Wednesday, December 28, 2011

It has been long enough

Since the last post we have packed up a house, driven from Jacksonville, FL to Miller, SD, unpacked into a new house, adopted a dog and started adapting to civilian life. Yes, the whole family has to adapt. People fail to understand that the family is just as much in the military as the parent or spouse who is wearing the uniform.

Well, let me say that it is amazing to be a civilian again. I get to be home for lunch every day and if we have a rough night with the kids I currently have the flexibility to kick around the house a while longer. More amazing though is the experience of being a pastor. God placed us in a great church in rural South Dakota. The people are supportive and loving. Pray for us as we take steps every day to expand our reach for Christ in the community.

Obviously with so much going on and getting into the swing of pastoring and sermon prep, this blog has taken a break. Not that it was booming before, but I hope to change that now. I should have a good deal of material to adapt and play around with on here after my first 3 months of preaching. So if you are one of my church members—sorry there might be a lot of repeats, but you said you liked it the first time, so I am assuming you will love it the second!

Today I have just a brief post-Christmas thought to share. And yes I shared something similar both last Sunday and last Wednesday.

This week I was taken aback at the thought that over 2,000 years ago God made the most significant move in the history of His creation. Consider the impact the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus has had to date. I defy you to name one person who has impacted history to the same extent. We might be able to think of a few people who acted in ways that have changed life as we know it. Or we ask the question, “If you could go back in time and kill Hitler, would you do it?”

Men, women and events have certainly shaped our history, but our history would have been shaped either way. To the colonists the greatest evil was King George. To us in recent years it has been the likes of Usama Bin Laden or Saddam Hussein. But Jesus impacted the 1700’s the same way he impacts our generation. But how many in our generation even remembers that the American Revolution sported George as its antagonist? In 200 years will Bin Laden or Hussein carry the same gravity when they are mentioned?  Probably not. But Jesus has and always will hold weight and significance to the creation of God.

Traditions of Santa and Christmas trees may fall out of style one day. Christ will not.

Merry Christmas to you and peace in the New Year!!

Monday, September 19, 2011


9 out of 10 days I find myself behind the same vehicle trying to leave base. Apparently we get out of work at roughly the same time most days, but they get away form the parking lot moments before I do. I have no idea what the make and model or license plate number is because my attention always goes to this bumper sticker:
I get lost in thought every time I see this piece of graphic design. Where are they coming from? Are they simply suggesting that all different religions, races and beliefs should learn to live in peace? Does the star of David really work as an "X"? Are they saying that people should stop waging so called “holy wars” when peace and love are central tenants of most belief systems? If that is the case then I can get behind it.
But what I fear is that this will be interpreted down the line and across the board as a call for tolerance and universalism. It is advisable as a Christian to say, “I’m going to treat everyone well regardless of who they are and what they believe.” But it is something entirely different to say, “It doesn’t matter what you believe, let’s just get along!”
All paths do not lead to the same place. It may show compassion and tolerance to be kind to non-believers, but if you are a Christian it shows hatred toward that person if you are willing to stand aside and let them go on without hearing the Gospel. Failing to evangelize is in essence allowing them to walk the path to Hell.
Unconditional love reflects the cross, unconditional tolerance reflects apathy.
I am no proponent for aggressive “soul winning” tactics or attempts to cram the Gospel down someone’s throat. This accomplishes nothing but to raise discord and give people a story of how those “intolerant Christians” attacked me.
2 Timothy 2:24-26 says:
24And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, 25correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, 26and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.

Note the way we are called to teach and instruct. With gentleness, kindness, patiently. We are supposed to be the bigger man. At the end of the conversation, we have to be the one who takes the high road. Verse 26 says that if you lead them to a knowledge of the truth they will come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil. It says that they have been captured by the devil to do his will.

So you can figure that anyone outside the faith is not in their right mind. They may not be clinically insane, but spiritually they are not right in the head or the heart. How expedient is it to yell at a crazy person?

If they are in fact in the snare of the devil and doing his will, they need to woken up to the fact, because I think if most atheists saw the truth that by not being in the service of God they were in the service of the evil one, and not neutral as they claim to be, that truth would shake them.

