Wednesday, December 17, 2014

As Life Gets Busy This Holiday Season

We all have regrets. Things with our job we would love to redo, or words we wish were never said. Things get busy during this time of year and it is very easy for all of us to miss the important things - the things that really matter. Just a quick reminder for you and me as we move through this holiday season…

Hope this blesses you as it did me.

After writing yesterday’s post on God’s “regret” and then reading R.C. Sproul Jr. write poignantly about how he regrets not holding his wife’s hand more, I got to thinking about all the things we are likely not to regret when we get to the end of our days.

We won’t regret playing hide and seek with our children.
We won’t regret turning off the t.v. and putting the phone away.

We won’t regret that one night (or week, or even season of life) we let the kids get happy meals just so they would be happy and we could survive.

We won’t regret singing the same hymns over and over until they became familiar enough to sing with the saints around a hospital bed.

We won’t regret the time we spent hiding the word in our hearts.
We won’t regret jumping in a pile of leaves every fall.

We won’t regret overlooking a lot of little things that bother us about our spouses.

We won’t regret kissing our spouse in front of the kids.

We won’t regret going to bed with a messy house if that meant we had time to chase the kids around in the backyard.

We won’t regret all the wasted time with friends.

We won’t regret laughing often and laughing loudly.

We won’t regret hugging our kids whenever they’ll let us.

We won’t regret the times the kids slept in our beds and the times in the middle of the night we had to carry them softly back to theirs.

We won’t regret being a little bit goofy.

We won’t regret asking for forgiveness, and we won’t regret forgiving those who ask.

We won’t regret dancing at weddings–fast and silly with our kids, slow and sweet with our spouse.

We won’t regret giving most people the benefit of the doubt.

We won’t regret commiting to a good church and sticking around.

We won’t regret learning to play the piano, read music, or sing in parts.

We won’t regret reading to our children.

We won’t regret time spent in prayer.

We won’t regret going on long road trips filled with frustrations, but full with memories.
We won’t regret letting our kids be kids.

We won’t regret walking with people through suffering.

We won’t regret trusting Jesus.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014


The week of Thanksgiving is always a great time for us as a family... It is about the only time we are able to take an extended trip home throughout the year and we get to just enjoy family during this time. It is also about this time that things slow down enough for me to just think through the ways God has worked in my life and in the life of our church body.  Having said that, the blog that probably should have gone up during the week of Thanksgiving, was delayed as my wife (who edits and posts my blogs for me) was taking a much needed break as well!  So, let me just stop for a moment and use this time to share a very short list of the things I have been thanking our Lord for this year:

• The salvation of my family and myself: When Paul says in Romans that he would wish himself cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of his fellow Jews, I must say I struggle to have that heart beat, as I am far less than Paul. I can’t think of anyone I would suffer in hell for in order that they would be saved,  other than my boys and wife. However, my being cursed would not and could not help them in any way.   But, I thank God that Christ became sin for us, and drank the wrath of God. I am thankful that I see evidence of God’s grace in the life of my family.
• I am thankful our church family has a Kingdom tool: This isn’t simply a building:   buildings are everywhere.  What we have is a tool that our church body can use to reach people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is an exciting time and as we watch this building changing - may God continue to change us to conform to His image and make an impact on a lost world.
• Our Church staff: Almost six years ago when I arrived, I had never seen a more toxic environment within a staff and church. Today, I can say without any hesitation that I serve with incredible people and unified staff. From our Ministry Assistants to our men who lead out in serving - they have been in situations this past year from being moved out of offices, to not having offices, to making copies in a garage and so many more things that it would have been very easy to get frustrated. At least the outward frustration didn’t show, and one of the greatest joys I have is the honor of serving side by side with these men and women. I love you guys.
• A Tough Church: The past six years we have gone through more than many churches go through in their entire lives. From people serving as we move our entire facility,  changing our schedule, sharing space with two churches, purchasing an existing facility and worshipping there while it is being renovated, having no an array of other things that I won’t even mention on this blog, God has used those things to create something that few American churches have - resiliency and toughness. This is not a knock on other churches, the fact is being a church is pretty easy in America. We don’t meet in secret and we call it a trial when the air conditiorning goes out in the summer. But, we have had to endure some real tough times, and we have had to persevere.  I believe God shaped us during this process to better use us in this new location. This was not fun, but I am reminded that our Lord never left us.
• Perseverance: I am glad I didn’t leave and, I am glad you didn’t either!  It would have been easier at times, and there have been some people that this move was just too much for. But, the fact is we endured and were conformed to be right where our Lord wants us to be. To know you are where He wants you, and you see God is using you...that is a glorious thing for a church.
• A passion for the lost: Trinity is beginning to see people as lost or saved. I am not saying we have not done that previously, but the difference is what we believe and what we behave are finally going hand in hand. We see people that are lost, we have a record number sharing Christ faithfully, and an amazing number who have gone through Way Of The Master. 2015 could be an amazing harvest time! 
• I am thankful for my bride and boys: It has been a blessing to see a portion of what God’s plan has been for Trinity all along. But, our staff and our church body have been working at what seems to be light speed. With my schedule, I could not calendar and meet with every contractor and company involved in this project. Michele has kept up with my schedule, taken stuff off of me and kept things running in ways that only a wife could. The time this has taken has, at times made things very difficult on us, but she has exceeded a Proverbs 31 woman. I know at times this year she has not had a very good husband, nor my boys a very good Dad, but they have delivered great grace to me. This year and where we are - we could not have come through without you guys... I love you.  
• I am thankful for the future: I have never had more anticipation in almost 25 years of ministry and 20 years a Pastor than at this very moment. What God has done and what He is doing in our fellowship, family and staff is nothing short of amazing. So, thank you to our staff, church, and my family for loving, praying and serving beside me this year.