Thursday, December 16, 2010


It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…well sort of.  We are in the season of  Advent. You see, we can’t get to Christmas without getting through Advent. But what’s up with Advent? Why all the waiting? Advent is about anticipating the birth of Christ. It’s about longing, desire, that which is yet to come. That which isn’t here yet. Advent is important to go through. We remember that in Scripture there is a natural rhythm to things. When God created the universe, there was a natural rhythm, and then God rested. Our church calendar is set up to create a natural rhythm. Advent also confronts the corrosion of the heart with the insistence that God has not abandoned the world, hope is real and something is coming. Pastor Rob Bell puts it this way ,  “Advent charges into the temple of cynicism with a whip of hope, overturning the tables of despair, driving out the priests of that jaded cult, announcing there’s a new day and it’s not like the one that came before it.” Advent’s purpose is to open us up, to soften us up, and to turn our hearts in the direction of the coming day. And so we wait for that day when the baby cries His first cry . And we, surrounded by shepherds and angels and everybody in between, celebrate that sound in time that brings our Spirits what we’ve been longing for.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Running on Empty

Before technology in vehicles, you had to guess how many miles you had left when the gas gauge was low. Today, we have the luxury to look at the dashboard and see what the computer estimates is left. Knowing that is a good thing. It helps you from running out of gas. How do we know if we are running on empty? Often times we don’t know until it is too late. One of my favorite songs is “Everlasting God”. It’s a song that is based on a passage from Isaiah 40 that reads, “The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.”

Many times we try to see how far we can get, unintentionally, without spending quality one on one time with God. Our egos get in the way of the ever- present Holy Spirit that is beckoning our attention. Many of us try to get through the whole week with just spending one hour on a Sunday morning with God and filling up as much as we can during that hour`. Meanwhile, we remain on cruise control. We try to fill our tank with everything but what is necessary to function: fellowship with friends, insightful books, worshipful music and “drive-by” encounters with God are all things we look for and try to do. While these are all positive activities, they are not sufficient enough for sustained spiritual growth.

In the book of James, we find where our dependence, our source of strength, should come from. We need to be completely, solely dependent upon Him. He is our strength, our fuel. Subjecting ourselves to Him, our motives and our desires to His, leaves us full and confident to continue our journey.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

You Can Do It...He Will Help

I saw this shirt the other week. It was a bright orange shirt that looked like a billboard for the Home Depot. Actually, it looked just like the Home Depot sign. Instead of reading, “Home Depot” it read “Holy Spirit”. For years, the Home Depot has had the slogan, “You can do it, we can help.” Well on this shirt it says, “You can do it. He can help.” And it is true, you CAN do it! Whatever it is. Too often we limit the potential of the Holy Spirit by saying things like, “Oh I can’t do that.” We face resistance and we sometimes give up. But there is a voice that tells you, “I believe God is at work in you!” What would happen if we let go of our need to control? What would happen if we truly relied on the power of the Holy Spirit? What would happen if we truly believed God is at work in us? What would happen to us? What would happen to our churches?  We know what it is like.  We go to a conference, hear other speakers, read about new ideas only to have them squashed by other people. “Oh there’s no way we could ever do that,” some would say. “Oh people won't like that," others would say.  “But we’re Lutheran,” comes the response. So!?!   Why limit what we can do? Why limit the power of the Holy Spirit? Because when we do, we end up declining or happy with "status quo".  We end up being half disciples only producing half of our potential. Because here is the truth found in Scripture- Jesus promises a coming Advocate (The Holy Spirit) and that Advocate is present with us. God has given us a God sized vision and we can’t let the present realities overshadow the possibilities of tomorrow. You CAN do it, and he WILL help!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Show It to One Another

God is doing amazing things. It’s hard sometimes to stop and realize what God’s Spirit is actually accomplishing in our lives. Too often we focus on the negative and let others drag us down. The culture in which we live in always tells us, “It’s not enough.” But when is it ever enough? If we stop and think about it, the more we gain and acquire, the more we demand. Dallas Willard, Professor in the School of Philosophy at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, once said in an interview, “We are designed to be creators and initiators, not just receivers.” What do you have to celebrate? How is God’s Spirit moving in your life? If you need a reminder, read the book of Philippians. Paul reminds this community in this letter about the encouragement, comfort, tenderness, and compassion they enjoyed in their relationship with Christ, and then directed them to show that to one another. I, like Paul, celebrate the good things that God is doing in the lives of others, and am blessed to see others blessed by God.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


I have to admit that I am one of those “go-for-broke” visionary people in ministry.  I’m focused and always thinking about the next big thing. At times I find myself emotionally, spiritually, and physically stretched to my limits. Sometimes I fail to stop and appreciate the Spirit’s work that is being done right now. Gratitude for what God has done and will do, should be a natural and normal part of our life and ministry. The Psalms contain countless reminders to us to praise God for every conceivable thing. Gratitude transforms attitudes, inspires hearts, affirms our calling, and builds relationships. Dietrich Bonhoeffer once said from his jail under Nazi rule, “In ordinary life we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.” We can learn from Dietrich.  He was able to focus on what he could give while sitting in a Nazi concentration prison.  During the time when life seemed hopeless, he was able  to stop and give thanks.  We can also.  There is so much more to be thankful for in our lives, even when we too feel hopeless.  Take some time to see all the good that God has done for you.  Take the time to give Him thanks and praise.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Bless Others

Profound statements...I hear them, read them, see them.  I ponder on these profound statements and try to apply them in some way.  Not that I think they are the only thing in my life that I trust and follow, but I use them to help me have a better understanding of whose I am.  Well, another profound statement jumped out at me while finishing the book Velvet Elvis  by Rob Bell . 

I was reading the section on serving others...I was thinking that I should get this book done because I have  another one ready to go and  "it" hit.  "God chooses people to be used to bless other people".  Yes, it is true.  We are used to bless others in His name.  That is why we are here.  We are not here to exist for ourselves, but to bless others in His name.  It could be through the church.  It could be through our work.  It could be while sitting at Starbucks.  No matter what...we are here to bless others.  Our words, our actions, our thoughts are all for God.  If we keep the focus on what we are here for and the purpose God has for us, then the things we do will not only bless us, but also bless others.  This makes our life and others '  lives better.  I'm totally awed by how God uses people.  I see the  people that have been true blessings in my life by their words and actions.  I pray that I'm a true blessing in others'  lives by my words and actions.  To bless others...sometimes it can be hard to do, but as I work on remembering whose I am, then blessing others will be the outcome of serving God.

