Last Wednesday, at about midnight, one guy shoved something up my dad's nose, another person shoved something down his throat, and then the kicker – this guy took a knife and cut my dad's midsection wide open. And we thanked him for it.
Dear readers: For the last 10 years, I have been the guy on call to be there for people when they're going through tragedy. I've tried to comfort them with God's Word as they mourn the loss of a loved one, face uncertain surgeries, and deal with pain in so many different ways.
We go through a lot to do "church". Think of the time and money and effort and energy put into making sure we've got a place to meet on Sundays, all the work that goes into the various events and traditions. People give up so much in the name of church, so today I ask you, "Why?" What's the point?"
OK guys, we've got a problem, it's Valentine's Day. If there was ever a day the pressure is on to prove your love, this is it. And there are countless ideas out there, but every one of them could just as easily backfire, since one woman might love what another would not. And if you ask your special someone how you can show your love, well, then you run the risk of her saying that if you really loved her you'd know.
I have so many great memories of my grandma, especially when all the cousins would be together, playing in the basement while all the grown-ups were upstairs. Sometimes, we even all got to stay overnight down there. It was awesome, except for one thing: the coatrack. It was one of those things that was always there but you didn't always notice it, unless it was the middle of the night and you woke up and looked toward the one ray of light. That's when I saw what I was sure was a person or a monster - whatever it ...
Last week, we saw the righteousness that Jesus "filled up" for us – and put on our record in our baptism. We saw him doing everything that was "fitting" for that righteousness, living a perfect life, more perfect than even the most polished celebrity at the most posh event could ever be.
Some things are just fitting, aren't they? They are just supposed to be a certain way. Take the Golden Globes. Did you see the show? Everyone who is anyone in Hollywood was there. And everything was just right.
Do you ever feel that being a child of God isn't paying out like you thought it should? The childlike confidence that Jesus will make everything better doesn't always seem to play out - when the wound doesn't heal, the need isn't met, the hurt doesn't go away. For us grown-ups, reality tends to set in and tarnishes some of that unbridled optimism.
Page 1 of 1
A couple months ago, I got a phone call at 2:23 a.m. in the morning. A call at that time is seldom good news. This one couldn't have been better.
They say you can learn a lot about a relationship by the way you say goodbye. Watch a married couple as they separate to go about their day. Watch the children being put on the bus by mom on the first day of school. Watch the scene on hundreds of college campuses in a few weeks as parents set their children free. You can learn a lot about a relationship by the way they say goodbye.
Today, I want to look at God's word, at how the apostle Paul said goodbye to the leaders of the church in Corinth ...
"Go for the gold!" That was the motto of our soccer camp this past week. I'm sure you've heard it before, especially this year. It's a phrase that has been used to motivate so many Olympians. Why? Well, it keeps the goal in front of them. Have you ever read any of the descriptions of what Olympic athletes have to go through to actually hope to win a gold? Think of some of the world's famous gymnasts who leave home as early as 7 or 8 years old to train full time. Their parents give them ...
Not too long ago, my son taught me how to play Texas Hold'em. We don't play for money, just chips. And that is good. First, because I wouldn't want to let gambling lead to greed and second, because I would lose. It turns out, in poker, if you keep trying to go "all in," you lose your chips pretty quickly. To quote a popular song, a wise player "knows when to hold 'em, knows when to fold 'em, knows when to walk away, knows when to run..." In poker, apparently, you have to be a little conservative ...
I was so disappointed. There was so much buildup and hype. So much buzz. So much publicity. Do you remember? About a month ago, for the first time in 116 years, a man was going to walk a tightrope across the Niagara Falls. Sure, over a century ago, a bunch of people had done it...before it was forbidden. But then, it was banned because not everybody that tried made it across.
"Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life."
A father loses his 9-year-old daughter in a car accident; other families grieve the killings of two at a funeral; a woman watches her man die of cancer; a man backs out of the driveway and over his nephew, killing him. How do you handle things like that?
I'm guessing that most of you have been camping at one time or another in your life. As I write this, I'm getting ready to pack up my family and head to the woods. We'll be in an area famous for no cell phone coverage, with the closest town being nearly a half hour away. But I can't really call what we'll be doing camping. We rent a cabin and flip a switch to get some light, sleep on beds, and everything else. And you RV-ers out there can't really call that "camping" either ...
"Can you believe it? He thinks he's the only one who has a connection to God." "He says only through him can you have heaven!"
There is something about sitting in mom's lap listening to a story. You just don't want to leave, even if she's read the book 5 times. You don't want to leave that place of safety and warmth and those kisses on the top of the head. It feels good to be somewhere you know you are loved.
As we celebrate Mother's Day this week and next (I hope your celebration didn't end Sunday!), I want you to use the picture of your mom's love for you to try to give you a glimpse ...
Vacations, beaches, friends and family are all the elements for a fun, relaxing, and enjoyable summer. However, two students from Martin Luther College, New Ulm, Minn. have chosen to dedicate their summer to support Abiding Grace Lutheran Church. Noah Willitz and Kyle Heise are both studying to become pastors. They will start their third year of college this coming fall. They are zealous for this opportunity to serve the people of the Covington area. This experience will aid in their future ministries. "I am really excited to be able to work in a growing community such as Covington, and to ...
Why are you wasting your time reading this? Why do you waste your time going to church? It makes no sense for you to throw that chunk of your weekend out the window; you've got so many other things to do - unless, of course, you see the power of Pentecost. You see, Pentecost was that day full of miracles recorded in Acts 2 where the sound of a wind filled the city, the tongues of fire danced on the disciples' heads, they spoke in the languages of every person there and more than 3000 were brought to faith.
Have your Mother's Day sentiments worn out yet The day was almost two weeks ago. I sure hope not. If they have, just take a moment and think about the love of a mother.
As we study John 15 and hear Jesus tell us, "Remain in my love," I pray that we realize the value of that command.
"The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want."
I've never been a shepherd, at least not the kind that works with sheep of the animal variety. My experience with sheep is pretty much limited to petting zoos. I've only met one real life shepherd that I know of, and that was on an airplane. That said, why should Psalm 23 be so special to me? Have you ever wondered why this "Shepherd" Psalm is so popular in this country yet doesn't even make it on Wikipedia's list of sheep population per nation?