Friday, March 30, 2007

My Obsession with Rain

The rains this week have been so nice! Two inches Monday. Nearly an inch last night. More on the way.

Some of you who read my blog might wonder why rain is so important to me. Well, in the part of Texas in which we live -- we have been in a drought that is entering its third year. The lake from which we get our drinking water is 20 feet low. That's right -- 20 feet! The stock tanks (normally full this time of year as we head into summer) are near empty. And summer is not even here yet!

So, while flash floods are in the forecast (and I'm surely not hoping for anyone to be flooded out), I'm praying, "Lord, bring us a gulley-washer -- especially up in the watershed region for Lake Bridgeport."

Two years ago this week, I accepted the position of preaching minister for the Decatur church. I feel like I'm still on my honeymoon. I love you, Decatur church!

Thursday, March 29, 2007


I love when I am studying and come across those "wow" moments. Verses I have read before, but maybe I was at a different time in my life when they didn't impact me quite the same.

So yesterday I was studying for my Sunday morning Bible class. We are studying some of the names of Jesus -- and this week is "Messiah." I was reading from the prophet Daniel. I must confess: I am fairly skeptical as I read men's interpretations of prophecy, because it seems that the majority are biased toward premillinialism.

Anyway, Daniel has a couple of prophecies that are so clear. The first is his interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar's dream about a statue. Daniel explains that the different parts of the statue represent coming kingdoms -- historically accurate. During the last kingdom, the feet of iron and clay, Daniel says (2: 44) "In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed." This points to the time of the Roman Empire.

Later, in chapter 9, Daniel prophesies that from the issuing of the decree to rebuild Jerusalem until "the Anointed One" will be "seventy sevens" (that's 490 years). The decree to rebuild Jerusalem was given by King Artexerxes in 444 BC. No wonder the Jewish people were so anxious for the coming of Messiah in the 1st century! They knew what the prophet had said. Even the Magi had figured it out. The High Priest under Herod the Great had proclaimed the imminent arrival of Messiah -- so Herod had him put to death. Herod killed his three sons -- in fear that one of them might be Messiah.

Yes, Jesus came right on schedule -- fulfilling the prophecy of Daniel made over 500 years earlier. The Jews were anticipating His coming. They asked John the Baptist, "Are you the Messiah?" Yet, when God's Chosen One walked among them -- they missed Him. They wanted to hold out for what they thought would be better.

Isn't God incredible!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Thoughts on Prayer

This morning in my prayer group, we were talking (of all things) about prayer. Isn't it incredible that we have so often dwelt upon the "right way" to pray? Would two friends discuss the "right way" to have a conversation?

I have, in the past, gotten hung up and felt guilty because I don't pray as long as some people. I read these studies where it says that the average preacher prays for 30 minutes, or some such thing. Well, I don't regularly pray in 30 minute blocks. But I don't talk on the phone for long periods of time, either. It's just not my personality.

And here's another thing. Now, hang with me on this one. I am not in any way opposed to getting a lot of people praying for a specific thing. But what is our motive? Do we think that we will sway God's decision about something because we overwhelm Him? Couldn't one person's prayer accomplish as much as a thousand?

I know I am just throwing out a lot of stuff here, but I have been thinking (maybe rethinking) a lot about my own theology of prayer. I am coming to see it more as an ongoing conversation with my Father. Not as a wish-list for Him to sit and listen to. But as a way in which I can grow into oneness with Him. I see prayer as a tool for changing me, not God.

Monday, March 26, 2007

I Want My Baby Back, Baby Back, Baby Back

As I write this Beverly is hopefully over the Atlantic. She left from the east coast of Kenya at about 4:30 our time yesterday morning. They flew to Niarobi, where they had a 7 hour layover. So about 1:30 our time yesterday afternoon, they left Niarobi -- headed for London. They should have arrived in London about 12:30 our time this morning (6:30 AM London time). They were to have another 7 hour layover. Hopefully they took a bus tour of London or something similar to that. They should arrive in Chicago around 4:30 this afternoon before the final leg -- arriving at DFW around 8:15. So, it's down to less than 12 hours!

This has been difficult being apart so long. I can only imagine how our service men and women feel being apart for months at a time. But my Sunshine will reenter my life tonight after dark.

I watched some of the PGA tournament yesterday, and was once again amazed by Tiger. He didn't play very well, yet still won by three. His next stop is the Masters. I can't wait! Boy, would I love to go there some day. Did you know that it is the hardest ticket to get in all of sports?

