Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Prayer- A wonderful mystery

I have the joy of praying for a man and his son. Two people that I have never met before and may never meet. Both of them are my friends. The father lives in South Carolina and his son is stationed in Afghanistan with the marines. How do you look at prayer? Is it just a thing you do before you eat. Or a certain prayer you recite at church. Think about prayer this way, I try. Think about talking to the person who created the universe. Who cast the stars into space. Space, such a vast expanse, so vast that a beam of light can take millions of years to reach our tiny planet. I get to to pour out my heart to Him. I get to praise Him for all of His blessings to me. Even when I am overwhelmed with my difficulties I realize that the Creator knows my name and He is caring for me.

Prayer, such a wonderful mystery. Talk to God, He is your Heavenly Father. That knowledge that I have gives new meaning to His name of Heavenly Father. How big He must be in power and glory to be the Father of the Heavens. Yet He cares so much for me that He knows my name and He calls me His dear son. Glory to God I am adopted into His family. All because of Jesus.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Practice the Presence

At times we all have difficulty discerning the will of God. In the book of Acts the Apostle Paul wanted to venture into Macedonia to spread the gospel. It would have been of great benefit but the time wasn't right and the Spirit of God told him so. Paul's heart was in tune with the Spirit and he knew that he had to wait. Paul and others walked in such harmony with the Spirit that His guidance was relied upon. The Holy Spirit is our friend and counselor and He is commited to guiding us. A monk by the name of Brother Lawrence wrote a beautiful little book a few hundred years ago, Practicing the Presence. He described how he rested in the Spirit even in the mundane work of peeling potatoes.

Timothy tells us that all scripture is inspired and is profitable for teaching us in our daily walk and decision making. As christians there are things that we know will harm our walk and witness. There are issues, many of them social, when things aren't so clear. It is when things aren't clear that I have made many mistakes. The lack of prayer and searching and meditating on scripture has led me and a few others down the path of mistakes and bruises. I am learning to stay so close to the Father that my bruises might become less and smaller.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A wrong position

The chisel found my knee. I had taken a wrong position over the massive red oak log. In less than a hundredth of a second the razor sharp carving tool slipped through the hard and sinewy fibers of the log and into my knee. I looked and saw the cleanly sliced hole in the knee of my jeans and the unwanted red stain beginning to grow. Being the former first aid instructor, I applied direct pressure and headed for the house. The walk from the barn to the house didn't help much.

After a little verbal sparring with my wife and the nurse daughter, three butterfly bandages close the wound. I promised to go to the clinic if a red streak went from my knee to my brain or lock jaw set in, only kidding. I will probably get the shot today.

My point is simple; how many of us have wounds because of a wrong position? My knee will be fine in a couple of days, hearts don't heal so quickly. Be careful of the positions you take.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Certainty Uncertain

Oswald Chambers speaks about certainty and its counterpart, uncertainty. He says we should be certain of our union with Christ. Knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that our life is hid in God because of Jesus. Uncertainty comes as we wait for the Spirit to guide us and bring to us His opportunities to touch eternal things. That part, the living in uncertainty, is what drives me crazy. I want to know the plan, how things are supposed to be. I want to know what God wants from me today and tomorrow. I have struggled for three years now trying to reconcile God's plan with my disability. My calling is to communicate the message of Christ. For thirty five years I did that through full time ministry, preaching and teaching the wonders of the cross.

I don't believe the Lord changed His calling on my life. Right now I am living in the uncertainty of trying to be faithful to His dear Spirit that keeps burning inside of me. Of this I am certain; Christ died for me, the power of the Spirit raised Him from the dead for me, His presence is alive in my life. I guess that is what I need to be certain of. How He wants to accomplish His work in my life is my uncertainty. I love the certainty and will learn to trust in the uncertainty.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Knowing and Knowledge

The Apostle Paul talked to his friends at Phillipi about knowledge and knowing relative to God. He reminded them that he was highly educated when it came to the Old Testament and following the various rules of religious life. His knowledge and zeal for God were unsurpassed and his credentials in the religious circles of his day were beyond doubt. Yet, in spite of all of that knowledge and the sheepskin on his wall he counted it as garbage in comparrison to Knowing Jesus Christ in deep intimate relationship.

Knowing about our faith is important. Knowing the credes and doctrines of our faith is also important as is even knowing The Lord's Prayer. But, all of those pieces of knowledge will get you no closer to the heart of God. God has been showing me the futility and vanity of knowledge if I am not in communion and union with Him and Jesus His Son. There is a big difference in the knowledge about God and union with Him. Those who are abandoned to Him, who know that He is our life, our breath, our very life is hid with Him in Christ. He is busy refining us as by fire. As we walk and move in Him He is showing us through His Spirit what needs to be burnt away. Burnt away so the precious life of Christ will shine even brighter.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Tell me

I want to encourage my friends that read these words to ask questions or leave comments. Anything that you want to say is ok by me. You can click the comment area and fill out the info or feel free to email me at either of my addresses. or . I would like to hear from you so I know that you are reading and that if you have any questions about your faith or the scripture I would be blessed to communicate with you.

Today I am trying again to be at peace with the timing of God. His word tells us that one day is as a thousand years. Donna is trying to find employment and this has been a burden for us for the last five years.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Faith is the Victory

There is an old hymn that has a line in it, Faith is the victory that overcomes the world. I have been slowly moving from Passover and the crucifixion to the Easter morning. That seems to be the way I move most of the time. This spring I have spent a lot of time and heart work thinking and pondering the crucifixion of Christ. I must admit that it probably has been to some neglect of the resurrection truth. I am reminded that the stone was rolled away from the tomb, not to let Jesus out of the death chamber, but to let me inside. To let me inside the monument to mens mortality, the cave of darkness that has scared mankind for millenia. I can appraoch the tomb and look inside and see for myself the linen bondage wraps set aside. Next to them I see the napkin neatly folded that covered His face.

