Archive for the ‘Home and Family’ Category

God was there.

Lake Monroe, IndianaSave me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck. I sink in the miry depths, where there is no foothold. I have come into the deep waters; the floods engulf me. I am worn out calling for help; my throat is parched. My eyes fail, looking for my God. (Psalm 69:1-3, NIV)

These words pretty well summarize what David experienced–not the David who penned these words but David Richards, my brother-in-law.

David died last Friday.  He drowned in Lake Monroe, about 60 miles south of Indianapolis.  He was a strong, 33-year-old father of three who was just out to have some fun with his boys, like they had done many times before. Continue reading

Live From Hollywood!

hollywood_signToday, Deborah and I had the day off from the Shepherd’s Conference so we tackled two prestigious locations.  The first was the resting place of my favorite U.S. President.  The second was the resting place of the most famous sign in the world. Continue reading

“Biblical” Models of Marriage

2nd_century_hebrew_decalogueAccording to Newsweek’s Lisa Miller, the Scripture is not a good source for supporting traditional marriage.  For example, here is the introduction to the article published Monday:

“Let’s try for a minute to take the religious conservatives at their word and define marriage as the Bible does. Shall we look to Abraham, the great patriarch, who slept with his servant when he discovered his beloved wife Sarah was infertile? Or to Jacob, who fathered children with four different women (two sisters and their servants)? Abraham, Jacob, David, Solomon and the kings of Judah and Israel—all these fathers and heroes were polygamists. The New Testament model of marriage is hardly better. Jesus himself was single and preached an indifference to earthly attachments—especially family. The apostle Paul (also single) regarded marriage as an act of last resort for those unable to contain their animal lust. “It is better to marry than to burn with passion,” says the apostle, in one of the most lukewarm endorsements of a treasured institution ever uttered. Would any contemporary heterosexual married couple—who likely woke up on their wedding day harboring some optimistic and newfangled ideas about gender equality and romantic love—turn to the Bible as a how-to script?” Continue reading

The Next Phase…

Last night, we had a tearful yet joyful time of fellowship with our church family in Denver as we said “Goodbye!” after six wonderful years of service and shepherding.

Now, the real fun begins.  I’ve said before that God has taught me to once again walk by faith and not by sight.  Well, the faith part is more real than ever before as I am now officially unemployed.  I’ve never had more uncertainty about the future than I have right now and never had more confidence in the provision of God than this moment.

So, phase two… Continue reading

The Aftermath

Well, I hope I don’t have to go through that again any time soon.

Hearing the announcement come from my pastor’s mouth made everything finally seem real.  I struggled through a few words of love and hope to the congregation, then walked around with watery eyes as person after person expressed love and encouragement to me.  Believe-it-or-not, the hardest people to tell were not the adults–it was the children in junior church.  These were some of my charges; I am as much their pastor as my senior pastor is to our adult church family.  Their sweet, innocent faces, obviously not understanding the whole reality of what I was saying brought a choke to my throat.  I have loved ministering to children in our church the last several years.  We have studied so much of the Word of God together.  Many of them have been saved and baptized in the last year.  I felt like a father saying goodbye to them.

While we do not know right now where God will lead our family, it was encouraging to hear so many of our friends affirm our decision.  They were so kind in their words.  God says that in an abundance of counselors there is safety.  I do have a sense of safety in our decision to pursue a senior pastorate, despite the unknown before us.  Our life of faith is again as active as it should always be.

Now we turn to a period of divided focus: finishing well here and finding our new ministry home.  I’ve put the resumes out and people are reading them.  Now we’ll wait and see what God will do.

Pray for us.

An Announcement

fotolia_4385318_xs.jpgSunday, March 9, 2008, is a new day.  It’s a new day that God has made, causing me to rejoice.  It’s a new day revealing the mercy and faithfulness of God.  It’s a new day for my family.

This Sunday, it will be announced that I am leaving Red Rocks Baptist Church. Continue reading

Reflections

pr27143.jpgIt’s difficult to believe that I have been blogging here for twenty months now.  Wow!  The old adage “time flies” certainly seems to be true.  Blogging is officially my favorite hobby now, even though I engage the blogosphere less frequently than in previous years.

The year 2007 was a most eventful year for Red Rocks Baptist Church, where I serve as an assistant pastor.  After years and years of waiting, praying, selling, and moving to interim locations, we finally moved in to our new facility in March.  It was so nice to finally be “home” as far as the permanent physical location for the ministry.  The facility is beautiful and spacious and has provided a highly visible and trafficked location for us.  In these first several months, the Lord has brought over 400 first-time visitors to our building.  We have seen nearly an hundred of them added to our fellowship.  It has been difficult to keep up with the the contacts, and we are constantly trying to improve in this area.  The Lord is still sending new families each week to visit the ministry.  Many of the new families have jumped right into ministry opportunities (after a required short period of orientation) and added to the life of the church.  While the acoustical treatment of our auditorium is not quite finished yet (problems with HVAC, etc.), the worship of our church has been vibrant and we are so delighted to see many weekly responses to the preaching of the Word.  We just finished a very busy Christmas season; and once again, the musicians in our church did a really wonderful job presenting the story of Christ’s birth.  The music was excellent in quality and the people “had a mind to work.”  I am privileged to lead such a faithful group of ministers.

Our family continues to grow as well (not numerically!!).  My oldest daughter broke the teenage barrier this past July.  So I now parent a 13, 12, 10, 6, and 4 year old child.  Parenting is truly one of the great joys of my life and great frustrations of my life.  It is a joy because we share such a wonderful bond of love; it is a frustration because they are growing so quickly!  It is difficult to comprehend that my oldest will likely only be under my direct supervision for another 5 years.  There is so much to teach.  There is so much to learn.  Deborah and I celebrated 15 years of marriage this past June.  She remains a wonderful spouse and mother who is constantly growing in her parenting skills.  It is wonderful to watch her age with beauty and wisdom.

I have not done much “deep” pondering in the area of worship in the last few months so I am doing some catch-up reading from the growing pile on my desk.  I just finished an interesting book this morning called Exploring the Worship Spectrum: 6 Views.  The six views being represented are the formal-liturgical, the traditional hymn-based, the contemporary music-driven, the charismatic, the blended, and the emerging.  Each of the 6 authors presents the case for their viewpoint and then gets to give response to the other 5 viewpoints as well.  It’s a fascinating read.  I’ll let you know which view I give the most credence to in a future post.  I’m also planning to read Unceasing Worship: Biblical Perspectives on Worship and the Arts by Harold Best.

Of course, the crazy political season is already upon us with the primaries revving their engines louder each day.  I’ve been a supporter of Mike Huckabee and enjoyed the opportunity to interact with him and several of the other campaigns as well.  Politics is probably my third hobby, behind blogging and music, though it is certainly a daily event already.  For the record, I am a firm believer in the local church and do not believe that changes in the government will usher in the Kingdom or anything like that.  My favorite pastime is not interacting with candidates but converts.  It has been a tremendous joy to invest time and teaching into both adults and children this past year as they follow the Lord Jesus.

Finally, a big thanks to those who read and interact with me here on the blog.  It is interesting to see which topics attract which people and how many.  The discussions may seem to get heated at times and the subjects certainly get controversial; however, be assured that I greatly appreciate both the encouragement and challenges of my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.  I learn much from you and hope that at times I can be an encouragement to you as well as we all run the race set before us.

Happy New Year!  May the Lord come soon!