We had the wonderful privilege to be in CA last week for about 5 days. Our daughter Allison, and our youngest son Logan live in CA right now, so we have made it a priority to be with them whenever we can get time together. While we were in CA our oldest son Marcus proposed to his fiancé Sarah along a beautiful hiking trail in the Smokey Mountains of TN.
As I have been reflecting over the incredible blessings of these family relationships that God has given to us, I thought of the verse from Psalm 127:3, “Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.” (NLT version)
Sometimes in the midst of demanding seasons of life we forget that our children are a gift from God and a precious reward to us. “Growing up” always comes with challenges and days that seem like they will never end. Trusting God to work in our lives and our kid’s lives is always a step of faith. We want to be in control and not lose control so we often rush the growing up process. We seek to conform our kids to what we want and don’t lead them in the path or way that fits who they are and need to be. (Proverbs 22:6) But then God does something just right in our lives and in our families that gives us hope, joy, and peace that is beyond our understanding.
I remind you in whatever season of life you are in with your family, to let God do his work and to wait patiently for the outcomes. When the Bible says to, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding, and in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV), God is simply reminding us that he knows what is best for us and for those within our sphere of influence. I pray that God’s love for you, and the blessing of those that he has rewarded you with, will be an encouragement to keep pressing on as you serve and lead in the place that God has given to you.
Samuel Johnson was born on September 18, 1709, and was an English writer who made lasting contributions to English literature as a poet, essayist, moralist, literary critic, biographer, editor and lexicographer.
How Can We Pursue A Long Repentance In The Same Direction?
This last Sunday, in Calvary’s morning gathering, we studied the book of Haggai together as part of God’s Whole Story. Together we heard God speak through his prophet to his people after the exile, challenging them to remain faithful and to rebuild the temple.
The book of Haggai is the second shortest book in the Old Testament. It has 4 oracles (think: sermons), 2 chapters, and about 1,100 words.
In the book of Jeremiah we read of God’s intention for Daniel and all of those with him who have been exiled from the land of promise.
We are in a sermon series called The Whole Story, so named because we started off with the assumption, and belief really, that the whole Bible is a unified story that leads to Jesus. Each and every book is a bit like a chapter that contributes to the overall story that God is telling.
We Are Calvary
To say that we live in times of rapid change may be the very height of understatement. Our culture, and its norms, is changing at an unprecedented rate, making it increasingly challenging for the church to remain relevant—and faithful—in proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God, in a way that will bring about the expansion of that kingdom.
This past Sunday we (finally) made it out of the weighty, dark, somber, and serious writings of the Prophets of the Exile, and stepped into the Return from Exile of the people of God. Our first look into this aspect of the redemptive drama comes via three courageous servants of Yahweh—Zerrubabel, Ezra, and Nehemiah. There story is found in the book of Ezra-Nehemiah (although our English Bibles separate them, through the centuries the Jewish people have always treated them as one book; so we will too.)
Especially When You Don't Feel Like It
Sunday is just about my favorite day of the week (“just about”…because my day off each week, our family’s Sabbath Saturday, is a tie or really close second). I love getting up that morning, making my smoothie, sitting in my favorite chair in our fireplace room, and pulling my Bible onto my lap. I relish the time spent listening to my Father speak, and I delight in those moments spent talking with him about the morning’s ministry, the people in our gathering that I hope he will transform, as well as the eleven other pastors (and their congregations) on whom I pray his blessing every Sunday.