Verizon, Abraham Lincoln and Our ThanksGIVING

“Happy Thanksgetting from Verizon.”

Can you think of a more American sentiment than that?  I heard that on the radio earlier today—the day before Thanksgiving.  I was struck this week by how we are bombarded each holiday season with the idea that we shouldn’t forget to buy more stuff for OURSELVES.  Yes, we should buy others gifts for Christmas, but we mustn’t neglect to pamper ourselves either!  We deserve it.

So we are told.

Did you grow up buying gifts for yourself at Christmas?  I sure did not.  Christmas was about receiving gifts from others and giving gifts to others.  The thought never crossed my mind that I should make sure that I satisfy some of my own cravings in the process.  It would have been quite odd to have my parents or siblings show us what they bought for themselves.  But that practice is becoming more and more the norm in our materialistic society.  Our wants become our needs and we take advantage of every opportunity to accumulate them.

We are the fool that builds the bigger barn rather than to choose to bless others out of our abundance.

Tomorrow we are encouraged to be thankful to God.  This day was set aside each year that we might pause and thank God for His many, many gifts.  Although Thanksgiving was practiced in the States prior to 1863, that was the year President Abraham Lincoln issued the official proclamation.  As a nation, we were in the middle of a Civil War to which there was no end in sight.  Our nation was weary.  Our soil was bloody.  Yet, Lincoln proclaimed:

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God…I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union.

Don’t you love the President’s understanding of the fallen nature of mankind – “we are prone to forget the source from which they come.”  Indeed we are.  Thus, Abraham Lincoln encouraged us to set apart a day for “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.”  His hope was that all Americans would observe a day of giving thanks and praising God for His grace and mercy.

Thanksgiving is to be much more than family, food and football.

Thanksgiving should be a worship service, a day of glorying in God more than the gifts God gives.

Did you also notice that Thanksgiving was to be both God-centered and others-focused?  Lincoln asked the nation to pray for those suffering the effects of the war (widows, orphans, mourners, sufferers).  What a great reminder for those of us being lured to consider that Black Friday’s deals trump Thanksgiving’s intent.  Give thanks.  Praise.  Pray for the suffering.

What’s your plan tomorrow?

God gives us gifts to enjoy.  Family, friends, food, football and movies are blessings from the hand of an Almighty God and beneficent Father.*  Let’s not forget the Source from which they come this year.  Be sure you and those at your table verbalize your gratitude.  Spend some time in praise as well.  Worship God for Who He is, what He has done, is doing and will do for His great glory and your great good.  Finally, take a moment to pray for those in our country and around the world who are experiencing very different circumstances from your own.  You will most likely have a feast spread before you.  But many will suffer the pains of starvation.  You will have the opportunity to do whatever you desire to do.  But many are imprisoned unjustly, some for the faith you have the freedom to practice.  Many of you will enjoy being in the presence of those who love you on this holiday.  But many will find themselves deeply saddened due to a variety of reasons, including the loss of a parent or spouse or the realization that another year of unplanned singleness is coming to a close.  Commend them to “His tender care.”  Ask the Lord to draw them to His side.

Happy Thanksgiving (not “Thanksgetting”)!

For the full text of Lincoln’s proclamation, see:

*Please note that the Scripture is clear that while God is indeed the Creator of all mankind, He is not the Father of everyone.  We experience the reality of God as our Father through adoption.  Have you been adopted?

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Casual Christianity

When I taught Sunday School this past Sunday, I shared the story of the first time I preached a sermon.  It was Spring of 1991.  The occasion was a chapel service at Bryan College.  I don’t remember the text.  What I do recall, however, is my passion for my subject and a particular song I played during my conclusion.  Let me share the words of the song.