It doesn’t feel right to make a statement that suggests a non-Christian is so far outside the will of God that they are serving Satan, but consider this from the mouth of Jesus:
Matthew 12:30
Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.
No, we should not act as judges against those with different belief systems, but we should seek ways to help them wake up to the truth. We must do so in a loving way, yes, but not in a weak way. For our God is certainly not weak, and His children need not be afraid to confess Him to the world.

 2 Timothy 1:7

7 For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.
Luke 12:8
“And I say to you, everyone who confesses Me before men, the Son of Man will confess him also before the angels of God;”

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Hard to swallow

The “Spoonful of Sugar” principle works for some things. You have some bad news to give; you have a hard or tedious task to do. Yeah, why not throw in something fun to take out the sting? Sadly in an attempt to make the harder parts of the bible go down easy, we dilute the Word with a sugary sweetness that confuses both believers and non believers alike.
I mean it is not so surprising to hear a non-Christian misunderstand a verse or a principle. But when a Christian doesn’t understand the why Jesus died (they are simply outraged at the injustice) or tells you something superstitious like, “Always pray at 3 O’clock because this was the hour Jesus was crucified.” Well, then you know there was a miscommunication out there somewhere.
I’m not saying I’ve got it all figured out. But I believe I have a least a fair ability to discern truth from lies when the need arises.  Everything should check out with scripture. Before I share with anyone on biblical matters I pray that I will not be the one confusing others, but that God will speak clearly through me.
Someone tried to casually approach me once and explain where I was failing in his eyes. “All that really matters is if a person lives a good life you know? They can believe in God or not, but God can be anything and they just need to be a good person.”
I politely disagreed. He wasn’t trying to fight me so why fight him? But the conversation bothered me. We want the world to run by a human standard instead of God’s. We make faith about what we choose to accept when in reality it is about what God expects. “Good” is subjective. It is possible to be a good person outside of Christ when you make up your own rules and standards (and isn’t that what we do as humans?). But it is not possible to be truly good in the eyes of The Creator without surrendering your life to Christ.
John 11:25 (ESV)
Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live,
John 14:5-7 (ESV)
5 Thomas said to him, "Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?" 6Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him."
When people tell me they believe in God, but aren’t living a life that reflects Christ, my next question is to specify whether or not they believe in the God of the Bible.  If they say yes (and so far most of them do) I have to point out verses like the ones above. If this is the God you believe in, you might want to pay attention to what He says about Jesus.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Preaching Gold Candlesticks

September means the end of my Naval contract and the beginning of life as a pastor. This time last year I was excitedly awaiting my R&R leave to begin so I could meet my newborn daughter. Now I am anxiously awaiting the beginning of a vocation that will allow me to spread God’s word throughout a community and minister to the needs of my church and the lost in our area. I’m not going to claim a lot of prophetic stuff and say that God sent down a word to me and I have had visions…none of that, but in my prayer and quiet time with the Lord I have come to believe that God is ready to do big things in Miller, SD. Our church just needs to be open and willing to be His vessels. And I believe that willingness is there.
I pray for a lack of distraction to what isn’t important. Questions have come up among people I know who are saved most of them are about peripheral issues that ultimately won’t matter to anyone’s salvation. One today that stood out, “What translation will you preach from?”
I skirted around the issue because I really didn’t want to get into a KJV only argument first thing in the morning after a three day weekend. I really like the KJV, but to say that a translation is inerrant is to miss the point entirely. I was raised reading the NIV and while it is not currently my translation of choice I would have to say it was sufficient to teach me about Jesus.
There are KJV-only advocates running around asking us to bow to a translation. They want us to translate the KJV into other languages rather than translating from Greek and Hebrew into those languages. This rides the fence of idolatry to put a translation of the Word above the Word itself.
I do think we need to be careful not to take certain translations as authoritative. As nice and popular as some paraphrases are, they are really more like commentaries than objective translations. A paraphrase will undoubtedly reveal the opinion of the person paraphrasing. A translation should utilize formal and dynamic equivalence in a way that ensures clarity of the gospel and optimal accuracy. Perfection is impossible in translation, but if we properly pray and discern as we study God’s word, He won’t fail us.
For myself? I probably find myself in the NASB and ESV more than anything else as of late. But if something in one of those translations doesn’t make sense or isn’t clear, I am happy to jump over to the KJV, NIV or HCSB to gain some clarity or a different perspective. I suppose I will settle into preaching from one specific translation eventually, but I will always compare translations, and once I have a little bit of Greek and Hebrew know-how I will undoubtedly take it deeper.
Most of all though, we can’t let an issue like this divide the church. We can’t sit around and make arguments about whether or not a painting of Adam and Eve should have belly buttons or what color the carpet should be in the sanctuary.
Mar 3:24-26 (KJV) "And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. [25] And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand. [26] And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end."
In “The Crucible” by Arthur Miller, John Proctor is asked why he has not been attending church. Proctor says that Reverend Parris preached nothing but “Gold candlesticks” until the pewter ones on the altar were replaced. I pray that as followers of Christ we can move past things like this and remain faithful to the body of believers and support our leadership. But more than that I pray that I never “preach gold candlesticks” when the Gospel will suffice for eternity.

