Tuesday, January 27, 2009


I am all about the show “House.” It has become mandatory viewing for Alana and me on Monday nights. I love the drama of the medical side of all the characters, but what I really love is the idea that all of the doctors and main characters on the show are so passionate about what they believe and why they believe it.

I know the passion is fake. The actors do their job, the show is put together and it airs for people like me who want to just sit and veg some nights. But you have to love how the “doctors” fight for their views. They argue, they yell, they manipulate, they go behind one another’s back to get done what they believe needs to be done. Now, I don’t necessarily agree with their methods, but I love their passion.

I was praying this morning for passion. I was dreaming of being so passionate about my walk with Christ and sharing it with others that I would do anything to make that passion come alive in me. Okay, not anything, but you get my point. If actors can be so passionate about what is not real, can’t we be a little more passionate about the ultimate reality?

I know many passionate people. I am passionate. But I want more. I believe God calls us to more. And I believe God wants to use our passion to change eternity. If we can put that into action, marry our passion with our pursuits, we can make the difference. We can see real lives saved in front of our eyes. Now that would be cool!!

Monday, January 26, 2009


In the book of Romans, Paul reminds us that we are God’s children. In Romans 8:16 he says, “The Spirit testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.” That is a pretty amazing thought. We are literally children of the God of the universe!!!

When I look at my children I delight in them. I have spent hours and hours watching them play basketball, soccer, read, ride bikes, play guitar, sing, memorize bible verses, play games, and all kinds of other fun and exciting stuff. I love seeing my kids grow, develop, learn and put into practice what they have been taught. It is awesome to have such great kids.

But there are times when they aren’t perfect. There are times when they disobey, they fail, they lose and they miss. There are times when they whine, pout, complain and argue. But even in those times, they are still my kids. And I still love them. There is nothing that Emily, Zach and Kimberly could do to make me stop loving them.

If we feel that way about our own kids, how much more does God feel that way about us? There are times when our life with God is in the groove. We feel close, intimate and obedient. And there are other times when we are disobedient, sloppy, whiney, complaining, pouting and arrogant. In those times we feel like God is so far away and couldn’t possibly love us.

The reality is that God loves us no matter what. We don’t have to be perfect for him just as our children don’t have to be perfect for us. It is in the times where we are not perfect that God loves us anyway, just as we are. No regrets over loving us. No shame over us. No remorse over being passionate about us.

We are God’s children and nothing can ever separate us from his love. (Romans 8:38-39.)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


I love it when people get to the point. I am not a huge details person. I don’t need to know the color of someone’s dress or the style of those they were wearing. I simply want to know the facts. The wedding was nice, the cake was awesome, and bride was beautiful. Short, simple, complete.

My wife, on the other hand, is all about the details. She loves to describe everything, set the scene and give commentary on what was happening. She is all about moods, and emotions and images. It is what I love about her. She picks up all the stuff I miss. We constantly laugh about the old line from “Rocky” where Sly tells Adrian, “You got gaps, I got gaps. We fill each other’s gaps.” That’s us.

I was reading today in Colossians 2. Paul gets going from the very beginning about how Jesus is the revelation of God, the “mystery” of the ages. He gets into the details of Christ and who he is and boils it down to one key point: “He forgave us all our sins…” (vs. 13)

There are a million details about Christ. Theologians through the ages have argued, discussed, written and taught about Jesus. And Paul does his fair share of detail work as well. But, what it all comes down to is the reality that Christ forgave our sins by his death and resurrection. Short. Simple. Complete.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


I am worn out and beat up this morning. I am at the same time excited, energetic and hopeful. Today I started a new exercise program. I got up early, got Emily off to school and Alana and I did a video workout with Bob from “The Biggest Loser” TV show. I used to be an athlete. I used to be lean, strong and do everything I can to gain weight. Now I am pudgy, out of shape and fondly remembering the days when I weighed less than two bills.

But today I did it. I worked by butt off!! Well, not yet, but it is on the way. And I am excited about it. I have been fairly active. I play basketball with the kids, I walk the dog (more precisely he walks me) and I try to do some things to grow stronger. But it has been nothing organized. One of the most difficult parts of working out is getting started.

