Saturday, October 31, 2015


this is the actual sign
My mom was a pretty fundamental Christian.  Everything was black and white.  Lots of judgment.

That was then, this is now.  She is in heaven with Jesus now and I know that she is basking in his love and sharing it with others.  She is whole.

So what does this have to do with Halloween?  My mom, the fundamental Christian, loved Halloween.  She set aside all of her dogmas and let the dogs out for Halloween.  Demons that were feared and riled against during the rest of the year were amicably welcomed on Halloween.  She had more Halloween decorations than Christmas ones.......

One of my favorites was a sign, which went up every year on the front door.  The sign had an ugly witch on it and it said, "Welcome kiddies, put all your goodies in the box below... go quietly and no one will get hurt."  Yes there was a box underneath the sign.  No one ever left any candy, but I find the story to be so funny.

Have a Happy Halloween.  October 31 is the Lord's day too.  This is our father's world.

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

Friday, October 30, 2015


Do you ever get angry?  Or am I the only one?

One of the things that I really hate is when something happens and I find myself angry on Sunday morning.  Here I am, supposed to go in and be happy and cheery and spiritual, and I feel angry.  It happens sometimes.

What to do?  When this happens I have some tools that I have collected over the years.

1.  I compartmentalize it.  I put it off, whatever it is, until later in the day.  I let it disappear in my brain until later so I can focus on what is going on for Sunday morning.
2.  I put it in perspective.  Usually what has upset me is a small thing, a car thing, an inconvenience of some kind.  I simply remind myself that this is not a big deal in the grand scheme of life.
3.  I pray.  I lean into our Father.  I relax and take some time to just sit with him in his presence.

Anger usually does not serve a constructive purpose.  We are human, so it is going to pop up from time to time, but anything that you can do to find the heart of God when you feel angry is always helpful.

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

Thursday, October 29, 2015


Hey Jesus, Hey Paul, I would like to get a redirect.  I would like to be able to ask a question.  I heard what you said, and I don't mean to be difficult but can I ask a question for clarification?  I am hopeful that you can redirect me on something that you said.

Jesus should I turn the other cheek every time?  Should I allow my family to be harmed by intruders? 
Surely you did not mean that, did you?  Should a wife stay with an abusive husband?

Paul, should all women not speak in church?  Are you still ok with slavery?  Paul do you eat shrimp?

Friends, there are many many scriptures that don't fall very easily into our models of living.  I wish that we could ask for a clarification on them.  But we can't.  We are left with the responsibility of using our hearts and minds to make our best decisions about them.  The Bible is not magic - it points us in the right direction, but it does not answer every question.  In fact the Bible is not here to point us to itself.... the Bible is here to point us toward God.

I think we will have many questions when we get to heaven.  I am ok with that.  I don't have all of the answers.  God is bigger than I am and he is bigger than my ideas about him. 

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

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

conservative or liberal

I don't like these labels.  When we speak of conservatives and liberals our language is polarizing.  Most of the people that I know, including myself are not classic cases of either extreme.  Most people that I know think a few things that would make both sides uncomfortable.

I was talking to another minister the other day and he was explaining to me that many in his congregation expect him to be liberal because he is a Methodist minister.  He did not understand that.  I am not sure that I do either.  Methodists come in all colors and sizes.  We have every variety of people in our church and I want to keep them all together.  Jesus kept all kinds together.

How about we talk less about what separates us and talk more about what unites us.  If we can all get behind loving God and loving others, then who needs the labels?  Life is too short for talk that divides us.  Come on people now, smile on each other everybody get together start to love one another right now.  [smile if you hear the song lyrics there...]

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

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

I might be wrong

Tony Campolo is a famous Baptist pastor.  Some of you agree with him and some of you don't.  I don't agree with everything that he thinks, but hey, I might be wrong.

Someone told me about something that he likes to say.  Now since I am passing along what someone said that Tony said, this is hearsay, but I like the thought none the less.

