one of the keys to marriage

Today I was in the home of a couple who have been married for 61 years! Again, sixty-one years!

That is a long time. Marriages that last that long are very few and rare. In their home, I noticed that this frame was hanging on the wall (sorry for the glare). And it was only fitting – only a man who continually views his wife as “the catch of his life” will know how to make a marriage last that long. 

Men, lets be thankful for our wives and the Great catch they are to us!

doing good (Ryle on the Good Samaritan)

I was doing some reading today on J.C. Ryle writing on the Parable of the Good Samaritan.

I was struck by this paragraph.

“Now, if these words mean anything, a Christian ought to be ready to show kindness and brotherly love to every one that is in need. Our kindness must not merely extend to our families, our friends, and relations. We must love all men, and be kind to all, whenever occasion requires. We must be aware of an excessive strictness in scrutinizing the past lives of those who need our aid. Are they in real trouble? Are they in real distress? Do they really want help? Then according to the teaching of this parable, we ought to be ready to assist them. We should regard the whole world as our parish, and the whole race of mankind as our neighbors. We should seek to be the friend of every one who is oppressed, or neglected, or afflicted, or sick, or in prison, or poor, or an orphan, or a heathen, or a slave, or an idiot, or starving, or dying. We should exhibit such world-wide friendship, no doubt, wisely, discreetly, and with good sense, but of such friendship we never need be ashamed. The ungodly may sneer at it as extravagance and fanaticism. But we need not to mind that. To be friendly to all men in this way, is to show something of the mind that was in Christ.”

Can you think about how differently Christ, Christianity, and the church would be viewed in the world if we all understood this quote and thought?

I wanna be like Lois and Eunice

Paul is arguably the greatest missionary/evangelist/church-planter ever! He is the main one in the New Testament. And when it came time to pass the torch/ pour into the next guy/ mentor/ and leave the work in someone else’s hands He chose Timothy.

First and Second Timothy are two personal letters that Paul wrote to younger Timothy explaining and encouraging him to keep going strong for Jesus.

Timothy was a man with a “sincere faith” and full of understanding from the Scriptures. So God had saved Timothy and led him to Paul, and Paul was mentoring him and preparing him to continue the work.

So the question is, how did Timothy become so solid? so faithful? so grounded and godly?

Lois and Eunice were some of the key ingredients. Eunice was Timothy’s mother, and Lois was his grandmother. Paul said they that had a “sincere faith” too. In chapter 3 verses 14-15 Paul reminds Timothy to:

“continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.”

This awesome young man of God, Timothy, who Paul saw and mentored to take his place had been taught and raised by his mother and grandmother “to learn” the Bible, to “firmly believe,” knowing from whom he learned it. In all likelihood, Timothy could say that God used the good godly upbringing of his mom and grandma to make him into the man he was.

That’s awesome! I have three sons right now. JJ is 4 years old. Eli is 2, almost 3. And Noah is one. I have only one great desire for them- that they know and love Jesus. He is the only thing that will satisfy them.

What I am doing right now will help determine that. What we do tonight and tomorrow morning (and every future night and morning) will help contribute to that.

I wish I knew more of what Lois and Eunice did. What was their secret formula to raise a son like that? But I do know this, they taught him the Word of God from infancy. And that takes lots of time.

As a parent, I want to be like Lois and Eunice.

a word fitly spoken

Last week I was meeting and visiting with a family at the funeral home, and I had a true blessing happen to me.

I was in the middle of a long, full week. I was busy and tired. I wasn’t lacking focus. I was just dialed in and moving swiftly from one responsibility to the next.

This moment I was at the funeral home talking with a family that I had never met before as I was preparing for a funeral that I would do the following day. After those conversations were over I was headed toward the entrance when a new gentleman stopped me and introduced himself. We spoke for about 2-3 minutes about the deceased and this gentleman’s relationship to him. He said what most people say in that he appreciates me being there for them during this tough time. We had a nice, little, cordial talk right there in the hall way. Then he proceeded on, but just as we were walking away, he turned around and said,

“Hey, You’re Awesome!”

It stunned me. That was about a week ago, and I am still being impacted by it.

Not because I am awesome. I know I am not. (Jesus is.)

Not because he said it. I can understand him being thankful for visiting his family without knowing them. And thats his way of saying thanks. And people sometimes say random things to people.

