Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Changing Times

(I would be the one with the note pad...minus the hair!)

We live in a strange culture. Secular culture changes, it seems, minute by minute. About ten years ago, when I was studying youth ministry at Liberty University, the word was that culture made a complete turn every six months. Today it might be even more rapid. It is astounding how far our culture has advanced technologically. It is disheartening to see the depths of the decay of accepted norms of behavior. But, then again, should we expect anything less? One thing is for certain: Culture is dynamic. It changes very rapidly.

Equally befuddling is the rapidly changing church culture of North America. For some fifteen years now (perhaps even longer according to some) there has been an extensive growth of influence in "Missional Christianity". I was really first exposed to such terminology at Biblical Theological Seminary where I did my postgraduate work. Biblical, I suppose, is somewhat on the leading edge of this movement. They have completely reconfigured their course work along the lines of a missional emphasis. I am really grateful for my studies at Biblical. I think it was a very good complement to all that I learned at Liberty. My thinking about how the gospel engages culture was shaped in significant ways at Biblical.

There are far more intelligent folks writing about the present nuances of "Emergent Christianity" on the one hand, or "Missional Christianity" on the other. Ed Stetzer, Mark Driscoll, Brian McLaren, and Milfred Minatrea are just a few names of folks I've read about these respective Christian "movements". If you are interested, you can check out the Emergent Village for more information about that stream. Or, just type the word "missional" in the Google search bar and tens of thousands of links will instantly pop up for your perusing. (For the record, I am in no way endorsing the Emergent Movement. I simply cite this as an key example of radical change in modern Christianity.)

My real point with today's post was simply to get you thinking about how much of a reality change is in our world. Some people loath it. Other folks are clamoring for it. What are we to make of all this? Let me give you a few of my thoughts. If you have anything to add to the conversation (hey, that's a great postmodern word!), then jump in!

1. "Missional Christianity" is a redundancy. There are Christians who are not the least bit interested in reaching the lost. This is sad and should not be the norm. Maybe you are one of them. However, as I understand my Bible, there is a fundamental emphasis upon the church's mission to be a channel for God's eternal blessing to be communicated to the world (Gen. 12; Matt. 28; Acts). There are clearly some great insights from those who fancy themselves as missional. My point is simply that we, as followers of Christ, are summoned to follow him into the world with love, grace, and truth (John 20:21). It is my conviction (since I believe the Bible teaches) that all true followers of Christ should demonstrate a great concern for carrying the gospel to the world.

2. A changing culture may require a change in our methods but it should never cause us to actually change our message. You don't hear as much today about crusade evangelism or door-to-door campaigns. Some worship services today seem more like rock concerts than church services. Yet, in some instances, these progressive contexts are quite effectively reaching new people with the gospel of Jesus. In other places, the true message has been compromised or blatantly downplayed in order for people to "feel God's presence". Jesus challenged the traditional religious practices of his day (he also respected many of them...like teaching in the synagogue). The point here is that we do need to be culturally sensitive. But even more so, we need to be Biblically obedient. We need to take an uncompromising approach with an unchanging message to an ungodly world.

3. We live in a deceptive age...KEEP WATCH! I fear that many Christians are far too comfortable with judging other Christians. We need to nurture grace and communication with others who disagree with us. At the same time, the Scriptures give us a clear warning that there will be many false teachers and deceivers in the last days. We need to check everything against the Bible. There are methods that clearly violate the word of God. Something isn't necessary better or "beneficial" just because it is new or "cool". But remember, the enemy is subtle and deceptive. Whether it is clinging to stale and outdated traditions, or naively embracing new ones, we need to be watchful in a culture like ours.

4. Biblical, Christ-centered worship...authentic, mind-heart-and-soul discipling...and courageous, truthful, and gracious evangelism should be our focus. Maybe we are spending way too much time on being "hip". Maybe we need to focus more on preaching an unadulterated gospel and less on developing cooler websites. I've always loved the simple statement: Make sure you keep the main thing, the main thing. Our world doesn't need cooler programs; it needs Christ. Our world needs a church which is staunchly committed to the glory of God and making that glory known in word and deed. Actually, I think people are looking for simpler things these days. Our culture is overstimulated. Folks' schedules are overbooked. Maybe it's time for us to stop "doing churchy things" and to start being the true, sacrificial church of Jesus Christ.

