Thursday, December 26, 2013


The toys have been barely broken in or perhaps even broken. The ties and sweaters have been returned. Much thought has been given to the birth of Jesus and diets....not necessarily in that order. The once new year has now become the old year. While we ponder where 2012 went, there goes 2013. Rest assured, 2014 will go just as fast or faster. It seems the older I get the faster time goes. Soon it will be Spring and then we'll be complaining about the hot weather. Fall will return with its "sweater weather" and the cycle begins again.

So what will this year bring? Nobody really knows. There are things that are fairly certain, like birthdays and anniversaries. You've maybe even scheduled a vacation or reunion. But you know as well as I do, the only consistent thing about life is its inconsistency. James calls our life a mist that's here and then gone. I understand that more than ever right now. In my youth there was an infallibility....or so it seemed. Now there is a new vulnerability. So it would seem that we would be a year wiser than last year, and our thoughts would be to trust God more than ever. In this new year, let us hold to His unchanging hand.

Jesus tells us not to worry about tomorrow. Why? Because, He says, tomorrow will take care of itself, i.e. God has everything under control. Paul says to forget those things that are behind and stretch toward to high calling for which God has called us. I'm excited about 2014. Are there any mission trips planned? Any VBS's? Of course, there are birthdays and other special days. But what do you have planned? You know what? It really doesn't matter what I have planned. What matters is what God has in store for us. And I can't wait to see what God has in ready for us to do.

Monday, December 16, 2013


We spend so much time hurrying to this point of the year. Halloween's decorations are mixed in with the Christmas trees. Thanksgiving is nearly forgotten. We must get to Black Friday. In fact, it's so important, they've now developed Dirty Thursday. Let's just skip the Thanksgiving stuff, they say, and move directly to Christmas. Do not pass Go, go directly to Saint Nick's day.

Then when it does come and the presents which were once beautifully wrapped and are now ripped open the returns have been made and it's on to Valentine's Day, we miss the full importance of the celebration. It's my opinion that we've forgotten what to celebrate. We know how to celebrate, we just don't know what to celebrate.

"I think you're making too much of this because we know that Jesus wasn't born on December 25th. Look it up. Shepherds are not in their fields in the winter!" And so it goes. In our drive to be completely right, we've lost site of what really happened on that day when Jesus truly was born. So it's important that we slow down a little bit (slow down a LOT of bit) and ruminate about the significance of the event. "God with us" He was called....Immanuel. "The Word became flesh and dwelled among us." Yes, I still believe His death, burial, and resurrection are the foremost things that we should remember, but He had to get here somehow. And God chose that somehow to be in the humblest setting possible. Not in a pristine castle, not in a sterile hospital, but in a barn with the aroma of manure and the bleating of sheep. The scent of hay and the drafty walls.

He didn't come to the elite. He came to the common. He didn't come so we could hustle through the holidays. He came so we would have peace. Prince of Peace He was called. What we do during this season of the year is anything but peace. So if you do anything this time of the year, take some time to enjoy the peace that comes with knowing that our Father sent His Son, His One and Only Son so that we could have peace.

Prince of Peace! control my will,
Bid this struggling heart be still'
Bid my fears and doubtings cease--
Hush my spirit into peace.

Savior at Thy feet I fall;
Thou my Life, my God, my All;
Let Thy happy servant be
One for evermore with Thee.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013


I sat in a living room where I've sat many times for many years. In so many ways, it looks just as it did when I first started going over to the house when I was 16 years old. As a young boy (and I was a young boy) I was down the food chain quite a ways. I didn't sit at the head of the table. That was my father-in-law's chair. I was fortunate to even sit at the adult table. And land's know, I wasn't the one to pray for the meal. That was all right. I wasn't the one with the wisdom nor the age nor the character. I was young.

Over the years, my status (for lack of a better word) improved. After all, I had now married into the family. I still sat in the same living room. The meals were still phenomenal. The fellowship was even better. But the roles didn't change much. Family prayer was still lead by the patriarch or someone else older than me.

But things change. People die. Others get sick. And as I sat in the living room this year, my thoughts were on those who had been before me. I sat at the head of the table. I lead the family prayer. To tell you the truth, it was humbling. I found myself wanting those who had gone before back. I wasn't supposed to be in this position. I'm not the patriarch. Not even close. It's just my privilege to be a part of a family who believe that God is in control, that He is the true leader of the household, and that He is to be worshiped and adored.