The story goes like this- Tony will not talk with anyone about difficult issues unless the person admits that they might be wrong.  Tony knows that he might be wrong, the idea is why should I waste my time talking with someone else who insists that they are right?  They are not even open to considering what someone else is saying.  They can't entertain the possibility that they might be wrong.

You can't really have a dialogue with someone if the participants aren't open to learn from each other.

Are you able to admit that you might be wrong on an issue?  Is it possible that what you were taught about the Bible growing up was wrong?

I find this a very interesting thought.  But hey, I might be wrong.

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

Monday, October 26, 2015

fall iris

Here are some of God's surprise fall blessings in my back yard.  Usually iris bloom in April.  This guy evidently likes October.

I smile when I consider the beauty of all the things that God has made.  This is our Father's world!

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

Sunday, October 25, 2015

why I go to church

There is a funny story about going to church.......

It kind of goes like this.  It is 7am on Sunday and the Dad is trying to wake up his son for church.  The son says, Dad, I don't want to go to church.  It's too early in the morning, the members are mean to me, and the sermons are boring.

The dad replies, well let me tell you why you should go... it's early, but it is the Lord's day.  Those members are God's children, and for crying out loud son, you are the minister!!

I go to church for many reasons besides the fact that I am the minister.

1.  I love to take time to honor God.
2.  It is a great way to start the week.
3.  I usually learn something.
4.  I meet great people.
5.  I am a part of something that is doing very significant work.
6.  Together we can do much more than what I can do alone.
7.  I get to care about others.  And in a world of self-centeredness, that is very important.

I hope that you can find some reasons to be in church this Lord's day.

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

Saturday, October 24, 2015

taking the Bible literally

I was talking with someone the other day who was very upset that some Christians do not take the Bible "literally."

I asked them if they gave 10% to the Lord.
The answer was no.

I asked them if they thought women should speak in church.
They said yes.

I asked them if they ate shrimp.
They said yes.

I asked them if they thought that slaves should relax and obey their masters.
They said no.

I asked them if they thought that a rebellious son should be put to death.
They said no.

I asked them if we should pray as the Psalmist does that God would kill our enemies.
They said no.

I think the point to be made here isn't the word "literal" but the word respect.  Do you respect the Bible?  Do you honor it?  Do you believe that it points people toward God?
My answer to all of that is yes I respect the Bible, yes I honor it, and yes I believe it points people towards God.

When Christians oversimplify things, they sometimes start to sound very narrow and judgmental.  Their attempts to protect the Bible or God can push away the very people that they might be trying to win.

Last time I checked, God did not need us to defend him or protect him.

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

Friday, October 23, 2015

1 Corinthians 13

If I speak in tongues but don't have a loving heart, I am just a squeaky brake.  If I know all about the book of Revelation, if I have great faith, but am full of myself, I am nothing.  If I run a good business and provide for my family but have not love, I gain nothing.  If I go to church but ignore my selfish behavior, if I am married but do not pour myself into my spouse, if I insist that I am right but do not read what others think, if I do the right thing but hurt people along the way, I am missing the point.

Love.  It is the more excellent way.  Everything else that we call spiritual or important pales in comparison to love.  Without love we are fooling ourselves.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not want more, it does not want what others have, it does not need a new car or a bigger house.  I is not a bragger, it never blows its own horn.  It does not hurt others, it takes a fearless moral inventory from time to time to make sure that it is not self seeking.  It learns to control its anger.  It walks away to cool off rather than explode at someone.  It not only forgives, but it no longer keeps track of who did what to me.  It never celebrates evil, but it celebrates the truth.

It is dependable.  It keeps coming around.  It always protects.  It covers others faults.  It always sees the good in others.  It always hopes for a better day.  It sticks around til the very end.

Love never fails.  Every other method of living will fail.  No big house, no fancy car, no plastic surgery can replace love.  There is nothing like it in all the world.

