Singing His Song

You are right and You are strong,
But they tell me I am wrong.
You are Life and You have won,
But they tell me I am done.

But…

Mighty You are in power,
And gentle as a flower.
A rock solid foundation,
The King of all creation.

There is no God quite like You,
And thus to You praise is due.
But they bow to other lords,
When in them there’s no rewards.

They’re striving after the wind,
And to death they are destined.
Oh, send me to preach thy Name,
So it is You they acclaim.

For…

Sinners we are that is true,
Death is due, that’s nothing new.
Falling short of Your glory,
But that’s not the whole story.

For Jesus was crucified,
And through faith I’m justified.
My sin is covered and gone,
Your wrath has now been withdrawn.

So send me with Your power,
That I may never cower.
They will tell me I am wrong,
But I’ll always sing Your song.

15 years

Fifteen years ago today (July 2) I was ordained into the ministry of Word and sacrament. It was a wild weekend. I started my first call about a month prior in Jackson, MN. Fresh out of seminary, I was wide-eyed and still trying to figure out what I was doing. I was ordained, Friday, July 2 and then married the next day, Saturday, July 3. We thought, oh well, we have people coming for the wedding, why not plan the ordination for the same weekend. It was a fun weekend as Connie and I started our married lives together.

Never did I imagine that the scope of my ministry would lead me to Western Washington, writing a blog, writing articles for a city newspaper twice a month, and a host of other things. God has indeed blessed my life and ministry that He could be glorified through me and for that I praise God.

15 years — Wow — 15 years. To God be the glory! Here’s to many, many more making much of God through Christ Jesus my Lord. Amen.

Clubhouse

The joy of a childhood clubhouse is that it is a place for a child to get away from the world and hang out with their friends. The clubhouse is secret – only for those who are members. Others may know of its existence, but they know they are not welcome. The clubhouse is a meeting place for the members. What happens in the clubhouse, stays in the clubhouse. To break the clubhouse code could mean excommunication. To bring guests is met with skepticism from the others. Clubhouses can serve a purpose – for a time – but in the end they become obsolete. A church that adopts or becomes what I have described, will be obsolete. They will serve a purpose for a limited time, but in the end, they will be no more. Jesus didn’t form a clubhouse of like-minded people. Jesus formed a Church that was to change the world.

Witnesses

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” [Acts 1:8 ESV]

Witnesses don’t share their opinions.
Witnesses don’t share their theories.
Witnesses don’t speculate.
Witnesses don’t guess.
But rather…
Witnesses tell the truth.
the whole truth,
and nothing but the truth.
So helped by the Holy Spirit.
And YOU, Christian, are called to be a witness for Jesus.
You’ve been subpoenaed by Jesus.
But here’s the thing…
The Holy Spirit will give you power to witness.
Jesus doesn’t send you empty-handed.
Jesus sends you equipped.
Jesus sends you.
Jesus goes WITH you.
You are not alone.
Don’t be afraid of the Truth.
Proclaim the Truth boldly and if the world hates you, then so be it.
Jesus loves you.
You are witnesses.
So go and give them Jesus.

Time

Where did the time go?
It was whisked away,
like a feather tossed in a stiff breeze;
a hurricane blowing it to God knows where.

Time melted away as a child’s ice cream cone,
in the heat of a muggy summer day;
evaporating into nothingness,
drifting away as steam.

Time is an elusive creature,
not willing to be tamed,
wild and free,
and impossible to be caged.

One minute I feel rich with time,
but the next minute I am in poverty;
begging for more,
but with none to be found.

Time can’t be borrowed, purchased or stolen.
Some say time is money,
but time is time
and thus worth more than gold.

Time is to be used now.
It can’t be banked or stored up.
It can’t be saved for a rainy day,
for time refuses to wait.

When you have time,
spend it — spend it or lose it.
Spend it on someone, now,
for someone needs your time, now.

When you have time,
don’t wait long;
for it will tick tock down its path,
merrily going its way; never looking back.

The time is now.
Tell someone about Jesus,
before time runs out,
never to return again.

Its time…

Speak!

Those days are done. The time of silence is over. The glory of Jesus has been revealed.
Speak, my friends, speak.

The Word is being abused; twisted and contorted. Rewritten to fit the desires of the world. But the glory of Jesus has been revealed.
Speak, my friends, speak.

Firm, Word-standing Christians are being mocked. Hate-filled language is being hurled at us. But the glory of Jesus has been revealed.
Speak, my friends, speak.

People are lost and confused; searching for meaning. People are being mislead and deceived. But the glory of Jesus has been revealed.
Speak, my friends, speak.

Many church are conforming to the world. It’s leaders are preaching a false gospel. But the glory of Jesus has been revealed.
Speak, my friends, speak.

This slippery slope sliding culture is plunging faster and faster into oblivion. But the glory of Jesus has been revealed.
Speak, my friends, speak.

The Church is becoming more and more irrelevant. But the world cannot afford to miss our message, for the glory of Jesus has been revealed.
Speak, my friends, SPEAK!

The Pastor -|—

Gordon ~ Homelessness Sucks

We met Gordon recently.

I don’t know his story other than he’s a black man who is homeless in Sumner, WA. My family and I were in town for an event when we saw him sitting on a downtown bench with his stuff. We all felt the God nudge so we stopped the car. We just needed to do something. In the back of my car are these bags…

20180917_112818.jpg

These bags came from the brain and heart of my 5-year-old daughter. She wanted to do something to help people who find themselves homeless and so she came up with this. We are incredibly proud of her. So my wife and I helped her put these together and now the two of us have these in our vehicles. We are currently in the process of adding to these bags and now others in my congregation want to help too. To God be the glory.

Anyway, we stopped and interrupted our evening activities to meet Gordon. My 4-year-old son wanted to get out with me so we grabbed a bag and walked across the street. I introduced the two of us to Gordon and shook his hand. Gordon’s eyes lit up as he smiled and introduced himself to us. We chatted for a bit as I handed him the above bag. Gordon thanked me and my son and we parted ways.

And now…

…my thoughts and prayers continue to be with Gordon. I wrote about Sofia’s story recently and I wish I knew Gordon’s story. So many regrets with my encounter with Gordon. I wish I had taken more time to listen but maybe God is teaching me. Maybe each and every encounter is one more step in my education and discipleship. I don’t know. What I do know is that I haven’t forgotten about Gordon; I can still see his face in my brain. And that’s good. I have a feeling that when the next opportunity comes around God will nudge me more.

God help me. God help us.

I/we have much to learn.

Remember Gordon and join me in praying for him. I/you don’t know his story, but God does. And God willing, I will see Gordon again so I can learn more of his story.

So, remember and pray. Learn and grow. Respond and act. To God be the glory.

The Pastor -|—