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Showing posts from 2013

Reflection for the Holidays!

As I sit here this morning reflecting on the Holiday’s, I look around the house and see the tree all decorated, smell the sweet cookies baking, see my wife preparing all of our holiday favorites,   and see my children (even though they are older now) eyeing the treeing and wondering what is under there for them. As we prepare our hearts and minds for church tomorrow (December 21, 2013) I reflect on the message that our pastor will share at Whitewater Crossing Christian Church.   I’m blessed to remember the REAL REASON for the SEASON, The Birth of a MESSIAH that would and has changed the foundation of history and at the same time changed my life forever. However, I also reflect on others that don’t smell the cookies baking, don’t see the tree all lit up, and don’t have family wishing them Happy Holidays & Merry Christmas. I’m thinking of the patients at the State Mental Health Hospital where I work, the prisons and jails, the emergency shelters, the hospitals across America

Men at the Manger!

This post was originally published on this blog in December of 2011, and I believe the message is still relevant today:                   It is always fascinating to me that when we talk about the manger we focus only on two groups of men that came through the little door on that special morning - the Shepard’s and the Wise Men.   Of course we know that Mary and the baby Jesus was there.   However,   I believe that we miss some sufficient men that would influence the course of history by their presents that night. Let’s think about a few men that were around that night, or very close there upon.   The first guy present that night was a man that had already been in the presents of God (the angel of the Lord had visited him), and he has agreed to be the step-father to King of King, Lord of Lords, and the “Great I Am.”   Now,   I don’t know about you but the thought of raising the Son of God would scare me. What if I made a mistake!,   what if I taught him the wrong thing!,   what

The Fiftieth Anniversary of the passing of two great men:

On November 22, 1963 I was three years old, had no clue what a president was, or how important books would be come in my life.     That forever changed the world.     President John F. Kennedy, who was 46 years old, died a violent death at the hands of Lee Harvey Oswald as the world watched.     On the same day, Clive Staples Lewis, aged 64, and commonly referred to as “C. S. Lewis” died at home of health complications. Clearly history has been good to both of them; their influences have been felt throughout the past 50 years. For better or worse, Kennedy’s policies on the Viet man war, Cuba, Space, and domestic policies set the stage for where we are today as a nation. C. S. Lewis, who considered himself to be a simple lay theologian, influenced the nation in realms: education, writing, and Christian apology. Today, we solemnly celebrate the deaths of those two great men who changed the world. I sometimes wonder what the world would be like today if both of these men had lived

A tribute to a veteran, father, and friend

As I sit at home this morning, I’m reflecting not only on the Men and Women that have given their lives for our freedom, but also on those that are currently sacrificing to serve in our military.   I’m also reflecting on those that gave and then step so quietly back into our society, to continue their lives as fathers/mothers, sons/daughters, and grandchildren. As I sit to write this I have to remember that I’m at the place today in the ministry because of one of these wonderful and gracious veterans. In 1953, my father joined the United States Air Force, to serve as a civil engineer and heavy equipment operator.   He would go on to have many different challenges as he served over the next 20 years.   He would be involved in Search & Recuse, Air Force Police, closing bases, and things he just wouldn’t talk about.   I loved to sit for hours and listen to him tell stories about his experiences in countries like Spain, England, Japan, South Korea, Pakistan, and even here in the

You can not remake a classic:

Something’s can’t be re-made: I recently sat down and watched (for the fifth time) the new Wild, Wild West movie with Will Smith. I realized that even after watching it so many times it still is not as good as the original. Have you noticed that Hollywood is in re-make and re-write mode? They are trying to make the classics we grew up with in the 80’s and 90’s new and improved, and in my opinion some things just need to be left alone and accepted as is … I was thinking recently of all the movie remakes, and realized that the church is no different. We have begun to accept a lot of the world’s philosophy of what church should look like, what the message should sound like, what the view of the Cross should be, and the acceptance of all beliefs.   Churches can and do re-invent themselves. They can change the worship style, or a new pastor may bring a new teaching or preaching style, or they may make the sanctuary more comfortable. Some even may start serving coffee. I’m not ta

Pastors and Mental Illness (Another Heart Break)

This week another mega church’s pastor (Pastor Ron Carpenter of Redemption World Outreach Center)  gave a heart wrenching confession that a member of his family suffers from Mental Illness. There will always be critics who that think the pastor should not air his dirty laundry. Others think it is a cop out by the pastor to overlook sinful behavior.   On the other side of the coin, there are those that will continue to pray for all pastors and support them with God’s love. Regardless of your view of Pastors, there are three facts we must always keep. They are human and have emotions, feeling, struggles, and pain. Their families are not exempt from pain, mental illness, or sin.   It is not my job, as a parishioner, to place any pastor on a pedestal or to tear him down.   I have been active as an alcohol and drug counselor, pastoral counselor, and have worked in a mental health hospital for over 20 years. I have learned that mental illness and addiction is not about my op

A REAL MAN can wear a U of M Jersey, even in Ohio!

A REAL MAN can wear a University of Michigan Jersey, even in Ohio!             Before you believe this is an off the cuff statement, you need to understand I grew up in Flint, Michigan and I have never cheered for another team except the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. I get excited when Michigan State, Western, Central, or Eastern Michigan do well, but for me it comes down to “ MICHIGAN WINNING IT ALL” . This applies not only to Football (which I love to watch), but also basketball and the other dozens of other sports they have at U of M.             The rivalry between the University of Michigan and Ohio State is so intense that it actually sometimes feels like it carries over into other parts of any individual life. The color of clothes you wear, the places you go, the people you hang out with, and what you are willing to talk about. I have heard of fan’s be attacked outside of the stadium at both Ohio State and U of M for wearing their teams colors in the wro

Soft Target

Shootings and bombings at what is often referred to as “soft targets” are becoming more common around the world. Soft targets are often refer to places where people gather with no or very limited security, and especially with unarmed security. These can include sporting events, malls, and even our local place of worship. We have seen in the headlines recently of the bombings of churches throughout Africa, the Middle East, and one that has been the hardest for me is the bombing of the Pashawar Church. The pastor in this community has been a friend on LinkedIn for a couple of years, and often shares the blessings God is pouring out in the community. The latest news is almost 150 people dead on the spot and hundreds injured   It is clear that this was a terrorist attack, simply based on the fact it was a Christian Church, and the individuals that bombed did not agree with the teaching/preaching of the church.   Not every bombing is carried out by terrorist, some are carried