I love this picture that Deb took of the boys when they were younger back in Nor Cal. This was our first camping trip at 8,000 feet in the Yosemite National Park area. Now John is headed back to Ozark Christian College for his 4th semester and David is just a few weeks out from graduating from USMC Boot Camp. Several years ago a couple of strangers told me as I was graduating with my MA that I needed to treasure the time with my kids as they would grow up before I knew it. My how they were right. My two daughters are still at home in High School but I know those days are numbered as well. In fact, all of our days are numbered. From time to time I’m taken back to the wise words in the Bible where the psalmist prayed that God would “teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” Indeed we only have so much time on this good green earth that God created and it’s up to us to make the most out of the days we have been given. There are just three more days in 2015. What are you going to do with them? 2016 is right around the corner. How are you going to make the New Year count?
Solidarity is what she opened her discussion with. Shortly after the December 2nd mass shooting in San Bernardino by a Muslim husband and wife, Wheaton College Professor, Larycia Hawkins, set out to demonstrate solidarity with her Muslim neighbors by wearing a hijab. She cleared the actions with Wheaton, which is a major Christian liberal arts university, and all appeared to be fine. While my idea of solidarity promotion wouldn’t include the wearing of a hijab any more than suggesting that a Muslim cleric wear a Catholic Priest’s collar, I understand the desire to do something to foster a spirit of peace. I agree that stereo typing all Muslims as terrorist is something that we must fight. Days later though Professor Hawkins was suspended by the university. As some raced to condemn the institution and point to the public wearing of the Islamic female head covering as their reason, the real issue was much deeper and I completely agree with Wheaton’s decision. (more…)
For our friends who have been following Deb’s medical condition over the past 14 months we’re happy to report that her recent gallbladder surgery went very well. In pre-op she was asked if there were any other piercings that needed to be taken care of before the procedure. At that I told the nurse that I had suggested to Deb a while back that she get a belly ring. My request didn’t go too far. The big news though is that she is regaining strength on the right side of her body and the pain seems to be subsiding. We are chalking this up simply to miraculous as there is nothing that we’ve done to initiate the change. So we’re praising God and are enormously grateful for the doctors that have personally walked with us during Debi’s medical journey.
Over my years in ministry I’ve interacted with a lot of doctors and medical staff. Every time I meet one of these physicians I’m always impressed with their ability and gifting. With Deb’s condition we have met a number of highly competent medical professionals including Dr. Erika Simpson of Houston Methodist, Dr. Kang of Cypress Fairbanks Hospital, and Dr. Miranda who performed Deb’s gallbladder surgery. Again and again I’ve noted the ability in these brilliant people and thanked God for their skill. (more…)
Recently I noticed an article chiding followers of Christ for their misunderstandings of Christmas floating around cyberspace. It was gathering a good bit of attention from some of my friends who don’t normally go in for Biblical Christianity. Usually when that scenario plays out you can bet the post is cynical at best and derogatory at worst and most often simply filled with half-truths. This particular post was found in Time.com and written by Mark Sandlin. (link here) In the post, Sandlin shared what he felt were 10 things Christians should NOT DO on Christmas to which my skeptical friends thought were great. A few of Mark’s comments were right on while on the other hand a few of them made me question if the guy really knows Jesus or not. So today I have written a quick response to Mr. Sandlin and then 10 quick things that Christians SHOULD do on Christmas. So anyway, here we go . . . (more…)
As I woke up this morning I saw the news feeds about Ferguson rolling out faster than moths to a flame. Some were spot on and some were just downright silly. As the commentary continued it became obvious that very few people were seeing the real root of the problem or even really cared to know what the true answers were. Why? Because it’s someone else’s fault. (more…)
I want my cupcake! That’s what I said YEARS ago when I got home from trick or treating as my dad took away the freshly frosted pastry that I had in my plunder. The reason for this confiscation was because some nut jobs the previous year had given out dangerous treats and parents were warned not to take food which wasn’t properly packaged. I was bummed. (I actually snuck back to the trash later on and retrieved my snack.) But every year the question arises as to what Christ followers should do about Halloween. The only time I really get nervous in this quandary is when someone says definitively that everyone who claims to be a Christian MUST take their point of view. (more…)