So now I think of what I'm passing on. What example am I leaving for my children and their spouses? What will I leave to my grandson and unnamed, yet to be born granddaughter? I, too, must pass the torch on. Just what am I'm leaving to them?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


Papa! I almost missed it. I had just taught class and was bustling down the hall going to my office to drop off my notes and to pick the sermon notes. I took another step or two and then realized the call had been for me. Papa! Papa! This time I stopped dead in my tracks. From around the corner came my grandson with a huge smile on his face. Our eyes met and he started jumping up and down. Papa! Papa! Papa! I reached down and picked him up. He looked at a person standing next to me and said, "This is my Papa." My heart was bursting with pride. What he said next didn't surprise me. After he had said, "This is my Papa," he looked at me and said, "Where's your Ipad?"

This short encounter made me think of several things. The first was my sheer joy at hearing my name being called. I couldn't help but think of how God feels when one of His own call His name and with joy are delighted to be in His presence. If I, as a earthly grandfather, feel the joy from such a simple act, think of how God must feel when He hears a child of His truly excited to call his name. How often do we with joy call out to God. The Psalmist said, "I love the Lord, for he heard my voice." (Psalm 116:1)

But the next statement, "Where's your Ipad," is not atypical of my grandson, nor is it atypical of us. I gladly share my technology with my grandson when it's possible (he's not even three years old yet!), but there is a sense in me that says he only loves me for my Ipad. I know that's not true. (I think!) How often, though, do we shout with joy to the Father only in the next breath to ask for something? I know, Jesus told us that we didn't have because we don't ask. But shouldn't we just bask in His goodness and His glory before we start asking for what we want?

You know what, though? I still love to hear my grandson (or my own children or even my wife) call my name. And I think God does, too. Perhaps we should call on Him more often! Maybe we should enjoy His presence all the time...even when there is nothing to ask for.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


This really is my favorite holiday time of the year. It's not my favorite time of the year because it's too cold. But the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays are my favorites.

I find it interesting to see the thanksgiving messages that crop up on social media during the month. Their sincerity is obvious and I do not judge them at all for the messages. In fact, I think it's good for us to have a special reminder to be grateful. Gratitude should and must be a Christian trait.

Jesus healed ten lepers one day. He didn't have to, but that was just the way He was. They stood back and warned Him of their leprosy. But Jesus touched the untouchables. He told them to show themselves to the priest. The Scripture says that as they went away they were praising God in a loud voice. You can imagine that can't you? Praising God, after all, is good. Only one of them, however, came and thanked Jesus. Interestingly enough, he was a Samaritan, a half-breed. Praising God--good. Thanking God--better.

Let us remember to ever thankful. Jesus calls us to never be in a place where we can't thank Him, even in the most dire of circumstances. I read a story of Corrie Ten Boom in the German concentration camps of World War II. Their beds were infested with lice making it uncomfortable to live, let alone to sleep. Because of the lice, the German soldiers did not do the horrible things to the women that are often associated with war. Corrie Ten Boom talks about their gratitude for the lice. Be thankful for everything....even if it's lice.

Enjoy the season. Don't let the gratitude end with the Thanksgiving meal. Be thankful every day!

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Just Stay

This is one of those posts that may create some criticism, but that's fine. I'll take it. It seems there have been a number of posts about how the church needs to change to meet the needs of the post modern people who are coming to the religious world (terrible term, but it's the best I can do at this point) or those who have already belonged to a church, but have moved on. I agree, there are many changes that need to occur. We have looked at our vision on a number of issues and many times have just accepted the positions that our forefathers and mothers have taught. So the answer, at least in most of the articles I have read, has been to leave. Many either quit the church completely or go to another.

May I say this. Quitting changes nothing, nor does going to another church. You are more likely to exact change if you, in a humble and gentle spirit, continue to express your views from a biblical perspective and keep loving. Now, before you criticize, I have been there. I have left a church because things weren't going the way I thought they should. Guess what? That church is still bogged down in the same issues they always have been. Leaving changed nothing. Obviously, I don't live there any longer, but many of my friends still do. They, too, have left to attend other places.

