Wednesday, July 31, 2013

at peace

Proverbs 14:30

30 A heart at peace gives life to the body,
but envy rots the bones.

Envy. It is spoken about because it is real and every person experiences it to some degree. Why? .......A lack of peace. Peace in being who you are and what you are. The kind of peace that frees you to be you and move forward.

Find your pain, examine it, understand it, then hand it over and be at peace.

Lion’s Den Man

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

a perfect plan

Ephesians 4:16
16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
I love how doing good things not only helps someone else but makes me feel good and helps me as well. I use to think that was a selfish thing until I came across this verse.  I now see it as God’s plan. I do my part, play a role in His plan and in doing so He feeds and grows me in the process.
A perfect plan by the perfect plan maker….
Lion’s Den Man

Monday, July 29, 2013


God loves you.  Unconditionally.

Jesus loved the lepers.  Unconditionally.  Jesus loved the tax collector. Unconditionally.  Jesus loved the children. Unconditionally.  Jesus loved the woman at the well.  Unconditionally.  Jesus loved Nicodemus.  Unconditionally.  Jesus loved the prodigal son.  Unconditionally.

No conditions.  No rules.  Love.  Unconditional. 

The amazing thing about this is that love changes people.  What you can't do by pouring guilt on people, love can accomplish.  Love reconciles.  Love reaches.  Love forgives.  Love welcomes.  Love heals.

Jesus loved the lost sheep unconditionally.  Jesus loved the hungry, unconditionally.  Jesus loved the prostitute, unconditionally.  Jesus loved the sinner.  Unconditionally.  Jesus loved the thief on the cross, unconditionally.

And let's not forget this- Jesus loves you, unconditionally.

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

Sunday, July 28, 2013

the message

So what is the message of the Christian faith?  So many churches offer so many answers to this question.  Some will tell you that:

-God loves you if you straighten up
-God loves you if you believe just right
-God loves you if you stop sinning
-God loves you if this
-God loves you if that
-God loves you if

None of that is good news.  But the true gospel is good news.  And there is another way to describe the message of the Christian faith.  Here it is:

God loves you.
There is no if.
God loves you.
no if.
God loves you

It is not one of many views on the Christian message.  It is the Christian message.  The moment someone adds and "if" to it, the message has been perverted and it is no longer good.

Grace isn't an alternative message of Christianity.  It is the message.

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

Saturday, July 27, 2013


My favorite book of all time is Walking on Water by Anthony Demello.  It is for sale in the church bookstore for $2 over our cost.  Demello died at the age of 56 in 1986.  He was a Catholic priest from India.  He grew up around Buddhists, Muslims, and the very poor.  His book is a delightful picture of a life paradigm that offers busy Americans more peace, freedom, happiness and joy.  If you are looking for a book to read, this one changed my life.

I put this book in the hands of many people.  Here is what one reader recently wrote to me about the book.  And yes, the book is really this good....

The book you shared with me is amazing! I can see why you re-read it a couple of times a year. I wish I had had it about 6 years ago. It answers many questions I have had for a long time. I was able to identify with a lot of the difficulties mentioned in the book. I very much appreciated the answers and illustrations to assist me. I definitely had lived the "robot" life while being in a state of fear and anxiety.... just trying to holding on .......

I am trying to figure out who I am and who God created me to be. Because I was in turmoil and numb for so long, in some ways I feel like a child just learning about the world around me...a kind of re-birth. I don't know if that makes any sense. It has been so long since I have been able to stop and smell the roses (live in the present) and even know what it is like to be truly loved by someone who accepts me for who I am. ....... I am going to have to work at re-framing my thoughts as I know that God's purpose for my life is still being revealed. I believe the exercises in the book will help me reconnect with God in a way that I have never been able to do before. That is exciting!

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

Friday, July 26, 2013


One of the things that I love about our church is our little bookstore.  We offer some of my favorite books for sale.  There are also some nice Christian cards and gifts.  Used books are priced at $2.

What ever we buy a book for, we mark it up about $2.  That is to cover the cost of items that just disappear from the bookstore.  Yes, some folks take things and don't pay.  We are not in it to make money, but to get great literature into the hands of our members and friends. 

If you are looking for something to read, check our the bookstore.  Good stuff, great values.

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

Thursday, July 25, 2013


Do I even know how to spell plagiarism?  Let's just call it, "it" for the rest of the blog.  Plagiarism, it, will get you fired, it will get you flunked out of a class.  It is writing verbatim someone else's ideas and claiming them as your own.

