Monday, March 31, 2014

old and new

I have noticed something about me.  I would rather wear old shoes than new.  I would rather drive a car that I know, with history, than one I don't know.  I would rather go to Plymouth Rock than Times Square.  I would rather go to the antique mall than Independence Center.  I would rather read Viking writing on a rock than read a contemporary poem.

I am not sure what all of that says, but I love history.  There is a rich feeling that comes from reaching out and touching the past.  I love old movies, old music and old folks.  Well I like young folks too.  Do you savor the past?

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

Sunday, March 30, 2014

trust pushes worry out

Jesus said, do not worry.  How can it benefit you?  Can you add a moment to your life?  Can you make yourself taller?

We all worry.  And, we all trust.  We just wish that we trusted God more often than we worried.  I have noticed something:  when trust arrives, worry leaves.  When we take the time to really think that God is trustworthy, worry leaves. 

You can't think about two things at the same time.  It is impossible to do so.  Think about how big a problem is and God shrinks away.  Think about trusting God, and worry gets smaller.  When trust arrives, worry leaves.

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

Saturday, March 29, 2014


I found myself starting to read this publication from a Christian legal group, then I stopped and just deleted the thing.  I get lots of email.  I am sure that you do as well.  I accept linked in friends and facebook friends to be nice.  Then I get all kinds of unsolicited solicitations.  Somebody wants to do business with the church.  Somebody wants me to go to their seminar.  Somebody wants me to read this long thing so I will buy something from them.

I hereby give myself, and you, permission to delete.  Delete the email.  Delete the contact if you like.  Time is short.  I want to spend my time doing things that matter.  I can't read every email.  I can't meet with every sales person. 

Someone once said that your life is God's gift to you.  How you live it is your gift back to God.  Let's use our time constructively and do the things that matter.

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

Friday, March 28, 2014


Learning is great.  I love to learn.  Sometimes we learn new things and simply add them to our brain trust.  For example, what is the capital of Ukraine?  If you don't know that, it is Kiev.  There- we may have added a new thing to our brains.

But, there is another kind of learning that is almost more important than gaining knowledge.  And that is the learning that takes place when we replace something that we have thought for years with a new thought.  For example, when we were kids we always took the best seat, the best toy, the best piece of chicken.  Some where along the  line, hopefully we have replaced that selfishness with a new thought, that it is better to give than to receive.

All deep systemic learning demands that we unlearn something so that a new thing can be picked up.  So that learning becomes an exercise in unlearning.  What is going on in your brain or heart that needs to be unlearned?

Do you hold to fast to money or do you live the generous life?  Do you worry too much instead of trusting God?

Most of the greatest things that we will learn in life, come our way as we are willing to let go of unhealthy paradigms that we have held onto so tightly for years.  It is difficult, but there is a joy in new thoughts if they take us closer to a life of love.

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

Thursday, March 27, 2014

on being present

Yesterday I used a line...... "I was there, I just wasn't paying attention."  This is an enormous problem for us humans.  We live in God's beautiful world, and we don't see it because we don't look.  We are around great people to love and learn from, but we don't because we get so self absorbed.

What is happening around you that you need to pay attention to?  Spirituality is not just learning a bunch of things or believing a bunch of things.  Spirituality is waking up.  Waking up to the beauty and amazingness that God has placed into this life.  Waking up to the presence of God all around us.  In your car, in your home, at your work.  He is there for us to see if we just pay attention.

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

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

my parents

I was listening to a song the other day, In the Living Years by Mike and the Mechanics.  I have always liked the song, but never really listened to the words.

Wow.  There is a post all by itself. I was there, but I wasn't paying attention.  Anyway, the first line of the song says, "every generation - likes to blame the one before." And then it goes on to think of and appreciate the good that a parent had done, and Mike says, "I wish I would have told him, in the living years."

I notice in my life that when I talk about my parents, especially my mom, it is pretty rough.  That is because it was rough.  I want my kids to have better.  I want people to know that there are some things that are bad examples and there are some difficulties that we can over come.

