A Blessing and Bane (A poem)



this slurping, soupy arrangement 
stays my amused satisfaction.
cars skidding and skirting
orbiting each other
a cacophony of incompetent
unorganized Ice Skaters.
It spills out, splashes down
drowning sashes of sorrow
in the middle of my selfish parade…
after all this circus act
cut from blistering fingers
ripe with sweat and hardened calloused hands
this stampede of interruptance
has caused ME to suppress my de-testment  of 
these frosted inconvenient deposits underfoot.
I will trample them
trump their self worth into the soles of my 
black leather shoes…
Howling madly at their existence 
here on the eve of smiling spring
on the prowl
like a careful cat at the door

I store my response,
predator ready,
fist clenched and half raised
yet frozen in traction
taking aim to wandering eyes
peering back at me. 
my son, snow suited and 
joyfully standing at the ready
for me to take him out into it
and catch a glimpse of
my childhood again.


A “Knock-off” or the Real Deal?


real christians

A few years ago I purchased an electronic device that I thought was comparable to the electronic standard held by another brand.  It was cheaper and I admit that this was my original motivation in purchasing the device.  I thought I had made a good deal by going cheaper…but I was sorely wrong.  It looked quite similar to the more expensive quite famous counterpart…but upon studying the “specs” which were the inner workings or the hardware, I discovered that though it looked the part it was just a cheap “knock-off” that barely performed the way that I expected it to.  I was thoroughly disappointed and eventually I discarded my “knock-off” and spent a little more for the real deal.

1 John 3:18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.

Few sentences in all the world strike at our hearts like this sentence from 1 John.  Mimicking Jesus’ own “new” commandment (John 13:34-35), John reminds us all that we are called to this holy purpose here on earth.  Dare I say that this world is already full of hell and pain, hatred and heartache…how better to display the Light of Christ to a darkened world than to love.  But John doesn’t merely remind us to love with our words and with how we speak to people around us.  That would be far too easy and a shallow, cheapened “knock-off” of Christ-likeness.


Phony Christians:

No one likes cheap stuff if they can afford the real deal.  If we had the resources to have the original in our hands, to own it and enjoy it, we would never settle for a cheap “knock-off” copy!  The world knows a thing or two about phoniness.  There are far too many people in our world today who have experienced deceit and cons of every kind.  They can spot the phony Christian a mile away.  The kind of “Christian” who only pretends to love but is just as absorbed in their own little world as a non-Christian person.  The pretend Christian won’t fool anyone for too long, because when it comes time for the rubber to meet the road, for faith to be put into action, the phonies will scatter and disappear at the moment of greatest need.  The world does not need any more phonies, let alone phony Christians who are just artificial, cheap “knock-offs” of the real deal.

Newly Minted Originals:


This is not meant to discourage you dear fellow Christ-follower, this is just a warning to both you and me.  Without real tangible evidence of love bedded deep within our actions towards others, we run the risk of becoming just another cheap “Knock-off”.  Don’t let your faith become jaded.  Don’t allow skepticism and judgement to taint your walk with the Lord.  There is a very real spiritual war going on; we know the final outcome, yet Satan and his minions would like nothing more than to dissuade you as a Christ-follower and discourage you in your faith so that you only resemble what you once were.  Don’t be swayed but how others treat you.  Don’t become discouraged when you feel as if you’re the only Christian left standing.  We are newly minted originals if we allow Christ’s love to permeate our faith in action.  It does nothing to simply say the right things or speak these solid truths unless it is backed up by our actions as well.  Those who are still lost cannot simply to Christ by sweet words and kind thoughts…they need real hands to show them the way.  They need real feet to walk beside them.  They need a shoulder to cry on when life has stripped them of their pride and possessions.  They need you and me to go to them and not to wait in our halls or churches for them to come to us (which will never happen).

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, let your love be seen from your heart to your hands!  Let your faith propel you into action.  Be bold, take risks, and discard the temptation to become just another cheap “knock-off” for Christ.


Pastoral Battle of the Bulge


Let me meddle for a moment…ok more than just a moment.  Staying in shape and eating healthy is something we must seriously consider within our pastoral lives.  Not just as examples to our parishioners but also because we can and will live longer more active lives for God if we do so!

