Friday, December 30, 2011


 “Greatness is not measured by what a man or woman accomplishes, but by the opposetion he or she has overcome to reach his goals.” (Dorothy Height, American Civil Rights Activist (1912-2010)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Vantage Pointe Today

I love being a part of Vantage Pointe, a Wesleyan Church, serving the people in the Glens Falls region in New York State.  Today's event was fantastic!

Monday, December 5, 2011

There is No Try

“No. Try not. Do. Or do not. There is no try.“ (Yoda to Luke Skywalker)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

How's Mom?

It's been a week since Nan entered hospital again after being overcome by dementia.  We cared for her as long as we could but her disease's progress had taken her beyond our ability to meet her daily needs. But we do love her!

Today's visit found her alert but not oriented. She asked, "How's Mom?" doing and where her mother was today.  I replied, "She's in her best home (heaven!) and doing very well." That sufficed, it seems.

Nan's lived a long, full life.  Her days are without care or concern because the meds work so well.  Pray for us as we help her find her new home.  And pray God's will be done in her life, too.

Monday, November 21, 2011


"If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less."

General Eric Shinseki
Chief of Staff, U. S. Army

Friday, October 14, 2011

This Says It for Me

Knowing You All I once held dear built my life upon All this world reveres, and wars to own All I once thought gain I have counted loss Spent and worthless now, compared to this (Chorus:) Knowing you, Jesus knowing you There is no greater thing You're my all you're the best You're my joy, my righteousness And I love you ,lord Now my heart's desire is to know you more To be found in you, and known as yours To possess by faith what I could not earn All surpassing gift of righteousness (Chorus) Oh to know the power of your risen life And to know you in your suffering To become like you in your death my Lord So with You to live And never die (Chorus)

Monday, October 10, 2011


It's always a sad day when you spend an afternoon talking to your grandmother only to learn that she thinks you're someone else altogether. Old age!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Building Credibility

"Your reputation and integrity are everything. Follow through on what you say you're going to do. Your credibility can only be built over time, and it is built from the history of your words and actions." ~ Maria Razumich-Zec

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The irresistible Church

What makes a church "irresistible"? Wayne Cordeiro wrote "The Irresistible Church" to encourage church leaders to return to the church’s true identity, Jesus and the anointing of God and His power. It’s almost as if we say, 'Jesus is not enough; we’ve got to find a new way to attract people.' The irresistible church I’m talking about in this book is not a church that’s irresistible to men. It’s a church that’s irresistible to heaven—a church to which God says, 'I just can’t help but be involved in that church. I can’t help but help that church prosper and harvest the wheat.'"

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Life is a Place of Service

"Life is a place of service, and in that service one has to suffer a great deal that is hard to bear, but more often to experience a great deal of joy. But that joy can be real if only people look upon their life as a service, and have a definite object in life outside themselves and their personal happiness." (Leo Tolstoy)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Where You Are

I strode along the downtown streets of my city late last evening and happened upon this quote in the window of one of the little shops that that line the way:

"The lure of the distant is deceptive. The great opportunity is where you are." (John Burroughs)

Many a searching soul has left our rugged region with the thought that more will be gained by leaving than by staying on and finding that life-altering opportunity right here in Hometown USA. I have come to understand that distant shores are often just dirt and sand on someone else's home turf.

I'm glad that I can carve out a place of commerce and comfort by seizing the opportunities that present themselves to me each and every day. Truly, the lure of the distant seems unworthy of the journey required to get there and back again.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Hand in Hand We Walk

"Come on, Grampy!" she said. "Let's walk."
And so we walk.
She chatters on and on about rocks, cars and lollipops,
While I cry about hard partings, missed moments, and silent longings.

Saying goodbye to granddaughters is dreadfully painful.
I was not made for "See you soon's" and "We'll Skype more" promises.
I'd rather have skipping contests in the driveway
And sandwich kisses before bedtimes.

But farewells come and grandchildren go
And I must adjust one more time
And grudgingly accept that life is a series of greetings and partings
Until we say our best hello in the Sweet By-and-By in the someday-soon's of Tomorrow.

"Come on, Michal!" I say. "Let's walk."
And so we do.
Her hand in mine and mine is hers.
Until we meet again in another place and time.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

It's Worth a Read

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Adirondack Day

Open window, mountain breeze.
Floating curtains, steady rain.
Cool caresses, welcome shiver.
Summer morning, Adirondack day.

Monday, May 2, 2011

In Defense of a Righteous Killing

In response to those who decry the taking of Osama Bin Laden's life because he would go to hell:

"How can you defend one who took the lives of 3000 innocent people so that they wouldn't have opportunity to repent and receive this same Christ you wanted him to embrace?

