Getting Real About Life, about Love, and about God

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

God is not a fun hater.


How long can three kids ride in an tube behind a boat?

The answer (at least for three of my kids)-- as long as you will let them!!!

Tucker, Tanner and Delaney spent over three hours riding around the lake in the tube and they showed no signs of letting up. They had smiles plastered on their faces the whole time.

Today was a beautiful day. We had a morning bike ride. We spent a little time just relaxing and doing close to nothing (loved it!). I watched Darbey discover grass with her feet and crawl around on the cool green stuff in amazement at this new sensation. I was reminded, as I delighted in Darbey, of how God delights in us. We got together with our good friends here at the lake and went for the boat ride and tubing. It was really a beautiful day. The weather was wonderful too!

As we road on the boat and were having such fun I was very aware of God being present with us and that God is present with us when we are having fun. I was thankful for this awareness today. God wants us to have fun. God made the fun that we were having possible. God put these friends in our life and they were going out of their way to love us as family and to make this a fun and enjoyable day. I thought about how too often we separate fun and spiritual. Yet God is with us on a boat, tubing across the lake having fun and delighting in the moments that we share as family. Jesus first miracle was a miracle that extended the party! God is not a fun hater. God wants us to have fun and to be aware of his presence in the happy, joyful, fun times of life.

Love today.

In Christ's love and mine,
Doug

Monday, June 29, 2009

Vacation Re-creation Day 1

I woke up this morning just a few feet from the lake. The family and I are beginning our 2 week vacation. This is a great opportunity to reconnect with each other and reconnect with God. We will be camping for the next two weeks and I plan to spend each day enjoying my family and enjoying God's presence. This a a vacation for us to have the image of God recreated in us. We are spending it in a re-creational vehicle, our camper.

This place is beautiful. The weather is wonderful. We have already been able to reconnect with some old friends and we had a great day. I am looking for God everywhere I go. This morning shortly after we had breakfast and the picture of Delaney was taken. I was setting alone outside looking out at the lake feeling the wind blow off the lake. It caused me to think of the old Hebrew word for the Holy Spirit. Ruach. It means breathe or wind. I was then taken to the song by Casting Crowns, "I know Your There." This song talks about how God is always there for us. It was as if I could feel the touch of God as the wind blew.

Then I saw flying over the water a bald eagle. It was one of those awe inspiring sights. Nicole and the kids were in the camper so I jumped up still trying to keep my eye on the eagle because I didn't want to miss the sight. As I jumped up a banged my face right into our awning rail. By the time I shook off the blow and got the ids out the eagle was nowhere to be seen.

This is going to be a good time of re-creating and encountering God in nature, in my family, in old friends and new friends I meet. A great time of being filled with the "wind."

Love today.

In Christ's love and mine,
Doug

Here is the Casting Crowns song-- enjoy!



Friday, June 26, 2009

Thank God it's Friday!

Today is my dad's birthday. Thank you God for my Dad.

What are you thankful for today? Stop to give God thanks.

This morning I woke up with the the song "He knows my name" running through my head. Did you ever think about the promise that God knows your name. God knows everything about us, our name, the hairs on our head, our temper, our character, our thoughts-- everything. God knows you and me and he loves us. He knows our names and calls us by name.

I am thankful that I have a maker, a father, a friend who knows my name and calls me by name to live my life in relationship with him.

Give thanks-- Love today.

In Christ's love and mine,

Doug

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Jesus is More than Enough

A little praise and something to reflect on.



Do I live like Jesus is more than enough? Do I love like Jesus love is more than enough?

Love today.

In Christ's love and mine,
Doug

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Wednesday

Today has been on of those days that I have found it difficult to get a moment to post. It got me thinking about the difference between being busy and hurry. We can be busy but not hurry. Also, we can hurry and not be very busy. Busy has to do with our schedule and what we do with our time. Hurry has to do with how we live.

Dallas Willard talks about how hurry is the enemy of our spiritual lives. We get in a hurry. We hurry here and there. There are many things that can be done in a hurry but love is not one of them. We can't love in a hurry. We can't build relationships in a hurry. This is why I think Willard says it is the enemy of our Spiritual lives. If we are going to love God and others we can't hurry through life. We have to slow down and make time for God and for others. We are never too busy to pray, give thanks, love. I think it is Bill Hybels that says he is too busy not to do these things.

