Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Plane rides and preachers...

I flew in from Dallas yesterday with Larry Henderson and Mike Cope, and I had four very distinct thoughts.

First, I thought if Satan really wanted to hurt the spread of God's kingdom he should take this plane down.

Second, I am really safe because God is using those men in powerful ways to advance the kingdom so God is protecting us.

Third, if the plane does go down, at least we all would go out returning from trips where we talked about Jesus and helped others do the same. Neat legacy.

God would certainly raise up other men to take our place. None of us are indespensible.

And in some way, I really liked that. So, as always, I asked God to watch over my travel, though I did remind him of the great work Mike and Larry each do. :)

And so I just relaxed and left the whole trip in God's hands.

That's a good way to travel thru all of life.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Physical fitness and Jesus

Our culture puts a great deal of emphasis on the physical. We are a body obsessed culture. Sex appeal sells. Eat right and exercise so you can look good. Get surgical enhancements where needed to maintain a certain image. Look younger. Beat the age clock. You will feel better and look better. It will help your career. You will be more socially acceptable.

I am not sure I completly agree with the Christian response I usually hear. We generally tend to have only a negative response. That is, we explain why culture is wrong. And I do agree that our culture's obsession with looks is not Christian. Our beauty is inward, not outward. God made us like we are and Christians should not buy in to what the world's standards of beauty and acceptance. We need to comfortable with our bodies and our years.

Even with this, we stop short of the confronting the sin of out of shape Christians. I believe it is a spiritual discipline to be healthy. One reason is that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. But I also believe God has work for us to do in this world. If I am out of shape and shortening my productive years in this world, I am not being as effective for Jesus as I can. Jesus has people for us to see and things for us to do for the kingdom.

So as a spiritual discipline... eat right, get rest, get in shape. Not to impress the world, but to have energy to be God's hands and feet in this world.

So... your thoughts?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


On hospitals, funerals, and Jesus...

We spent the first part of last week at the hospital with Marsha's Mom. Pain management was the issue that got her to the emergency room, but she left three days later with a pacemaker. Got home at 11 pm last Tuesday nite and went to Arkansas on Wed and Thurs. for the funeral of my 96 year old Uncle Brick.

So here are random thoughts about Jesus, hospitals, and funerals.

There are lots of competent Doctors, Nurses, and medical personnel. But it is special when believers take care of your loved ones. Some of them prayed with us, some shared tears and hugs, and some went "the extra mile". One of our Doctors and one of the pain management staff are part of our church family at Southern Hills. Even better.

I am reminded that some professions are naturally a ministry. We have 2 daughters, 1 sister, 2 cousins, and 1 niece who are either practicing nurses or in nursing school. I am proud of all of them, but even prouder when they see their job as an extension of who they are in Jesus.

Lots of the hospital support staff had Marsha as one of their Middle School teachers. They all remembered her and she knew all of them. I am not sure how much computer skills those kids learned, but they learned a lot about love, self-esteem, and Jesus. Teaching is another profession that is a natural ministry, especially when it is an extension of who you are in Jesus.

If Granny had not gone to the hospital for pain management, we would not have discovered she needed the pacemaker. Funny how God works.

Visitors are special. Marsha and I are givers by nature, not takers. So are her folks and so are our kids. So it's hard for us to be on the recieving end. But I love the elders who came up to the hospital to hang out and to pray with us. And we were so thankful for friends (some of you are really more like family) who came by, called, and prayed for us.

Family funerals are strange. Good memories are fun to remember... and bad memories really do fade over time. I rarely get to spend much time with that side of my family, but I was so pleased how many of them recognized me immediately. Of course, most of them called me Joe. I guess I really do look a lot like my Dad. Lots of my relatives have gotten old. Shocking to imagine they say the same about me.

My Uncle Brick was probably born in the wrong century. He was what I would envision a mountain man to have been. Taught me most of what I know about hunting and fishing. Never ate anything but wild game at their house. Never beef, pork, or chicken. Those were income, not food.

I hope my extended family loves and respects me someday as much as my Dad's family loves and respects him.

My Dad hit a home run when he married my Mom. She helped him to find Jesus. Changed his life forever. Cannot imagine our life without Him. Glad I got to realize that again.

Well, we see Jesus in lots of ways in lots of places. These were some of mine this week.

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