The Lord Gave and . . .

The Lord Gave and . . .

Many of you know that Kelly and I have been involved in fostering children over the past two years.  Since we began this journey, we have had five children in our home.  Our first, Brie, is now our own.  Six months after receiving Brie, we received Lizzy, she was five days old.  We were told it would only be a one week stay.  One week has turned to over a year and a half.  A month and a half ago, we received her older sister into our home. The Lord was very kind to give us opportunity to thoroughly share the gospel on more than one occasion with the birth father.  Until this week, our relationship with him has been very positive.  Due to our concerns about an immediate return of the children to his care, we did retain an attorney and wanted the court to hear our concerns.  We have known that the county social workers and attorneys were pushing for an immediate return of the children to the birth father without transition.  Yesterday we had our day in court.  Today the Judge gave his ruling. Here is the note we just sent to our church family in regard to our recent court activity to retain our foster daughters Lizzy and Jade.  Thank you all for your wonderful encouragement and prayers. Today the Judge presiding over Lizzy and Jade”™s future ordered that both of the girls be immediately placed with their birth father under what is called a Family Maintenance plan. This means the children will remain dependents of the county, but under the full time and constant...

Church Growth and Our Hard Times

Do hard times prove religion to be a crutch for those hardest hit? You might think that listening to some of the new research being publicized as of late as to why evangelical churches tend to grow during times of economic crises. In a December 13 article in the New York Times, Paul Vitello declares in his headline that “Bad Times Draw Bigger Crowds to Churches.” . . . Since September, pastors nationwide say they have seen such a burst of new interest that they find themselves contending with powerful conflicting emotions “” deep empathy and quiet excitement “” as they re-encounter an old piece of religious lore: Bad times are good for evangelical churches. I don’t doubt the trend. I can remember a swell in attendance after the tragedies of September 11, 2001. I also remember the return to normalcy. I don’t doubt that those who are hardest hit by the current economic issues in our country will begin to question themselves, their values and the trajectory of their life. I say to that, “Amen.” It’s not that I have a sense of “quiet excitement” in people’s pains. As an ordinary pastor, I’m not praying for economic disaster, political upheaval, or any increase in natural disasters. But I well know that when people place their hopes, security, joy and future in the economy, politics or the stability of our world in general, they are setting themselves up for a time of inward instability that may just make them rethink what they are ultimately living for. Mr. Vitello’s article notes some interesting issues in American history regarding evangelical churches...
Mac or PC?

Mac or PC?

For a number of months I’ve been mentally toying with the idea of moving to the world of Mac and abandoning the world of Windows. I’ve had four PC laptops in the past five years and this morning Kel tells me she thinks we need to reinstall Windows on her machine – a multi-day process for a guy who really does not have multi-days to do it. Just curious: Emotions run high when people start debating the pros and cons of Windows vs. Mac-so I’m not really interested in mere displays of bravado for either side. But I want to know, from a pastoral ministry and/or even a practical standpoint, which is more profitable – or if the switch is really all that helpful. Mac or PC? Why? Phil Johnson’s chronicle of his own personal saga causes me to seek your input today:  Pyromaniacs: My Turn: This Is Where I’ve Been Lately more about “Mac or PC?“, posted with...

Celebrity Workouts …on 60 Minutes

How do the popular people exercise?  I especially appreciated the comments by Condi Rice and Barack Obama on why they try to keep in good shape – the physical conditioning has a large impact on one’s mental sharpness. Celebrity Workouts …on 60 Minutes; Exclusive Video Only on Yahoo!...
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