Sunday, January 31, 2016

we don't say it enough

I was at a memorial service for Coach Sheridan yesterday.  What a great man.  The place was packed.  The floor, the balcony and the Worship Center.  It was a wonderful tribute to a wonderful man.  Pastor Sherri did a great job.

I was moved again by something that I have been thinking about lately.  We assume that others know how we feel.  We don't tell them enough how much we appreciate them.  Maybe we start and they get uncomfortable so we quit.  Maybe they cut us off.  Maybe we did a good job last month or last year of telling them.  We need to tell them again.  And again.  Over and over.  We need to tell those we love that we love them.  We need to hug everyone that we can and let God's love pour out through us.  People don't just know how we feel.

Don't assume that they know.  Tell  them.

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

Saturday, January 30, 2016

image of God

One of the people that I like to read is Father Richard Rohr.  The other day he wrote about how our image of God affects all of life.  If you have a toxic image of God that is an angry, vengeful God, then all of your world is full of worry and fear.  If you have an image of a God that is distant and uncaring, then you never feel the love of a God that is immediately present.

If however, you believe in a God of grace and love, your life can be filled with joy.  You can find forgiveness and grace.  I love it.

What is your image of God?

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

Friday, January 29, 2016

5 more months

On Sunday in Church, several people thought that it was my last Sunday.  Not true.  I will be at Woods Chapel thru May and probably a few weeks into June.  So I have 5 more months to torture you guys. [If the good Lord gives me those days.]

We had a Q&A meeting on Sunday night.  If you are interested, here is the link-

Someone asked at our Q&A meeting on Sunday if I do get an appointment in Florida would the sermons be online.  I told them that I don't know, but if they were, it would just be the same old stuff.  They would go to all that trouble to find it online and then start to watch the sermon and they would say, "hey, I have heard that story 6 times!"

I have treasured every day of the last 22 years with you and will treasure the next 5 months for sure.  That is a good blog topic.  Treasure every day that you have.  After today, you will have one less day left in your life.

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

Thursday, January 28, 2016

what is the real challenge

In most situations, although I want to blame everyone else and everything else, usually the problem is me. I am the one that will not adapt. I am the one that seeks my own comfort. I am the one that gets in the way, and I can't even see it in myself.

It is easy to see the fault of others, difficult to see the fault in me.
But we are often the very ones who hold us back from what we would be.

“The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from the old ones.” 
                                                           John Maynerd Keynes

Pause to consider your life, your circumstances and your situation.  Are you a part of your solution or a part of your problem?

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

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

comfort, preference and mission

Humans have a preference, always.  Our preference is also always focused on our comfort.  We prefer our comfort over everything else.  We have designed our lives around comfort and we have turned our prayer life into pleas for our comfort.

God has a mission.  It involves a cross.  It involves sacrifice.  It is rarely concerned with our preference and would sacrifice our comfort at a moments notice for the sake of the mission.  The mission is connecting people.  Finding people and loving them.  Whatever it takes to get that done should be the priority for the Christian.

  • Park further away so visitors can park close? Done.
  • Sit in an unfamiliar pew so someone else can sit in my favorite spot?  Done.
  • Give money for the village in Nicaragua?  Done.
  • Give more money than I initially thought I should? Done.
  • Stop the gossip?  Done.
  • Be kind to the server, remembering that they are humans too?  Done.
  • Fight against selfishness within me?  Done..... well, at least we can work on that one.

Don't be afraid to be brutally honest with yourself about how much of your life is about your comfort and preference vs how much of it is about God's purpose.  The Holy Spirit is discovered at the outskirts of our preference.  God is desperately seeking those who will emerge from the edge of their comfort zone and give themselves completely to him and his work.

Something to think about.

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

Tuesday, January 26, 2016


I have been thinking about comfort a little bit lately and it reminded me of one of my favorite sayings.  I will leave this post simple, simply offering the quote. I don't remember where I read it, but it is something to think about.  I will comment on it tomorrow.  Here it is:

Spiritually developed people are those who have learned to set aside their comfort and personal preference for the sake of the mission.

That is something for all of us to think about in every arena of our lives.

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

Monday, January 25, 2016

glad to see you

When Mary went to visit Elizabeth in Luke chapter one, the baby [John the Baptist] leaped in Elizabeth's womb.  What a wonderful picture of "glad to see you."