What I find happening in most cases is once you go somewhere else, you find the aren't perfect either. In such cases, and I've seen this happen, people jump from church to church to church. In my humble opinion, they should have just stayed where they were. I know this sounds morose, but people die, and so do attitudes. The change that we want to see does not come over night. It is a process. And in some cases, it's a lifetime.

I understand that there may be a time to go. My encouragement to you would be to think long and hard. Think long term and not short term. Think of the good you can do. And if it is, truly is hopeless, then go. Our habit has been to leave at the drop of a hat. That's not good either.

My advice? Keep plugging. Keeping being what God intended you to be. Besides, the way you live in the world is more important. When we come together as a group, it is to encourage and to praise God. What we do the rest of the week (and when we are worshiping with our brothers and sisters for that matter) is to be Jesus to everyone we meet. Okay, blast away. I've been where you are. I love you and hope the best for you. Keep being what the Lord has intended you to be. JW

Monday, October 28, 2013

It Just Doesn't Make Sense

There was no other person standing in line at Starbucks. The barista kindly took my order and then she asked what my name was for the cup. Now I was the only drink being made at the time. Was there a concern that it would get confused with.....well, no one? I know they're taught to ask for names in order to become more personal with their customers. Sometimes, however, things don't make sense. Kind of like when I go to the gym to exercise, I tend to try to find the parking place that's closest to the door so I won't have to walk as far. It just doesn't make sense.

But there are a lot of things in the Bible that don't make sense. Why did God love me so much that He would send His only Son to die for me? Why would God give me grace and mercy? Why does God offer me the best of this life (not necessarily money and things, but the best of the things that really matter)? That doesn't make sense either. So maybe it's best for me just to bask in God's goodness and to accept His gifts.

I have a shepherd who occasionally compliments something I have done or a sermon I've preached and I try to slough it off and push the praise to something else. He looks at me with a little smile on his face and says, "Just say, 'thank you.'" Maybe that's what we should do. When God showers us with the blessings that He does on a daily, really moment to moment, basis, I should learn to just say, "thank you."

I hope you have a wonderful day. JW

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

A Life Well Lived

I had the privilege of attending the funeral yesterday of a man who had lived his life the way it should be lived. He had 12 naturally born children all of which are faithful to God. As a children's home director he was father to many others who came under his direction. As I listened to the testimonials from his children, I couldn't help but think he got it. One of his sons had a power point slide that said, "No tombstone, no epitaph, no cemetery." He didn't need a tombstone or an epitaph. His family spoke enough about his life by the life they live today. He didn't need a cemetery because he doesn't need his body anymore. He's enjoying the reward that he had so long prepared for.
A thought came to me as I pondered this man's life. I thought, "I agree with everything he stood for. I didn't agree with everything he said." You see, this gentleman had principles. I didn't always see eye to eye in the way he pursued his principles. But I am with him in all his principles. I really think his life could have been summed up in these words. "Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man." Ecclesiastes 12:13 The fact that we may have had some disagreements doesn't mean we had words or fights or anything else. Truthfully, I didn't really know him that well. But I knew his children. We don't have to agree on everything to admire and honor and appreciate and respect someone who knew what he wanted in life for himself and for his children.
I loved hearing the stories. It was wonderful to reconnect with some of his children and grandchildren. It was truly a celebration of life. I couldn't help but think, that's how I want to be remembered. Somebody said to this gentlemen's surviving wife, (I'm paraphrasing) "I'm so sorry for your loss." She said, "I'm not lost. I'm going to go where he is soon. He's waiting to help me get there." So here's to a life well lived. God bless men like this. It's my prayer that we can all live such a life that is so God-honoring.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013


My two year and eight months grandson is so funny. He makes me smile in so many ways. Sometimes it's just the pure joy of hearing "Papa!" come from his lips. Other times, it's his observations in the world. One of the things I've noticed is his call when a situation comes up that he doesn't know how to deal with it. He gets stuck in his high chair and he calls, "Help!" Trying to find his way out of a program on my Ipad, he says, "Help!" Trying to crawl out of my easy chair while he has his hands full, "Help!" What makes it funnier is it sounds like he's from the south. Help, a monosyllabic word becomes "Hel-yup!" I guess that's his Arkansas born Granna's DNA coursing through his veins.
But when he calls for help, someone is usually there to grant him assistance. When he calls, an adult will usually come to his aid. That's why he calls. He knows someone is there to help him. What a concept! Calling for help and help comes.
God has promised us the same thing.

