Shake the desert sand out of your shoes. Get the pebble out of the toe. There’s a mountain to conquer.
It’s not too big or tall, not too steep or too rocky to be settled. It can be done. No matter what the circumstances, it can be conquered. There is a way. The size of the mountain is not as much of a limit as how we think about it.
There’s always fresh challenges, additional issues, new problems. There’s always something different that starts to make the mountains look the same.
I want the green, lush valley of rest, where gentle breezes and bubbling brooks wind their way through the trees and flowers. I want the easy path instead of a hard climb, the gentle road, not of the stony trail, but that’s not how it usually goes.
Climb anyway. Continue reading Climb The Mountain
I put the rose from his garden in his rigamortis hand. It didn’t look natural. A snap of the stem to shorten it, then working it under his cold fingers and folded hands made it presentable.
Yes, that’s better.
I slipped a note I had hurriedly written, almost as an afterthought, and slipped it inside his suit jacket, hidden from the world, never to be read by anyone, not even the one it was written to. Continue reading What Words Cannot Say
At the foot of the cross,
Where dirt gives way and rugged wood is revealed,
Where sweat, blood and tears drop from above,
Where laughter, jeers and taunts are heard,
Where only a faithful few remain, overcome in pain as they look on…
At the foot of the cross,
Where the blood mud puddles,
Where evil raises its hands in victory unaware it just lost the war,
Where one death births life for all… Continue reading At The Foot Of The Cross
I hope this letter finds you doing well. In your last letter, you asked me to describe more about Jesus to you. I’ll do my best:
As you know, I am his father, at least in name. His existence has literally nothing to do with me. He would have been here, one way or the other. I know that. Really, I’m just lucky, blessed that I get to be where I am.
The angel told me what happened, and part of what would be. I knew then my part in His life was an honor and privilege.
Some people frown at me, particularly some of the high and mighty people around here. They look down their noses at Mary and I and sometimes say cruel things. We just keep going.
I want to react, to fight back and tell them how the camel eats the grapevine. Instead, Mary quietly reminds me to relish today. After all, the end is the prize, not the present.
Continue reading I’m Kind of HIS Father
Last Sunday night we went to Janet’s old church in another town. There were about thirty speakers! Now before you pass out, here’s the deal – each person had memorized either a chapter, or a large portion of the book of Revelation. Each quoted their portion sequentially until the entire book was quoted from memory!
The pastor quoted Revelation 1 and applause broke out as he returned to his seat. A teenage girl, about 13 years old, stood and quoted chapter 2 as smooth as silk on a glass table.
Next her twin, autistic brother began quoting the words he knew so well. About the 6th verse he faltered, and in frustration, rocked back and forth. He quickly regained his composure and continued quoting what he had worked so hard to learn. He hit another roadblock and began rocking again, but the train returned to the tracks and he hit his rhythm.
He stumbled once more, and looking up, began moving his hands in a grabbing motion, as if to grasp individual words floating in his brain to get them back in logical sequence. Continue reading Revelations From the Heart
At church, a boy about seven years old was baptized. As is custom before a baptism at our church, the media team shows a video of each person talking about their life, why they chose to believe, and why they want to be baptized.
In the boy’s video, he spoke sincerely, and his contagious smile was memorable because he had lost both front teeth. He said several times in the video that he wanted to be “babatized” and talked about how he wanted someone special from out-of-town to “babatize” him.
Turns out, the special person was the boy’s godfather, a young man in his late twenties who could easily pass for a military soldier. Where we go to church, immersion is the mode of baptism, which means going completely under water from head to toe, or maybe if you’re seven years old, getting dunked. Continue reading The Best Babatism Ever
In church I was probably the least prepared person there, and most likely, the one who needed to be there the most. The preacher started talking about togetherness, belonging, unity, community.
Somehow, someway, sometimes something will hit you right between the eyes and just smack across the brow. Today it smacked me. Community.
I looked around. A few rows over sat a young couple who are privately grieving a miscarriage and wondering when, if ever, will they have a child. They hurt. Only those who’ve been there know how hard it is to say goodbye before you say hello. Community.
Continue reading Heart of Community
In my junior year of college, Aubrey came to the Gulf Coast from Mississippi State for a college internship. He was in every way a young, southern gentleman, a kindhearted fellow with a charisma that shined when he spoke in his slow, southern drawl. On top of it, he was mature beyond his years.
We met at church and Aubrey immediately became a part of our college group. In fact, not knowing a soul from Texas, we became his local social network. He became a friend.
Even under the best of circumstances, things can go bad. For Aubrey, it did. Continue reading Hayride of a Lifetime
I’m not even sure how it started, but once it did, it became a friendly free for all. It was insults, from the Bible, no less.
I got to work one morning and found a yellow sticky note stuck on my computer screen from a co-worker which had both an insult, and a Bible verse that went with it. It said – They shall not make baldness upon their head, neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard… Leviticus 21:5 “You shave the sides of your beard having your little goatee AND you’re bald! You’re a double sinner!!”
I laughed. Then plotted.
The next day I left a post it note on his desk, and was quite pleased with my response — Continue reading Bible Battle
Problems knock on everyone’s door. If not today, tomorrow. Troubles come. Troubles go. Some work out. Some don’t. Some people crater in the storm, some thrive, others just survive. Eventually the valleys, tunnels, the dark roads all reach an end, and in the end, there’s relief.
Still, it may seem impossible to get through. The mountains look too high. The valleys are too dark and deep. The water is over your head and you’re quickly losing strength. Energy fades. Determination wanes. Encouragement leaves. Continue reading It’ll Be Alright