Monday, July 25, 2011

Facing it

Lots of us studiously avoid conflict,
situations that might contain risk, places where it is all on the line.
Instead, we turn away from great risk, great sacrifice, or great faith.
If we do this, we let those who follow us suffer from group mediocrity rather than lead the way towards making a difference.
It is so much easier to go along with the flow, to avoid the moment of confrontation, to let the next guy handle this challenge.

Heard a great story of a young man who had learned to face it.

He was installed as the pastor of a country church, attended mostly by hard-nosed ranchers and people of the earth. Conflict?...they learned to settle it in personal combat...often with fists. Hard to get someone to pastor that church.

On his first Sunday at the new post, as he was sharing with the church, a man interrupted the service, stood up, and said something like this:
"I just want you to know that when these people voted for you, I wasn't here. I wouldn't have voted for you....and I think we need to go outside right now and settle this."

The new pastor was a tall, angular, red-headed novice, but this day, he faced it.

Gathering himself to full height, he said: "Well, I'd be glad to settle this matter with you outside, whenever you like, but I need to tell you, you are not going to like the outcome."

After a pregnant pause, the rancher said: "Well, welcome pastor. I think we are going to get along just fine."

True story.

Do you have something you need to face?

"'Know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord's and he will give all of you into our hands.'
..and David ran quickly toward the battle line..."
I Samuel 17:45-49.

Facing it...with you.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


You moving pretty fast too?

Yesterday: Staff meeting, office details, packing up, out to lunch, to SLC airport, fly home, to Brad's for some family time, home and to bed pronto.

Today: Up early, long talk, pick up the yard, clean up the office, check the mail, mail out copies of Spirit Life, gather teachings for Wyoming, wash car, pick up AG official, visit the wake of Virgil Illum, home and finish packing...different destinations this time.

Tomorrow..take Jackie to Denver airport - she's going to Minneapolis to see Shayla. I drive on to connect in Greely - to travel to Wyoming and speak for two days to pastors from all over that state.


And then comes Jesus, the Prince of Peace.

With Him "in the boat" no flury will be too much. Waves and wind will simply become His means of developing us more on the inside.

Stand in our boats, Lord, and rebuke the part of the wind that seems like too much.

May Your peace - Jesus Christ - which supercedes understanding, keep our hearts and our minds.

And with this, we are doing "just fine, thank you."


Thursday, July 14, 2011


Interesting that on the day the Holy Spirit was sent to empower the church, it was windy.
Not was the "sound of a mighty rushing wind that filled the house where they were sitting." artist I have seen depicts the people in the upper room with hair feeling the effects of the wind! Would have been much closer to the real thing if he had pictured some covering their ears instead.

The sound was God's way of introducing special effects to in some way represent the audio reality of the giving of His mighty power people. It would cause them to be able bear witness to Jesus. 120 people were thus impowered..and all at once.

Feels a bit like the "wind" is blowing in Ogden. This place, like the Springs has interesting weather, including winds that come up quickly, blow strongly and then subside rapidly.

Fresh winds seem to be prevailing in the church as we gather...with hearts responding to the word, vision being cast for the future, and lots of prayers and tears. As I minister, I see fire building in the eyes of those gathered. It is a joy to be able to be here to help the church transition into the future.

What a responsive and good people have been left in the wake of Ray and Bev Wead's great faithful ministry here. days are pretty busy...evening commitments, lots of teaching and discipling, a funeral tomorrow for people not even in the family that worships here. I'm going into that opportunity believing God for 10 people hungry enough to come to me and ask for a booklet that clearly explains how to come to faith in Christ and consequent transformation. Funeral is at praying.

Oh, and you should see Jackie as she loves on people, prays and speaks over them and teams with me in every way. Incredible partner in it all.

Blow...wind of God...blow!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011



A night in Huntsville, Utah.

July 4th.

Huge open green covered with thousands of people...lots of children, lots of red, white and, hats, flags, clothing.
Then a live band....and people crowding in and swaying with the songs...hands lifted high. No alcohol problems, no fights...just joy.

As darkness began creeping in, glow sticks began to appear. Neons - yellow, red, green, blue, white. Like ornate fireflies that just kept glowing. Fashioned into hats, and balls, and space-ship frisbees. And the glow took over until it was a field of thousands with bright colors putting exclamation on the joys of all.

Finally, - 10:30 - the fireworks began with a shower of white brightness that had us ducking. We were right under the big explosions of color and sound..and for many moments, involuntary reflexes let me know just how close we were.

At the end, great cheers, and dances, and hugs. Endless circles of celebration.

All this for gratefulness to live in this land....and the sheer joy of having fun in Utah's newly relaxed fireworks environment.

And I thought of heaven
...where the celebrations will never end
....and the dimensions of it all will be galactic.

May the earthly tastes of heaven, remind us.....and pull us close to His eternal Kingdom.

Where we will celebrate forever.

Monday, July 4, 2011


None of us choose where we are born. The cycle of life, the path of parents, and the sovereign purposes of God marks that.
I was born to Canadian parents in Pocatello, Idaho.
They were here on mission.
So, in an unusual way, I got to be born here.
...a great gift indeed.
I carried dual citizenship for the first 20 years of life.
Finally, I said, I am here, I need to be responsible, and thankful, and become a citizen.
Took the exam and went through the process, raised my hand, took the oath and became a citizen.
Glad I did.
This country offers so much in its freedoms, so much in its trusts and its culture.
Still love Canada.
But thankful to be an American.
God (please continue to) bless America.