Monday, December 29, 2008

Good Crew

I'm so thankful for our church staff. I was gone this past Sunday to Ft. Worth to see my sister and the family and to do Christmas and got back today. It was great to call and talk to a couple of the staff after church on Sunday and hear that church services went really well. It's great to be able to be away and not have to worry about the church missing a beat. Our church staff works hard at doing their best for the Lord and His church. I'm glad to have such a good team! Praise the Lord!

I had a great time in Ft. Worth. I could tell so many stories, but I need to get back to working on my sermon for this Sunday. This Sunday's message will be a challenge for the new year for every believer. I'm also going to talk about our purpose as God's church and what needs to be more of our focus in the coming year. New Year's is always a good time to start fresh with new ideas and a renewed vision for the future. My prayer last week and this week is that God will prepare the hearts of His people to receive His Word. We need to be about His business even more. I pray that people are open to that message this Sunday.

I thank God for my family, my friends, my church and His love and patience with me. God is so good. We should not ever forget that, especially as we turn over the calendar this week.

Thursday, December 25, 2008


I live in a house full of women. I love all of my girls. But let me tell you something about little girls that every man needs to understand. They have get-up!

What is get-up? Get-up is the term that I have coined for their duds, ya know, their stuff. Girls have lots of stuff that they think they need and want to take everywhere. (Maybe that's why they carry purses!)

My girls were cleaning up to leave the house tonight and I told them to gather all of their get-up. Abigail (my 3 almost 4 year old) just starting laughing and said in her own cute sort of way, "Ya, daddy we got lots of get-up." I laughed out loud! Madalyn reacts negatively when I say it. She gets angry sometimes. I ask her to pick up or clean up her get-up and she always says something like, "It's not get-up. It's my precious things, daddy!" in that whiny sort of way.

No matter how you look at it, girls have a lot more get-up than boys. They accessorize. They have more equipment. They pack more for trips. They are always into their duds. They have lots of stuff. They carry bags of their stuff. Well, you get my point.

So when you see me "loading out" at the church, understand that 70% of it is probably get-up. I'm just the special man that God has put with these wonderful girls! (And they truly are wonderful!)

I am blessed better than I deserve. Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas to All!

It's the day before the big day. If you're shopping, you're hopeless right now. Wal-Mart will take you an hour just to get in and out of the parking lot, and that's without making it into the store! It's pretty crazy.

I'm excited about Christmas. My wife is so good at making it so special. It will be fun watching the girls open their presents. Amy and I got some really good ones that I think the girls will like.

Tonight is our Christmas Eve service at the church. This is a great family event. We sing Christmas carols, have a short devotion about the reason for Christmas, and then families take communion together. It will be a great time of reflection about Christmas. This is always one of those "highlight of the year" type of events. We don't have to invite or really push, and we usually have 250+ people there.

I think that's because people are looking. They are looking for meaning in this season. They want to encounter the Christ child in the manger. They want to understand the meaning of it all. I enjoy being a part of the service and my whole family looks forward to the meaning and experience.

The passage that I'm talking about tonight is Galatians 4:4-5. You might think, what's that got to do with Christmas? Look it up. It's all about Christmas. I'm going to be talking about how God has adopted us as sons and daughters. But to do so, He had to send Jesus to redeem us. The definition in the Greek of the word for "redeem" used in verse 5 is interesting. It means to buy back or buy out and was often used to refer to slaves being bought out of slavery. That's the essence of Christ coming. He came to buy us back to God.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Bowl Picks

I was invited this week to an ESPN bowl championship pick 'em contest. I have a lot of fun with these, especially playing against the my brothers in the Lord from the church. I enjoy trying to pick the games, and ranking them by the confidence of the pick. I'm thinking, maybe we should do this church-wide for the guys next year. It would be a lot of fun and bring about some camaraderie around the guys.

I'll let you know the results after the league is over (Jan. 8th).

I've only got 2 more things to say: Let the games begin & Boomer Sooner!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Been a week

I think that the devil really stinks sometimes. Actually, all the time. He's always stirring the pot for the saints, trying to distract, discourage, and disengage God's children. I know that our church staff collectively and individually has been under attack this week. It's got everybody down and rather grumpy really. Isn't this the "most wonderful time of the year"?