It stunned me because Words have power! Words build up! It made me feel good. It really did. And that doesn’t mean I am shallow. It means words can build people up. I walked out of that funeral home cheesing like never before. I was skipping and singing. All because of his words to me.

God says:

“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.” -Proverbs 25:11


“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” -1 Thessalonians 5:11


“…but only (talk) such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” -Ephesians 4:29

It has been 7 days since that happened. And I am still thinking about it. I wonder if the way I speak to people ever makes their day better. I wonder if anyone goes home after talking with me and for days is smiling because of something I said to them.

That gentleman sure did pick me up last week. Just by saying a few words to me that built me up. Thank you sir. My day and life are better because of those words. Just as God says in His word.

Lets Give it a try! Lets start using our words to make people better. Lets start being used by God with “fitly spoken words.”

if a picture is worth a thousand words–then speak to me!

I took this photo last summer while we were serving in the jungle of Ecuador.

I don’t know anything about this young guy. I don’t know his name or his age.  All I know is where I was when I took this picture. We were standing right on the bank of the Napo river at the edge of the jungle in Ecuador.

I love this picture. I can’t stop looking at it. It grabs me. Here are some questions I have when I look at it and think about it:

*   Does he know his parents?

*   Does he have shoes?

*   Who are his brothers and sisters?

*   Does he get hugs or tickle-attacks from anyone?

*   Is his belly being that way a serious problem?

*   Is he hungry?

*   Does he have to be home by a certain time?

*   Does he have a home or a bed?

*   Would he like to play ball with me?

*   Does he like to sing?

*   Does he have a Bible?

*   Does he know the great stories in it like David & Goliath or Noah and the flood?

*   Does he know the best story ever – Jesus dying in our place?

*   Has anyone ever told him that God loves him and Jesus died for him?

*   Is anyone going to tell him that?

My mind goes racing with tons of thoughts about this boy. He is so cool looking. I wish I could adopt him. JJ and Eli and Noah would love to have him as a brother. I know they would. They speak his language already. Can’t you see him playing in their room?  Can’t you see him in our nursery at church? Or if hes older, cant you see him playing with all the kids at Super Church?

My heart is heavy as I think and type and pray. My eyes are misty as I feel God drawing my heart to go and give and live and love.

As I am ending this blog post, I am praying that God will work in your heart. That God will lead you to go on a mission trip. That God will lead you to adopt a child. That God will cause you to do something, anything with your life that will make a BIG difference. Maybe you could go tell this kid? Maybe you could be answer to most of those questions I listed above?

I am praying that God will use me and you for his glory. Please feel free to share this with anyone.

my favorite CD ever (i think)

I am not sure if I have a favorite album. I don’t listen to music all that much really to even have a favorite. I just find something I like and then keep listening to it over and over again.

In college, I was introduced to Shane & Shane. To this day, they are still my favorite to listen to.

Of all their albums, my favorite is still that first one I heard in college titled “Psalms.”

One of the songs I like on this album is called “Breath of God.” You can watch a YouTube video of them performing it live here. Or I have it posted at the bottom of this post.

For the past few weeks, I have listened to it countless times. I pray God lets people see Him through me in Fairdale. That is what this song talks about.


Here are the lyrics to the song “Breath of God.”

A life you cannot define; a purpose thats benign

They need to see and believe; be led to the rugged tree

The on which he cried not for his pain but for our debt; the very same tree that he conquered death

It was an unfair deal on the part of Christ; he got my sin, I got eternal life

Make me the breath of God

And I’ll show them the one that means the most to me

They’ll see the face of love

be touched by the very one who died upon the tree

Small talk is a better choice; a way to avoid your voice

I need to feel the dust on my knees; and lead them to the tree

will you follow me, lead them to the tree

Can’t you just believe, will you take a knee, for eternity



the only true account is the man himself

I am just beginning to read some Martin Lloyd-Jones. And already I am being so impacted by his great preaching.

Check out this quote from a sermon of his from May 15, 1927:

“Do you wish to find an account of what the gospel has done? Well, you must not turn to books for it. Look rather to the reformed sinners–see the lame walking, and the blind seeing and the deaf hearing. The true history of the church is to be found in the lives of the converts that it has produced. You can never really write an account of the conversion of a sinner, the only true account is the man himself. That is why the church has always relied more upon preaching and public testimony than upon documents and the written word.”