I have been studying a bunch for my sermon this weekend on the Trinity. In nearly 40 years I have never preached on this classic doctrine of the church. I think the reason is that simple sermons that even my grandkids can understand is a major goal of my teaching the Bible. The Trinity seemed so deep and mysterious I didn’t think I could make it simple and understandable, and I was afraid that in attempting to do so I would dishonor God in the process. God the Father, and God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are three distinct personalities but so much in love with each other, so intent on one purpose, so United in all that they do that they are like one. We are created in the image and likeness of God. We crave to be loved and to love unconditionally because we are like God. We are obsessed with communicating with others so much that we are glued to our cell phones and spend hours on Facebook. That is because we are like God. We are miserable when we are fighting with those we are closest to and are full of joy when our relationships are healthy and going well. That is because we are like God. When we grow in our relationship with God there is a vacuum in us that is filled up and makes our relationships with those around us become more and more what we truly desire. When we neglect God and even deny Him we are like one of those rats in a cage going round and round but going nowhere. We were created by God for God and when we draw near to Him things just seem to work better.


imageOur recent picture taken for our church directory. Getting this picture emailed to me today, and looking at it off and on for much of the evening has prompted me to think about Patty and our life together for 45 years. Without any inaccurate or phony mushiness I am confident that our unity, closeness, and love for each other has been for me a major source of joy in my life. It has been a steading influence and our relationship has been a key to dealing with problems, trials and disappointments without a lot of fear or self pity. A summary statement of our years together would be, “It is amazing what two people in unity,  oneness, and love can experience together, and how their relationship becomes a major factor in their relationship with God”. The quality of our marriage has taken a lot of sacrifice and faithful, consistent hard work over the years, but at this point in our life the joy that we have in a relaxed, free from offenses, relationship makes the use of the word sacrifice seem silly. You don’t pay the price, you enjoy the price.

How is my heart?

Got my new heart rate monitor in the mail today, and I wore it as I rode my stationary bike, ran on the treadmill, and lifted weights. It not only tells me how fast my heart is beating but “intensity” which is a comparison between present heart rate and maximum heart rate which is determined by my age. My max heart rate is supposed to be 162 beats per minute.  Another interesting category is “willpower” which it gives you after a work out on a scale of 1 to 10 on the basis of how long you maintained a 80% max heart rate during your workout.  All that info is supposed to tell me if I am getting in better shape or not!!

Wouldn’t it be cool if there were some kind of gadget like that which would measure my spiritual heart, the maturity and character of the real me on the inside. The Bible says that God sees our heart, but we seem incredibly blind to our own level of maturity of our own heart. Our heart is the place where our motives reside, and most of us have no clue what motivates us and why we do what we do.

I don’t have an inner heart monitor so I guess I will have to rely on very honest self examination, along with reflection, and contemplation about my own life and motives and maturity. It is that “honest” part that is hard to do. It is so easy to be self deceived and blind to the condition of our heart, and the consequences of such blindness is significant and eternal. Help me Lord to be painfully honest about who I really am on the inside, my heart.


Sat down and voted on my mail in ballot today. Wondered as I looked at names and “measures” what the future held for our country. Finished reading the Old Testament book of Daniel today which has lots to say about governments and God’s role in them. Many governments and countries in history that were great no longer exist primarily because of moral decline.  My role in the middle of our particular history is to be faithful to live a life according to the principles in God’s Word, to be kind, to love everybody that God sovereignly puts into my life, to be joyful always so as to attract people to the hope that I have, not to scold, rant or condemn, and to pray like crazy for government officials that God would work in their lives and protect them from the control of the “evil one”. Doesn’t seem like much, but God loves to take the small offering of a faithful person and do big things with it. I will be faithful.

What would I change?

If God appeared to me and said that I could change any one thing in my life, what would it be? Would it be a circumstance or a condition in my life like my health or financial status? It is a good question to ponder. So as I regularly visit this topic of contemplation about myself I have come up with some personal rules. If God asks don’t respond with a desire for easier or more comfortable in life. That is a choice for backward character growth. If God asks don’t ask for changes in circumstances in life because that is so short lived in terms of results. Solomon had this experience with God and he asked for wisdom. That obviously was a good choice, but Solomon still ended his life as a fool. I think at this point in my life I would ask for self-control, or maybe determination, or drive or faithfulness. It would be cool if I could think of a request that would include all 4 of those character traits. I want to finish my life well, in a sprint to the finish line, and the tendency to coast is so strong. I have decided to ask God everyday for a request that I think does role into one those 4 character traits and that request is “I pray Lord, that You will work in my life and that the next 10 years of my life are the most productive in terms of lasting fruit for You that I have had”, no, I will change that a bit, ” I pray Lord, that I accomplish with my life in the next 10 years more than what I have done in the previous 65″. Whoooooeeeeeee, that is a big request, but that is what I want, and I will ask every day that God gives that to me. What do you want?

Planning my future

Got my new calendar today. It is one of those really big ones that is about 4 ft square with a good sized square for every day of the year with a black felt tip pen to fill in stuff in the boxes. Got it fastened up on my office wall right behind my desk where I can write on it easily and see what is scheduled for the next days and weeks at a glance. First thing I did was start filling it up. Important things first. Fishing trip to Alska July 13th to 21st. Fishing trip to Minnesota last week of May. Hunting trip to Steens Mts with family third week in September. Cougar hunting trip to Wyoming last week of December.  On a more  ministry oriented note I put in a dozen speaking engagements at other churches, seminars I will attend for my own growth and edification, and major outreach events at JBC. It was amazing how quickly my whole next year was all planned and all the boxes were filled in. I wonder if that is a good thing?? I guess if I am absolutely sure that it is all God’s will it is, but with most things I never really asked God or thought or prayed about it much. I think what I will do is plan and schedule with as much wisdom as possible and then remain open and flexible to changes that God may bring and not fuss when they come.