Tuesday, September 19, 2006


I find myself wanting to fold up
The special moments and
Keep them safe inside a little box
So I can always go back and
Remember what the Lord did.

I am small-minded and
I forget how big God is and
How big he was when he showed me
The truths that changed my life.

So then I think I need
A magnifying glass
To find the treasures
Inside my little box;
To keep safe the “God moments” and
Learn to look and look again
When God seems small.

(I often wondered if you
Might actually be an angel because of the
Way God blesses people through you.)

Remain tender to God and
You will see amazing things.
Let the pains of earth
Make you rest in Christ.

Monday, September 11, 2006


“For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.” Ephesians 2:14-16

I’ve spent the day watching CNN, seeing all the images and hearing all the commentary having to do with 9/11. It all came back to me. Not as powerful as it was when I was sitting in front of my TV for two straight days five years ago, but powerfully enough to bring tears to my eyes again.

So much has happened since then. So much war, violence, and death. So much vitriol. So much anger and hatred. So much fear.

So much politics. Who’s to blame? What should he have done? It would have been better if so-and-so was president! Everyone, including myself, has an opinion. Who is right? “If you’re so smart, Pastor Dave, what would you have done?”

I don’t have the answers for the governments of the world. They wouldn’t listen to what I have to say anyway. If they gave me a chance to address the UN the security guards would drag me off the platform in minutes. The world rejects my answer.

That shouldn’t stop me from offering it. The only hope for peace is Jesus Christ. We are all fallen, sinful, broken people. Apart from him that is what we will always be. He is our peace. Through his work on the cross and by his Spirit we are recreated into new creatures and reconciled to God. This is the only way in which the hostility of nations can be put to death.

“But,” they tell me, “that’s not very practical! That will never happen!” Practical? There is nothing in my hope that is practical! How practical is it that a man from Nazareth would be the Son of God and would pay for the sins of his people by dying on a cross? How practical is it that he would rise from the dead on the third day? How practical is it that he would take a person like me and awaken him from his death and darkness? What does practicality have to do with it?

Power. That’s the answer. The power of God demonstrated through Jesus Christ. The greatest power the world has ever seen. A power greater than all the armies of the world combined. A power greater than all the hatred in the world. The power of the gospel to change lives.

More than anything, these people need to hear the gospel. They may hate us and they may kill the messengers, but they need Christ. He alone is our hope and our peace!

Saturday, September 09, 2006


I turn 53 years old today at 12:30 pm Eastern time. Sometimes my body feels 73 but my spirit still feels 33. I find it interesting that this year I turn 53 and I was born in 1953.

I have had another blog for about six months but I rarely have opened my heart there. That's why I begin this new one today. I need a place to think aloud, to share what God is teaching me, and to get some input from others who might stumble upon this place.

There seems to be so much more to do. How is it that I have lived so long and still feel like I am learning so much? I thank God for that. The thought of coming to an end of growing and learning is frightening! The Lord continues to give me a vision for his church. He continues to call me to serve and lead his people. He still challenges me to think in new ways.

This new blog will be much more serious than the other one. If you are reading this I invite you to come back often and share your thoughts. I have come to realize that I knew a lot more when I was in seminary because that's when I knew everything; now I have so much more to learn!

I am comforted to know that my days are in God's hands and he will allow me to finish all the work he has prepared for me to do. May he grant me a filling of his Spirit to press on and make every day count!

The Unity of the Body

How do we perceive ourselves as Christians, as followers of Jesus? How do we perceive our congregation at Shiloh? Do we still look at ourselves as individual, free agents who voluntarily participate in Sunday morning gatherings?

What happened when we came to faith in Christ? 2 Corinthians 5:17 says the old man passed away and we were recreated into the new race of men. We are new creations who are mystically united by the Holy Spirit. We can no longer continue to look at ourselves in the old way. We are part of the body of Christ now. As such, we are to live our lives in a manner worthy of that name.

What about Shiloh Church? We speak of it as "our church." I know what we generally mean by that. But we have to be careful to look at Shiloh in a spiritual way. It is God's church; Christ's church. It is united to all churches everywhere in the world who name the name of Christ and who follow him. Even if they don't agree with us in everything.

Do we all have to agree on everything? I once thought so. But our faith and our church does not consist of a series of propositional statements! We do not have a corner on the truth. We believe what we believe because we think it is true. Others believe what they believe because they think it is true. We must be prepared to hold firm to the central truths of the gospel while being willing to hold the rest with a looser grip. We must recognize the universality of the church of Jesus Christ and pursue the unity of that church in love and peace.