I think that sometimes we are glad to see people, but we don't tell them.  Or we say, "so good to see
you" and it is said in such a way that the words do not register with them.  We love dogs because they always make us feel like they are glad to see us.  We should do the same for the people in our lives.

I am glad to see you.  I AM GLAD TO SEE YOU!  Given the alternatives, I am so glad to see you.  Take their hand.  Look them in the eye.  Tell them what a great pleasure it is to see you today.  Thanks for being you.  Life is short.  Make sure that people know that they are loved by you.

I am always glad to see you.

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

Sunday, January 24, 2016


When you are a pastor, it feels like Sunday comes three times a week.  Oh, my!!! I have to preach again!! And so soon.  That is how pastors feel.

Someone once said, "Hey Jeff, my mother is with me today, I hope the sermon is good."  So this is the kind of pressure that pastors feel.  Its like people are saying, I'm here today........ inspire me.

The pressure to inspire people is very heavy, and I don't know if pastors can really do that every week.  Sometimes sermons should make you feel good, sometimes they should make you think, and sometimes they should make you uncomfortable.  There is an old saying that was passed on during seminary, "comfort the afflicted, and afflict the comfortable."

Having said all of this, I am sure that today will be an emotional day for me.  It is not the last time that I will be preaching at woods chapel, but it is the first time that I will be preaching and seeing most of you since the announcement was made.

Please go easy on me today.  The sermon is more informational than inspiring.  I will be glad to see each of you, as I always am.

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

Saturday, January 23, 2016

keep blogging

Someone asked if I was going to keep blogging after I moved.  The answer is yes.

I was appointed to Woods Chapel in 1994.  I started blogging on May 3, 2007.  Certainly the work of ministry flows in and out of my appointment to the church and the blog, but they are not officially linked.

I will keep writing about seeing the good and other random things and you are welcome to keep reading if you so desire.  Sometimes I am out of town or sometimes my soul is dry, and in those moments I will continue to ask my friend Lions Den Man to post.

I hope that this blog has been of comfort to you.  I also hope that this blog has challenged you and caused you to think.  When left to our own paradigms, our brains will reason ourselves to mediocrity at best.  I thank you for your comments over the years which have caused me to consider what I was thinking as well.

Life is good and seeing the good is so very very important.  The blog will continue.

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

Friday, January 22, 2016

who is in

Someone asked me to write more about who is "in" and who is "out."

For centuries, some Christians have reveled in insisting that they were in and others were out.  They were going to heaven and others were going to hell.  We like to be right and we like others to be wrong.  How sad is that!

Let's stop here for a moment.  The only people that Jesus condemned were the Pharisees.  They were the ones who were saying who was in and who was out.  How sad that in such a short period of time, the Pharisees rise again in the form of any number of religious groups that insist that they are in and others are out, and sadly, they don't see that they have become the Pharisees.

I believe in Jesus and I follow him.  That does not mean that Jews for example are going to hell.  In Mt 8:11 Jesus indicates that people from the east and the west, from other cultures, and Abraham, Issac and Jacob will all be there in heaven.  So never throw out people who are not exactly like you, and for heavens sake, don't count out the Jews.  They are God's chosen.  They are the original tree, we Christians are only grafted in.  See Romans 10 and 11.

We also worry about people that don't know about Jesus.  Will they go to hell?  well, maybe, but that is not up to me and you.  We are not in charge of who goes to heaven or hell.  That is a decision that is in God's hands.  I take much comfort from Romans 1:20 which says,

      For since the creation of the world, God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--      have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

So every person is responsible. Every person is accountable.  God will hold every person with out excuse.  I don't know what that means and it doesn't fit the theology that I was raised on, but they have witnessed him in the things that he has made, and they are without excuse.  This does not absolve us from telling the story of Jesus and his love.  They have not heard the story yet, but they have seen the story via the things that God has made and he holds people accountable for that somehow.

Friends, God's ways are higher than our ways, and his thoughts are higher than our thoughts.  We cannot insist that he follow the exact pattern of our minds.  God alone decides who is in.  It is his job to lead and our job to follow.  Maybe we would do better if we stopped  trying to be the boss and instead lined up to serve him.  Maybe we should stop trying to play the role of creator and take upon ourselves the role of the created.

