Sunday, January 27, 2013


One of our cats has a lot hair.  Sometimes the hair gets matted around her neck.  Since nobody likes to pet a mangy mat infested cat, we usually try to cut the mats off.  Needless to say, she does not like this.  One person has to hold the cat while the other one works at cutting off the mat.  To call it holding is a bit of a stretch, it is more like restraining the cat.  If  you have ever owned a cat, you probably know that they are not really restrainable, and they would tell you that you don't own them, but that they own you.  The entire time she is of course yowling and squirming, trying to get away.
The end result though is always good.  She looks better, she feels better, and she gets more attention, which is what her cat life is all about.

So I was thinking of this experience and relating it to us humans.  Sometimes there are things that come our way that we don't like or understand.  We resist them with all of our might.  But, they are still going to happen to us, and if we would just sit still long enough and let the moment play out, we may actually find that everything is ok. 

Once the moment is finally over, I just might realize that some good came out of all of that.  All things work together for good for those that love God.

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

Friday, January 25, 2013

walnut logs

I was driving on the highway the other day and I came upon a truck pulling a trailer of walnut logs.  It reminded me of a story long forgotten.

In 1998 when we were talking about building the new church, a family in our congregation made a great sacrifice.  They allowed a crew of men from our church to go to their home and cut down some very old walnut trees.  The trees were taken to a saw mill down south where they were cut and dried.  The following year, Bill Carter used the lumber from these trees to make the pulpit, lectern, altar, and communion rails in our church.

I remember this story fondly for three reasons.  First of all, I was not involved in the tree removal, and it was one of the first big projects at our church that others managed completely without me.  [Today of course most of what happens at Woods Chapel has little to do with me.]  The second reason I remember this story fondly is because of the generous sacrifice made by the Walker family in giving up their trees.  Finally, this is a great story because of the beautiful result of the fine woodwork in our Sanctuary. 

A chance sighting on the highway reminded me of something from long ago.  An investment in the future rarely goes to waste.  Generosity is a great gift that is celebrated for many years.

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

Thursday, January 24, 2013

keep at it

Sometimes you just have to keep after a thing.  You can't give up, even when you want to do so.  You have to keep working on raising children, even when they are driving you nuts.  You have to go to work, even when you don't want to.  You have to keep working on your attitude.  You have to keep going in spite of your feelings.

It will break a different way pretty soon.  It will take a different turn pretty soon.  Good will eventually come from doing the right things.  Don't give up.  Keep at it.

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

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

for my friend

For my friend who is hurting............

The mama's and the papa's sang, "the darkest hour is just before dawn." The psalmist [30] reminds us that "weeping lasts for a night, but joy comes in the morning."

The Christian mystics wrote of the dark night of the soul.
A time when we feel that God's presence has withdrawn.  A time of pain and fear.  A truly dark valley.  They taught that at the end of the dark night of the soul, we would emerge into a period of enlightenment and joy.

May you quickly find the end of the dark night.  But until then, please remember that we do not fear in the dark valley because God is with us.  Please also know that you are dearly loved by me and by many.

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

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Love, fear and anger

A friend of mine tells me that the three cardinal emotions are love, fear and anger.  He says that they are like the primary colors.  Everything else falls out from them.

What do you love?  If it doesn't go your way with the thing or person that you love, you can become angry.  What do you fear?  Fear also leads to anger.

I made a mental list of my fears the other day.  It seemed to help.  It was like by calling them out, I reduced their power over me, or by calling them out for what they are, I was no longer angry about them.

Love, fear and anger.  May we all have less anger, less fear and more love.

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

Sunday, January 13, 2013

the impossible

I think that I have fallen into an old trap.  I am trying to fix something that I have no control over.  I can do nothing to change people, they must change themselves.  Heck, maybe they don't even need to change.  Who am I to say?

If I am constantly worried about fixing someone, I am sick in my heart, overwhelmed and in pain.  When I just accept things the way that they are, and accept people the way that they are, love can emerge.

I will keep working on this simple old truth.

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

Saturday, January 12, 2013

this blog

Good Morning,

When I started this blog over 3 years ago, I decided to write daily.  There have been spells over this time that I found it difficult to do that, but I made it through.   Recently, I am struggling to find the daily words and it is, among other things, causing me some stress.

It is an odd feeling to sit in front of the computer and know that you are supposed to write something, something inspirational, but you just can't find the words.

Therefore, I am no longer going to be posting daily.  When I have something to say, I will write a post.  I am very sorry if this disappoints you but it is what I need to do right now.

A feature that you may want to look at is the option to receive email notification of a post.  That way, you will know when I post something and don't have to check the site every day.

I know that there are several of you that are daily readers, I am very sorry.  I am fine, and everything is fine, I just need to take a break.

I love you.

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

Friday, January 11, 2013

fog lifting

Do you ever feel that life is a bit foggy?  Discouragement can easily take root in our lives.  If you feel this way from time to time, you are not alone as I have felt some of it lately.  Not sure why, my problems are the same as they always were, but for some reason, I have been going thru a rough patch.  We all have holes in our lives and we all try to patch them.  Sometimes the patches are rough.

When I find one of these spells, I am so appreciative of those of you that encourage me, and for Lion's Den Man who takes over writing.

