Tuesday, November 29, 2005


It's Not Thanksgiving for everyone...

I enjoy Thanksgiving so much that sometimes I forget that it is difficult for many others. Just this past Thanksgiving I was reminded of how tough this life is for some of my closest friends.

One of my friends relapsed over the Holidays. He has seriously committed to fighting an addiction, and he slipped up. Another friend checked into a rehab program the week before Thanksgiving. Other families we are close to spent part of their holidays in hospital rooms or in funeral homes.

All this just reminds me that life is tough and God is faithful.

Which I guess makes me thankful. So my friends actually were thankful: some for God's grace, some for healing, some for courage to face sin, and some because God welcomed his people home.

I need to remain thankful in tough times and in good times because God is always faithful.

Thank you, God.

Monday, November 28, 2005


Thanksgiving Reflections

It happened again. I ate way too much. I do every year. I think you are supposed to eat too much. It was a great day... we had both sets of parents, both sets of kids (and Anna Claire), and various other extended family. As always, we spent some time reflecting on what we were thankful for in the past year. I'm sure your list is much like mine...but here are some of the things I was thankful for in 2005:

I'm thankful Bobby married Julie. He has blessed her life and ours with his love and sense of humor.

Anna Claire was born last August. What a delight and inspiration. She has been absolutely wonderful.

My Dad has overcome prostate cancer and has a clean bill of health.

Julie and Jake (due in January) survived the wreck. I was reminded again of how special the family of God is...and how valuable prayer is, especially when you don't know what else to do.

Julie, Mom, and I all had job changes this year. In my case, it was also a career change. God has power to do amazing things in our lives.

Most of all, every one of us is thankful for the gift of life made possible by Jesus. How do people survive without him?

And may God help me to never need a holiday to remember how thankful I am for what He has done, and is doing, in my life.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

I will admit up front that I am a Dallas Cowboy fan. I grew up watching them in the end zone of the Cotton Bowl back in the '60's. And as far as I know, Donovan McNabb is a fine person. But I enjoyed what I saw Monday night in the Eagles and Cowboys game. The Cowboys were not playing well and McNabb scored a touchdown. Even then, it seemed that would be enough to seal the Cowboy's fate. Then Donovan McNabb danced. I don't mean a little hop for joy. He strutted, he preened, he "rubbed it in".

Then at the end of the game, protecting a slim lead, he threw an interception. Threw it right to Roy Williams, who ran it in for the winning score. And to make it worse, McNabb was wiped out on a block. There he lay, crumpled on the turf. I didn't see him get up and dance. It tickled me, it seemed poetic justice, and I thought it served him right.

So what is that fine line between celebration, even wildly joyous celebration, and over the top- in your face - show boating? I wonder about fine lines in other aspects of life. Take praise for instance. Is it really an outpouring of love and adoration, or a statement to others? How appropriate is congregational celebration of births and/or healing when there are people there who have experienced sorrow in these situations and not joy?

I don't know that I have all these questions answered, but I'm glad I thought about them. And it did make me think that watching Monday night football was a spiritual experience.

Just like everything else I do... and maybe that's the point.

God help me to see the spiritual in everything I do.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


Back Home Again

Four countries in ten days is a little much, but it was a great trip to South America. I got a lot of planning done for Herald of Truth ministries in Cuba, Chile and Venezuela. I enjoyed meeting brothers from other countries and realizing how much we have in common. We don't look the same, we don't speak the same language, and we don't share the same culture. But we do share the same heart, and that is always a wonderful experience.

I had to fly two legs of the trip by myself and that always makes me a bit nervous. Strange airports and poor English coupled with horrible Spanish always make it interesting. I know just enough Spanish to know the subject of conversation, and yet not enough to really participate. I enjoy watching people try to help me understand. They speak very slow and they get louder as if that will help me understand. It's just hard to really feel at home in a foreign culture.

I guess that's how we should always feel in this world. After all, it is not really our home either. We should always be a little out of step and even feel a little strange till we go home. And I am again reminded that visitors to our world at church ofter feel a little out of place. They don't always speak the language and they are not sure where they fit.

I'm going to be more sensitive to my friends who visit church with me. After all, we may find out that we share the same heart.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


Life's a Roller Coaster

Up: Our daughter Julie got to come to church Sunday. After three weeks of bed rest she was ready to get out. She is able to start working about three hours a day at her job as a school nurse. God is good and all of your prayers mean so much.

Down: Spent some time this weekend with some really good friends who are going through a real tough time spiritually with one of their kids. They are trying to say the right things, do the right things, and even feel the right things.

Up: I am leaving today for ten days in South America. I will be working on plans for Herald of Truth ministry projects in Cuba, Mexico, Chile, and Venezuela. I will be in Guatamala, Panama, Chile, and Peru meeting with various missionaries and others.

Down: Another couple we are very close to has a daughter who is having a tumor removed today. We are confident it will be benign, but it is emotional.

Up: Had breakfast this morning with Stephen Corbitt, our senior youth minister at Southern Hills. Lots of good things happening with out youth group.

Down: Met last night with a friend whose marriage is in real trouble.

Up: Remembering God loves me, Jesus died for me, and I'll live in heaven forever.

I think about the life of David, Peter, and even Jesus...and they were rollercoasters too. I'm glad God is in control.

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