Wednesday, July 26, 2006


I just received a picture of three of my grandchildren in yesterday's email. I cried when the pictures came--I see my grandchildren in Texas 2-3 times a year--and I realized how much I love them. And I cried, I think, because I realize what kind of world that they are entering...innocent as they seem now.

Innocence passes quickly. Reality sets in soon enough...the reality of sin, suffering and sadness. When I look at their faces I am fearful for what awaits them.

Innocence is long gone for me. I know my sin, I know my weaknesses. I understand my selfish motives and my wounded pride. I reflect on what I have learned, often because of bad decisions, and, more often because of inisisting on my own flawed way.

I am not innocent.

But I am forgiven. I am as a little child to God, anxious to grow up into a mature believer.

That glorious prospect is available to everyone--including my grandchildren--when that veil of innocence has been lifted.

I hope I am around to validate that in their lives some day.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


Why is it so hard to do the right thing?

When we have a strong sense of purpose and what we think is a good plan--and the perceived approval of God--it is disheartening when things don't go well. We may question whether or not we "heard" God right to begin with, or, whether we have done something to incur His disfavor.

Both of those questions could have a basis in reality, but often, disruption of our plans and more often, our timetable, occurs when all things are okay, and God is simply allowing us to be tested and stretched. Can I trust Him when it feels as if everything is in disarray?

I asked myself that question this morning when I was processing a number of things that are being thrown at me by the enemy--the one whose stated purpose is to "steal, kill and destroy" all that is good in our lives (John 10:10).

I know we are doing the right thing. I know God has spoken His purpose and plan to us clearly.

I know the enemy is not happy about it.

I am trusting God to complete what He has begun.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

make every effort

Ephesians 4:1-3 talks about the cultivbation of interpersonal relationships and the kind of behavior that is geared towards the maintenance of peace. Verse three implores us "as much as is within you live at peace with one another."

In recent weeks that admonition has been tested within me. As I work alongside people I love and value it is a sometimes frightening discovery to find out we don't always agree. Usually it is methodological issues but they present an opportunity for divsiveness unless these scriptural verses are kept in focus.

I am grateful that the instruction of the Word when applied actually works. If we come to disagreement and we operate in n attitude of gentleness and love, our chances of reaching agreement are incredibly enhanced.

I experienced that this week and it has reaffirmed my confidence in the process of living the Word...and experiencing peace.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

rested and recharged

I have been back in the office for a day and a half tomorrow and I have already forgotten what it was like to be at Lake Tahoe, surrounded by towering pine trees and right across the street from the lake with all of its dazzling blue. It is back to the real world.

Surrounded now by towering piles of work on my desk and dazzling challenges from all directions...

But I like my world. It is the world to which God has called me. I live in a wonderful quiet rural town, in a beasutiful home nestled on the top of a hill overlooking the city of Sutter Creek. I have a wonderful job at a terrific church where the people I serve treat me better than I deserve. I am married to a beautiful woman, and have a "quiver full" of children and grandchildren. My health is good and I have the joy of investing my life in ministry.

It doesn't get any better than that.

Some days I wonder.

But today, after what will be a 14 hour work day (which included sweeping out after sheet rockers at our new church building site), I feel exhilarated by the prospects of what God is going to do in the days ahead.

When I get tired, I'll find another lake--or, I will simply remember the faithfulness of God--who always dazzles me when I stop to consider Him!