No matter how busy you are don't get in a hurry. Keep God in your day. Look for God. Pray. Love. Care for the people that God has placed into your life. Smell the flowers. Here the birds. Slow Down.

Love today.

In Christ's love and mine,
Doug

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Time Flies and We are Having Fun

It is hard to believe it, but if I remember correctly, it was one year ago today that Nicole, the kids, and I move to Trenton. It is amazing how fast that time has gone. It is like it was yesterday that we came with our moving truck. I remember that the rain had been pouring down and we were unable to get to the house because the creeks had flooded over the roads. I remember how people showed up to help unload and they brought food. I remember how much love and support we felt on that first day. I also remember being impressed by how hard Joe and Adrian worked to unload the truck. I remember Connie having us over for dinner. I remember the people stopping by to welcome us.

In the past year there have been lots of great memories being made. The welcome, the love, the caring and the support continues. There have been lots of meals and visits. Many deep relationships have been established. And I have been impressed by how hard so many of my Dockery family work for God. I was talking with my friend Jeff, who writes the blog "Can you hear the birds sing?", and we were talking about how lucky we were. He asked me about Dockery and I told him the felling of my heart, "I am the luckiest pastor I know." I am so lucky to be the pastor at Dockery Chapel. I am so lucky to live in this community and to serve God here. I am so lucky to have my church family and community.

Jeff feels the same way about the place where he serves, Woods Chapel United Methodist Church. As we talked we talked about is the proper word "lucky?" Because it is more than luck. Maybe it is blessing? Maybe I am the most blessed pastor I know. That doesn't sound right. I am blessed in my life by my church, my family, and my friends. I am blessed in my life to be where I am at. But, God is not blessing me any more than he is blessing others. All of us our blessed by a church, family, and friends we just need to look for the blessing.

Jeff decided that the proper word for him was fortunate. I think he is on to something. I am fortunate to be where I am. I am very fortunate to be a part of this faith community and have the friends, family, and community that I have. I am very fortunate to be able to serve God and live out my relationship with Jesus with the people of Trenton. I am very fortunate that this is my home. I look forward to many, many, more years here in Trenton and the people of Dockery. I am very fortunate for this past year and for all of you.

Some may say that it is luck. I feel like I have won the lottery and it takes some luck to that I am told. Some may say it is blessing. You betcha! God is in the blessing business. We all should be counting ours. Jeff says fortunate. I am the most fortunate person I know. How about you? Time flies and we are having fun. I love you all.

Love today.

In Christ's love and mine,
Doug

Monday, June 22, 2009

World Changers

A group of young people from all around the country have come to Trenton, MO this week with a mission organization called "World Changers". There are around 100 youth with World Changers plus adult leaders. They are working on homes in the area as well as praying for the neighborhoods and looking for ways to make God's love visable and real.

Dockery is providing meals each day for one of the work crews. The group we are working with has people from Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Clinton, MO. It has been great getting to know this group off young people and the leaders as we shared in worship yesterday and our meals.

Meeting this group of people has got me thinking about changing our world. The idea that we might be able to change the world around us by making God's love visable and real to people. By doing random acts of kindness. By praying for our neighborhoods and looking for ways to share God's love with the people we encounter each day.

I think God is calling me and you to be world changers. To offer hope to the world and to make God's love real.

Love today.

In Christ's love and mine,
Doug

Friday, June 19, 2009

Thank God it's Friday!

Gratitude is something that your show.

This weekend is Father' day weekend. Sunday is the day to celebrate and give thanks for the fathers we have in our lives. So, today as I intentionally turn toward and attitude of gratitude and thanks, I want to thank my heavenly father for fathers. Dads. Grampa's. Papa's. Step dads. Uncles. Man who have shown me fatherly love and treated me as a son.

Thank you God for Dads! Thank you God for being the best father to me. Happy Dad's day!

Let's show our fathers our gratitude.

Love today.