It’s more than a wish, more than a daydream
More than just a passing whim
Yes, I’ve said this all before
A thousand times or more
I don’t wanna waste my life in chains of sin


I don’t wanna be, I don’t wanna be a casual Christian
I don’t wanna live, I don’t wanna live a lukewarm life
Because I wanna light up the night
With an everlasting light
I don’t wanna live the casual Christian life

This life is filled with strong distractions
One pulls from the left one from the right
I’ve already made up my mind
Gonna leave this world behind
Gonna live my life a living sacrifice.

This song, “Casual Christian”, was performed by the Christian contemporary duo Degarmo and Key.  From the moment I heard it, I was struck by how consistent the lyrics were with the concept of discipleship mentioned by Jesus and the writers of the New Testament.  I was a young believer at the time, zealous for Christ and the things of Christ.  I was also disturbed by so many of my fellow students who seemed to have only a passing interest in the Lord.  My goal had been clear:  To motivate my fellow students to seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness (Mt. 6:33).  To this day, I doubt that message made any lasting difference to those in attendance. (How many sermons actually do?)

Check that.  I think it made a difference in the life of the preacher.

This past Sunday I taught Philippians 3:1-17.  Paul’s admission that he had not yet arrived spiritually (3:12) has always stood out to me.  His desire to press on (3:12, 14) also encouraged me.  As a new Christian, I was instructed* that I was commanded to make progress in my faith.  One example of this was another first in my life.  The first time I taught the Bible was at a Bible study in Misawa, Japan.  Cadence International missionaries Ray and Char Hauser hosted a singles’ Bible study on Wednesday nights.  One fall they decided that we would study 2 Peter 1:2-11.  Each of the singles was assigned one of the character traits listed by the Apostle Peter.  I was asked to teach on the subject of brotherly kindness (2 Pet. 1:7).  I should have been required to study self-control (1:6)!  While I may not recall what I said nor how it went (I was scared and felt very ill-equipped), I do remember that I enjoyed studying God’s Word.

I still do.

My 31st spiritual birthday is rapidly approaching.  I’ve matured a bit since that first Bible study in the late 1980’s and that first sermon in the early 1990’s.  Though often half-heartedly, I have attempted to “forget what is behind and strain forward to what lies ahead” (Phil. 3:13).  With Divine assistance, I have tried to be diligent to make certain about God’s calling and choosing me (2 Pet. 1:10).

What was true of me almost twenty-five years ago remains true of me today.

I don’t wanna be, I don’t wanna be a casual Christian
I don’t wanna live, I don’t wanna live a lukewarm life

What about you?

Let’s not settle for the status quo!  This axiom is true:  If you are not moving forward, you are moving backwards.  If we are not increasing in godliness (2 Pet. 1:8), we will become useless and unfruitful in our knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Pet. 1:8).  Without a doubt, I do not want to be described as either blind nor someone who has forgotten that he is forgiven (2 Pet. 1:9).  If you are a believer, you don’t want to have this said of you as well.

Press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Phil. 3:14)!

Casual Christianity is not for us!

*How grateful I am for Ray and Char Hauser, the Protestant chaplains in the Air Force, the brothers and sisters in Christ in Japan and during my college years who spoke truth into my life.

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Engagement–Exactly my plan!

I wonder what you thought when you read that title.  Did something come to your mind or did a sarcastic comment pass from your lips regarding the fact that your parents did everything wrong.  Truth be told, none of our parents did it perfectly.  Some may have come close while others missed the mark by miles.

This is one of the subjects I cover in a class I teach for Belhaven University.  The course is entitled Kingdom Life.  And Things My Parents Did Right is the content of a short paper I require the students to write.  Most of my students easily come up with a list of reasons for which they praise their parents.  Some struggle to do so.  Occasionally one of them has to dig deep into their memory banks to find positive recollections.

What about you?

Thoughts like these surface to the forefront of my mind on a regular basis.  Both the positive and the negative aspects of my parents parenting serve as fuel for me in my important role as Daddy to our five children.  My vocation (calling from God) of parent is a very high priority in my life.  It easily trumps my vocation as worker, though I am called to work hard as well.

