Saturday, June 30, 2012


I am going to rant for a moment.  I am sick of politics.  I am going to stop watching the news.  It is all so very hateful. 

This side, that side, we are the good ones, you are the bad ones. 

It makes me sick to my stomach.  So, from now on, I am not going to worry about it all.  I am not going to read the 30 emails I get from people each day with some cute little story that turns into who the good ones are and who the bad ones are.

Life is good, life is short.  I am turning the news off when it starts to sound political.  In an election year, I guess I won't be watching much news.  Thats fine with me.

It's a beautiful day in God's world when we understand that this is God's world, not ours, not the Democrats or the Republicans. It is God's world, and that makes it a beautiful day.   Be sure to see the good.

Friday, June 29, 2012

radical idea

The Parable of the Rich Fool Luke 12:13-2113 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”
14 Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” 15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”(N) 16 And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. 17 He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’
 18 “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” 20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool!(O) This very night your life will be demanded from you.(P) Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’(Q21 “This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God."

In your division of, and use of your money, do you put God's work first or last?  Is it really my money afterall?  It is interesting that the things that we think are so important, that we think we need to make us happy.  Really, ultimately they cannot satisfy.  Only Jesus can satisfy the soul.

Let's live accordingly.

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

Thursday, June 28, 2012


The best reason

This may be the best reason to go to church on Sunday.  In a world that constantly tells us that life is about us, We gather once per week to remind ourselves that there is a throne and I am not on it.  Without a weekly reminder, it is easy to forget and start living like it is all about me.

The worship service doesn't start at 9:05 or 11:15am, worship started infinity ago.  All of creation praises God, and it has since day one.  At 10:10am, all we are doing is just joining in the praise for an hour.  We don’t start it, we join it.  Get in the game.

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

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

profound trust

Profound trust

The profound trust of God.  Imagine such a trust in our Father, that I can actually release my problems to him.  I can go on living and not worry, because I have put the problem down and left it in his care.

I can talk about trusting God, but when I release the thing and stop letting it dominate the landscape of my life, well that sounds pretty profound to me.

Jesus said, do not worry.  I am going to keep working on this.  In the life of the Spirit there is something profound.

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

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Uncomfortable.  Jesus makes people feel uncomfortable.  Some people, he makes uncomfortable. 

The church, the little c church has taught us that Jesus makes sinners uncomfortable.  That he is comfortable with the pious and scorns the broken.

How absolutely the opposite of the Jesus of the Bible.  The little c church has taught us about a Jesus that is the opposite of the Jesus in the Bible.  Funny. 

The Jesus of the Bible is comfortable with sinners.  He takes them in.  He loves them.  He runs with them.  Jesus walks into a social setting and he makes everyone feel at ease.  Ran out of wine at the wedding?  No problem, I got this.

Uncomfortable.  Yes Jesus did make some people uncomfortable.  He made the religous folks very uncomfortable.  So uncomfortable that they wanted to kill him.  Do you suppose that Jesus might make a group of preachers at a meeting uncomfortable?  Are they preaching the rules or are they preaching grace?

Jesus walks into a social setting and makes people at ease.  He walks into a religous setting and challenges the self-righteousness of those who think that they have it all together.

And so it is true, the last shall be first and the first shall be last.  Which Jesus do you believe in?

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

Monday, June 25, 2012


Saturday I am driving in my wife's 04 Nissan.  I am on the way to Kohl's to return a broken coffee maker.  One of those fancy ones that are supposed to be so cool.  It only lasted three months.  Anyway, I am driving down the road.  I am 54 years old.  I have a wife and three grown kids. 

Then, a song comes on the radio.

"Precious and few are the moments we two can share."

And suddenly, I am 19 again.  I can see myself, I can feel myself, driving a 1973 Chevy Vega.  I weigh 165 lbs.  Marriage and children are not on my radar screen.  I am young and strong and footloose, and I am singing that song.

Somewhere along the way, the song is over and I arrive at Kohls.  But I am fascinated by the way that the human mind can remember things from so long ago.  And although I am a very very different person than I was when I was 19, in some way, I am still that person too. 

What wonderful moments life can give to us.  Savor them.

