like it comes three times a week.

Here is the good news. God is with the preacher. Even if he or she feels inadequate, God is with them. When we are weak, then he is strong. So, even though the vessels are cracked and broken, the words of the Lord usually have a way of getting out.

Today is Sunday. The sermon is on faith. Let's go see how it all goes.

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

Saturday, June 13, 2009


How many times have I written about pulling weeds in the last two years? Friday is my "day off" so yesterday I helped a friend with a project, mowed the yard, did a wedding rehearsal and pulled weeds. Not in that order.

What do I like about pulling weeds after it has rained a bunch?
  • they come out more easily
  • they are no longer stealing the water that the good plants need
  • you can see the real plants, they are no longer covered up
  • the real plants can grow

I love pulling weeds because of the metaphor that I see so clearly about life and sin. When we are listening to God, when the Holy Spirit is working in us, it is much easier for the bad things to be removed from our lives. When they go, they are no longer taking the rightful place of the good and Godly things. When the bad things are gone, there is room for the good to grow. For character to shine forth.

If you have alot of weeds in your flower beds, let the water of God's grace shine on you. Loosen up the soil, then pull those things out. It feels so good when the good things are growing.

I have some more weeds out there, if you aren't doing anything later today, come on by......

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

Friday, June 12, 2009


"Faith rejects false piety. To enter the desert is to leave behind the false trappings of religion insofar as they keep us from facing reality. And that separation can be very painful, for the trappings will be associated with people whose friendship and support we have come to [enjoy] but who, often without knowing it, are helping to preserve us in immaturity."
-- Kenneth Leech

Do your friends approve and support your every thought? Or do your friends challenge you to be better than you were? Every now and then do they open the box under your arm, take out your god, and show you his smallness?

Real friends will do such things, and we should never be threatened by the examination, but invigorated and inspired to believe in the God who is bigger than our notions of Him.

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

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Home sweet home

Sometimes we get cabin fever and we want to get out of Dodge. Sometimes we are bored with home. We shouldn't be. Last week I left for Annual Conference on Thursday. Had to go a day early for a meeting. Got back from Springfield on Monday. Four nights in a hotel. That is a long time. I don't know how my wife does it every week. Maybe it helps her stay married to me.

John Denver said, "hey it's good to be back home again." Well, I am glad to be home. I have so totally enjoyed the mundane normal things like taking out the trash, feeding the dog, and cleaning up after the partial-adults who live here with me. I even got to pull some weeds the other night.

We should never get bored with our normal things. They are pretty wonderful really. We get tired of things far too easily and take them for granted. We shouldn't. I am glad to be home.

Oh, and by the way, all four of your pastors, Gina, Sherri, Clay and Jeff were reappointed to Woods Chapel for another year. It is good to be home.

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

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

fortune cookie

Yesterday I took my daughter to lunch at the Panda Cafe. Nice quiet place to eat. Good food if you like Chinese food. General's chicken. Fried rice. Crab rangoon. No soup. They know my order by heart.

The day is dark and stormy. Dark for anytime of the day. Really dark considering that it was lunchtime. Rain coming down in sheets. Buckets. Cats and Dogs. Thunder. Lightning. It was a dark and stormy day. You get the picture.

We finish eating and I open my fortune cookie, which says: "It's a nice day."

I love it. Perfect. Totally how we ought to think. Dark and stormy, but it is still nice. Everything is ok. God is with us.

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

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

break down

Last year I was driving to Smithville to visit Court Fisher and had 2 flat tires on my car. Cars break down. People break down. We see it all the time. Sometimes we don't run as we should.

Sometimes the Holy Spirit gets ahold of us and breaks us down. Down to where we must depend on Him or perish. That is a painful place to be, but not a bad place to be. We humans can get so "right in our own eyes" that God just needs to bring us down a notch. I think we listen better then.

Sometimes out of bad times, good things can happen. New tires. New hearts. Hearts more fully committed to Jesus.

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

Monday, June 8, 2009

David Van Giesen

A comment on yesterday's post mentioned David Van Giesen. David was my District Superintendent for three years when we were appointed to Princeton. David's wife Priscilla worked at Woods Chapel for several years as a pastoral assistant when we were in the old building.

Everyone needs a mentor. David was mine for three years and then for many after that. He is a truly kind man with a heart for Jesus. I was full of energy and ideas when I met David and he was so patient with me. He knew just when to nod, just when to redirect, and just when to let me give it a try. His laugh was authentic and welcoming.

I am indebted for so much to this fine man. If you know David, tell him how much he is loved and appreciated. I told him at annual conference. You tell him too. Drop him a note if you get a chance. His address is

4504 English Ivy Ave.
Springfield, MO 65804

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

Sunday, June 7, 2009

ordination service

Last night I attended the ordination service at annual conference. There was hymn singing, call to the ministry testimonies by the bishops, and prayer. I was so happy for my friend Shawn Francensesengenses. He is such a good man and he has such a strong future.

Selfishly, it also made me think of my ordination, in 1991. David VanGiesen and Jim Bryan laid their hands on me and Bishop W.T. Handy put his hands on me and said, "take thou the authority to preach the word."

