Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Just a reminder that your kids could be worse off......

Someone passed this to me in an e-mail - couldn't pass it up!

A father passing by his son's bedroom was astonished to see that his bed was nicely made and everything was picked up. Then he saw an envelope, propped up prominently on the pillow that was addressed to 'Dad.' With the worst premonition he opened the envelope with trembling hands and read the letter.

Dear Dad:
It is with great regret and sorrow that I'm writing you. I had to elope with my new girlfriend because I wanted to avoid a scene with Mom and you. I have been finding real passion with Stacy and she is so nice. But I knew you would not approve of her because of all her piercings, tattoos, tight motorcycle clothes and the fact that she is much older than I am. But it's not only the passion...Dad she's pregnant. Stacy said that we will be very happy. She owns a trailer in the woods and has a stack of firewood for the whole winter. We share a dream of having many more children. Stacy has opened my eyes to the fact that marijuana doesn't really hurt anyone.. We'll be growing it for ourselves and trading it with the other people that live nearby for cocaine and ecstasy. In the meantime we will pray that science will find a cure for AIDS so Stacy can get better. She deserves it. Don't worry Dad. I'm 15 and I know how to take care of myself. Someday I'm sure that we will be back to visit so that you can get to know your grandchildren.

Love, Your Son Cody,

P.S.. Dad, none of the above is true. I'm over at Tommy's house. I just wanted to remind you that there are worse things in life than the report card that's in my center desk drawer. I love you. Call me when it's safe to come home.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Return of the 17 Year Cicadas

As a kid I loved hearing my dad tell me about the "17 year locust". The cicadas nymphs live underground for 17 years before they come to the surface to mature as insects. I love to hear the cicada song on those warm summer days. This year my kids found about 30 shells in our back yard and it was my turn to begin to tell the story. "God made this magnificent insect..."

Thursday, August 28, 2008

An Important Story

I read the Ethos blog by Randy Elrod regularly and he recently had a awesome post on a young man's conversion from Islam to Christianity.

This Is An Important News Story-Why Have We Not Heard About It????

Mosab_hassan__yousef_hamas_son Son of Hamas Leader Turns Back on Islam...

Mosab Hassan Yousef is an extraordinary young man with an extraordinary story. He was born the son of one of the most influential leaders of the militant Hamas organization in the West Bank and grew up in a strict Islamic family. continue on his blog here

Friday, June 27, 2008

Knowledge and Wisdom

For my devotions I use some thing called a Life Journal. It combines a daily reading plan with intentional journaling. It is a great way to focus on God's word. I don't normally pulish my journal entries but today's kind of tied in with my post yesterday.

Knowledge and Wisdom

Scripture: 2 Timothy 3:7 Always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth.

Observation: We are not to merely seek knowledge but truth. Some people spend their whole lives learning about stuff but never live out the truth of what they know. Like spending all you time reading about sailing and never setting foot in a boat.

Application: I need to do both - life is not an academic pursuit. I don't need to just know more about God I need to know God more. I do not need to just know all the answers I need to know the answer! My passion is for Him not knowledge about Him.

Prayer: Father - Keep my eyes on you and not the stuff I surround you with. May I run passionately after you and you only. - Amen

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

What are you chasing?

I was listening to an interview on the Steve Brown Etc. Show the other day. They were talking to an actor named Eduardo Verástegui from the movie Bella. He said "Greyhounds spend their lives chasing a false dream." He went on to say that once in a while a dog will catch the rabbit and that when they do and discover that it is fake they will never chase it again. It made me wonder how many of us do the same thing. We chase wealth or pleasure or status or peace or comfort or any of the things that appear to have value and yet when we actually get them we find them fake and empty. Some times we get hurt so deeply we decide not to chase anything again - it must all be as empty as that fake bit of fur and metal.

Do you ever feel like you are chasing empty dreams? Are you ever suspicious that the pot at the end of the rainbow might be filled with fools gold?

Paul talks about the race in Hebrews 12:1-3 "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."

Michael Card once said "What we need is not to do more for God but to love God more." We can get so wrapped up in doing good things and chasing good dreams and end up empty because we have lost sight of what we were created to be. We were not merely created to be servants we were created to be companions. We are the Beloved, the Bride and we need to keep our eyes on the bridgroom.

Father, may I pursue you desperately. May my soul thirst for you. May you be so fixed in my sight that the distractions of this world seem pale and empty.

Pursue Him desperately my friends.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Pastor's First Blog

Well, at the prodding of some of us my Pastor has finally dipped his toe into the Blogosphere. While I have not been blogging as regularly as I would like (life tends to get in the way) I believe firmly in the impact and influence blogging can have. As a pastor it is a unique outlet for things that might not fit into the traditional role of preacher/teacher. Check out his first few posts at Crouch's Corner -

God Bless -


Friday, May 02, 2008

Fun With Trees!

