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A Life Worth Living

We all have an idea of how we hope that our life would go. We all have dreams. We have dreams for our own lives and the lives of people who are close to us. We have goals that we would like to accomplish during our lifetime. We have a measure of what would constitute a complete life for us.
When reality does not match our idealized life, we are disappointed and sad. We grieve the loss of a life that we had imagined both for ourselves and those who are close to us. We wonder where God is in all of these situations.
The Bible tells us about a man with whom we can identify. Jacob’s life had taken several unexpected twists, yet he came to the end of his life content with God’s will. Jacob was ready to die, when his end was approaching. He was at peace with his life and all that God had done through him even though life had not turned out the way that he had planned.
Finally, Jacob said to Joseph, “Now I am ready to die, since I have seen your face again and know you are still alive.” Gen…
Recent posts

Linus

A few weeks ago I watched A Charlie Brown Christmas while Nancy put finishing touches on the Christmas tree. Watching the show has become a part of our annual Christmas tradition and may be part of your Christmas tradition as well. According to www.usatoday.com, A Charlie Brown Christmas celebrated 50 years on air making it the second longest running holiday show. It is second only to Rudolph, which has been televised one year longer. Charlie Brown makes us laugh and makes us think.
Charlie Brown certainly is the star of the show, but my favorite part of the show happens when Linus tells us the true meaning of Christmas as he quotes Luke 2. Linus is well read for a 5 year old and can speak deeply on matters of theology and philosophy. But, Linus is 5, and is beset by fears of the world around him. Linus is rarely seen without his security blanket despite protests from his sister, Lucy. Linus’s blanket made him invisible when Sally sought him as a boyfriend and became a weapon when Lin…

Freedom

In January of 1991 an original copy of the 200 year old Bill of Rights was on exhibit in Montgomery, Alabama. Despite my sister’s displeasure, I was selected during my sophomore year of high school to join her senior class on a field trip to see this historic collection.

For years I had studied about these archives and I was excited to see them first hand. I remember standing around the dense, protective glass of the documents and reading it as if it were the first time.
The first amendment to the U.S. Constitution begins with the following words: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;”
I had no idea at that time that I would one day be a pastor or that these words would even need to be explained. As a fifteen year old, the words seemed abundantly clear. As citizens of the United States of America we have the freedom to worship. 
The concept of freedom for a purpose has biblical roots.
“Go back to Pharaoh,” the LORD c…

Thanksgiving

Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever! Psalm 118.1 (ESV)

Thanksgiving has been a theme for believers in every generation and in every culture. This refrain occurs numerous times in the Bible by different writers over several centuries. Two reasons are given in this verse to be thankful. The first reason is the goodness of God. The second reason is the steadfast love of God.
The goodness of God is at the heart of our understanding of who God is. The first temptation in the Garden of Eden was to doubt the goodness of God. The Serpent essentially asked Eve if God really cared about her. Does God really care for you? Is God really for you? If God is good, then why are you being denied something? You have the right to what you want.
What is your response to God? Is God good? How has He proven Himself to you?
I was asked recently if there was a special word in Scripture for steadfast. In the original language the first word of this verse is a word th…

Run the Race

This morning I had a great run along the banks of the Roanoke River. It was perfect weather for running and I had lots of company along the way. I love seeing people outdoors enjoying God’s creation.
Hebrews 12.1 says, “let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.” In this verse running is a metaphor for following God. Even if you are not a runner, it is a simple metaphor to understand.
We are called to run the race set before us. When you compete in a race, race organizers have already determined the boundaries of the race and the starting and finishing points. Runners simply line up and run the race. In this sense, following God is simpler than we sometimes think. God hasn’t called us to solve all of the problems of the world. He has called us to trust Him and follow the path that He has set for us.
I have a tendency to attempt races (or at least paces) that God has not set before me. I am competitive by nature. I try to deny that I am competitive, but the drive is deep w…

Technical Difficulty

This blog has been inactive for a while due to some technical issues. It is good to be back and I have learned that my technical ability has declined in the last few years. It is amazing how quickly things change.

I have been around computers for almost 30 years. My dad bought a commodore 64 in the early 80’s and bought an IMB clone pc later that decade. I spent part of my childhood playing Impossible Mission and Pac Man while typing the occasional paper. For those of you who did not grow up in the 80’s, yes, typing a paper was a big deal. I’m surprised that I didn’t get beat up more as a kid.
I learned how to use pc’s before Windows 3.1 and remember when Word Perfect was better than Word – the WYSIWYG was way better on Word Perfect when printing to a dot matrix.
While I was in college in the early 90’s I took computer programming and worked in the computer lab. During graduate studies I continued working in computer labs and began doing contract work for computer vendors and NCR. I inst…

A pat on the back

I really just wanted a pat on the back.

Several years ago I attended an appreciation luncheon for pastors. I had been to a similar event hosted by the same group the previous year, and I really enjoyed it. The previous year they gave away some nice prizes, and we all left the event feeling encouraged and valued.

I knew the main speaker before the event and I had been looking forward to his encouraging words. As soon as he started his address, I knew that it was going to be a difficult lunch. He began asking us probing questions about our prayer life and our personal relationship with God. He continued pressing us to evaluate sin in our life and called us to turn from our sin. I could not believe it. How could this guy do this to us? I came here to be encouraged not attacked. His assignment was simple. All he had to do was talk about how tough ministry is and let us know that he has been there. He could throw in a few funny stories and everyone would leave happy. The longer he sp…