Friday, August 19, 2011

My Dad was right...How Aggravating.

Proverbs 1:7 --The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge;
Fools despise wisdom and instruction
I am just old enough now to know that when someone with more years and experience in their field speaks to me, that I should listen. I can still accept or reject the advice based on how sound it is or how I see it playing out in their lives, but it is still important for me to stop and listen.
When I have five different conversations with five different pastors and they all tell me similar stories of the mistakes they made in their early years of ministry, it would be wise for me to take that into account and learn from their mistakes. I really feel like I have a leg up in some ways because of the input of men with 20+ years in the ministry.
I wish I had believed in the value of this practice as a teenager.  I know now that my Dad was right about EVERYTHING we disagreed on. Had I listened then perhaps it wouldn’t have taken me 7 years of military service and a host of hard knocks to understand how God intended to use us.
That is not to say that I regret where my life has gone. Change one detail of the last six years and I would potentially have a completely different life. And I like this life. With all of the “I should haves” over the years the only answer I have is “but I didn’t”. And looking at where we are now and where God is taking us, I wouldn’t change a thing except perhaps send an extra apology out to those I was a jerk to at some point.
There is something to be gained from the advice of those older and younger than you. If all you gain is the ability to discern between good and bad advice, between sound and unsound doctrine, you are going to be in a good place.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Boat is a Lie

Matthew 14:23-33 tells us the familiar story of Jesus walking on the water. When I was in Sunday school this story had a very simple moral. "Jesus walked on the water." Which really didn't teach me anything to live my life by, but served as an example of Jesus's diety...but then I didn't know what diety meant at that age either. In an adult Sunday school class the lesson probably shifts focus a bit to Peter and says "If I keep my eyes on Jesus I can walk on Water" (cue Audio Adrenaline...GO!)

But other than these two true yet basic answers I think we gloss over this passage to a great extent.

Consider that this is the second time recorded in the Gospel that the disciples are in a boat with a raging storm all around them. Only this time around the one person they know who can calm the storm is back on the land praying. I think we ignore the storm in this story to focus on the miracle itself. If this was only about Jesus proving His power, He could have the made the same point on a clear day.

The disciples have put their faith in two things. The wind and the boat. The wind is described as "contrary" so they have already lost on that front. All they have left is the boat and they can't even control the direction that it will move becaues of the wind. We often put our faith and trust into material things that cannot truly provide support when the going gets tough.

Jesus appears on the water and Peter seems to determine that no matter how windy it is and no matter how choppy the water is, it surely must be safer out there with Jesus than it is in the boat. It is then while Jesus is accomplishing the impossible through Peter, that he begins to doubt and starts to wonder how he could possible control the elements to keep himself from slipping. And as Peter thinks hard about how not to sink, he finds himself doing just that.

It is notable that no one jumps in after Peter, and Peter doesn't try to swim for it either. The conditions on this water are such that an experienced swimmer like Peter realizes that he cannot rescue himself but must call out to Jesus. When he does, Jesus wastes not a moment. Jesus doesn't scold Peter and THEN save him. He saves him and then convicts him for his lack of faith. Jesus then returns a much humbled Peter to the boat and the storm ends.

This is not the last storm that Peter will experience either literally or figuratively. But he will make it safely to shore due to Jesus.

So often we try to control our surroundings and situations when all we need is Jesus. People go to God in prayer under two conditions--1. Things are going great, 2. Things are going poorly. I tend to err on the things are going great side of it. When things are going poorly I often take it upon myself to fix it and all I do is make a mess. When I call out to Jesus is when I find peace.