I write these comments at the conclusion of a great vacation to Gulf Shores, Alabama.  We spent five nights in a condo on the beach and had a great time.  The last time we went Jodi was pregnant with Cadence.  This trip Cadence experienced the sand and the surf for the first time.  She loved it!  We all enjoyed watching her play in the ocean!  We also enjoyed viewing the morning sunrises over the Gulf and walking on the beach.  In fact, we pretty much enjoyed everything except the long drive.  I went out of my way to make it a fun week.

I did a lot of things my Dad never did.

My Dad did several things right.  I could write about his work ethic and his ability to relate with all types of people.  I could talk about his intelligence or his sense of humor.  He could’ve done a lot worse (I believe he struggled more with my elder siblings).  But he could’ve done a lot better.  While he was present much of the time, he was not engaged.  I could list several examples.  Here’s one.

To the best of my memory, my Dad did not come to any of my little league baseball games.  Correction:  I know he came to one.  Admittedly, I was nothing to watch.  I was not an athlete.  When the coach had to play me, I was stuck in right field.  He probably grimaced each time I closed my eyes and wildly swung my bat at balls outside the strike zone.  I am not using hyperbole when I state I was 0 for my career at the plate (for you non-sports fans, that means I was hitless).  They couldn’t count on me to get on base or advance a runner unless I was hit by the ball.  My hands and eyes were not coordinated!  I was a failure every night.

Every night save one.

The final night of my baseball career.

Guess who came to my game?

My Dad’s presence was not lost on me.  I knew he was watching as I stood in the batter’s box for the first time.  You won’t believe what happened next!  I hit a ground ball to third and outran the throw to first!  Safe!  Single!  My second at bat was identical.  So was my third.  And my fourth.  I couldn’t buy a hit for years prior, but the night my Dad showed up I had four infield singles!  4 for 4!  Who cares about my being 0-396!  My Dad saw me make contact with the ball four times and run faster than the ball could fly.

Engaged fathers can make a massive difference!

My children will NOT have a difficult time remembering the times I was engaged due to the level of my engagement.  Do I wish my  Dad would have engaged more?  Absolutely.  However, there isn’t a single thing I can do about that.  What I can do, though, is remain committed to regular participation in their lives.  And that’s exactly my plan.  Our beach vacation was a blast.  We hope to do it again.  We are also hoping to visit our nation’s capital and Disney.  I look forward to making those memories together.  Yet between Gulf Shores and our next vacation destination is tomorrow.

And tomorrow matters.

Engaged parents can make a massive difference tomorrow. 

And that’s exactly my plan.

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A beach vacation observation: God’s grand creation

I write this from a condo overlooking the beautiful Gulf of Mexico in Gulf Shores, AL.  This morning I saw another gorgeous sunrise.  As you can imagine, the sunsets are worth beholding as well.  And then there’s the beach.  The endless horizon.  The rich blue water.  The waves lapping the shore.  The sight.  The sound.  The smell.  The beach is an amazing place.

But something trumps the beach.

General revelation is an incredible gift from our Creator, Jesus Christ.  He both created and sustains His universe for His glory and our enjoyment (Col. 1:16, 1:17).  How thankful we are for all that we get to experience and observe on the earth below and the heavens above!  Yet another gift from the Lord is even better–Special revelation.  While there is much to learn about God from creation, invaluable information crucial for our eternal survival is found in the Word of God.  It is only through God’s Word that we learn how we can be reconciled to the omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent Creator.

One day this week I was sitting on our balcony enjoying the view while also reading the Bible.  My daughter, Cascade, was with me.  I was talking with her about a passage I will be teaching this coming Sunday.  As we conversed, I was reminded again of a thought that I had had earlier in the week.

People are God’s grand creation.

As Cascade and I talked about both general and special revelation, I was struck by the fact that she possesses something both creation and God’s Word lack–the very image of God.

And that separates my precious “babies” from sunsets and Scripture.

