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?