Friday, October 15, 2010


I am almost done with the book "Velvet Elvis".  It has been a powerful book to read but a very deep book with lots of thoughts to ponder.  I have found myself reading over and over again the same paragraph...just yesterday, I found myself reading the same sentence over and over again.  Yes, yesterday, I caught myself rereading the same stuck in my really made me think more and more.  The sentence..."I have learned that the real issue behind the Sabbath isn't which day of the week it is but how we live all the time."  (Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell)

The Sabbath is a day when we should slow down.  As Rob Bell puts it, we need to "let the engine come to an idle".  What a concept.  It is amazing what people tell me their schedule is like.  Mine is the same way at times.  We are running here and there.  We are the "super____________" (you can fill in the blank).  We have to do it all, be it all and fix it all. We are it all.  Even on Sunday, in worship, we aren't completely engulfed in worship...we are thinking about what has to happen, where we need to be, what are we going to eat.  We don't ever slow down and really have a Sabbath.  A Sabbath is a chance to slow down and take a good look at what God has done.  Take a look at all that is good and rejoice in it.  A Sabbath is a time for us to receive the grace and peace of God and to really know that it is there.  We all need to slow down.  We all need to live the Sabbath.  Not just on Sundays, but every day. 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Powerfully Present

The pressures of ministry seem to be creeping up on me lately. I seem to have lost my “spark” for visioning for the future. That’s my gift, and it’s what I like to do. I see the big picture and I try to surround myself with people that can help catch the smaller details. Lately though I have been consumed by other “stuff”.  What happens when all the “stuff” of the world creeps in on you? What do you do? What do you do when you feel like you are giving your all but God isn’t showing up? What do you do when you cast vision but few seem inspired? What do you do when criticism comes at you left and right? What do you do in those times of your life when you feel like you are a hamster on a wheel? We all have those times. Last week during one of my low points I was searching scripture and came upon the story of Joseph.  I could identify with him. Bottom of a well? You bet! He was thrown in a well, sold into slavery, falsely accused of rape, and ultimately imprisoned. Ok, so I started feeling a little better about my situation. And yet, right there in the middle of this BIG story there’s these words, “And the Lord was with Joseph.” What? I thought when the Lord was with you things are supposed to be going well. Don’t you agree? Isn’t it interesting that when things aren’t going well we always default to feeling as though God has abandoned us. And yet the truth in Joseph’s story-which is our story- is that God is most powerfully present even when it seems He is most apparently absent. We don’t get to choose when bad things will happen to us, but we do get to choose how we will respond. Joseph’s response was one of faith, and in that choice lies an amazing amount of hope.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

All for His glory

A few days ago, I received an email from a former student.  Now I'm honored that they even remember me, but this email was different.  This email was asking about spiritual issues.  They want to serve the church, but they don't want to serve in the church.  This question isn't anything new.  Many people think about this.  It isn't about working in the church, it is about working for the church...for the betterment of the Kingdom of God.  Romans 11:36 states, "For from him and through him and to him are all things.  To him be the glory forever!  Amen."  Simply stated, we exist to exhibit God, to display His glory.  It doesn't matter where you work or what job you do.  It doesn't matter if you are a doctor, working in retail, flipping burgers...If you follow Jesus and you are doing what you do in His name, then it is no longer secular work; it's sacred (Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell)  We are all working for the glory of God.  We are all working for the church.  We are all working for the Lord.  So my doesn't matter what job you have.  It doesn't matter where you work.  Do it for the glory of God.  Do it for the right reasons and you are working for His kingdom.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Passion Starts With Us

I was recently reading the parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10.  While reading this, you can see the passion in the heart of the Samaritan.  Passion? Perhaps that is where we need to start? Do you have a passion to help people? We should. I think it is that easy to start being a good Samaritan.
Just recently I read an article online from Good magazine that said, “The global problems are larger than before, but our capacity to meet them is larger still.” The author is right. Think about what the 12 disciples did with what little they had. In contrast think about the size of the church today and the means that we have of Internet, cars, phones, money, goods and services. Can we be doing more? I think we could and should. I recently read that if the Big 8 (the biggest 8 countries in the world) gave 1% more of their budgets to global poverty, we could end it in the entire world. Think about the size of these countries’ budgets and how little 1% might be. We are capable of what no other band of people can do: unite in love and passion to help bring reconciliation to every heart, soul, and corner of the world. Is it as easy as just starting?  Passion?  It has to begin with us.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

It is a process

I've heard farmers say, “We can’t make the seed grow, we can only be sure the soil is ready for the seed. God is the only one who can make the seed grow.” Those farmers are sharp sometimes. In 1 Corinthians we are reminded that spiritual growth is a process. In 1 Corinthians 3, Paul calls believers God’s children, God’s field, and God’s building.

We are God’s children, claimed so in the waters of our baptism. Our faith walk is a process. Sometimes we think that we have completed our journey We feel that we have gone as far as we can. We sometimes feel that after confirmation, we have completed our walk, but just as babies need the right environments to grow physically, people need the right environment to grow spiritually. That’s where the church can come in.

We are God’s field. Fields do not bear fruit or crops on command. Trust me, I'm trying to grow tomatoes. They blossom in process, and to do so properly, they need the right environment and nutrients. This can happen for us in church.

We are God’s building, God’s spiritual house if you will. God first built us. Then God redeemed us with his own blood. Next, God moved in. That’s right, God took up residence, God filled up every drawer. And guess what? God isn’t done! God continually works on us. God is constantly rearranging the furniture, challenging our ideas, thoughts, and opinions. We never do arrive. This continual work is inevitable. It is a lifelong process.

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Word is Today

I spend a lot of time reading scripture and really taking a good close look at the meaning behind it. I have always been taught to take time and read the scripture. This is something I took to heart on in college and have continued to do so. But lately, certain passages or stories grab me and won't let go. The bible becomes living and active in me. Rob Bell states it best in his book "Velvet Elvis". He says, "Inspired words have a way of getting under our skin and taking on a life of their own. They work on us. We started out reading them, but they end up reading us." How true. The word of God is reading me...reading us.