Do you have any thoughts on this subject? Do you think the contemporary church is compromising or properly adapting to a changing culture?

Monday, August 30, 2010

Recommended Reading

Happy Monday, everyone!

Typically, I am the last person you will find dabbling in political conversations. Believe me, I have my personal, political opinions and convictions. I used to think that it was possible to be "a-political". I'm learning that is not quite a realistic option. I simply tend to be very cautious about putting any sort of "endorsement" behind the likes of today's political personalities.

My brilliant wife often forwards "good reads" that she finds in her travels around the internet. I wanted to share the latest recommended read from Russell D. Moore. I have enjoyed a few of his articles and books in the past including "The Kingdom of Christ".

Check out this article on the latest political happenings in Washington, D.C., over the past weekend. It is a little lengthy. But, it addresses what we believe is a critical concern in our country and, frankly, in our churches.

What are your thoughts on this subject?

Sunday, August 29, 2010


Here's how The Message paraphrases Hebrews 10:25: "So let's do it—full of belief, confident that we're presentable inside and out. Let's keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word. Let's see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching."

Today is Sunday, "the Lord's Day" as some call it. Were you in church today?

What do you most treasure about your church? How has participating at your church helped you to be different and to make a difference?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Great Mechanic

We all have to come to grips with the reality that, apart from Christ, we are more like a busted up, old clunker than we are to a shiny, new hot rod. The Bible says that we were "dead in transgressions and sins" (Ephesians 2:1). The Bible states that "all have turned aside...no one does good, not even one" (Romans 3:12). The road to true blessing and eternal joy begins with an honest admission of our total brokenness and need for Christ.

Thank God for Jesus, the Great Mechanic, today. Only the Messiah can straighten out the mess of our lives.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Ready and Willing (a.k.a. Obedient)

This Sunday at New Beginnings I will be preaching from Acts 8 and the story of Philip preaching Christ to the Ethiopian eunuch. Did you know that Philip is the only individual in the entire New Testament who is called "an evangelist" (Acts 21:8)? Timothy is exhorted by Paul in 2 Timothy 4:5 to "do the work of an evangelist" and fulfill his ministry as a young pastor serving God's people. God apparently gave the church certain individuals who were especially gifted to share the gospel of Jesus with the lost (Ephesians 4:11). Yet, it is clearly evident from the New Testament that the responsibility for telling others about God's love and salvation in Christ belongs to all believers, not just a select few (Mt. 28:19-20; John 20:21; Acts 1:8; 1 Peter 2:9, 3:15).

I came across some of these alarming statistics that I will be sharing in my message on Sunday:
- One report stated that 72% of Americans don't know their next door neighbors
- 95% of all Christians have never led another person to faith in Christ
- More than 80% of Christians do not consistently witness for Christ
- Less than 2% are actively involved in a ministry of evangelism
- Only about 30% of Christians regularly give financially towards world evangelization
- In 2008, only 34% of American adults identified themselves as "born again" or "evangelical" (76% of adults identified themselves as "Christian")

We all know the most common excuses for why well-intending Christian people are not more engaged in evangelism. 1) Fear of rejection - Nobody likes to be rejected, so why put yourself out there?; 2) Lack of "knowledge" - Even people who've been a part of the church their whole lives fear that they will be "stumped" by hard questions or objections to the faith, so they stay silent.; 3) "I'm not gifted that way" - Some still maintain that it's "the pastor's job" to do all the witnessing...it's not a matter of who's gifted and who's not; it's a matter of who's obedient and who's disobedient; 4) "I let my actions speak for Christ" - True, we are to live the gospel. There's no doubt that many people do a decent job of "lifestyle evangelism". However, if we do not verbally engage people with a) the reality of their sinfulness, b) the reality of a savior, and c) the need for repentance and commitment to Christ, then are we really sharing the gospel?; and 5) Complacency and Carelessness - Sharing your faith takes a great deal of time and sacrifice. Many people lament that they don't have time, etc., to witness. But, they sure have enough time to enjoy their favorite entertainments. A real understanding of God's grace and love will lead to a growing commitment to sharing these precious truths with others.