OBL was a robber, a liar, a fanatical murderer, and held to a belief system that would NEVER include embracing the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Hey, he enjoyed killing Americans because Americans defended a Christian worldview!

OBL's death was justified and I continue to celebrate the righteous taking of his life.

On another note, as one has said, "Pacifism works well in peacetime but is a terrible belief system in war."

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

I enjoyed this story today as re-told by author and pastor David Jeremiah:

"Thomas Carlyle labored with intensity on the first volume of a three-part study of the French Revolution. He felt it could be his greatest work. He loaned the manuscript to his friend John Stuart Mill to read, and Mill read it by the fire. One morning the maid, cleaning the room and seeing the scattered pages on the floor, threw them in the fire. When Carlyle learned his manuscript was burned to ash, he sank into abysmal depression. Some time later, still desolate, he saw a brick mason through the window. The man was standing on a scaffold, singing and whistling to himself as he built the wall of a house one brick at a time. Watching him, Carlyle decided he would write his book again, one page at a time. His history of the revolution became famous, and he is remembered as one of Scotland's literary giants."

"Perhaps you've lost something very valuable to you. Don't give up. Tomorrow still holds a bright promise, and the Lord blesses faithful, plodding work. Let's take it step-by-step, day-by-day, and moment-by-moment."

Looking to Jesus till glory doth shine, moment by moment, O Lord, I am Thine.
Daniel Whittle

Friday, March 25, 2011

This Place of Conviction and Pain

"Unless we come into this place of conviction and pain concerning our sin, I am not sure how deep and real our repentance will ever be." (A. W. Tozer)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Love Wins?

Rob Bell has written another book - Love Wins - and here is one of the statements he makes:

A staggering number of people have been taught that a select few Christians will spend forever in a peaceful, joyous place called heaven, while the rest of humanity spends forever in torment and punishment in hell with no chance for anything better…. This is misguided and toxic and ultimately subverts the contagious spread of Jesus’ message of love, peace, forgiveness, and joy that our world desperately needs to hear. (ibid)

I know. I know. It's hard to believe that this guy could be so blind - but he is. And his views on the subject of hell are misguided at best and heretical at worst.

Here's what Time Challies and Aaron Armstrong note ( utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Daily-Update):

"Throughout the book he engages in what can best be described as exegetical gymnastics, particularly in dealing with the Greek word aion, a small word that is crucial to his arguments.

While this word is commonly translated as “eternal” or “everlasting,” Bell argues that it can also mean “age” or “period of time,” or even “intensity of experience.” Using this approach, he briefly argues from the parable of the sheep and the goats (Matt. 25:31-46) that eternal punishment isn’t eternal, but rather an intense period of pruning.

Now here’s the thing: aion and aionos definitely can mean “age” or “period of time,” they also mean “eternal.” The word’s context helps us to determine its meaning. So if we assume that these words primarily mean “age” or “period of time,” what happens when we apply that definition to John 3:16 where aionosis used?

For God so loved the world that He sent His only Son so that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have life for a period of time.

Not as encouraging, is it? While Bell might argue here that “life abundant” might be a better fit (playing on the “intensity of experience” angle and tying it to John 10:10), at the end of the day, we’re left with an approach that gives more credence to living your best life now than it does to worshipping Jesus."

I believe Rob Bell is promoting Universalism and that is downright dangerous to the souls of those who need to know that God is, of course, a God of love. But He is also a God of justice who will deal with people's outright rebellion, unrepentant sin, and defiant rejection. One can play all the mental games they want with this subject - but it does not invalidate the teachings of Scripture.

Let the Reader of Bell Beware!

I like how TIm and Aaron end their article:

"Christians do not need more confusion. They need clarity. They need teachers who are willing to deal honestly with what the Bible says, no matter how hard that truth is. And let’s be honest—many truths are very, very hard to swallow.

Love does win, but not the kind of love that Bell talks about in this book. The love he describes is one that is founded solely on the idea that the primary object of God’s love is man; indeed, the whole story, he writes, can be summed up in these words: “For God so loved the world.” But this doesn’t hold a candle to the altogether amazing love of God as actually shown in the Bible. The God who “shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8), who acts on our behalf not so much because His love for us is great, but because He is great (Isaiah 48:9, Ezekiel 20:9,14,22,44, 36:22; John 17:1-5).

That’s the kind of love that wins. That’s the kind of love that motivates us to love our neighbors enough to compel them to flee from the wrath to come. And our love for people means nothing if we do not first and foremost love God enough to be honest about Him."

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

“Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. And falling to the ground he heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’ And he said, ‘Who are you, Lord?” (Paul to the Church at Corinth)

It begins with a simple question asked by an inanimate sign at my local Starbucks. Giving an incorrect answer would cause me shame for not knowing, while a correct response would yield a 10 cents savings on my favorite beverage. I carefully studied the daring question:

“To whom was Walt Whitman referring when he pined, ‘O Captain! My Captain!’”