Can the Mavs win 70 games? It would be a great accomplishment, and it is within the realm of possible since they have gone 5-5 on their current 6 game road trip. But none of that means anything if they don't win the championship this year.

Friday, March 23, 2007


I have a spot in my flower bed along the walk from the front door to the street that keeps growing mushrooms. Not two or three. Hundreds! I have tried Roundup. I have dug the dirt out and replaced it. I have dug the dirt out, put undeluted weed poison in the hole and replaced the dirt. It half-killed the shrub that sits right next to this spot. I thought maybe it had worked.

This morning as I went out to get the paper, guess what I saw? Yep. The mushrooms are peeking through the dirt again.

How is it that weeds and unwanted stuff is so much easier to grow than what you really want? After all, St. Augustine is actually a type of weed. Did you know that? But because it is a weed that I want, it is harder to grow than the weeds I don't want.

I like having a nice yard, and since I tend to be obsessive about certain interests -- THIS DRIVES ME NUTS!

I am looking forward to heaven. I can't wait to see Jesus. I can't wait to see people I love who have gone before me. I want to sit down with Paul and ask him about a few things he wrote that I don't totally understand.

But one of the 1st things on my agenda is to find Adam. And when I do, I'm going to punch him in the nose. For sins? No, through Jesus I have been forgiven of my sin. No, he's going to get a knuckle sandwich because of WEEDS!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

It's a Sad, Sad Story

WARNING: This post is going to be very sad, so you might want to grab a Kleenex.

I am missing my Baby (This is where you are probably tearing up). Nine nights down. Four to go (This is where you begin to sob). Actually, she is doing really well. We have talked on a couple of occasions, and she emails me nearly every day. I can't wait to see pictures and hear more about her trip.

She did tell me that the missionary ladies are carrying a lot of raw emotional pain. I would ask that you be praying for these ladies, and for Beverly as she ministers to them.

Meanwhile, my in-laws got moved in to their Decatur house yesterday. We are glad that they will be close by where we can take care of them.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


In Sunday morning Bible class this quarter, we are studying some of the many names of Jesus. This week we will be examining the word "Lord."

Jesus being Lord is a concept that we who call on Him often take far too flippantly. The whole implication of "Lord" means the right to rule. Yet we have a hard time rectifying the discrepancy between our words and our actions, our name and our lifestyles.

I came across some exerpts from a book by Robert Boyd Munger entitled My Heart -- Christ's Home. In it, he describes letting Jesus move into the home of our hearts, and what would happen as He enters each room AS LORD. How would that affect our Study, our Den, our Bedroom, our Gameroom, our Closet?

Munger concludes:
Dropping to my knees, I said, "Lord, You have been a guest and I have been the host. From now on I am going to be the servant. You are going to be the owner and Master."
Running as fast as I could to the strongbox, I took out the title deed to the house describing its assets and liabilities, location and situation. I eagerly signed the house over to Him alone for time and eternity. "Here," I said, "here it is, all that I am and have, forever. Now You run the house. I'll just remain with You as a servant and friend."
Things are different since Jesus Christ has settled down and has made His home in my heart. This is the difference made when one truly yields his or her life to Jesus as Lord and Master.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


My son Josh sent me an interesting article. It's funny how we get certain ideas in our head, and reality is actually quite different. The article is entitled "Despite 'mommy guilt,' time with kids rising."

The article say "In 1965, mothers spent 10.2 hours a week tending primarily to their children -- feeding them, reading with them or playing games, for example -- according to the study's analysis of detailed time diaries kept by thousands of Americans. That number dipped in the 1970s and 1980s, rose in the 1990s and now is higher than ever, at nearly 14.1 hours a week.

This is especially striking because it is at odds with how today's mothers view their own lives: Roughly half of those interviewed said they did not have enough time with their children.

"This is part of the burden of this generation of parents: enormously high expectations for how children develop, how they feel about themselves, how they achieve and how successful they are in the world," said William Doherty, a family studies professor at the University of Minnesota. (I had to throw this quote in because Doherty is one of Beverly's favorites).

For married mothers, hours with children rose from 47 a week in 1975 to 51 a week in 2000. For married fathers, the increase was greater: from 21 to 33 hours a week. Time spent by single mothers slipped from 50 hours a week to 44.

