Saturday, April 10, 2010


I have been struggling lately with seeing the truth of who I am, and not liking what I see. I wish I could somehow wipe the slate of my life clean and start over. I know that’s what God’s forgiveness and the power of His redemption are supposed to accomplish, but I can’t say I feel very redeemed. I am still my sinful self.

My son BJ and I worked at cleaning up the back yard today. We have one corner of the yard where we have dumped branches and old pieces of wood and garbage that need to be bagged up and set out at the street to be picked up. The easiest (and most fun) way to clean up this corner was to get a fire going in the fire pit and just start adding to it until we ran out of fuel. At some points it was tough going because the branches and wood were a bit wet, but then when other pieces were added to the fire, they caught quickly and the fire burned bright and hot. And then there were the coals. I found a good stick to poke around at the fire and as I poked at the coals, my stick started to burn. It looked like the fire had mostly gone out, but the coals remained hot enough to ignite the stick. Even setting the stick in close proximity of the coals would re-ignite it again.

As I sat enjoying the warmth of the coals and watching my stick catch on fire again … I was reminded of the verse in Revelation 3:

15 “I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! 16 But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth! 17 You say, ‘I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.”

And as I reflected on my life, I would have to say that I am lukewarm. And as I read those verses in Revelation, I have to admit that I am wretched, miserable, poor and blind (and naked in the sense that I am feeling quite vulnerable writing this.) I might be like the bright fire when fresh kindling is added – it burns brightly and intensely for a time, but then ebbs quickly. What I want to be is like the coals that stay hot for a long time and when other “combustibles” are in proximity of the coals, they begin to ignite as well.

I don’t quite know how to accomplish that, but I think it starts with a humble heart, a desire to know the Father and be used by Him, and a willingness to follow wherever and however He leads.

Friday, April 02, 2010


These are days of PC – I don’t mean Progressive Conservatives, or President’s Choice, or Personal Computers, or even Physically Challenged – but rather the dreaded Political Correctness. Hand in hand with Political Correctness (“PC”) goes tolerance. We are told that we need to be tolerant of others and their choices of faith, lifestyle and culture.

What I’ve been thinking about lately is the degree to which I am tolerant of others. How tolerant am I of people who choose to follow a different faith, or for that matter, no faith at all? How tolerant am I of people who choose to live by a different set of lifestyle rules? How tolerant am I, in general, of other people?

I wonder what tolerance means and what it looks like. For me, I think it means being a friend and trying to show love, even while I may not agree with viewpoints or choices.

I would describe myself as a conservative and a Christ-follower. I work with someone who is liberal and refers to certain Christians as “born-agains”. This person is quite opinionated and is firm in her belief that she is right and anyone who disagrees is misguided and wrong. Some days it’s challenging to like this person, and most often I try not to engage in any kind of political or faith-based discussion with her. I’d like to think that I am being tolerant of her and her views.

It seems to me there is becoming less and less of a tolerance for people of faith. Recently there was an effort in a US town to change the name of “Good Friday” to “Spring Celebration” or something silly like that. The effort didn’t get off the ground, thank goodness, but I’m sure someone will try again next year. How many years has it been now that retail employees have been told they can’t wish a customer “Merry Christmas” but to say “Season’s Greetings”? And our schools no longer have Christmas Concerts but “Winter Concerts” to celebrate the season. But what season is being celebrated?

So while we’re being called to be tolerant in the name of Political Correctness, is seems to be acceptable to be intolerant of people of faith. Perhaps PC should stand for Persecuted Christians.

It's Friday. But Sunday's coming.

It’s Good Friday today. Friday is when we remember Christ’s sacrifice for us on the cross. We look forward to Sunday, when we celebrate His resurrection.

I was reminded early this morning of a popular old sermon of Tony Campolo’s … “It's Friday’s. But Sunday’s coming”. Friday is here. For our family, the last year or so with Eric’s illness and recovery, has been one long Friday. It has been scary, challenging and definitely faith-building.

But what a wonderful hope and a promise that Sunday is coming; that through all of the challenges the past year has presented to us, Jesus Christ, because He is alive, enabled us to walk through it with Him. I honestly don’t know how I would have survived the past year without faith in Him who is able to do all things.

It’s Friday. But Sunday’s coming.

To check out Tony Campolo's sermon, go to