Friday, June 28, 2013


“But the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.” 
~Galatians 3:22

I am still dealing with an infection in my toe from a dirty piece of wood that entered my foot while helping with  tornado cleanup in Oklahoma.  The wood was apparently  infested with  some kind of resistant  bacteria.   I’m on a second round of antibiotics and walking with a slight limp, inhibited from doing good things I’d like to be doing.

I am reminded of an experience when we served in Irian Jaya.   An Irianese man was carried by his friends to the clinic because a rival tribe had shot a wooden arrow into him while he was gardening.  The missionary nurse patched him up and provided medicine with specific instructions on how to care for the wound.  Those instructions were not followed, an infection spread, and the man died. 

Sad story.  I’m following instructions and taking my meds, the strongest antibiotic they could give me.

I remember my life before Jesus.  I was infected with the deadly resistant bacteria of what the Bible calls sin.  The only antidote and antibiotic powerful enough to deal with sin is the cross of Jesus Christ.    I was a crippled prisoner who now celebrates the promised freedom through healing faith provided in Him.  Far from perfect but continuing to receive the powerful treatment of forgiveness and new life.

Sin causes serious limping, prevents us from doing that which is genuinely good, and brings death.  Good news----the Bible provides life-giving instructions and powerful solutions.   Trusting in Jesus is the only remedy for the deadly infection that spreads when a person walks without God.

Father,  help those on the deadly path of an infected life to find the cure that only Christ can bring through faith.  

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.”

~1 John 1:9-10

Monday, June 3, 2013

Peace (Even in Oklahoma?)

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
~John 14:27~

We watched a news video in church yesterday about Barbara Garcia, who lost her dog during the tornado in Moore, Oklahoma. She was sitting on a stool with her dog in her lap when the twister hit. As she told her story, what struck me was the sense of peace revealed in her attitude and spirit. (YouTubeclip)

I heard somebody say recently that peace isn’t the absence of something, it is the presence of something. Peace isn’t found by getting rid of the enemy of it, but embracing something even in the presence of enemies. True peace isn't simply the absence of storms, tornadoes, pain, suffering, or conflict, it is the comforting presence of Jesus Christ in the midst of it. He is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). 

Barbara described the moment after the tornado. As she was laying in the rubble, “Then it was light,” and she knew she was going to be OK. The light signaled that the storm was over, but her dog was gone.

During the interview, Barbara found her dog. She said that God answered both of her prayers, for her and for her dog. Peace and joy were manifest in her voice.

We have a team of 12-15 people headed to Moore, Oklahoma, departing this Sunday after church. Please pray that we can be God’s agents of peace and light in the midst of the devastation.

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)

Friday, March 1, 2013


One of the definitions of “sequester” is to take legal possession of somebody’s property until a debt that person owes is paid.  It seems backward that a government would take possession of jobs by budget cuts for their own debt, but that is another topic.  The national debt may never be paid, it seems beyond measure, out of control, and the size of it it is incomprehensible.  Kind of like sin.

Being sequestered  was the best thing that ever happened to me.   The debt of sin had to be paid and I could never pay it.  Somebody without debt had to pay my debt.   Somebody without sin had to die for the penalty of my sin.  So, a transaction happened.   Jesus, God, the only sinless One,  died in my place to pay my debt of sin and rose again to give me life eternal.   The only appropriate response is to give him legal possession of all that I am.  That is a permanent sequester of a powerful, wonderful, divine nature.

“You are not your own;  you were bought at a price”  (1 Cor. 6:19b-20a).

The only debt remaining is the response of love.

“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law” (Rom. 13:8).

Thursday, January 17, 2013

New Ministry

“He let loose the east wind from the heavens…” (Psalm 78:26a). 

God has provided a new ministry for us.   An east wind blew and we are headed west, thankful for God’s provision.   I will be serving in pastoral leadership in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and we are very excited about this new opportunity.

A key verse for us as we have sought God’s leading is Psalm 18:19…… “He brought me out into a spacious place….”   Council Bluffs is part of the Omaha area that contains over a million people, making it a “spacious” opportunity with a large urban center nearby in one direction and a rural environment in the other.  The church is in an ideal location, right next to a thriving college, also offering potential to impact students that could be “sent”  to places beyond.   It is a wonderful church body---we love the people there.  Thanks for your prayers as we have been on this journey of seeking the people and place of God’s calling.

Sherwood Community Church
2109 Railroad Hwy  
Council Bluffs, Iowa   51503