Monday, June 30, 2014

Father's Day

I had a wonderful Father's Day last week.  I have three wonderful kids.  My daughter Allison mailed her present to me.  I liked it when I opened it and saw the front.  A KC Royals shirt!  When I saw the back, it made me cry......

Do you think when I go to the game that the coach will want to put me in?

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

Sunday, June 29, 2014

as the deer

As the deer longs for streams of water, so my heart pants for you O Lord.  Psalm 42

This little fawn and his momma were drinking at the stream behind our home.  It was really sweet.  It reminded me of this song:

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

Saturday, June 28, 2014


I recently stayed at a hotel overnight.  I have never seen this done before, but the ladies that clean the rooms left a nice note.  I have attached a picture.

I never met them or saw them.  This kindness on their part was, I am sure, a kindness in hopes of making a tip.  I am ok with that.

Although I never worked in an industry where people get tips, all three of my children have done so.  I have left tips my entire life, but when you know someone that is a server at a restaurant, you tend to leave more. 

One of my pet peeves is when people are mean to the servers.  It usually is not their fault that the food is late, and besides, they are good people who need someone to love them.

We leave 20% at a restaurant.  I left the cleaning ladies $5.  I should have left them more.  To hoard one's wealth causes the heart to shrivel.  To live a generous life brings daily joy.

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

Friday, June 27, 2014


I was surprised when I entered the ministry by how many Pastors love to talk about how good they are doing.  I have always found it annoying.  I don't think the point of ministry is to put others down.  In the ministry of Christ, we are all co-laborers.  It is not my ministry, it is the ministry of Christ.   The apostle Paul wrote-

We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.
2 Corinthians 10:12

There will always be some churches larger and some churches smaller.  Some more, and some less healthy than yours.  Don't compare, just stay on mission.  We cannot make this life about us for we are all servants of Jesus Christ.

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

Thursday, June 26, 2014


I got a card when I graduated from high school.  I still remember the message.  On the outside it said, "For your graduation present I was going to give you money."  On the inside it said, "but  then I remembered - wisdom is its own reward."

Wisdom is its own reward.  A very interesting statement indeed.  Something to ponder.  Wisdom is its own reward.

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

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


Hi.  Many  comments to the blog are posted annonymously.  Sometimes I would like to have further conversation with those of you who comment.  On Tuesday, June 17th someone posted this comment:

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "to be or not to be":

I'm sure you've probably already discovered that almost every way Jesus thinks tends to be the opposite of how we think. Do we really know Him? Sometimes we don't act and think like it.

To the empathetic side of those who continually want to put themselves out front in the limelight, and have others think they are so good and important, many of them are acting out what they're feeling down inside. That is that they actually feel very unimportant. God bless those who have low self esteem and need to be noticed by acting important at the expense of others.

Jesus never had to act important, because He knew who is was.

If you posted this, I would like to have a cup of coffee with you [you are not in trouble :-)].  Please send me an email at

I thank you all always for your readership and the thoughts that you share here as well.

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

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

new gutters

Hallelujah!!  We have new gutters going up on our church!!

When I was a kid, I attended a church that had lots of weeds growing up in front of it.  It became known as the church with the weeds.  A terrible nickname!

Well the snow fall has damaged our gutters over the years and the gutters have been looking bad.  Someone called us the church with the bad gutters!  Well, we have been working on this problem for over a year, dancing with companies and the insurance company.  Many of you have asked what was up with the gutters.  Everyone involved with the project is thrilled that the old ones are coming down and the new ones are going up.

Sometimes it take time to work thru issues in life.  You just keep plugging away and after a while- voila! success.  Never give up.  Keep at the task.  Perseverance is a spiritual gift.

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

Monday, June 23, 2014

new churches

This is the week that some pastors are appointed to new churches.  The last time I was appointed to a new church was June 9, 1994.  Sometimes pastors ask me, "what should they work on first?" Or, what is a game plan for a new appointment?

To answer those questions, I would say this:
1.  love the people
2.  preach good sermons
3.  chart the course - what will the church be about?
4.  build a team
5.  work like a dog

In my opinion, all 5 of these things need to be present.  If any one of them is missing, the results can be very problematic.  These five things are what I tried to do when I moved to every church I was assigned to by the Bishop.  It is still what I am trying to do.