Today I am glad to report that the fog seems to be lifting.  Nothing has changed, same problems as ever, but the fog is lifting and the joy is returning.  Seeing the good takes constant vigilance.

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

Thursday, January 10, 2013

could be

things could be better
things could be worse
we know we should not want "the better" that others have
and we don't want anything "worse" than what we have or are going through
is seems to be in our nature to compare though
it is a distraction, either way, from where you stand
where you are is real
work from there

Lion's Den Man

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

enter life

This verse has been in my head for a while now and has me thinking.

Matthew 19:16-30
16 Another day, a man stopped Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?"
17 Jesus said, “Why do you question me about what’s good? God is the One who is good. If you want to enter the life of God, just do what he tells you.”

Enter life. (get in the game)

If I am not in the game what must I do to change that?

Remove that thing…the obstacle…the excuse….my thinking.

Then pray and listen.

Not my will but….

Lion’s Den Man

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


If you are new to the church and would like to have a cup of coffee, I would love to sit down and visit.  For that matter if you are not new and would like to sit down for a cup of coffee, I would love to visit with you.

The best thing that  I do is to spend time with people.  Let me know if you want a cup.

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

Monday, January 7, 2013

need a pastor

Do you ever feel like you need a pastor?  I hope so, but I also hope not.  It is a sad feeling when a person feels despair and needs to talk, but it happens to all of us.  I hope that our pastors, staff and Stephen ministry team can provide you comfort and solace when you need it.

What does a pastor do when they feel the need to talk to a pastor?
It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

thoughts for a new year

Everyone talks about change, but will we really be transformed in 2013?

Think of the major things that people talk about improving..... they tell me that they want to be less judgemental, less worrisome, more generous and more joyful.

But what will it take for us to actually make such change?  Here are some thoughts....

1.   Do you really want to stop judging others?
What will that really take? We must learn to see some value in them.

2.   Do you really want to become more peaceful and less filled with worry?
What will that take?  Trust God- take your eyes off of circumstances and trust in God.

3.   Do you really want be more generous?
What will that take? We must assess how we are using our time and money and make changes so that we can reassign our gifts and live a more generous life.

4.   Do you really want to be more joyful?
What will that take?  We must learn to see the good.

Change isn't easy, but nothing changes by wishing.  We all must think long and hard about who we want to be and work at becoming that person, with the help of God.

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

Saturday, January 5, 2013


A lazy winter Saturday.  Sometimes Saturdays are full of things that must be done.  Finish the sermon.  Paint the house.  Fix something.

Every now and then, a Saturday shows up with no agenda.  Sleep in.  Have a cup of coffee with your wife.  Take it easy.

That is my day today.  I hope you have a restful one as well.

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

Friday, January 4, 2013


Worrying.  We all do it.  Well I guess I know some folks that don't.  But most of us do.

Someone said something about you.  Someone looked at you wrong.  Now, we are going to spend the rest of the day, the rest of the week, the rest of our lives worrying about it.  They have moved on, they don't care anymore, it has fallen off of their radar screen, but I am still thinking about it.

Someone left the church.  Someone stopped being a friend.  Someone won't shake your hand.

Do what you can to fix it, and then, let it go.  There is no reason to worry about things that you cannot control.  Worry robs us of the joy of living, it robs us of being able to focus on the good things.

There are so many more that still love you, that still are your friend, that will shake your hand.  Life is good.  Focus on the ones that are lovers, don't worry about  the ones that aren't.  You can't fix them anyway.  The only person you can do anything about is you.  So make a conscious choice to stop the worrying.

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

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Good Winter Days

It almost sounds like a contradiction......Good winter days.  An oxy-moron, two things that don't go together.  Good and winter days.

Well, yesterday was a good winter day.  No snow, no frozen pipes,  no wind, and temperatures warm enough to cause a bit of melting.  My favorite winter days are when the snow melts.  I keep hoping that we will have enough of them and then spring will be here.

Days over 32degrees in the dead of winter are like grace.  They are like a little light that shines in the darkness.  They are God's reminder that the darkest night means dawn is just in sight.

I hope you are enjoying the nice days of winter, because before this is over, we may have some difficult days as well.

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

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

North Entrance Sign

This is the church sign at the north entrance to the property.  Some of you may not know that there are two entrances into the church property.  Of course there is the main entrance off of Lakewood Way.

The second entrance was made possible by the purchase of five acres behind the Holiday Inn.  I think we bought the land in 2002 and the youth and mission building was built on that five acres in 2008.  The parking lot was extended and an entrance was constructed out to the north, behind the Holiday Inn at that time as well.  If you don't know how to find this entrance/exit, go to the playground and turn north.  Drive past the youth and mission building and the road will dump you out onto Goodview Circle Road in front of the Cancer Center.  Keep driving straight and you come to Lakewood Way.

So, anyway, there is this sign at the north entrance.  You can see what it says on the front of the sign.  Do you know what it says on the back side of the sign?  Next time you are at church, drive out the north entrance and read the back side of the sign.

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

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year

And so another New Year dawns.  I wish you the best.  I wish you God's grace.  I wish you a trust in Him, no matter what comes.  Good or challenging, He is with us.

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