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Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Its one of my favorite feelings to love and hate... exhaustion!

Friday (day off) was spent running all over town getting things ready for the fish fry Saturday at the church, preceded by passing out just under a thousand door hangers in the community for Easter, followed by two services, a rehearsal, and a seminar Sunday morning, and finished off with redesigning the worship center and hosting a women's event for just under a hundred ladies... exhaustion. It begs the question, "WHY?!" The cool thing for me is, there is a really good answer.

The first part of that answer came around when I was just a boy. I'll never forget sitting in my fifth grade classroom as the teacher assigned a one page essay on the subject, "What I Want to Be When I Grow Up". Immediately, I began to daydream about dressing out in buckskin, and venturing off to begin my life as a mountain man! Yes, my head and my heart were filled with dreams of hunting and fishing and living off the land. But in those moments, the Holy Spirit spoke three words to me which changed my life, "Preach the Gospel". I remember it like it was yesterday, and after a weekend like this one was, it feels good to have lived out the mandate of those words.

The second part of the answer sleeps next to me at night. Penny & I fell in love working to proclaim the Gospel of Christ together. Each time we come to a weekend like this, its like the clock rolls back and we fall in love all over again. Over the weekend, as we ran at break-neck speed, we looked at each other with quirky little smiles as the wrinkles and the grey (all on me, of course) fell away. We told our kids the stories of our love and life and how we met and fell in love; and in those moments, exhaustion was cured by simple happiness.

The Gospel proclaimed, sung about, prayed over, and deep fried with the catfish, now I can be exhausted. I hate hitting the wall, but the race to exhaustion is on the pathway to success, to the fulfillment of an old command, and the privilege of a timeless love.

By tomorrow I'll be rarin' to go again, and its a good thing, because in just a few days we celebrate Easter... from Thursday to Sunday its almost non-stop action; and why would you want it any other way!

As I look in the mirror I notice that most of my wrinkles are smile lines, and that almost every grey hair in my beard has the story of a good battle behind it... and I think, "What more could I ask for?"

Pax Christi!


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Thoughts on Passion Week

The amazing element of Passion Week is not just passion, but the passion of God. It is the Essence of Love Itself moving toward It's desired goal from which It would not be deterred... and that movement bought us everything!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Question of the Day - 16 March 2010

March 16, 2010

Question: Is Simeon Giving a Blessing or a Prophecy in Luke 2?

Great Question! Often times, the idea of a Biblical blessing is actually couched within the form of a prophecy. This is to say that the blessing of realizing God's plan for the anointed life is recognized, embraced, and celebrated.

Notice within the celebration of Simeon, that we find both great and daunting prophecy. First, we find that Jesus is appointed both for the rise and the fall of many. Second, that He is to be a sign which will be opposed. Thirdly, that a sword will pierce the soul of Mary His Mother; and finally, that through Jesus the thoughts of many hearts, evidently referring to secret thoughts, will be revealed. Now I don't know about you, but that sounds like a mixed bag of positives and negatives.

The blessing of following God is to be embraced and celebrated notwithstanding the struggles of that life. In our modern culture, we often yearn for the easy life, but this is rarely the path of God. A life of obedient service, the honor to serve, is the blessing.

What an amazing God we serve Who modeled this for us personally!

Pastor John

Question of the Day - 11 March 2010

March 11, 2010

What's up with the ground swallowing people?

In today's reading in Numbers 16, we find a group of prominent men from the tribe of Levi leading a coup against Moses and Aaron. The Levites were the tribe to which the non-priestly duties of worship had been ascribed, and evidently they didn't think that they should be excluded from the "cool", or more important stuff.

Moses invites them to come the next morning and give it a shot... to bring censors with burning incense to the entrance of the tent of meeting and just let God decide. It is worth noting that God does not depart from His design or settled determination.

In verse 32, then, we find the ground opening up and swallowing the entire households of the three ring-leaders of this coup. OUCH!

Here's the deal... God expects us to follow His design, to be massively flattered by the compliment of whatever service He allows us to perform, and to not be "ladder climbers" in the Kingdom.

In Texas there's a saying, "Don't mess with Texas!"... well, you might well walk away from this story with a very similar and simple message, "Don't mess with God!"

Pastor John

Sunday, March 7, 2010

In the Fire-Light

In the fire-light is clarity. There is the quiet crackle of burning wood as the escaping gasses cast orange to purple flames across the canvas of my defragmenting mind. Add the presence of my children sharing cheese crackers with their Daddy, and my bride joining the fun, and all is right in the world if even for an hour.

There are so many things to remember from that hour, and I chase the details within my mind because I know that I am destined to forget the most of them. But the smell, the sense of peace and fulfillment, the look of my children as they bring competing gifts of crackers to me, the quiet of not worrying about anything and being at rest... these I am determined to remember.

My little girl asked me why God gave us fire tonight... I think, for me, those are a few of the reasons.

And those are my thoughts tonight after the fire-light.

Pax Christi,