The power of our faith is found in the Holy Spirit, the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the tomb. No other faith or religion or spiritual teaching has the dynamic of the Holy Spirit. The same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead brings life to our spirit. His Spirit witnesses to my spirit that I am a child of God. Jesus Christ is my brother and God is my Father. It is a good thing to spend time and pray and ponder the events of Passover and Christ's crucifixion, but not to the neglect of the mystery of the resurrection.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Facing Darkness to Marvel in the Light

The Prophet Isaiah speaks to my heart with very powerful words. His utterances about the Suffering Savior have pierced countless hearts. As I think about our Lord's passion in these days leading to His crucifixion the Prophet's words lay my soul open again. I have to try and come to terms with my lostness. We do not like to think or talk about man's depravity. O sure we think some men are depraved and evil; but do we think and believe we are? The prophet's words are pretty clear to me, "All our righteousness is as filthy rags, no not one is righteousness". I guess that means me. Without Jesus Christ I am hopelessly and eternally lost. I can not impress God with my education, vocabulary, talents, money, power or my acts of charity and kindness. I must hang my head in shame before my perfectly Holy Creator and confess my lostness, my helplessness, my complete and utter corruption. When I am willing and able to do that the weight of Black Friday will crush me. But the wonderful news is this, the life of Easter Sunday will rise within my heart and the Joy of the resurrection will have such meaning that my soul will love and dance and sing and rejoice in Christ my Risen Lord.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Lessons from our dog

Our dog, Scout is outside in the rain and sleet and I am ticked at him. No he didn't have an accident or get into the garbage. He was able to get a package of mini cookies from the center of the counter. Now Scout is no dummy, most dogs aren't. Remember we take care of them. At three in the morning he and Frizzy needed to go outside. When they come in and have done their thing they usually get a treat. Well at three I gave Scout his usual peanut butter flavored dog biscuit. Now Frizzy has no teeth left, so he got one of the cookie treats. They are about an inch in diameter, just the size of his mouth. Both got their treats and I headed off to try and sleep. Three hours later Scout wakes me in his usual way, he puts his massive paws on me and tries to roll me over. His paws are wet and I know something is up. Out of bed and into the kitchen I go. As I pass the arch into the living room I spot a dozen unwrapped and empty mini-cookie packages. I can't even open them without turning red. So outside Scout goes and now he wants in. I probably should go lay down outside and let him in. Lord, thank you for the found in the ditch, weighs 120, eats like a horse dog. Help me be as patient with him as You are with me.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Most people have a problem with time. We look at time as a collection of spent moments, spending moments or moments to spend. We look at time as if we were peering down a long rope. We only see the end of the rope, today, in our field of vision. God on the other hand looks at the same rope, but from a different perspective. He looks at the length of the rope from the side and He can see the beginning and the end all at the same time.

That is why He has such a hard time invading our tightly focused existence. We need to look at time, our time, the way He does and allow Him to, be open to Him, change the path, invade our day, give us different eyes so our life will be the rich and rewarding fellowship He wants.

When our Ana was carried by her uncle for two days through the bush God was preparing to invade our lives. Praise the Lord Donna was open to and aware of the invasion. On the other hand I had to evaluate the situation. I am happy to say that my head only evaluated until I held that precious life in my hands. Evaluation was over and the invasion was underway.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Time and Waiting

I touched on the timing of God and want to say a little more about our experiences on waiting on God. For ten years my wife and I prayed and waited on the Lord to open the doors so we could fulfill our calling to missionary service. For ten years we informed our administration of our calling and for ten years we heard nothing but, "wait patiently". And then the letter came in the mail and we began to prepare to move our family thousands of miles away to Zambia.

During our time of preparation a mother was pregnant again. She lived in a very remote region of Zambia known as Chavuna-Chinjawa. Her village was devastated by another drought. Her children suffered, one was blind from measles and another was suffering from malnutrition. The land would give them no food this year. As her pregnancy progressed she regressed.

We landed in Zambia on September 22nd and began our work. Four hours away over extreme terrain a woman was getting ready to give birth. My wife began working in our hospitals orphan nursery and the initial patient survey room. On October 7th the woman in Chavuna-Chinjawa gave birth to a girl and died. The babies uncle afraid of spirits carried the baby for two days and upon arriving at the hospital handed the near dead baby to my wife.

And the story continues.

Monday, March 16, 2009



What is blogging all about? I guess there are numerous answers, perhaps hundreds or thousands. I want this blog to be about living as a servant. Yes, I want to be a servant , a servant of God. A lot of days I feel that my serving has pretty much flopped. I have a feeling that there are a lot of people that share that feeling. I want to reach people that have real questions about faith, suffering, justice, poverty and issues that at times leave us with more questions than answers.

My adult life has pretty much been spent in ministry. I was ordained in 1979 and served churches in Michigan and spent time in Zambia on the African continent. While living in Zambia a wonderful baby came into our life. Her birth mother died of malnutrition during delivery. My wife, Donna, began taking care of her when she was two days old. Many times that little baby came close to death but the Lord had other plans.

Did you ever wonder about the timing of God? Well I sure have. We live in our little world totally unaware of what God can do. Our plans get upset and we wonder waht in the world is going on. We went to Zambia ready to serve God in a nice planned out way. We were not expecting another child, in fact I went to the doctor to make sure we didn't have any more children. Then God invaded our nice plan and blessed us beyond our wildest dreams. More about that later.