The same is true in our personal walk with God. One of the most difficult things to do is to actually choose to get going. I hear people tell me all the time that they don’t have time to read the bible, time to go to Life Group or time to focus on making their marriage better. But they have time for movies, football games, and hanging out with their friends.

I am not trying to be a pain or to be a legalist. I am just stating some facts. You have time for the things you CHOOSE to have time to do. If you choose to invest in God’s Word, you will gain the reward. If you choose to attend worship services or Life Group, you will get the reward. If you choose to grow closer to your spouse you will.

What choices are you making? What decisions are y9ou making that you need to re-think? Where are you putting your time and energy?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Simple is my goal. I want to have some simple attitudes in life about certain things. I want my family to know that they have priority over everything else in my life. I want my wife to know that I love her deeper today than I ever have. (And I want to live that out every day!!!) I want the people that God places in front of me to know that there is a God who loves them deeply. I want LifeQuest Church to know that God has huge plans for us.

But simple doesn’t always happen. Simple gets lost in schedules, frustrations, disappointments and plans. Simple becomes one of the first causalities of 21st century living. Life is hardly ever simple.

Last night was supposed to be simple. Emily had a basketball game (she played awesome!!!), we were going to go home, get the kids in bed and have a peaceful evening. In the fourth quarter of the basketball game, Emily went up for a rebound, came down in a pile of girls, and had to leave the game. Then the coach waved me over. Emily was in a ton of pain. She had huge tears streaming down her face. For anyone who knows Emily, this is not normal. (At least not when it comes to physical pain.)

Needless to say the night became less simple. Emergency room, x-rays, crutches, and pain medicine. Fortunately nothing is broken, but the week became more and more complicated. Now we are scheduling orthopedic appointments, working out homework and exam help, and making sure she is taken care of.

But in the midst of that, life continues. Many things have to be done. I still have work to do, meetings to attend and people to contact. I have messages to write, books to read and services to plan. And I have a wife and two other children who still have life happening around them.

I guess I want to encourage everyone that life is not always simple. It is hard, it is challenging and it is stressful. But we have a great promise from a great God: “I will never leave you or forsake you.” At least that is a simple promise to hold onto.

Monday, January 12, 2009

God is Real and God is Love

Two things seem to keep popping up in my conversations, readings, and my own feeble little brain in the last two weeks: God is real and God is love. I know this may not seem like deep revelations or theology, but I am beginning to wonder if there is not some deeper point I am missing or if there is some lesson God is trying to teach me.

The first aspect is that God is real. I have never questioned that fact. I grew up believing in God and going to church. But lately, it seems like I am striving for a deeper level of understanding about God’s realness. It is as if God is telling me that he is more than I can imagine. He is not some distant, cosmic grandfather, but an intimate, relational, powerful God who wants me to know him more.

The second aspect is that God is love. I have always heard that and believed it, but what does it mean? I am discovering that God’s love is lived out in the process of relationships. God’s love is displayed in life as we relate, communicate, and simply live together. God’s love is demonstrated in the human element of our life.

These two thoughts have been running circles in my mind for days. I would love to hear any thoughts or feedback you may have about the fact that God is real and God is love.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


“O my God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night and am not silent. Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the praise of Israel.” Psalm 22:2-3

This Psalm has always intrigued me. Not only does it foreshadow the suffering of the Messiah, but it paints a picture of David as a man who does not walk constantly in the overwhelming presence of God. David describes God as distant, silent and unresponsive. How often do you feel that way about God? I know I feel God must be taking a nap sometimes and misses my prayers or my cries for help.

But David does not stop at the point of his frustration. Even in the midst of questions and doubt David rests on the assurance of who God really is. He is the Holy One; the one who deserves all praise from his people. David did not let the circumstances of his life keep him from proclaiming the reality of who God really is.

In life it is easy to get bogged down by the details. We feel overwhelmed, swamped and forgotten. But our feelings do not change the reality of God’s presence or his authority. God has never changed and will never change. He is the one who created and holds together the universe.

As you go through life today, as you struggle, cry out, and feel the burden of life, rest in the fact that God is still on his throne. God is still in control. And God is still present.