In Christ's love and mine,
Doug

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Prayer

Lord speak to me today. Make me quick to listen and slow to speak. Help me to slow down and look for you in the common and ordinary. Help me to discover your image in everyone that encounter. Help me to see you in the most unlikely places. Help me to be in your pressence. Aware. Grateful. AMEN

Love today.

In Christ's love and mine,
Doug

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A Proverb

"My child, never forget the things I have taught you. Store my commands in your heart.
If you do this, you will live many years, and your life will be satisfying.
Never let loyalty and kindness leave you! Tie them around your neck as a reminder.
Write them deep within your heart. Then you will find favor with both God and people, and you will earn a good reputation.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.

Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil. Then you will have healing for your body and strength for your bones.

Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce. Then he will fill your barns with grain, and your vats will overflow with good wine.

My child, don’t reject the Lord’s discipline, and don’t be upset when he corrects you. For the Lord corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights."

Proverb 3:1-12 (NLT)

Love today.

In Christ's love and mine,
Doug

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Plan

I started a new Bible reading plan today. I have a new Bible and in the back there are several different reading plans to help get into the habit of reading your Bible. I have selected the thirty day reading plan on Leadership. Today, I read about Noah and the unusual assignment that God gave him.

This Bible has lots of different plans to choose from. Different themes. Different lengths. There is on plan that has a daily reading that will take you through the bible in one year.

The key is a plan. We need a plan for getting into God's word? More precisely, we need a plan for getting God's word into us. If you would like to try one of the plans in my new bible I would be happy to share them with you. I can make a copy and pass it along to you.

There are days that a fail to read my Bible. They tend to come most often when I fail to make a plan for reading it. I have also noticed that it makes a difference in me (the way I respond to others, the way I act, the way I view situations) when I am regularly making the scriptures a part of my daily life. I am changed. It all begins with a plan to make it a daily habit.

Love today.

In Christ's love and mine,
Doug

Monday, June 15, 2009

Get plugged in

My toaster will not work if it is not plugged. The bread will go down but it will not pop up. When I finally force the lever up so my bread comes out it is not toast because my toaster doesn't work if it is not plugged in. The toaster cannot fulfill it purpose until it gets plugged in.

I (we) are like my toaster. I (we) can not fulfill our purpose if we are unplugged from the source of our power.

God is our power source. Life and the stuff of this world can drain the power out of you and me. We need to constantly be connecting to our power source. We need to pray, worship, meditate on scripture and spend time with other followers of Jesus so that we get plugged into the power source.

How is you connection today? What is coming out of you? Is the power source producing in you good fruit. Are you becoming more loving, more kind, more joyful, more peaceful, more patient, and more gentle? Our you fulfilling the purpose for which you were designed? Do you want to experience God's power in your life?

Get plugged in. Pray. Worship. Be in Gods pressence.

Love today.

In Christ's love and mine,
Doug

Friday, June 12, 2009

Thank God it's Friday

June 12 is my wife Nicole's birthday. It is no coincidence that this day falls on a day that I write about giving God thanks. God has given me a great gift in Nicole.

So today I especially am thankful for her. I thank God that he has put Nicole in my life. I thank God for the wife, mother and friend that she is. I thank God for the way that she loves Jesus and the way that she shows me day in and day out what love really is.

I thank God for the way that she lives out her faith as an example to me and to others. I am truly fortunate to have her as my wife. Thank you God for Nicole.

Who are the special people in your life? Stop and give God thanks.

Love today.

In Christ's love and mine,
Doug

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Technology

Technology has really changed the way that we do things in our world. Amazingly I am writing this post with my new cell phone. Who would have thought blogging would even be possible and a form of communicatio just a few years ago. And now I am writing this and posting through my phone. Change. Technology shows us how fast things change. While writing this my phone has probably become the "old" model.

It seems the only thing that we can be sure of is that change happens. The question is how do we live out our relationship and share the Gospel of Jesus in this ever changing world? Am I willing to be changed by Christ so that I will be in this everchanging world as a light that shines for Jesus?