All of our religious language will come to naught, our doctrine will be shot full of holes, our insistence that we are right will vanish.  But love will remain, for God is love.

May we spend more of our time investing in that which is important and being God's vehicles of love. Love is not just the most excellent way, ultimately, it is the only thing that really counts in this life.

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

Thursday, October 22, 2015

the pangs of love

Today I am grateful for the pangs of love.  That is, the hurt that we feel when we are away from those whom we love.

Parents feel it when their children go off to college.  Children feel it when their parents die.  I feel it as my wife is on the other side of the country most of the time.

Do you see the girl in this picture?  I love her.  Still.  Madly.  After all of these years!  I pine to be with her.  I can sit in her presence and nothing needs to be said.  Just being together makes me whole.

I see this love as a gift!  A joy!  I see it as a type of our love for God.  It helps me understand how we will be made complete when we enter his presence in heaven.

I wish that all married couples could feel this love.  I wish that all single people could find it.  Whether in a spouse, a friend, a cousin or even a lowly pastor, I hope that each of you are experiencing the gift of love somewhere on this journey of life.

Love is such a delightful gift.

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

Wednesday, October 21, 2015


The book Interrupted has caused a number of us to do some thinking about our lives.  Some people don't like to think about their lives, they don't like to be challenged.  Some think, Lets stick our heads in the sand and pretend that life is just the way that I want it to be.

Socrates is reported to have said, "the unexamined life is not worth living."  Oh, well since that comes from Greek thought, we can dismiss it as unchristian right?  Wrong.  All truth is God's truth, whether we find it at the Christian bookstore or not.  Jesus challenged everyone to change the way that they were thinking about life.

And so we come to our annual stewardship drive.  A time when we all consider if and how much we are giving to our church.  Did you know that 50% of the members of most churches give nothing at all to God's work?  This bothers some people but to me this is simply a sign of who our mission field is.  All of us can do something and often the joy of giving is learned a little bit at  time.

An opportunity to consider how we spend our money is an important time of re-evaluation.  It affords us the chance to measure our values and make a course correction if needed.  One of the characteristics that I see in long term Christians is that they do tend to give more.  Sometimes it is because they make more, but often it is because they have asked themselves the questions of value so many times that they are finally seeing that a person can only collect so much to themselves and that the real joy in life is giving to God's purpose.

If you have not already done so, and regardless of where you attend, please prayerfully fill out a commitment card to your church.  Your investment in others may be the first step in a new journey of discovering joy and meaning in this life.  Living life outside of ourselves, we find the life that truly is life.

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

Tuesday, October 20, 2015


Lately, you guys have been writing this blog for me.  I have received so many insightful comments from readers!  It makes me happy to watch your hearts and minds working on life with God!  I got this note from another reader..............

I saw something the other day that has me thinking...... You know the term "go-getter"?  Nothing wrong with that and really no negative connotations associated with it.  However, I saw a license plate that turned my thinking upside down on this. I had never heard this term, but maybe you have.  It is "go-giver".  I have been thinking about the difference between the two and it somehow makes go-getter seem somewhat negative.  The difference between getting everything you can, to giving to!  Reminds me of the missional type of living that you preach to us.  How great would it be at the end of your life (or now for that matter) to be thought of as a go-giver?  And how many more blessings would you receive by living this way?  How proud would God be of us?  Think about it.  I can't get this out of my mind.....that's a good thing! 

May this kind of thinking get stuck in all of our minds.....

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

Monday, October 19, 2015

common ground

I was having a discussion with a friend about an area that we had random views on. I don't think we disagreed, but we were looking for common ground, and I think we found it.

I told them this..........

The older I get, I feel that both the democrats and republicans are both a little bit right and both a little bit wrong.

I think that those on one side or another of discussions about spiritual gifts, baptism and many other topics that we humans disagree on are both partly right and both partly wrong.

We are all doing our best and I suspect that we will get our answers in heaven, or better yet, we will be so consumed with the presence of God in heaven that we wont worry about many things that we worry about here.