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

Sunday, June 24, 2012

what you know

There's what you know, and what you love.  We have been told our entire life that we need to know God or know about God.  And so we work to accumulate God knowledge.  We try to pass that on to others and insist that they come to know what we know.

Let's talk about music for a moment.  Think of your favorite artist.  Frank Sinatra, CCR, REM, The Who, the Fray.  What is it that got you connected with them?  Was it something that you read about them?  Something that you learned?  Or did you fall in love with the music, only later to learn a bit about the artist that touched you so?

The question that we should be asking about our faith is, do we love God?  Are you in love with our Father?  If you are, that becomes evident, and people that love you will want to know about this God that you love. 

There is an attitude about what we know.  There is a passion and a joy about what we love. Who do you love?  Are you expressing your love for God in your living?

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

Saturday, June 23, 2012


I wanted to let you know that I have added a link to Pastor Shawn's blog.  The side address is but you can also just click the link on the right had side of this page [scroll down].

Shawn is a great guy with a great heart and he is also very funny and very normal.  All qualities that I hold in high regard.  I am so pleased to have him on our staff.  May his words be a blessing to you.

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

Friday, June 22, 2012


today i am wearing a rubberband as a reminder. sad to say but yes i need to do this as a reminder to myself that today is a gift, and so being, i need to remember every person i come in contact with today is one of God’s creations….no more no less than me. i need to take heed and put into action the high commandments of love. it is time to take off my lenses and do my best to see through a greater set of eyes.

so, at days end when i am ready to lay down to sleep, i hope i can look back at the day and know i smiled at others, helped when and where needed, put others first, gave time and listened more than i spoke. that i paused, observed, rested, prayed and recognized the opportunities set before me. i hope i was able to move beyond myself and i did not use, as an excuse, the world around me, for my inability to do what was right. i hope i saw God in everything and people saw Him in me.

if so i will sleep well i am sure.

Lion’s Den Man

Thursday, June 21, 2012

a story

The following story is from a book I read recently. Enjoy!

The Book of Love

There is an ancient legend that speaks of God's struggle to guide the destiny of humanity. It is said that God had grown tired of the way that mortals constantly lose their way, creating disasters as they go. So he sent out his angelic messengers to gather together the timeless wisdom contained in the world and to place this wisdom into a multitude of books that would be housed in a great library---a library that mortals could use in order to work out how they should live and act in the world.

When, after many millennia the great task was completed, the colossal library stood proudly in one of the world's great cultural capitals, dominating the skyline. However, this huge building contained too many books for any individual to read. It was all but impossible to reach for the majority of people, and the library's sheer size was enough to put anyone off even entering it. So God demanded that his couriers compress the essential wisdom into a single, encyclopedia book.

Once completed, this single work was widely circulated, but the manuscript was so huge that one could hardly lift it, let alone read it or put what it said into practice. So yet again God put his couriers to work, crafting a booklet with all the essential information. But the people were lazy and there were many who could not read, so the booklet was refined into a single word, and that word was sent out on the lips and life of a messenger.

And the word?

It was love.

Taken from "The Orthodox Heretic and Other Impossible Tales", by Peter Rollins. Found in the WCC library.

Lion's Den Man

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


a discussion yesterday brought this thought to mind. people come and go. new stuff comes about. things evolve. good and bad. stuff like this happens all the time and everywhere.

when it comes to church what is it that keeps you coming versus going? what is it that makes all the changes, all the new faces, all the new stuff seem not so big of a deal? if you are connected in other areas of the church you may know this answer, but it is more than just being involved. it is, I feel, being invested in the people that we walk with... when we open ourselves to others and invite them to do the same something very good, very powerful happens and all of the sudden you appreciate the new stuff, you welcome the evolution, new faces are seen as invitations, the bad becomes not so bad and the good just keeps getting better...

Lion's Den Man

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

the problem

I have a problem.  Maybe you have had one.  Maybe you have one now.  I can be a bit neurotic about my problems.  Maybe you can be too.  You know, recognizing that you are a bit neurotic about a problem is actually a huge step in the direction of resolution.  Ha ha.

Back to the problem.  What is easier to resolve, the problem itself, or my ego that insists things were different?  Well, since I can't change others, the problem ultimately is mine.  I cannot change what that person is doing.  So, can I change my apparent need to have them behave in a particular way?  Can I put them in God's hands?  Can I accept the fact, FACT that they are going to do and be what they please and that is theirs to do, not mine?