I think that if we are honest we are not comfortable with change. Routine, knowing what is coming, the status quo, are comfortable. Change makes us uneasy and tense. We are unfamiliar with the new and we are comfortable with the old even if we don't like it. However, the promise at the heart of a life in Jesus, is the promise that we will be changed.

Technology is cool but Jesus is even cooler. I pray today that I would be changed by my relationship with Jesus and God might work through my life to change the world around me.
Change is going to happen. We can count on that. Will we be changed by Jesus?

Love today.

In Christ's love and mine,
Doug

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Sharing the Journey

Sharing the Journey. When I went to Israel this blog help me to share the journey with others as I was away on that trip. Many people have told me about how much they enjoyed sharing in the journey with me as they followed along on this blog.

Today, I have good friends leaving on a journey to Haiti. My friends names are Kevin Ewing, Taylor Lynch, Kelsey Donohue, Renae Lynch, and Diane Ewing. They are going on a mission trip and will be sharing this experience through their blog "To Haiti and Back."

I want to encourage you to pray for them on their journey. Pray that they will encounter Christ on this trip and that we all might see Jesus in a new way because of this journey. Follow them at their blog, http://lookathaiti.blogspot.com/ .

I got to thinking today. Maybe there is something to this sharing of our journeys. Maybe this is what we are called to do with this journey called life. We are called to share it with one another. To pray for one another. Encourage one another. Inspire one another. We need to help each other by sharing our stories and more importantly our lives. Laugh together, cry together, carry one another. Support. Help. Enjoy. Share. Do life together. In Christ's name.

Thank you for coming on this journey with me.

Love today.

In Christ's love and mine,
Doug

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Looking for Your Feedback

Yay! God. It is official. Yesterday the appointments for 2010 were fixed by our Annual Conference and I have been appointed again as the pastor of Dockery Chapel. I am blessed and fortunate to be the pastor at Dockery. I think I have the greatest appointment that there is in the state. I am sure in the whole country and the world. I truly love my faith community and thank God every day that I get to serve in such a beautiful place. You are the best.

I got into a conversation with a friend of mine while at the Annual Conference. He asked a question and I would love to hear what you all think on the subject. The conversation was about what the church has to offer that other organization do not. But the angle of his question was different and more thought provoking I think. He said, how is serving in the church different than serving in other service organizations? Why serve through the church when I can serve, do charity, through non-christian entities? Or -- I can have friends and relationships through other groups what difference is there in the relationships and the friendships I have in a faith community? Do I need Christian friendships?

These are intriguing questions for us to ponder and to think about as we think about living out our relationship with God in real ways. What is our answer to a world that says we can do all this without Christ?

What are your thoughts? I would love to hear your feedback on these questions and hear what you think.

Love today.

In Christ's love and mine,
Doug

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Annual Conference Day 2

My thoughts this morning are on how we can do meetings and business and not be playing church. While I am sure that I do not fully understand the answer to this question I think that the answer begins and ends in relationships.

It is all about relationships. The people that I encounter today. The way that we honor, respect and treat one another while doing the business will show who I follow. I can follow me or I can follow Jesus. Loving others happens 24/7. Loving others is not circumstantial. It is not something we are called to just when are doing "missions" or "witnessing" or while we "fellowship" or "in worship" (all of which are intentionally "churchy" words). We love always -- all ways. It is an action that we live every moment. Each moment we reflect either to a lesser degree or greater degree the Jesus that is in us.

Today I hope to be aware of what I am reflecting as we do business and meet in meetings.

Love today.

In Christ's love and mine,
Doug

Friday, June 5, 2009

TGIF

Thank God it's Friday.

It took some time but I finally got somewhere that I could make a post. I am away at Annual Conference in Springfield, MO. After 41/2 hours in the car, an afternoon of meetings, dinner, and time at the pool with the kids I finally got the computer up and online.

For those unfamiliar with the United Methodist Church, Annual Conference is our yearly meeting to get together and do the business of the bigger Church. It is four days of hearing reports, voting, learning, and fellowship with United Methodist who represent all of the church in Missouri.

So, this is where I am for the next couple of days. I look forward to the many opportunities to build relationships and hear about what Jesus is doing in the lives of others.

