Challenging believers in Jesus to think and act based on Bible truth.

Tuesday Rambling 9.30.14 – Family Balance, Jeter’s Last Game In Pinstripes

Time to RAMBLE!


  • I know I’m not the only parent who’s ever wondered if our family is in balance.
  • There is so much going on – it’s just a matter of how it’s all going to happen.
  • Making sure everyone knows they’re loved and valued is an intentional decision.
  • Intentional decisions prevent the demands of the moment from conquering family life.
  • We try to make sure we’re spending individual time with each of our kids on a regular basis.
  • As a strong marriage helps family life, taking time to invest in marriage is essential too.
  • Our intention is to give our kids every chance to know Jesus, his grace and forgiveness, and what it means to live as a disciple who is making disciples. We want that and will strive to show our kids the life God wants them to live as best as we can.

Jeter’s last game in pinstripes

  • I’m sure there are people who think the whole thing was rigged or staged.
  • You know what, I don’t have any time to live in that realm. For someone to think that they’d have to assume that a lot of things happened against some very high odds.
  • Before the bottom of the ninth of that game (after the Orioles tied it with 2 HR’s in the top), I told Julie that Jeter would win it by hitting the ball to right field.
  • It was a very memorable sports moment when he ended the game the way he did.
  • If something was rigged, it would have made more of a story for the Yankees to be in the playoffs. Deservedly, they are not.
  • It is the end of an era of New York Yankees baseball.

Monday Challenge 9.29.14 – Church and Mental Illness, Don’t Hide Shame, Poverty and Marriage

Happy Monday! Even if it’s not happy, be challenged. Here are four articles that cover a good variety of topics. I’ll be back Friday with a feature on the article that gets clicked the most.

Link of the Week

Has something bad happened to you? Have you struggled with secret sins? This article has good encouragement for how to handle shameful things.

Question: Will this give you perspective on your own life or helping others? How?

Churches and Mental Health

Are churches in denial about mental health?

Question: What do you think the church’s role should be?


1. A link between marriage and poverty? Yes, says this article.

Question: For me this was something new to think through – hadn’t thought about this angle. Have you thought about this before?

2. Why isn’t tithing making my financial life better?

Question: Whether tithing or in other areas, is obedience enough for you even if it doesn’t produce immediate results?

Friday Feature 9.26.14 – It’s Not Weird for Men to Have Close Friends

Here’s the most clicked article from Monday’s post:

The Homophobic Bogeyman – by Aimee Byrd

After you’ve checked out the article, here are a few of my own thoughts:

1. Social media dilutes the idea of friendship.

I appreciated the author’s thoughts here that friendship is limited to Facbebook or Twitter associations or followers. Ask yourself this: Does spending actual time in actual care and conversation with someone else seem weird? Why?

The bottom line is it shouldn’t.

2. Re-learning friendship may be necessary.

If spending time developing real, meaningful relationships with the same sex raises a red flag and invites a “gay” label, then something is really wrong. Really. Wrong.

In order to re-learn friendship I’d encourage spending less time on social media and more time learning how to relate to actual human beings in real social settings.

3. You can’t be friends with hundreds of people.

A pastor is always in a precarious position. He can invite criticism by spending too much time with certain people.

Well,  just as it’s impossible for a pastor to be friends with everyone in their church, so it’s impossible for anyone else to have relationships with hundreds of people all at once.

Without building up walls, take the risk of getting to know a handful of people well. And don’t be afraid of what others think, or false labels they may place on you when you do what most of humanity routinely did before social media was invented.

Think. What is your concept of friendship? Have you thought it through lately?

Act. Take one the author’s suggestions, my suggestions, or use your own.


Think and Act 9.24.14 – When Your Friends Are Dying

Interesting title, isn’t it? Maybe you clicked on it wondering if I knew someone who had died.

This article is mostly written for younger people, and I’m writing it about older people. I have no specific stats, but I would assume the average age of people reading my blog is not old (under 50 to be sure).

My challenge tonight? If you’re younger, it’s likely that you haven’t had a close friend die.

First, about close friends. Yes, I have close friends. I have relationships that I treasure. I’m human, and like anyone else, I need close friends. Yes, I’m a pastor, but human is a broader category. I have had close friends at various stages throughout life, and I assume I will continue to enjoy good relationships as long as I live.

The one thing can’t relate to is what it’s like to lose a close friend.

But older people can.

Think about the phase of life that begins maybe in your 60’s and continues over 20+ years as friend after friend after friend dies. I’m sure you’d say it’s hard to imagine that. I think it’s something we overlook when we think about the elderly. Maybe it’s easy to get down on an older person for being grumpy, or hanging on too tightly to the past. I’d say part of that deserves some compassion.

Can we be honest and say it’s got to be rough to lose people you’ve known for a long time?

I remember seeing the pain on the face of a man who lost his friend – of about 60 years. It was a gut wrenching pain, a pain I’ve not experienced. In time, I can only hope God will give me the grace to handle those difficult transitions and seasons. Or, maybe He’ll take me early so I won’t have to go through it!

Think. How hard is it for you to muster up compassion for those older than you?

Act. The most encouraging thing you can do is get to know someone in the elderly age bracket. They will appreciate the intentionality and care.


Tuesday Rambling 9.23.14 – A Sports Hero, Why Creation Matters

Tuesday – time for some rambles.

A Sports Hero

  • Derek Jeter has been my favorite athlete since Don Mattingly retired in 1995. This week will likely be his last, barring a miraculous finish.
  • Jeter as an athlete has displayed many qualities worthy of respect.
  • He’s known to be hard working, consistent, self-driven, accountable, and a great teammate.
  • Forget baseball, wouldn’t we all be happy if most leaders in our society were known for the same types of things?
  • It’s been a joy to watch a player of his caliber for so many years. It’s a meaningful thing for his sport to lose him to retirement. Not too many players fit that description.

Believing Creation Matters

  • This probably won’t be original, but it’s on my mind.
  • If I don’t believe God created the world in six days, it makes it more difficult for me to speak with authority about believing the rest of the Bible.
  • The main reason for that in my mind is NOT about the interpretation .
  • Instead, the root issue for me is this: God spoke creation into being referencing six literal days. It’s about His Word, not fussing about how to interpret His Word.