God has a knack of making sure we hear, read, see just those things that we need. Scripture is more than just words. Scripture is about today...the now! It is our job to not just read it, but to embrace it has living and active. Scripture gives us strength. It give us meaning and direction. It is more than just a history book, it is the meaning to the events. So really take the time to read scripture. Read it at its fullest. Read it and take it in. The Word is living and active. The Word will happen. Today!

Saturday, September 4, 2010


I was told the other day to PUSH, when it came to my prayer life. Never heard of it! But it stands for "pray until something happens." What a great acronym! It reminds me how important it is to stay in contact with God. Between the words pray, prayer, praying, and prayed the word appears 512 times in the Bible. Do you think our Creator wants us to stay in contact with him? Just like it is important for a vine to stay connected to the main branch so it can be nourished and fed, so we also need to stay connected to God. When we do this, Jesus reminds us that it is easy to produce fruit (If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit…John 15).
What would a church looked like that immersed itself in prayer? Think about the possibilities! Our God wants a relationship with us. As we enter into our fall season pray! Pray for our ministry. Pray that we continue to touch people's lives. Pray for our ministry to flourish and grow. Pray that we will follow the Spirit's guidance wherever that may be. Pray for our leaders, for our staff, for our kids, and for our community. When we do, we will most certainly see the fruits of the Spirit, and we will then be able to rejoice and give thanks to our most gracious and loving God!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Through many conversations, the thought about growing has come to mind. Thoughts about how we could become a strong "community" of believers. What a community of authenticity, a community of acceptance, and a community of hope would look like. Through these conversations, the vision of how we could grow as a congregation and the Kingdom of God came to mind. It doesn’t matter how many great and wonderful programs a church can offer, if the church isn't authentic in their faith and who they are, if they aren’t reaching out in grace and love to other people, if they aren’t offering hope, it won’t grow. Growing isn’t always easy. Think about yourself or your children growing up. Growing up has a lot of up hill battles. Are we willing to go there as a church? Are we willing to enter the messiness of what it means to grow? Each one of us has been given gifts and abilities, finances and possessions, and time to use under God’s direction to love and serve Him and to help the church grow by uniting together in love and serving one another. In order to grow, we must give up playing God and let God be God. What are you saying, we play God? We can’t possibly play God! You’re right, but we do sometimes anyway. Think about it, how often do we get stressed and frustrated when life doesn’t do our will or when we think God isn’t doing what we want God to do? We must let go and let God be in control! He has a plan for our church, for our lives, for our community, and for our world. He has it all mapped out and we need to listen and follow His will. Let God do for us what we cannot do for ourselves! That’s when we will start to grow.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Fingerprints in the Clay

When I was taking a master's class, we were asked to mold a piece of clay into anything we wanted. For some reason I thought of a smooth skipping stone. You know those? They are these flat smooth rocks that have been formed by the waves that are ideal for skipping across the water. So as I molded the clay, I could see my finger prints on the clay. So too, when God molds us, God’s fingerprints are all over us. It is God who is shaping each one of us to be His, maybe not the way we feel we should be, but in the way He wants us to be. God has molded each of us in a special way. The gifts we have are His fingerprints. The way we use them show His glory to others. Isaiah 64:8 states, Yet, O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand. We are His work...we are His creation...We are His. He has molded us to do His will, His work. How can we share His fingerprints to others? How can we share His glory?

Monday, July 26, 2010

know or KNOW

There are times when we know God, and there are times when we KNOW God. Now, I recently read a poll that stated that 80% of people who live in America believe in God or some higher power. But my question is this- Is belief the same as personal knowledge? I’m not sure it is. For many of us the very idea of knowing God may seem unrealistic, out of reach. As I reflect on my relationship with God, it seems that sometimes I know more about God, than actually knowing God. God wants us to know him, like a spouse, or a family member, or a best friend. Can you imagine if we talked to our spouses, or family members as often as we sometimes talk to God? We wouldn’t know them very well would we? Our God is a relational God, and God wants us to know him. In Psalm 63, David talks about his experience of knowing God. He talks about how it creates a deeper longing for even more intimate knowledge of God. I love the first verse, “O God, you are my God!” MY God. Not someone else’s God. MY God, and only that can come with a knowledge of God. How well do you know God? When was the last time you really talked with God?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Journey Isn't Easy

My feet hurt. It hurts to walk right now. The gathering has begun! Even though the gathering just began, I think about the many miles I've already walked. As I think about how my feet hurt, I am reminded that sometimes it hurts to walk in the shadow of the cross. Jesus calls us to take up our cross and follow him, but sometimes that journey isn’t easy. There isn’t anything easy about following Christ, well, perhaps the easiest thing is the grace we receive. Sometimes Christ calls us to unexpected places, to do unexpected things, and that is what this gathering is about. It was an unexpected place. Many didn’t feel we should be in this city, but the youth will do unexpected things. But in the process the people of New Orleans are receiving an unexpected gift, and in return, all participants are receiving it back! Sometimes it hurts, but in the end, as my former coaches have said, no pain, no gain. Perhaps they were right all those years!

Lifting Up the Lowly

The National Youth Gathering is fast approaching and I'm prepared to be totally exhausted. On day one of the National Youth Gathering, I'll have a chance to go over to the Superdome and hear over 27,000 youth worship and praise God. It is an event that totally blows me away! There will scripture readings, speakers, skits, the skit guys, and singing. 27,000 lifting their voices. Songs about how Jesus takes all our lows and lifts us up. You can't help but walk out of the first mass event uplifted...nothing at that point can bring you down. Jesus really does lift us up in the times we feel the lowest. Then the next day, the lows may start...the feeling of the burdens of life, relationships, the heat and humidity. All those things can bring out the lows in people. But you know, there are people around that will be lifting people up the whole day, even when things aren’t going well. Jesus lifted up those who were low. He lifted up the woman caught in adultery, he lifted up the paralyzed man, he lifted up the woman who anointed him with oil. And all of that began with a song from his mother Mary early on, before he was born. “He has lifted up the lowly, and casted down the mighty from their thrones.” And that is what 27,000 kids are going to do at the National Youth Gathering. To lift up the lowly. To be God’s hands, to do God’s work. To do as God would do to us when we are down, lift them up!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Worship or Service

