Thursday, May 24, 2007

Reflections on the Ministry

Today marks 20 years since I was “set apart” or formally “ordained into the ministry” by my home church in Three Oaks, Michigan. I’ve been doing a lot of reminiscing about the things that God has allowed me to do for Him over the past two decades. I don’t deserve to be saved, let alone serve as one of God’s messengers. Yet, because of His grace, the Lord grants me the wonderful privilege of proclaiming the Good News.

In 1987 I never could have imagined that I would have the privilege of serving a wonderful church in Virginia for 12 years, winning many to the Lord, developing deep friendships, and ordaining several young men into the ministry. Nor did I have any idea that I would come to Fort Wayne, Indiana to serve with another great church. God has blessed me with the privilege of preaching in many places, (Revivals, Campmeetings, etc.), meeting some great saints along the way. Thank you Jesus!

I’m just as “fired up” today as I was 20 years ago. Like the prophet Jeremiah, I can say, “His word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot!” With the apostle Paul, I say, “I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!”

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Idol Thoughts

I have liked Blake from the beginning. But I think Jordin is a lock to win it all. We'll all know tonight.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

That's It?

THAT was the twist ending? THAT is how the writers are starting off the reinvented, re-imagined 24!?! You've got to be kidding me. People, they're grasping at straws! They were so ready for this lost season to end that they tried everything they could to get you to watch. Even the small promo for season seven promised it would be the best season ever... Uh huh. If they just replayed season one next year, I would agree with that claim.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Class of 2007

On Saturday I had the honor of being the Commencement Speaker at my alma mater, 20 years after my own graduation. Back then I never could have imagined it. In fact, my good friend Mark Christian (now the Academic Dean), whom I have known since the fourth grade, said to me right before the ceremony, "How scary is it that you and I are doing this?" Just another reminder of two truths:

1. There is a God.

2. He is full of grace.

Thursday, May 17, 2007


Last year I met a guy at the North American Christian Convention. His name is Jim Tune. Jim and I had already met in cyberspace via an online discussion group called Christian Church Today. Brother Tune serves as Executive Director of Impact Canada, an organization devoted to planting New Testament churches in Canada. Despite the fact that my knowledge of all things Canadian is pretty much limited to the old Bob & Doug McKenzie show and Red Green, Jim and I developed a friendship, and he invited me to write a column for a new quarterly magazine called reIGNITED. He wants me to emphasize Restoration Movement principles, Light from the Old Paths. Beauty, eh?

The inaugural issue was just published. You can get a sneak peek here or click here to subscribe.

Jerry Falwell

By now you've heard about Jerry Falwell's passing. I rarely watch the drive-by media (6:30pm networks news), but I happened to be watching on Tuesday night (mainly because I was trying to get the severe weather updates for our area). Each network led the broadcast with the news of Dr. Falwell's death. Predictably, they focused on the "controversies" and "ultra-conservatism" while all but ignoring the other things he did.

I didn't know Dr. Falwell, and anyone who knows me will recognize that we had some doctrinal differences, but I appreciated his stand for decency, morality, and the Lord. In the age of televangelist scandals, Jerry stayed squeaky clean. Ann Coulter has a nice tribute here and my friend David Willis weighs in here.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Old Dudes

I was watching ESPN this morning, and they were talking about the return of Roger Clemens. The guy is three years older than I am! Randy Johnson and Jamie Moyer are also active pitchers heading toward their mid-40's. Wow. It seems like Jamie Moyer has been playing for as long as I can remember (a little trivia: Jamie is Digger Phelps' son-in-law).

I enjoyed this recent Letterman Top 10 List:

Top Ten Signs A Baseball Player Is Too Old
10. Gets winded putting on his socks

9. Hard slide into second triggers Life-Alert pendant

8. While playing outfield, yells at teamates to get off his lawn

7. When buying performance-enhancing drugs, gets the AARP discount

6. Claims he killed President McKinley with a line drive

5. Often begins sentences, "As Shoeless Joe Jackson once told me . . ."

4. He's almost as old as the hot dogs — seriously, have you ever eaten one of those things?

3. Lost part of his career fighting in World War I

2. During interviews, he thanks the Lord and the makers of super Poligrip

1. When he's in the on-deck circle, asks bat boy, "What did I come in here for?"

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Shaking 'Em Out

Here's a preacher problem to ponder. Many of us like to greet people after the worship service (shaking hands, exchanging pleasantries, etc.). This is known as “shaking ‘em out.” One cynic said that the reason why we all rush to the door to do this is that we are all egomaniacs who can't wait for people to tell us how wonderful we are. Most folks are generous with their lies, er, um, I mean compliments (one of my friends told me that he always knows when the sermon tanked: the sweet elderly women say, "You look nice today."). Although I have had my share of uncharitable remarks (e.g. "you offended my mother", "where are the flags?", "my kid's name wasn't in the bulletin", "I think you are arrogant", "the music was too loud", etc.). Also, there is the occasional person who wants to tell his/her entire life story at the door (while others are waiting to get out).

As the church grows, it becomes increasingly difficult to know, touch, and minister to everyone. Several years ago, while at a conference, I heard a speaker discourage preachers from shaking people's hands at the door. The reason? There will come a point when the church will become too large for that practice to be practical. So if you stop doing it, some people will think, "He doesn't like us anymore."

But I think I’m going to keep it up.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Cubs Win!

The game yesterday was a lot of fun. Zambrano got rocked in the first inning, but the he settled down. Cubs won 6-4. A great father son memory.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Wrigley Bound

My son Luke and I are heading to Chicago tomorrow (for his class field trip). We're stopping at the Museum of Science and Industry and then going to see the Cubs play the Nationals. And Zambrano is pitching! Go Cubbies!

National Day of Prayer

Just returned from the National Day of Prayer service in downtown Fort Wayne. It was a great service. And I got to be on live TV. I know the reporter who was covering the event. When he saw me, he asked, "Hey, can you give a two-minute interview when we go live at Noon?" I said "sure." I don’t know if he liked it when I said, "I want to give a shout out to my peeps at Cedar Creek. Woo Hoo!!"

Just kidding.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

A Nosefrida Nasal Aspirator by Any Other Name

This is a real product. A Nosefrida Nasal Aspirator is a Snot-Sucker. I'm not making this up.

I love what Mark Oestreicher said about it:

really, this product is listed as a “cool tool”. and, really, it’s a snot sucker. that’s right. really.
...this is copied straight outa the description:
You put the mouthpiece in your mouth, press the open end of the snot-collection chamber against your kid’s nostril (it doesn’t go very far inside the nose), and SUCK.
later in the description…
It sounds disgusting and bizarre…
ya think? those are the five most honest words in the whole thing.
yes, i have two kids. and, yes, they were snotty from time to time. and we had a little turkey-baster-like snot syringe. but a snot sucker? really?

Heller Highwater

A lot happened on 24 last night. SecDef Heller is back? Huh? I thought he pulled a Toonces the Driving Cat move and died last season? Next thing you know, Nina will come back to life. It's hard to keep up with The Bauer.