In our culture today it is very common to just go and grab a quick bite to eat because we are so busy.  When we eat out all of the time we quickly realize that pastors on a tight budget have to be very selective in where we eat.  Most likely the healthier places to eat are undoubtedly more expensive.   So much of the time, out of convenience, we will hit the local McDonalds or the Burger King or another fast food chain that offers convenience and quantity over quality.   Don’t get me wrong a good burger and fries once in a while is great to grab but it shouldn’t become our staple diet on a daily basis.

I must confess that I too struggle with this issue.  I have not always been healthy.  I have often succumbed to the fast food junky lifestyle.   In my world, the Christmas season is one of our busiest times.  Often times we find ourselves at the end of our day hungry and running through the drive-thru window at a local fast food chain.  Because of this habit, largely out of necessity and busy-ness, many pastors face health issues such as diabetes, heart issues and a slew of other complications.  We struggle through sleeping issues because of being overweight.  We struggle through back problems and pinched nerves.  We find eventually  that the quality of life is, in a nutshell, miserable all because our eating habits have taken us down these sedentary  roads of crisis.


Did you know that gluttony is a sin?  As a pastor I’m sure you do.  I’ve been convicted of this issue in my own life.  It wasn’t that I intentionally wanted to become a glutton and gorge myself, but stress eating is a crux of mine.  Truth be told we minister to many people who find themselves in crisis situations.  We counsel individuals and couples through difficult situations.  We have to sometimes confront immoral sin in the church.  We deal with our stress differently.  Some internalize it.  Some blow up in anger, anguish, tears…etc.  So eating through stress with our comfort foods leads us down the road of obesity and health issues.

Secondly, if we have children and we live on a tight/fixed income we never want to waste the food that we purchase, and so when our children only eat a certain portion and we’ve prepared more we graze because we are frugal with our resources.   It’s almost a great depression era mentality in which we never ever ever throw out food but rather consume it all.  This may not be an issue with some of you, you don’t have a problem discarding excess food, while there are others of us who cannot see food left on the plates go to waste.

Regardless of where you are on this spectrum it’s important to consider your health, weight and life choices when it comes to the foods that we eat.


Q: I’m overweight and experiencing health issues now in my life how do I lose the weight and get healthy again? 

A: It took a considerable amount of time to gain the weight that you are now carrying.  In so saying it will also take some considerable amount of time to lose that excess weight, so don’t think it’s impossible and don’t get frustrated when you begin to get serious about your fitness/health.   Consult your doctor, get a checkup and perhaps even setup an appointment with a nutritionist in your area.   You must recognize that you may not, at the onset, be ready to engage in extreme physical exercise.  So don’t just start jogging or take a tough physical course at the local YMCA/fitness center.  Check with your doctor first.

Set goals:

 What do I mean by setting goals? Start off small.  After you’ve seen your doctor/nutritionist then begin setting goals slowly.  You’ve heard of baby steps?  Make baby step goals that are a challenge yet not overwhelming.  Make a commitment to walk a couple miles a day.  Make a commitment to avoid the fast foot drive-thru windows.  Be determined to eat better.  Avoid the heavy starched foods and the sugary sweets.  Lay off the Soda/Pop (I know that hurts doesn’t it?).  Carbonated sodas are not good for us.  Not only the sugars in the regular sodas add to the fat in our bodies but the acids in these drinks lead to other problems in our health down the road.  Make the attempt to first cut way back on your intake of Soda/Pop.  Even cutting back can have some positive effects on the body.  Don’t buy the gimmick that Diet soda is better for you either.  Do some research and notice that excess of these diet drinks can actually be worse for you.

Lastly, don’t consider gastric bypass to be your only way out of this weight issue.  It helps some, but eating habits have to be long term.  Surgery is not the answer it is only a part of the solution for some who are extremely obese.  Getting healthy has to involve some sort of exercise coupled with better eating habits.  Just remember if it’s seems too easy perhaps it is and will not help you in the long term in the goal of keeping off the weight and staying healthy.

-Just a few thoughts today to all of you pastors out there!

True Heroes ARE Real!


news story & interview

Yesterday I commented on the breaking story of the three women who had been kidnapped and held in a home for over tens years.  Again how sick is that?  Yet in the midst of this sickness and vile evil, a bright light of hope has arisen in this story.  A hero by the name of Charles Ramsey.  Yesterday he was interviewed by Anderson Cooper and the nation should be honored to have people like Mr. Ramsey in our midst.  At face value, he’s a humble guy who doesn’t want any recognition.  Upon further review he’s a solid Christian who just wants to do what is right!