Still, my parents did much good.  They loved us the best that they could. They were refugees themselves from very difficult upbringings.  I just want to stop today for a moment.  I want to set aside the bad and honor them for the good.

If your parents are living, call them and thank them for the good that they did, no matter how mixed your upbringing may have been.  Do it while they are still in the living years.

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

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

words to live by

I found this the other day. It may be old to you, but it’s new to me. I couldn’t agree more.

The six most important words: I admit I made a mistake.

The five most important words: You did a good job.

The four most important words: What is YOUR opinion?

The three most important words: If you please.

The two most important words: Thank You.

The one most important word: We.

The least important word: I.

-Author Unknown

Lion’s Den Man

Monday, March 24, 2014

life edited

About 10 years ago a futuristic movie was made in which people have a memory chip place in their brain at birth and it records their memory throughout their life. When they die the chip is removed and the memories are edited and compiled. Bad stuff removed and good stuff pulled together to paint a picture perfect life for those to remember them by.

I think we all have bad stuff we would like removed and I think it would be nice to be remembered for only the good we have done. But, it doesn’t happen that way. All we can hope is the good outweighs the bad, forgiveness is in everyone’s heart and the grace of God takes care of the rest.


Lion’s Den Man

Sunday, March 23, 2014

life and technology

Back to yesterday’s post and my comment about what technology has taken away…..

So later in the day I was reading another blog I like and it provided a good follow up to my post. (see cartoon  below) I guess I see technology as a vehicle that sometimes robs us from being all there….all present to the world that surrounds us. It can be a distraction that is unhealthy. Our relationship to people and to the world around us is what God wants us to pursue and enjoy for Him. Many things, not just technology, get in the way of that…It goes back to that great piece of wisdom. “Wherever you are, be all there”.

Lion’s Den Man

Saturday, March 22, 2014

grace and technology

Sometimes I look at technology and think how much it has taken away from our lives. Other times I see what a great gift it can be.  Like yesterday… I have been following a Christian writer I like on tumbler. Daily I am able to read and think about things that I would not have had as easy of access to years ago. Here is a quote from one of his favorite authors I found on the site.

The grace of God means something like: Here is your life.  You might never have been, but you are because the party wouldn’t have been complete without you.  Here is the world.  Beautiful and terrible things will happen.  Don’t be afraid.  I am with you.  Nothing can ever separate us.  It’s for you I created the universe.  I love you.  There’s only one catch.  Like any other gift, the gift of grace can be yours only if you reach out and take it.  Maybe being able to reach and take it is a gift too. (from the book Wishful Thinking)- Frederick Buechner

So yesterday one gift brought me another.


Lion’s Den Man

Friday, March 21, 2014


If you are ailing in one portion of your life, it tends to infect the other portions. If there is poison in a glass of water, no one says, “Be careful, the middle of the water is poisoned.”-Jon Acuff

Pretty much says it all doesn’t it.  It is a great visual. Poison is in all of our lives. We can’t skirt around it. God knew this and so sent his Son. But, what can we do to play a part in this healing? Do we give up? Give it all to God and His Grace or do we actively take a stand.

Lion’s Den Man

Thursday, March 20, 2014

my product

I love when I come across a new product, service or business that is exceptional. Recently I have been doing some wood working and finishing. By accident I came across a stain product that stands heads above all others I have ever used. By accident, because I have never seen it in a paint store or hardware store….never on television or radio or in print. As I was searching on-line for a stain product for my project, I stumbled upon several positive endorsements from non-professional hobbyists like me about this stain. I then searched for this product on-line and found only one place in KC that carried it. I arrived at the store and made my inquiry. The man at the store said it was a great product used mainly by professional woodworkers. He went on to say that this company put their money into their product and not into advertising. He said, “They made their name based on performance and it grew from there”.

So it brought to mind how I live out my faith…performance or advertisement? What am I selling and how am I selling it…..

Lion’s Den Man

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

your verse

In church last Sunday a question was brought up to a group of us in class. What is your favorite verse and why? It was great hearing what was shared. Not one person had the same verse. I have a few that sit at the top of my list and each verse has held the #1 spot at some point in time. I think that happens to many of us, we find a verse at a particular point in time in our life it speaks to us we connect with it and then it sticks with us. Anyway here are two versions of one of my favorite verses. What is your verse?

