• A Gaze Ahead

    As we begin a new year, it is a time when most people take inventory on the past year and look ahead to the coming year. Here are a few questions and a key thought to help us consider what is truly important. What are your primary goals this year? Why are those goals important? How will those girls impact your life’s purpose? What can you do this month to begin fulfilling those goals? What will you do today towards those goals? How does my relationship with God influence my response to the questions above? And finally, here is a thought in the form of two more questions. If Jesus…

  • The Gift of Talent(s)

    For the final scheduled post this year, I will conclude this brief series on the gifts of our time, treasure, and talents. I have previously posted on time and treasure, so this post will be on our talents. For those who have a biblical background, a mention of talents will likely lead to thoughts of the parable Jesus taught on the talents (see Matthew 25). From this parable, we read what I call, the Great Commendation – “Well done good and faithful servant.” It is a phrase that every believer should long to hear, but let me point out two thoughts related to what I quoted. First, the phrase is…

  • The Gift of Treasure

    In last week’s post, I gave a bit of an account of the gift of time that God has given us. The reality is that time is the only gift we all have that is completely equal for all of us – at least on a daily basis. We all have twenty-four hours in a day. The question is: what we do with the time we have each day? Of course, because of our humanity (i.e. sinfulness through Adam), we have illness, disease, early deaths, etc. So even though we all have the same number of hours each day, the length (and quality) of our lives is often quite different.…

  • Reading List

    Below the table you will find a brief description of why the table is constructed as it is. The STEP relates to the five-step process in fulfilling my vision plus one extra for personal enjoyment. The ROLE relates to areas in my life where I have responsibility to lead others. LEAVE is left blank regarding the role because leaving could be related to any number of items – such as moving (which affects the church), dying (which affects a lot), etc. The GREAT relates to the five parts of living a faithful life for Jesus. Many are familiar with the Great Commandment (Mark 12.30-31) and the Great Commission (Matthew 28.18-20),…

  • The Gift of Time

    As we approach the end of the year, many of us take an inventory of the year we are leaving behind and begin to make plans for the year to come. With only three blog posts left for this year, it would seem to be the time to do this on this blog. But rather than a generic look back, I want to structure my focus on three gifts that God has given to each of us, with the focus being on how these gifts have impacted me this year. I will cover each of the three gifts in a little detail over each of the next three Fridays. (These…

  • Stepping Ahead of God

    This past Sunday, the Sunday School lesson was about Jacob receiving the blessing from Isaac (Genesis 27, LifeWay’s Explore the Bible curriculum). The blessing was intended for the firstborn (Esau) as was the custom of the day, but God told Rebekah (the mother) that the older would serve the younger (Gen 25.23). The story has many elements to it. We are reminded that Isaac was the younger brother of Ishmael (both born to Abraham whose wife was also barren – at least for a while). We see the challenge of when parents play favorites with their children (Gen 25.28). We see that Isaac followed in his father Abraham’s footsteps by…

  • Being a Part of the (Toy) Story, Part 3

    Just over two weeks ago a teaser trailer for the next Toy Story movie was released. On the day I saw it, I altered my scheduled posts because the words of the spork resonated so well with how many people feel about finding a church to call home (let alone find a place to serve within the church). The first post of this brief series spoke to that end a bit by recalling how Jessie had to forge her way into the group known as Andy’s toys (you may read that article here). After watching the trilogy again, I was prompted to list an attribute of how many of the…

  • Being A Part of the (Toy) Story, Part 2

    Last week’s post began a three-part look at how a person choosing to attend and become involved in a church can be a challenging process. This three-part series was prompted by the new trailer to Toy Story 4 which is due to be released next summer. While I do not know the exact premise of the story, based upon the trailer, the movie will include a spork who is trying to find his identity within the group of toys. Last week, I centered on the addition of Jesse to the group. This week, I had intended to focus on the idea of the spork; however, I must admit that having written…

  • Being a Part of the (Toy) Story, Part 1

      By now some of you will have seen the teaser trailer for the next Toy Story movie which is due out next summer. If you have not seen the new trailer, click the link here to go to youtube. Frankly, I knew nothing about the story-line (and now know just next-to-nothing), but the first thing that went through my mind was how much the spork reminds me of the church. Apparently, the story will center around the spork trying to find his identity because, after all, he is not a toy. (More on the spork next week.) The toys within the movie are all well-known to us, and well-known…

  • Armistice!

    Each year, on November 11, most Americans take time to honor our veterans. The day has been known as Veterans Day since 1954. Prior to that, the day was known as Armistice Day and was first celebrated in 1919 one year after “the war to end all wars” came to an end which ended at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. President Wilson declared that all Americans “should be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service.” Eight years later, Congress passed a resolution requesting President Coolidge proclaim an annual celebration of the day, and would…