John Stott in THE LIVING CHURCH states, "...to evangelize is to make known by word and deed the love of the crucified and risen Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit, so that people will repent, believe and receive Christ as their Savior and obediently serve him as their Lord in the fellowship of his church" (p. 47). In his book he also states that the church is the only organization in the world that exists for the benefit of its "non-members". But, is that a true reflection of our practice as the church today? How much of our time, energy, and resources are spent "on ourselves" as opposed to "reaching the lost"? How many Bible studies does one Christian need to attend in a given week (I know that may be a strange statement coming from a pastor)? Seriously though, are we ready and willing (a.k.a. obedient) to be sent into the world with the message of grace and salvation?

When was the last time you shared your faith with an unbeliever? How are you presently involved in the ministry of evangelism (beyond giving your tithe at church)? Is your study of God's Word leading you out of your comfort zone and into the places of need in your family, your workplace, or your community? What are your thoughts on this subject?

Thursday, August 26, 2010


I am a fan of churches working together. I also realize that not everyone shares the same perspective on this. For a plethora of reasons, many folks maintain the mentality that their church has to do everything and has to do it by themselves.

Now, there is certainly something to be said for churches standing on their own in the power of the Holy Spirit. It is incredible to see church people getting plugged in to ministry and using their unique gifts for the glory of God and the edification of the body. That is what God intends for His church. But, at the same time, we need to also recognize that our respective church is not the totality of the kingdom of God. There are many other family members in the household of faith who attend churches whose name doesn't sound like yours or mine.

If you're like me, then you've had the privilege of meeting many hundreds of fellow believers in Christ who belong to a wide variety of church traditions. Churches come in all shapes and sizes. Over the years I have been involved with small, medium, and even a few large churches. In my opinion they all have their distinctive advantages and disadvantages. There's nothing like the warmth and intimacy of a smaller church family. It's so neat to go to a place where literally everybody knows your name. At the same time, it is also incredible to be a part of a larger body of believers who collectively are able to provide first-class programming and who are committed to reaching around the globe with the gospel of Jesus. If you ask me, God has a sovereign purpose for all types of churches.

We at New Beginnings have been tremendously blessed to be a part of the Bible Fellowship Church denomination. We have received tremendous support and encouragement from many other BFC churches and individuals. One BFC church in Emmaus, PA, has sent a ministry group of teens each summer for the past two years. These groups have enabled us to reach into our community in ways that would be pretty challenging on our own. We are also a part of our smaller region of BFC churches known as the Philly Metro Region. We share prayer requests and do service projects in each others' churches. We have received material blessings from some of these churches, and we have had the blessing of sharing with them.

Jesus had a vision and a prayer for His followers that we might be one just as He is one with the Father (John 17:21). A part of the purpose of our oneness is so that the world might know that Jesus is Lord and Christ. There is something powerfully different about a group of churches working together, setting aside minor differences in doctrine or polity, for the greater good of the kingdom of God.

What examples of church cooperation have you seen? Do you have any thoughts on this topic?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Prayer, Pain, and Purpose

Pastor David Jeremiah quotes Alan Redpath in his book WHEN YOUR WORLD FALLS APART: SEEING PAST THE PAIN OF THE PRESENT:
"There is nothing, no circumstance, no trouble, no testing that can ever touch me until, first of all, it has come past God and past Christ, right through to me. If has come that far, it has come with a great purpose."
My brother, Tim, is a worship and youth minister in a Baptist church in my home state of Tennessee. Tim's senior pastor and colleague at Oak Street Baptist in Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee, Joe Miller, has just recently been diagnosed with cancer. The situation doesn't sound very good as I understand it from Tim.

First, let me call upon you to pray for Brother Joe. I had the privilege of meeting Brother Joe last fall when we visited my family in Tennessee. Joe is everything you might expect a Southern Baptist pastor to be. He is charismatic in the pulpit and calm under pressure. He has a clear love for his flock and a tender spirit for those of his community that need to receive Christ as savior. Pray for Tim as well. I spoke with him today by phone and, as you may expect, there is a lot of pain and pressure coming his way now.