I’ve been thinking more and more about worship lately. Perhaps it is because of where I am at in my current ministry. What I have been pondering (struggling?) with is the term worship service. Should we call it a worship service any more? We may need to refocus the way we look at worship. Service entails doing something. There are times, I think we have lost the fact that worship is not about us, myself included. We come to worship on Sunday mornings or on Saturday nights, and we expect something out of it. We focus on whether we like the songs or not. We focus on how well the pastor preached the sermon. We focus on what was done or not done; what we did or did not get out of the worship service. Suddenly we seem to have lost the meaning behind why we are there in the first place. If we are going to use the term service, we need to be reminded that we are there in response to the goodness of what God is doing in our lives. Worship is about God, not us. But if we can’t get passed the service being for us and not for God, then what do we call it? We call it Worship. Or worship gathering. If I recall, worship service is never used in the Bible, but there are many references to a gathering of people FOR worship. Perhaps just by switching the word we use, maybe we can begin to get back to the heart of what worship is about. God...not you, not me. Not the people across from us. Not the people there or not there. It is about God and God alone! Worship...the focus is...God!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

We Are The Tree

Sing with me now: Zacheaus was a wee little man, and a wee little man was he. He climbed up in a sycamore tree, for the Lord he wanted to see. We all know the song, and we all know the story of Zacheaus climbing that tree. How often we forget about the tree. It’s not a great song without his journey up that tree. We often think about the crowds, Zacheaus, and Jesus, but we hardly ever think about the tree. I’m reminded each week I work in ministry that what people seek is a viewpoint so very different from our own. Without the tree, their quest is impossible—and this song is not as much fun to sing. We are the tree. Too often we think of ourselves as Jesus in the story and the world around us as the crowd blocking people’s view of Jesus; but if we think about it, we are really the tree. We are all called to be trees. Those who haven’t heard Jesus’ words, those who aren’t a part of the church, they are longing to climb a tree so that their viewpoint may change. Many are at the bottom and are trying to look up and over the crowd that continues to block their view. Our job is to help lift people above the crowd to see the approaching Savior, not to be the crowd that blocks them. So often our churches become so cluttered that many people are simply busy doing church instead of being the church. Our challenge is to be guided by the sycamore metaphor. Not as a formula for success or steps to a healthy ministry, but as a way to understand the role —our roles—in the kingdom.

(based on thoughts from Pastor Otto)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Is My Faith Strong Enough?

Starbucks is a wonderful place. This week I have had another "by chance" meetings at Starbucks. I'm preparing music for worship at Starbucks and had to made a phone call for National Youth Gathering stuff. Well, when I hang up, the person at the table next to me stated, "I heard you say the word, God." I responded with "yes, I did". Then the conversation continued with "how do you know if my faith is strong enough to receive salvation?" I'm floored by this question...why, I wasn't expecting this question nor was I planning on a spiritual conversation at another Starbucks. So we got on a conversation about salvation.

Is my faith strong enough for salvation? When you doubt that your faith is strong enough for you to be a child of God, it's a clear indication that you misunderstand the nature of faith. Faith in God doesn't involve certainty, nor does it imply the absence of doubts. What a torment, what a terrible burden, to believe that faith must be perfect before God will respond to our need! If we believe that our faith must be perfect, we have established an unattainable goal and enslaved ourselves to a new form of works-salvation. Rather than basing our faith on God's goodness and Christ's completed work of love on our behalf, we base it on our own achievement-our own perfection. People who think that their faith must be perfect before it will be acceptable to God ignore dozens of scriptural examples of people whose trust in God was imperfect, yet their faith was still accepted by Him. Moses, Abraham, David, Jacob, Elijah , Peter and Thomas are some of those people in scripture. In fact, all the disciples had moments like this. These examples show that it isn't the perfection of our trust that matters, but the perfection of God's love and forgiveness. As sinful people, we will at times doubt the strength of our faith. We will sometimes doubt our salvation, but because of the Grace of our Lord, we shouldn't worry. His love, His death, His resurrection, His forgiveness and mercy gives us that assurance that we can and will receive salvation in His name. To God be the glory!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Being a Carrier

This past week, I had the opportunity to talk with a past college friend who is now a pastor. What a tremendous conversation we had. We talked about family, old college stories, and other random thoughts. Then we got serious...we started talking about why we are involved in the church. We shared thoughts about ministry and mission. We shared scripture and ideas. We talked about many aspects of each person's role in the church, but we both failed to share about the power of the Holy Spirit.

You see, we all get so involved about what we are doing in the church. He talked how he preached and how he leads bible study. I talked about how I use music to enhance the message and how music really speaks to me. Those things aren't bad. In fact they are good, but is that really our purpose. We sing, we preach, we read scripture, we pray, we sing. All those things are great, but our purpose is to share the wonderful saving message of our Lord and Savior. We are the carriers for God. It isn't about isn't because of us, but because of Him. His Spirit works through all of us in all we do...from the smallest thing to the biggest. It is His is all about Him. Our purpose is all for Him. We are His carrier...we are His messenger...we are doing His work.

You can hear Jared Anderson's song "Carrier" at

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Love Is Here

Isn't it amazing how one thing really speaks to you on a certain day. Well, today was one of those days. I was working on preparing music. As I was working and going through scripture, the word 'love' kept popping out. Love...such a powerful word. I love my Lord. I love my wife. I love my family. I love cool temperatures. I love being part of ministry. The word 'Love' has so many different uses. So strange that this word...this one word kept coming to mind. The word 'Love'...such a great name for our Lord. So as I worked, the word 'love' kept coming to mind.
Tenth Avenue North has a song titled "Love Is Here". What a powerful song. Love is here...Love is now...Love is pouring from His hands, from His brow. It is all "Love"...It is "Love" that saved us. It is "Love" that continues to forgive us. It is "Love" that will always listen to us, look for us, hold us in times of trouble. It is all "Love"! God spoke to me today. I will never look at the word 'love' the same way. I will still say that I "love" things or people, but what a comfort it is to know that 'Love' is here...yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

You can see Tenth Avenue North's video to their song "Love Is Here". Go to and click on the link.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Filling the Jar