What the researchers could not capture was what they think of as "accessibility": when a parent might be uninvolved but is around to be called on -- inside the house, for example, when the children are in the back yard.

This may help explain why some mothers still feel their time with children is not enough, Doherty said. "You may get home from work at 4:30 and spend hours interacting with your child, but you may feel bad that you weren't around all day."

Sociologist Kathleen Gerson of New York University points out that parents of the 1960s worried about mothers smothering their children with attention.

Now, she said, "the concern is: Are children getting as much face time as they need, as much quality time?"

If you want to read this in its entirety, go to I must say that I am impressed by what I am seeing from the current generation of 20s and 30s when it comes to parenting. They seem to have a better priority toward family than the Boomers did.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Wacky Weather -- Global Warming?

I am praying that the weatherpeople are right this week. They are calling for rain beginning Tuesday all the way through Saturday. And last night they said the rain would be heaviest WEST of I-35! I can't remember the last time I heard that.

We need to be praying for rain every day. This morning it was announced that Dallas is already putting watering restrictions into effect. No watering between 10AM and 6 PM. And it's March!

We have two couples who are stranded in Europe today because they cannot fly back to New York. Right now reports are that it may be Tuesday before they can make it back. I guess being in Paris or London for two days wouldn't be all bad. I just hope this is all over with before next weekend! I sure don't want Beverly getting stranded over there!

I am beginning to wonder if the environmentalists are not more right than I have previously thought. This global warming thing could be a serious issue to reckon with.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Are You Smarter Than A Fifth-Grader

I have watched with amusement the new show on Fox, "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth-Grader." I realize that there must be tremendous stress being on camera answering questions before millions of people. But I am also amazed at simple questions that people with college degrees cannot answer.

Last night, for instance.
"What country borders the United States to the north?" The lady didn't know the answer!
And there was a man on there who was in real estate. His question: "What is half the area of a 12 X 12 square?" He dropped out rather than answer the question. When the host, Jeff Foxworthy, asked him what he would have said, he answered, "24." Yessir, that's the guy I want listing my house on the market.

And to think that these people will be voting in the next election! (Please realize that this is written half-tongue-in-cheek).

I finally got to go play golf again late yesterday afternoon. What a gorgeous day it was! I played pretty well. And I found about 2 dozen golf balls (seven Titleist Pro-V1s). My favorite golfball is the Pro-V1. They are very expensive -- about $45 a dozen. But I have never bought one. I have received two dozen as gifts. I love hunting golf balls, and love giving them away to others. But I do keep all the Pro-V1s.

So thanks to all you golfers out there who buy Pro-V1s and then lose them. I am especially grateful to those of you who lose them when they are fresh out of the sleeve:-).

Thursday, March 15, 2007


I think Randy's comment on my blog yesterday may be the answer to why I don't keep up with sports as much as I used to. I am not saying this is true for anyone else, OK. But it just feels to me like a waste of time. I watched the Mavs last night. They have a safe lead with about a minute left, and then just hand the game to the Suns. So, I have spent several hours watching this game for what? And even if they win the championship, studies show that a person experiences about 30 minutes of satisfaction. Again, this is not to indict anyone else. Just me. I'm sure I do things (like play golf) that others would consider a waste of time as well.

I have been thinking lately about the "lack of evangelistic zeal" in the church. For my whole life, I have gotten (and probably contributed to) regular doses of guilt over not being evangelistic enough. In the church it is almost like we have come to expect a periodic guilt-laden sermon about how we need to be sharing wtih others, yet I have seen no visible effect from all of that. What is the deal?

Here are my personal observations:
1st, I think that guilt is probably the poorest motivator there is. There has to be another way.
2nd, perhaps the fields where we are are not ripe to harvest right now. There are times and places in history when that is the case. There are many placed in the world that are ripe today. But there are many that are not. In Scripture we have examples of both. Was Noah a failure at evangelism? Not one convert in 100 years. Was Jonah the greatest evangelist ever? A whole town (Nineveh) repented. But I would take Noah over Jonah any day of the week. Perhaps America has been evangelized as much as it is willing. That doesn't mean we don't keep sharing Jesus. But it could explain the lack of conversions. And don't think the growth of the megachurches is a sign of people coming to Jesus. Their growth is coming by stealing members from
other churches.
3rd, we have been conditioned to think that evangelism is a "program" that has to follow a certain procedure (asking people if they want to "study", etc.) It is not that clinical. It can be messy and time-consuming. It means getting involved in the lives of hurting people who have made messes of their lives.
4th, maybe we are just lazy and apathetic. Maybe we are so caught up in our own lives that we forget the eternal consequences awaiting the unsaved.
5th, what is our motivation? This has been heavy on my mind lately. Is our motivation so we can have large numbers on Sunday? Or is our motivation to bring salvation, healing, hope and transformation?