No matter where you are in your walk with the Lord, the devil is doing his thing. In Romans 7, Paul talks about the struggle between doing what God wants and the sin that the devil wants. He says, "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do." Lots of "do's" there, but have you ever been there yourself? Have you ever wanted to do the right thing, but you feel like the devil is right there with you, bringing you down? Paul goes on to say, "So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me." But at the end of Romans 7 he says, "What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!"

When you're under attack, whether from hurtful, spiteful people, or temptation to sin, your hope is in Jesus. He is the one that will get us through. He is the one that will sustain us. He is the one that wants to rescue us.

Our our job is to turn and run to Him and to do our part by obeying His word.

It's been a week...I'm doing my best to make sure that there isn't another. (Thank you Lord!)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Weather Is Great!

I was born in southeast Iowa and spent the first 5 years of my life there. I love winter and the weather that we've been having lately. Most people complain about it, but I truly enjoy it. That's one thing you've got to love about Oklahoma. You may have the HOT summers, but you get to have some cold winters too. You get all four seasons here in true fashion and I like it. If you think about all that goes on with the seasons, you can see the case for the Creator all over it.

I like winter and cold, what can I say? I like fireplaces and snow, bundling up and snuggling with my wife and girls to keep warm. Slick roads are actually fun if you know how to drive on them. Don't worry about me, just worry about the lady behind me. I've already avoided 2 soccer moms that nearly rear-ended me in line at Glenwood by leaving some space for me to move up if needed. People just need to slow down (or get 4 wheel drive, it's great!)

Guess maybe it's the Iowa in me.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Ultimate Compliment

I had the ultimate compliment yesterday. After church services I was eating at a restaurant with my family when someone from our church came over and talked to Amy and I for a bit. She began by telling me that the message was great. She went on and on about how much she had learned, how much she'd never really thought about, how she really began to understand and see God's hand in all of the Christmas story, how God orchestrated every detail to work it out perfectly for His divine plan. She even said that I could have preached longer because she was disappointed when I stopped (and I was kind of windy anyway, HA!). She also went on to say that while she was on her way to the restaurant after church, she called her mom and told her to listen to it online because she thought that she'd learn a lot from it. Her comments truly blessed my heart.

I am humbled. I can take no credit for the message yesterday. That was God's message for all of us, even me. What I got to do yesterday and every Sunday that I preach is simply share the excitement and knowledge that I have received from studying God's Word. When you take the time and study the Bible, you can see His hand in so many things. The Christmas story has so much more there if we study and pay attention. Give God all the credit; give Him all the praise. It's His story...I just get to share it with people on Sunday mornings.

Affirmation is a good thing for anyone. I'm glad that God sent that affirmation my way yesterday. I'll keep mining for the nuggets of truth and sharing them with God's people on Sundays.

If you happened to miss it, you can listen online on the church's website: The messages are all sorted by date.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Eric & discipline

I'm stealing Eric's blog to share some funnies on him for once :)

Abi pulls Izzy's hair (what there is of it). Eric tells Abi "that is not what hair is for"! "It is to look pretty not to pull"! I wonder if that is what God was thinking when he gave us heads of hair. Ever wonder what hair's purpose is? Well, there ya go! What words of simple wisdom offered to our 3 yr. old!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I Know What's Caused Our Economic Problems

Want to know what the problem is with the economy? Was it subprime lending? The car makers weren't entrepreneurial enough? America just lost it's edge? Supply and demand imbalance? The mortgage bubble popped?

It's simple. It all boils down to one thing. I know, you are excited about the answer, but I'm going to let you sweat a minute here. Whether it's the big 3. Whether it's banks and mortgage companies and the people who run them. Whether it's the federal government and their horrible policies and laws. Whether it's the corruption of the CEO's of big companies. It all boils down to one thing and one thing only.

You want to know, and I want to tell you. What are you thinking right now? What could it be? Your Sunday School answer may be that we need Jesus. And we do! The problem in its simplest form is only one thing...greed.

It's greed, that's the problem. We like our stuff. Greed. The CEO's getting $10,000,000 Christmas bonuses. Greed. The banks lending money to people to buy houses that they can't afford so they can make more money. Greed. The government putting pressure on those banks and mortgage companies to make the loans to these people so that "every American can own their own home". Greed. Buying things that you don't have the money to pay for. Stupid, whoops, I mean greed! You name the economic problem, it will all trace back to some form of greed. Everytime. I guarantee it.