The problem is the ego in the room that wants it all just so.  I am the problem, but I am also the part of the equation that I can do something about.  I can let go.  I can let it go.  I can let God.  So can you.  The question is, will we?

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

Monday, June 18, 2012

Hard work

Summertime is here.  It is going to get hot and muggy.  Some nasty jobs are going to come along. 

One that I despise is weeding a very large flower garden in our back yard.  Now, I love to work outside, but summertime heat tends to zap my desire to do so.  Sometimes I have to just go out there and get after it and slug through it.  One step at a time, one foot then the other.  Pick off a bit that I can accomplish, then come in for a drink and a rest.  Eventually it gets done, and I am always glad that I engaged the job and prevailed.  I am not really interested in living with the alternative of realizing I could have done something, but chose to be lazy.

 So it is with life.  Sometimes things get tough.  We may want to lay in bed all day.  We don't want to get smelly and dirty with the problems of life.  But they are not going to go away.  Sometimes you just have to get up and take a step.  Instead of stepping back from the problems, step into the difficulty and fear.  One step at a time, one piece at a time, we can make a difference.  Nothing of importance in this life is accomplished without a little bit of hard work.  Stop when you need to and refresh yourself with prayer and peaceful meditation, then get back after it.  You will make your goal.  But even if we don't get completely finished in this life, I would rather spend my time pursuing the greater good then sticking my head in the sand.  How about you?

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

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Dear Dad

Dear Dad,

It's Father's Day and I miss you.  I remember it seems like just yesterday, you were 54 and I was 24.  Now I am 54 and you are in heaven.  Wow, the time has gone by so fast.  I wonder if the rest of my life is going to go by this quickly? 

When I was 24 I was so full of my self.  You used to always say, "some day, you'll understand."  Well, I wish I knew then, what I know now.  I would have appreciated you a whole lot more.  Thank you, from the bottom of my heart for all that you did and all that you were/are.

I wonder if sometimes God would like to say to us questioning humans, "some day, you'll understand."  I am reminded of the words to an old song..........

There is coming a day, when no heart ache shall rise.
No more clouds in the sky, not more tears to dim the eye.
All is peace for ever more, on that happy golden shore.
What a day, glorious day, that will be.

Until then, it is a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Saturday, June 16, 2012


It must be a stellar year for deer.  My neighbor tells me that they were in his driveway yesterday morning eating the branches that he had trimmed and put out at the curb.

I told you that I saw a fawn the other day.  Well, the neighbors tell me that there is a momma with two fawns. 

Yesterday morning when I got up I took this picture of a big fat momma deer just lazing in the grass.  Right out over our back yard fence!

It is cool to see deer up close.  It makes me feel close to God for some reason......

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

Friday, June 15, 2012

please and thank you

I think it begins with that.  Please and thank you.  If you can't say that, then give it up.  The server is not your slave.  Say please and thank you.  It is the minimum required.  How can you walk the rest of the day as a believer if you don't begin by telling the server, please and thank you. 

It's a beautiful day in God's world, for servers who are treated with respect.  Be sure to see, and utter the good.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


I am getting a bit tired of going through the mail and clipping the coupons, only to find that the item that I am seeking is out of stock.  I have even gone to the grocery store the same day that the ad was first active and the store was out of the object in question.

I suppose that they want to get you into the store, and it seems to work, but it doesn't seem right to me.

Where would the church be if we made lots of promises and then never delivered?  Where would God be?  A person's word is pretty important.  Integrity rises and falls on the simple act of doing what you say that you are going to do.

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

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Change.  Is it time to change?  There are some things that I would like to change.  How about you?  Someone once said, "change never takes place until the pain of the current situation grows larger than the pain of the proposed change." 

In other words, when I finally get sick of myself, the way that I am, maybe I will work on positive change.  We shall see.

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

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

my cousin

My cousin, Christy Heising died yesterday after a long struggle with cancer.  She lived in south Texas and I had not seen her very many times in my adult life.  I suppose the last was about three years ago at a family reunion in Kirkwood.

When we were young we visited each other's homes occasionally.  Most of the cousins contact in our extended family was when we would all show up for Easter, Thanksgiving, or something in the summer at Grandma's home in Kirkwood.

