Unintentionally Intentional

PlannerPriorities

Have you ever bought a car that you thought was uncommon, only to then start noticing that every other car on the road is just like yours? Or just learned a new word that you’d never heard before, and then you start hearing it everywhere? Well that is happening to me right now with the word “intentional.” I have of course used this word much of my life, but usually when I hauled off and hit my brother and would then tell Mom, “It wasn’t intentional.”

Today, the meaning of intentional seems to have grown in stature. Suddenly, I am hearing that I should be living intentionally. Be more intentional. Embrace intentionality (is that even a real word?). Set intentionality goals and resolutions. It’s everywhere, and it’s foreign to me. Continue reading “Unintentionally Intentional”

Sunday Morning Heathens

nochurchonsunday

My wife and I absolutely love our church’s Saturday night worship service. It is just perfect for us. How do we love thee, let us count the ways!

Continue reading “Sunday Morning Heathens”

God’s Royal Law

Processed with VSCO with c2 preset

Last week, my wife and I took our daughter, son-in-law and three grandkids to WaterColor, Florida for Fall Break at the beach. The gulf water was so blue, the beach so white and the sky so beautiful that it made me wonder who could look at such spectacular scenery and not thank God for His creativity? I also thank Him for the fun we had in the sun and surf—playing with grandkids that are almost 2, 5 and 8 years old keeps us young at heart but stiff in the joints! We swam, built and destroyed sand castles, battled the waves, rode bikes, canoed in a coastal lake and sampled as many Seaside restaurants as possible.

And that brings me to the point of this blog. We, as a family, were out in public for almost every daylight hour of the trip. We interacted with lots of people from all over the country, and not one of them commented on the fact that our nearly 5-year old grandson doesn’t look like the rest of us. You see, he was adopted from Ethiopia and my daughter and I have skin coloration similar to Casper the ghost. While the rest of the family tans well, our grandson definitely wins the game of “which one is not like the other ones.”

Continue reading “God’s Royal Law”

An Anniversary I’d Like To Forget

writing_suicide_rick

Almost one year ago, my nephew Graham killed himself. I have felt several times since then that I should write something about it, but the words never came to me. I could not think of how to start such a post, or how to end it. Still to this day, I really don’t know what to write.

I could write about my usual approach to dealing with such things—compartmentalization. Wall it off. Shut it out. Refuse to think about it. Admittedly an immature, self-centered approach. And one that really didn’t work this time as the raw grief in my brother-in-law’s—Graham’s father—cries pierced right through that veil. Never have I heard that kind of hurt in a voice or seen that kind of pain written across a face.

Continue reading “An Anniversary I’d Like To Forget”

Soul Wars: A New Hope

soulwars_blog

A long time ago (about four decades actually), in a university far, far away (well, it was really only about two hours north of here), it was a time of civil war—between science and my Christian upbringing. It was so gradual, I didn’t even realize it was happening until it was too late. It wasn’t that science overwhelmed my spirituality through brute force and unassailable truth. I didn’t just sit back one day and say, “Well that clinches it, science wins through superior logic!”

Instead, it was more like a slow erosion. None of my physics professors or fellow physics majors (either of them!) flat out said, “God is a myth” or “Jesus was just a fine fellow.” But we all thought science had – or would eventually have – all the answers to all the mysteries of the universe. The Big Bang started things. Evolution shaped everything. The laws of physics and thermodynamics and others controlled things. Einstein explained things. Quarks were the building blocks of all things. We had it all figured out, so what need was there for God?

Continue reading “Soul Wars: A New Hope”

God Hurt My Face

Canon AE-1 Program

Last week, God hurt my face. I’ll tell you all about it, but please bear with me – it takes a while to set up.

One of my hobbies is nature photography. I love to use my camera to capture God’s majesty in a sunrise, sunset, wide open vista, or especially clouds curling over the top of mountain peaks. As my wife says, “Who could doubt there is a God when looking at that.” So years ago, I felt I was in heaven as I set up to photograph clouds rolling over the top of Courthouse Butte in Sedona. I was in the zone. Click, sunrise light reflecting on the rocks with clouds sliding down the rock face. Click again as the sunrise colors kept warming up and the light angles improved and the clouds continued to flow. Click, click, click as the scene changed moment by moment! Continue reading “God Hurt My Face”

An Awkward Situation

AwkwardEvangelismPatricia, Patricia, Patricia. I just can’t seem to stop thinking of Patricia. I wish I could, but I can’t. Sometimes, I can put her out of my mind for a period of time, but something always happens which makes me think of her again, and it seems to have gotten worse over time. I even told my wife about it, but that hasn’t helped at all.

I’ve known Patricia for over 15 years. At first, she was just another employee of mine. But a couple years ago, things took a turn and now I can’t get her out of my mind. You see, Patricia is the name that comes immediately to my mind every time a pastor says, “Go out and share the Good News with someone who needs it.” And that would be Patricia! She’s sort of a lost soul, in a difficult marriage, alienated from portions of her family, with alcohol being used by people who shouldn’t. Lots of struggling in lots of ways that a relationship with Jesus could really help.

So why haven’t I stepped up and shared the Good News with her? I wish I had a good answer. Continue reading “An Awkward Situation”

Maybe Heaven Won’t Be That Crowded!

Overcrowded

Being the analytical sort, I have always figured that Heaven will surely be way overcrowded!! I mean, think of the world population today and then throw in all the previous generations! Even if Christians are the only ones going there—based on John 14:6 which says “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’”—there are still loads of folks called Christians who have died over the centuries! So I always thought it sounded like standing room only in Heaven! Continue reading “Maybe Heaven Won’t Be That Crowded!”

Spiritual Gift Exchange

Just like that Christmas sweater I got, I want to exchange my spiritual gift! Yes, I know the 1 Corinthians 12 analogy about the body. Sure, the toe is just as important as the hand and the eye cannot say to the feet “I don’t need you” and therefore all parts of the body are equal and important. So yes, I get that all the spiritual gifts are needed and are a vital part of the church.

But come on! Administration? Really? It’s like the most common of all the gifts. Sort of like having A+ blood. It’s good to donate it and sick people need it, but no one gets all that excited about it when you go into the blood donation center. Why couldn’t I get something a bit flashier? Continue reading “Spiritual Gift Exchange”

Better Late than Not at All!

When it comes to living a lifestyle of Christian discipleship, you may call me a “late bloomer.” Really, really late. Like, so late that it’s sort of embarrassing that it took me this long to get on the right path. Looking back, I’m sometimes saddened by how much time I spent doing my thing instead of the things God had lined up for me to do. How much further down my spiritual journey road could I be if I had just started earlier?

Continue reading “Better Late than Not at All!”