The other day, I posted on the topic of the "drug of approval."  A reader was right to call me on this.  It is an idea that is discussed in Anthony Demello's book, Walking on Water.  Which by the way is one of my favorite books.

Well, I don't ever mean to plagiarize the work of others.  Fact is, according to the old testament book, Ecclesiastes, "there is nothing new under the sun."  I have no new ideas.  I have no original ideas.  Everything that I know, or think I know, I learned from someone else.  From Anthony Demello, Bob Tuttle, Jim Ireland, Paul Brinkman, Bob Fillmore, and the list goes one.

I will often write about some idea, I don't always think to credit the person I heard it from.  Sometimes I don't even remember who I heard it from, but I will never tell you that it is my original idea. 

So, the drug of approval, and about 40% of everything else that I think, came from the writings of Anthony Demello.  If you have not read any of his books, I encourage you to do so.  Walking on Water is available in our bookstore at church.

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

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

radio show

You are invited to tune in on Tuesdays at 4pm to 1030am for our radio show, "Welcome to Woods Chapel."  We have done this now for about six weeks.

Topics have included:  Grace, atheism, forgiveness, guilt, change and when bad things happen.  We have tried to offer topics that nonbelievers and nominally Christian people might benefit from.  If you want to listen to them you can find them at:

Also we are looking for more ideas.  If you have a good idea for a theme for a weekly radio show, please post a comment.

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

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

denominations pt 2

Someone posted this comment.  Let me comment on the comment.  Also, as a side note, sometimes when I cut and paste items into the blog they don't show up very well, so I am working on a way to highlight the pasted items so that they are readable both in an email and on the blog.

Here is the comment.

As I began to ask you some questions that mentioned non-denominational churches and their growing popularity, I began to Google the question, and here's what seemed key. The main reason for their popularity is that they are meeting needs. Jeff, do you find that busy people today are eager to have what they do matter. In addition to a church meeting needs in the member's own life, I think when they spend their time they want to be sure they are meeting needs and not going through perfunctory rituals that have become "sacred tradition." Do you find this in the people you minister to at WCC? I personally think the reason WCC is so vital and alive, is that our church is meeting needs all the time

Now my comment on the comment.
Do churches meet needs?  Some churches meet the dysfunctional needs of congregants to feel right and superior.  Some churches meet the needs of congregants to learn or worship or find friendship. 

I agree that people want to have what they do matter.  I want us to teach people to live beyond themselves.  To find a life that is full because we have given ourselves away.  To me, this kind of missional living provides for the needs of others, and we are filled along the way.  It is a healthy fullness of joy.  Doing that for which we were created.

Some do just settle for rituals and sacred traditions.  Others are energized by them.  One of my favorite moments of Sunday morning is to sing the doxology at 8am.  "Praise God from whom all blessings flow.  Praise him all preachers, I mean creatures, here below."

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

Monday, July 22, 2013


Someone asked me to write about the purpose of denominations.  Let me write about the role of Methodism, not all denominations operate the same.  Some keep a strong connection over churches and pastors while others are very loose affiliations of churches.

1.  The Methodist denomination serves as an ordaining body to verify the ability of a person to be a pastor.  Sometimes churches that are not connected to a denomination ordain anyone they want, with no concern for their educational requirements.

2.  The Methodist denomination holds together various forms of doctrines and beliefs.  They say in effect, "this is who we are and what we believe."  Churches that do not have this covering can believe in all sorts of things. For example the Westboro Baptist church.

3. The Methodist  holds its pastors accountable for doctrine and behavior.

4.  The Methodist denomination is a place where churches can work together.  We are a part of a larger connection.  Think of all the work that was done in Joplin by the Methodists.

5.  The Methodist denomination provides systems and structures to help pastors and churches be successful.  We are in effect, a part of a family.  The Methodist family.

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

Sunday, July 21, 2013


A friend shared a quote from a writer named Robert Brault.

"Today I bent the truth to be kind, and I have no regret, for I am far surer of what is kind than I am of what is true."

I love it.

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

Saturday, July 20, 2013


So I watched one of my favorite moves the other night, Harold and Maude.  Filmed around 1972 in the San Francisco bay area, it stars Ruth Gordon and Bud Cort.  It is one of those movies about growing up.  It is about coming of age.  It is about deciding to live.  I got to thinking about so many other "coming of age" movies, and I came up with a list:

Harold and Maude
Stand by Me
The sisterhood of the travelling pants

I am sure that there are more that you can think of, please help me add to the list.

