Thursday, September 27, 2012


My son is 13 years old and can be quite animated - something i am usually not. Early this morning he called me at work shouting on the phone in expressions of joy, triumph, celebration - absolute, unbridled shouts of praise and victory. The news - he is now 72 inches tall - yes, 6 feet. Growing is always on his mind, constantly measuring and checking even as he eats us out of house and home! Of course all this rapid, wild growth - which shows no signs of slowing down - comes with wide ranging emotions, tiredness, shoes that never fit and everything else you get with an adolescent..... BUT - it is filled with fun, refreshment, wonder,  uncertainty, newness, the unexpected ... it is the picture of LIFE.

I have been considering how easy it is to let that way of living slip away, to get buried in stuff and the passing of time. In reading the Gospels and Acts - it is like watching my son grow - so much going on - yes, the young believers make mistakes but God is on the move and they are chasing after Him. When we jump to the book of Revelation we see some pictures of a church that has lost much of that - Jesus calls them to stir up their love afresh!

Does the church need faithful, grounded, steady people slowly plodding along - absolutely - and a good thing too since that is probably me. But we also need those who are like my son - noticing each fresh move of the spirit, seeing opportunities for new growth, full of ideas and the desire to make them come alive, on the edge a bit sometimes but for all the right reasons. What does it mean to be a church - a body - it means to be alive, growing, changing, discovering, - and all the while we are looking to Jesus - the Chief Shepherd, our center - who calls us on.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


"... so we, who are many, are one body in Christ ..." Romans 12:5

"So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of god's household..." Ephesians 2:19

Thanks to my church family for a morning of gathered worship and our "communion project" that keeps reminding  me of how good it is to be in "God's household".

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


I officially said goodbye to my daughter whom I had driven to Michigan to go to school and then began the 2000 plus miles long drive back to Tucson. I started crying somewhere in New Mexico. It always takes me awhile before I look eye to eye with how I feel - but I do get there. I am uncertain as to what moved me at that point - there were many things bundled up with my emotions about letting my daughter go ... saying goodbye to my brothers and their families after a great weekend, saying bye to my mom who was sitting in her room at an assisted care apartment, perhaps it was the deaths of two very significant and much loved men this week both of whom I will greatly miss. It could have been how much I was missing my wife and my other two kids back in Tucson. Truth is, I was thinking over all these things and as I did so i drove mile after mile  - it all looked so desolate and empty. I drove through southwest Kansas which seemed  to go forever and then cut across the Oklahoma panhandle, across the corner of Texas and then i took a 2 lane road from one corner of new Mexico to the other.... empty.

Empty - I suppose that is the word that best describes how I felt - I was thankful for where my daughter was going to school and my time there only reinforced my sense that she had chosen well - but without her there is an empty place. Apart from my family on both sides of the country there was an empty place. So I cried.

As I cried I remembered that Jesus had emptied Himself (Phil. 2) and that he had put aside glory, heaven, even His rights - He chose to be separated from the glories of heaven and eventually even separated from the father as He hung on the cross - He emptied Himself so that I could be full. Eph. 1 tells us that we  - the body of Christ - are the "fullness of Him who fills all in all."

Thank you Lord for all the wonderful gifts of events and experiences and people that fill my life and thank you for the reassuring reminder that when those things are absent - you still fill me!