I will be officiating the funeral for my friend Marion this coming Saturday at 11:00am. Please pray for me and the family and those in attendance.



I just got back from visiting my friend Marion in the hospital tonight. She went in last Wednesday, they moved her up to ICU two days ago and when I saw her then she was unresponsive. They have now moved her up to the hospice room and her friends and family are coming to say goodbye.

Please pray for her and for the grace of God to reign supreme in her life in these last few hours. She has known and trusted Jesus for a long time and through a lot of suffering recently. An amazing example of gratitude in the midst of pain. She lost her husband a few years ago, then she broke her hip, then as soon as her hip was better she broke her femur, and to top it off she gets hooked up for 4 hours of dialysis every other day.

Now she won’t have to deal with any of that. Now she only has to deal with death, and she’s about to find out the Jesus is stronger than she could have ever imagined.

Please pray for her family as well and for me as I minister to them and try to put together a funeral sometime in the near future.

Thank you so much.

Worlds Apart

I just sat down at a little fold-up TV tray in my bedroom which also doubles as my office sometimes, and I opened up my laptop, checked my email and turned on Pandora. The first song to play was “Worlds Apart” by Jars of Clay.

I’ll never forget listening to this album for the first time in my dorm room at CMU. If I remember correctly, it belonged to a new friend of mine and he loaned it out to me so I could listen to it. In many ways it was the background music for the beginning of a new life, a life I’ve been living for about 15 years now.

Several years later I bought the album for myself and put it on my Ipod so I could listen to it when I ran at the SAC. Sometimes, as I listened to them sing, “Take my world apart,” I would run faster and faster until I literally felt like my legs and my lungs were going to rip apart. It felt so good to worship in that way.

And even today that song still hits home. I need Jesus to take my world apart and put it back together in a way that glorifies him more than it does right now. There’s always too much of me. It’s humbling to think of his great patience and kindness toward us in the midst of our pride and blindness.

What a merciful God we serve! “Have mercy on us, Son of David!” the blind men cried out. They knew they were broken and in need of the saving, remaking, redeeming power of Jesus. Their world was already severely torn apart and in need of someone to put it back together again. And without sight they saw through eyes of faith and grasped onto Jesus with that desperate cry. And the Savior did not disappoint.

Jesus, please take my world apart and cause me to cry out for more of you in my life because I know that you alone satisfy the deepest cravings of my heart.



A good friend of mine named Sharon died of cancer just before Ericka and I left on vacation. She was 75-years-old.

I got to know her because she was roommates with another lady from our church at the local nursing home. I would visit each week and over time I got to know her and sometimes I would visit with her just as much as I would visit with Marion.

I think she cried every time I prayed with her. She was such a sweet lady. One day she was terribly worried because her medicine made it hard for her to concentrate and so she couldn’t pray very well anymore and sometimes when she would try to pray at night she would end up falling asleep. She was afraid that God would be mad at her. I’ll never forget it, or the look of relief on her face when I told her that certainly wasn’t the case. I’ve never seen someone so relieved.

I stopped by to see her and pray with her on Thursday evening. She was having a hard day, but otherwise she was doing well. By Sunday morning she had died. It came as quite a surprise. You never know what visit will be your last.

Please pray for my friend and her roommate Marion. They got to be good friends over the last few months and I know this won’t be an easy adjustment for her.

All the sessions were good in one way or another, but if I had to pick my three personal favorites they would be as follows…


T4G 2012 – SBTS

A very generous friend from the area offered to take me to a conference last week. I was able to arrange for a week of vacation and on Monday we drove to Louisville, KY for the T4G 2012 conference held at the Yum! Center.

We were also able to save some money by staying at one of his friend’s houses who lived in the area and also attended the conference with us. One of the highlights of the trip was getting to know this brother better as well as his wonderful family. He works at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary¬†and on Tuesday morning I was able to get a personal tour of the whole place. While I was there I got to see the actual Bible that Spurgeon used to preach from. You could see where he had highlighted verses and several annotations in the margins noting where he had addressed certain verses in various editions of The Sword and the Trowel (a magazine he used to publish).

The campus had three separate chapels: small, medium, and large. My favorite was the medium chapel as it was all white and the pews had doors on the isles that you could close. It is really gorgeous and I guess it gets used for a lot of weddings.

I also got to look around the bookstore for a little bit and I’m pretty sure that I could have easily spent a couple of months there. While I was there I was able to get The Unquenchable Flame by Michael Reeves for super-cheap. I’m done with the first three chapters and it is a really enjoyable short book on the key issues of the reformation.

The bookstore also had busts of Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, and Bunyan, but they were a wee bit out of my price range. But they were super cool.

I also got to look through all the doctoral work that had been done that was located in the research section of the library. It was pretty neat to see all the stuff that people wrote their dissertations on. Some of the titles were so long you would have thought they were trying to get every letter in the alphabet in there.

If I ever do one I’m pretty sure I’m going to title it, “The Quick Brown Fox Jumps Over the Lazy Dog.”

It will have something to do with preaching. I’m just not sure what. But at least I’ve got a title.

Over the next few days I’ll try to put up a few more entries about fun stuff from the trip.

Easter Week

Well, the week leading up to Easter has come and gone. And boy was it a full one. I think it was probably the busiest week I’ve had since moving up here.

I basically had to do three services, three sermons, in four days. We had a Maundy Thursday service, then a Good Friday service, and then Easter Sunday service.

Once I was done with one service, I would just turn around and start on the next one. I was pretty amazed that it all got done. God was very good and it seemed like he was doing some good things among us each time we gathered.

We had about two dozen people at our Maundy Thursday communion service, and I pretty much turned it onto a giant scriptural walk-through what happened that evening. I’m hoping that I can use this same “script” again next year. In a sense it was more like a ceremony than a service.

This was the first Good Friday service the church has done in a long time. We had about three dozen people come out, but it was really good. How can you not want to preach on Good Friday?! I would take Good Friday over Christmas Eve any day. At least from a preaching standpoint.

Then we had Easter. We had way more visitors than any of us expected and we ended up having about twice as many people there was we had the Easter the year before. It was great to see new folks and to get to share the gospel with them. I did things a little differently this Easter and preached on four important implications of the resurrection.

It was a great but long week. It was great to serve the Lord that way, but I’m also glad it’s over and I’ve only got one sermon to do this week. Sort of feels like a vacation.

Speaking of vacations, on Monday morning, after Easter, a friend offered to take me to a conference in Louisville. I’ll have some more posts in the coming days about that. Another full, but fun time.

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