These movies somehow just stick right in our hearts. I am glad for them.  I think of them and they make me happy.  It is comforting to know that we survived growing up.

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

Friday, July 19, 2013

I loved this, Part three

While I agree with the comment from the other day, [see the post from Wednesday] I do feel that I made some good points. 

Yes we are Christians before we are Methodists, but, not all churches are the same.  In fact, some denominations are so brutal, I want to shrink back and hide from their theology.

I love grace because guilt is so painful.  So many churches are filled with guilt.  A young man that started going to our church was asked why he left his past church and landed here.  He said, "I got tired of feeling bad when I left church on Sunday."

I love the essentials because they really matter, and God is not going to give us a test over doctrinal peripherals when we get to heaven.  Some churches get lost in the minutia and actually think it is important, and that they have just the right spin on it.

I love missions.  There are many churches that are not engaged in missions.  They have forgotten the teachings of Jesus, pulled the wagons into a circle and tend to feel smug.  They have forgotten that faith is not just believing, but also doing.

So, although I would agree that I am a Christian first, I am also a Methodist by choice.

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

Thursday, July 18, 2013

I loved this, part two

So regarding the concept of denominations and how we can easily get caught up in them.  I have a joke that I pull on friends that are visiting you from out of town.  Here is how it plays out.

It is after service on a Sunday.  Someone is coming through the line shaking hands.  They introduce me to their relative from out of town.  The relative says, "I'm a Presbyterian."  Then I like to say, "Oh, sorry, no Presbyterians [or whatever denomination they are] in heaven."

They routinely look at me with a puzzled face.  Then I tell them, "no Presbyterians, no Baptists, no Methodists.  We are all finally on the same team."  I like a good joke.

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

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

I loved this, part one

To what I posted on Saturday about Barry Manilow and such, I received this comment, which I dearly loved.  I am going to write about it for a couple of days.  Here is the comment:

Okay Jeff, I suspect that in your job you are often reminded that you are accountable for holding to Methodist beliefs, and "doing what Methodists do."

From a layperson's perspective, although I'm a member at WCC, I rarely if never spend any time thinking about or defending the fact the I'm a Methodist.

I continually identify with being a Christian in a world where other believers live out their faith in Jesus Christ in various Christian denominations. If someone takes the Jesus factor out and who He is and wants to be in our lives, that's where I would begin to find issues.

I don't even feel like a Methodist, if there's supposed to be something unique about being one. In fact, I cannot find the word Methodist, Presbyterian, Assembly of God, Baptist, or whatever, in the Bible.

Part one- I love how you readers read this blog stuff and are usually smarter than I am.  This person hit the nail on the head!  We must always be open to hearing from and learning from others.  This person's comments were right on the mark.  Who is speaking into your thoughts?  Is your brain open?  Is your life paradigm open?

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

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


So I have written before about Princess Kiki, aka "the fat cat."  We had her for two years and never saw her.  She hid from everyone and everything.  Finally we got her to come out of her shell and overcome her fears.  That might have been a mistake.  Now, she follows me like a puppy.  She has made friends with Lou the dog.  Her desire for attention takes precedence over everything.  In fact, as I type this blog, she is laying on my arm and it is falling asleep.  She can't get enough of the lovin.

I got to thinking..... as much as she loves being loved on now, what were those first two years like?  What was it like to live in fear?  What was it like to not know about love?  What was it like to skulk around in a shadow life?

And then I remember that many humans live like this too.  Afraid to be vulnerable, afraid to be rejected, simply existing in a world turned in.

If this is you, come out of your shell.  Risk it.  Keep risking it, even if you find rejection.  Overcome the pain and the fear and extend some love.  Somewhere, it will be returned, it will come back to you.  Don't waste one more day of your life being lonely.  Life is too good and life is too short.

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

Monday, July 15, 2013


Facebook warning:  I am not a good facebook person.  Please do not try to email me on facebook or expect me to participate in facebook things.  It is too much for my brain and I am not interested in my phone being blown up with all of the silly things that are sometimes posted by my friends.

I will check facebook from time to time, but I rarely post anything there.  Consequently, I miss parties that I am invited to, I don't reply to email in a timely manner from facebook, and I am often out of the loop on things that people think that I should know about.

