By the Creator

monarchf          Summer is definitely upon us.  And that got me thinking about something I recently read about.

It isn’t uncommon to see butterflies migrating in late summer.  Some people get to see hundreds of them (at one time) clinging to tree limbs as they rest on their journey.

Some scientists reported finding 16 sites in central Mexico (ranging from 1-10 acres each) where millions and millions of monarch butterflies from North America spend the winter.  Continue reading

Too Busy Fishing?

Hudson-Taylor1            Hudson Taylor was a missionary to China for over 50 years.  Today he is seen as an incredibly effective soul-winner and church-planter.

One day he was traveling on a boat from Shanghai to Ningpo.  He had been witnessing to a man named Peter who rejected the Gospel but was under deep conviction.  In the course of events, Peter fell overboard, but no one made any effort to save him.  Taylor sprang to the mast, let down the sail, and jumped overboard in hopes of finding his friend.  But no one on board joined Taylor in his frantic search.

Taylor saw a fishing boat nearby and yelled to them to help, but they wouldn’t do it without money.  Finally, after bartering for every penny that Taylor had, the fishermen stopped their fishing and began to look for Peter.  Continue reading

A Christmas Version of 1 Corinthians 13

Author Sharon Jaynes may help us consider Christmas in a different light.  Consider her writing: “1 Corinthians 13: A Christmas Version”Sharon

If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls, but do not show love to my family, I’m just another decorator.

If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime Continue reading

Thanking is more than just for one day…

give_thanks_title_800x600            In 1911 the Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louvre in Paris.  It was two years before it was recovered – to everyone’s relief.  But what is truly amazing is that during those two years more people came to see the empty spot where the painting had hung than had come to see the actual panting in the previous twelve years. Continue reading

“It needed the praise!”

apple-pie        A man was invited to the home of some friends for dinner.  The food was wonderful – except for the apple pie.  It wasn’t terrible, but it just didn’t measure up to the rest of the meal.  Even so, the guest went out of his way to find some good things to say about the pie.

Later, the man visited the home again and stayed for dinner.  Continue reading

Seasons Change

Fall          Don’t you just love this time of the year?  The temperature is dropping, the days are getting a little shorter, and the leaves will soon be changing colors.  When you walk outside, it is actually refreshing.

Of course, we know why it’s like this – God set the process in motion.  As the Earth moves to a different location, things change.  The sun is always there – shining – but the Earth moves closer and further, closer and further.  And seasons change.

Your life is like that, too.  Continue reading

You Never Know What It Will Do

Enourage-Someone-Photo-583x465          H. T. Webster was a famous newspaper cartoonist.  He once did something to amuse himself, but he ended up discovering something.

He picked twenty of his friends and sent them congratulatory telegrams.  None of them had actually done anything outstanding for which they should be congratulated, but to each one he sent a one-word message, “Congratulations.”

He thought that was funny, until a few days later Continue reading

You mean it wasn’t what I said?

Pastor2          OK, I’ll admit it.  Sometimes we “professional” ministers think a lot more of ourselves than we should.  We aren’t always as enlightening or inspiring or thought-provoking as we think we are.

Case in point – Alexander Maclaren was a well-known preacher in England in the 19th century.  Continue reading

Keep the Lamp Burning Brightly

lighthouses     I found J. Allen Blair’s insight (in Living Consistently) challenging.  He recalled a friend who visited a lighthouse and asked the keeper, “Are you not afraid to live here?”

     The keeper replied, “Not at all.  We never think of ourselves.”

     The surprised visitor said, “You never think of yourselves!  How is that?” Continue reading

But I Can’t?

I can’t teach.  I can’t deac.  I can’t ush.  And I definitely don’t do dirty diapers.  There’s nothing I can do at church!

Really?

Who came up with the idea that there are only a few things that you can do in and through the church?  Who came up with the idea that if you can’t do certain “noticed” things, it’s OK to just sit back and soak?  I can assure you, it wasn’t God!

Over the past few days I’ve been reminded of that.

Saturday (while taking some time to honor our church’s widows) a number of people came to wash cars while others decorated, cooked, and served a meal.  Not your “usual” ways to serve in the church.

And today nearly 40 people came to sew – that’s right – sew!   Continue reading