Celena (15), TJ (12), Dayton (10), Cascade (7) and Cadence (1.5 mos.) all possess the imago Dei.  Unlike the graceful dolphins we watched swim and jump in the ocean this week, each of my children were made by God like God.  No, they’re not deity.  God alone is God.  But my kids reflect the Almighty.  They have His communicable attributes like creativity and logic and an appreciation for that of significant value.  That’s why they so look forward to our time away from all of our day-to-day activities and why they enjoyed the sunrise over the waves this morning or why they hold the Scripture in such a high regard.

These are some truly special creatures!

Meditating upon this truth this week has only served to enhance my pleasure.  I have indeed enjoyed my interaction with general and special revelation.  However, my time with my family has been awesome.  As our time at the beach now comes to a close, I find myself very thankful for all of God’s gifts!

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Counting on God, Not me!

“You can count on me!”

Have you ever said that?  It’s probably rather presumptious to state since we have no idea what the future holds.  However, God can make such bold statements all day long.  He knows the future.  In fact, He’s already there!  That truth was boldly proclaimed last Sunday at the Homecoming Chapel at Bryan College.  My dear friend of almost thirty years, Christopher Burcham, reminded all of us in attendance that God is sovereign in our past, present and future.  He labored to present a very big view of God, a trait characteristic of his teaching ministry.  Though physically small in stature, my friend possesses a big view of a BIG God—a God who can be counted upon.

Yesterday morning I read Psalm 33. Here are verse 18 & 19:

“Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon those who fear him, upon those who count on his mercy, To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive through famine.”

I love that!  God’s eye is on me as I fear Him (respect, revere) and as I “count on His mercy.”  Here’s how The Message renders these two verses:

“Watch this: God’s eye is on those who respect him, the ones who are looking for his love. He’s ready to come to their rescue in bad times; in lean times he keeps body and soul together.”

Question:  Are you looking for anything from God?  Are you counting on Him for anything?  I sure am!  I’m expecting His mercies to be new tomorrow morning!  I am looking forward to the grace He will continue to bestow upon me!  I am trusting that He will remain faithful to His nature and fulfill all the promises He chose to make!

John Calvin remarked the following:

The Psalmist characterises believers by two marks, which comprehend the whole perfection of our life. The first is, that we reverently serve the Lord; and the second, that we depend upon his grace. Hypocrites may loudly boast of their faith, but they have never tasted even a little of the divine goodness, so as to be induced to look to him for what they need. On the contrary, when the faithful give themselves with their whole heart to the service and fear of God, this affection springs from faith; or rather the principal part of right worship, which the faithful render to God, consists in this, that they depend upon his mercy.

“They depend upon His mercy”!  Indeed!

This is how Eugene Peterson ends Psalm 33 in The Message:

“We’re depending on God; He’s everything we need. What’s more, our hearts brim with joy since we’ve taken for our own His holy name. Love us, God, with all You’ve got—that’s what we’re depending on.”

Are you counting on God today?

You should (as should I)!

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Sinful Vacations

Before you think I am about to condemn vacations, let me assure you that I am not.  In fact, I write this on the verge of a much-needed vacation. In less than a week, we will be enjoying a week in a beach condo in Gulf Shores, AL.  To say that we are excited, would grossly understate the emotions we are feeling at this point.  Due to the arrival of our fifth child last year and our need to purchase a vehicle big enough for a family of seven, our 2014 vacation was cancelled.  As a result, we find ourselves very much in need of some genuine R&R.  I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard individuals tell me that I “work too hard” over the past year.  While I don’t necessarily agree with their sentiment, trust me when I state that I am not going to work for an entire week.  And—I’m looking forward to it.  I’m looking forward to the sight, sound, and smell of the Gulf of Mexico.  I’m anticipating the fun that I have watching the kids frolic in the waves and looking for seashells.  I can’t wait to see how Cadence (now seventeen months) reacts to it all.  Lots of laughs await!

But those laughs and smiles come at a cost.  Vacation isn’t cheap, even if you barter for the best price as we did with the owner of the condo.  It’s a sacrifice.  But some things, some events, some memories are worth it.  Others are not.