While the latte machine feverishly boiled the milk, and whispered conversation hung quietly in the air, I returned to my childhood and lifted from the shelf of my memory the books I’d read on this man of Men. I peeked in on his carefree youth, sputtered at his try-and-fail approach to career advancement, marveled at his ascendency to high office, and stood captive at his mastery of the inspirational word. He was an honored hero in my formative years and even now his life and tragic death move me to wonderment.

“Abraham Lincoln” I told the girl. She stared back at me, looked questioningly at my wife, and exclaimed, “You must have been in earlier and remembered the answer!”

“No!” I chided in my mind. “I know of whom the poet wrote for his life and words travel with me to this very day - living words - such as, ‘For score and seven years ago…’ and ‘The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.’”

Lincoln was a very good man but serves only as a weakened shadow of another Person we all know well. His youthful zeal impresses us. His career path seems more fail than succeed. His claim to fame seems weak compared to more forceful, savvy men. But in His death, He speaks more convincingly than any army that might work to stamp out His revolutionary message.

So I ask you a question, “To whom was apostle Paul referring when he pined, ‘Who are you, Lord?’” (Acts 6: 5).

While thoughts swirl, I invite you to return with me to the sacred Volume and recall the only answer deserving of this demanding question:

“I am Jesus! And I now invite you to become My ambassador to a drifting and sin-damned world.”

Dear friend, while the world may little note, nor long remember what we say, we must never let it forget what He did here. Our call and challenge is to not fail to carry out our mandate - so that the world will know!

Monday, March 7, 2011

No Other Plea

I need no other argument,
I need no other plea;
It is enough that Jesus died,
And that He died for me.

—Lidie H. Edmunds, 19th Century

Friday, February 25, 2011

Now It is the Lord!

I have been enjoying the daily readings of A. W. Tozer this year and today's devotional referenced these two little phrases that perfectly sum up the journey my life:

Once it was the blessing;
Now it is the Lord!

I once spent too much time chasing windmills of blessings from God. And upon catching them, found them to be incomplete and devoid of satisfaction. These days, I'm much more interested in knowing The One who is willing to give of Himself to me so that I might become more like Him each day. I'm learning that it is in the abundance of quiet relationship that my life is changing, transforming, growing.

Monday, February 7, 2011


O the sweetness of being settled in Christ Jesus
And in His purposes for my life.
My heart is still
Even though the world rages about me.
I am His...and He is mine!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

God's Eternal Self-existence

Father! the sweetest, dearest Name.
That men or angels know!
Fountain of life, that had no fount
From which itself could flow.

The vastness is not young or old,
Thy life hath never grown;
No time can measure out thy days,
No space can make Thy throne!

-Frederick William Faber

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

One Blessed "Old Man"!

One Saturday evening, my family and friends surprised me with a fantastic surprise birthday party. I was shocked, overwhelmed and overjoyed when my youngest daughter appeared from the crowd. Thanks for driving through the storm, Naomi and Ronnie!

Thanks to everyone who came and for the lovely cards and remembrances. And Jeff, the fixodent was funny - really funny!

I am one blessed "old man", that for sure!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Carving My Benefits in Stone

Today I turned 50 years of age. What? It can't be true! But it is reality for me.

This little story illustrates how grateful I am for all of you remembering me today with such warm thoughts and greetings:

Two friends were walking through the desert. During some point of the journey, they had an argument and one friend slapped the other one in the face. The one who got slapped was hurt, but without saying anything, wrote in the sand, today my best friend slapped me in the face.

They kept on walking, until they found an oasis, where they decided to take a bath. The one who had been slapped got stuck in the mire and started drowning, but the friend saved him. After he recovered from the near drowning, he wrote on a stone,

'Today my best friend saved my life!'

The friend who had slapped and saved his best friend asked him, “After I hurt you, you wrote in the sand and now, you write on a stone, why?”

The friend replied 'when someone hurts us we should write it down in sand, where winds of forgiveness can erase it away. But, when someone does something good for us, we must engrave it in stone where no wind can ever erase it.

Today I'm carving my benefits in stone. Thanks, everyone!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Deep Change

I sense within me a profound change occurring.

This change is not about style, tools, or verbal acuity.

It's about forgetting what I know and discovering what I need to know in order to experience a deeper change in the way I do life and lead the church.

Thank you for your insights, Robert Quinn!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Pain and Joy

Ah, the pain and joy of growing closer to the One who makes all of living worthwhile.

Monday, January 3, 2011

The New Year

I'm looking forward to 2011. Some really good things are coming to my life and that of my family and church. Glad I can be a part of it!