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

Sunday, October 18, 2015

from a reader

 One of our delightful members picked up the book Interrupted in the books store. It is available for $10. That is cheap.

Interrupted is the book I just finished that I have been talking about and posting about. Here are the comments from your friend from church:

I am really enjoying reading the book “Interrupted”. Enjoying might not be the right word. It is hard to confront your own selfishness. But this is a wonderful book. I am really glad you suggested it. My life is becoming too much about me and mine. I need to rearrange some priorities....... I am so proud of what our church has accomplished. But, it is not enough. God didn’t give us these amazing blessings so I can redo my kitchen. I’ve seen “the least of these” both locally and overseas. How can the way my house looks still hold such a big place in my heart? It’s embarrassing. This book will be good for me.

 Pick up your copy today!

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

Saturday, October 17, 2015


Thanks to the recent advancements in our technical abilities, we are able to store and offer various teaching videos now.  All sermons are available to watch on scroll down and look for the button/box that says "watch and listen."

Also there are a number of my favorite videos that we have posted to my personal web page.  If you go to you can click on the left hand side: teaching videos.  This will bring up the following list:

  • revelation and the second coming
  • leadership
  • permission giving
  • history of woods chapel and the umc
  • membership- prayers, presence, gifts, service and witness.

If you watch them, I hope that they are a blessing to you.

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

Friday, October 16, 2015

help with a problem

Good Morning, I need help with a problem that I am having at church.  Or as my friend Peggee says, not a problem, but a challenge. Ok, I need help with a challenge.

In some ways it is a good problem.  We have a very casual culture, and our members love each other.  The result of this is that we like to talk.  That is all super and fine, but sometimes it plays out in ways that are not very helpful.

First of all, please remember that there is not an airlock on the back of the sanctuary.  There is only one layer of doors.  If you are talking in the foyer, please move to the east away from the sanctuary doors.  Even if they are closed, voices travel into the sanctuary and can be heard.

I wish that was all there was to the challenge.

Let me pause and say that I love you.  I love you.  I LOVE YOU GUYS.

I have noticed over the last month that there is too much talking in the back of the sanctuary.  Ushers, Hospitality team members, and worshippers in the back rows need to be very careful please about visiting during worship times.  It is fine to want to talk with someone.... just take it out into the foyer.  Most people do not realize how far even their "quiet voice" will carry.  If you are talking to your friend during a song, your voice may carry up into five rows in front of you.  You may think you are being quiet, but really 40-50 people are being disrupted.

And there is another issue.  Everyone is always very polite and quiet when I give the welcome.  But when the singing starts, some visit instead of singing.  Friends, even if you don't sing, this is a time for worship.  Our musicians have worked very hard to prepare the songs and they do it so that you can enter into worship.

So, to sum it up.... I love you guys.  You are awesome.  Please help maintain an atmosphere of worship in our sanctuary by keeping your talking to an absolute minimum.  With this small request in mind, our hearts and minds are more able to lean into God in worship, and that is the goal of us gathering together.

Thanks for listening and thanks for understanding.

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

Thursday, October 15, 2015

My world

I feel the need to clarify before you read this post, that this is not from my friend Jeff :-)  I am Jeff's friend Ami and volunteered to post for two days in his absence. 

"My World"

Yes, I am a woman.  I push doors that clearly say PULL.  I laugh harder when I try to explain why I'm laughing.  I walk into a room and forget why I was there (a lot). I count on my fingers in math.  I hide the pain from my loved ones.  I say it is a long story when it's really not.  I cry a lot more than you think I do.  I care about people who don't care about me.  I try to do things before the microwave beeps.  I listen to you even when you don't listen to me.  And a hug will always help. 