Last night we watched one of those cable shows about house-hunting.  Well, we thought it was going to be about a couple trying to find an awesome beach front house.  It was actually a series about a married couple investigating possible vacation spots.  The particular couple featured were from southern California.  They had been married for fourteen years and wanted a  great vacation.  The location was Bora Bora.  Their budget was $20,000.00.

I repeat:  Their budget was $20,000.00.

Have you ever a seen photo of Bora Bora?  Check it out:

Bora Bora

Several words that start with the letter “s” come to mind:  spectacular, stunning and


Do I seriously believe it is sin for a couple to spend $20,000 for a week in a tiki hut in Bora Bora?  I seriously do.  There has to be a point where R&R becomes over-the-top materialism.  Surely $2,857.14 per night is past that point!

Personally, I do not feel guilty spending around $150 per night for our condo.  I can go to Gulf Shores and enjoy myself, thanking God for the opportunity to get away, spend time with my family, and enjoy His creation.  But at $2,857.14 per night I would not be able to sleep.  A simple question would hound me the entire week:  How could I have alleviated suffering with this money?

Beginning November 2nd, I will have the opportunity to talk with another group of college students about this very issue.  The course is entitled Christian Social Responsibility.  The title presupposes a point:  Christians have a responsibility to our society.  If you have read the Bible at all, this probably does not surprise you.  Believers are to make a difference.  One of the books I utilize in the course is Enough by Will Davis.  It’s both a comforting as well as a convicting read.  Consider the following:

“With every blessing, with every opportunity, and with every bit of favor that God gives you comes the equal responsibility to use it well. Rarely if ever does God give you blessings that He intends you to keep for yourself. He typically blesses you so you can serve and bless others. The more than enough He gives you is meant to be shared so that it can become enough for someone else. If you’re living today with more than you need–not more than you need the next ten years, but more than you need today–then that surplus is meant to be shared. If I live with more than enough and somehow interpret that as God’s blessing to me and me alone, than I am greatly misinterpreting why God has chosen to bless me. He isn’t just being good to me; He wants to be good to someone else through me” (Enough: Finding More By Living With Less, Will Davis, Jr., Revell, 2012, p.65).


In his book, Davis asks his readers which side of the “enough line” we reside.  We either have more than enough or less than enough (though some possibly find themselves with enough).  Those with enough, should be content.  Those with less than enough should pray for provision and trust God.  Those with more than enough should pray for wisdom and bless others.

The wealthy couple from southern California are definitely on the more than enough side of the equation.  Praise God for that!  I trust they work hard and that they have been disciplined to save for their vacation.  I commend them for both.  I don’t begrudge them a vacation either.  Everyone who works hard for a living needs regular time to unwind (God understood this need and created the Sabbath for us).  My issue is their extravagance while others are genuinely suffering.

America is a rich nation.  Most of us find ourselves on the more than enough side of the line.  All of our needs are provided.  Most of our wants can be purchased with a little bit of saving.  But Davis rightly points out that there is a reason for our wealth.  We are not called to build additional barns for storage.  Nor do I believe God wants us to spend $2,800 on an oceanfront hut with a spectacular, stunning view.

So–what side of the line are you on?

And–what are you doing about it?

Whatever you do, save your Bora Bora experience for heaven.

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Killing my sin before it kills me

This morning I taught on Colossians 3:5-11.  The Apostle Paul wrote:

Col 3:5 Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry.

Col 3:6 For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience,

Col 3:7 and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them.

Col 3:8 But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth.

Col 3:9 Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices,

Col 3:10 and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him–

Col 3:11 a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all.

One of Paul’s repeated themes is that of the Christian need to kill sin (Col. 3:5; Rom. 8:13).  John Owen is known for the statement: “be killing sin or it will be killing you” (The Mortification of Sin).  I pointed out that that is indeed the message of Romans, chapter six.  Sin remains after salvation.  Believers are pronounced perfect in Christ, but our practice clearly proves that we still experience both the presence and power of sin.

