Thursday, February 21, 2013


Blessed are the flexible, for they will not be bent out of shape.

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

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Let's Pray

This morning I was polishing off the last few edges on the sermon notes.  At the end, I always write, "Let's Pray" so that I remember to lead a prayer after the sermon.

I typed a typo.  I typed a Freudian slip.  I typed....... "let's pry."  I immediately started to laugh.  I got to thinking about our prayers.  Is it praying or is it prying?  Are we trying to leverage something out of God or are we just trying to be with Him?

Anthony deMello used to say that I am not praying in the best sense when I am only asking for things- but prayer in it's best sense is simply spending time with God.

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

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Ash Wednesday

Today is Ash Wednesday.  It is the first day of Lent.  Lent is a time set aside by the historic church for us to consider the suffering of Jesus Christ.  It runs for about 40 days from Ash Wednesday through Easter.

Tonight there is a soup supper in fellowship hall/gym from 6-8pm.  Everyone is invited and bring your friends.

The sanctuary will be open from 545 to 745pm for the imposition of Ashes and Holy Communion.  This is always one of my most favorite times of the Christian year.  Very solemn, very sacred, very touching.  I hope you can join us tonight.

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

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

change, pain and comfort

We like comfort.  We dislike pain.  Most of us dislike change.  But change is inevitable.  Change comes to all of us.  In order for our church to grow, sometimes things have to change.  Yet, change upsets people.  So I find myself leading decisions that will help us reach people, only to make others mad because their world is changing.

Please remember that we are here to win people to Christ, not simply to be comfortable.  A friend sent me these quotes:

A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.”

"Authentic faith naturally produces action, but faith is hindered unless we abandon ourselves to that faith. Did you know that the African impala can jump to a height of over ten feet and cover a distance of greater than thirty feet? Yet these magnificent creatures can be kept in any zoo by a three-foot wall. The animals will not jump if they cannot see where their feet will land.

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

Monday, February 11, 2013

in a moment

Things can change.  Usually when we think of change, we think of how change affects us in negative ways.  But change can also be good.  Change can bring positive things our way.

And you might be struggling with something for weeks or months and then one day, things change.  Never stop believing, never stop hoping.  Although I want to learn to live beyond circumstances, it is totally fine to keep praying for a better day.

When you least expect it, things might just change for the better.  In fact, now that we are talking about it, sometimes, it is the search itself that takes us into a better place.  I wonder if those who immediately succumb to a problem ever have the chance to rise above it.  Finding usually comes after seeking.

If you are in a rut, don't abandon the car.  Keep working at it.  Things will catch and you will be out and back on your way.  Any moment now.

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

Sunday, February 10, 2013


Someone gave this to me a couple of weeks ago and I have been carrying it around thinking about it. 

"Oh, do not pray for easy lives!  Pray to be stronger men!  Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers; pray for powers equal to your tasks!  Then the doing of your work will not be a miracle, but you will be a miracle.  Every day you will wonder at yourself, at the richness of life that has come into you by the grace of God."  JFK

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

Monday, February 4, 2013

a letter to myself

Do you ever talk to yourself?  How about a letter to yourself?  Here I go.  Adopt it if you like.

Dear Jeff,

What did you expect?  Did you really expect not to have such problems?  As many things as there are going on, and you expected every day to be perfect?  Ha.  You are funny.  Gather everyone together in this big giant thing and no problems?

Do you remember when you were in your late twenties and you anticipated losing your hair?  It has never bothered you, partly because you were expecting it.  Well, you should have been expecting everything that has happened.  You have behaved a bit like a Pollyanna.  If you were counseling someone else, wouldn't you have told them to expect these things?  Wouldn't you have told them to get ready, to anticipate?  Wouldn't you even told them to celebrate them when they arrived, as difficult as they might seem?  Yes you would have.  In fact, you have done it before.

So, now, take your own advice.  All of this is to be expected.  In fact, it is totally normal.  Laugh at yourself.  Make friends with the pain.  Life is good.  All things work together for good.  There is nothing that has befallen you that is not common to man or woman.


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

Sunday, February 3, 2013

they didn't mean it

A friend of mine was deeply hurt by another person.  The pain is deep and the pain is real.  The problem with the situation is that the person that did the hurting did not mean to hurt the other person that bad.  Probably did not mean to hurt them at all.

Sometimes when people hurt others, it says more about what is going on with them, than what is going on with the person that they hurt.

If you have been hurt by someone, I appeal to you to consider that they didn't mean to skin you.  They did not mean to wound you.  They may not even be aware of how you feel about what happened.

See them in a different way.  See the good in them.  Look past the one incident.  Take them to Jesus.  See Jesus standing next to them.

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

Saturday, February 2, 2013


There are some things going on in my life right now that I don't know how to make sense of.  I don't know how to categorize them.  I cannot seem to control them or fix them or how I feel about them.

I don't feel lost, but I feel like I am searching.  Trying to restore something that is just out of reach. 

I hear the voice of God telling me "all is well.  This is a passage.  Younger Jeff had things more under control.  The older Jeff gets, he is going to have to get used to more things that defy explanation. After all, Jeff, you are not in charge, I am."

Is that too much information for you dear reader?  Or do you feel like this sometimes?  I have been looking for a way to describe what has been going on with me, and I think I just did it.

God is still good.  Everything is ok.  This too shall pass- or I will adjust to it.

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