I try to live this way everyday, but do me a favor.  When you are out and about today living and doing "your life", think about others, treat them the way YOU would want to be treated if you were standing in their shoes.  Smile others, look them in the eyes and say Hi!  Find something about them and compliment it.  "I love your jacket" or "You look so nice today".  More than anything, please be kind and considerate.  You never know the type of day someone else maybe having and maybe just maybe your kind words and sweet gestures will make the difference in a ho-hum day to a very nice day.  You'd be surprised how much kindness sticks to the ribs.

It's a beautiful day in Gods world.  Be sure to see the good.

Your friend always,

Wednesday, October 14, 2015


Always remember......there is no limit to the amount of good a person can do if they don't care who gets the credit.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

two halves

"One cannot live the afternoon of life according to the program of life's morning; for what was great in the morning will be of little importance in the evening, and what in the morning was true will at evening become a lie." Carl Jung

This quote reminds me of the book Halftime by Bob Buford. It seems to be true for most people that I know that we spend the first part of our life collecting and the second half of life giving. Or as Buford says, the first half is about success, the second half is about significance. Its not that young people cannot give, many of them do, especially in the current generation of young people. But my generation seemed to want to gather to itself while young. More TV's, a higher salary, more toys, a bigger 401k, it seems like we just could not get enough.

Thank God we turned 50! Many people that I know now are looking to reduce what they have. They are generous, not just to the church and its work, but generous to everything. We are starting to realize that you can't take it with you. And I am meeting so many young folks who are on this journey as well. Oh if I had only been that smart when I was young.

There is so much joy in life when the race to have more starts to wind down. It is then that our hearts can begin to focus on the real work of life, the real work of the soul, and we find again, the joy of caring for others, and living outside of ourselves.

Which half of life are you in? Do you hear a life of generosity calling to you? Lean away from the rat race and begin to find the joy.

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

Monday, October 12, 2015

We still have too much stuff

In response to a post last week, a friend sent me this note....

         On a trip to Africa several years ago we saw a re-sale shop whose name translated to "white man is dead" because in their society only white folks have clothes that are good enough for re-sale.  The native people literally wear their clothes until they become rags.  

I think I was in high school the first time I heard the phrase "live simply so that others may simply live."  Back then, I thought it was a bunch of tree hugging mush.  In my later years, I have come to love trees and I think about less stuff all the time.  Everything that we own, owns a piece of us.  Less is more.

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

Sunday, October 11, 2015

I was glad

I was glad when they said to me, "Let us go to the house of the Lord."  Psalm 122

Today is Sunday.  It is the Lord's day.  I look forward to being in God's house.  There are many reasons why.

1.  Being in church gives me a little respite from the busy busy world.
2.  Being in church allows me to be a part of something that is bigger than I am.
3.  Church keeps me grounded.
4.  Some of my, all of my best friends go to our church.
5.  I feel closer to God when I am at church.
6.  I enjoy the way that my heart and mind is stretched by the ideas of others.
7.  I find strength to face the week ahead.

I hope you have many reasons to attend church as well.  And, I hope to see you in God's house today.

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

Saturday, October 10, 2015


We talk about giving at church very sparingly.  I don't want church to sound like it is all about money.  But one thing is clear:  how we spend our money tells us everything about what we think is important.  Run a quick audit of your checkbook and you will find out what you love.

We love to spend on vacations, eating out, shopping, a nice home, maybe on our children.  How much do we give to God's work?  If that question makes you nervous, then I want to ask you to relax because you are all alone, and no one is holding out a hat in front of you.  Relax.  Just think about it.  How much of what we have was given to us by God?  How much do we give back to him?

Another interesting thought to me is this:  after we give what ever we are going to give to God, do we act like the rest of it is now ours to do with as we please?  What would happen if we came to believe not just that we should give to God's work, but also understand that how we spend our money every day should reflect a love for God and his people.

Giving.  Think about it.  How we do it says everything about what is really important to us.

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

Friday, October 9, 2015

too much

How many shirts do I have in my closet? How many pairs of socks do I have? How many pairs of shorts? Pants? Oh my gosh I actually own furniture with drawers that go in and out to hold extra shirts and shorts. Sometimes I think about getting rid of the old furniture and replacing it.