Very special moments. What a great gift to be a pastor. Thank you all for the opportunity. I love having the chance to care about you. If you are a pastor, be sure to give thanks for the chance to love others.

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

Saturday, June 6, 2009

"knowing" things

Do you ever just know something. I can't explain it. You can't explain it. But you just know. You know that you know that you know.

You know that God is asking you to set new priorities. You know that He is calling you into the ministry. You know something.

This is the work of the spirit. Follow it. The law kills, the spirit gives life. Listen. Follow. You just know.

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

Friday, June 5, 2009

my sins

What are my sins. I certainly have them. Nothing real exciting, most of my sins are boring. Sometimes I can be negative. Sometimes I am selfish. Sometimes I don't see the weakness and sin that lies within me. Think about that. That is a bad one in my brain, to not even see the sin that I am doing or being.

Sin. It will always be a part of who I am. The apostle Paul said, "wretched man that I am....." Hopefully I am becoming sweeter as the years go by, but we all have a long way to go.

I think that it is important for all of us to think about how we fall short from time to time. I don't want you to be consumed with negative thoughts, but if we don't think about how we fall short, pretty soon, we are thinking about how we are better than others. So, let's give thanks for some degree of self-deprecation. That is far better than thinking that you are God's gift to the world, and it opens the door for us to give the glory to Jesus.

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

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Ways that we practice our faith:

Thinking. I am thinking about God. About the trinity and how it works. About spiritual gifts and what they mean and how they work. My mind is full of thoughts about what God is like, how faith works, and I am trying to make systematic sense of it all. The mental trash truck is rolling up and down the streets of my mind, filling my soul with the jarring noise of my own mental nonsense.

Judging others.
You are good. No, you are bad. You shouldn't do that. Why do they do that. What are they thinking. Don't they know that they are not pleasing God? They are not good Christians. How can they go to church and believe that? Look at that tattoo. Boy he needs a haircut, and Dude, buy some jeans without holes will you? Your music is terrible. You drink too much. You need a bath. I am better than you are. Get a job. Lose some weight. [Isn't this terrible?]

Neurotic worry.
I am bad. I did it wrong. I sinned again. God hates me. I am a bad Christian. I will never amount to anything. My mom was right. I am never going to be a successful adult human. Everything I touch falls apart. I am bad. I am a bad person. I have to work harder so that I don't go to hell.

Good works.
Lets get busy. I must save the world. Go, go, go. Do, do, do. I must make God happy. Do all the right things. Participate in all the missions programs. Do, do, do.

Nothing else that I have done has brought me the sense of completion in God that my soul craves. I give up. I give up trying to think or do or be. I am just falling hopelessly, helplessly into the loving arms of Our Father. And in so doing, I find what I have been seeking. I am at rest. I am complete. I am in touch with my soul and it is happy. I may not always feel His presence, but I know He is there and I am just resting in Him. From this place of rest in Him, submission, I find the inertia to live the Christian life. Loving, doing, caring, for all the right reasons. Thinking when necessary, love overshadows all. My life has become a celebration. At night I sleep the sleep of the saved. I just had to give up and rest in Him.

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

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


A friend gave me some ivy the other day. I planted it. I have been growing ivy for years, four to be exact, in a little section of the back yard where nothing grows. Well, ivy grows there. It grows anywhere. A little bit at a time, the ivy is doing its thing. Clinging to the rocky soil.

I think of the story of the mustard seed and the leaven. A little bit will do the trick. The kingdom is like that. Get it started and keep watching. The kingdom will do it's work in your life. Pretty soon, the roots are down, and we are a thriving part of God's garden.

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

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

God in a box

Last night we had a nice meeting on the book, "the Shack." I was reminded of the fact that so many of us grew up in churches that put God in a box. Well meaning folks that wanted to make God understandable, packaged Him in certain ways, using scriptures of their choice, and created a very human, manageable, understandable God. The problem with the God of the box is that we squelched his love and tried to control His doctrine. We inadvertently replaced his love with our human teachings.

When we take the love out of God, there is nothing supernatural left.

Let God out of the box. Just accept that you and I don't have all the answers. The God that we worship does not fit into anyone's doctrinal box. We need to bow in reverence and awe of Him and stop trying to make Him fit our ideas about what we think He is like.

When we give up being in charge, then we can begin to come to know the God that is truly great and truly other. When we stop trying to direct him and manipulate others to follow Him, we can simply accept that he loves us and celebrate this life that we have been given.

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

Monday, June 1, 2009


I have to honest. I am in one. A passage. A major life passage. Inbetween where I was, and where I guess I will be. Inbetween the known and the unknown.

I have been at Woods Chapel for 15 years. My softball career is over. My youngest just graduated from highschool. This fall we will have three in college. I have a great joy and happiness for my kids, and a bit of a grief for myself as I try to figure out what is next in my life. I used to be the pastor with the cute young family. Not anymore. I am yesterday's news.

After August 15th when the kids go to college, the house will be very quiet. Cathy travels every week. So it will be me, two cats and a snaggle tooth dog. Sounds like a passage to me.

I don't expect anyone to feel sorry for me. This is a natural part of life. It is just how it is. I am going to have to get used to it and figure it out. Life is good, even in the passages. We have to keep working hard to see the good. It is there.

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