When we spend our lives measuring and judging others, we don't have time to do what we were created to do, which is to love God and love others.  God knows and God chooses.  We are to LOVE and to live and to do our best to tell the story without judging.  The outcome of a person's eternity is between them and God alone.  Oh, it is so nice to leave all of that in God's hands and oh how that leaves me in peace!

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

Thursday, January 21, 2016


Someone asked me to post some of my "stuff" about marriage.  So, let me leave the issue of me moving and talk about something else today.


First of all, if you don't believe that your spouse is the best wife or husband in the world, it is time for your opinion to change.  If you don't look across the table and see the best person in the world, your future is in trouble.  It's not too late to change.  It's never too late to begin again to love that person with your whole heart.  I hope that you believe that your spouse is the best person in the world for you to be with.  If you are not there, get there soon.

Secondly, don't expect them to make you happy.  Only you can make you happy.  Invest in them.  Pour yourself into them.  We laugh about the old saying, "if mamma's happy everyone is happy."  But it goes both ways.  We should each invest in our spouses.  Each should honor the other.  Each should prefer the other.  Because you know it is true... we never find joy in taking from another.  We find joy and love when we pour ourselves out for another.  Love usually comes back when we give it away, and if it doesn't we still have no choice in this life but to pour out love.

The answer is never found in taking.  The answer within is always found in giving.

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

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

what I am going to do in Florida

Several have asked if I have been offered a bigger church in Florida.  The answer is no.

I have interviewed with the Florida Conference, but they have no guarantees that there is an opening for me.  They have many people that want to transfer to their conference.

If they have a church, I will gladly accept it.  I have loved being a United Methodist Pastor and I would love for that to continue.  If they don't have anything then I will look at being a chaplain at a hospital or look for a support role at a local church.

It will be fine.  But the point of this post is that I am not leaving because I have some big offer.  I have no offer.  I am leaving because I am still in love with the girl that I married all those years ago.  And in a world where so many married people are satisfied with tolerating each other, it is great to be in love.

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

Tuesday, January 19, 2016


Pam told me not to apologize, and I love Pam, but I am going to do it today.

I am sorry for the foolish idea that I had that I was going to be able to keep this long distance marriage up for seven years.  I fought off rumors because at the time they were not true.  [see my posts of October 2, 2014, April 22, 2015 and November 14, 2015]  I have never been disingenuous over what was going on.  I have been truthful about my feelings and the situation every step of the way.

I am sorry.  I am sorry for every person who is disappointed that I am leaving in June.  I am sorry for every person that is sad.  I am sorry for every moment of your life that I will not be there for.

However, this is a decision based on love and family values.  I know everyone understands that.  So, it is bitter sweet.

I love you all.  We have had 22 wonderful years and we have 5 more months together.  God is good.

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

Monday, January 18, 2016


Yesterday, the following announcement was made in church.

Good morning, my name is Carol Quiring and I serve as chair of our staff parish relations team. I’m coming this morning to tell you of a change that will be happening this year. As most everyone knows, Pastor Jeff and his wife Cathy have been living a long distance marriage for the last year. Initially Jeff hoped this situation would become easier as time passed, but that hasn’t happened, and it has grown increasingly difficult for them.
So for the first time in 22 years we will be working with the Bishop and the District Superintendent to facilitate the appointment of a new senior pastor. That will occur in June of this year.
I know this change is especially difficult, but it is an opportunity for us to share God’s love with someone who has so willingly shared with each of us.
Please celebrate with Jeff and his family!  By making a change to be re-united with his family, he is modeling the unselfish love he has described to us on so many different occasions.
We as a Woods Chapel Church are blessed and have much to be grateful for….
Our SPRC has begun meeting with the District Superintendent .
An email will be distributed later today with this information and additional details describing the process.
Jeff will be preaching next Sunday and will hold a Town Hall type meeting the evening of January 24th in the Worship Center.
Thank you for keeping Jeff, his family, our Church staff, and Church family in your prayers.