Most people of the world would love to have our old furniture- and our used socks and clothes.

[by the way, the picture here is not my closet......]

I'm thinking about other people in the world that have one shirt one pair of shorts one pair of socks or no socks and flip-flops or barefoot. And I ask myself this question. What am I doing with my money why do I spend it this way? What am I doing with my family's money? Is it ours - is it mine? Or is it Gods- and if it's God's shouldn't I spend some of the immense amount of what we have to give to others?  Why do I think that having more will make me happy?

What if I only had three pairs of shorts, four pairs of shoes, and six pairs of socks. What if I gave the rest away and I looked at all the things that I have as on loan from God.

Maybe we would use our money, I mean God's money, differently.

It is a beautiful day in God's world, and we can take steps to make it a better day for others. Anytime we do that, we are sure to see the good.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

too simple

Someone complained that just seeing the good is not enough.  Jeff makes it all too simple.  Just see the good- that's all??

To this comment, I say, yes.  Just see the good.  What else is there?  Will you be controlled by circumstances?  Then you are always at the ebb and flow of what happens to you- dominated by outside forces.

But when a person chooses...  Yes chooses to see the good, our outlook changes.  All of life changes.
We all know rich people who are miserable.  And we also know folks that have tons of problems but are happy.  What is the difference?  A conscious decision to choose to see the good.

Try it.  keep at it.

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

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

A new friend

I met a new friend yesterday.  Well, we have known each other for a few years, but we had never talked before.

Yesterday we sat down and talked.  Sometimes, it takes time for people to trust each other.  And I am a firm believer in the idea that you have to earn the right to be close to someone.  You have to be invited in.  Christians can't just run around out there and barf their stuff on others.  If you want to be close to people and hope to touch them for God, you have to be patient and kind and the door will open at the right time.

Anyway, my new friend confided in me that they had had moments of, thoughts of hurting themselves.  Some years ago, I had such thoughts too.  Thankfully, they have been getting help and are in a much better place.

I reminded them of what I remind myself of every day:  Life is good.  There is so much good.  We just have to see it.  We just have to lift up our eyes and see that life is amazing.  It is such a gift to be alive.  

If you are depressed or despondent, please remember that God loves you!  The sun came up today.  Did you see it?  It was beautiful!  In spite of what you may be going through, life is still good.  It's ok, you are not alone.  You are deeply loved by God.

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

Tuesday, October 6, 2015


I am thinking about this more and more lately.  In a world filled with ambiguity, humans prefer certainty.  We would prefer black and white but so often in life there are gray areas.

Ambiguity is that movement in life that causes us to feel like things are just a bit out of kilter.  Change brings distress.  Complicated lives rob us of peace.

We want things to go back to the way that they were.  Remember when so and so was president?  Remember when everyone went to church?  Remember when the stock market was good?  We wish for the old days, but I suggest to you that the old days had their moments as well.

Life is fluid.  Life is moving.  Our society is big, complicated, technical and mobile.  Literally, before we can acclimate to one change, another is coming along.  And so I keep reminding myself and others:  we prefer certainty, but there is going to be ambiguity.  Learn to be comfortable in a world that is not static.  Learn to be comfortable with change.  Learn to be comfortable with lose ends.

Our comfort in this life cannot be based on everything going and being just the way that we want it to go and be.  Our comfort must be found in trusting in God.  Keep the big picture in mind.  Stay focused.  Stay on track.  Everything is OK.

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

Monday, October 5, 2015


Emotions are fickle.  we are happy one day and sad the next.  And why?  Sometimes we can point to circumstances, but sometimes we just don't know.

I was reading a man the other day who said that the soul/mind is at rest.  The soul/mind in it's natural state is at rest.  When emotions come along, they can pull the soul towards happiness or sadness, but it's natural state is peace and rest.