Maybe I should write a book about this and make some money? (he,he,he,he!)

I'm just remembering that God is here to meet the need and not the greed.

2 Timothy 3:1-4 "1But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God...."

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Tuesday Funny

Looks like he's been waiting for some time. Better just forgive and move on, brother!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Decorating the Christmas Tree

Too funny. The 7 year old goes around harassing the 3 year old about where she puts the ornaments on the tree. Which reminded mommy and I about Madalyn when she was 3. The only child at the time hung all of the ornaments on one branch. So, we gently reminded her of that time and she got much quieter about the decorating infractions.

The girls are so excited to decorate the tree. They've been asking us about it since the Friday after Thanksgiving. Fun days. These are the type that I think you must miss when your 50ish and become empty nesters.

Better get back at it.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Christmas Shopping Blues

Amy and I went shopping for the girls in OKC today. It was supposed to be a really fun day! The fun was ruined when we made our 2nd stop at Sam's Club. The "big" present that we were going to get for the girls, that we'd had our eye on since we were down at Sam's in October, that we now had the money to pay for it, was gone! (Ya, I know that was a "run-on" sentence, but it's MY blog!)

Anyway...needless to say, big disappointment. So then we went to the glorious Toys R Us to see if they had it. Nada! Target? Nada! Wal-Mart? Nada! Another Sam's perhaps? Nada! We were so disappointed! Talk about ruining your day. We were kicking ourselves for not buying it in October! (You'd think that with the economy being "so bad" that we would have seen 10 of them at Sam's club, but that was not the case!)

Anyway, dejected and disappointed, we came home tonight and began the online search. When we googled it, there were many stores that had it, including So, long story short, we found it, bought it as a "special buy" from Wal-Mart for $25 less than we were going to pay at Sam's Club, which covered the cost of the shipping to get it here by Christmas! Wow! Amy and I are in better spirits. The great shopping scare of 2008 is over and we survived.

Isn't it amazing how we can sometimes sweat the small stuff and then let it get to us?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Maddy's Friend

I picked up Maddy and a friend of hers from school this afternoon. As we drove from Glenwood by the church toward our house, Madalyn piped up, "That's the church where my daddy preaches." I took the opportunity of asking her friend if she and her family attended church anywhere. She said no that they only go to church once a year, usually at Halloween. Then she went on to say that they usually come to our church for Halloween.

That cracked me up, but was really cool too. Our Festival of Light is an outreach to families. That's this little girl's only experience with church, as far as I know. And she went on to say that they come every year and that she loves it. That's a positive impression of church. Maybe we will be able to build a bridge to this family since our daughters are beginning a friendship. Madalyn invited her to church tonight, but her friend has some activity going on. I'm proud of Maddy for being a light and inviting friends to church. Makes me want to do the same. Personal invites and evangelism are where its at. Now, if we could just get our adults to get after it!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Nose over your toes

I was making a hospital call this morning and I saw one of our church members in the rehab unit. One of the nurses came in and asked him to get up because they were giving him a shower before they brought breakfast. As he was getting out of bed, he leaned forward to get over his walker. He didn't lean far enough and fell back on the bed. The nurse said "Hey, remember to get your nose over your toes!" When he did that, he stood right up on his own power.

That line has stuck with me all day. Too funny, but a good thought as well. He had to get his nose over his toes to lean forward enough to stand up on his own. In many ways, this reminded me of the spiritual journey that many Christians are on. We think that we are ready to stand, but we keep falling back because we don't do things right. The "good physician" is saying to us, "Nose over your toes" as we try to stand up on our own. If we do it right and do it His way, we find the power to stand and it gets easier when we follow the directions and simply do what He asks.

So, what is He asking you to do right? Nose over your toes in your thoughts? Nose over your toes in your marriage? Nose over your toes in your daily Bible reading? Nose over your toes so you can share the gospel?

Whatever it is, chuckle at the line but remember that God is wanting us to live His way. Nose over your toes may help you get out of bed tomorrow, or it may help you finally obey God in a certain area. Regardless, when we follow the directions, and do things the right way, we will stand with the confidence of God. Get your walker your moving!