More to come. Please keep me and my family, our staff and the church in your prayers.
It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Sunday, January 17, 2016


I don’t hoard but boy do I have a mess of stuff that has no value to me anymore. I have moved past that stuff so I am working at finding it a new home. My dad was great at not keeping things that had no value. To him it was clutter that got in the way of things of more importance. He always said he could think more clearly when the clutter was gone. That type of thinking works well for me, too. I try to use that logic in other areas of my life, like my faith. A lot clutter can be accumulated on our journey and can get in the way of clear thinking. It becomes dead weight and keeps us from moving forward. When we remove such things it becomes easier to see the things of greater value and importance.


Lion’s Den Man

Saturday, January 16, 2016

loving yourself

I think we all believe in love.  Many people that I know work hard in this life to love others, but never learn how to love themselves.  Oh how our lives change for the better when we finally understand that God does love us, and we can love ourselves as well.  By loving ourselves, I am not recommending pride or arrogance, I am simply suggesting that you can cut yourself some slack and see the value in yourself that God sees.

You are valued- believe it.  You are loveable- receive it.  The messages that others gave you about how worthless you are can be set aside.  God has another message for you.  He loves you.  He loves you so much that he sent his Son.

Once we accept the fact that we are loved by God everything changes.  The arguments in my head slow down.  The strife in my soul mellows out.  The battle that I have been fighting within my head, my entire life finally stops.   If I can finally believe that I am loved by God, my daily thoughts are no longer consumed with judging myself or others, I simply let the goodness of God fill me up and pour out to others.

You are loved.  Don't waste another day questioning that.  Receive it, breathe it in, accept it and let it flow right through you to everyone that you meet.

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

Friday, January 15, 2016


One of the words that I think we like, but non-churched people do not get is the word "disciple."  The missions statement of the general United Methodist Church is "making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world."

In my opinion, random folks on the street, unchurched and marginally churched people have no idea what we are talking about.  Shame on us.

I woke up the other night thinking about this.  Now that is weird isn't it?  I should be thinking of sleepy meadows in the middle of the night but no, I woke up thinking about this.

Here is my middle of the  night train of thought-

  • A disciple is a follower of Jesus.
  • One who follows is going somewhere.
  • So, a disciple of Jesus goes where Jesus went and does what Jesus did.

That means for us, that if we are going to be disciples, I mean followers of Jesus, we need to go out to the marginalized.  We need to find the needy, the lost, the sick and the lame.  We need to spend some time with the lonely, the frightened, and those who are not on society's A list.  And it means that when we find those folks, we need to do what Jesus did.  We need to love them, hug them, forgive them, value them, heal them, and on it goes.

Here is the good news.  You don't have to go down and look under a bridge for such people.  Right in your office, right in your church, at your family reunion, maybe in your own home, maybe in your own skin, you can find people who are marginalized and hurt.  Love them and bless them- do what Jesus did.

That is when we become true disciples, I mean followers, of Jesus.  And friend, let me tell you, the world is waiting with open arms for people that will love as Jesus loved.

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

Thursday, January 14, 2016


Church people have fallen into some bad habits.  One of them is using words that normal people do not understand.  By normal, I am referring to random people that you find out in life that have little or no church background.

When we say words like "spiritual formation" normal people have no idea what we are talking about.  We take it for granted that they do, since we think we know what it means, but try to define it sometime.  Non-church folks do not talk like this.  And since we are trying to win them, maybe we should learn to talk their language.

Another word that we use that doesn't really fit in modern society is "transformation."  Now, I think everyone knows what transformation means, but people generally don't talk about it in the same ways that church folk do.  For non-church folks what that word means and their first thought is likely to move towards the movie Transformers, which is a show about robots.

My point of all of this is that we church folks need to learn to talk in ways that are relevant to unchurched folk.  If they are our target audience, it doesn't matter if we are comfortable with the words, it matters only if they are comfortable.

Take a look at your speech sometime.  Do your unchurched friends, family and coworkers get what you are saying or do we sound like people from the 1950's?  There is a reason that church attendance is down, let's not add to the problem. There are perfectly good ways to talk about our life journey with God without sounding like we just left seminary.  How do your words fall upon the ears of the non-churched?

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

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

quote from the movie Unconditonal

The storms of life- they are bound to come, but maybe even in those storms, in the loneliest time of all, you're never really alone. Love is the most powerful thing on Earth, I've seen what it can do, and it can do amazing things. Sometimes I imagine a world where everyone knows that love is unconditional, and what a beautiful world it is. I think some people get it right, that there's truly enough love to go around, all you have to do is share it. What if God's love is like the sun, constant and unchanging. What if you wake up some day and realize that nothing can take that away.