We can choose to bring the soul back to a place of rest by refusing to be blown by the wind of emotions.  Ecstatic? Depressed?  This too shall pass.  We don't have to ride every roller coaster of emotion up and down the hill.  It is all good.

I find help to do this by thinking of God when I face a struggle.  Since our soul is the part that connects with God, thinking of him is the best tool to bring my mind to peace when the emotional winds of life start to blow.

You are a soul.  You are at rest.  Make a conscious effort to resist the winds of emotion by resting in God.

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

Sunday, October 4, 2015

world view

Today is world communion Sunday.

In Jen Hatmaker's book Interrupted, she says, It's one thing to acknowledge a different world view- it's another thing to absorb it. 

I find this to be quite profound. Many people understand that there are opinions and life experiences out there that are different than theirs. But few people really listen and try to understand how other people think.  Few people really try to take in the world view of another person. 

Until we learn to do this we are stuck.  We are doomed to continue to repeat the patterns of our own lives, insisting that we are right and everyone else is wrong and we deserve what we have in America.  

Until we open ourselves to really understand and empathize with how others live, it is hard for God to reach us and teach us. 

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

Saturday, October 3, 2015

more from Hatmaker

In Jennifer Hatmaker's book Interrupted, she talks about a tipping point. This is the notion that we can learn a lot of things and think about a lot of things but often they go in one ear and out the other. 

Hopefully there comes a time when we have digested a thing long enough and we begin to tip toward the other direction.  We can finally, after a while, begin to sway in another direction and our lives actually begin to take on the characteristics of what we've been learning.  Finally after thinking about an idea, we tip over and real change can come to a person.

Of course this is the hope of every pastor- that you teach and preach and invite people to change. And then one day they tip- they lean over to the other side- they change- away from a selfish life and more toward a generous life, a selfless life.

For a pastor there is this constant invitation of pulling us away from what comes naturally to us and inviting us into a new kind of life. This is certainly what I hope and pray for in me and you.   I pray that you find tipping points on a regular basis and that you are constantly moving away from what comes naturally to us and ever more toward the life that God calls us towards.  Think about change for a while, sure, but at some point, we actually have to tip on over and make the change.

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

Friday, October 2, 2015

baseball memories

I was thinking about baseball the other day....... imagine that!!

I was thinking about my first memories of baseball.  I got to go to a game at the old municipal stadium with my mother.  The Kansas City Athletics.  The "A's" The mascot: Charlie O the mule.  Catfish Hunter was my favorite player.  Charles Finley the owner who took the team to Oakland. Boo.

Then no baseball for years.

Then we got the Royals.  It was the spring of 1969 and I remember listening to the games on my transistor radio at night.  I was not allowed to take the radio to bed, but I did it anyway.  It had an earphone with one earpiece.  It was so much fun to listen to the games in bed.  I always fell asleep and in the morning the battery would be dead.  Mom never understood why I went through so many batteries.

Good memories.  Today, we watch baseball on HD tv sets.  And it is all very exciting.  I love baseball and I am happy for the Royals.

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

Thursday, October 1, 2015

KC sports

The other night the Chiefs lost and the Royals lost.  The Chiefs lost in an embarrassing fashion to the Green Bay Packers.  The Royals lost 1-0 in 11 innings and no longer hold home field advantage for the playoffs.

And I feel a bit drab.

Why are our egos tied up in the success of our sports teams?  Why do some of us feel the need to demean Denver Bronco fans or KU fans?

It is all kind of silly.  When a certain player played at Truman High school, we loved them.  Then they went to KU and we didn't like them.  Then they were drafted by the Chiefs and they were back in our good graces.  Then they were traded to the Raiders and we hated them.  It is all very silly.

Our egos and our value does not lie in the success or failure of our sports teams.  Winning does not make us better or more valuable than others.  Every person matters, every life matters and you matter whether your team wins or not.

It is God's world and he says that it is all good.  Be sure to see it.