If you want me to know something, please email my church account at
I am sorry, but sometimes it is hard to teach an old dog new tricks.  With writing a sermon every week, writing a weekly radio show, writing a monthly article from the newsletter and a daily blog, my brain is not going to take on facebook.

In fact, I find some of the electronica that has been added to our lives in the last 20 years detrimental to life.  I used to go out to dinner with my family.  Now I go out to dinner with my family and they are all texting on their phones.  I used to stand in the line at the supermarket and be friendly with people.  Now I stand in the supermarket line and listen to them talk on the phone.  Elevators used to be a sanctuary for introverts.  Not any more.  Before email, I used to talk with people in person or on the phone.

Not all technology is good for people.  I for one am reserving some time for the good old life.

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

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Psalm 139

From my friend Bill C.

Back in the 70s/80s a book by Leslie Brandt was much loved.  It was called “Psalms / Now” and is a contemporary restatement of the Psalms.  I especially remember Psalm 139: 1-10:

O God, You know me inside out,  through and through.

Everything I do,

            every thought that flits through my mind,

            every step I take,

            every plan I make,

            every word I speak,

    You know, even before these things happen.

You know my past;

    You know my future.

Your circumventing presence covers my every move.

Your knowledge of me sometimes comforts me,

            sometimes frightens me;

    but always it is far beyond my comprehension.


There is no way to escape You, no place to hide.

If I ascend to the heights of joy,

    You are there before me.

If I am plunged into the depths of despair,

    You are there to meet me.

I could fly to the other side of the world

    and find You there to lead the way.

I could walk into the darkest of nights,

    only to find You there

            to lighten its dismal hours.

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

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Barry Manilow

Our brains think of random things.  I woke yesterday morning humming a Barry Manilow song.  It reminded me of a time when some friends made fun of me because I like his music.  It was all in good nature.  Then I got to thinking of other things that I have been made fun of for.....

Not being popular in high school.  Having a crummy car.  Not being a very good athlete.  Being socially awkward.  Having a certain kind of job.  Being old.  Losing my hair.  Having red splotchy skin.  Being a Methodist.

Of all of those things, the only one that bothers me today is being made fun of for being a Methodist.  Actually it doesn't bother me, I am not going to take the drug of approval, [see post from a couple of days ago] but I am not going to shy away from being a Methodist.  I am in fact, proud to be a Methodist.

My mom didn't want me to be a Methodist.  For some reason, that was not good enough, not spiritual enough.  Over the years, the rest of the make fun of Jeff for being a Methodist kind of goes like this.  Catholics have mass.  Disciples of Christ have communion every Sunday.  Baptists have the true and only right and righteous method of baptism.  Assemblies of God has speaking in tongues.  What do Methodists have? One friend used to call the Methodists "brand X Christians." 

Well let me say a word about some of why I love being a Methodist.

1.  Methodists focus on the essentials.  They don't fight over peripherals.  Just the facts Ma'am.  Let's not get separated over matters of opinion or get lost in the minutia.
2.  Methodists are focused on grace.  They don't tell others who is going to heaven or hell.  They leave that up to God.  They focus on the remedy [God's love] not the problem of sin.
3.  Methodists are actively involved in mission.  They see the faith as something to be lived, not just something to be believed.

So, I am still losing my hair, I still have red splotchy skin, I do listen to Barry sometimes, and I am proud to be a Methodist.

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

Friday, July 12, 2013

nice night

Last night was a nice night.  We sat on the deck and visited.  After that, I sat out by myself and listened to the birds sing.  Oh, that reminds me of something I read not too long ago.

This would be for someone who feels that they can't do something because they are not the best at it.  Maybe even mediocre at a thing.

"If only the birds with good voices sang, the forest would be a very quiet place."

Is God asking you to use your gifts?  Then just do your best.  Get in the game.  Get your licks in for Jesus.

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

Thursday, July 11, 2013


So I was asked to write about my Dad as well.  My Dad was a good man.  He worked hard his whole life.  He struggled with addiction but kept at it.  He raised three kids and paid the bills.  He was hard on us, but he was trying to prepare us for the difficulties of life.

There are a lot of things that you don't appreciate when you are young, that later in life, you see what your Dad was trying to teach you.