She is the first of my cousins to pass.  She will be missed.

Besides her death, I have done three funerals in the last two weeks.  I love the families, and I am glad to support them, but I will tell you, a person can get tired of burying good folks.

So, give thanks.  You are alive.  We are alive!  God has given us this day.  Let us live and love and savor each moment.

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

Monday, June 11, 2012

many paths

So you life does not look like the next persons.  They say that you don't fit the mold.  There are many paths in life, and our Father is on them all.

So you took 7 years to finish college.  So you skipped college.  So you got things a bit out of order in your life.  Yes you may not fit the mold.  Everyone thinks you should be doing something, but you just aren't there yet.

Here is the good news.  We are all individuals.  We are all loved by God.  Your life does not have to look like the next person's life to be a great life.  You don't have to fit the mold.  You fit perfectly into the palm of God's hand, and that is exactly where you are, right at this moment.

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

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Letting the past go

In the past few years I have made considerable efforts to contact old friends.  People that I knew in high school and college.  They have been easier to find these days, thanks to the internet, facebook, and linked-in.

In each case I was looking to contact these folks to find some forgiveness or absolution for something that I did, or something that happened to us.  [Now that should tell you something]

In each case I was granted full pardon.  In fact, the only person that really remembered or was concerned about the things that I was so worried about, was me.  One encouraged me to accept the gift of forgiveness that I preach so insistently.

At any rate, I am looking back on all of this now and thinking of how silly it can be to get stuck on things of our past.  God forgives us, and most healthy people want to move on.  Kind of a, "live in the present, not the past."

What ever is on your mind today from your past, you are forgiven.

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

Saturday, June 9, 2012

One person

Most of us feel just a bit insignificant.  We want to reach the masses.  Or, since we don't, we feel a bit like a spectator, or a failure.

I would like to do something great for God, but I am just me.

Well, what if we remember that we only have to touch one person to make a difference?  One person.  One.  Who might you care about today?  Does God's work get any better than one person being cared about?  Is there a better use of your time than being used by God to touch another?

Who is waiting for you today?

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

Friday, June 8, 2012

seeing something good

What did you see yesterday?  Was it beautifully amazing or was it beautifully mundane?  Surely every day we ought to see something and consider it's amazingness.  Is amazingness a word?  If not, it should be.

Yesterday morning I am out watering some plants in the back yard.  We have a small strip of woods in a common area behind our home.  The water from the hose is hitting the fence.  I hear something stir on the other side of the fence.  Suddenly it pops up.......... a beautiful fawn.  No mother around, just a beautiful, speckled fawn.  It took one look at me and bolted over the meadow and through the woods.  A lot of times deer will stand there and look at you for a while, or move a bit and then stop and look at you.  There was no stopping with this fawn.  It was booking it away from our yard.

Although we often see deer back there, I felt a sense that it was quite a gift to see the fawn.  It was indeed, and it made me feel that God was amazing.  But then I am thinking about so many things that we see, that we don't consider the gift.  We all see something every day?  What will you notice today?

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

Thursday, June 7, 2012

living with yourself

I watch the news and I wonder how some folks live with themselves.  If there is anything that my parents taught me growing up, it is that you have to do the right thing.  At night, you are going to lay your head down on the pillow and go to sleep.  It is much easier to do if you have a clear conscience.

I am unsure how some folks even  sleep at night.  But, we can't do anything about them, we can only change ourselves.  So you and I have choices to make.  Will we do the right thing?  Will we tell the truth?  Will we forgive others?  Will we be fair in our business dealings?  Will we do unto others as we want them to do unto us?  Now that sounds familiar.

Life is short.  Make good decisions.

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

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

It's time

It's time again.  This is going to sound kind of funny, but it is time again.  It is time to invite people to your church.  A few years ago our sanctuary filled up, and we stopped talking about reaching others and inviting others.  We just didn't have anywhere to put them.

Well, the new worship center is open now and things there are going great.  For the first time in a long time, you can go to any of our worship services and there are several choices on where to sit. 

So, invite your friends to join you at your church.  I believe in what we are doing.  I love our church so much.  I think that there are lots of folks out there that want to go to a missions driven, grace based church. 