What if it shines on everyone. The good the bad, the whole and the broken. Love is like light. It is in discriminant. it goes out to everyone. The sooner we learn that, the better the rest of our lives will be. And the sooner we share it indiscriminately, without reservation, the sooner we find the true joy of living.

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

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

no one to talk to

We have all felt like there was no one to talk to.  I have.  Welcome to the human race.

If you feel like you have no one to talk to, God is there.  He never leaves.  Oh, you don't believe in him?  He is not offended by that.  You can't drive him away.  If you have no one to talk to, if you think you are alone, you are not.  You are never alone.  In that dark valley that you are feeling, God is there.  He is with you.

Ok, hate him.  Be mad at him.  Reject him for 5 or 10 or 30 years.  He never leaves.  He is there, waiting for you to call upon him.  He is never offended when we do.  He welcomes you with open arms.

If you think that you have no one to talk to, he is there.  Call upon him.  Right now.  In your home.  In your car.  In your office.  He is there.

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

Monday, January 11, 2016

to love

To love someone is enough.  That is all that there is.  Rich?  Poor?  Both are meaningless without love.  Do you have someone to love?  Can you find someone to pour yourself into?  It does not have to be a spouse.  It can be someone that you will never get love back from.  Find someone.  A server at a restaurant.  The receptionist.  The mechanic.  The bank teller.  Find someone to love.

When you love people, life comes alive.  Love is bigger than rich or poor.   Love is bigger than happy or sad.  Love pulls us in to joy.  It pulls us in to a life that is filled with wonder and meaning.

To love someone is enough.

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

Sunday, January 10, 2016


Pour.  An intentional filling.  Not a spilling, but a pouring.  Pour.  Pour yourself. Pour yourself into life.

I know people who have had terrible things happen to them.  The were raped, they were rejected, they were crushed, they were shamed.  On and on those stories go.  Almost all of us have them.  We are all refugees from something.

Some of those people fell into victim hood.  Some rose above the evil.  Some of them succumbed.  Some of them fought back and overcame difficulty in this life.

Don't measure your life by what happened to you yesterday.  Measure your life by what you will bring to today and tomorrow.  Pour yourself into life.  There are enough people who gave up.  Don't be one of them.  Stand up.  Absorb the pain.  Rise above it.  Speak into life.  Make the world a better place.  The choice is yours.

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

Saturday, January 9, 2016

is my Dad coming?

A friend recommended a movie to me....... Unconditional.  It is on Netflix.  I watched it.  About half way through it, I had to stop.  A young man who was in the hospital asked if his dad was coming to visit.  The answer was no.  No, your Dad is not coming.  No, your Dad is not coming.......

It stopped me in my tracks.  I thought of how many times that my Dad was not there when I was young.  I thought of how much I wished for his support and love.  I know that he loved me in his own way, he was raised in the depression, and those kids that grew up in the depression made very interesting mothers and fathers.

And so I am thinking about my own kids.  Was I there for them?  Well, I know that sometimes I was there.  I was the first one there when my son fell off the roof and broke his back.  I was the first one there when Jenny had pneumonia.  I was there with Alli when she broke her foot.  But what would they say?  Would they tell you that I was a good Dad?

I wonder, how many times did they wish I was there, and maybe I wasn't.  I want to make sure that I never let them down again, ever, for the rest of my life.

The best investment that we can make in our life, is the investment into our children.  I am so blessed to have three very wonderful kids.

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

Friday, January 8, 2016

Christmas Eve

People always ask me about Christmas Eve, how it went, how it felt and what was the attendance.  Well, from my vantage point, it was a great day.  The music was wonderful and everything seemed to go off without a hitch.  I so appreciate all of the work that was done by so many of the volunteers and staff.

The weather was great and for those of you who are interested in attendance numbers, we set a new record for Christmas Eve attendance of 3,589.

Thanks for all that you do to make Woods Chapel a great church.  Happy New Year!

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

Thursday, January 7, 2016

the joy of work

Ahh, the joy of work.  To have a job is such a blessing.

