“The pen is mightier than the sword.” Coined in 1839, by Edward Bulwer-Lytton, this quote is obviously more about words than the instrument used to write them. At our core, we understand that words matter. They carry great power and can be used for good or evil. Scripture has a lot to say about words. The Bible begins with an expression of their power as […]

Camping in a Good Place

I remember some of my first camping outings, and the valuable lessons that came from those experiences. One of the most significant insights I quickly gleaned, shared a theme with a famous real estate axiom: location, location, location. Where you camp makes all the difference. From the insulation beneath you, to loose limbs in the trees above, there are important things to consider before making […]

Simply Sacred

As we continue to prepare for the upcoming move, we face that challenge of challenges – finding boxes. It is amazing how many you need to move a houseful of belongings, especially if you are a pastor with a healthy library. After commenting on Facebook about finding a particularly large number of good boxes, a friend commented, “Nothing like moving to make one appreciate the […]

Always Thankful

Sitting here, watching the Macy Thanksgiving Day Parade, smelling the scent of our holiday dinner, and enjoying time with family, I am very aware that there is so much to be thankful for. Too often we wait for special events to appreciate the blessings of our lives, yet every day gives us many reasons to give thanks. Even when we face pain and challenges, there […]

Good Grace

I grew up watching the Charlie Brown holiday specials. It was a bit of a ritual in the family and a sign that Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas were coming. The specials were full of memorable scenes and quotable lines. One of the Charlie Brown-isms that always stands out for me is the classic, “Good grief!” This was his phrase for every absurd action, every difficult […]

Simply World Changers

Our church is currently in the midst of our annual stewardship program. This is an important part of our life together where we consider what it means to be a steward of all God gives us, and where we encourage each other to embrace more of what the Holy Spirit is asking of us. This is not about “getting people’s money,” instead; we are looking […]

A Good, God Thing

“He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord.” – Proverbs 18:22 Twenty-seven years ago, I awoke in a Pittsburgh hotel a married man. The previous day was a flurry of activity leading up to our wedding, and after celebrating with family and friends, and making time to visit a few of our relatives who could not come to […]

Praising in Your Prision

“If only my situation was different; then I would be able to praise God.” This belief is very common. We often believe that our attitudes about life and even about God are the result of our circumstances. When things are going well, we feel good, we feel close to God and we believe God is active in our lives. When things become more difficult, more […]