Proverbs 18:24 (NKJV)

24 A man who has friends must himself be friendly,[a]
But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Proverbs 18:24 (MSG)

24 Friends come and friends go,
    but a true friend sticks by you like family
Lion’s Den Man

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

they didn't mean it

A friend of mine was hurt by another person.  Every time they hear the name of the person that hurt them, it brings the experience back.  It is really painful to watch.

That could be your story, or mine.  We have all been hurt by others. 

One thing that helps me most of the time is to remember that they probably did not mean to hurt me.  Even if they knew that their words were hurtful, they usually had no idea of the pain they would cause and no intention of leaving a scar that deep.

If there is someone that you need to forgive, start with trying to believe that they did not mean to hurt you as badly as they did.  Maybe they felt threatened by you.  Maybe they were having a bad day.  Maybe their spouse has left them.  Maybe the are sad and broken.  Maybe their venom directed at you was more about them after all.  They didn't mean for it to hurt like it does.

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

Monday, March 17, 2014

Mark 9:40

Jesus' disciple John told him that they found someone casting out demons in Jesus' name.  John and the others told the man to stop because he was not one of them.  Jesus said, do not stop him....for who ever is not against us is for us.

Wow.  Jesus cast a pretty wide circle of acceptance.  In a world where this denomination does not like another, where this group thinks they are the only ones, in a world where we hold ourselves up as the only collectors of the true way.... Jesus says, if they are not against us they are for us.

In other words, hey, we are all on the same team.  Get off their backs.  They may be doing it a little bit differently than you do, but they are still trying to do God's work.

God has a very big army working for him and not everyone goes about things in the same way, but every soldier, every squad, every battalion is important.  We need to stop shooting each other and get on with the business of sharing God's love in this life.

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

Sunday, March 16, 2014

St. Patrick's Day

Tomorrow is St. Patrick's day.  He was an actual person.  He was a priest who was instrumental in leading the Irish to Jesus Christ.  It's almost too bad that his story has been lost with all of the leprechauns and green beer.

Anyway, there is a joke that I love to tell for St. Patrick's day:  Do you remember the name of the famous Irishman who invented outdoor tables and chairs?

Paddy O'Furniture.

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

Saturday, March 15, 2014


I sit here when I visit the redwoods.
As I write this, the house is quiet.  The tick-
tock of a clock.  The hum of the refrigerator.  Oh.  Here comes a cat.  Cat's can break the silence, but they settle down after a few.

There is a blessing in quiet.  When I sit down to listen, I can hear my heart beat.  I can find the restful, peaceful place in my mind.

I love taking vacations where things are quiet.  Sitting by a pool.  Reading by a tree.  Taking in the cadence of the waves at the beach.

When was the last time you experienced the gift of quiet?  Would it hurt you to take 20 minutes right now and just sit still?  I don't think it hurts our day, I think it helps our day when we find moments of silence.  Things go better with silence.  It helps us remember that we are a soul on a journey in this world.

Take a few moments.  Rest.  Savor the gift of this day.

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

Friday, March 14, 2014

Day off

Many ministers take Mondays off.  I have always tried to take Fridays off.  I say try, because sometimes, you have to be willing to work on your day off.  To do what needs to be done.

I run into lots of people who want to protect themselves from their job.  It is my experience that those who hope to succeed will work hard, very hard, even on their day off.  My Dad used to say, "make yourself indispensable to the corporation."

Everyone needs a little time away.  I heard them say.  But in a world that rewards hard work, their is no substitute for going the second mile.

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

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Julie Battle

It's kind of a miracle.  A miracle of the modern age.  I used to have a book called Common Sense for Community Change.  The author is someone named Julie Battle.  I have loved this book for years.  It has some awesome quotes in it like this:

“Nothing exceptional was ever accomplished because people folded at the first sign of fear.”

“Even the most confident people will tell they were uneasy and they had their doubts, but they pushed through it. They gathered the facts, surrounded themselves with good people, anticipated the naysayers and stayed the course.”

