Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Easter Baptism

Baptism is so refreshing, and I'm not just talking about walking into brisk water.  What an amazing picture of what Christ did for us, and also a public profession of personal faith in Him.  It is so rich in imagery and meaning, rich in history and hope for the future.  I love being part of a baptism, even if it is just as a witness, but especially as a personal participant.  This Easter was even more special for me because of the baptism that took place in our pool.

Some of our neighbors have been walking with Jesus for a while now, each have their own story of their own journey and I can't tell their stories nearly as well as they could.  Two of our neighbors have been falling in love with Jesus for the past few months and it is obvious to everyone around.  Jesus is changing them from the inside out and it has been very encouraging to watch.  They were both baptized as children, but felt like God was asking them to be baptized again, this time as a public display of His glory and of their commitment to follow Him.

So, this past Saturday after an annual egg hunt for the children we invited everyone to come celebrate baptism with this couple.  It was such a special time.  Joy, relief, peace, and excitement for all those in attendance who don't know or aren't walking with Jesus filled our hearts.  Afterwards we had a neighborhood cookout and continued the celebration.  Jesus is risen!  Our neighbors have been buried with Him and raised to new life as well!  What a great day it was!

May you be on the lookout for displays of God's glory.  May you be on the lookout for people who need God's glory in their lives.  May your life be a public display of God's love and grace.  May we live as those who have been raised to new life in Christ!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Church is a Funeral Home...

I know that sounds a bit morbid, but hear me out.  I've been reading a book called AND: The Gathered and Scattered Church by Hugh Halter and Matt Smay and came across a story that got me to thinking about how churches (groups of Christ followers) die together.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Life In Stereo

Have you ever seen those pictures that are usually a bunch of scrambled shapes, or dots, or lines and don't make any sense and people tell you that they see a horse, or a dolphin, or a cross, or something in the picture.  The first time I ever saw those stereograms I thought everyone else was crazy.  I couldn't see it.  All I could see were random lines and curves and squiggles, and definitely not a horse, or dolphin, or cross.  For me, just like most people, seeing is believing, and I just couldn't see it.

Friday, December 3, 2010


I was reading through the book of 1Kings not long ago and a passage in chapter 13 stood out to me.  Starting in verse 33, it says, "Even after this, Jeroboam did not change his evil ways, but once more appointed priests for the high places from all sorts of people.  Anyone who wanted to become a priest he consecrated for the high places.  This was the sin of the house of Jeroboam that led to its downfall and to its destruction from the face of the earth."  Those are strong words.  I don't know about you, but destruction from the face of the earth isn't something I want said about my family.

What really captured my interest was this idea that anyone who wanted to be a priest he appointed, from all sorts of people.  That got me to thinking, who should be a priest?  Who shouldn't be a priest? And what is a priest anyway?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Biblical Misunderstanding

Have you ever read a passage of Scripture and totally misunderstood it, then later read it again or listened to a message and realized how wrong you were?

A couple of weeks ago we were studying the book of Ephesians at one of our neighborhood BYOB (Bring Your Own Bible) studies.  We were taking turns sharing thoughts and questions and passages that stood out to us during the week when one of our neighbors turned our attention to Ephesians 4:29.  We read the verse and a few of us commented and then another of our neighbors shared that she had always understood that verse to mean that cussing wasn't right unless it was really necessary to make your point or to let the person you were speaking with know that you were serious.  We all thought she was joking, but she wasn't.  In fact she read to us her translation of that verse.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Clergy Appreciation Day

Those of you who know me know that I don't consider myself to be "clergy" although I do like the term neighborhood chaplain (read this post).   So when I received a card this weekend from one of my neighbors in honor of Clergy Appreciation Day I was quite surprised.  I've been a staff member in various churches in my past and I can recall a handful of times when I received a card or an email or a hug from someone expressing appreciation during the month of October (Clergy Appreciation Month), but this one stands apart from all the others.  The handwritten note on the card simply reads, "Thank you for keeping our cul-de-sac family spiritually healthy."

I don't think I can take credit for that.  The spiritual health of the families in our neighborhood is something much bigger than me, but what affirmation and encouragement.  This card didn't come from one of the neighbors who have been worshiping with us Sunday mornings.  It didn't come from one of the neighbors attending our Friday night BYOB (Bring Your Own Bible) studies.  It came from a neighbor whose work schedule keeps her very occupied on weekends, but who still recognizes our cul-de-sac as a "family."  Did you notice that in her note?  She didn't say, "my family," or "our families," but "our cul-de-sac family."  That's what I was talking about in my last post.  I am so encouraged.

May the Father bless you and your family as you love those around you into His family.

Friday, September 24, 2010


I was challenged and refreshed by a statement that Alan & Deb Hirsch made at the Live Sent Conversation last week in Lakeland.  They stated that our current conservative, American view of family isn't the same as the meaning usually conveyed by Scripture.  The "nuclear" family of husband, wife, two kids and a dog (you get the picture) is not the same family that was represented when Scripture uses that word.  Most of the time when you read the word "family" in Scripture the meaning is larger than the nuclear family that we have grown accustomed to.  Other renderings would be household, clan, tribe, group of families, or even nation.