Saturday, March 25, 2006

Warning: Blatant, Shameless, Unabashed Advertising Ahead

All Parents, Aunts and Uncles, Teachers, Ministers and Friends of pre-schoolers: Please check out a new animated series for kids at Some of my very good friends are involved in the production and I want to help spread the word about this new and exciting series. Tell your friends!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

My Brown Eyed, Tie-Dyed Girls

Brown eyed, tie-dyed and ready for action! Here's Rainey and Em having fun on the floor. Em was born 8 weeks ago yesterday and already we can't imagine how we got along without her. As you can tell from the picture, Big Sister Rainey continues her subdued, laid back existence. Yeah right.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


We are such a results oriented society.

What's the bottom line?
What kind of return are we getting on our investment?
I don't know what the child learned, just show me the test scores.
Is our church attendance up? What about our giving?

Here's my problem with that. When it comes to serving as Jesus served, we don't always get to see the results. What happened to the woman caught in adultery that Jesus forgave? What about the woman at the well or the sick that He healed?

A Christian businessman sat down on a plane recently next to an obviously distraught young man. The businessman asked what was wrong and the young man explained that he was on his way to his mothers funeral. She had died very suddenly and he had spent his last penny to buy a ticket home. When the plane landed, the businessman handed the young man $50 and told him to buy some flowers for his mothers funeral. The two men parted and will more than likely never see each other again.

Was that a waste of money? How do you measure the results of that kind act? Should the businessman have invited the young man to church or spoken to him about baptism?

"For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me."

The results will take care of themselves.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

She Gets It

Last night I had the pleasure of working with a group from our church putting together care packages for some soldiers in Iraq. Our town has adopted 85 military personnel and we are working with them to send some niceties. Little children decorated the boxes, teens wrote encouraging letters and the rest of us filled the boxes with everything from handy wipes to hard candy, all donations from our church.

I was a little worried that conversations might turn political. You know what I mean, wrapping God in the American flag and all that. But all anyone talked about was how much they hoped these gifts brought a little comfort into such an uncomfortable place.

When the work was done we circled up and were led in a moving prayer by one of our big hearted Elders. He prayed for safety and peace for all involved. He prayed for God to change hearts. He prayed boldly, tearfully and with all his heart.

When I put Rainey to bed last night we read a book and talked about her day. We discussed where those care packages were going and what the soldiers might do with them. Then we said our prayers. She was short and to the point:

"Dear God,
Please, please, please let the soldiers get those boxes and please let them share the candy with poor children in Iraq.


Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Two Conversations

Yesterday I was dropping Rainey off at her Grandparents house on my way to a meeting about leading a special night of worship at a church I do not attend. There was a Zoe CD playing in my car and Rainey asked, "Is that you singing or are those professionals?" I told her it was Mr. Brandon and his group and they were indeed professionals. I also told her that some people considered me a professional. She told me that I was just a church leader, but then she sensed that she might have hurt my feelings, so she took my arm and said, "I don't care if you are a church leader, a trained helper or a conductor. Your best job is being my Daddy and you are the best Daddy in the world." Yea, I'm pretty tightly wrapped around that finger.


This morning I made my usual stop at 7-11 for some coffee. I'm there so often I think I get it for free more often than I pay for it. My friend Ray (actually it's Mahmood Rabbani, but you can call him Ray) who is Pakistani and a Muslim was working. We often discuss religion and politics if the store is not too busy. Usually that is early on Sunday mornings when I'm on my way to church which is a pretty good way to prepare to lead worship. Anyway, Ray told me a couple of weeks ago that his wife is in Pakistan right now working and won't be back until April. I asked him about her today. Ray said that the whole Mohammad Cartoon uproar had made things a little dangerous but she was okay. Then he said something profound:

"If the prophet (Mohammad) were here today, he would tell everyone to just let it go. There is a proverb that says, 'The dogs will bark, but the caravan continues down the road.'"

I confessed to Ray that so often it is the same with Christians. We react in such unChrist-like ways sometimes and if Jesus were here He would tell us to forgive and turn the other cheek and serve and love.

Ray agreed and gave me my coffee for free.