Try this sometime. Take a jar...not just a small mason jar, take a big jar and fill it with big, fist size rocks. Is the jar full? Then take a bucket of gravel and pour it into the jar. Shake the jar so the gravel has time to seep in between the rocks. Then ask, is the jar full. Take a bucket of sand and pour it into the jar. Shake it so the sand has a chance to fall in between the rocks and the gravel. Now is the jar full? Now take a pitcher of water and pour it in. Allow the water to seep in between the rocks, gravel, and sand. Now is the jar full? So what is the point of this little illustration...
Look at your jar...your life. God has put so many things in your life to make you full. He has put people in your life to mold, guide, and love you. He has given you gifts and talents to use to serve His kingdom. He has given you opportunities for rest. He has given you food and shelter. He has given you the opportunity to worship. All things in your life, are given by God. Each item fills you up. Some items are, work, worship. Some items might be smaller, but each one...not matter how big, makes you who you are...they fill you...fill your jar. If one item is missing, the jar isn't aren't complete. God continues to put the things in your life to make you full...full of His glory. Full of His love! Is your jar full? What is God adding to it? Why not allow Him to fill it.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Have Patience...It Is All God's Plan

As my wife can attest, I haven't been the most patient driver. If once in traffic, a different lane is moving faster than the one I'm in, I move over to it. If the speed limit is 50, I expect people to go 50. I get frustrated when I hit every red light. But now living in Michigan for three years, I've learned a little more patience. I've learned that in construction traffic, staying in your lane might actually be better. I've learned that sometimes a car driving slower than speed limit actually can help you see that deer about ready to dart across the road. Red lights! I've never figured out why lights aren't timed to keep traffic moving. So now I just expect to be stopped. Having patience while driving, well, I'm getting better at it.
The same is true in our walk with God. God has a plan for all of us. He knows what will happen with life situations. He knows where we will be. He knows what ministry and in what capacity we will serve Him. He knows our future. He knows and He will reveal it according to His time. It is our job to have patience. It is our job to trust in His plan. It isn't easy. We are so impatient...we want the answer and NOW! But "now" might not be what God has in store. We must have patience. John Waller's song "While I'm Waiting" shares this very thing. Waiting isn't easy. But when God's plan is revealed, you will know and you will thrive doing His will.

You can see the video of John Waller's song "While I'm Waiting" by following the link on Living Word's website at

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Make In Me

As many of you know, I am starting to write my own music. It is a joy when a phrase or melody comes to mind. But recently, I told myself that I was going to write another ballad. Yes, another ballad. To write a ballad about something so spiritually strong that people are going to say to themselves, "yes, that song was speaking to me". That is what I had in mind...but that wasn't what God had in mind. For many months, I struggled. I couldn't come up with a good line, catch phrase, topic, melody...nothing clicked. Nothing worked. I looked at the world and thought of everything happening there. Still nothing clicked. I spent a lot of time in scripture, reading passage after passage thinking that something would hit me...nothing clicked. I would do some random singing and playing of chord progressions on the piano...nothing clicked. Nothing...I was trying way too hard. I wanted to create another song so bad, that I tried way too hard. Then...Saturday came. Saturday, May 8th. Nothing special about this day...but it was special to God. As I was working putting some final touches on the worship team set up. The words and melody came. You see, I wanted to write the song before. I wanted it to come from my own thoughts, but God had other plans. My focus was on me, not Him...when I changed that focus, then the song came. "Work In Me" is a prayer. A prayer to help us remember that all we are...our whole life is His. It is a prayer for us to listen to His call, His will and His servant. "Work In Me"...Your desire, O Lord. Lord, your servant is here.

You can hear a copy of "Work In Me" at at the bottom of the main page.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Ice Cream Base

I know ice cream. I learned all about the art of ice cream when I worked part-time at an ice cream shop in Indiana. I learned about the ice cream flavors. I learned the proper way to scoop ice cream, which most people still do wrong. I learned the art of creating shakes, floats, cakes, pies...if it was about ice cream, I knew how to make it. It was important that you made things right. It was very important when it comes to an ice cream sundae. You could use any ice cream and any toppings, but the most important thing you had to learn was to create a base. You needed a solid base of ice cream so that everything else could be placed on it to build the perfect sundae. A solid base...vital for a great sundae.
Our faith needs this solid base also. Without it, life will fall. There are so many things that are piled on us...our jobs, school, relationships...the list of things continues to grow and grow. We need that solid base so we can handle these things. Scripture is very clear. It tells us that Christ is that solid rock...that solid base to build our life on. Without it, things will fall. Things will sink. Things will overtake us. We have so many opportunities to build and strength our base...our faith in God. Worship, Bible study, prayer, singing...all these things help build a stronger base. A stronger base helps when things get tough. A stronger base holds those things up, not allowing things to topple down. When we are built on Him, a stronger base helps us handle things in life.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Distractions. I struggle with them. Things that move around me…I just have to look. I am easily distracted. I actually have to work to stay focused on things. When I was younger, I played football. This wasn’t the big time league, but pee-wee football. The coach comes out and tells you the play in the huddle. Well, you can guess it. I was distracted. I wasn’t listening, but watching a squirrel on an electrical line. So I missed the play and the coach took me out of the game. Distractions…I’m distracted writing this. Noises, movement, lights…so many distractions.
It is amazing how distracted we get in worship. We come to worship and our focus should be on God, but then, there are distractions. People moving, people talking, doors opening, cell phones ringing…thoughts about the day, things that have to get done…so many distractions. We fail to focus on the reason of worship. Distractions, one…God, zero. Worship is work. It isn’t easy to focus on one thing for one hour. We need to work on keeping our focus on His word. We have so many opportunities to focus on Him. We have songs, readings, children’s message, the message, communion, prayers…all these things so we can focus on Him only. We have to put aside those things that distract us. We have to work so our focus is on Him.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Father's Arms

I'm sitting outside on this cool Tuesday evening thinking about what to write about. I'm watching my daughter practice with her soccer team. There are players running around. There are parents watching their children practice. There are parents playing with their other children as we wait for practice to be done. But as the practices continue, one thing caught my attention. To my right, there was a cry...not that normal I'm not getting what I want, but a cry of "it hurts and it hurt bad". Like most people, I look over to see a little boy crying and holding his arm. His father reaches down, picks him up and whispers something in the his ear. The boy sobs a little and the father hugs him and is talking to him in his ear. Soon the crying stops. The father continues to hold the child and soon, the child is running around again as the father watches him and smiles.
That is prime example of our Christian walk. There are many painful times in our lives. We walk through our life, thinking that things are going alright, then...we fall. We fail. We sin. We let out a "cry" to our Lord. No matter the situation, when our Father hears our cry, he doesn't just ignores us. He reaches down and picks us up. He holds us in his mighty and loving arms. He whispers in our ear. Maybe He tells you that it is going to be alright. Maybe He tells you that He loves you and will hold you until the pain is gone. Maybe He tells you that you are forgiven. Our Father makes sure that you are going to be alright before He lets us continue on. I have felt this in my life. I have felt His loving arms around me. I have heard His words in my ear. He is there...watching, loving, holding, and comforting.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Dashed Hopes