I am thankful to have this time to visit with old friends and to make new ones. I am thankful for all the people at Dockery who make it possible for me to be away. Hey, if you are from Dockery, make sure that you are there this week because Vic Walker will be sharing a message. I am thankful for Vic and his willingness to be used by God. Don't miss church because the pastor is away.

Thank you God for the safe travel today and for connecting me to others through your Holy Spirit.

Be thankful.

Love today.

In Christ's love and mine,
Doug

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Investment of time

Today I am going to be spending some time with my son Tanner. When you have four kids it is difficult to have one on one time with just one of your your kids. You have to work at it and be intentional. I know I need to do it more, and work at it better. This day with Tanner was unplanned, but when I woke up this morning i just felt God nudging me to take some time and invest it into Tanner. We went to breakfast this morning, and it was great, he did give me some time to get a few things done, and then we will have lunch and spend the afternoon together.

Time. We all have it. We all wish we had more of it. Time is valuable. How do we use it to invest in people. How can you invest some time to deepen a relationship, to show someone they are important to you, or to build up and encourage someone.

Listen for God's nudging? Pray about how you can show love by investing time into someone. Take someone to lunch. Stop and have a cup of coffee. Listen. Laugh. Cry. Invest your time. It could be the most precious gift that you can give.

Love today.

In Christ's love and mine,
Doug

Love today

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Worship Today

I woke up this morning with this song running through my head. By the way, I love when this happens it is like God is waking me up to worship. I remember the song from a vacation bible school a couple of years ago. It is a great reminder that God is with us all the time and it is in him that we live and move and have our being.

Jesus said in John 15 that if we remain in him and he in us than we will bear much fruit. Live in Jesus today!

I found some kids singing it in church. Here you go! Worship today.




Love today.

In Christ's Love and Mine,
Doug

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Today

Today is the day. Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009. Today is the day.

You ask (go ahead and ask, no one will think you are crazy for talking to your computer) "what is so important about today?"

Today is the day!!! It is THE day!!!

Today is the day that we have been given to live. Today is the day that we have to spend our time in. I challenge you today to catch yourself or just notice how often your are spending time thinking about yesterday or tomorrow. We worry about what might happen tomorrow, next week, or next year. Time spent worrying about tomorrow takes away from the time that we have been given to live today. We spend time dwelling on past mistakes, past regrets, and past events and all the while we are missing out on today.

Today is the day!!!

Today is the day that God has given us that we are sure that we have to live. The past is gone and tomorrow is an uncertainty. Today we live. Today is the day for us to love like crazy. Today is the day to pass out grace and forgiveness like they are going out of style. Today is the day to offer a kind word, to say what we need to say, to help, to care, and to embody the Good News. Today is the day to live in God's presence and to lean on Jesus. Today is the day to recognize God's hand, and to feel him hold you. Today is the day to stop and smell the flowers, hear the birds sing, and to be awed by God. Look for God, because today is the day that God has given you to encounter and know him. God is with you today.

No matter where you are or what you are going through God is here for you today. Look for God today. Live for God TODAY. Love TODAY.

In Christ's love and mine,
Doug

Monday, June 1, 2009

Technical Difficulties

The post is late today due to technical difficulties. I had to get a new cell phone today. I had finally missed too many calls due to my old phone constantly switching itself to silent mode. Also, the old style connection was getting very sketchy. Anyway, my cell phone is also my modem to connect my computer to the Internet so until I got the phone switched and loaded all the new software on my computer and got things figured out I was unable to get online to make a post.

Good News! I am back online and I feel I wont be missing anymore important calls due to faulty equipment.

As I reflect upon my old phone I am reminded that I have flaws too. We all are flawed. We have our things that just are not right. We all have habits, hurts, and hangups. The Bible says that all of us are in this boat. None of us are perfect. Not one of are is truly "normal." Often times I think that we use flaws as a way to separate us, but it just could be the fact that we are all flawed that can unite us. When we recognize that we are all in need of grace, we should become less judgemental and more grace filled. When we recognize that we all fall short it is harder to see that we are any better than anyone else and we can begin to love unconditionally.

Love today.

In Christ's love and mine,
Doug