The Gospel is My Hope

Billy Graham had a great impact on the world. I said that right he impacted the world and not just the USA. His words ring true even now. Jesus never changes. The Good News of Jesus never changes.

Another version of the same message…

Makes sense? Well maybe not. But there are answers. Comment of this post and I will get back to you.

The Woods – A Circle Of Life

I love the woods — ask my wife. The LORD “planted” us by the woods. The woods have one beautiful message of life and death.

Life: tree life is so beautiful in all seasons — even in the dead of winter. Death: trees fall! They lay. They die and there is no life left. Remaining life uses them for food, warmth and shelter. Trees are a vital part of creation–they are a vital part of the created order. As with all living things they die and lay on the ground. Other life takes over, including beautiful majestic trees.

We are so much like trees. We are born, grow, develop, mature, flourish, give back, peak, slow down, coast, are insulted by sickness usually, deteriorate, sigh, lay down, and finally die. But humans may have a far greater experience in death in seeing an unimaginable life beyond which satisfies and fulfills and completes far greater than the current broken life could.

Thank You Lord for all the hints you’ve given me in this life for what awaits me. I can patiently rest in knowing where I’m going. I am going up yonder to be with my Lord forevermore.

That end is undeserved; but more glorious than a mind can comprehend.

I best be getting up and moving on because a spider just attached his web to me. I’m not ready just yet to fully lay down and leave here.

Trees are so distinct yet they are a community. They support one another. They are grounded in the earth–tied to a solid foundation. Their roots go deep and wide. They produce fruit that feeds other living things. Thank You, Lord for this lesson from the trees.

Trees by Joyce Kilmer

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the sweet earth’s flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

New York, You Made My Heart Sink

Before we moved to Nashville seven years ago, we lived five years in what I still believe is the greatest city in the world—New York, New York. I am indebted to NYC, and to the church I served for that season, for much of who I am as a minister today. Although I am still a work in process, this great city and thoughtful church broadened my horizons and deepened my understanding of what it means to follow the whole Jesus and the whole Scripture, into the whole world, the whole time. As my former NYC church’s motto states, “The gospel changes everything.”

The gospel changed ME in NYC, in part by helping me understand more fully the moral imperative to do justly and love mercy, to give witness to your love for God by loving your neighbor as yourself. It was at my NYC church that the Lord opened my eyes more widely to the notion that “pro life” must always be a comprehensive position, never merely selective. We preached that according to Scripture, human life begins at conception and ends at death. Therefore, an unborn child and, say, my mother who is currently suffering from Alzheimer’s, are due as much honor and dignity and advocacy and fierce protection as an asylum seeker or refugee, a victim of racism or trafficking, or for that matter a film star, a Pulitzer winning author, or a United States President. Being pro-life is never less than pro-infant…yet it is also much more.

Any self-proclaimed “pro-lifer” who speaks for the unborn but stands indifferent toward the desperate conditions that tempt many women to consider desperate decisions, is only partially pro-life. Like the New Testament Pharisees, she or he will place burdens on others’ backs, but won’t lift a finger to help bear the burden.

That’s not pro-life.

Last week, the state of New York decided in the name of “freedom” and “choice” and women’s empowerment to make sanctioned, and in some circles even celebrated and cheered, decisions that have the effect of (a) stripping some infants of their ability to continue living, and (b) permit medical professionals to perform acts of lethal, bone-breaking, skull-crushing, blood-gushing violence against said infants. (I am tempted to replace that last sentence with something more gentle and less graphic…but should I?).

Read more here.

Scott Saul’s blog.

Life’s Not Fair!

Do we get to decide how it ends?

If I could learn to live like Joseph, the Israeli of Egypt, I would be so much better off.

Genesis 50:  “I in the place of God”  “You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good” (to save many people!)