Any thoughts?

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Is It a Sign of Aging?

I used to be a huge sports fan. I could tell you the lineups of many major league baseball teams and who was leading in what. I knew many of the NFL team's rosters, as well as the NBA's. Today, I feel like I am so disconnected. So many people are involved in fantasy leagues, and it sounds like a lot of fun. But I would be at a total loss.

Currently everyone's attention is focused on March Madness, and I really feel clueless. The news said that something like 45% of the American public has filled out a bracket (I might have mis-stated that statistic). Count me among those who have not. I wish I had more of an interest -- but I just don't.

The same has happened to me with music. I once could tell you who was singing just about everything that came on the radio -- pop, rock or country. Today? Unless it is an oldie, I probably haven't even heard of the artist. I guess it may just be a generational thing.

But all is not lost. The Masters is coming up next month.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Beverly's Trip

In just a few minutes I will be taking Beverly to the airport. Her flight leaves DFW at 1 PM. She will fly to Chicago for a connecting flight to London. She arrives in London at 6:30 AM on Wednesday (midnight here). From London she will fly to Nairobi -- arriving at 9:30 PM on Wednesday (11:30 AM here).

For those who read my blog and don't already know, she is going with a group of ladies to minister to missionary women from all over Africa. They are brought together in one place in Kenya for a week of intense prayer, Bible study, downloading and being encouraged. Beverly gets about 4 hours sleep a night, as she ends up counseling long after the planned activities are done.

She is leaving two days early -- at my insistance -- to go on a safari with some others in her group. It is a two day, one night trip. They stay in tents. Can you picture that? Beverly in a tent? If you saw pictures of these tents, you could imagine it. They look like 4-star motels! "Tent" almost seems like false advertising. I am so excited for her!

So please join me in prayer for the next couple of weeks for Beverly and these ladies -- as well as the missionary women they will be ministering to.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Let It Rain!

I was so hoping that we would get some of the rain the weatherpeople had promised. We might have gotten enough to wet the sidewalk. It is interesting the way the weather pattern has been in recent months. The Metroplex has gotten a considerable amount of rain. In fact, I think all the lakes east of I-35 are full. Yet, we are in a drought. Pray for about an eight-inch gully-washer!

Well, there is still a chance for more rain today and tomorrow.

Yesterday afternoon, after working in the yard, I came in to look over my sermon for last night. There must have been a mockingbird sitting on our chimney. It began to sing, and the sound was amplified through the chimney right into the den. I could have listened to that for hours. It was so pretty.

I loved watching the Mavs play in LA last night. They are looking incredible right now! They beat the despised Lakers (boo, hiss) 108-72! Excuse my fulfilling of my fleshly nature, but watching Kobe pout made my day.

I am down to about 24 hours before Beverly leaves for Africa. She is spending some time today with Jenny and Malaya. So, we will make the most of an evening together tonight. How better to spend it than watching Jack Bauer blow away a few bad guys (Oops. There's the fleshly nature again).

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Places to Go

I was reading a friend's blog this morning, and today I have blogger-block. So, I will borrow his idea for my blog today.

Beverly and I love to travel. I can't say we are world-travelers, but we have seen a number of places together. However, there are still many I would like to see. Here is my list (not necessarily in order of priority):

San Francisco and drive HWY 1
Yosemite National Park
New York City (again)
Yellowstone National Park (again)
Niagara Falls

England and Scotland
Paul's missionary tour (Greece and Rome mainly)
African safari
Australia (again, but for sightseeing)
New Zealand

That about covers it for me. My favorite domestic places I have been are: Yellowstone and New York City. Internationally would be Cabo San Lucas and Australia.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Someone Turns the Big 5-0 Today

Today is a really special day for me. My precious wife celebrates her 50th today! She is such an incredible woman -- the most Christlike person I have ever known. Yet somehow, she keeps getting better.

Happy Birthday, my Precious.

Speaking of Beverly, next Tuesday she leaves for Kenya. She will be gone for two weeks! In our 30 years of marriage, we have never been apart for that long. To make matters worse, she gives me these updates every day about al quida activity in Kenya.
Please keep her in your prayers as she goes to minister to missionary women from all over Africa.

