Thankful for Vacations

I just got back from vacation. Vacations are strangely tough for pastors to take. There’s always a temptation to feel guilty for taking the time off.

But it’s worth it. My vacation has helped me recharge in many different ways. I was able to spend time with just my wife, with all my kids, and with other family. These are gifts from God that my vacation helps me to be faithful to in a better way.

And now, I’m back to work. Not dreading it and worn out, but ready to go. I’m ready to keep at the work I was called to do.

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Not Just Plain Water

I got to baptize a little baby yesterday. It’s a privilege I’m always thankful for. The difference yesterday is that we were having our service in our school gym instead of at church. So I had to improvise a bit for a baptismal font.

Thankfully, though, we still had all we needed. Water connected with God’s Word. We had a little child who became God’s child, connected to her Savior, born again by the Holy Spirit.

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Three Little Words

Preaching for a wedding today. I won’t share the whole sermon, but I will share a central thought.

“I want you to remember that the three most important words in marriage might not be “I love you;” they might just be “I forgive you.” Forgiveness is the center of our relationship with God. He is the God who loved us and forgave us in Christ alone. So forgive each other. … Love each other, not for what it does for you, but for what you do for each other.”

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You Are Worth More

This nest is in a bush outside my garage. A robin is raising her second nest-full of eggs since this spring. Somehow, despite all the rain, despite my dog, despite all the dangers, this bird and her eggs have survived.

Jesus told us this. God takes care of birds. He knows where this bird has placed her eggs. He knows when they will hatch. But He cares even more about you.

“You are worth more than many sparrows” — or robins. He proved it, not in a backyard bush, but on the cross.

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Wordle Sermon

As a preacher, I’m used to seeing my sermons a certain way. I wrote them, after all, so I think I know everything about them. Well, sometimes I’m a little too close to the project, so my own view of my sermons can be a bit distorted.

That’s why I think it’s interesting to see them from a different angle sometimes. To do that, I occasionally like to turn my sermons into a wordle1. These give you a visual impression of which words were used most in a particular text. In this case, I’ve put my last sermon through the ol’ Wordle machine, and this is what it came up with:

Screenshot 2014-05-22 12.13.11

Not sure if there’s anything surprising in this one, but still pretty interesting!

  1. Check them out at . It’s kind of fun to make your own and play around with how they look. 

Down the Aisle

This is one of my favorite photos of my church where I serve as pastor. It gives the true feel of the church, and it’s taken at an angle that gives everything an extra hint of majesty. I’m very thankful for a former member of the church (and still current friend!) for taking this shot.