We believe that God is sovereign over the affairs of life. We know that God deserves the glory for the salvation of even one lost soul. But, do we believe that God is still sovereign over pain, sickness, and affliction? Is God sovereign or asleep at the wheel when tragedy strikes our church family? Where is God when you lose a relative to a sudden or untimely death? How can God be sovereign when a young couple is faced with the possibility of having to bury their small child who is dying with a brain tumor? Does God really have a plan, a purpose, for the pain we encounter in life?

Warren Wiersbe wrote, "When God permits His children to go through the furnace, He keeps His eye on the clock and His hand on the thermostat. His loving heart knows how much and how long." This summer we at New Beginnings lost a piece of our heart when Danny Offenbacker, one of our founding elders, passed into the arms of Jesus from cancer. Danny fought cancer for three years and all along the way personified, even if imperfectly, what true faith in Christ is all about. His famous line was that he was constantly comforted by the knowledge that his Creator God held him in "the palm of His hand". God knew all along when it was time for Danny to go home.

Death and disease are an unfortunately reality of life in a fallen world. However, God is greater than any disease, or any affliction, or any unforeseen tragedy that may come our way. Brother Joe knows this. He told Tim this week that either Jesus will bring him home to glory through this cancer, or God will bring glory to earth through his miraculous healing. We shouldn't despair simply because the temporal outcome is in doubt. As Paul the Apostle said, "If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord's" (Romans 14:8).

It is never easy to face the fierce winds of suffering or to be tested in the flames of affliction. But, "being easy" isn't the point. The point is God's purpose, His plan, for all that He sends our way. Romans 8:28 still rings true today: "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose."

The cross of Jesus Christ endures as an abiding testament to God's purpose to reverse the curse of rebellion. The emblem of suffering and shame has become for us a symbol of salvation, hope, and peace. Rather than running from God or blaming Him for our trials, may we run unto Him. "The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe" (Proverbs 18:10).

I'll close today with this; Paul writes in Philippians 4:10-13 -
"I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me."
That's my prayer for Joe Miller today.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Great Secret


Have you ever heard these words from a child? (Have you ever caught yourself saying these words to yourself!) There seems to be something innate in us that craves more than what we currently possess. Do you find that to be true?

In actuality, there seems to be a fine line between being a malcontent and having a healthy dose of initiative. When is enough truly enough? How do we properly control our ambitions and drive for "success"?

Contentment. This is a strange word in our culture. For many, contentment is misunderstood as being "complacent". Isn't it a good thing to be content with one's home, a car, a job? Let's get this straight: contentment is a good thing, being complacent may be a problem.

I read these lines this morning:
"As a rule, man's a fool. When it's hot, he wants it cool. And when it's cool, he wants it hot. Always wanting what is not." - unknown

The Bible gives a great answer to man's problem with contentment. In Philippians 4:11-13, the Apostle Paul writes, "Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me." That is one terrific secret! CHRIST is the answer for CONTENTMENT in every CIRCUMSTANCE!

How are you in this area? Are you struggling with contentment in your home life...work life...church life? Check your motives. Why do you want more? Is it to glorify God, or is to keep up with the next guy? Remember, Jesus Christ is the source of finding true freedom to peace and contentment.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Great Quote

I'm currently reading CAPTURED BY GRACE by David Jeremiah. Consider this amazing quote from noted British pastor Charles Spurgeon:

"Faith is believing Christ is who He said He is and that He'll do what He promised to do--and then living accordingly." (pp. 36, CAPTURED BY GRACE, Jeremiah)

What do you think about this quote?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


No, I didn't fall off the blogging wagon. The family and I enjoyed a week long vacation in sunny Cape May, New Jersey. It was a nice, relaxing time with family "down the shore". It was wonderful to get away and enjoy some quality time with Laurie and the children. Unfortunately, I caught some sort of virus that had me feeling pretty lousy for about four days. I feel much better now. Today is my first day back in the office.

Here's a nice verse to ponder for the day:
"Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." - Matthew 11:28

Jesus is the greatest destination for true, spiritual rest and peace.

Friday, August 6, 2010

"Good" Problems

"Good" problems...isn't that an oxymoron?