“I had intended …” David had wanted to build a temple. And who better than he to do so? Hadn’t he, literally, written the book on worship? Didn’t he rescue the ark of the covenant? The temple would have been his swan song, his signature deed. David had expected to dedicate his final years to building a shrine to God. At least, that had been his intention. “I had intended to build a permanent home for the ark of the covenant of the LORD and for the footstool of our God. So I had made preparations to build it” (1 Chron. 28:2 NASB).Intentions. Preparations. But no temple. Why? Did David grow discouraged? No. He stood willing. Were the people resistant? Hardly. They gave generously. Then what happened?A conjunction happened. Conjunctions operate as the signal lights of sentences. Some, such as and, are green. Others, such as however, are yellow. A few are red. Sledgehammer red. They stop you. David got a red light. I had made preparations to build it. But God said to me, “You shall not build a house for My name because you are a man of war and have shed blood.… Your son Solomon is the one who shall build My house and My courts.” (1 Chron. 28:2–3, 6 NASB, emphasis mine)

David’s bloodthirsty temperament cost him the temple privilege. All he could do was say: I had intended … I had made preparations … But God … I’m thinking of some people who have uttered similar words. God had different plans than they did. One man waited until his midthirties to marry. Resolved to select the right spouse, he prayerfully took his time. When he found her, they moved westward, bought a ranch, and began their life together. After three short years, she was killed in an accident. I had intended … I had made preparations … But God … A young couple turned a room into a nursery. They papered walls, refinished a baby crib, but then the wife miscarried.I had intended … I had made preparations …But God … I had intended … I had made preparations … But God … What do you do with the “but God” moments in life? When God interrupts your good plans, how do you respond? The man who lost his wife has not responded well. At this writing he indwells a fog bank of anger and bitterness. The young couple is coping better. They stay active in church and prayerful about a child. And what about David? When God changed David’s plans, how did he reply? (You’ll like this.) He followed the “but God” with a “yet God.” “Yet, the LORD, the God of Israel, chose me from all the house of my father to be king over Israel forever. For He has chosen Judah to be a leader; and in the house of Judah, my father’s house, and among the sons of my father He took pleasure in me to make me king over all Israel.” (1 Chron. 28:4 NASB) Reduce the paragraph to a phrase, and it reads, “Who am I to complain? David had gone from runt to royalty, from herding sheep to leading armies, from sleeping in the pasture to living in the palace. When you are given an ice cream sundae, you don’t complain over a missing cherry.David faced the behemoth of disappointment with “yet God.” David trusted. His “but God” became a “yet God.”Who’s to say yours won’t become the same? (from Max Lucado's book Facing Your Giants)

Monday, April 5, 2010


Honesty. I wasn't the most honest person in grade school. It took a lot of talkings, punishments, and tears to help me realize the value of honesty. God cares so much about truth that he gave us a walking, talking, living, breathing example of it. His Son came to earth "full of grace and truth" (John 1:14). Jesus frequently said, "I tell you the truth," or as some translations put it, "verily, verily (truly, truly) I say unto you." Honesty was Jesus’ policy even when it was unpopular. He refused to let the crowd manipulate his message or re-direct his priorities. Jesus was honest with his enemies. He unmasked the Pharisees and called them hypocrites because that’s what they were. He called Herod a "fox" because that’s what he was. He challenged longstanding religious traditions that were doing more harm than good. Jesus was honest with his friends. When the Twelve engaged in quarrels, he confronted them with the hard truth that in God’s eyes servanthood always trumps self-promotion. Jesus was honest with everyone. He didn’t woo potential followers with sugar-coated promises of how easy their lives would be if they believed in him. He told them right up front about the cost of discipleship. Anyone who proclaims God's truth has a big responsibility to be honest. We are to be honest in every situation in life. Can you say that your actions and speech are honest and straightforward? Would you say that you tell people what they want to hear so that you can get ahead or to get what you want? When we stay honest to the Word of God and His calling...His kingdom will flourish.

Monday, March 29, 2010

A Servant's Heart

What makes a servant heart?  I have often wondered this very thing.  There are people I know who exemplify this very thing.  A servant...not because they have to be, but because they want to be.  A servant’s heart has more to do with your relationship with God than it has to do with your desire to be recognized for your good deeds. Having a servant’s heart is one the most beautiful expressions of love I know. It’s showing your love to another human being by simply being who God intended you to be. It’s about seeing a need and fulfilling it without any strings attached. It’s about making yourself uncomfortable so that someone else could be comfortable. It’s about showing Christ’s love through your actions and words. And finally, it’s about touching the lives of those around you with such a gentle kindness that your act will be remembered for years to come. 
Pay attention when God calls you to serve others. Listen with your heart, not your mind. Hear what God wants you to do...not what you think should be done. You might think a check to pay a bill will solve someone’s problem, but that might not be what God wants you to do. God may want you to teach that person how to budget his income so that he’s not in the same boat next month. You might think a prayer is all that is needed, but God might want you spend quality time with that person. Taking the time to listen to what God wants you to do, humbling yourself to do what He has called you to do, and then faithfully following Him regardless of how uncomfortable it makes you is truly what a servant’s heart is all about. It’s selfless love at its best and God couldn’t ask for a better gift or testimony of your relationship with Him.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Psalm 107:1

It is now about 10:30 on Tuesday evening and I'm sitting at the kitchen table pondering over many different things to write about. So much has happened over the past few days that my mind is racing in many different ways. I thought about the church's mission statement. I thought about sharing thoughts on unity in the church. I thought about the song "Open Arms" by Michael W. Smith. I wanted to share something that people could ponder and take to heart. But then...but then came Psalm 107:1. It reads, "Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever." A simple prayer...a simple statement, but powerful are those words.
What a great reminder of what we need to be doing. It is so easy to dwell on all the bad times, on all the hardships in life...on all the things that we feel have been unfair to us or others. But Psalm 107 reminds us that in all things, we should, "Give thanks to the Lord". Look around you. There is so much to be thankful for. Loved ones...give thanks to the Lord. For our church and opportunity to worship...give thanks to the Lord. For the people around us...give thanks to the Lord. For life, food, clothing, gifts, talents...give thanks to the Lord. We should be giving thanks for everything, even during hard times in life. Why...because the Lord is good! He is good. Through all things, His love has never left. His love is always with us...His love endures forever. When we struggle...His love endures. When we lose focus...His love endures. Hard times, good times, all times...His love endures. Step back...take a deep breath. God has blessed each one of us. He has blessed the church. He has blessed our ministry. "Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever".

