The Encouraging Call to Manhood!

The Encouraging Call to Manhood!

It was late November of 96 and we were packing up to move north for our first full-time ministry after returning from the mission field.  The process included securing a moving truck and car trailer in tow.  I had never driven anything as big as this truck before and I was a bit concerned, especially with the car trailer attached. My dad never taught me how to handle anything this big before when I was a kid. Actually, he had never really encouraged me that I could do anything bigger than my present reality.

But my friend Todd, who is now a Bible Translator in Papua New Guinea, was with me as we made the final connections for the tail lights.  We wiped our hands off and took a deep breath from a job well done. Then, after another deep breath, I said, “Todd, you know, I’ve never really driven anything this big before and honestly I’m a bit afraid that I’m going to wreck it or something.”  Todd just looked at me and nodded his head once with a small smile. I went on, “but I guess I just need to be a man about it and push forward.”  Again, Todd just gave a small smile and quick nod and only offered the one-word response of, “yup.”

That’s really all there was to it from then on out. We prayed, asking for God’s help. I then shook Todd’s hand, thanked him, and then climbed into the cab and took off.  But that’s what I needed.  I needed another guy just to tell me that I was a man and that I could do it. (more…)

Finding Grace and Following the Guide. Or. (God and Sex Part II.)

Finding Grace and Following the Guide. Or. (God and Sex Part II.)

The bottom line is that when Deb and I got married, she was a virgin and I was not.  One of the modern myths about sex is that it’s just physical and no big deal. I don’t believe this and that is certainly not my journey.  The emotions have been all over the place in my adult life. At one point I can experience the true forgiveness and redemption of Jesus with an understanding of grace that people with less checkered lives just can’t understand.  On the other hand, there are still residual times when I ache for my choices of sexual activity before marriage. I don’t blame the girl. I know it was my decision and it pains me.  If there was anything that I could take back, it would be those pre-marital sexual actions that I took during the dark ages on my high school years and young adult life.  But I can’t. (more…)

Finishing For Them!

Finishing For Them!

Is it worth it?  The time?  The money?  The sacrifices?  Those were just a few of the questions running through my head and heart as I stood over the washing machine a number of years ago moving a load into the dryer.  It was not a good season in many ways.  I was serving full-time in a local church with very little help.  We had two young and overly energetic boys.  My wife was expecting baby number three in about two months.  The real struggle was in her experiencing premature labor and thus confined to mostly bed rest.  She was out of commission and I was wondering what in the world I was doing taking grad-school classes.  The questions were logistical and about motive.  Am I doing this for the right reasons?  Do I really need to pursue an MA?  Can’t I just as well serve my present job and calling fine with what I have?  Then as I was reaching down to pull out the last handful of clean clothing I sensed the Holy Spirit confirming that I needed to stay in the fight. (more…)