Monday, March 30, 2009

Setting Goals

A year ago, I set a goal to post a blog entry every Monday for the upcoming year. I needed an ongoing challenge and thought the discipline of not missing one week would be a good one. Coming to this ending place, it feels good to have accomplished this small, yet valuable feat. So, now I challenge you to do something this next year which is attainable, worthwhile and consistent. Go for it, you'll be glad you did!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Fishy, but True

In reading Luke 5:1-11, we’re reminded how, as Christians, the two things which remain constant are the Gospel and the need to fish. Paul said he became all things to all men that he might by any means win some. He also used different methods with different types of people. We need to realize that we can’t just kick back in our easy chair and wait for the fish to bite on the lure. We need to put on our waders and get in the pond. We must carry an array of lures and learn of new places and of new ways to cast our lines or to drop our nets. As spiritual fishermen, our job description is to catch “fish.” We’re not to simply read about it or just think about catching fish. We’re actually supposed to catch fish. We’re to be very intentional about pulling people out of the dark, murky depths of life and to bring them into the clear, fresh water of Christ. Like Peter in our scripture, can we boldly say, “Lord, but because you say so, I will let down my net.” Very soon, with whom will you cast your line or “let your net down to” and pray that they will take the bait and be caught?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Two Roads

In Matthew 7:13-14, Jesus clearly states, “Wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few will find it.” In today’s world, the broad road can be compared to the interstate highway we travel on. This road is wide open, easy to travel on and is the perfect place to set the cruise control and drive fast. Once we’re rolling, it’s easy to become complacent and relaxed as this road goes on and on with the same predictable scenery, mile after mile, hour after hour. The narrow road, however, requires a driver with a more intense precision to stay on course. Think in your mind of a windy, bumpy back road. This is a road that is unpaved, is covered with gravel, rocks and a variety of natural speed-bumps. It’s narrow and requires an attention to detail and a determination to choose to stay on course. It’s true this narrow road has more curves and bumps, but it also leads to the most beautiful waterfalls. The wide road leads to destruction. The narrow road leads to heaven. Which road will you choose?

Monday, March 9, 2009


Reaching 300 feet in height and with diameters up to 44 feet, redwood trees are a thing of beauty to behold. I’ve recently read of their remarkable root systems which strengthen them and allow them to live up to 2,000 years. Redwoods don’t have individual root systems like other trees. Their roots are completely interconnected, are outgrowths of a single parent tree and grow around the parent in a complete circle called a cathedral. A key to their survival is their ability to hold each other up with these intertwined roots. No known wind can topple them and virtually no disease can kill them. They gain their strength and vitality from each other and are proof that living organisms function better together than apart. Colossians 3:14 reminds us as humans, how love is that underlying root system which will keep all of us strong. “Over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” How might your love for someone today strengthen them and keep them safe, secured and anchored?

Monday, March 2, 2009

One Glimpse

A friend of ours recently ‘changed her address’ and now resides in heaven. She was the wife of a farmer, has loving children and grandchildren and affectionately called her husband, who had died a few years earlier, ‘Dad.’ She seemingly loved everything this life had to offer her, especially her home and her family. She was also blessed to be able to live on the farm until the moment she died. As she was moving in and out of consciousness, her daughter said all of a sudden her eyes widened and she said, “Dad, is this heaven? Is this heaven?!” Quickly followed by, “I want to die! I want to die!” She then received her wish and passed on to her eternal reward. I Corinthians 13:12 says, “Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face.” It’s powerful to think that all it took for our friend was one glimpse of heaven for her to quickly leave behind everything else she had held so dear for so long. If one brief glimpse of heaven does this for us, imagine what joy and exhilaration comes when we fully reside there on a permanent basis. I can’t wait!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Worthy of Endorsement

I remember the day well as I set out to a favorite hiking spot. As I arrived, the sun was shining, the birds were chirping and the temperature was close to perfect. I’m not really a nature buff, but shortly after I arrived, I began to drink in the beauty around me. Everything from the wild flowers to the waterfalls to the bubbling brook and the swaying trees seemed to be harmonizing in a song of adoration. I was glad to catch the spirit and I joined right in with a song of my own. Needless to say, it was inspiring and invigorating to worship and praise in this unique setting. Psalm 22:26 promises that “those who seek him shall praise the Lord.” Praise in this sense means to laud, honor, and boldly declare something to be "worthy of endorsement." Just as I went out with a purpose and specifically sought after God in nature on my hike, David also recalls a few of the many reasons to honor and praise the Lord. (Read all of Psalm 22). He knows that “those who seek [God] shall praise the Lord.” We could even say that those who truly seek God will not only find God but also feel compelled to praise him! Many things in our world today are marketed, advertised, and endorsed for a variety of reasons. I wonder – where in our lives today can each of us openly declare that God is indeed “worthy of endorsement”?

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Right Perspective

In Scripture, Peter is infamous for his impulsive reactions and his small-picture thinking. In Mark 8:31-32, Jesus is sharing things Peter doesn’t want to hear, so Peter lets loose and has the audacity to even rebuke Jesus. In verse 33, Jesus quickly reminds Peter that his focus is in the wrong place by stating, “You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”
When Peter acts like this, we tend to roll our eyes and grin smugly—only to be reminded how we too, often act the exact same way. In life, no matter what comes our way, we know that it’s much easier to focus on the one sickly tree than it is to observe the bigger, beautiful forest surrounding it. Our frustrating circumstances often cause us to become unsettled and impatient. Today, let’s remember that just because we don’t always understand God’s ways, doesn’t mean God is wrong. Most likely, we’re simply being impatient. As we persevere, the right perspective will eventually bring God’s plan into focus. Let’s hang in there; God knows our destiny and is in control!