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Truly Touched

I have had one of the greatest honors this past weekend. It was the end of Lutheran Schools Week. Many schools and churches were celebrating what Lutheran Schools have to offer. Many had choirs children were involved in worship...celebrating Lutheran Schools. Back in 2009, I had the opportunity to work on a piece for Redeemer Lutheran School in Ontario, CA, based on Exodus 15:2. The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father's God, and I will exalt him. (Exodus 15:2). And as I pondered on this school theme verse...I came up with the song title, "And I Will Praise Him".

So now I had one of the greatest honors...this song was sung in California at Redeemer Lutheran Church and School. It was sung with excitement. It was sung with heart. It was sung as praise to God. Not only did I know it was one I had written, it was one that was lifted up to God in honor and praise to His glory! Thank you, Redeemer Lutheran Church and School for allowing me to be part of Lutheran Schools Week with you. Thank you for singing this song with excitement and pride. Thank you for uplifting my heart with this powerful bible verse. He has become my salvation and I will praise Him!

Monday, March 8, 2010

I Am...

I want to start this out by asking a simple question. Who are you? I want you to start to list all the things that you are...So to demonstrate, I will give you a few "I am" statements about myself. I am a father. I am a husband. I am a music leader. I am a good cook. I am good at golf (ok -- I am ok at golf). Now it is your turn. Take a few moments before reading on to think of some "I am" statements about you. I'll wait.

Now that you have listed a few, which on came first? Was the first one I am a Christian or I am a child of God or some form of this? Did you look at all the things you are on this earth? I am a father, husband, music leader, cook, and sometimes a good golfer, but first and foremost, I am God's child. All the other things that "I am" are opportunities of ministry that God has blessed me with. I'm blessed with a wife and children. It is a ministry to treat them right and help lead them in the faith of God. I am a music leader. It is a ministry to lead songs of praise and worship. I need to use all these things God gave me as a ministry. We have a church with wonderful ministries. We have a school ministry, music ministry, prayer ministry, stitching ministry, youth ministry, bible many different ministries. Each ministry is important. Each ministry makes us who we are and whose we are. God blessed each of us and this church with ways to share ministry. None is less important than others...but together, each builds up His kingdom.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Representing and Proud

The Olympics are now over. For two weeks, we watched and cheered on our country and its athletes. For two weeks, athletes competed in their sports, not only for pride in themselves but also pride in their country. For two weeks we listened to the news share the countries medal counts and talked about the tremendous stories of the athletes. It was fun to listen to the athletes take pride in who they represented. They were proud to be known as an American, Canadian, Russian, or wherever they were from.

Can the same be said of us? Can people see us and say that we represent the One who created us? Can people hear us say that we are proud to represent our God? We come to church and worship. We read the Bible and pray. We take the sacrament of Holy Communion and we sing songs. All these things are wonderful and can help us build up our faith walk, but...when you are out in the world, can people see who you represent? Do your words and actions reflect Him? For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10). You and I are God's workmanship. We are His -- created by Him to do His work! Share it, show it, live it! You are representing God...Are you proud of this?

Monday, February 22, 2010


This past week, my blackberry kept on locking up. Now this is a major inconvenience for me because I carry everything I need on it. It has my calendar, my contacts, my emails, text messages, and it even serves as my cell phone. I must say, my blackberry is one thing that keeps me connected. So when it locks up and I can't get information from it. That is a problem. So after messing with it and finding that I couldn't do anything about it, I talked with Verizon. Turns out when I thought I was keeping the software up to date, well, the software downloads weren't really downloading. A quick software update from Verizon and now it runs as smooth as ever.
As Christians, we need to also stay up to date in our spiritual walk. There is so much at stake in this...our salvation. We have so many ways to keep up to date. We go to church, we read the bible, we spend time in least we think we are. But there are things that stop that message, that update from ever reaching our heart and mind. Our focus has to be on Him, in everything we do. We have the means to continue to update...we have the bible, worship, songs, prayers, forgiveness, communion. The Holy Spirit uses these means to help us keep running smooth and up to date. All these things keep us connected with our God.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

It Is Going To Take Practice

The Olympics are in full swing. I've enjoyed watching it so far. I have to admit, some of the events that these athletes are doing are totally amazing. One event that a lot of people felt shouldn't have been an Olympic sport is curling. Curling -- sliding a stone down an ice shuffleboard like rink and trying to get it to stop on a bullseye at the other end. Curling -- a sport where you have two people running down the ice with the stone and sweeping in front of the stone to help direct it to its final destination. Curling? A sport? Well, I had the opportunity to try curling while when I was in Toronto. Wow, it is a hard sport. Like those on NBC, I found myself falling on the ice. It looks so easy, but really it takes a lot of skill. Those curlers worked hard to master their sport.
The same can be said about sharing the message of Christ. It looks easy. I've seen other people talk about their faith and the love of Christ. I've heard stories and bible passages that support and share who Christ is and what He has done for us. It seems like it would be so easy to share it with others, but then, we find ourselves failing to share that message. Why does something that seems so easy, be so hard? We can pray. We can sing praises. We can read His word. But then sharing Him with others? Why does this cause us to stumble and fall. It does take a lot of skill and practice to share the message of Christ with others. We will sometimes feel like we failed, but if we just add that little spark, the Spirit will take over. Sharing the message to others, to complete strangers, to our friends, isn't always going to be easy. But as we continue to practice, it will be easier.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Another Opportunity

On Monday evening, I was sitting at Starbucks waiting for my daughter to finish volleyball practice. I was working on my chapel for Lutheran High School Northwest and really didn't have any thoughts about what to do. I did know that we were going to sing a few songs, so I started powerpointing those words. As I was working on the songs, I had this strange feeling someone was watching me. I looked to my right to see this young lady looking at me. She immediately starting asking me about what it takes to be saved. She shared her feelings on being saved and having spiritual gifts and was really serious about this discussion. So for the next hour and half, I had the opportunity to share with her the saving message of Jesus Christ. I have to admit though, I wasn't thrilled about doing this at this time. I was contemplating something spiritual to share with those high school students. Something that would 'wow' them to see the light of God. I was wondering why God has put me into these places lately. On the airplane and now here at Starbucks. What was His point...well, He put me there to share Him! I had the opportunity to light the fire in her heart and allow the Holy Spirit to do His work. For an hour and half, we talked about salvation and the love of God. We talked about listening to His word and about spiritual gifts. We talked about being still and what our focus in life should be. From all this...from the discussion we had...God gave me a chapel message. God gave me the opportunity to share with her but also with those kids. What an amazing and awesome God we have.