Peter recognizes his condition as being unstable, so he leaves the boat. He falls to his own control issues and has to cry out to Jesus to save him. Jesus does so and changes Peter's life. This does not mean that Peter's life on earth was perfect, but it was changed.

We must also recognize that a life apart from Christ is unstable. Jesus has come out onto the water in the midst of our life's storm and he is saying, "Come". I challenge you, step out of the psychological safety of the boat, set your eyes on Jesus, let Him carry you across the stormy waters, cry out to Him when you sink, be saved and let Him change your life.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Prayer Time

Time and time again we see Jesus doing miraculous things followed by a pharisee asking him for a sign to prove he is the Messiah. Check out Luke 11:14-16.

It seems we are never looking for the sign we are actually given. I prayed for rest to come to my wife and child one night and before I knew it I was rocking the little guy to sleep at 2am while my wife got some much needed slumber. This was an answer to my prayer, but not what I had anticipated.

I was once told to never pray to God for patience unless I had time to sit in traffic. He doesn't just grant these things, it would appear that He gives us opportunity to grow in the area we pray about. Embracing this hard fact is paramount to seeing how God has answered some of your prayers.

We tend to want our prayers answered, but at no personal cost to ourselves. But personal sacrifice is where it is at! This whole rigamarole started when God chose to share His universe with us. He sent His only Son into the world not only to teach this principle, but to offer himself up as the ultimate sacrifice to atone for our sins.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

But my Dad was a Christian!

A very kind elderly gentleman at a Baptist church in central London explained to me quite simply a primary difference between a Baptist and other lanes of Christianity.

“We aren’t particularly popular among the masses for the very simple reason that we ask people to make a choice for God. We ask them to make that commitment to Jesus and they feel it should simply be given freely with no effort on their part. It’s the choice. The choice is what sets us apart.”

How many people do you know who feel their place in Heaven is assured simply by believing that there is a God? I know many. I know some who feel their salvation is imminent because their parents were Christians.

“I don’t know if there is a god, like THE god in the bible, but I do believe there is a higher power who watches over us. I can’t say that it is the Christian god for sure though.”

This type of comment is typical of those who wish to have the belief without the effort. They want fire insurance but do not care for the personal sacrifice that it will take to let Jesus be real in their lives. They want a faith that will not offend.

It has almost become cliché for pastors to point out how offensive our faith truly is to
nonbelievers—but it doesn’t make it any less true. Our faith says that many will go to hell. And that offends people regardless of how true it is.

 Let’s face it: It is hard to give up sin. It is hard. Sin is fun while we are engaged in it; it only stinks afterwards when we face the consequences through guilt, a spiritual deficiency and possibly physical ailments.

Must we actually make a choice for God? Or is the choice made for us?

I sit in awe as I read Genesis and see how it outlines the early dealings between God and man. By the time we get to Abraham, God has a plan, but man is still learning how to deal and interact with God. God manifests himself to Abraham both from the Heavens and in human form. He gives Abraham opportunities to follow him. God goes so far as to ask Abraham to sacrifice his only son. And then guess what? Abraham chooses to obey him.

God reveals Himself to Abraham and promises the impossible in return for Abraham’s faith. He reveals Himself also to Isaac and Jacob but for each of them a faith in God does not seem to be an inherent trait that they are born with. God proclaims His promise to them and they in turn choose to follow.

All three of these men sin. Each of them fail to live up to God’s standard and yet they remain in God’s grace. Abraham twice presents his wife as his sister out of self preservation. Isaac does the same. Jacob deceives his brother and father and neglects his wife. But God still fulfills his promises to them because they have chosen to follow Him. They choose to live where God wants them to live and take the wives God wants them to take.

Perhaps it all relied to some extent on the willingness of these men in the early stages of the Bible to choose a life that would honor God. There could come from this a great debate about free will versus predestination. But I believe all of these men throughout the Bible had a choice. A choice to follow God or follow man. A choice to live for God’s glory or for their own gain. By choosing the way of righteousness they accepted their role in God’s plan for the Salvation of Man.

God could have and surely would have used others of course had these men fallen to the wayside, but they didn’t and He didn't. And because of the choices made in these early years of history a prophecy was given and fulfilled through our Lord Jesus Christ in whom we find our salvation.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The End of the World as We Know it

I feel fine. Before all of this Camping--Armageddon business came into the spotlight, someone asked me if I thought the world would end in 2012. Time is relative. We created calendars and time measurement, so what does 2012 really mean in terms of the end of the world?