Tomorrow afternoon, I will be taking Beverly away for a couple of days to celebrate. She doesn't know where (at least I haven't told her). I am really looking forward to some time away with her. To show you how much I am looking forward to it, I even skipped golf this week (there were a couple of gorgeous days for it) so I could get all my work done for the week.

Many, many people from our church will be leaving for different places this weekend -- being that it is spring break. A large number of our people are heading to Colorado for a ski trip. I pray God's blessings on each of you as you travel.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Visit Beverly's Website

I would invite you to visit Beverly's new website for her counseling service. It is I think it looks great (especially the picture of the woman). It has been incredible watching how God has blessed this ministry. Funding will be an ongoing issue, but clients won't. She is filled to the gills!

So there is a guy in South Texas who claims to be Messiah. He says he is Jesus returned to earth. And he has a pretty good gathering of people who believe him. Of course, ABC is going to do a special on him tonight. What else will Satan come up with? Boy, he is on the attack against the faith right now. It must mean that he is feeling threatened.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Confession Time

There are certain issues that I confess my faith is weak in. I am so engrained with the American ideal of "I have to be in charge and do it all on my own."

I got a late start in my retirement planning -- after raising three kids, putting them all in braces, paying car insurance, then college and weddings, etc. So now, I am doing what I can to prepare for that. I sometimes think I am on target to retire at age 70, perhaps. Then, something like last week strikes. The stock market is taking a nose dive, which is expected to continue today. I'm thinking of how much I have lost. Beverly reminds me that I didn't lose it, because it was never really mine. But I saw the amount on my daily report, and it sure seemed like mine:).

In my moments when I am being led by the Lord, I realize that there are some things I cannot control. I am doing what I can, and just like millions of others -- am subject to things outside of my control. The Lord is wanting me to surrender that to Him anyway. He has always proven to be faithful to me. Why should I doubt Him now?

But it is an ongoing battle between my fleshly nature and my Spirit nature. May the best man win. And He will!

Friday, March 02, 2007

TV Westerns

This Mavs team is incredible! They have had three win streaks of 12 games or more this season. Starting 0-4, they now stand at 49-9! They seem to have great team chemistry. However, I think the most credit belongs to Avery Johnson. He just seems to know exactly what to say and do to motivate his team.

As I work out each day, I have been watching old westerns on TV. Yes, the story lines are pretty hokie by today's standards. But you know what? There is usually a good feeling by the time you get to the end. It takes me back to some of the good memories from my childhood. Every night was westerns. The Rifleman. Have Gun Will Travel. Rawhide. Bonanza. Gunsmoke. Wagon Train. Maverick. The Big Valley.

My favorite? Gunsmoke. Matt Dillon was the Jack Bauer of his day. And Festus. Ken Curtis, who played Festus, was one of the best actors on TV -- a delightful character (I would vote for him and Don Knotts as all-time best). Then there's Doc -- another character who you couldn't help but love. Now Kitty? I don't know. Her relationship with Matt always seemed to be inconsistent with the moral level of the show. A US Marshall "dating" a saloon owner who hired "escort women." Oh, well. You just have to overlook that part.

But consider this: The show ran for nearly 20 years!

Bonanza ran a fairly close 2nd for me. Loved Hoss! And I always liked The Rifleman, too -- although Lucas could be a little self-righteous at times. I don't remember Rawhide much from my childhood, but have liked it when I see it in reruns. Clint Eastwood as Rowdy Yates was another great TV character.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Tozier Moment

Heres'a great thought from Tozer:

To know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. --Ephesians 3:19

Pentecost means that the Deity came to mankind to give Himself to man, that man might breathe Him in as he breathes in the air, that He might fill men. Dr. A. B. Simpson used an illustration which was about as good as any I ever heard. He said, "Being filled with the fullness of God is like a bottle in the ocean. You take the cork out of the bottle and sink it in the ocean, and you have the bottle completely full of ocean. The bottle is in the ocean, and the ocean is in the bottle. The ocean contains the bottle, but the bottle contains only a little bit of the ocean. So it is with the Christian."

We are filled unto the fullness of God, but, of course, we cannot contain all of God because God contains us; but we can have all of God that we can contain. If we only knew it, we could enlarge our vessel. The vessel gets bigger as we go on with God. The Counselor, 68.