One of the things I enjoy most about being home is being able to attend the church I grew up in, which my father also happens to pastor. The congregation is small enough that it has become more like extended family. I’ve learned quite a few lessons from sermons that have been given from that pulpit and challenged to actually apply them throughout the following week. Sometimes, I am simply reminded of God’s never-ending care for His people, mostly through the words of others during testimonies. Read more
When the economy began to take a downturn, it hit me and my growing family hard. I know for a fact that I wasn’t the only one being affected. Many who were working with me in the town where I was born were struggling with the challenges of a changing climate in the aviation industry. My wife was fortunate to be in a career at the time that allowed her to work from home; it was one of the benefits of the pioneering age of social media. She could literally work from anywhere in the country. Read more
Good things happen when we are willing to embrace change and go with the flow. This is something I know all too well. What is this flow? God’s wonderful, awesome and powerful Holy Spirit.
A couple months ago, I did something that I never thought possible. While completing my culminating internship, I was asked by the principal of the internship site to conduct an assembly for grades 1-8.
In the past, I probably would’ve tried to wiggle my way out of it, but when asked, I accepted the challenge. No sooner than I said yes, he asked, “Do you think you could also do the Teacher’s Devotion and Assembly on Monday? Again, I decided to willingly submit by adding, “Sure. Yes I will do it.”
Afterwards, Mr. Bonifas took the time to give me some pointers about how he conducts the assembly and shared the theme for the week. The lesson I was scheduled to share was taken from John 3:3 about how to be born again.
The morning of the assembly, I was going over my notes in the auditorium when a friendly little girl with a bubbly disposition came over to ask me what I was doing. After sharing what I was about to do, she replied, “What is born again?” I took that as my cue to share a mini version of the lesson. Read more
Or should everything inside of us and around us rather remain the same?
Those of us who follow Jesus are encouraged to be “change agents” for themselves, for the individuals around them, and for society. Read more
“Then [Elijah] was afraid… and ran for his life to Beersheba… and left his servant there. But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness… and asked that he might die…. And behold an angel touched him and said to him, “Arise and eat.” And he looked, and behold, there was at his head a cake baked on hot stones, and a jar of water… And the angel of the Lord came again a second time and said, “Arise and eat, for the journey is too great for you.” And he arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mount of God.” – 1 Kings 19: 3-8
We often focus on how God spoke to Elijah in a still small voice, but we often neglect the journey and preparation preceding him hearing God’s voice. Read more
Each December, I ask the Lord for a special word from Him to serve as my “theme” for the coming year. 2013’s word is JOY. I was excited to receive this word, expecting great things throughout the year that would provide great joy.
Instead, I’ve had trials. Lots of them. Through the trials, I’ve realized that JOY doesn’t come instead of trials; it comes in spite of them, if we remember to keep our focus on Jesus. (It’s still the summer as I write this, so it didn’t take a whole year to learn this particular lesson!)
I’ve also learned some other things this year – and it seems quite the hodgepodge. Read more
“And your children… shall suffer for your faithlessness” Numbers 14:33
Edward Lorenz, American mathematician and meteorologist coined the term “Butterfly effect.” In essence, it theorizes that small actions today can multiply into very large effects up the road. He theorized that today’s hurricane might have likely been the consequence of a butterfly or seagull flapping its wings weeks earlier.
Battening down the hatches upon seeing butterflies in our front yard or seagulls in the parking lot remains inconclusive but one thing’s for sure: our actions today do have consequences tomorrow. Read more
According to the Mother Nature Network, trees frame life, providing shade, oxygen, food, homes, heat, and of course, building materials. They also overlook our first kisses and marriage proposals (http://www.mnn.com). One of the most cited trees in the Bible is the olive tree, its fruit the heart and soul of Mediterranean cooking. The olive tree is a remarkable plant that has an enriched ancient usage in history. The Hebrew word for “olive tree” is es shemen, which literally means ‘tree of oil.” It is from a primitive root meaning, “to shine.” It means “richness, anointing, fat, and fruitful, oil, ointment, olive.” It is related to the word shemesh, “to be brilliant,” which is the Hebrew word for“sun,” that brightly shining orb in the sky (http://www.triumphpro.com). Read more
My daughter has begun memorizing a monologue for her theatre class. As she started this effort, we had a brief discussion about the difference between a monologue and a dialogue. It made me think back to my prayer times and wonder if this was more monologue than dialogue. Having a dialogue with God can be a difficult thing.
It is my belief that humans are culturally programmed to fill the void. I see this in my occupation when conducting corporate training sessions. As trainers, we refer to the ‘7 second pause’. If I ask a question, it is intended to create discussion and interaction, but occasionally, audiences can be more difficult and resist the interaction. However, I have found that almost without exception, if I can hold myself back for 7 seconds, someone will eventually respond. After doing this a few times, I find the audience warms up to the idea of the interaction and there are fewer hesitations. Read more
I just completed a spiritual formation class with Dr. Mara Crabtree. If you are a divinity student, I recommend you take her course. You will benefit greatly from her teaching.
While in this class, we were discussing spiritual disciplines. These include prayer, solitude, meditation, and being in the Word daily. During these discussions, a book was mentioned and I have since been vigorously reading this book. Read more