And if the world ends what do I care? Has God not promised me a place in Heaven? I am secure in my faith. At the end of the world I am going to be with God. We may get hit by a meteor or have some massive global warming breakdown…I’m not sure, but a disaster like that wouldn’t signify the end of the world. The subject of the end of the world is discussed in scripture at length and  it is the shout of Jesus returning that I will be waiting for rather than a natural disaster or a date determined by man's mathematical figures.

I wrote a play once about two dead men. Both appear in a limbo-like state out of darkness. One arrives with a sigh and takes a breath of fresh air. He behaves as if a great weight has been taken from him. When the second man arrives it is with a cry of pain and anguish. He is scared of this new situation. The idea is that one of these men was a Christian prior to death. The Christian is relieved to be gone from Earth. Each second in his new surroundings is another moment he remembers less about his life. What’s back there isn’t what’s important. What is waiting is.

We should take care of our planet. We should be good stewards of the resources God has given us and we should spend our time on this Earth enjoying God’s grace and seeking ways to further His kingdom. Enjoy your family, enjoy your kids, have that care-free cookout with the guys. Enjoy it! But don’t lose sight of what is important and what is simply…a cookout. You can sink into nihilism if you aren’t careful, but if you simply maintain perspective on what it means to be a Christian at the end of life, there should be no fear or anxiety regarding what is to come.

Of course you don’t want to die right now. Who does? We have bills to pay, loved ones we want to enjoy. We get attached to this globe. I do not want to die until my children are grown and can support themselves. But if God sees fit to take me sooner than that, I simply have to trust Him that it is for the best. And not my best at that—His best. Easier said than done, but personally I do not fear death.

I made the statement, “So what do I care if the world ends?” Even though we are secure in our faith and know our place in heaven is assured, there is something to care about for as long as this world exists. There are lost people who will not be joining us in Heaven and for us to sit back and allow that is unacceptable. Only God can change their heart, but we are commanded to reach out and help make the introductions.  God uses us as His tools for ministry and evangelism. Do not hide your light under a bushel. Let it shine until the day God takes you home.

I want to go the way my Gramps went. He opened his eyes in the middle of the night and said, “Lou Ada. I’m dying.” My Granny called in the nursing home staff and they tried to revive him, but I imagine that Gramps was at the gates of Heaven and there was no turning back. Why would you want to turn back when you are so close to eternity with God? I think he saw Jesus at that moment and wanted to, out of common courtesy, let Granny know that he was headed out.

Monday, July 25, 2011

May 22, 2010

I assume the watch at 9pm on May 22nd.

Brand and I pulled the van up to one of the roads leading to the front of the hospital. With flashlights and rifles we stop each vehicle to ensure that it is driven by a friendly and that it contains a legitimate patient for the docs to work their magic on. Half an hour prior to this a rocket hit the boardwalk, not 50 yards from our barracks. The round shook the walls and made my stomach turn.

Our hallway quickly filled with refugees seeking shelter from the rain of Chinese rockets, mortars and RPGs coming over the wire. The sirens blasted every few minutes until we had reached three rocket attacks in less than half an hour, an unprecedented amount in such a short time. As civilian’s and unfit soldiers cower in our hallway we hear the call, “Ground attack everyone! Mass Casualty. All hospital personnel prepare to move out.”

In the glow of the emergency lights I see Watkins throw on his flak. The sounds of Velcro ripping and rifles locked and loaded echo through the hall. I prepare mine with an extra magazine, a flashlight and my knife. I am not medical, I am logistics. I know my duty tonight will be security related.

As Brand and I stop cars and demand identification from drivers we notice the snipers on the roof across from us. At least someone has our back. Tactical vehicles pass with great speed on their way to vanquish the foes who are trying to breach the wire.

“I have to piss so bad.” Brand informs me. I tell him to go on the side of the van, no one will see or care. As soon as he finishes a Chief arrives to check on us.

“You boys need some water?” I can hardly understand his words beneath his deep southern accent, but I assume he has brought us water since there are three bottles in his hands and only one of him. The water is hot but it serves a purpose. We start to lay out our check point procedures to chief when the rocket siren blares again. We dive onto the gravel road and I find myself staring straight into Brand’s face. We have both eaten dirt a couple of times tonight but he seems concerned.

