Thursday, January 31, 2008


Greetings to all. I hope this finds you healthy and happy, two qualities I place great value in. First off, a disclaimer: I’m not really sure why I’m thinking along these lines today, perhaps it has something to do with the change going on in my life right now. Regardless, as always, I share my thoughts with you in hopes that you’ll share yours with me and let the conversation take off from there. Humor me……

In his sermon this week, my pastor alluded to the fact that he only has 5 months to preach. If you don’t remember, he and his wife have taken a position with a ministry that will take him out of the pulpit in June. (read about it the last post) I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of that before, but it hit me on an emotional level…for him. After giving 30+ years to preaching, in June he will no longer prepare sermons for Sunday mornings – something I happen to know he loves to do. And I felt a sense of loss for him.

Now, I totally believe that God is going to fill his days with other things that are equally as fulfilling for him, but think about that for a moment. Could you do it? Would you do it? Voluntarily? And so, I began thinking along the lines of the make up one’s life. Yours, mine, no one in particular, just anyone. Here’s the simplified thought:

For practical purposes, let’s say that 75 years is the given span of one’s life. The first 1/3, or roughly 25 years is spent in discovery mode. You learn and you discover who you are, what your giftings are, and ideally, begin to position yourself to be true to those for your lifetime. You begin to make choices to help you find your place in this world with a sense of fulfillment using those gifts and skills you’ve discovered and acquired.

For the next 25 years (again a simplified estimate for theory’s sake), you use those skills and talents to better yourself and help others in the process. The skills you possess are valuable and marketable and in return for your time and effort, you secure an income and a sense of security. You may provide for a family or be part of a group that accomplishes great things that benefit mankind as a whole. This stage of life labels you a productive member of society. Don’t you hate labels?

And finally, the latter 1/3 of one’s life arrives and suddenly, an strange fork in the road appears. Many take the road to retirement, unplugging from the working world to rest and settle into a soft life. Not a bad choice if you can swing it. Yet others take a path that leads them to sharing with and investing in others the same skills that carried them to this point in life. A lot of time that looks the same as the middle 1/3 of life because it can be hard work, but the thought process of the person who takes this path is far different. They have achieved a level of comfort and security in their lives, and the motivation for the hard work at this point looks to the future; a sense of passing the baton, if you will. In some instances it resembles teaching, in others it’s the continuation of a business that will operate and succeed for years to come. In both respects, it’s a very giving attitude; you might say “blessed to be a blessing”.

Okay so there’s the thought, but what’s the point, right? For me it’s this: I believe our lives are not our own. We are created in the image of God to display His goodness, and pass it along. That can happen without wearing a pope hat, you know. Sadly, too many people relate the things of God to church and religion, and while the things of God are on display in those arenas, God doesn’t have any problem being part of your life and my life right now, at whatever stage, in whatever field we happen to be in. In fact, many times He shines brighter there.

So, whatcha think? Agree, disagree? Where are you at in this life theory? Are you having trouble finding your place? Perhaps you have a different theory…I’d love to hear it. May God show off in you and through you today, may those around you have no doubt He’s alive and well because of you.


Thursday, January 10, 2008

Winds Of Change

Greetings all! Thank you so much for stopping by this corner of the internet, I’m always amazed at how far this little blog reaches in terms of geography. It’s really the coolest thing that I’m able to share some thoughts with not only the number of you who read, but in the states and even countries you connect from. The only time it gets better is when you connect and comment, and then it’s truly a global conversation.

Today's post has the same title a weekly newsletter I used to publish years ago did. I'd like to share with you some of the latest news in my world, because it seems the winds are picking up around here. Just this week, my pastor (senior pastor of our church) announced that he will be stepping down so that he and his wife can begin a new adventure ministering to others in ministry. It’s a very cool outfit called Sonscape, and the work they do is awesome, I encourage you to check them out for anyone you may know in ministry. In my opinion, part of the excitement for them is that my pastor’s wife can now truly step into a role that will allow her to use her gifts in a more pronounced way working with him. The role of a pastors wife is not one many women I know are lining up for.

So this hits me on a couple different levels. On a personal, selfish level I feel apprehension and fear of the certain change it will bring both professionally and personally. Questions like “Will the new pastor and me see eye to eye on worship?” A perfectly normal question since I’m the Worship Pastor, right? Will this new pastor have the vision and leadership that my family and I crave in a spiritual leader? A question we should all ask of those we allow to lead us spiritually. And the questions go on and on, but ultimately there is no answer to them for me now. In addition, my pastor is my friend. He and his family will be sorely missed for sure. You may have heard the saying, “I don’t know what the future holds, but I know Who holds the future.” (The “Who” being God Himself) In times like these, He is the only sure thing, and I need to stay close.

On a more philosophical level, which I tend to air out here in this forum; I’m excited, not just for them, but for those of us on staff and our church members. If you’ve read any of my posts, most of them contain a thread of how change really is the only constant of this life. And this is big change for my life - God is on the move! I’m sure it will bring new challenges that will require effort on my part to manage and overcome, and certainly an abundance of faith; but those are things that make me feel alive and connected to the One who gave me breath. And I know that challenges cause me to grow as well, something I need – growth that is. Let’s face it, many of us complain about the routine of our lives, we get bored with the same old, same old…. I won’t have that dilemma in the months to come! don't get me wrong, if I had a choice - this change wouldn't be happening - but I don't have that choice, so......

What about you? How do you view change? Do challenges excite you or make you cringe? I’d love to hear any words of wisdom….I may be needing lots of them. God’s grace to you and yours.


Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Happy New Year

Happy New Year!!

Perhaps a few days late, but is it ever really too late to wish someone happiness? By now perhaps you’ve made your resolutions, maybe even kept them so far; but I simply wanted to share a few things you might find helpful in the new year.

I have to admit that 2007 was a tough year for my family and me. Some of it I’ve shared here, and some I’ve kept to myself – but trust me, 2007 won’t be remembered as one of my favorites. Regardless of that, I’ve persevered by standing on 3 simple things. Here they are:

Faith. When this life gets crazy and the stress of it begins to take it’s toll on me; remembering that there is One who is in control of it all helps – even if I don’t understand it. Another way I’ve heard this said is, “There is a God and you are not Him.” I need to believe in something bigger than myself because, as I’ve said before, my own best efforts have resulted in running things in the ditch, a place I don’t much like being.

Hope. This one builds on the first actually. It helps to build hope when you believe in the One who holds the future. This life and world we live in doesn’t offer much lasting hope, it’s all very temporary at best. Real hope doesn’t exist in tangible things. No, real hope exists in the heart which holds your thoughts, ideas and dreams. To have hope means to have a future. Keep your hope alive at all costs.

Love. What can I say? Love is the driving force in this life. I believe it fuels most all of human interaction whether it’s seeking it, returning it, dealing with losing it, etc.; it’s a powerful motivator. But more than that, it is life sustaining. When things get tough for me, the love of family and friends is the most comforting thing in the world. It doesn’t change situations much, but it lets me know I’m not alone. And when I think that God sent His Son to die for my junk just so I can be with Him for eternity, well….there is no greater love I know.

So, for 2008 I not only wish you a “happy” new year, but one filled with much faith, hope and love as well. See you down the path.