The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. Psalm 145:18

Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Isaiah 55:6

Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear. Isaiah 65:24

So I think my grandson has hit on something. Call for help. We need help in our world. We humans have made such a mess of things. I'm sometimes embarrassed to watch the news and see what's being reported. It makes sense to me that we as God's children should be calling for help. Don't believe me? Let me give you some examples.

In Kentucky, school officials are saying that athletes can't shake hands after ball games because it causes fights. Help!

Our own government has been shut down for over a week and many are without the needed sustenance for their lives. Help!

A man was recently tracked down and beaten by several motorcycle robbers. All this in front of his wife and child. Help!

God's ways are continually mocked and despised all over our country, all over the world. Help!

It's so important to us that we remember that God is here and willing and ready to help us. All we need to do is to call on His name. I think it would be appropriate to end this little blog with Psalm 121.

I lift up my eyes to the hills-
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip--
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord watches over you--
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all harm--
he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.


Tuesday, October 01, 2013


Several years ago I preached a series of sermons on a topic that is sometimes controversial. Several days after the sermon, I received a phone call from someone who asked this question. "Do you really believe that?" Interesting question for a preacher isn't it? I assured this person that I did believe what I preached and we had a good conversation about the topic.

However, this morning on my drive to work I was thinking about the incarnation of Jesus and the thought went through my mind, "What if all of that didn't happen? Am I doing what I do in vain?" Scary thought for a preacher. Yet, I believe that God leaves room in His plan for questions and occasional doubt. Doubt causes us to seek. It demands we ask questions. It guides us many times to the answers we already know are true. Or, in some cases, perhaps to rediscover old truths that have long been forgotten or incorrectly believed.

I believe the characters in the Bible had doubts. Don't you think Abraham wondered what kind of God would ask for him to sacrifice his precious son? Do you think Noah ever questioned the wisdom of building a boat when first of all, it had not rained before and second, it was a long way from the water? I think we can see the doubt in David's psalms as he questions where God is. How about Joseph as he's mistreated by his brothers and wrongfully accused of sin? The list goes on and on. I haven't even mentioned Jeremiah, Isaiah, the apostles, Paul, It's all right to have doubts. What we do with them is the rub. Paul's conclusion?

"Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day." II Timothy 1:12

So do I really believe what I preach? Let me first begin by saying that God has called us to be faithful. Not sinless, not perfect, not self-righteous, not successful, but faithful. That includes all the foibles and shortcomings that I have. Secondly, I'll let the words to this song that was going through my mind on this same drive to work I told you about earlier speak for me this today.

We saw Thee not when lifted high,
Amid that wild and savage crew;
Nor heard we that imploring cry,
"Forgive they know not what they do!"
But we believe the deed was done,
That shook the earth and veiled the sun;
But we believe the deed was done,
That shook the earth and veiled the sun.

Have a great and blessed day! JW

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

What's More Important?

I receive a monthly bulletin/commentary from a minister in another state. It is not part of my reading material because I enjoy reading it. I read it because it is so sad. He spends much of his time bashing others in the church who are "change agents" (his words) and bemoaning the fact that they are reprobates, heretics, and any other nasty thing he can call them. Personally, it's sad to me that someone has some much hatred and vitriol in his heart. Second, we constantly harp on each church being autonomous, yet he insists on policing everyone else's church. Thirdly, I never hear any mention of his church; the church where he ministers. Could it be that he's so uptight about everyone else that he's neglecting his own flock? I hope he finds peace and grace and mercy.

This gentleman causes me to wonder about the church and her proponents. Do those who demand strict compliance love God more than those who are being labeled as these change agents? I think a good question to ask is, "Would Jesus be considered a change agent?" He said that "not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen" would disappear from the law until they had all been fulfilled. Yet, Jesus was constantly bombarded because He was changing things. He wasn't following the law.