Dad was an engineer at Ford Motor Company in Claycomo.  After Mom died, he joined our church.  That was a great day for me.  After 9-11 I called him up and asked for his advice. 

ME:  Dad is this anywhere close to Pearl Harbor?
Dad:  Son, it is worse.  Pearl Harbor was military on military.  This was done to innocent civilians.
ME:  Dad, there are going to be a lot of people in church on Sunday.  I am nervous about what to say.
Dad:  Son, look into your heart and you will find the words to say.

To my dying day I will remember watching my Dad wander in the back on the sanctuary on the Sunday after 9-11.  It meant the world to see him there and feel his support.

Dad had a routine.  Coffee at home for breakfast.  Lunch and dinner were at Romanelli's in Waldo.  When he was 18, he has his first beer there, so he remained a loyal customer.  On February 2nd, 2002 Dad had a stroke and died coming out of Romanelli's.  He was 74.  I was 44.

The funeral was at Mt. Moriah at 105th and Holmes.  I did the service.  I will never forget being at the visitation and the number of my friends that came in the back door and wandered up to pay their respects.  Those moments just stay with you.

I miss my dad.  Still.  I really did not get to know him until after Mom died.  Dad was a great guy. 

So the moral of this story is...... Hug the people that you love.   Appreciate them.  Meet them for lunch.  Spend time caring for them.  You will be glad that you did.

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

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


Someone asked for me to write about losing my mom.  I have been putting it off, but here goes.  Mom died July 17, 1995.  She was 62.  I was 37.

In March of 1995 mom went to the doctor for a routine exam.  He noticed that something was protruding from under her rib cage.  She had not been feeling badly, it was a random find.  They sent her for a CT scan.  Liver cancer.  Later to be diagnosed as lung cancer that metastasized to the liver. 

We tried to get Mom and Dad to go to M.D. Anderson in Houston, but they did not want to do so.  They were content to stay with their local doctors.  Mom took chemo and went through lots of tests and procedures. 

Mom went to a church that taught that if you had enough faith, you could be healed of anything.  She believed that she was  going to be healed.  Consequently, she really was not interested in talking through some of the things that you might want to talk with someone about who might be dying.  Whatever our issues were, she left them to us to resolve on our own.  Mom died on July 17, 1995.

The funeral was held at the Muelbach funeral home at 6700 Troost.  A group from our church sang "It is well with my soul."  I did the memorial message.  My friend David Van Giesen led the grave side portion.

It was strange to lose your Mom.  It was the first time that I had lost a person that close.  Your brain thinks about a lot of things.  Fortunately, we were raising three small children at the time and they kept us pretty busy. 

I still feel badly when I talk to people who are 75 years old and they are going to visit their mom.  I did not get to have my mom as long as I would have liked, but everyone loves their mom.  Sometimes I wish that she had been allowed to see my children grow up.  She would have been so proud.

So, the moral of the story is that we all need to appreciate the people that we have in our lives.  No one lives for ever, and we should be grateful for our loved ones.  Take a moment now to pray for them and give thanks to God for them.

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

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

the drug of approval

Most everyone I know, at one time or another, has been addicted to the drug of approval.  We want the approval of our father, we want the approval of a friend, we want the approval of a partner. 

A ten year old girl walks into the room wearing a pink dress.  We say, "Oh, my you look wonderful!"  She beams with joy.  The next day she walks into the room wearing a green dress.  We look at her and say, "Green?  It's not your best color."  Her countenance falls and she is crushed.  She is addicted to the drug of approval.

All of us would prefer to be liked.  We would prefer to be approved of.  We would prefer praise to criticism.  There are some people that it is pretty important to have their approval.  Your boss would come to mind.  If he or she doesn't approve, it could mean a job change.

But for the most part, we are way too worried about getting others to like us.  What if we spent our energy living and loving, instead of worrying about if everyone liked us?  Maybe they act that way because something is wrong with them instead of you?  Maybe they will never be pleased.

Live well.  Do right.  Love all.  But spend your days in celebration and joy instead of worry.  Don't buy the drug of approval.  God approves already and he is the only one that ultimately gets a vote.

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

Monday, July 8, 2013

Annual Conference

The Annual Conference of the Missouri United Methodist Church was held this year on June 7-10.  The conference is a time of reports and voting and worship and rekindling of friendships.  This year, I was asked by the Bishop to deliver the Sunday morning sermon to the conference. 