Wow!  I couldn’t be more impressed with this man!  I’m not here to place anyone on a pedestal…and Mr. Ramsey clearly doesn’t want that either…but this is what I’ve been talking about for quite some time now.  Christians living the life and not just in word but also in deed.

In the interview yesterday Charles Ramsey lifted up his actual paycheck and told the nation that he didn’t want or deserve a reward and that any kind of reward should go to the women who were rescued.  Seriously I was floored and overjoyed to listen to this man speak.   Again I’m not trying to elevate him or sound boastful, but we need more Charles Ramseys in our world today!

It kind of provides for us the type of testimony each and every Christian ought to have as well.  We aren’t in it for the notoriety, or the money or to sell anything.  We are in it for life for Christ and the redemption of the world!  What He wants us to say we say, where He wants us to go we go.  We are His faithful disciples and ambassadors in a world who needs hope, who needs assurances that good and salvation yet remains.

Today, I applaud Mr. Ramsey for his integrity, his heroism and the fortitude he has displayed thus far.  May that be one of the shining examples of godly living to us as well as those around us.

True Heroes…they still exist…they ARE Real!

Wanted: A Few Good Men & Women!


“Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.”  1 Peter 2:12

How do we do this as Christ followers?  How do we keep our conduct honorable despite the pressures that seem impossible to resist?  I suppose the question we must ask ourselves first is, “what is honorable?”  If you were to look at a dictionary some of the similes of the word ‘honorable’ are: “Blameless, upright, virtuous, moral, righteous, principled.”   Therefore, if we are to be honorable disciples of Christ we have to possess these qualities as disciplines in our words and our deeds.  The hypocritical notion of “do as I say not as I do” cannot apply to us.

Someone is watching you!


I love that classic Michael Jackson song “Somebody’s watching me” , it’s perhaps a bit paranoid but the truth of the matter is that if you profess to be a Christian then you better act like a Christian in your actions!  Why?   Because there are people looking at you and looking to you as an example what it means to live an upright life!  If you blow it and display something opposite of what you are professing then guess what?  It’s not just you failing it’s the identity of Christ in you that has been poorly misrepresented.  I hate to point fingers and I rarely will, but when churches like the Westboro Baptist church goes out and spews hatred and condemnation, what they are doing is poorly representing Christ to a lost world.  Their idea of Christ isn’t something I embrace and in fact they do more harm than good with their protests and divisive signs.

You see the world is looking for blameless, upright people!  The world has far too few of them.  I’m not just talking about being an honorable GOOD person; I am talking about godly examples of Christ in our world today.  This may sound harsh but there are a lot of Christians in this world who talk a good game but bring very little of it home with them in the way that they conduct themselves.   My place isn’t to shift the blame on anyone, but if truth be told I too struggle with this in my own life as well.   1 Peter 2:12 tells us that not only ought we be honorable so that others see us do good, but that they too might see God and glorify Him!  It’s a double edged sword here.  On one side we are to live upright principled godly lives for ourselves and because it brings glory to God, and on the other side others are watching and innately they too want to find this truth for themselves.  So that when others see these good deeds displayed in God’s people, they too want what we possess which the indwelling of His Holy Spirit and a transformed life.

How is your soul today?  How is your life?  Are you living for God or are you talking a good game, but there is very little evidence of Him in your life?  I want to first encourage you when I say that God has great expectations for us.   He knows what we are capable of and the potential that we already possess to do good in our own world for Him!  He believes in you!  He loves you!  And our calling as Christ followers is to live this life out loud so that others might see Christ through us.

Secondly, this passage reminds you and me that there is so much more at stake here than just our reputations.  If we’re wearing the cross on our bodies and as bumper stickers on our cars then shouldn’t we be wearing a transformed life as well?  I don’t know about you but I don’t want to be another Christian casualty on the spiritual highway wrought with moral car wrecks!  I doubt you do either.

So what?

Live what we say, and say what we live!  And may God be visible in every capacity and fiber of our being!

God is looking for a few good men and women to service Him in the trenches of life.  Are you up to the task?  He believes in you…do you believe in you?  Do you believe in Him?  Get on with it then!  Blessings on you this day and May you live for Him in word and deed!  Amen & amen!

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