Monday, February 1, 2010

I Am...

I know that this may come to a surprise for many of you, but I have to tell the honest truth. I'm not Hawaiian. Now that some have caught your breath after being in total shock, I just had to be honest about this. Honestly, I'm not German, even though my last name brings out the German in all of us. I'm not Thai. I'm not Chinese or Japanese. I'm Korean. I'm telling you this because my daughter is writing a report on my homeland, South Korea. I'm very proud of this culture, but I really don't live like they do. I live like a normal American and am an American citizen. But when someone asks what country I'm from, I tell them, South Korea. I'm very proud of this and proud to say it. I say it boldly with nothing to be ashamed of.

Now comes the question...can people see Christ in you? When people look at you, can they see that you have Christ in your heart? Do they see it in your words? In your actions? We all are identified by culture, skin color, sports team apparel, accents and the list could go on. But how many of us are identified as Christ's child? We should be proud of whose we are. We should be proud of what we are and what we will one day recieve. The way you act, talk, carry yourself, shows that we are Christians. We are believers. We are His...say it boldly in all you do! I belong to Him. I am a child of God!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Simple Can Be Best

This past Saturday afternoon, I was on my flight home from New Orleans. I boarded the plane and sat down, got out my book with the intention to just sit back, relax and read. As the plane started filling up, a young lady came and sat next to me. She had earphones in and was listening to her Ipod. We both exchanged a pleasant smile and went about our own business. As we were preparing to depart, the flight attendant came up and told the young lady that she had to shut her Ipod completely off. This is when I noticed something...she didn't understand. Her lack of the English language created a major barrier between her and the flight attendant. So the flight attendant told her again, a little more sternly, but she didn't understand. So I leaned over and used one word..."off" and pointed to her Ipod. She smiled and shut off her Ipod. So now a small bond was made and throughout the flight, she asked me questions with her limited English and I tried to explain with words that she could understand.

Simple words -- simple terms say a lot. We want to share the Word of God, but the language, the terms, the way to share creates a barrier. Not everyone is at the same level in the faith walk. Some are still needing the simple words while some are needing the deep discussions. We want to say the right things, but maybe, we need to spend time focusing on how we say it. We can share the love of Christ through simple words. These words can be a witness. These words can ignite a fire in someones heart. There are so many that don't understand, so simplify it...say it in a way that those around can understand. It doesn't have to be fancy. It doesn't have to be mind boggling. It doesn't have to be so spiritually deep. Sometimes the simple is the most meaningful. To that young lady...simple meant she understood. To those longing for the love of God, the simple can show them that love. Sometimes, simple is best.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Did You Notice?

One of my favorite verses in scripture comes from Psalm 46:10. It says, "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." What a powerful verse. But what strikes me the most is the 8 words. "Be still, and know that I am God;" But today, as I was looking at the plaque in my office with this verse, I noticed something for the first time. My plague reads, "Be still and know that I am God" and the bible reads "Be still, and know that I am God". Notice anything different? It is there. The only difference is the comma. Yes, a comma. I never noticed it before, but that comma adds so much to those 8 words. That comma forces me to pause, to be still. That comma separates the two actions. According to Harper's writing center, the purpose of a comma is to indicate to a reader when a sentence calls for a brief pause. This verse has one.

I'm not sure how many times I've read this verse and never stopped to think about it in this fashion. As I read, "Be still", I need to be still. I need to pause and let all that God is, sink into me. I need to listen to His voice, see His creation, feel His presence and power, then...then I will know that He "is God". I will never look at this verse again the same way. A comma. A simple comma serves as reminder to pause and see the wonders of our God. "Be still, and know that I am God;" (Psalm 46:10)

Monday, January 11, 2010

Bad to Blessing

I heard the most amazing thing this past week. It wasn't something so profound that every person in the world needs to hear, but it made an impact on me at that moment. While making one of my treks to church, I was listening to the radio. I wasn't impressed with 97.1 so I was scanning the radio dial. On one stop, I heard this statement, "I have to thank God for everything. Even the bad stuff turns out to be a blessing." Then the radio moved on.
Bad stuff a blessing? Sure it is. I have found that when "bad" things are happening in my life, there are other things that helps refocus my faith. I know that there have been times when I have had the "woe is me" attitude, but then someone or something reminds me that this is a way for me to see the amazing power of our Lord and Savior. I have seen this happen many times in my life. Bad things turn out to be blessings. I grow closer to God through others or through His Word and Sacrament. I change the focus from me to Him...from bad to blessing.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A Blessing

Tuesday before Christmas was an amazing day for me. I was at church preparing for Christmas Eve rehearsal, when there was this loud knock at the front door. As I looked out of the church, I could see this person standing at the front door, pounding their fists against the glass. As I approached the door, the person waved, pounded some more then motioned at me to open the door. The gentlemen...well, he was in his mid-40's, well dressed and looked very cold. So I approached the door and cracked it very slowly. The gentlemen...was a blessing. He wasn't there to cause trouble, but he had read about our troubles. He talked to me about his job, his income, his heart...then he gave me a check. It was all he could afford to give, but he wanted to give to the church and school to help replace the lost items. It was enough to cover even one item, but it he wanted to give all that he could afford. The gentlemen...he was a blessing. I will never forget that conversation. With tears in my eyes, I thanked him and offered him a quick prayer and he left. On that cold night with snow flurries in the air, Living Word was blessed. I was blessed. God does work in miraculous ways.