At Annual Conference this past June 9th, Pastor Shawn was assigned to North Cross UMC.  Let's keep Shawn in our prayers.  Pastors Wendy, Sherri and Jeff were all reassigned to Woods Chapel.  We also welcome to our staff Pastor Dave Hackett.   

Thanks for all that you do to be the church and to follow Jesus Christ.

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

Sunday, June 22, 2014


ants grouping around Terro
I have the option to monetize this blog, but I have never seen the benefit of that.  I just can't imagine how giving you the option on this blog to click a link for some product will help with what I am trying to do here.  But I want to tell you about my favorite ant killing product.  It is called Terro.  You simply put a few drops on the ground and ants go to it like a bird for a berry.  They can't resist it.  They drink it up and then go off and die.

Every year I run into a pile of ants here or there.  I never worry though.  Just a few drops and they gather for the feast.  Pretty soon, they are gone.

close up of ants feeding
I share this story not because you may need to buy a good ant product.  I share this story because we humans also often run way to quickly for things that taste good at first, but are not good for us in the long run.  Don't be tempted by every little thing that comes along.  Some of it is not good for you. 

Be wise in your living.  Don't jump at every bargain.  Don't fall for every offer.  Protect yourself from sin.   Don't chase everything that the world offers.  Look for the truly good stuff.  You will be glad that you did.

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

Saturday, June 21, 2014

favorite quote

I don't know why I love this quote, but I do...

Julius Caesar is leading his army in Gaul [France].  Part of them are crossing a river and part of them are setting up camp when they are attacked on three sides by an army of northern people called the Nervii.  Caesar was able to get a hold of the situation, fight them off and win the day.  When asked how he managed this situation while so much was going on, he simply said:

"Everything had to be done at once."

Sometimes my life feels like that.  You just do it.  You do what you have to do.  You face the challenge.  No complaining.  Get up and go.  I think that makes a huge difference not just in the outcome, but in how a person feels about their living.  We cannot be dominated by difficulty.  It may not go away, but we keep pressing on toward the goal.

Sometimes we rest.  Sometimes, everything has to be done at once.

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

Friday, June 20, 2014

fear not

One of the most widely used phrases in the bible is "fear not."  There is probably a good reason for that.  We humans fear many things.  When I was a kid, I was afraid of the Bogey man and scary movies.  Today, I am still afraid of scary movies, but adult living brings so many other fears.

We fear change.  We fear challenge.  We fear anything that upsets the status quo.  We fear the unknown. And oddly at the same time, we fear failure. 

So many of the things that we need to succeed, we are afraid of.  We fear failure, but are more afraid of change.  So we end up failing many times because we did not have the determination to succeed.

Fear not.  Make the most of your opportunities.  Take advantage of the doors that are open to you.  Make good decisions, but don't be afraid to make them. 

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

Thursday, June 19, 2014


So much is written about leadership.

No one will follow you where you do not go.  The first person that you ever lead is yourself.  If we think that the church looking nice is important, then we need to help with work days.  If we think that giving to the church is important, than we need to set the example.  If I think working hard is important, then I need to do so. 

No one will follow you where you do not go.  "Do as I say, not as I do" is a disastrous way of leading people.  Leadership is not telling, it is doing.  If you are doing the right things, good people will notice, and they will follow.

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

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

whats coming

Sometimes we have no idea what is coming and we are totally unprepared for it.

Not too long ago I saw a pregnant cat.  I don't know for sure but it looked like it might have been this cat's first go round with the cycle of life.  No one can teach a momma cat what to do.  I am sure it comes as quite a surprise when their belly starts to hurt and suddenly these little tiny babies pop out.  But animals seem to know what to do and they take to the new challenges pretty well.

I wish that we humans were as good at accepting change.  At any time, you or me, we might be involved in something that is getting ready to change.  Maybe we don't know it, maybe we are unaware, but change is coming for all of us.  Are we shocked by it?  Angered by it?  Or do we say, "Oh, look.  Our family is getting bigger."  What ever the change, change is inevitable.  We can fight it or we can welcome it.  We can get all stressed over it and complain, or we can take to it like a momma cat with her first litter of kittens.  It's a choice.   It's a choice to see the good.