The service was held at the Juanita Hammonds center on the campus of Southwest Missouri State in Springfield.  I have now had several members give me grief over the fact that no one was informed of this.  Good natured grief, but a disappointment that no one was told.  Some would have prayed for me, others said that they would have gone to participate had they known.

I apologize to you, and this is my fault.  It was quite an honor, and I just could not find a way to tell you that I was asked to do this, without it sounding self-promoting.  It still feels a little funny to post this. 

So some of our musicians went down and led worship, and I got to preach, and here is the link if you want to listen.  The topic for the conference was "praying hands and dirty fingernails."  This topic was from a blog the bishop wrote about how true prayer drives us to the work of the kingdom.

Here is the link if you would like to listen:

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

Sunday, July 7, 2013


Quiet.  Shh.  Sometimes quiet is good.  It is peaceful.  It is good for the soul.  When I was a child, my father used to tell me that I talked too much.  Imagine that!  When I was a teenager, he would sometimes say, "Jeff, you just don't know when to shut up."

That always kind of bothered me, until I got older, and then it started to make sense.  Imagine that!  Something that my father said, made sense as I got older.

Sometimes words don't help.  Sometimes walking away from an argument is better.  Sometimes a hug to a friend who is hurting is better than untimely words.  Pat answers never help.  At times, your presence may be more important than your opinion in a marriage.

Quiet.  There are many good reasons for it.  Most of us need more of it.  Shh.  Be still and know that I am God. Ps. 46:10

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

Saturday, July 6, 2013

self vs selfish

Selfishness sure is ugly isn't it?  I watch people work to take care of themselves, to the detriment of many others, and I am just amazed.  Healthy people are willing to make sacrifices for the common good.  They never hurt others intentionally and apologize if it should ever happen on accident.

Broken people are anxious and are consumed with self.  Healthy people still have a self, but they are not selfish.  They are able to live outside themselves and care for others.  Have you noticed when all is well in our world, we are much better at being nice to others?  And conversely, when we are consumed by some problem, we don't even see other people.

Every now and then it is a good idea to tell yourself that all is well.  Tell your self to relax.  Take a chill pill.  It will all work out. 

The moment we get our eyes off of our own mess, we can start to love others.

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

Friday, July 5, 2013


Today I am 56 years old.  Happy Birthday. 

I am thankful for every birthday.  I am thankful for every day.  My mom died when she was 62.  My sister and I talk about this quite a bit.  She is 58.

This ride of life isn't going to last forever. 

But now back to happier thoughts.  Today I will do some wonderful things.  Since it is my day off, few of them will involve church.  I will work on a sermon today, but mostly I am going to do cool things.  I am going to sleep in a bit [already did that part.]  I am going to walk in the yard, I am going to clean the garage [which actually is a treat for a tool guy] I am going to go on a bicycle ride and I am going to say thank you to God a bunch for the gift of this day.

God is great.  Life is good.  Very good.

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

Thursday, July 4, 2013

4th of July

Today is the 4th of July.  I am proud to be an American.  I am more proud to be a Christian.  I have to remember on the 4th, that there are Christians in every country in the world, not just here.  We also must remember that in addition to being citizens of this land, we are citizens of God's kingdom.

I am also proud to be your pastor.  It is a great privilege.  I count it one of my life's greatest joys.

Enjoy today with your family and friends.  You are wonderful.

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

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


I find much joy in the garden of our yard.  Here are some more pictures of the beautiful things that God is growing at our home.

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

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


Every now and then we get a very big surprise.  I had one the other night.  My entire family of five went out to dinner at La Fuente.  Anytime we do this, I end up with the bill and it is usually $80 or so.

The other night when we were done, I asked for the bill.  The server said that our bill had been paid.  I asked by who.  He looked at my daughter Jenny.  She smiled.

JENNY PAID THE BILL!!  Jenny is 24. 

This is so exciting for me on several fronts.  First of all, Jenny has a job and makes enough money to pay the bill.  Secondly, Jenny manages her money in a way that she is able to pay the bill.  Finally, and the biggest thing of all is this:  Jenny wanted to pay the bill.

I was a very proud parent.

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

Monday, July 1, 2013


I saw a Jaguar dodging through traffic.  It caught up to me and popped into my lane.  There was a fish emblem on the back of their car.

If Jesus required a certain driving decorum before people could put fish on their cars, I wonder if there would be fewer fish on cars?

Personally, I would rather simply drive like a Christian.

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