Well, I loaned the book out and it got lost.  I have looked for another one for years.  It is so frustrating.  Yesterday I had an idea.  Find her on the web.  So sure enough, I found about eight Julie Battles.  I did a little homework and picked the right one.  I called the company she works for and asked to speak with Julie Battle.  The receptionist said, "Hold the line, Sir."  I expected to leave a message, but a kind voice answered.  "This is Julie Battle."  how exciting!

I asked her if she had written the book. She had!  We had a wonderful talk.  The book is out of print, but she is mailing one to me.

What a small world.  It's nice to meet a kind person, even if it is electronically. 

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

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

March 12th

Today is March 12th.  If you are fortunate, you will have other March 12s in your life time.  But not all of us will.  At any rate, this is the only March 12, 2014 that you will have in your entire life.  It will not repeat.  You don't get a redo.  This is your chance to give your best for March 12, 2014.

Every day is precious.  Every day is a gift.  Make it so.

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

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


So we tend to look at people and think what we think.  We know very few people really well, really.  That means that most people that I see are much deeper than I have any idea.

What ever you think of person A or person B or person C, they are most likely much deeper than you realize.  They have hopes and dreams, they are not random and insignificant.  Everyone deserves to be honored and respected.

You may not know them, but they are much deeper than you might think at first sight.  Strangers are friends that you just have not yet met.  And possibly very good future friends if you give them a chance.

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

Monday, March 10, 2014

on being right

We humans like to be right.  We argue with each other incessantly about who is right and who is wrong.  How much do we really know anyway?  I am starting to feel like when we get to heaven St. Peter is going to tell us that all of us were not nearly as smart as we thought we were.

Jesus challenged the Pharisees, but he did not spend a lot of time arguing with people.  He did not argue with the woman at the well about the best place to worship.  Jesus focused on Kingdom things.  He was more interested in loving people than proving that he was right.

Wisdom is it's own reward.  Love is it's own reward.  Those who say, don't know.  Those who know, don't have to say.

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

Sunday, March 9, 2014


I am starting to get old enough that I think I can begin to talk from experience.  One of the things that I have learned over the years is that people want you to listen to them.  They want to be heard.  They want someone to understand them.

Often we never move past conflict, because we care about our own ideas more than the other people involved.  People are always more important than ideas.  People are more important than ideas.  I repeated that on purpose. 

Even if you can't fix a thing, people always feel better when you take time to care about them.  Listen to them.  Look them in the eye.  Value them.

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

Saturday, March 8, 2014

thoughts on Ash Wednesday past

I am always touched by the Ash Wednesday services.  There is such a variety of people.  People that I have never seen before.  New members that I have just met.  A newly adopted child.  People that I have put ashes on their foreheads for 20 years.  It is just an amazing night.

It is a time when we are up close and personal.  I can see into the hearts of the people.  Some glad to be in God's house.  Some very repentant.  Some desperately hoping that God will meet them there.  And he always does.

It is such a satisfying time of worship. 

Thank you all for being a part of this church family.  I am the most fortunate pastor that I know.

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

Friday, March 7, 2014


I had a dream the other night.  I dreamed that it was baseball season.  :-).  I had on my Royal's gear and we were going to the game.  The weather was warm and it was a happy time.

I have had dreams that were scary.  I have had dreams that were sad.  I have had many dreams that I don't remember.  It is a great joy to have a happy dream and wake up with joy.

Soon the cold weather will give way to spring and the boys of summer will be on the field.  And I will be watching.  Some times dreams do come true.

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

Thursday, March 6, 2014


I love dancing, but whose idea was dancing with the stars?  Who picks the stars?  Yikes.  We must really be bored at night to support shows like this.  Maybe I am jealous.

One day soon, the show will be cancelled and we will go on to something else.  I can't wait.  I grow tired of the commercials celebrating the new season of the show.

In a world filled with problems, we give the country dancing with the stars.

Sorry for the rant.  Sorry if it is a show that you like.  But while I am at it, whose idea were the housewife shows?  We like watching these people fight?  Ugh.  What is the world coming to?