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

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

to be or not to be

So much is written about how we live, and so few pay attention to it.  To read and to think is such a blessing!  Hamlet contemplates the value of life and says, "to be or not to be, that is the question."  Socrates said, "the unexamined life is not worth living."

One of the things that I find troubling, and I think Jesus did as well, is the inability for some to be honest about who they are.  Some humans want to take to themselves position and authority at the expense of others.  This is wrong and you can smell it a mile away.

Pretentious is defined as:
Claiming or demanding a position of distinction or merit, especially when unjustified.
Making or marked by an extravagant outward show; ostentatious.

In God's economy, the humble are exalted.  When we have to insist that we are something, then we are putting on masks.  True life is lived for all to see.  Healthy people are not afraid to know and be known, just as they are.  One of the things that I love about our church is that for the most part, the people there are just themselves.  No one is trying to show that they are smarter or better than anyone else.  Everyone is welcome.  It seems to be recognized that we are all on this journey of life together.

It is refreshing to know people that are real.  It makes me happy to know that I know you and you know me, warts and all.  That is life, lived together, and it is marvelous.

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

Monday, June 16, 2014


In Bill Hybel's book Holy Discontent, he makes the case that our discontent fuels vision.  The things that we are bothered by should be pushing us to action.  Instead of complaining about a thing, if it really bothers you, do something about it.

What in this world gets stuck in your heart?  Hungry people?  Lonely People?  Depressed people?  People without God?

What pulls on your heart?  Don't ignore it and don't simply let it make you feel badly.  Let your discontent fuel the vision of your life.  Do something about it.  You will be happy that you made the effort.  You can't do everything, but you can do something.

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

Sunday, June 15, 2014

who are you

If someone asked you, who are you?  What would you say?  If they asked you to boil down some of your driving principles, what would you say?

I was challenged by this thought the other day and the following came to my mind.  I am predisposing the fact that I am a Christian, I love God, I love my family and I seek to love my neighbor.  With those things as givens, I came to these three thoughts about what I think about the chance to live this life:

1.  live from the heart
2.  make the most of your opportunities
3.  never quit

If someone asked you what you were about, what would you say?

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

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Grace and Truth

Any time I talk about grace and love, I run into someone who wants to talk about truth.  To them, the idea is this:  truth trumps grace.  Grace is only good in their mind when someone abides in the truth.  But I ask, whose truth?  They will insist that their interpretation of the Bible is true.  But what some people call truth becomes a hammer to hurt people.  This is exactly what Jesus fought against.  Real truth draws people toward our father.

I am all in favor of truth, but I think we need to be very careful.  Most people understand grace.  You can feel it and it feels good.  It is rooted in love.  It is unchanging.  Grace and love are universally identified by humans.

Truth is a little different.  Some of what I thought was true when I was 18, I no longer believe to be true.  Truth can also be a matter of opinion.  Even on biblical passages, people have so many opinions on the truth.  Truth was never meant to be a hammer.  If Jesus is the truth, then somehow truth is connected to love because Jesus is the man of love.

I believe in truth, but I think the list is much smaller than we think.  To me it boils down to something like this:
God loves you.
He sent Jesus.
Receive that.
Love back.
find the joy.
Share the joy.
live the joy.

Gosh that sounds a lot like grace.  I am not going to spend much time arguing with people about grace and truth.  At one time in the past I spent a lot of time arguing with people.  I have lived the life where I thought I knew the truth and I would push it on others.  All I did was hurt people.  Today, I choose the life of grace.  It feels much more like the life for which humans were created.

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

Friday, June 13, 2014

social issues

Ahh, the great social issues of the day.  Some Christians love to fight over them.  I am not one of them.  I assume that you, like me, have considered them deeply and have your own opinions and feelings.  I respect your thoughts, even if I don't agree with them.

Your opinions on social issues are not a litmus test for whether or not you are welcome in our church.  Everyone is welcome in our church.  Period.

Our church is not about social issues.  It is not about who you vote for or what party you belong to.  Our church is about the kingdom issue.  There is only one kingdom issue.  Do you know what it is?  It is love.  God is love.  Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and love your neighbor as yourself.