I've been reading Acts 6:1-7 over and over again this week as I prepare to preach from this text on Sunday at New Beginnings. Here we see that the early church has exploded numerically as literally thousands of people have confessed their sins and believed in Jesus of Nazareth as the crucified and risen Messiah. In 6:1 we read, "Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists (Greek-speaking Jews not from around Jerusalem) arose against the Hebrews (Aramaic speaking Jews from the Jerusalem area) because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution" (ESV). What we see here is a conflict and its cause. The number of disciples in Jerusalem at this point, just a few months after Jesus' resurrection and ascension, had risen to perhaps as many as 20,000. With so many people coming to faith, and with so many needs due to harsh conditions and a lack of means, the apostles faced what could have amounted to the first church split. A certain group's widows were being neglected and something had to be done.

Clearly this was a problem. But, how was it a "good" problem? [If you want a verse-by-verse exegesis of this passage, feel free to join us this Sunday at New Beginnings. We meet at 10:30 AM...ha!] Rather than looking at this conflict from a merely a human perspective, try to think about what God intended for His precious community of children.

Romans 8:28, a familiar verse to many people, reads, "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." Here's the deal: Sometimes God purposefully allows trials and problems to come our way so that we will learn valuable lessons which in time will bring God more glory. Simply because something is "hard" or "a problem", does that necessarily mean that it is bad? Not at all!

Part of what we see in the early chapters of Acts are the different ways that God was moving the early church towards the fulfillment of their mission. Whether it was internal strife or sin, or external pressure, God was moving His people out with a marvelous new message: Jesus is the resurrected Messiah.

Do you have any "good" problems in your life? Has God been trying to teach you something through seemingly difficult circumstances? Feel free to share...if you want...

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Church Life

It is true that sometimes the life of a pastor can be pretty challenging. (Hey, isn't it true that everybody's life has its "highs and lows"?) While I have certainly had more than a few opportunities to see the "ugly side" of life in the visible church over my 31 years, I continue to be totally in love with and totally amazed by all the beautiful aspects of the body of Christ. Listen, I don't know of any institutions or organizations that are completely problem-free. When fallen human beings (even those who are in the process of being conformed into Jesus' image) are involved, there is always the possibility of fireworks. However, there is no place I'd rather be than in a community of people who are learning to trust God and love others.

What is your favorite aspect of being a part of a local church? How has being a part of God's family helped you?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Miss Karen

Sometimes in life you come across an unusually gifted person who possesses an uncommon passion for the Lord as well as a relentless drive to see others come to know Jesus as their Savior. "Miss Karen" is one such person.

Last week we were privileged to have Karen Boorse with us during our Vacation Bible School. Karen travels from place to place sharing the Word of God with children through her dramatic storytelling and painting. It is incredible to witness children (and adults) become captivated with the Bible as its stories come to life through Karen's paintings. As each Bible story unfolds before your very eyes, "Miss Karen" drives home its central point by revealing a phrase that captures the heart of the story. No matter how many times you see her do "her thing", Karen always manages to surprise you.

I don't want you to misunderstand me today. It is not my intention to lift up Karen Boorse. Rather, I am grateful to the Lord for how He uses people like Karen to accomplish His purposes. You see, Karen is simply an instrument in God's hands. Certainly Karen has had to submit to God's will for her life and to choose, personally each day, to serve the Lord. But it is God's very life flowing through Karen that makes the difference in the lives of children every where she goes.

What about you? Do you realize that God can use you in your own unique way to lead others to Himself? God has a special purpose for your life. It may be to reach only one person with the gospel. Or, it may be to reach thousands. Either way, it will only be as you commit your life to God's will and control that you find yourself making a radical difference that will have eternal implications in the lives of people around you.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

"Spiritual" Friends

Being a part of the body of Christ means that you don't have to walk this life's journey alone. (That's a comforting thought, huh?) The Bible talks in many places about our "mystical union" with Jesus Christ (cf. John 15; Romans 1:6; 12:4-5). God presently indwells all true believers (2 Corinthians 6:14-16; Ephesians 1:13-14). This new relationship, which begins when we place our trust in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins, is the foundation of what we Christians commonly call "eternal life". Eternal life is not simply "never-ending life", though this is certainly true. Eternal life is more than that. It is the sort of life which matures over time and seeks daily to conform to God's will for God's glory and His pleasure.