Do you ever complain about your job?  Do you ever hate it or wish for another?  Remember there are many in this world that wish that they could work.  Many people miss the joy of making a positive contribution to society.  That is why so many retired folks are volunteering somewhere- they want to make a difference in the world.

There may be a few people who would be happy laying on the beach for the rest of their lives, but most people find it to be boring.  If you have a job, if you can work, if you volunteer your time,  give thanks!  Consider the joy of working with others to make the world a better place.  It is a blessing from God.

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

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

a good word

A good word is such a blessing!

To read kind words in a Christmas card is a blessing.  To read an email with kind remarks is such a blessing.  I received a very nice note today, so I don't need another, but it made me feel so good.  Make someones day today.  Drop them a line and tell them how much they mean to you.  We have no idea how our words can touch another person.

A good word is such a blessing!

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

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

More on seeing the good

 More on seeing the good.

 The day before New Years Eve, I wore shorts and flip flops. I relaxed by a palm tree and swam in a pool. On New Years Eve, I flew back to Kansas City. I went from 80 degree weather to 20 degree weather. As I stood out at the curb at KCI [without a jacket] waiting for my ride, I took a deep breath of the cold January air and gave thanks. God, thank you for daily breath! Thank you for the joy of living! Thank you for friends! Thank you for the privilege of sharing your love.

 Warm weather is great, but there are so many other blessings that we cannot ignore. We have so much to be thankful for.

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

Monday, January 4, 2016

More yet on good and bad

 More yet on Good and Bad

 My shoulder hurts, but I got to play softball for many years. When my shoulder hurts today, instead of complaining about it, I remember all of the great times playing softball with my friends. 

My friend moved away. Instead of being upset about that, I choose to focus on the value of his friendship. The love that we shared cannot be priced. Instead of complaining, I choose to savor the memories.

 My Dad died. I cried. After a while I was able to look at that differently too. Now I savor the memories and cherish the path that he laid down for me.

 I look in the mirror and see an old man. Or at least an older man. I could easily complain about the hair loss. And what in the world has happened to my skin!!   I can complain, or I can look in the mirror and see that old face of mine and remember every day that I have lived. Every person that I have known. Every day that I lived. Oh what joy is held within the aged face!

 When you consider a thing, is it good or bad? I do believe that we can teach ourselves to see the good. 

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

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Covenant Prayer

Today in Church we will be saying the Wesley Covenant Prayer.

I am no longer my own, but thine.
Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt.
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Let me be employed for thee or laid aside for thee,
exalted for thee or brought low for thee.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal.
And now, O glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
thou art mine, and I am thine.
So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth,
let it be ratified in heaven.

 I love it. Especially the call and commitment on my part to be put completely at God’s disposal. Won’t you come join us this first Sunday of 2016.

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

Saturday, January 2, 2016

more on good and bad

 More on Good and Bad.

There is an old Chinese story that I like.

A man’s horse is stolen. The villagers say "that is bad." The Zen master says, "we shall see." The horse comes back. The villagers say "that is good." The Zen master says, "we shall see." The man’s son is bucked off the horse and breaks his leg. The villagers say "that is bad." The Master says, “we shall see.” The Army comes thru the village looking for conscripts, the man’s son is not taken because he has a broken leg. The people say, "that is good." The Master says, “we shall see.”

And on it goes. Are things good or are things bad? We shall see. Romans 8:28 says, “God works all things to the good.” Ecclesiastes 3 says, "God makes all things beautiful in His time."

Is something good or bad? Don’t be so quick to apply a negative label to a moment as it just might turn around, or better yet, it not turn around and you still see the good, the joy and the glory in it.

It’s a beautiful day in God’s world, be sure to see the good.  It's not always easy to do.  We have to keep working at it.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year

Happy New Year

I keep thinking about how much power we have over how we feel about our lives.  Good things happen, bad things happen.  Are they good or are they bad?  Sometimes we decide whether a thing is a good thing or not.

While not to make light of those really difficult moments, much of what we consider bad is actually quite normal and even tolerable if one would choose to see it that way.  When we are ruled by our comfort and our preference, we tend to see more bad.  When we are ruled by a higher directive, we can see the good.

My friend Joy ends her emails with the phrase, “choose to make it a happy day.”  How about we choose to make it a Happy Year.  Happy New Year.

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