There is still meaning in this world, but we find little of it on TV.

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

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Ash Wednesday

Today is Ash Wednesday.  You are invited to come to church tonight.  We have a soup supper in the fellowship hall and gym downstairs, from 6-8pm.

From 6-730 you are invited to come to the sanctuary for a time of prayer, imposition of ashes and Holy Communion.  It is one of my favorite services of the year.  It is a time that is private, quiet, sacred, and so very meaningful.

I hope you will join us.

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

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

avoid downtown

A word to the wise.  Avoid downtown today.

All the high school bands will be assembling and preparing to March forth.

March 4th. 

Ha.  Ha.  ........Ha H

That is the oldest joke that I know.  My Grandmother taught it to my mother, who taught it to me.  There is a comfort in the cadence of life and certain dates.  This joke will be told every year.  And probably, painfully, by my children after I am gone.

I also have a St Patrick's day Joke, a Thanksgiving joke and some Christmas Jokes.

Humor is good for the soul.  Watch out for the bands practicing today.

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

Monday, March 3, 2014


I was reading thru some old emails and last year someone was asking about my Dad.  What did he do the year he was unemployed?  What did he do for the last seven years of his life after mom passed?

Dad was an engineer for Ford Motor Company.  Actually his degree was in Mathematics, but he did the job of an engineer so that was his title.  In 1974, we lived in California.  Dad worked at the Ford plant in Milpitas, in the south bay.  After the oil embargo, gas prices went up and the car industry was in shambles.  Dad was caught up in plant closings and staff reductions.

During that time, he refused to take lesser jobs that seemed menial to him.  He was an engineer and by golly, he was going to make it back.  He applied a lot of places, but nothing panned out.  We went through the entire family savings.  For the only time in my life, my mother went to work.  We ate a lot of hot dogs.

Finally after over a year, Dad got back on with Ford in Kansas City.  He was great with that because he thought California was nutty.  He worked hard his entire life and he never let you see him sweat. I know during the time that he was unemployed, he was worried about his family and being a good provider.

His advice was always simple.  Do the right thing.  Put one foot in front of the other.  You know what to do.  Go do it.

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

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Snow Report

This is the Woods Chapel Snow Report for Sunday March 2nd.

My driveway had 1- 1 1/2 inches of snow.  There was no ice.

Major side streets are clear.  Anderson, Lakewood Blvd, 291 and Lakewood way are all being plowed.  The church lot is being plowed as we report this.

We will be holding all services.  Use discretion as to whether you wish to travel to church.  It is very cold out there.

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

great people

Yes we are having church today.

I was thinking the other day about great people.  Abraham Lincoln.  Gandhi.  Helen Keller.  And so on.  Then it occurred to  me that I am surrounded by great people.  I mean exceptional people.  People that love life.  People that are working to set aside selfishness.  People that care.  People that think.  People that see that we are all souls on this journey. 

I received the quote in this picture from one of them.  Socrates said that the unexamined life is not worth living.  We sometimes think of great people as famous people, and we look right past the amazing people that God has put in our lives. I am so thankful that I journey in this life with such great and exceptional people.

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

Saturday, March 1, 2014

oil change

Friday is my day off.  I took the car to get an oil change.  I knew immediately that something was wrong.  I pulled into the driveway at the garage and no one came out to talk to me.  I waited and waited.  Finally a grouchy young man came out and I told him I wanted an oil change.

He said to leave the car lined up in front of the garage and go inside.  Inside I waited for 15 minutes for someone to take my name and order.  I watched them work.  All three employees were angry about something.  They worked slowly and there was no sense of them working together.  They did not appear to like each other.

I went and got a sandwich.  When I came back, the manager took my money and we talked.  One of his employees had called in sick.  One of them left early.  Corporate had issued a groupon and they were slammed with work. 

By the time I got done listening to him, I felt differently about the place.  They were doing the best that they could with a very short staff.  They were working under great pressure and it affected them. I felt sorry for them. 

There is usually  another side to what ever story we are working on.  If there is someone that you are upset with or tired of, give them some grace.  Who knows what is really going on in their garage.

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