Are you holding onto the Past?


 But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,  I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 3:12-14

Have you watched the show “Hoarders’?   It’s the one with people who never throw anything away.  I spent the day in a friend’s garage yesterday.  There is no question that it would meet the requirements for the show.

I know he grew up in the depression era, so part of me can understand him not wanting to get rid of anything.  And he loved a good deal, even if it was something he would never use.  But years and years of buying useless stuff and never throwing things away led to the photo you see here.

I thought a lot about the piles of junk.   It was not his intention to allow the things of his past to ruin his present, but look at the photo.  It was a mess.

Life can become a mess when I hold on to too much stuff from the past.  Good or bad, the things in my past are just that, they are past.  Surrounding myself with my past will hinder my present, and make it even more difficult to look to the future.

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Laying a spiritual foundation in our kids


 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Prov 22:6

Not too long ago I was a part of an online discussion about how to partner with parents when it comes to attending to the spiritual needs of their children.  Parents need to have an active role, and in fact the lead role in the spiritual lives of their children.  The church has a 40-50 hour a year influence on a child, but the parent has a 3000 hour influence on that same child.

Through the conversation there were several things mentioned that got me thinking.  One of them is definition.  “Parents need to be the spiritual leaders of their house” is a statement that many agree upon, but may not know what that means.  I will attempt to explain my definition of the statement.

I believe that the role of a ‘spiritual leader’ is that of building the spiritual foundation of the child.  Now just what exactly does that mean?      Continue reading

Life lessons learned from a baby bird


And how much more valuable you are than birds! Luke 12:24

I had a very unique experience this week.  I was in the garden taking care of some weeds, when I heard an animal sound.  I first thought it was Jumpy squirrel antagonizing our dog (my daughter named him, and he come around a lot).  I looked around, but didn’t see him, so I continued with the weeds.  The noise continued, but I could not find the source, that is until the source of the noise came to me.

A baby black bird hopped through the flowers along the fence.  I stopped the gardening and watched as little Chirpy, as I called him, came hopping right to me.  I took the dog in the house so he didn’t accidentally hurt Chirpy.  When I returned, Chirpy came hopping right toward me.  It was obvious that he was very hungry, and his cry was one of hunger.
I looked all around, and could not see his parents anywhere.  I do not know where Chirpy came from, but it was obvious he was hungry and alone. If I didn’t do something, he would die.

I went to the garden and dug up a few slugs, and later some worms.  I chopped them up, all while Chirpy was hiding in the garden across the yard.  When I was ready with the slugs, I had my video camera, and I am so glad I did. It would be hard to believe what happened next, without being able to see it.  I called to Chirpy with my best chirp, and sure enough Chirpy started up chirping himself, and came running through the garden right to me!  You can watch the video yourself here. Continue reading

Family Devotion Time


As a children’s pastor, one thing I enjoy doing is providing parents with tools to become the spiritual leaders in their home.  I have found that many parents would like to do this, but are intimidated, or simply don’t know what to do.
Last fall I wrote a family devotion book that has since been used in countless homes and churches across the country.  It has been a great blessing to many families.  Below is a sample devotion from the book.  It is meant to be read and completed as a family, whether in one sitting, two, or even three.  Do whatever works for your family.  The important thing is that you take the time together.

This week’s word: Believe

Think about it— Do you think it is easy or hard to believe in Jesus?  It takes faith to believe in something that you cannot see.  Even though we cannot see God, He has done so many things in us, around us, and for us, that we can know that He is there.


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Do you believe in what you cannot see?

1 Timothy 1:17
Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen

Romans 1:19-20
since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s  invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been     clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men  are without excuse.

This week at home:

Read Hebrews 11:24-27

Do you think it was easy for Moses to believe God?
How was Moses able to see “him who was invisible’?
Draw a picture of what you think God looks like.

Read  John 3:1-19

What does it mean to be ‘born again’?
Where does the wind come from? (vs 8)
How can we have eternal life?

Final thought:

The dictionary says that believing means we are confident of  the truth or existence of something  (God) without  absolute proof (not being able to see Him)  Do you believe in God?  What makes you believe?

We cannot see the wind, but we can see what the wind does.  We can see the clouds move or the leaves on a tree wiggle or a flag wave in the breeze.  We may not be able to see God, but we can see what He does.  We can tell when He changes something in our life.  We can see the plants and animals and stars and know it was God that made them.  Just because we can’t see God doesn’t mean we shouldn’t believe He is there.  If you have questions ask God this week to show you He is real.

If you enjoyed this, follow the link to a printable version.

Click here for printable version

Print it for yourself, your family, your grandkids, your nieces and nephews, you get the idea.  Also, check out my book.  It contains 10 different family devotion times, including this one.   Follow this link to see a sample of the book, and if you would like, you can purchase a copy–  FamilyTalk: A Guide to Family Devotions

I welcome your comments, and I would love to hear how your family grows together spiritually.  Do me a favor–share this post with a family who would benefit from reading it together.

I also leave you with a question:  How do you know God is real?

Life Lesson from a Donut


Jelly Donuts:

1 Sam 16:7  The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.

I love donuts, jelly donuts to be more specific.  Nothing beats a lemon or strawberry frosted donut (with coffee of course).  One thing about jelly donuts: while they often look the same from the outside, the inside is very different.  We call them all donuts, but we tell them apart by what is inside.  You can guess what kind of donut it is, but without seeing what is inside it is sometimes hard to tell what kind of jelly is inside.

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Power of Pinterest


I’m sure by now you are familiar with Pinterest.com.  The virtual pinboard for saving and organizing photos from websites.  Based on the hours I know friends and family have spent there, I originally called it a “black hole that sucks your time”.  I have recently changed my mind.

I look at Pinterest from a different point of view than some.  I created my account and have been using it similar to other social media sites.

I have been and always will be involved in children’s ministry.  I have a Facebook and twitter account that I use to connect with like-minded people.  I share ideas, both mine and others.  Part of my mission is to help other people who work with kids.  If I read an article that I think would help someone, I post a link on twitter or Facebook to share with everyone else.  I got to thinking, why can’t Pinterest be another resource? Continue reading