Tuesday, January 18, 2011


When you fall pick something up.

This pithy proverb speaks three lessons. First, a fall is inevitable. It says when you fall; not if you fall. We are born to blunder; that's our inheritance from Adam. Don't despair and give up; get up!

Second, when you find that you have chosen to walk down the wrong path, turn around! When you fall get back up! Although we all blunder, by God's grace, we are destined for for something better. That's our hope: we don't have to stay down and wallow in our failure. God has granted us an incredible gift for escaping the grip of our sins: repentance. This word may sound archaic; conjuring up an image of a grimacing young monk bent over in an act of self-flagellation. No, repentance is a beautiful picture. Like the prodigal son rescued from homelessness to honor; rags to riches; loneliness to lavish love. It's the picture of Ebenezer Scrooge transformed from a grumpy grasping fiend into a giddy giving friend.

Repentance is not something you do to gain God's favor. It is simply the act of changing your mind to return to the place of God's favor. It's a transformation of perspective about what got you down; about the wrong choices that you've made; that there is a better way to live.

Third, learn something from the failures in your life and make the necessary course corrections that will take you to the place of grace. Pick something up! Failure plus failure plus failure plus repentance and God's grace equals success.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Happy Birthday Josh!

Today is my son's 30th birthday. The day he was born was one of the happiest of my life. And I experience that happiness every time I am with him. There is a mutual respect and admiration between us. We talk freely about any topic, from love and leadership, to the Lord Jesus and faith, to cars and carpentry. And we are at ease to be silent and work together.

One of the greatest blessings in my life has been to watch my son grow and develop into a man; a godly man. He is becoming a man of Christlike character and faith. He loves his wife and he will be a good father.

My son has been a hero to me. At one of the lowest points in my life he opened his arms wide and welcomed us into his home; no questions, no conditions. He never criticized but he did challenge with truth and love.

I thank God for my son, Joshua Caleb.

"The father of a righteous man has great joy; he who has a wise son delights in him." (Proverbs 23:24)

Thursday, January 13, 2011


"All our authority is derived. Either God gives us a word, or we are only giving opinions. either God vouches for us, or our credentials are forged. If anyone ever stops to listen to you or me, this had better be solidly in place: Our speaking comes out of our listening. What we say comes out of what we hear. We have to be people who listen, day and night, to God. (1 Peter 4:11)

"Carl Sandburg, in his biography of Abraham Lincoln, describes his childhood this way: 'In wilderness loneliness he companied with trees, with the faces of open sky and weather in changing seasons, with that individual one-man instrument, the ax. Silence found him for her own. In the making of him, the element of silence was immense.'

"What makes me? What makes you? What are the elements that shape us? . . . Silence is the condition for true listening. . . .

Henri Nouwen noted that the root of the word absurd is the Latin word for 'deaf,' surdus. Absurdness is deafness, where the voice that speaks truth in love, that wounds to heal, that gives clear guidance amidst many false enticements-that voice is lost in the cacophony. We cannot hear. We are deaf to it. For lack of silence, our lives are absurd." (Mark Buchanan, The Rest of God).

Over the past six months our life has been busy and hectic to say the least. With building a home and our work load as team drivers. There has been little time for quietness and silence. But God is faithful to get our attention. This past week we were back to work heading west with our first load when the truck slowing started to lose power and then stall. Seven hours later, at the Freightliner shop in North Bay, Ontario, we were told that the repairs would take a few days. Since we were only two hours drive from our home, we rented a car and headed for our cabin.

These few unexpected days off the road have been a rest from the business of our life. Here in this quiet place, I have intentionally set aside time to be quiet and listen for the voice of God. And I am beginning to understand that there is nothing of greater value and satisfaction in this life than to know the God who loves me and to hear him speak.

"Lord Jesus, . . .
Love brought thee from heaven to earth, from earth to the cross, from the cross to the grave.
Love caused thee to be weary, hungry, tempted, scorned, scourged, buffeted, spat upon, crucified, and pierced.
Love lead thee to bow thy head in death. . . .
Thy love is not intermittent, cold, unchangeable; it does not cease or abate for all eternity. . . .
Let me see thy love everywhere, not only in the cross, but in the fellowship of believers and in the world around me.
When I feel the warmth of the sun may I praise thee who art the Sun of righteousness with healing power.
When I feel the tender rain may I think of the gospel showers that water my soul.
When I walk by the river side may I praise thee for that stream that makes the eternal city glad and washes white my robes that I may have the right to the tree of life.
Thy infinite love is a mystery of mysteries, and my eternal rest lies in the eternal enjoyment of it." (Love, The Valley of Vision, p. 161).