You have made room for them.  It is time to invite them.  Be listening for who God may put on your mind.

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

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


We have a cat than can talk.  When it decides it is time for me to get up, it sits outside the bedroom door and yowls.  Hewwoooo.  Hewoooo.   [Hello]  It is the funniest thing, unless you are trying to sleep.

This cat does this because it wants attention.  When you get up, it will follow you around the house until you give it a good back scratching.

Jesus told the story about a man that knocks on his neighbors door in the middle of the night.  You may not want to get up to answer the door, but you just do.  So, Jesus intimated, keep praying, for our Father will answer.  Whether we get the answer that we want or not, just to spend some time with our Father is so beneficial.  We should all rise early and call for him.  Hewwoo.  Hewooooo.  We should all be so tenacious about our relationship with God.

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

Monday, June 4, 2012

trying too hard

Sometimes I think we try too hard.  Hurrying, scurrying, trying to get more spiritual.  Read this, go to that seminar, force feed yourself the good stuff.

We stuff our selves full of what we think we need and our brains are just on total over load.  It's like we have pushed so much junk in there that there isn't any room for the Holy Spirit to work.

What if we relax.  What if we stop trying to know it all.  What if we empty ourselves of our worries, our guilt and our desire to be all and know all.  What if we come to the Savior with an open heart and an open mind.

Is it possible that the Holy Spirit would come rushing into the open space in our hearts?  If nothing else is working, you might give it a try.  Give up.  Stop trying to master spirituality and instead just go to the Master with an open heart.

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

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Holy Trinity Sunday

Today is Trinity Sunday.  Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Most people don't know that the church fought for years about this doctrine.  Hundreds of years. It is in fact the reason for the first split in 1054 between the Western Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church.

The Trinity is one of those doctrines that you had better believe in if you are a Methodist Preacher.  It has always been a lynch pin of our protestant theology.

One of the difficult things about the concept of the Trinity is that it seems to put God in a box, in some way limiting him.  But on the other hand, one thing that I like about the Trinity is that we cannot adequately explain the concept, which makes me feel good.  There should be parts of God that we cannot explain.

So, we celebrate.  Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Three in one.  Yet, we celebrate a God that is beyond our notions of him, beyond our grasp of him, even dare I say, described in Trinity, yet totally beyond Trinity.

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

Saturday, June 2, 2012

the image of God

When we think about the second commandment, "thou shalt not make any graven images."  We think about golden calves and statues, and we think we are pretty safe.  Maybe we go a little further and think that we should not make a god out of our car, boat or home.  We usually pick something that keeps us safe, and steer away from the things that maybe do have too prominent of a place in our lives.

What if the commandment means all those things, plus something else.  What if it means that we should not pile attributes on God that don't belong there?  Maybe it means that we should not create an image of him that is not solidly Biblical. 

When we kept slaves, many Christians found a way to create a god that was ok with that.  When we use our national power for various reasons, voices always find a way to put the stamp of God on our actions.  When we became the most prosperous nation in the world, we wanted to see God as the provider of good things.

The problem with some of this is that God is not just the God of America or Lee's Summit.  He is also the God of the enslaved, the powerless and the poor. He is the Lord of all.

What if instead of trying to create a picture of God that validates me, I try to find out more about who God really is, and adjust my thinking and my life direction to what God is really about?  It's just a thought.

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

Friday, June 1, 2012

Honest about fear

I really don’t want to write this blog.  I really don’t want to tell you this.  But I must, so here goes.  Lately I have been aware of a new friend in my life.  His name is fear.  Fear for my children.  Fear for job security.  Fear for the future.  Fear of rejection.  Unknown, undescribed, indiscriminate fear.

I don’t know where it has come from.  Maybe watching the news on TV.  I know that God has not given us a spirit of fear.  I know that fear is counter productive to living a life of Joy.  So, I fight it.  I push it aside.  I acknowledge it and I ignore it.  I refuse to dwell on it.  I use every weapon in my arsenal to overcome it.

It still keeps showing up.  I don’t like it, but I wanted you to know, because I think some of you may feel it too.  This doesn’t make us bad Christians, it just makes us human, and honest ones at that. 

Chin up Jeff.  See the good.  It’s a beautiful day in God’s world.