“You alright?” I ask.

He whispers, “I’m fine…but I think chief just dropped in my pee puddle.”

My God.

After a few hours of yelling at people for trying to drive up our road we are relieved. They tell us to head back to the quarterdeck and we can go home. Sleep sounds nice.

3 am. The road from the flight line to the hospital is pitch black. The only light comes from the fighting taking place a mile from where I stand.  Every so often a flare goes up and shots ring out as the Force Protection fights back the threat to the main gate of our base. I am alone out here, there is no one else to guard this entry point. I am certain that I see movement across the flight line and that before daylight breaks I will kill a man with my rifle if it means getting home alive to my family. My eyes strain to make out the terrain. I’ve never seen this area in the daylight, now I must guard it in the dark. I think I see a trench 5 yards in front of me. If someone tries to breach my guard station I will jump down there for cover.

My flak jacket is heavy. The weight increases every minute I stand there. My rifle is fully locked and loaded and I pray for accuracy when the time comes as I desperately try to remember when I cleaned it last. In training the weight of the armor gets heavier the longer you wear it. The first day it is pronounced to be 30 pounds of added weight. By week three it is called 50 pounds and by the time you leave Kuwait for Afghanistan someone will insist that you are wearing 75 pounds extra on your back.

 I sit down to give my back a rest from the armor, almost immediately I start to fall asleep. I stand back up and continue to man my post. I can sleep sitting up if I am tired enough. I remember that now. In boot camp I could sleep while marching, sitting up is no great challenge.

There are eleven general orders of a sentry. They are pounded into your brain during boot camp. I can’t remember any of them now. “I will not quit my post until properly relieved.” Of all the orders to remember that had to be the one…

I am on my sixth hour on this four hour watch. I could have gone home, but they needed another guard and I was one of the few who had eaten before the attack. It felt wrong to make someone else stand out here.

Jets start to take off, their engines are deafening. Someone out there is about to get it bad. I see someone running at me, I stare through the blackness to try to make out the shape of this man (or men) who are about to try to breach my sector. This is more than I bargained for, but it is my job. I am ready to kill. I close my eyes and prepare for the impact of battle, preparing to dive into my trench of safety.

 I open my eyes and there is no one.  I start to stretch and walk around to get the blood flowing. If I fall asleep out here I will go straight to captain’s mast and rightfully so.  My watch reads 5am. 8 hours standing in this body armor. Double the shift I was told I would stand.  At least it is daylight now and people are starting to move about the base again. The threat has seemingly been held off for the night.

Apache helicopters are hovering around the mountains in the distance. Every so often one of them stops in mid air and blows a hole in the side of the mountain.  The explosion is terrific. My knees are about to give out from the weight above and the rocks below.

Someone comes to check on me. I have been standing watch for 9 hours. They promise to find relief for me and disappear. Another sailor finds me and promises the same. When my watch has reached a total of 10 and a half hours I am approached by a third sailor who informs me that all watches were secured two hours ago.

 I am told I may take the day off. I inform them that they couldn’t get me to stay at work if they tried. I look back at my trench of safety. It is filled with razor wire. I would have killed myself jumping into that thing.

Truly I am no warrior. I am a shore based sailor biding his time to the end of the contract. I will do what it takes to end this commitment with honor. Tonight was the hardest night of military duty in the last five years. Surely there will be more to come.

I am properly relieved.                

Friday, July 22, 2011

And So It Begins

Not sure what this blog will entail and who will read it. From time to time I have thoughts that I need to write and sometimes when I write them down I determine that they could be shared with anyone who cares to read them. When I can't think of anything remarkable to say I will make an attempt at throwing out an anecdote or two.

I've been a military postal clerk in the navy for the last 6 and a half years. Married to my most excellent wife for the last 4. While stationed in Afghanistan (a time I will most certainly talk about at greater length) I felt that I needed to review and pray about a call to ministry I had felt back in high school. Through a series of events that lined up only as God could arrange them I was recently called by First Baptist Church of Miller, SD to be their pastor. This is a most exciting adventure my family and I are embarked on and we look forward to seeking God's plan for this fantastic group of believers and their impact on the community.

If you are reading, please post something just so I know I haven't been typing to air. If I have even one reader I will feel motivated to write more.

God Bless!