As I began class today, I asked if anyone had a story of  an encounter with a snake.  One woman shared her experience of being bit by a poisonous, slithery monster.  A few others have had close calls, including this author.  I then asked if anyone had been attacked by a lion.  None had.  There was a method to my madness.

“Flee from sin as from a snake; for if you approach sin, it will bite you.
Its teeth are lion’s teeth, and can destroy human lives.”
     Sirach 21:2

From the moment I found that quote, I loved it!  It’s not part of the Bible, but it is true none-the-less.  Sin is deadly.  It isn’t simply present in the life of the believer, it is powerful and on a mission.  It wants to control us and it wants to destroy us.  And that is why we must be engaged in the fight!  This business is deadly serious.

How are we to fight?

Paul does not leave us guessing.

Rom 8:13 for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

How do we kill sin?  By the Spirit!  I briefly developed two ways in which we utilize the Spirit in our battle against the flesh.  First, we tap into His power.  We pray and ask for His assistance.  We fellowship with Him.  We walk with Him.  Second, we wield the weapon He created–the Scriptures (“…and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God” [Eph. 6:17]).

Psa 119:11 Your word I have treasured in my heart, That I may not sin against You.

The Spirit and the Spirit-authored Word are indispensible in our ongoing fight against indwelling sin.

So, how would you describe your interactions with the Word of God?  Are you reading it?  Are you memorizing any of it?  Are you studying it in any context such as Sunday School or church or a Bible study?  I’ve read about people rejecting the church and the Bible for nature and man-made religions.  That may help someone feel religious, but they will prove to be of no value in this life and death struggle against our poisonous, vicious enemy.

Col 2:23 These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence. “Fleshly indulgence.”  Another name for the snake and lion-like sin present in our lives.

Friends, let’s not give up in the battle!  Sin won’t.  It doesn’t go on vacation.  It hardly sleeps.  Fight!  By the Spirit, put it to death!


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One Millisecond Away Grace

“If God were not a self-replenishing, all-sufficient, everlasting fountain of future grace, there would be no hope for sinners. If God has been gracious only in the past, but will not be in the future, Christians are of all people most to be pitied. Our life hangs on future grace…So we must ask again, What is future grace? We have seen that it is grace that carries me from this moment on. It is one millisecond away and ten billion ages away. All of God’s goodness and power that will be exerted for me before I finish this sentence, and all the goodness and power that will sustain me beyond the grave forever is future grace.”

John Piper, Future Grace, Multnomah Publishers, 1995, p.75.

“…we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love which you have for all the saints; because of the hope laid up for you in the heavens” (Colossians 1:5)

Several years ago, there was a movie titled, Hope Floats.  Isn’t there a sense it which hope floats our faith?!  Hope in God and in “His precious and magnificent promises” (2 Pet. 1:4) is our fuel for faithful living today.

In light of the fact that we find our strength in God, how foolish it would have been for us today to neglect our fellowship with Him!  I like how one Puritan writer put it, “And let me not lay my pipe too short of this fountain, never touching the eternal spring, never drawing water from above” (The Valley of Vision, Self-Knowledge, The Banner of Truth Trust, 1975, p.69).

Our striving for reality will be in vain if we attempt to do so in our pathetic, human effort.


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4 Lessons from Brett Favre


I broke my fast from the NFL Saturday night to watch the induction ceremony of Brett Favre into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame.  Like all viewers, I was particularly interested in what Brett would have to say in his acceptance speech.  The speech was surprisingly long and somewhat discombobulated, but four things really stood out to me–4 lessons from the now-retired #4.

Lesson 1Give glory to God.  Brett struggled a little as he communicated that he has learned that God had blessed him and that God deserves the glory for all the good that transpired, but he said it.  He thanked God. I don’t know whether or not Favre is a Christian, but the Apostle Paul tells us that unbelievers do not honor God nor give Him thanks (Rom. 1:21).  I was encouraged that Brett made sure he publicly thanked God.