Further, and by extension, through our position "in Christ" and participation in His body, we are connected to all people who recognize their need for Christ and believe in His name. We are literally one GIGANTIC family in God (Ephesians 2:18-22; 1 Peter 2:9-10). This is a tremendous reality. However, in practice, there is often a huge disconnect in how we live this out. Where there should be unity, we often find discord. Where there should be sacrifice, we often find selfishness. And where we would expect to find closeness, we often, and sadly, find distance. However, a consequence of our failings in living out our "shared life" in Jesus Christ is that we miss out on many of the blessings of godly love, care, and wisdom.

All of that was simply to set a context for you. This morning I had breakfast with one of my "spiritual" friends. A "spiritual" friend is anyone who takes a genuine interest in your devotion to God. These are the people with whom your conversations go deeper than the normal, "How 'bout today's weather?", or, "Did you happen to catch the Phillies game last night?" You may have one or one hundred "spiritual" friends. Your relationships with these friends may take a formal or informal shape. You may meet once per week, once per month, or far more (or less) frequently.

How do you know if you are currently in a "spiritual friendship"? Can you answer "Yes" to any of these questions: Is there someone with whom you can be honest about your relationship with God? Is there someone who asks you tough questions about your devotion to God and your family? Is there someone for whom and with whom you regularly pray? Is there someone in your life who gives you consistent, godly counsel? Is there someone in your life who helps you follow Jesus Christ?

Frequently I am privileged to be able to sit down over a meal or a cup of coffee with another brother-in-Christ. Over the years I have had numerous "spiritual" friends. During various seasons of life God brings certain people into our lives who help to encourage, guide, or challenge our journey with Jesus. I've grown to view these relationships as tremendously beneficial and important for my growth in discipleship. To be honest, I have come to view these relationships as essential to my growth as a Christian.

How about you? Do you have any "spiritual" friends? You may have many people with whom you associate at church, but are they truly your "spiritual" friends? Are you developing the sort of relationship with someone else in life--maybe a spouse or a leader at your church--that is centered on growing to glorify Christ more and more each day? If you don't, then I encourage you to pray that God might you lead to someone. We all need "a fellow pilgrim" who helps to pick us up along this bumpy road.

What is your experience with having a "spiritual" friend?

Monday, August 2, 2010

"Is It a Monday?"

I love Mondays. Most people hate Mondays. That's because for most people Monday means the end of the weekend and that it's time to get back to the office, or the "salt mine" as my dad likes to say. However, my work week typically runs from Tuesday through Sunday. Except for the occasional emergency hospital visit or some other urgent meeting, Mondays are the one day a week that I get to completely disconnect from the routine and stay home with Laurie and the children. We all love Mondays around here! In fact, the only bad thing about Monday is that it is usually "Mow-day"...(I REALLY don't like mowing)...

Every morning I get the children out of their beds and make breakfast for them. No, I'm not deserving of the "Father-of-the-Year" award. I mean, how hard is it to stick frozen pancakes in the microwave? Usually by Friday morning of each week my daughter, Gabbie, begins to greet me with the words, "Daddy, is it a Monday?" It's sweet (in a "dagger through the heart" sort of way). I give her a kiss and thus begins the countdown till the next Monday. Usually Gabbie goes to bed on Sunday nights (like she did last night) with a big grin. I ask her why she is so smiley. She says to me, "Daddy, you know why I'm smiling...tomorrow's a Monday!" Seriously, how can you beat that?

It is really easy to get caught up in pastoral ministry. There are more than enough things to fill ten to twelve hours each day for seven days each week. However, over the past few years I have had to grow in the discipline of "rest". (You see, part of the lesson we are to learn from rest is trust in God and to find our contentment in Him.) The Bible clearly teaches us that God calls us to practice rest. God even set the example for us (cf. Genesis 1-2). The reality of the matter is that we need to rest from our labors and refocus on those things which matter most in life.

Well, that's a little perspective from me about Mondays. I'm grateful for every one of them.

What is your favorite day of the week...and why?