No Escape

Even in the darkest times when we think things will never change and the skies will never clear, if we look we will see the hand of God working all things out for our good. The mountain may not move and the ocean we are drowning in may swirl even faster, but if we look and listen we may be able to see him in the little things…the things we would likely take for granted if we were not in such a stressful time. Small pieces of the larger puzzle falling into place as we move through: the rain through the night and rumble of thunder letting you know he is there; the morning rainbows thrown across the dark western horizon; the “love u” text from the one I share this life with; the especially satisfying Caramel Macchiato…

Watchers In The Wings

I have heard over the years that we should “dream big dreams” and “believe for great things”. I have heard people say that we ought to claim things that are not as though they are and in doing so we give God the opportunity to perform miracles. In essence, if we set a huge goal that we could never possibly attain, then it obligates God to act. I don’t think this is what the Bible is talking about. God is far from obligated to do anything more than He already has on our behalf…He has already done, provided, given, and sacrificed everything for us. I don’t believe that the Good Lord would have us sit back and shout out wants, desires, and demands while He does the heavy lifting…that cross was heavy enough…

It’s That Simple

The thief on the cross did not get baptized, either in water or the Holy Spirit and he didn’t go through a series of classes to be included among the chosen few who were members of the congregation. He didn’t even say, “I’m a sinner, please save me”. All he said was, “Remember me when you come into your kingdom,” and Jesus’ response was, “Today, you will be with me in paradise.” Nothing more than that. Jesus wasn’t looking at the criminal hanging on the cross, ragged and bloodied and filthy; he was looking the seed of faith in the heart of a lost soul. All too often churches, and Christians in general, focus more on the outward appearance and position of people in their midst rather than at the heart of a sinner in need of mercy and grace. We are all sinners and we all need Jesus. It’s that simple….

Frozen Moments

it usually takes something or someone from outside of the space you’re experiencing to bring you back to reality. It can be a pat on the back or an embrace from someone near or maybe a little more obscure like the changing of a song on the radio or a pebble stuck in your shoe. Whatever the case, something from ‘out there’ invades your moment and it is gone. Our wedding was just such a moment for my wife and I and that first kiss lead to cheers from those around us drawing us back. Holding each my kids for the first time also stopped time for me as I walked them down to the hospital hallway in my arms. Each time it was the nurse in front of me turning around and taking my newborn daughter and son. When my dad died, this frozen moment lasted for a few weeks before I heard a teacher in school talking to another teacher about how this 12 year old was dealing with his dad’s death…

Our Flag

Growing up on a farm out in the middle of nowhere in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in the 1970’s and 80’s provided little access to the world. We were twenty miles from the nearest hospital in one direction and twenty miles from the nearest ‘big town’ of Houghton in […]

The Reason We Left

There come times in each of our lives when the place we’re in has become so toxic to our survival that the only choice available is the one that is often most difficult to make – the choice to leave. To tuck tail and run as far away as you can and let the pieces fall where they may. It is a heartbreaking place to be and a tough call to make but in that moment, it is the only choice. Several years ago I was a young pastor serving as best as I knew how in a place that I had always and will always call home. My wife and I had been married for six years and had a four year old and two year old at home. I had been a pastor for a year and a half but been ‘in ministry’ for nearly eight years prior at this same church in this same town that I consider home. Upper Michigan, the Keweenaw Peninsula in particular, is never very far from my thoughts…

The Numbers Game

I’ve sat in many churches and even served in a few. I have been the one sitting in the back row not wanting to be seen but longing to be noticed, and the one behind the microphone unable to hide but desperately not wanting to be judged. Both […]

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