Lesson 2All people matter.  In his lengthy address, Brett thanked everyone he could think of.  Everyone.  He didn’t simply mention the guys who sit behind the big desks in the front office and the members of his immediate family.  He mentioned his coaches, his teammates, his trainers and the security and maintenance personnel in the Packers organization.  I found it humorous until it dawned on me that he was going out of his way to thank the folks in the trenches, not just those at the line of scrimmage.  He praised and thanked everyone that enabled him to be successful.  All people matter, and Brett made that evident Saturday night.

Lesson 3Humility.  One thing evident from the events Saturday night was that Brett was a bit uncomfortable with all the accolades.  He stated at one point that he had come to learn humility.  He actions and words this weekend gave indication that this is indeed a reality in his life.  If the New Testament addresses any subject, it surely hits on the issue of humility.  We are to live like Jesus, putting others before ourselves (Phil. 2:3).  Hard to do, but possible to do so consistently with the assistance of the Holy Spirit.

Lesson 4A desire to be known as a man of God.  When Brett was commenting upon his legacy, he gave a list of characteristics for which he wanted to be remembered.  I was excited to hear him state that he wanted to be remembered as a man who loves God.  Perhaps this admission did not shock those who know him well.  I was surprised.  More than that, I was encouraged again to consider my own legacy.  When people look back on my body of work, I’d like for them to think of me as someone who loved God and loved people.

Great lessons from a great quarterback!

Thanks, Brett Favre!  Thanks for making the Packers so much fun to watch..  Thanks for returning to Green Bay so we could honor you.  And thanks for some great lessons as you entered our Hall of Fame!

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“Dude, where have you been?!”

Sorry for the absence, faithful blog readers!

We were buried in projects this spring as we prepared to host a family reunion.  That reunion was held over Memorial Day weekend, and we all had a great time.  Family traveled from North Carolina, Texas and Wisconsin.  We really enjoyed seeing everyone and consuming some awesome food!

Just prior to their visit, we completed nine projects here at the house; some inside, some outside.  The place has not looked better.  It needed a bit of a facelift, and our guests enjoyed what we had worked so hard to accomplish!

Also just prior to the arrival of our family, I began teaching two courses for Belhaven University–Christian Social Respsonsibility and Human Resource Management.  The former I have taught before, but the latter class is a new one for me.  You can only imagine the work that is required in teaching a college course for the first time.  With both of these courses now in full swing, I am also preparing to teach our adult Sunday School class at the church.  That is only a three-week commitment right now, but much effort will need to be put into my lesson planning and study.

I also continue to work as the Custom Relations Manager at NCITE here in Dayton.  I really enjoy my job because I spend much of my time serving others.  In a couple of weeks, I will celebrate my third anniversary with the company.

As you can see, this is a busy spring for us!  Prayers are appreciated.

However, I am sure not in a mood to complain!  I see God’s hand of blessing in so many ways currently.  It would be an understatement to say that God is not treating us as our sins deserve!  I am grateful for the health, energy and strength He has given to us during this season, and I enjoy teaching (and providing for this family).

Jodi and I just celebrated our twenty-fourth wedding anniversary.  I still passionately love that woman.  The kids are growing and maturing.  We are all particularly enjoying Cadence learning to walk with confidence and ever-so-slowly increase her vocabulary.  Having a baby at fifty may be certifiably crazy, but it is also a lot of fun!

Summer is almost upon us.  Our pool will once again prove to be an oasis for us.  The kids will spend hours each day escaping the Tennessee humidity.  As in past summers, I’ll try to leave work by 5:30PM and frolick with the monsters before supper.

Life could be worse.  Much worse.

I hope you are well.  Please let me know how things are going–especially if you need us to pray for you.



PS–Here was one of the projects – A Green Bay Packers entrance!  (Too supportive?)

Packer Door

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