Tuesday, December 29, 2015


My One Thing in 2016

My New Year's Resolution this year is a three for one.  I stole it from Paul (Philippians 3:13-14) and if you were at Southern Hills last Sunday you have heard about it.

Paul says that is going to do one thing:  Forget the past, focus on heaven, and keep pressing on till he gets there.  And all of these are wrapped up in Jesus.

So here are my suggestions for 2016.

Make your past your past.  If there are things in your life that you need to deal with... then do so.  Repent, confess, and change your story.  Jesus can change you.  Let him.

Get past your past.  Who you were does not define who you are.  Jesus not only forgives you but he restores you.  He is powerful enough to deal with the consequences of your sin.  Trust him.

Focus on the goal.  This world is not our home.  Pain, sin, tragedy, death, and disaster are what the world offers.  Some day we will see God face to face and he will wipe away our tears and there will be no more pain, death, sin, and darkness.

So keep on till then.  Do not quit.  You do not have to make the journey alone.  God is with us.  Jesus is at the right hand of God waiting for us.  The Holy Spirit lives in you.  All those who died believing are surrounding you.  We are in this together.

And as for me...

I don't want to be selfish with good news.  I want to tell all I can about Jesus.  God does not count my sins against me and he makes that same deal available to everyone.  I want them to know how much God loves them.

So that's the goal for 2016.  Let go of the past, focus on where I am going, don't quit till I get there, and take as many people with me as I can.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015


Grandpa turned 88

My father-in-law, Don Herttenberger, just turned 88.  I love him.  He has been much more a Dad to me than a father-in-law.  Here are just a few reasons I love him and am proud of him.

He loves family.  He prays lots for his kids, grands, and his great-grandkids.  He is proud of their accomplishments.  He is most proud of their faith.  One of his best moments recently was hearing all about Anna, our 10 year old granddaughter, and her decision to follow Jesus.  Loved hearing every moment of our telling about her baptism.

Married over 70 years.  Still loves Granny.  Great example of what a faithful husband is.

He loves his church family.  The Herttenbergers are one of the great families in the history of Southern Hills.  There are dozens and dozens of families at SH who still tell us he was the first person they met when they came to Southern Hills. .  

He is a man of the land.  He is a farmer thru and thru.  There are values there that matter.  Trusting God for a crop.  Praying for rain.  Or for it to stop.  Planting seeds.  Getting a harvest.  Spiritual values. 

He is a man of great faith.  He would never serve as an elder at Southern Hills even though he was asked several times.  But in a way he did.  Because he is the one I ask advice from about people I shepherd.  He gives good counsel.  Always tells me things will be alright.  

He knows he is closer and closer to going home forever.  And he is good with that.  He has taken care of Granny financially, emotionally, and spiritually.  After all, he converted her.  Still leads his family in powerful ways.  

Gives, prays, shows up to worship.  

He has shown me how to be a better man, a better husband, and a better father.

He has loves me, forgives me, prays for me, encourages me, and is proud of me.

And he gave me Marsha.  

So thanks God for Grandpa.  He is one your great men of faith.  He has blessed both his family and his church family.  Help me be more like him.   

Tuesday, December 01, 2015


Celebrating my Mom's birthday

We spent the Saturday after Thanksgiving celebrating my Mom's 85th birthday.

Here are just a few of the reasons I love her and am proud of her.

She has handled the death of my Dad with grace and faith.  Pap had Alzheimer's.  She cared for him and loved him till the day he died.  And she never doubted where he is or that they will be in heaven together again.  Love the example she has set for her kids, grands, and greatgrands.

She is still very active in her church.  Visitation, setting up service ministries, working in the clothing room, and fixing food.  She is finishing strong.

I love that she will call and ask my advice about how to share Jesus with her friends from Seniorcize class.  She is currently sharing her faith with an agnostic non-believer.  Love that.

She loves her family.  She never fails to ask about every grandchild and great grandchild.  She is proud of their athletics, their academics and careers.  But she is most proud of their spiritual development.

She is a prayer warrior.

She reads her Bible.

She checks up on any number of sick and home bound.

She gives advice and counsel to any number of friends from church.

So thanks God for a Mom that did more than teach us about Jesus.  She is still showing us.  And she always gives you credit.  So bless her days as she finishes her race faithful and active in your Kingdom.

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