This blog today is not intended to be a formal, long treatise on this subject. Just an observation or two from a flawed minister. The call of the New Testament has always been to be like Jesus, not to adhere to rules. I hear you now. "Oh, so you say we shouldn't obey the Scriptures." No, I didn't say that. We follow what Scripture says because we're trying to be more like Jesus. We don't adhere to the law because of an obligation and without heart. We love Jesus so we'll follow what He says...not obey the rules because He demands that we do. It's the difference between motivated by love and motivated by will or have to or duty. To me, that's a profound difference. Don't misunderstand me. I think duty is a wonderful motivation in some cases. But Jesus didn't say the most important commandment was to follow the Scriptures. He said the most important command was to love God with everything you have. Big difference.

So now that I've roiled the pot, I call on us to love God more. I want us to be more like Jesus. It's my prayer that we let His Holy Spirit guide us in everything we do. And we do it because we love him...period.

I hope your day is a good one. JW

Monday, September 16, 2013


Some of you may remember when it was time for church services to start and people were still talking, we would often sing this song to quiet things down.

The Lord is in His holy temple,
Let all the earth keep silence before Him.
Keep silence, keep silence,
Keep silence before Him.

Beautiful song. Bad theology. Habakkuk is complaining to God that He just isn't listening to him. Why, if he (Habakkuk) were in charge, things would be a lot different. Habakkuk just thinks God is allowing injustice to go one and that He (God) is doing nothing about it. God doesn't come out and really answer Habakkuk's question. But basically, He says, "I am God and you are not. Maybe if you were to just be quiet for a moment, maybe, just maybe, you might just get a glimpse of who I am." (MOV--My Own Version) Hence, we have Habakkuk 2:20--But the Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him.

It's similar to Psalm 46:10 where David writes, "Be still, and know that I am God..." So often our busyness makes us so oblivious to God's presence that we so often overlook Him. God tells us two things. One, He is God and we are His creation. Who are we to tell God what to do? Two, as we often have to tell a little child who is constantly moving around, "Be still!" For in our stillness, we may finally catch a glimpse of His glory.

My encouragement to you....stop and hear God. He wants a relationship with you. He wants you to hear His voice. He wants to communicate. But we cannot hear Him when our volume is turned all the way up and our lives are on the fast track. Be still. Keep silent. He wants you to hear Him.

I hope you have a good day! JW

Monday, September 09, 2013

Starbucks and Grace

I am not a coffee drinker. But that doesn't stop me from being a regular customer at Starbucks. Nearly every morning I stop in and order my venti no-water chai. Rain or shine, snow or sleet, there is nothing that gets my blood flowing quicker than a sip of this wonderful drink.

Last week I went to one of my favorite (I have several favorite Starbucks stores.....don't judge me) Starbucks. Instead of going inside which I normally do, I went through the drive-thru. There was quite a line of cars so it took a little while in order for me to make my way to the window to receive my wonderful drink to get my day started right. I was greeted in the normally friendly way and the young girl handed me my drink. Then she asked an interesting question. "Would you like a free breakfast sandwich? We made it for the lady in front of you and she didn't want it. You can have it if you like." "Sure!" I replied. My first thought was one of great gratitude. This will be nice. Not only do I get my wonderful drink, but I'll get a free sandwich out of this. That makes my day! What a wonderfully, serendipitous moment! Then another ominous thought entered my mind. This one was not as grateful. In fact, it wasn't grateful at all. "I've spent enough money on my chai here every day. I deserve getting this free sandwich. After all, I am probably one of their best customers."

All right, here's the theology lesson. And I realize that this metaphor doesn't carry over in everything, but hang in there with me. Isn't this a lot like grace? We respond to God's grace in several ways. My experience at Starbucks introduced me to two of those reactions. When God showers me with grace, I can respond thankfully. His grace is given to me with no strings attached and my response can and should be one of thanks. One of the members at my church will often give me a compliment after a sermon. I try to be humble and reflect this compliment. Then he says to me, "Just say, 'Thank you.'" Perhaps other than a dedicated life filled with love and devotion, our best response to God's grace should be a simple, but overflowing feeling of gratitude.

On the other hand, our response to God's grace could be like my second reaction to the free sandwich. "Well, I've served God when others didn't. I am valuable to God so I deserve this grace I am receiving. I believe the Greek word for that is "baloney." Although it sounds ridiculous, often that's my reaction. The sense of privilege and right come through in this attitude. Paul makes it plain that we are in no way deserving of the grace God gives us. "But because of his great love for us, God who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions--it is by grace you have been saved." Then in the same passage, he says it again. "For it is by brace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast." (Ephesians 2:4-5, 8-9).