I've been playing with a new sevice Animoto. Very cool - check out this from our California trip in December!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

The Reminder of a Fallen Soldier

I was on a flight from Nashville to Detroit today on my way home from a conference (yes it is that time of year again). I was sitting next to a lady and we struck up a conversation - she saw the Nouwen book I was finishing and asked about it. Of course I was more than happy to share what God had beenFallen Soldier - taps teaching me though it. (See my earlier post for more on Nouwen) As we spoke I asked where she had been and what had her traveling today. With a catch in her voice from obvious emotion she began to explain that she had traveled down to Ft Campbell, Kentucky for a memorial service for her nephew who had been killed in Iraq. She told of how wonderful the military folks had been in honoring him and how hard it was for the family. As we spoke and it became apparent that she was a Christian and you could see a bit of peace there in the midst of the pain.

As I thought about the reality of pain it reminded me of a quote by John Eldredge from the live seminar based on his book The Sacred Romance, "Have you forgotten - maybe you haven't heard. Your address used to be paradise. History did not begin with sin, it began with Eden - picture Maui at sunset with your dearest love. Your soul does not live in the habitat for which it was made." We do not live where we should and part of the reality of the fallen world is that life hurts. When we experience loss and death it hurts - it hurts because something in us that was created for something greater cries out against it say "THIS IS NOT THE WAY IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE!" Just as pain in our body tells us something is wrong, when pain hits our soul it is symptom that all is not right. The effects of sin have once again hit and caused one I love to not be here with me.

The reality of sin in a fallen world is that death steals those we love. Sometimes it is death in a very real sense but other time it is the slow small death of hurt and betrayal, of cold and callous actions, of self centered decisions that slowly drive us from those we love. Years ago in a bible study a friend said the simple but profound phrase "death equals separation". As I look back that may have been one of the most transforming statements in my understanding of the affects of my fallenness. I will hurt those I love and they will hurt me. Death will take some of them from me. It will hurt. The hurt is OK. God is still working in it to create in me the person I am becoming.

Commit with me to focus on the relationships that matter. As we nurture them and care for those we love may the "little death" that comes from sin be overcome in our lives. May God work in our relationships that we may be his body and light in this world. May we truly be connected people. The enemy wants us lonely, frightened and scared. Christ came that we may reconnect with the Father and each other. It is what we were created for. It is the first step back to paradise!

God Bless


Father - be with the family of that soldier. Wrap them in your arms, bathe them with your peace. May they experience joy that passes all understanding and may the continue to be molded into the people you have created them to become. - Amen

Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Gift of a Prodigal Son

Every so often my pastor will ask me to teach during a Sunday evening service when he is away. Schedule permitting I always accept. It's a small informal service mainly attended by the core older members of our congregation. These are folks who are 30+ years older than I am. Most of them saw me grow up and a few of them had more influence than they realize on that process. I always come away humbled and blessed that these saints who have been walking with God longer than I have been alive will allow this young punk to teach them. They are gracious and eager to hear what God has to say. They are still learning and seeking him. It is incredible!

I had been sharing with pastor about some of the things God had been teaching me and he encouraged me to use this group as a sounding board and explore with them some of the things I am trying to tie together. They were wonderful and it was really helpful. The next week one of the gentleman gave me a book. He imagesaid "This is actually from my wife. I have another one coming for you." The book she passed along to me was The Return of the Prodigal Son by Henri Nouwen. What an awesome read!

I was peripherally aware of Nouwen. One of my professors in college was a fan and I had read one of his books on prayer (I need to go back and re-read that incidentally). He is a FANTASTIC writer! He is able to let the scripture speak so clearly and at the same time be achingly vulnerable and personal, letting you see how God has used this in his life. As I work through his book it is confirming and expanding some of the themes that I'm writing about but I also find my self longing to be able to communicate with such a clear voice and heart. To be as personally vulnerable as he is in his writing is a scary thing.

If you haven't checked out Nouwen please do. The Return of the Prodigal Son is a great place to start. Let me know what you think.

God Bless - Keep Growing


Writing is Hard!

I'm working on a major writing project.  It's an exploration of sin and grace and law with a focus on our relationships.  God has been teaching me incredibly cool things about the centrality of relationships and how much the deceiver delights in damaging those relationships that are most central to who we are.  But man, writing is hard!  I am finding myself struggling with how to structure this puppy.  I can write a blog post, a sermon, a paper an essay but trying to tie a lot of those together into something greater is a real challenge.  I hope to be using this space to get a lot of working thoughts up over the next few weeks. Look for something today or tomorrow on Henry Nouwen - what a saint!


God Bless


Monday, January 21, 2008

Everyone Needs a Hug Sometimes

This is the You-Tube description:

Sometimes, a hug is all what we need. Free hugs is a real life controversial story of Juan Mann, A man whos sole mission was to reach out and hug a stranger to brighten up their lives.
In this age of social disconnectivity and lack of human contact, the effects of the Free Hugs campaign became phenomenal.
As this symbol of human hope spread accross the city, police and officials ordered the Free Hugs campaign BANNED. What we then witness is the true spirit of humanity come together in what can only be described as awe inspiring.
In the Spirit of the free hugs campaign, PASS THIS TO A FRIEND and HUG A STRANGER! After all, If you can reach just one person...
Music by Sick Puppies. Their album is out April 3rd called "Dressed Up As Life". Go out and support these guys.
(Visit or for the music)