The great social issues of the day existed in Jesus time.  Homosexuality, the death penalty, gambling, etc.  In fact Jesus has some experience with the death penalty, and his clothes we sold at his crucifixion by lots.  The issues existed in his day, but he never addresses them.  He does however, have much to say about love.

You will not hear many sermons on social issues from me.  I did not go into the ministry to try to get you to think like me.  I went into the ministry to help you on your journey with Jesus Christ.  I remain committed to this goal.

In today's world, many people are staying away from the churches.  I wonder why?  Is it possible that outsiders are tired of the fighting?  I encourage all Christians everywhere to pursue Christ and on all other issues: think and let think.  We should be spending our time and energy on living a life of love.

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

Thursday, June 12, 2014

your faith story

Do you ever get to feeling dry?  Do you ever feel like God is far away?  I think we all get this feeling from time to time.  It makes us feel sad, forlorn and discouraged.

Often this comes from being too busy.  It is a sign that we need to slow down.  Sit down.  Take a deep breath.  Spend some time with our Father.

Think back over the years and remember your faith journey.  Remember all the times that he has been there for you.  Remember the moments of hope, the moments of embrace, the moments of joy!

God has never left us, nor will he.  Our sense of closeness to him is all about our perception, our awareness, and our willingness to spend time and listen.

Right now, take some time.

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

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

the little things

I am sure you have heard the phrase, “Today is the first day of the rest of your life”. Now the question is how I will respond to that simple truth. How will I go about my day? What things will get in the way of me doing the right stuff… the good stuff? Many opportunities will come my way today to do the things that are not selfish but giving, but will I see all of them or will I be immersed in my own thoughts and ways. Will I laugh, will I spread joy, and will I do the little things that make a big difference? The little things are everywhere every day.....

Lion’s Den Man

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

God's Truth

From an author I enjoy….
“Sometimes we hear people use the phrase God’s truth. This phrase is a problem. It’s best not to use it. Why? Because what other kind of truth is there? If it’s true, then it’s from God. Science, art, politics, history, psychology, biology-all truth is God’s truth. (A nod to Thomas Aquinas there, as well as Arthur Holmes.) To say something is God’s truth implies that some truth belongs to God and then there is another kind of truth, that apparently doesn’t belong to God. Not helpful. If it’s true, it has only one source, God. Some things that are labeled Christian aren’t true, and some things that aren’t labeled Christian are true. Some atheists say lots of things that are true, and some Christians are full of it.”

I hope what I hear and read is true, but I know this will not always be the case and so I must test what I have learned. I hope I am always open minded and willing to study new thoughts, listen and discuss other ideas (a big part of the testing process). Pursuing the truth, gaining knowledge and understanding are vital to growth. If I fail to do so I put up walls and my own understanding becomes my truth. I create a box. I think God is saddened by those kinds of boxes.

Lion’s Den Man

Monday, June 9, 2014

keep it simple

Psalm 23 (KJV)
 1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
 Psalm 23 (NIV)
 1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
Psalm 23  (TLB)
1 Because the Lord is my Shepherd, I have everything I need!
I shall not want, I lack nothing, I have everything I need!
Lion’s Den Man

Sunday, June 8, 2014


"Salvation is not something we do, it is something that is done to us when we become empty and free."  Richard Rohr

You can't earn it.  You can't demand it.  In fact, salvation demands that we empty ourselves.  There will never be room for the Holy Spirit as long as we are all consumed with our selves.

I have come to believe that you can't simply will away the practice of being self-consumed.  We only stop thinking about ourselves when we begin doing for others.  It is in giving that we receive.  The very joy that we could not take to ourselves, comes rushing in when we give ourselves to be the hands and feet of Jesus.

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

Saturday, June 7, 2014


A friend wrote to me about a change that she was sensing as she was growing older.  She was becoming more curious and in my words, less judgmental.  I agree.  I am experiencing the same thing.  The older I get, the more I want to look past what I think I know, and see the amazing facets of God's truth in this world.  I want to leave the God that I forced into the box of my own creation and find the God that brooded over the face of creation and formed the universe by his hands.

When I think of worship these days, I think of getting lost in the bigness of God.  The amazing-ness of God.  In order to do that, I have to release my boundaries that I have put on his shape.