So perhaps my advice to anyone who hears the call of grace and doesn't know exactly what to say. May I offer a suggestion? Just say "thank you." And don't be surprised the lessons you can learn as you go about your life. Sometimes, those lessons can come even from a little visit to Starbucks. I hope your day is a good one. JW

Tuesday, September 03, 2013


It was a beautiful, cool evening. One of those Nebraska evenings that come in the last part of August (although this year, we had several really hot nights!). But this evening was cool with a gentle breeze blowing in. A perfect night for a baseball game. My family went to watch our minor league team play one of their last series. Afterwards, there was promised a fireworks display. There's nothing like a good fireworks show to get my blood stirring. Those loud booms and the beautiful, colorful streamers of light that light up the evening sky, the report from the exploding fireworks, all of these are things I really like. The louder, the better. The crowd would ooh and ahh as each of the explosions went off. I have to admit I was taken back by the beauty of the night sky.

We were sitting in the perfect position to watch these detonations of light and sound. Seated right behind home plate looking up into the sky in right/center field, we were able to see everything as it careened in the dark night heavens. But I noticed something. There was something that caught my eye. It was sneaking over the horizon just to the right of the display of light that was exploding overhead. It was one of those full moons that you see in the summer. In fact, I think it was what is called a blue moon. The moon wasn't blue, but a blue moon occurs when their are two full moons in one month (at least that's what they said on the weather report). Hence the saying, "Once in a blue moon." My eyes were drawn away from the fireworks and drawn to this wonderful display of God's creation. It was almost as if God was saying to the fireworks people, "Is that all you got?" I was humbled and somewhat ashamed to think that I was impressed with a little firework show when God reminded me that His power and might are far, far greater than anything humans can produce. I smiled and pointed out the moon to my family. And I pondered the message God sent me that night.

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Psalm 119:1

O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! Psalm 8:1

How foolish of me to be impressed with the greatness and power of humankind when in plain sight every day is God's power shown in glorious ways. I would be better served to open my eyes more widely to see the majesty of the true King and to enjoy the works of His hands.

I hope your day is a good one. JW

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

We Need More Love

It's been a long time since I wrote a blog. I've decided it's time to fire it back up. My plans are not to write something everyday. That was probably my problem the last time I started blogging. It was too much pressure to come up with something all the time. Hence, I have decided to try to blog weekly. Not sure which day of the week it will come, but I'll try to be more consistent in the future. I grew up in a pretty legalistic church. We were told that we couldn't miss any services (that included Sunday morning, Sunday night, AND Wednesday nights) or we were sinning. See Hebrews 10:25. See, I told you we had a legalistic church. We had a book, chapter, and verse for everything. I don't know what it was that got me out of my rule-driven shell, and truth be told, I'm not completely out of it. But I would like to think I deal more in grace, especially more than I used to. The word we heard was the word "commitment." We were to be more committed. Commitment is what Jesus had. Commitment is what would drive us (drive is not too strong a word) in this world of following the rules. We heard "duty" often and we worked for our salvation. However, when Jesus was confronted with a lawyer asking what was the greatest command, Jesus did not reply "Be committed." Instead, he said we were to love God with everything we have. And he threw in a second one for good measure, "Love your neighbor as yourself. You see, duty drives us to more doing and less loving. The Pharisees did things right, but it was duty driven. Look where it got them. I'm convinced that we don't need more commitment. We need more love. Because love drives us to commitment. I used to preach commitment to people getting married. Don't misunderstand me, it's extremely important to be committed in a marriage relationship or any relationship for that matter. But forced commitment leads to anger and "have to" rather than "want to." It sounds so glib to say we need more love, but it's true. Until we understand what that looks like, we'll have a hard time understand what true commitment is. It's not intended to be a burden. Instead, love makes it light. After all, isn't that what Jesus said? Didn't He say His burden was light? Love truly is what makes the world go 'round. And we need more of it. In our churches, in our relationships, in our marriages, in our homes, everywhere. I hope your day is a blessed one. JW