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

Friday, June 6, 2014


Someone posted a question on why Methodists Baptize babies.  There are many churches with many different kinds of doctrines.  If you grew up in a church that did not baptize children, you were probably taught-

1. baptism is about your decision
2. baptism can be repeated if you sin bad enough and want to be baptized again.
3. the early church did it this way

What I would tell you is this:
1.  baptism is about God's promise before its about your decision. If it about us being good followers of Jesus we better get baptized every day.
2.  you are baptized into Christ, there is never a need for rebaptism.
3.  the teaching of some churches called "believers baptism or adult baptism only" is a late comer to Christian Theology.  The early church always baptized children.  there is no scriptural evidence for adults holding their children until later to be baptized.  There is evidence however that entire households were baptized.

you may find this article from my website helpful to read -

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

Thursday, June 5, 2014


I am so encouraged by the story of King David.  He made some big mistakes, but then he sought forgiveness.  God loved him in spite of his short comings.  He was called a man after God's own heart.  Warts and all, God loved him!

For anyone  out there who may need to make a confession, David provides a great prayer in Psalm 51:10-12

Create in me a pure heart, O God,
    and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
 Do not cast me from your presence
    or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation
    and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

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

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Historic Woods Chapel

Several have asked me if there is a connection between our church and the white frame church on the corner of 291 and Woods Chapel Road. 

Woods Chapel Road is named after the historic white frame church.  Our church is named for being on Woods Chapel Road.  The white frame church was Presbyterian.  Here is a brief history of the building:


Located at Wood’s Chapel Road and 291 Highway,

Woods Chapel has long been a familiar historic landmark in eastern Jackson County.

In 1861, land was deeded to John S. Woods and 2 others as trustees for a Cumberland Presbyterian Church to be located between the communities of Lee’s Summit and Blue Springs. The present building was erected in 1875 to replace the original log building on the same site.

The Presbyterians met in the building until the 1930s. The KC Presbytery then sold the building to a person who planned to raze it. The local Ladies-Aid-Society, who had met in the building since 1910, were aghast. They proceeded to purchase the building in 1945 and continued to use it until donating it and the grounds, in 1982, to the Friends of Missouri Town 1855. The Chapel now serves as a meeting place and social hall for the Friends.

A kitchen and restroom, as well as heating and air conditioning were added to the building, however, the handmade pews and pulpit are original to the building, as are the dark wood wainscot and ceiling. Originally there was a cast iron stove in the center of the room for heat, and kerosene chandeliers hung from hooks, which are still visible on the ceiling. The cemetery at the rear of the church is the final resting place for many of the early church members.
It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014


I did something the other day that I felt badly about.  No one to apologize to, it was just about me and a choice that I made.  The next day I felt bad.  I felt guilty.

I stopped my self.

I know it was wrong.  I won't do it again.  I asked for forgiveness.  Now why is this guilt here?  The answer is that it should not be.  If we are forgiven, then the guilt should go away.  Period.

Why waste a piece of today feeling guilty about something that you did yesterday?  Apologize.  Say your prayers.  Move on.  Life is short.  Today is another chance to live.  LIVE!  Don't poison today with bad feelings about yesterday.  Get up, get after it and live this day to the fullest without the ball and chain of yesterday's errors.

It's a beautiful day in God's world.  It is waiting for you.  Be sure to see the good.

Monday, June 2, 2014

top five regrets

A friend sent me this link after last week's sermon.  We were talking about how we will be remembered and how we might look back on our lives.

Here are the top five regrets that people share on their deathbed:

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.
It is very important to try and honour at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.

2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.
This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.
By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.
We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.
It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It is all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.
When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.
Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness.

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

Sunday, June 1, 2014


What do you think?  Is it "rain rain go away, come again another day" or "April showers bring May flowers."  Is your response to rain one of joy or despair? 

Into each life a little rain must fall.  The Bible teaches us that the trials that we face in life teach us patience. 

Rain in also symbolic of the move of God.  It is seen in the Scripture as a blessing to the land, the crops and the people.  Christians have spoken for years about the rain of the Spirit.  The gentle healing rain of the Holy Spirit falling onto our hearts.  The rain of the Spirit softens our hearts and prepares us for the move of God.

A little rain in your life?  Maybe God is up to something.

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